If ‘love wants to possess…’
friendship is …perhaps…
but perhaps what?
not the planning of funeral attendents
yet certainly for Derrida (and his posse, his brotherhood…) deadly.
but where are we? from aristotle to montaigne to Derrida, passed from lip to ear (with a bit of pen.in.between) ‘O my friends, there is no friend.’ works across the terrains of time:
-touching the ‘to come’ of and to futurity in Nietzsche
-creeping from behind, through the past in Cicero (friendship with and of the same), through the greeks (to be loved or to love?) and of course via Aristotle
-and of the impossible present both in Heidegger and in Mauss – (present as gift)
And what happens when Nietzsche inverts the phrase in question: ‘O foes, there is no foe!’ In this a mad tongue wags – but why? While Aristotle & Montaigne propose an enmity at the heart of friendship, Nietzsche in fact points to a friendship to come… X that is not X, enemies that are not enemies… “Perhaps! (Vielleicht!)”
“It is perhaps impossible, as a matter of fact. Perhaps the impossible is the only possible chance of something new. Perhaps; perhaps, in truth, the perhaps still names this chance. Perhaps friendship, if there is such a thing, must honour [faire droit] what appears impossible here.” (PF, Derrida, p.36)
this impossibility, the impossibility of friends to come, of friendship, of perhaps I… we… Derrida locates in a very intimate they (“This is perhaps ‘the community of those without community (15)”. (PF, Derrida, p. 37)) Is it out of love or of friendship that Derrida cites Blanchot citing Bataille? or perhaps it is a proper introduction of the ‘we’… the we whose only commonality is singularity, solitude. (see PF, Derrida, p.46)
Within these friends to come, these friends of solitude, the words is – silence. “Friendship does not keep silence, it is preserved by silence” (PF, Derrida, p. 52) What does this say of the compulsion to divulge, to know, to tell all – it speaks love, not friendship, possession not spacing, when what is needed is “… knowledge of how to evacuate words to gain breathing space for friendship” (PF, Derrida, p.53)
from punctuation to the punctured: on christian virtue, of christian virtue… perhaps the injunction to love your enemies is less benign than it first appears. to love to posess those that persecute you: here we arrive at karl schmitt’s dearest (direst?) hope. yet the decision, the political decision par excellence, is, it seems already made. it arrives passively, passionately, but without an I in possession. Precisely the I is what is subsumed by subject making (though foucault and butler might find space for both?) in Derrida’s formulations. Beating like a heart, without subjective orders (much like deleuze on nietzsche – the body, the bits the affirmations that take place pre-consciously)… the subject is decided already and before. The friends is the enemy is now the friend… and who is to say it could be otherwise? who?