Distribution Automatique

Monday, March 22

"Aggression against the individual self, the denial of the
personality, seems to me to be, consciously or not, the belated fruit of the
two main collectivist trends of our century: Nazism and Left-
wing totalitarianism (as realized in history).(The personalist
philosophy of Emmanuel Mounier and his journal *Esprit* had
overcome this problem at one time, and provided an answer;
how urgently we feel the need for a new personalism!) If the
individual self is an illusion, who's to prevent me from repudiating
it, from destroying and despising it, from killing or imprisoning
my fellow men?

And yet the fact that there is such a relentless attack on the
personality suggests that basically it is still believed in, that it is not
considered an illusion, that people believe in it so strongly that
they want to destroy it. Other selves are resented as rivals by those
who deny the self. Yesterday's politicians, today's ideologies, all
those who deny individualism are fierce and violent individualists,
impelled by a pathological will to power and an excessive urge
to assert themselves, to realize themselves, to absorb or dominate
others so that only their own hypertrophied self may survive:
personalities, races, works, signatures, everything must be
submerged in the collective impersonalism, in the collective
unconscious, except the self which denounces the presence of the
*others* whom he seeks to drive out from his own being."

Eugene Ionesco
*Fragments of a Journal*
Grove, 1968