28 Mayıs 2009 Perşembe

Rendezvous with Justice

Justice as desired mother in her clinging robes

by Öykü Didem Aydın

“Can we transcend the invincible existence of the unsavory, in prison life and elsewhere?” A serious question that Falconer puts, a novel I read years ago, a question that neither Liberty nor Government can help us answer. Might Justice help? I don’t know:

Liberty wore a mobcap and carried a pike.”

Government was the federal ‘Eagle holding an olive branch and armed with hunting arrows.’ ”13 (It is a national flag here in Turkey with a white crescent moon and a star romantically shining on murdered soldiers blood.)


Justice ‘was conventional; blinded, vaguely erotic in her clinging robes and armed with a headsman’s sword.’ ”

If Justice were a person, a woman, would she be sexy? The fact that its very symbol is female (and indeed quite a beautiful female with such clinging robes) makes Justice a little bit sexy if not fully erotic, at least for manly-men. Should we conceive Government as a male then? But what’s Liberty’s sex? Is it a child? If so, no one should associate it with a sexual identity. Not before puberty. Liberty does not “know” much at all, Liberty is neither mature nor experienced enough for knowing. Liberty is “uncanny”. It is a process set out to know, it is a process, where everything can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange.

What makes Justice erotic? Perhaps the fact that one needs to arrange an intimate rendezvous with Justice under importunate circumstances. And this should have something to do with eroticism. It must be like running after someone in desperate vain. Everybody tells you that it should not “be” and all of a sudden, there is sex. But then, you are out of the picture. From Justice’s perspective, it is a one nightstand! From the individual’s perspective, it is like being a pornographic object of an all-powerful person.

On the other hand, submissiveness to Justice is different than submissiveness to Government. Think about judges and how vigorous they usually are. They can tell you, when to stand up and when to sit down, when to talk and when not to talk. They decide and cut, cut both ways, cut corners, cut ice, cut to the point, cut it short. You tell yourself ‘the finger which Justice cuts off should not hurt’! The way she delivers should always sound graceful to you! You are fond of being treated that way.

With Government, it is different. What would be taken as an offence if Government commits becomes charming when Justice does. Why is it so? Shall we oedipalize this?

Let me have a more focused application of Oedipus complex to our question: Perhaps Lacan’s ‘desire of lack’ theory might help! Liberty, Government and Justice-triangle could easily be taken to represent the triangle with an oedipal child, his father and his mother. Liberty can never be able to “master” and “govern”, as it can’t beat Government, it has to idealize it (this is how ideologies are born). In Lacan’s terms, it is the idealization of “the Name-of-the father”. He is no longer a real material father, but a function of a father. The same should be applicable to the idea of “mother” (let us associate this with Justice), not to a real mother, but simply to "desire”: A desire to return to the undifferentiated state of being together with the mother, before the interference through the “Name-of-the-Father”. Justice is erotic because "she" is desired; for the Government should look like "he" ventures to defend "her" in order to become a "good government", the satisfaction is impossible. It’s a desire in vain, desire of lack. No matter how many rendezvous you arrange with Justice, "she" reminds you that you are not allowed to experience her, the way “the-Name-of-the Father” (Government) does. And the government experiences Justice by executing her orders, through law enforcement, through prisons, through power! We shall transcend the invincible existence of the unsavory, in prison life and elsewhere when Liberty masters and governs Government.

0 yorum:

Yorum Gönder