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16. nov. 2011

Psychoanalysis for anthropology: An introduction to Lacanian anthropology

First published in Anthropological Notebooks 2011, Year XVII, No. 1.
To cite: Kodre, Lenart. 2011. Psychoanalysis for anthropology: An introduction to Lacanian anthropology. In Anthropological Notebooks 2011, Year XVII, No. 1: page 53-73.

This article revisits the theoretical junctions of anthropology and psychoanalysis, two of the impossible disciplines, and explores the potential for re-interpreting key anthropological questions from the psychoanalytic perspective, focusing mainly on the work of Jacques Lacan and his followers. Over the years, there have been many attempts to fuse ideas from both disciplines. This co-operation began with Freud and continues on the basic conceptual level to this day, and is (rightfully) rejected by most of the anthropological community. In contrast, attempts to revaluate some fundamental constants of anthropological theory from the Lacanian perspective have been scarce and lacking the effort or courage to outline the binding points of the two overlapping fields of knowledge. This article tries to do exactly that: to outline the scope of the interrelationship and to identify important areas, such as
subjectivity and its relation to the social reality and vice versa, methodology and epistemology, where Lacan’s ‘return to Freud’ can offer new insights into old problems.

The most general of definitions about the nature of the broad field of inquiry known as anthropology defines anthropology as the study of Man. This definition clearly avoids the problem of what can still be interpreted as the object, or rather the subject of anthropology, whether it be the kinship system of a specific ethnic group, or the progressive systematisation of the evolutionary history of mankind, as if the object of study floating somewhere in the vast, uncharted space-time between poetry and pottery. However, the question, of what Man is, cannot simply be set aside, since the very epistemological essence of anthropology lies in the answer, or more specifically in a mutual consensus about what this peculiar animal is.
Among the many definitions on the essence of human nature, one must make a difficult but always fully subjective decision between those that are more compatible with one’s personal worldview and those that are less so. Such a choice resembles a leap of faith into the unknown. I choose language and the act of speech as that universal and simultaneously the most unique feature of humanity that separates us from other species to the greatest extent.
It is impossible to write a poem with all the concomitant wordplay in the rigid form of computer language; the final result would make no sense. ‘Language’ as meant here is not a mere simple coding system for transferring messages, as with other social animals, but a coding system that contains in its essence a discord or gap between what it represents and the means of representation. It is this dimension of pure potentiality of meaning that gives rise to poetry and all the misunderstandings and misinterpretations of everyday communication that some believe is crucial. While its aim, in a strict sense, always ‘misses the point’, we somehow still manage to decipher what the other subject tried to say, or even what he did not. ‘The word goes out but the message is lost’, says a Corsican proverb. This miscommunication can be bridged only by the belief that the other is not lying, not telling a truth that can never be wholly told; this is, again, an act of faith. When Hermes agreed to become Zeus’s messenger, he promised never to lie, but also not to tell the whole truth either.
To use a further illustration of the problem, let us re-use the story of the Cree hunter who (the story goes) came to Montreal to testify in court concerning the fate of his hunting lands near the new James Bay hydroelectric project. After describing his way of life, he was administered the oath, but he hesitated: ‘I’m not sure I can tell the truth … I can only tell what I know’ (Clifford 1986: 8). This fundamental belief, identified with an act of speech as such, has to suppose the existence of a guarantor of meaning, which can be found the Lacanian articulation of this locus: the big Other.
As long as Man speaks, psychoanalysis is relevant to anthropology. Moreover, Man thinks as much as he speaks. Without a doubt, this logocentrism is an extreme epistemological position, already taken by Heidegger, for whom language was ‘the house of Being’ (Heidegger, 1998).
The importance of language was crucial even to the early tradition of Boasian cultural anthropology, especially to Edward Sapir, who together with Benjamin Lee Whorf developed the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, focusing on the principles of linguistic relativity and linguistic determinism. For Sapir, language was foundation of culture, the gateway to a world of meanings, which are linguistic in their essence. The individual, his perception of the world and his concrete behaviours are all defined by the language of his /her culture.
This belief in the supremacy of language and also its tyranny and its consequences for the speaking subject may constitute a necessary meeting point between psychoanalysis and some schools of institutionalised anthropological thought.
How did the encounter between anthropology and psychoanalysis begin?


In the beginning, there was Freud. His ‘exercise in anthropology’, Totem and Taboo (Freud, 2001), although regarded as a simplification and reduction of social phenomena par excellence, if read in a specific, structuralist manner, remains a ground-breaking work, a quantum leap in linking individual psychology and socio-cultural phenomena. This special reading of Freud and his work some decades later revolutionised psychoanalytical theory as well as influencing other social sciences.
Just as we have, on the one hand, the Freudian, classic, psychoanalytical tradition and, on the other, its spin-off interpretations, linguo-structuralist, Lacanian, being one of them, so we also have two different encounters of anthropological theory with psychoanalysis.
The first studies fully or partially incorporated strict, descriptive readings of Freudian psychoanalytical concepts: from students of Boas – Mead (Mead 1928; 1930; 1935) and Benedict (Benedict 1934), although the latter never used Freudian terminology, to Malinowski (Malinowski 2001) and his study of the Oedipus complex in the Trobriand Islands, national character studies and modal personality studies associated with Kardiner, Kluckhohn, Linton, DuBois, Gorer and Wallace, to child rearing practices studies and cross-cultural testing of Freudian hypotheses by the Whitings, Spiro, LeVine (Heald 1994), and finally to the ethnopsychiatry of Geza Roheim (Roheim 1930; 1934; 1945), Georges Devereux (Devereux 1951; 1967; 1976) and others. These last studies represent the ultimate theoretical dead-end of the encounter between anthropology and Freudian psychoanalysis.
If this first collaboration was on the level of context, i.e. field material was interpreted through Freudian and Jungian concepts, the second happened on the level of structure, the structure that supposedly lies beneath the manifested social phenomena and which in argumentation differed considerably from Radcliffe-Brown’s dead, skeletal structure of social institutions.
My focus is on this second encounter, which started with Sapir, with an almost Saussurean interpretation of the logic of the cultural pattern as the earliest manifestation of this ‘beyond the Freud’ approach and which peaked with the structuralism of Claude Lévi-Strauss, who was clearly influenced by Freud.
Lévi-Strauss’s line of argumentation follows the Freudian notion about symbolic associations (metaphoric and metonymic), latent and manifest formations, together with the structure of the human mind, made of layers of consciousness, unconsciousness and preconsciousness. Like Freud, Lévi-Strauss was a universalist seeking a universal logic and principles functioning in the human mind independent of time, space, race or culture. Freud sought the universal logic in the deciphering of dreams (Freud 2001); Lévi-Strauss used the same principle in the study of myth (Lévi-Strauss 1969; 1973; 1978; 1990). Furthermore, Lévi-Strauss followed Freud in claiming that the incest taboo is the cornerstone of human society (Lévi-Strauss 1969). If Freud was concerned with manifestations of repressed desires and impulses from the Unconscious, later called the Id, in the individual psychopathologies of his patients, Lévi-Strauss focused on ‘the unconscious nature of collective phenomena’, as stated in his Structural Anthropology (Lévi-Strauss 1963: 18). The idea of an unconscious aspect of the human mind, which is nevertheless constantly manifested in material form, is the common basis and the most fundamental starting point for Freud and Lévi-Strauss.


In contrast, psychoanalysis was not immune to the temptation of using anthropological material for its purposes.
Freud’s work, Totem and Taboo, was the first text of its kind. The text was an attempt to establish a breakthrough from psychoanalytical practice to the field of ‘ethno-psychology’, which at the time had been extensively written about by Jung and Wundt. Freud used the most up-to-date anthropological literature of his time, citing most works of the ‘fathers of anthropology’: Frazer, Morgan, Durkheim, Westermark, Haddon, Fison, Spencer, Gillen, etc. (Freud 2007).
Jacques Lacan, perhaps the most notorious figure of the French psychoanalytic ‘return to Freud’, was also influenced by the anthropology of his era: Malinowski’s material on the Oedipus complex (Lacan, 1938) and particularly that of Claude Lévi-Strauss, with whom he shared an interest in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure. In the schismatic Discours de Rome from 1953, Lacan emphasised the ‘return to Freud’ and a revaluation of Freud’s often confusing terms with new insights from (structural) anthropology, semiotics and philosophy, or as he states in the concluding paragraphs of the preface: ‘But it does seem to me that these terms can only become that much more clear if their equivalence to the Language of the contemporary anthropology is established, or even to the latest problems of philosophy, where psychoanalysis has often only to take back its own’ (Lacan 1956 in Wilden 1968: 26). For Lacan Elementary Structures of Kinship from 1949 was Lévi-Strauss’s most influential work. Marital laws and rules in primitive, simple societies were to reflect the basic structure of the society itself. The essence lay not in the exchange of real women, but in their symbolisation into signs in a system of symbolic exchange. Lévi-Strauss’s interpretation of the exchange of women as regulated by an unconscious (linguistic) formal system convinced Lacan of the existence of a general unconscious structure that regulates social reality. The symbolic function defines the human social order, or, as Lévi-Strauss wrote in an introduction to the work of Marcel Mauss, ‘…what is called the unconscious is merely an empty space where the symbolic function achieves autonomy’ (Roudinesco 1999: 211). Lacan also identifies Mauss as having shown that ‘…the structures of society are symbolic’ (Lacan 1966: 132).


It is unclear whether Lacan was familiar with Sapir’s work, but it is obvious that the science of semiotics, particularly that of Ferdinand de Saussure, had a major influence on the theoretical perspectives of both authors.
For Sapir and other American cultural anthropologists from the 1930s, the definition of culture was associated with patterned behaviours, symbolic structures and values, the cultural pattern, a ‘… configuration of aesthetic form … Cultural pattern is equivalent to a grammatical form … into which a particular behavior or event may be fitted’ (Sapir 1994: 118–119). This corresponds to Saussure’s dictum that a language is ‘a form, not a substance’ (Saussure 1974:122).
His understanding of the structure and dynamics of cultural elements was clearly linguistic in nature, as was his academic background. He was, after all, and still is considered as one of the most influential American linguists.
Just as in structural linguistics, where Saussure introduced his understanding of the relationship between the signifier and the signified (Saussure 1983), so did Sapir distinguish between two constitutive levels which make up a particular cultural element. There is meaning (signified, signatum, semainomenon) on the one side and concrete behaviour (signifier, signans, semainon) on the other: mental and material aspects of the same element.

For Sapir, the actual behaviour of an individual is the actualisation of meaning intuitively derived from the cultural pattern. Meaning (what the colour black means in a particular society, for example) is not directly rooted in a concrete behaviour or cultural element; on the contrary, these by themselves tell us nothing about culture: ‘It is the culture of a group that gives the meanings to symbolisms without which the individual cannot function, either in relation to himself or to others’ (Sapir 1994: 244).
The Sapirian cultural element is therefore not an element of positive value. It is defined by its differentially to the other elements in the signifying chain of the cultural pattern. This corresponds well to Boas’s notion of the contextuality and relativity of cultural elements (Boas 1896). Similarly, there are only differences in language. Saussure argued that ‘concepts... are defined not positively, in terms of their content, but negatively by contrast with other items in the same system. What characterises each most exactly is being whatever the others are not’ (Saussure 1974: 117).
Lacan later modified the Saussurean concept of the sign, interpreting the relation between the signifier and the signified as extremely unstable (Lacan 1996: 154), since for Saussure their relation is inseparable. The notion of a fundamental discrepancy between the representation of the world and the world itself, between the signifier and the signified, can be found in Hegel, especially in Kojeve’s interpretation of Hegel (Kojeve 1980), which was an important influence on Lacan and other French intellectuals of the era (Homer 2005). Representation, the process of naming things, is not a simple reflection of the world, but a violent act, present in the Hegelian phenomenological idea that the word is a death, the murder of a thing (Žižek 2008).
The structure of the signifier differs from that of the sign in the necessary condition of the double inscribed differential element, the constitutive exception (phallus, mana, the primal Father-of-enjoyment in Freud’s Totem in Taboo, etc.), the ‘holy paradox’ which totalises the system, the symbolic structure (Žižek and Močnik 1981). Lacan also emphasises the primacy of the signifier over the signified. Moreover, the signified is only a by-product, an effect in the shift of the signifier in the signifying chain. It is a play between signifiers, which produces the illusion of the signified, meaning via processes of metaphor and metonymy.
The structure of symbolic exchange between the subjects can exist only insofar as it is embodied in a pure material element, a circulating object of exchange, a signifier of the Other without a lack-S(A), which acts as its guarantee. In its pure particularity, it is the structure; it embodies it. Why? Because the ‘great’ Other, the symbolic order, is always barré, blocked, failed, and the circling material element embodies this internal circumscription of the symbolic structure. The significance of an object, put in the place of a unifying signifier, saturating the symbolic network was already crucial to Freud, who identified it as an important element around which the identification of a group is fabricated: ‘A primary group . . . is a number of individuals who have put one and the same object in the place of their ego ideal and have consequently identified themselves with one another in their ego’ (Freud 1921: 116).
The symbolic structure must include this element which embodies its ‘stain’, its own point of impossibility around which it is articulated: this is in a way the structuring of its own impossibility (Žižek 2008). Ethnography is full of such examples: red shell-disc necklaces (veigun or soulava) and white shell armbands (mwali) in the Kula ceremonial exchange system (Malinowski 1999); food and taonga (treasured possessions) in the Maori koha custom (Mauss 2006; Firth 1959); circulation of pigs in the Moka exchange system in the Mt. Hagen area (Strathern 1971) or the Sepik Coast exchange system of Papua New Guinea (Welsch and Terell 1998) to name a few. All embody this formal structure, as such.
Sapir’s cultural pattern is therefore a structure, a configuration or a culturally determined set of point(s) de capiton, as articulated by Lacan, ‘passage(s) of the signifier into signified’ (Lacan 1966: 164), where meaning ‘crosses over the bar’, to be placed into the concrete behaviour or gesture upon which the constant movement of the parallel signifying chains is (temporarily) halted. A minimal number of these fundamental anchoring points are necessary for the individual to be considered a normal, functioning member of society, in line with the significant uniformities of the society’s cultural standards, as in Sapir’s as-if psychology (Sapir 1994: 182). Culturally different ‘knotting’ of the signifying chains may be experienced in the effects of culture shock, a collapse of the metalinguistic function par excellence, where one is confronted with an alien configuration of the cultural pattern and is unable to participate effectively in a particular symbolic universe.
The proper individual interpretation of the cultural pattern therefore depends on the intergenerational transmission of social rules and norms. No one is born with decoding software that automatically recognises the cultural ‘source code’ and guides the individual through the maze of potential situations toward the culturally appropriate interpretation and manifestation of the norm. Referring to Lacan, it is the paternal function (of the Name-of-the-Father) which introduces the individual into the symbolic order of a particular culture, the ‘rules of the social game’ and also signifies the metaphorical nature of the Oedipal prohibition.
The very socio-cultural system of normative rules and standards of behaviour, the ‘as-if psychology’, is nevertheless not a totally closed and repressive structure limiting the individual to generalised, culturally prescribed behavioural patterns: ‘The cultural pattern is a powerful system of canalised behaviour which actualises certain basic impulses and gives the possibility for personal realisation’ (Sapir 1994: 91). Realisation of the cultural pattern always abberates from the ideal pattern. It is open to a diversity of personal realisations and individualisations via the system of ‘mental substitutes’ (Sapir 1994: 91) and ‘…offers endless opportunities for the construction and development of personality through the selection and reinterpretation of experience’ (Sapir 1994: 176).
The nexus of limitation and realisation, determinism and relativity, is the Oedipus complex, the foundation of all discontinuities and conflicts in the process of inculturalisation: the incest taboo – the limitation – on the one side, with the resolution of the Oedipal complex, and the individual’s (un)acceptance of his own castration, on the other - result in a whole spectrum of clinical personality structures from the neurotic and the psychotic to the perverse (Lacan 1988; 1993).


Nevertheless, the Lacanian notion of the symbolic order should not be understood in the same manner as Lévi-Strauss’s. For the latter, the symbolic law that governs human relations, myths and kinship is a universal set of formulas, a universal structure that can be penetrated and deciphered, since it functions by means of logical operations independent of subjective activity. This logic is innate and characteristic of the human mind, which classifies the objects it encounters through sets of binary oppositions: up-down, water-fire, raw-cooked; it is the analogy and the permutations of these basic dyadic relations that are reflected in cultural and social formations as diverse as myth and kinship organisation. What lies beneath is the universal ‘grammatical’ structure of the human mind.
In contrast, the Lacanian Symbolic is fully integrated with the subject and vice versa; furthermore, the most intimate human states and the very human subjectivity itself are effects or products of the shift of the subject’s position in the inter-subjective network, which is closely connected to the notion of the linguistic referential system, the big Other. ‘Individual in isolation from society is a psychological fiction’ (Sapir, 1994: 244), he insists, and exists (the individual) only if fully integrated, actualised and expressed through culture, via the Other, ‘the battery of signifiers’ (Lacan, 1993: 184) which ‘…represent a subject for another signifier’ (Lacan, 1977: 207).
Lacan’s Symbolic is a system of differentiated signifiers, an order that in its blind automatism disrupts the Imaginary homeostasis of the pre-Oedipal relationship between the child and the mother; it is ‘beyond the pleasure principle’. These ‘unseen rules of the social game’ may seem like an omnipotent puppet master who pulls the strings, but it is also a mere fiction: the Other does not exist, a presupposition driven by the activity of subjects that act as if it exists. Similarly, for Sapir, culture is a form of ‘collective lunacy’ (Sapir 1994: 245).
The focus here is on the performance, the activity, ‘…how the gestures of symbolisation are entwined with and embedded in the process of collective practice’ (Žižek 2006: 15). Even more, this rigid impersonal software, the big Other, becomes subjectivised in the form of divinities, oracles and gods, exempt from the sphere of mortal interactions; the other has to stay the Other, forever elusive and mysterious.
Most of the anthropological tradition remains to some extent Durkheimian; social reality is not simply an extension of the individual psyche. It makes no sense to show that these two parallel universes overlap; however, what is different in the psychoanalytic, Lacanian notion of the relationship between the individual and the social sphere is the complete annihilation of the barrier between the two. Not only this, but the most individual and personal characteristics and emotions, the ‘person’ itself can be interpreted as a reflex of the social order, a radical break with the tradition of the reign of the cogito as the master of his domain. The psychic, inner world of the individual extends to the outside social reality and is inhabited and to some extent ruled by the symbolic order with language as its agent. It is here, in the realm of the big Other, that the subject is constituted: ‘The dichotomy between culture and personality is not real because they reinforce each other at all points’ (Sapir 1994: 179). The subject is nothing but the point of failure in the process of its symbolic representation, a lack - a lack of jouissance around which the big Other is structured (Myers 2003).


The Lacanian subject is the Subject of the Unconscious. However, the Lacanian notion of the psychic agency that runs the show behind the curtains of the misleading ego, the ‘I’, is not to be understood simply as a reservoir of irrational biological drives and instincts, but seen as a psychic domain that clearly demonstrates a linguistic structure, a logic that can be deciphered when it passes into words. Even more, the ‘language’ of the Unconscious, which articulates itself in linguistic formations, is the very effect of language on the subject: ‘the unconscious is the discourse of the Other’ (Lacan 1966: 16). Since language is not an individual phenomenon, but is socially shared and therefore external to speaking subjects, the very essence of subjectivity is located ‘outside’, in the Other. Plessner developed and named this distinctly human mode of existence as eccentric positionality (Plessner 1928).
The Other is the realm of radical alterity. It is also the realm of the Law that regulates desire in the Oedipus complex. It is imposed on the subject by the symbolic order, by all those rules and laws we call culture. The same could be said of Durkheim’s social fact, which is characterised by its externally manifested and coercive nature. Or, as Sapir put it, ‘…so tyrannical are our methods of mapping out experience that we do not do what we think we do; we do not see what we think we see; we do not hear what we think we hear; we do not feel what we think we feel’ (Sapir 1994: 245). This echoes the basic definition of ideology, as developed by Marx in his Das Kapital: ‘Sie wissen das nicht, aber sie tun es’ (Marx 1988: 88). Again, the essence of this ideological illusion lies on the side of ‘activity’, not ‘knowing’.
The dimension of the Other transcends the individual. It existed before one’s birth and will (most likely) outlive the individual, but unlike Lacan’s Symbolic order, it is not a separate reality, but a system, which can be understood only if we consider the connections and interrelationships among a whole series of relevant social facts. There is little or no room for individual psychology in Durkheim’s sociology, but Lacan does exactly that, merging the spheres of the individual and the collective.
This is the point where culture and personality studies could benefit from the (Lacanian) psychoanalytic understanding of the subject, the holy grail of cultural anthropology, written in the often obscure and impenetrable writings of a French psychiatrist, Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan. Lacan is gaining popularity, owing to the use of his concepts and those purified and elucidated by his son-in-law, Jacques-Alain Miller, in many different fields of inquiry, ranging from contemporary art, literature and cultural studies to politics. Although one should be cautious because of this very popularity, his insights can be useful for anthropological theory.
The subject, the individual, entered the anthropological discourse with Boas and his students, but it was Edward Sapir in the USA and Bronislaw Malinowski in Britain who took the individual as a starting point of their methodologies in search of a new understanding of the concept of culture.
The (Lacanian) Subject of the Unconscious is a being driven by a ‘phantasmatic propulsion’. Its key point is that part of his primal fantasy, his ‘phantasmatic kernel’ (Žižek 2006: 55) remains and must stay inaccessible to him. A radical gap exists between the most fundamental, unconscious coordinates of a subject’s being and his conscious, everyday dimension. Fantasy and each clinical structure (neurosis, perversion, psychosis) function as defenses against castration, lack in the Other (Evans, 1996: 59–61). Fantasy therefore constitutes our reality and at the same time protects us from the traumatic Real, resisting symbolisation, one of the three basic orders in Lacanian topology, constituting a subject’s horizon of cognition. The concept of the Real is also linked to the realm of biology (Evans, 1996) and consequently, to Nature. The functionalist revolution of Malinowski and his students (Firth, Schapera, Richards etc.) identified culture and social institutions as the necessary tools human beings invent to satisfy their natural drives and instincts (Malinowski, 1995). In his The Origin and Function of Culture, Roheim states that civilisation originated in ‘delayed infancy and its function as security. It is a huge network of more or less successful attitudes to protect mankind against the danger of object loss, the colossal efforts made by a baby who is afraid of being left alone in the dark’ (Roheim 1943: 100). The same can be said of Freud’s understanding of culture in his Totem and Taboo. Human culture is a mechanism for regulating human biological drives. It is ‘neurotic’ in its form; it constantly invents new ways to satisfy human needs.
Culture, the concept closest to the Lacanian Symbolic order, was for the British functionalists in the service of Nature. However, if we consider the role of fantasy, partially as a defensive mechanism against the overwhelming from the Real, this brings us in line with Lévi-Strauss’s notion of Culture as opposed to Nature. Even more, culture functions to keep Nature at a safe distance, with its institutionalisation of the incest taboo. The symbolic network is a reactionary form to this mythical constitutive act, organised around a traumatic kernel, which separated Man from Nature. The dyad of ‘Culture/Nature’ is thus an effect of symbolic organisation and not its cause. The prohibition (of incest), the Law, therefore acts as a structural condition and a starting point for the structuralisation of the Symbolic, failing to encompass the register of the impossible, ever returning and intruding Real. Since the emergence of the Symbolic register is associated with a certain failure, then it is structured around a void, a singularity, which holds the structure in place. This point of impossibility, the ‘lapse of the Symbolic’ (Žižek and Močnik 1981: 350) is surrounded by prohibitions and has to prohibited; one single element (‘woman’) has to be the exception to the rule (‘forbidden’), so all others are set in a system (‘permitted’).


Anthropology may be the only scientific discipline in which the observer and the observed object implode into the same point. The observer observes but is also the observed – perverse. This singularity is highly problematic and places the anthropological enterprise directly beside the Hawthorne effect in sociolinguistics or the bizarre world of quantum events like the infamous ‘double-slit experiment’, where the very presence of the observer (the scientist) collapses the wave function of quantum particles simply by observing.
Lacanian epistemology revolves around the problem of knowledge (savoir), truth and science. Knowledge is made into science by a special, formalised way of dealing with a specific content, whether it is ethnographical material or yearly precipitation values. It is this very handling, articulation and argumentation, established and sustained a scientific model with its object of inquiry that constitutes the essence of a specific scientific discipline. It is the form, not the content that matters. The relationship with the object therefore follows strict conventions, which are always linguistic. Via the institution of the university, the notions of knowledge and science are naturally associated one with the other and thus kept as a whole.
So, is the absolute truth about our object of enquiry possible? Is it possible to become ‘one with the object’, to ‘feel and understand like natives do’, as Malinowski has put it, to take the emic approach to our anthropological endeavours? Anthropology is dealing with an even more complicated situation, since the ‘object’ is at the same time also the other subject. For Lacan, this harmony of subject and object is just an ideal, unobtainable in its essence. This notion culminates in one of Lacan’s most notorious statements: Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel (Lacan, 1975: 17); there is no such thing as a sexual relationship and consequently, Il n’y a pas La femme (Lacan, 1975: 68), the Woman does not exist, only women. Absolute knowledge, as the final stage in the phenomenological journey of the Spirit, as formulated by Hegel, its manifestations in reality and its awareness of the Self, where the circle of apparent difference between object and subject is finally closed, is therefore impossible. Modern Western science, born from the mathematised physics of the 17th century, conditioned the same discrepancy between subject and object; moreover, the scientific approach demanded the ‘desexualisation of the world’ (Miller 1983: 53) and separation of the signifier from every imaginary value and form. Only under such conditions could room be created for Newton and his mathematical formulations on the elliptic and therefore imperfect in regards to ‘divinely’ circular trajectories of the heavenly objects (Koyre 1957).
The emic position of the observer will evade, just as desire can only circle around its object-reason of desire, never to fully grasp it. It is precisely the issue of an anthropologist’s desire, his/her unconscious modes of enjoyment, the jouissance, and also that of the informants, that should be taken into account, since the lens of one’s desire always distorts the reality. Why does someone want to become an anthropologist? Why is this indigenous X so generously helping me with my field survey? What will my colleagues in academia think of my contribution to the field (of anthropology)? These are the questions Obeyesekere (1990) explores in the final chapters of his book. The importance of fantasy, this imaginary prosthesis that enables us to articulate our desire, is therefore crucial. Even more, considering that is not truly ‘ours’, but an attempt to solve the enigma of the Other’s desire.
This clearly undermines every attempt towards viewing anthropology as an objective science and puts Malinowski’s (and also Rivers’s) methodological instructions – namely, remaining unfamiliar with the socio-historical background of the research unit prior to departure for field – in a new light. Paradoxical as it may seem at first, this ‘safety measure’ may function as a vaccine against premature, phantasmatic constructions about observed phenomena, attempts to cultivate and domesticate it (‘noble savages’, etc). However, it is also true that all reality is discursively constructed. Anthropology did not enter the Western scientific arena ‘fantasy-free’ about ‘primitive man’, since it was only a reflection or extension of the general European attitude towards the other (Kuper 1988).
Consequently, one can only ‘know’, as long as one also ‘believes’. Let us just recall the now almost mythical debate between Freeman and Mead on the problem of adolescence in Samoa. Who are we to believe? Who is that authority, the guarantor of meaning, the one who is supposed-to-know, the one onto whom we displace our knowledge and beliefs, if we are to believe Lacan (1977)? Who/what is this master signifier around whom the discursive field is organised and that has, supposedly, a special connection to the Real?
The classical books that the keen student of anthropology is supposed to read are sort of a rite de passage in theoretical schooling but are also building blocks and sources of inspiration for one’s future paradigmatic framework. We could argue that we are entering the strange domain of presupposed meaning and the anthropological enterprise, just like every other scientific one, is based on such activity, at least when one is trying to anchor and fit his or her field observations into an existing theoretical paradigm. This is, perhaps even more true for anthropology than for other sciences, since observations from the field, although coded in the form of a scientific discourse, always reflect subjective interpretations of the ‘objective’ reality. Again, we are dealing not with solid facts but with interpretations (of interpretations) and have a ‘tendency to read another society from one’s own experience’ (Sapir 1994: 58). Or as Geertz wrote in his classic, ‘…every man has a right to create his own savage for his own purposes’ (Geertz 1973: 347).
One could also draw parallels with the phenomenon of transference (projection of a patient’s emotions from past relationships onto the analyst; the speech (p)act between the two) in psychoanalytical treatment: a patient can arrive at a meaning of his symptoms, coded messages from the Unconscious, only if he presupposes that the analyst already knows the solution, the meaning of his problems. When Malinowski’s personal field diary was published in 1967, it must have been a bitter and sobering experience for his most devoted (and by then aged) followers and students. The illusion of a guru of the modern ethnographic method slowly dissolved the image that was held in place only by the authority of the subject that was supposed to have known how the natives really think.


Some simple conclusions that can be drawn from the above are that anthropologist’s list of preferred literature (written by the founding fathers of the discipline) and his or her theoretical background tell us a great deal about himself/herself, and secondly, that anthropology can never be a ‘hard’ science, the type Radcliffe-Brown (Radcliffe-Brown 1940) wanted it to be, since the ‘work of desire’ is omnipresent; a speaking subject cannot escape it; it is reflected in our work and beyond. For Lacan, Truth always concerns desire, something which is not and cannot be a matter of exact science, a (postmodern) view which imposes limitations on anthropology’s scientific aspirations and directs it towards a more ‘soft’, interpretative science of subjectivity, based on comparative field research. Just as there can be no culture without individuals, so there can be no (non-biased, scientific) metalanguage to ‘tell the truth about the truth’ (Lacan 1966: 867-8), without bearing the traces of a desiring subject.
This does not mean that anthropology is destined to become nothing more than a kind of reflective literature. The deadlocks of jouissance, the ‘painful pleasure’ (Lacan 1992: 184) the subject derives from his symptom, can be brought to light by passing the analysis, something that was recommended by Leach and even earlier by Rivers, enabling a critical distance on the subjective interpretation of field material.
However, problems with desire do not stop here. One of Lacan’s many popular formulations is ‘Man’s desire is the desire of the Other’ (Lacan 1977: 235). The implications of the problem, what the other desires from us, vis-à-vis our failures in objective science have already been established in the previous paragraphs.
Desire therefore transcends the individual, as it is the effect of the subject’s early entry into the domain of the Symbolic. The gap between the actual individual psychology and what Sapir called ‘as-if psychology’ (Godina 1998: 225), a totalising, culturally standardised and enforced model of what an ideal member of a society should ‘be’, his predetermined symbolic identity (the duties and roles of a member of ‘X’ Australian clan or a middle-aged married Slovenian woman) is what Lacan calls symbolic castration (Lacan 1994). This is the gap between what people say they do or are supposed to do, what place (social status) in the symbolic order they occupy, and what they actually do. ‘What really goes on’ was the very issue Malinowski was so eager to resolve in his Trobriand monographs.
Articulation of the enigma of incompatibility between one’s imagined and symbolic identity is the definition of hysteria. The fundamental question the hysteric asks is, who am I, what do I want (Lacan 1993)? Is not anthropology that discipline which attempts to answer this same question – who are we as human beings? – by studying different cultures and social organisations? Is not the ‘culture shock’ anthropologist encounters when living in an alien environment, this painful ‘second symbolic birth’, the feeling of never fully fitting in, the inability to understand the ‘rules of the game’, the very reincarnation of the violent act of castration everyone goes through in early childhood? ‘Hysterical’ self-questioning in the form of scientific research on the tropical island may not only expose the different operational layers where society and the individual function and interact, but maybe even more importantly, anthropology indirectly thematises ‘the gap’, the very effect of its much cherished method, in the anthropologist’s personal experience in the field.


Since the times of Freud and Whorf it has been stated that ‘truth’ lies in the linguistic domain (Benvenuto 1986; Lemaire 1977; Whorf 1940). What we understand and how we understand something is determined for some by the horizon of our language. It is precisely at this point that the linguistic approach of psychoanalysis becomes useful.
For Lacan, the subject is constituted by the three interrelated orders of the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic. The Real is the inaccessible space beyond the subject’s ‘I’, the void encircled by the symbolic structure that resists being caught in the Symbolic and is at the same time the ‘fissure in the symbolic network itself’ (Žižek 2006: 72). The signifier is the foundation of the Symbolic, which is a set of differentiated signifiers and the produced meaning. The signified and signification belong to the Imaginary register. Language is therefore involved in all three orders, the Symbolic, the Imaginary and the Real.
What keeps the subject in motion and constitutes him as a processual being is the continuous effort to ‘domesticate’ the Real into meaning with the power of imaginary forms, projected into symbolic objects. Since the dawn of mankind every society has developed an abundance of various imaginary and symbolic structures to accommodate each member in this existential quest.
The scientific discourse of anthropology is a specific kind of argumentation and articulation regulated by strict linguistic canons and historic processes, just like any other, and is as such a product of speaking beings whose relationship with the world is by default based in the three registers of the Lacanian topography. What applies for the subject (of the signifier), also holds true for anthropology as a ‘science’.
In anthropology, aspirations towards an understanding of Man are caused and pushed forward by the Real of the other fellow human being (the primitive, the neighbour, the other sex, etc.), the eternal enigma which can never be fully symbolised. It is impossible to know and to tell everything about other people. Objects of interest, like the illusion of a ‘primitive society’ are forms of the Imaginary register, the domain of signification. The Symbolic provides the framework for formalisation of the signified. All three registers need to be in balance to maintain a harmonious and functioning system.
From the Lacanian perspective, the problem of modern science, especially of the natural sciences, is that they overstress the Symbolic register, by focusing too heavily on formal abstraction, objectivity and belief in access to absolute knowledge with the pragmatic intention of mastering the universe. The ‘not-whole’ Real is represented as a unified totality in the system of symbolic reductions, simplifications and formal representation. Consequently, everything resembling or pointing to subjective dimension is strictly pushed aside in the ‘objective’ discursive circles of the positive science(s) as fiction or even ‘literature’, holding no true value for representing factual reality. Not much has changed since the 19th century; the role of the subjective position in science causes nothing but interference and is thus excluded as noise from the formula leading to Truth.
Recent developments in neuroimaging techniques, including the widely accessible and relatively cheap fMRIs and the discovery of mirror neurons combined with major breakthroughs in (epi)genomics have created a buzz in the wider scientific community. It seems that sociologists, anthropologists and other social scientists are on the verge of finding their holy grail – again. For the first time in history, advanced neuroimaging techniques enable us to see what is understood as ‘the human mind at work’, to see the ‘ghost in the machine’. Nevertheless, these attempts to explain the human soul and culture are deeply rooted in the grand evolutionary Western paradigm of the deterministic universe, within which scientists believe they can predict events with complete certainty. It started with the first Greek materialists and passed through Newtonian mechanics, Herbert Spencer, John Hughlings Jackson to Einstein’s relativity. The arrow of time is still seen only as an illusion (Prigogine 1997). Armed with this logic, Western man has (temporarily) conquered Nature. Everything makes sense, is predictable and comprehensible. However, with chaos theory and similar spin-offs from established theories comes a new threat to the idea of the universe as an automaton. These new perspectives on certainty and simple causality picture these more like a misapprehension, and a universe governed by simple laws of physics seems more like white man’s anthropocentric foolishness. Psychology, neurology, psychiatry, medicine, sociobiology and all the hybrids among them follow in the same dogmatic footsteps.
Anthropology, psychoanalysis and other ‘irrational, impossible professions’ are more than right to be wary of these (appealing) appearances. Ideally, scientific discourse should resemble the analytic, where the unconscious truth of the subject, inscribed and manifested in the act of speech, is presented to the analysand. Anthropology and its discursive apparatus offer a fine example of the variety of opposing models and theories explaining the same social institution, ritual or organisation. Every grand anthropological theory, from 19th century evolutionism, functionalism, structuralism, sociobiology and cultural materialism, was a child of its era, revealing an unconscious structure of hidden agendas and ideologies under the surface of objective scientific discourse. Since anthropology (sometimes) aspires to be a ‘hard’ scientific discipline that explains and investigates Man in his totality, the illusion of an unified field theory disclosed by psychoanalysis must be in sight at all times, as this ‘self-analysis’ by scientific (anthropological) discourse relies on the structural conditions in which the production of science is carried out.


Some similar points of interest exist between anthropology and psychoanalysis, or at least we can say some universal problems in the anthropological theory seem to exist, which can be addressed from a psychoanalytical position. Since language and its effects are a universal human feature, we could say that psychoanalytical notions of the subject and his relation to social reality and vice versa, problems of methodology and epistemology implicit to anthropology, could provide a normalising effect on a discipline that lacks a meta-theory or even a strictly defined object of enquiry. For Habermas, psychoanalysis is an ideal meta-theory in human sciences, owing to its ‘meta-hermeneutic’ nature (Habermas 1971). The ‘science of man’ often shifts its focus, whether it is kinship structures and terminology, magic, religion, rituals, totemism, political structures, myth, evolution or culture. Of course, this apparent meta-theoretical convenience of applied psychoanalytical theories can lead to dogmatism and perhaps the true value of the diversity of the many contrasting anthropological theories and ‘schools’ is in its diversity and free spirit.
The path to the Truth always leads through deception and error. The disparity between error and Truth emerges from the very inner fabrication of the representation itself and not from some external condition or obstacle blocking access to the Truth. Renewed critical approaches to ethnographic writing as a fundamental method of registering, constructing and interpreting cultural phenomena have shown how different modes or styles of (literary) representation result in various and often invigorating insights (Clifford, 1986), in ‘true fictions’ exposing the subjectivised objectivity by the artisans of anthropology. It is the anthropologists, if anyone, who have the best evidence in the phenomenology of theories about the ‘other’ that the object of science is always a mirage, an elusive object of desire, objet petit a in Lacanian terminology. These theories do not stand in the way of an actualisation of the Truth about the Other but represent a testing ground for the validity of certain claims and judgments. Anthropology will never nor can ever be a ‘real’ science in the sense the other ‘neurotic’ disciplines claim to be.
One of the sub-headings in this text is cAnthropology and Psychoanalysis: Encounters of the Third Kind. The heading aims at a certain close and intimate rendezvous of both disciplines, i.e. in the subject of the socially (linguistically) entangled Subject. The term is taken from the crypto-scientific terminology of what is called the alien abduction phenomenon, signifying a physical and often traumatic encounter between humans and extraterrestrial beings – an ultimate Real of the Other, one could add. Just as alien abductions and UFOs are nothing more than a mass-hysterical fiction to the general scientific establishment, lacking hard evidence, so is the wishful theorising of the meta-epistemological ‘third option’. Combining anthropology and psychoanalysis is always just that: a dream, in which the Real of the failed encounter, a ‘misencounter’, speaks its Truth.
A new unified, positive discipline of social analysis is not possible, although it seems that both anthropology and psychoanalysis share a common goal: to explain the ahistoric, abstract and ontological issues of ‘human nature’, observed in a specific historic, socio-cultural environment. These attempts will always miss the common object; whether they are trying to explain the concrete totality of the relationship between the individual and his socio-cultural milieu, focusing on the process of symbolisation as in social sciences, or focusing on the traumatic kernel of the Symbolic, the Real, as in psychoanalysis, their objects of investigation remain incommensurable. The bar separating, splitting the terms ‘Anthropo’ and ‘Analysis’ in the title of this article aims at the resistance inherent in signification and the very incompleteness and failure of the consistent episteme. If sociology or history are incapable of incorporating the dimension of the unsymbolisable Real in their models and just as psychoanalysis makes no official claims for being the most suitable instrument for social analysis, then anthropology, established on a specific methodology of participation and observation, already transcends the usual ‘complementary’ (Devereux 1990) abyss. The Real of ‘culture shock’, the O(o)ther, is what makes the anthropological method unique among the other social sciences and what gives anthropological conceptual output a special dimension, more akin to art than to strict science.
We could argue that the ethics of anthropology lies in its project of presenting the universality of cultural differences as our common human experience. Certainly we have different rituals, kinship terminology, religious beliefs, values and skin colour, but beneath our symbolic mask, we are all human. It would seem possible to solve the current ecological crisis, economic inequalities, political conflicts and all the sorrow of this planet, if only those in power could finally see through the misleading veil of cultural particularities and differences. Intercultural use of psychoanalysis and anthropology could ‘humanise’ (Jones 1924: 49) the Other, by showing the fundamental commonality he shares with Western Man. Anthropology should be the lighthouse, illuminating the paths of our common humanity. Since the time of Boas, this cultural relativism has been an anthropological ethical standard.
Is not this cultural relativism and particularism, however a sort of a fake relativism or at least a misleading one, since this very relativism is also absolute, a dogma, a common unifying signifier of difference? The very search for a single ‘elementargedänke’, the annihilation of the particularity of human existence could well serve the ideology that needs and produces this abstract, and alienated global individual, who is emptied of all essence: the consumer. Politics has always (mis)used anthropology for opportunistic purposes, and this potential exploitation of theory is not my main focus here. If the ‘absolutism of relativism’ leads to a deadlock, how do the observations from psychoanalytical experience, the clinical version of anthropological observation with participation, help us?
Psychoanalysis is not so much a medical treatment or a psychiatric therapy; it is also a theory, an ontologic, which confronts the speaking subject with his truth, lying beyond the wary appearance of ego.
It may seem that this notion of subject is in some way depressing or even humiliating, as it uncovers a lack of being, an inconsistency in the symbolic order that we, the ‘symbolic animals’ (Cassirer 1944) try to fill with our pathetic but necessary fantasies that give ground to our existence. Plain as they might seem, they are to some extent truly ours alone – and what makes us unique individuals. What we, as interpreters of the human condition, are left with in the end is an insistence on our differences. This may be the only ethical and truly scientific thing to do.


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Več o tem...

7. dec. 2010

Balkan esperanto, iluzija ali realnost?

Na svetu obstaja okrog 6000 jezikov. Skozi zgodovino so se jeziki združevali, razdruževali in variirali, tako da se njihovo število ves čas spreminja. Posledično je vedno aktualen problem definicije jezika skupaj z določitvijo instance, ki dejansko odloči ali je nek jezik uradno priznan (standardni) jezik ali je to zgolj neka različica oziroma lokalna variacijo nekega “širšega” jezika. Kakorkoli namen spodnje razprave ni v vprašanje taksonomije jezikov, pač pa vprašanje o možnostih uvedbe svetovnega jezika kot prešitja vseh obstoječih kodov sporazumevanja s ciljem učinkovitejše komunikacije in posledičnih prednosti za čoveštvo kot celoto. V luči vedno intenzivnejše globalizacije in s tem komunikacije med različnimi deli sveta se vedno veča potreba po skupnem mednarodnem jeziku oziorma kodu sporazumevanja. Kljub temu, da obstajajo t.i. mednarodni jeziki kot npr. angleščina (oziorma kot je bila nekoč latinščina), ostajajo ti še vedno uporabljani v omejenem obsegu. Kot bomo videli v razpravi, jim manjkajo določene karakteristike, ki bi jim omogočile lažji razmah v smislu svetovnega jezika. Zato se bom osredotočil bolj na primer poskusa izdelave in vpeljave umetnega jezika esperanta, ki ima pretenzije postati mednarodni jezik. Konkretneje se bom osredotočil na razpravo o možnosti uvedbe balkan esperanta kot “lokalne” različice svetovnega jezika. Naslonil se bom na sociolingvistično perspektivo, ki jezikovno problematiko obravnava interdisciplinarno v okviru celostnega sistema (holizem). Fishman loči dva nivoja sociolingvistike. Mikronivo, ki se ukvarja z neposredno govorno komunikacijo pripradnikov jezikovne skupnosti, ter makronivo, ki obravnava jezikovne problematike kompletnih družbenih skupin, jezikovne kontakte, bilingvizem, kreolizacijo, standardizacijo, jezikovno planiranje, jezikovno kulturo, jezikovne politike ipd. Ker me bodo zanimali bolj sociološki aspekti in ne toliko jezikoslovni aspekt, bom obravnaval tematiko na makronivoju.

V prvem poglavju bom soočil umetni z naravnim jezikom. Izpostavil bom karakteristike standardnih jezikov na eni strani ter umetnega jezika esperanto na drugi. Regijo oziroma pojem Balkan bom za potrebe obravnavane tematike lingvistično in geografsko opredelil v drugem poglavju. V zadnjem pa bom razdelal koncept balkan esperanta in ga osvetlil tako z vidika zgodovinskih družbeno-političnega razvoja, kot tudi z vidika paralelnega razvoja jezika(ov) in jezikovnih politik na tem področju. Za zaključek se bom vprašal ali je balkan esperanto iluzija ali realnost?

1. Umetni vs. naravni jezik
Pri vprašanju jezika se srečujemo z eno osnovnih dialektik, ki jo tvori binarna pozicija med naravnim in umetnim jezikom. Torej kaj naredi jezik umetni/naravni oziroma kje je meja? Kot naravni jeziki so praviloma opredeljeni jeziki posameznih narodov oziroma etnij. To so torej jeziki, ki so nastajali bolj ali manj spontano v okviru posameznih družb, njihove specifike in variacije pa so tesno povezane s kulturami teh družb. Ko govorimo o umetnem in naravnem jeziku, predstavlja pomemben moment pojav pisanega jezika. Z njim se vzpostavi druga dialektična napetost med (pisanim) jezikom in govorico. Govorica namreč predstavlja individualno variacijo v okviru jezikovne neomejene produktivnosti, ki največkrat ni popolnoma v skladu s pisanim jezikom oziroma njegovo strukturo. Pisani jezik tako nakazuje neka pravila in smer, medtem ko govor predstavlja njegovo bolj ali manj “pravilno” uporabo.

Torej če se vrnem nazaj k dialektiki med naravnim in umetnim jezikom lahko opredelimo naravni jezik kot standardni jezik, oblikovan na osnovi pravil in zakonitosti govorice, medtem ko umetni jezik predstavlja neka umetno izdelana slovnična in pojmovna struktura. Kakorkoli, pa moram kljub vsemu izpostaviti dejstvo, da je edini naravni jezik govorjeni narečni jezik. Tako se nam pri standardnem jeziku odpira vprašanje njegove dejanske naravnosti. Vsak standardni (pisani) jezik namreč značilno oblikuje vpliven lingvistični strokovnjak ali skupina strokovnjakov, običajno skozi daljše obdobje. Tak jezik je naravni jezik v toliko, kolikor jemlje zakonitosti iz več podobnih variacij jezika, katere standardni jezik združi v enega. Takoj, ko se spustimo v konkretne slovnične in besedne variacije, pa se strečamo s problemom, katera variacija je “bolj pravilna” in je izbrana kot jedro takšnega jezika. Kaj ji daje prednost pred ostalimi variacijami, zakaj je bolj pravilna, po kakšnih kriterijih določiti “nad”variacijo? To so delikatna vprašanja, ki si zaslužijo pozornost, kakorkoli pa se bom za potrebe tega seminarju omejil na definicijo standardnega jezika kot naravnega jezika.

1.1. Umetni jeziki
Umetni jezik je torej jezik, ki ima popolnoma oziroma v večji meri umetno postavljena slovnična pravila ter besedišče. Trenutno obstajata oziroma sta v uporabi dva (resna) mednarodna umetna jezika, ki sta nastala koncem 19. stoletja. To sta esperanto in volapik . Oba sta umetno izdelana, imata svojo slovnico, slovnična pravila in svoje besedišče. Osrednji cilj obeh (oziroma vseh umetnih jezikov) je zminimalizirati potrebno energijo za namene komuniciranja. Podobna sta si v tem, da imata poenostavljeno slovnico, ki izključuje vsakršne izjeme in tako omogoča enostavnejše in hitro učenje pravil. Razlikujeta pa se v pomembni lastnosti. Zamenhof, “oče” esperanta je namreč za besedišče svojega umetnega jezika izbral kot osnovo korene besed romansko-germanskih jezikov, medtem ko je avtor volapika Schleyer vpeljal popolnoma nove besede, ki so si poleg tega še velikokrat zelo podobne. Poleg drugih razlik omenjam zgolj to, ker je ključna za (relativni) uspeh prvega in neuspeh drugega. Četudi se je volapik pojavil prej, je esperanto zaradi te razlike hitreje učljiv tudi za manj šolane, lažje si je zapomniti besede, povrh vsega pa je bolj harmoničen in estetski (saj povzema naravne oblike). Posledično je esperanto izrinil volapik in si tudi pridobil na svojo stran njegove pristaše. Kljub temu prvi še vedno ostaja v uporabi, a v relativno omejenem, majhnem krogu uporabnikov .

1.2. Esperanto kot mednarodni jezik
Esperanto je torej umetni jezik, ki ga leta 1878 zasnoval poljski okulist in jezikoslovec-amater Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof . Njegov cilj je zasnovati v narodnem smislu popolnoma nevtralen jezik, ki se poleg tega od standardnih razlikuje po naslednjih lastnostih/prednostih . Esperanto je presenetljivo lahek za učenje, po mnenju Zamenhofa vsaj petdesetkrat lažji od vsakega standardnega jezika. Slednji so namreč nastajali stihijsko v skladu s tekočo uporabo in potrebami sporazumevanja, vendar brez nekega načrta in pravil. Npr. Samostalnik “glava” ima različen spol v različnih jezikih, potem so tu nepravilne spregatve in sklanjatve, te v vseh možnih časih in sklonih itd., katere si je vse potrebno zapomniti (ker so izjeme). Medtem ko je so pri umetnem jeziku pravila jasna, končnice vedno enake, skratka ni izjem. Torej druga ključna razločujoča lastnost esperanta je njegova dovršenost, ki jo sestavljajo matematična natančnost, prožnost in brezmejno bogastvo. Kljub svojim jasnim pravilom umetni jezik ohranja prožnost in odprtost za nove besede; ostaja produktiven.

Kakorkoli pa ostaja odprto legitimno vprašanje, zakaj ne bi za mednarodni jezik izbrali enega od širše uporabljanjih standardnih jezikov kot npr. angleščino, španščino oziroma mrtvih standardnih jezikov kot npr. latinščine. Zakaj ne izbrati slednje za mednarodni jezik? Latinščina je bil v času svojega “življenja” v zelo široki uporabi in je imela prednost v svoji izgovorni in oblikoslovni jasnosti ter neznanskem zakladu že ustvarjene literature. Njen problem poleg tega, da je mrtev jezik in da ima komplicirano slovnico, je predvsem to, da je nevtralna samo za evropska ljudstva, nikakor pa tudi za vse človeštvo, nenazadnje pa je to tudi izrazito duhovni jezik krščanske religije. Esperant za razliko sovpada z idejo ekumenizma ozioram idejo o svetovni religiji oziroma bolje rečeno verovanju . Na drugi strani lahko kot potencialni mednarodni jezik izpostavimo angleščino, ki jo kot jezik sporazumevanja v veliki meri že uporabljajo(mo) širom po svetu. Problem angleščine je, da je enostavna na osnovne nivoju znanja ter zelo kompleksna in težavna na višjih nivojih, kar daje izključno komunikacijsko prednost (in s tem moč) “naravnim” govorcem. Slednji etnično-etični vidik je ključna slabost, ki zavira angleščino, da bi se prelevila v uradno priznani mednarodni jezik.

Zamenhof glede mednarodnega jezika in esperanta zaključuje, da je mednarodni jezik povsem možen in da bo prinesel človeštvu velikanske koristi ter da bo do uvedbe mednarodnega jezika prej ali slej prišlo v obliki umetnega jezika oziroma verjame da bo to esperanto: “Esperantu je mogoče nasprotovati iz interesa, nikakor pa ne iz logike in etike.” . Za njegovo ohranitev pa nadalje predvideva potrebo po instanci oziroma državi, ki bi ga vzela za svojega. Danes za razliko od časa ustvarjanja Zamenhofa je namreč takšna država možna v kontekstu brezmejne in brezozemeljske “cyber” skupnosti . Pri tem Wüsterja dodaja, da je za uspeh in legitimacijo esperanta potreben tudi paralelni preboj oziroma “globalizacija” verovanja oziroma ekumenizma, ki bi postavil osnovo za širitev in sprejem mednarodnega jezika .

Skratka pri odločanju o naravnem (standardnem) oziroma umetnem jeziku kot mednarodnem jeziku se srečujemo z dialektičnim razmerjem med raciom (profit) in iraciom (kultura), kar odločitev oziroma rešitev dela tako težavno in kompleksno. Zamenhof namreč povdarja popolnost esperanta in veliko ekonomičnost umetnega jezika, kar je morda racionalno z vidika produktivnosti in dobička, ni pa nujno to to kar hočejo ljudje. Ljudje oziroma kultura namreč stremijo za “dramo”, privlači jih nepopolnost, nejasnost. Ljudem odgovarja kompleksnost s presežkom, v katerem se kaj skrije oziroma kaj zakrije in jo tako dela bolj privlačno.

2. Regija Balkan
Da bi lažje pojasnili koncept Balkan, moramo osvetliti termin tako z vidika lingvistične kot tudi z vidika geografsko-politične perspektive. Tako kot vsak koncept se je tudi Balkan oblikoval skozi daljše zgodovinsko obdobje, ker pa je jezik živa tvorba, pa se ta proces seveda nikoli ne zaključi. Sprva je beseda Balkan kot označevalec označevala gorovje v Bolgariji , ki je slednjo na severu ločevalo od Romunije. Prvi ki so v literaturi omenjali to ime, so bili popotniki in razni odposlanci oziroma pogajalci različnih centrov moči. Le-ti so v svojih zapisih med prvimi omenjali to gorovje z imenom Balkan, ki je v tistih časi pomenilo težavna gora. Geografsko bolj precizno pa je “Balkanski polotok” kot prvi opredelil nemški geograf August Zeune v svojem delu Goea leta 1908 (Todorova, 2001). In sicer je to območje, ki leži južno od gorovja Balkan. Torej se razteza od Črnega morja preko Bolgarije ter vse do Istrskega polotoka ob Jadranskem morju, ki se dotika vzhodnega dela Alp. Kasneje skozi geo-politične zasuke vplivov na tem področju pa je beseda Balkan dobivala vedno bolj politično konotacijo in označevala nekakšno “tampon cono” med Orientom in Evropo, kjer so se mešali vplivi tako ene kot druge strani, tako kot se mešajo tokovi in vetrovi ob stiku tople in hladne fronte, in ustvarjali nek nemiren presek dveh značilno različnih množic. Naj na tem mestu citiram Todorovo, ki zelo celostno in obenem jedrnato predstavi “usodo” Balkana:

“Balkan je lahko zaradi svoje geografske neločljivosti od Evrope in obenem zaradi kulturnega statusa “drugega” znotraj nje prevzemal številne politične, ideološke in kulturne frustracije, ki so izvirale iz napetosti in nasprotij, neločljivo povezanih s pokrajinami in družbami zunaj Balkana, te pa so jih odrinile prek svojih meja. Balkanizem je sčasoma postal prikladen nadomestek za čustveno razbremenitev, ki jo je ponujal orientalizem, in Zahod olajšal za bremena rasizma, kolonializma, evropocentrizma in krščanske nestrpnosti do islama.”

Na prelomu iz 19. v 20.stol. se je Balkana močno začel prijemati političen prizvok predvsem v slabšalnem smislu, kot opredelitev področja, kjer žive “necivilizirani” plemenski narodi, ki se med seboj krvavo bojujejo in cepijo. V tem kontekstu se tudi pojavi pojem “balkanizirati” in “najpogosteje označuje proces drobljenja prejšnjih zemljepisnih in političnih enot na nove majhne nacionalne države, katerih sposobnost za samostojno življenje je vprašljiva” ; Skratka v primeru balkanske regije termin označuje proces nastajanja novih držav na področju Otomanskega cesarstva. Kasneje so ta pojem celo začeli uporabljati širše, kot označevalec procesov političnega cepljenja na različnih koncih sveta. Da bi omilili negativno konotacijo terminov s korenom balkan- so predvsem evropski politiki poskusili uvesti bolj nevtralen termin jugovzhodna Evropa, ki se bolj ali manj geografsko ter politično ujema s pojmom Balkana. Ne glede na tovrstna prizadevanja pa Balkan ostaja močan označevalec opisovane regije.

Sam v razpravi regijo Balkana navezujem na njeno ontološko osnovo in jo tako tudi percipiram, in sicer kot področje, ki obsega vse države nastale iz bivše Jugoslavije, Albanijo, Bolgarijo, Romunijo, Moldavijo, Grčijo ter evropski del Turčije. Ne glede na to, da sem nasprotnik vsakršnih delitev in meja, menim, da je ta razmejitev kot predpostavka za potrebe logično zaključene izpeljave razprave nujno potrebna. Predstavlja namreč tako geografsko zaključeno celoto, kot tudi področje z bolj ali manj podobno zgodovino razvoja ter nenazadnje mentalitete prebivalcev .

3. Balkan esperanto
V skladu z zgornjo opredelitvijo regije Balkan se bom v svoji razpravi o možnostih nastanka balkan esperanta omejil na področje slovansko govorečega življa (bivša Jugoslavija, pogojno Bolgarija) na tem območju, čigar jeziki so si med seboj najbolj podobni. Slednje predstavlja dobro osnovo za zasnovanje jezika tipa balkan esperanto, ki bi se ga zlahka naučili in uporabljali vsi prebivalci področja.

Dejstvo je, da so na področju Balkana geneološko različni jeziki prešli na številne skupne lastnosti. Jezikovna konvergenca je privedla balkanske jezike do mnogih skupnih potez, čeprav so si različni po izvoru: novogrški, albanski, romunski, bolgarski, makedonski ter tudi srbski, če gledamo širše, medtem ko so si podobnosti med jeziki narodov na področju bivše Jugoslavije še večje. V širšem pogledu lahko med skupne poteze štejemo zapostavljen (postpozitivni) določni člen, splošna izguba nedoločnika, ta se ohranja le pod vplivom hrvaščine, nadalje je skupen način tvorjenja prihodnjega časa (predvsem s pomožnim glagolom hoteti), skupno odpravljanje sklonov ter sintetična sklanjatev, ki se je zamenjala z analitično .

Vsak jezik ima svojo razvojno dinamiko, pri čemer pri vsakem obstajata nasprotujoča si procesa jezikovne konvergence in jezikovne divergence. Posledično se jeziki v času preoblikujejo, si med seboj sposojajo, se oddaljujejo, ko jih govorci oblikujejo tako, da bi za sporazumevanje porabili čim manj energije ter obenem zadovoljivli potrebe kulturnih dinamik. Ne glede na to dinamiko, so se v času izoblikovali standardni jeziki, preko katerih se formirajo jezikovne skupnosti (narodi). Slednje ima na eni združevalno vlogo, na drugi strani pa ločevalno v odnosu do drugih jezikovnih skupnosti ter tako vzpostavlja pomemben aspek identitete neke skupnosti. Standardni jeziki so nastajali prek procesa koineizacije, kot imenujemo jezikovno konvergenco. Koineji so nadlokalni jeziki sporazumevanja med govornimi skupnostmi, ki govorijo sorodne jezike. Nastajali so zaradi različnih razlogov kot so gospodarski razvoj, trgovske poti, večja upravna središča skratka skozi potrebo po različnih interakcijah in sporazumevanju. Nastanek standardnega jezika je nadalje pogojen s političnim poenotenjem in konsenzom. Kljub standardizaciji pa ostajajo znotraj posameznega jezika diatropske, diastratske različice in idiolekti, katere veže skupaj ta standardni jezik .

Koncept balkan esperanta, ki bi povezoval področje balkana in omogočil enostavnejšo in efektivnejšo komunikacijo se pomembno razlikuje od procesa koineizacije in samih standardnih jezikov. Cilj izdelave in uvedbe balkan esperanta ni konvergenca obstoječih jezikov, temveč izdelava jezika, ki bi na eni strani pomenil prešitje obstoječih jezikov (v smislu podobnosti v besedišču) ter na drugi strani postavitev ene slovnice, poenostavljene in brez izjem po vzoru esperanta, kar bi omogočalo učinkovito in lažje sporazumevanje. Prav tako ni potreben predpogoj političnega potenotenja oziroma je potreben v zelo omejeni meri, saj ne ukinja ali prepisuje obstoječih standardnih jezikov, pač pa uvaja umetni jezik, ki ni »last« nikogar. Sam koncept balkan esperanta tako ni v navzkrižju z naravno-kulturnimi silnicami, saj ne ukinja obstoječih jezikov, kultur in narodov, temveč predstavlja zgolj dodatno “orodje” in dodano vrednost prebivalcem tega področja.

3.1. Jezik in identiteta na Balkanu
Identiteta posamezniku oziroma skupine tem omogoča, da se umestijo v svoje okolje na eni strani skozi občutek podobnosti in pripadnosti (v svoji skupini) ter na drugi strani skozi občutek različnosti (z drugimi skupinami). Torej to diaklektično zaznavanje svojega ožjega in širšega okolja omogoča posamezniku (skupini) vzpostavitev svoje identitete oziroma pripadanja družbi in kulturi, v kateri se kot človeško bitje uresniči, dosega in presega . Identiteta je dinamična struktura, torej govorimo o tem, da posameznik (skupina) vzpostavlja svojo identiteto. Poznamo različne vrste skupinskih oziroma družbenih identitet: etnična, religiozna, politična, stigmatizirana, vojaška, jezikovna itd. Vsaka skupnost se za svoj obstoj in kohezivnost opira na različne skupinske identitete oziroma družbena sidrišča (z vidika posameznika), pri čemer izhaja iz občutka pripadnosti, zagotovil varnosti in vključenosti.

Na področju Balkana je bil jezik pomemben element za vzpostavljanje in utrjevanje identitet, kakorkoli pa praviloma predvsem kot opora in kot posledica oblikovanju različnih religioznih in etničnih identitet. Predvsem v obdobju 18. in 19. stoletja je skupna jezikovna identiteta predstavljal pomemben element poskusov utrjevanja enotne jugoslovanske nadnacionalne identitete v obliki vzpostavljanja srbo-hrvaškega jezika kot državnega jezika. Posamezni dialekti v regiji so si v zelo veliki meri podobni, enotni in razumljivi, vendar pa se določeni (Slovenščina, Makedonščina, sploh pa Albanščina) med seboj tudi pomembno razlikujejo. V tem pogledu združevanja jezikov v svetu obstaja veliko standardnih jezikov, ki so pluricentrični , torej imajo več središč razvoja, še vedno pa so tretirani v okviru enega standardnega jezika (npr. angleščina in ameriška angleščina, standardni nemški jezik ter dialekti posameznih nemških pokrajih pokrajin, Švice in Avstrije, ter mnogi drugi kot so hindu, kitajski, norveški itd.). Problem pri poskusu vzpostavljanja enotnega »jugoslovanskega« jezika so bili nenehni pritiski na popolno »zlitje« jezikov (dialektov) področja v en skupni standadni jezik. Podpirala ga je Jugoslovanska akademija znanosti in umetnosti (JAZU, ust. 1867), na drugi strani pa ga je vsiljevalo državno totalitarno vodstvo (najprej kralj Aleksander po 2. svet.voj. pa Tito). Skratka ni bilo dovolj maneverskega prostora za ohranjanje in paralelno uporabo lokalnih različic in razlikovanja. Zaradi vzporednih pritiskov po nadnacionalnem poenotenju so se jugoslovanski narodi čutili preveč ogrožene, kar je vodilo v vedno večje težnje po kolektivnih identitetah z nacionalizmi na čelu in tako v propad projekta.

Skozi t.i. proces balkanizacije je prišlob tudi do vedno večje (namerne) divergenca jezikov. Balkanizacija pomeni proces delitve regije ali države na manjše regije ali države, ki so si med seboj običajno sovražne in nekooperativne . Termin se je oblikoval in najprej uporabljal za konflikte med narodi na območju Balkana v 20. stoletju (Balkanske vojne in nato še Jugoslovanske vojne in razpad Jugoslavije na več nacionalnih držav), danes pa se uporablja tudi širše. Proti koncu 20. stoletja se torej srečujemo delitvijo in nestabilnostjo Balkana, ki najverjetneje še ni končana . Vzporedna posledica tega procesa je oblikovanje štirih standardnih jezikov (hrvaški, srbski, črnogorski in bosanski poleg obstoječega slovenskega in makedonskega) iz enega skupnega (srbo-hrvaškega jezika) .

3.2. Jezikovno planiranje in jezikovna politika
Greenberg loči tri paradigme jezikovnega planiranja (»modele jezikovne enotnosti«). Prvo je enotnost nadzirana iz središča (npr. JAZU), potem enotnost postavljena s strani oblasti (npr. kralj Aleksander, Tito) in kot tretja pluricentrična enotnost. Prvi dve sta bili izrazito značilni za področje Jugoslavije z omenjeno institucijo JAZU in na drugi strani jezikovno planiranje s strani oblasti, o tretji policentrični paradigmi je bilo v omejenem obsegu, predvsem pa prepozno, govora v okviru Novosadskega dogovora lega 1954. Specifičen problem srbo-hrvaškega jezika je bil, da so jezikoslovci in književniki, ki so oblikovali skupni jezik leta 1850, imeli za cilj uporabo jezika kot združevalne sile za ljudi na določenem govornem področju. S tem pristopom k začetni standardizaciji so uničili nekaj stoletij naravnega paralelnega razvoja jezika pravoslavnih in katoliških južnih Slovanov. Medtem ko je edini dialektalni predlog skupnega jezika propadel koncem 19. stoletja ter razne oblike vsiljene enotnosti v 30 letih 20. stoletja, je povojni režim še zadnjič poskušal formalizirati jezikovno »bratstvo in enotnost« s pomočjo Novosadskega dogovora podpisanega med Zagrebom in Beogradom leta 1954 . Koncept je bil zasnovan lahko rečemo precej »liberalno« in je dopuščal veliko fleksibilnosti v standardih in uporabi jezika; uvajal je neke vrste policentrični sistem. Kakorkoli ta v praksi nikoli ni resneje zaživel, njegov propad pa je bil simptomatičen za druge spremembne, do katerih je začelo prihajati znotraj jugoslovanske federacije od 60. let naprej. Vzporedno s separatističnimi težnjami konstitutivnih narodov federacije so se kot podkrepitev teh pojavljale tudi težnje po narodnih standardizacijah in diferenciacijah jezika. Vloga jezika kot krepitelja identitete naroda v kontekstu minimiranja notranjih in maksimiranja zunanjih razlik, je tako povzročila razpad ideje o jezkovni enotnosti in s tem tesnejši povezanosti in sodelovanju južnih Slovanov. Tako je jezikovna avtonomija konstitutivnih narodov Jugoslavije potrjena (dovoljena) z ustavo SFRJ leta 1974. S tem je nastala aktualna slika standardnih jezikov držav nastalih ob razpadu Jugoslavije (slovenski, hrvaški, bosanski, srbski, črnogorski in makedonski jezik).

Jezikovne kodifikacije kot rečeno se izvajajo povsem namerno. V Evropi 19. stoletja so standardne jezike kodificirale skupine pisateljev in intelektualcev, narodu pa so to predstavili kot naraven in nujen proces. Identično velja za področje Balkana oziroma konkretneje področje držav bivše Jugoslavije, kjer so v tej vlogi nastopali npr. Irili na Hrvaškem, Vuk Stefanović Karađić v Srbiji ter Miklošič v Sloveniji .

Pri razpravi o jezikovni politiki ne moremo mimo kulturne politike, kjer lahko povzamemo, da so obstajali tri pomembnejši možni načini oblikovanja Jugoslovanske kulture, torej narodni preporod in gibanja, drugi način predstavlja oblikovanje skupne jugoslovanske identitete ter kot tretji uresničitev panslovanske ideje . Skratka spekter vse od kulturne divergence do kulturne konvergence. Paralelno s kulturo velja podobno za jezikovne politike in smer njihove kodifikacije. Dejstvo je, da bi bilo poenotenje “treh plemen” kot so si jo zamišljali kulturniki in intelektualci ob nastajanju in razvoju Jugoslavije, možno zgolj s silo, poleg tega pa bi bilo popolnoma nenaravno. Jugoslavija za razliko od drugih Evropskih držav (Nemčije, Italije, Francije,...) ni imela istega jezika, na drugi strani pa, kar je tudi izredno pomemben faktor, ni imela ene same religije . Za poenotenje sta ji tako manjkala dva ključna elementa oziroma kozmološki silnici.

Precej bolj konstruktivno povezovanje so si kljub temu zastavili v Ilirskem gibanju v začetku 19. stoletja, katerega cilj je bilo politično in jezikovno poenotenje področja Jugoslavije . Leta 1913 se je tako izoblikoval t.i. veliki kompromis med narodi za skupen jezik z ekavsko izgovorjavo in latinsko pisavo. Torej Srbi so se bili pripravljeni odreči pisavi v cirilici, v zameno za uveljavitev ekavskega narečja namesto ljekavskega. Realizacijo ideje je prehitela 1. svetovna vojna, ki je skupaj z drugo precej spremenila kulturno-politično sliko področja. Ne glede na to so problem možnosti jezikovne konvergence poleg kulturnih oteževale tudi družbeno-politične specifike. Evropske države se namreč v osnovi razlikujejo v dveh družbeno-političnih linijah. Ene so ustrojene bolj po kolektivistično-avtoritarnem modelu (npr. nemške dežele), medtem ko so druge bolj individualistično-libertarne (npr. Velika Britanija). Jugoslovanski narodi so bili ustrojeni po “nemškem” modelu s kolektivističnim mišljenjem, od Evrope pa so obenem prevzeli idejo o modelu “čiste” nacionalne države, kar je rezultiralo v partikularističnem nacionalizmu. Kombinacija kolektivizma z nacionalizmi je zahtevala minimiranje notranjih in maksimiranje zunanjih razlik ter s tem oblikovanje močnih skupinskih (nacionalnih, religioznih, jezikovnih) identitet. Nadalje je s političnega vidika pomembno dejstvo, da je Jugoslavija “zamudila” ero nastajanja nacionalnih držav v zahodni Evropi. Zaradi večstoletne nadvlade različnih cesarstev Vzhoda in Zahoda tudi niso imeli svojih (intelektualnih) elit, kar pomeni, da niso imeli pravega gibala za nadnacionalne ideje. K slednjim pa seveda spada tudi ideja o poenotenju jezika.

3.3. Balkan esperanto, iluzija ali realnost?
Vse te družbene specifike na področju slovanskih narodov Balkana pa niso nujno v nasprotju s konceptom t.i. balkan esperanta. Dejstvo je, da cilj izdelave in uvedbe balkan esperanta ni konvergenca obstoječih jezikov, temveč izdelava jezika, ki bi na eni strani pomenil prešitje obstoječih jezikov (v smislu podobnosti v besedišču) ter na drugi strani postavitev ene slovnice, poenostavljene in brez izjem po vzoru esperanta, kar bi omogočalo učinkovito in lažje sporazumevanje. Sam koncept balkan esperanta ni v navzkrižju z naravno-kulturnimi silnicami, saj ne ukinja obstoječih jezikov, kultur in narodov, temveč predstavlja zgolj dodatno “orodje” in dodano vrednost prebivalcem tega področja.

Za nastanek standardnega (naravnega) jezika so potrebni državna in politična enotnost, kulturna enotnost, zaščita s strani (intelektualnih) elit, skupna birokracija ter akademska »zaščita« in razvoj jezika . Problem Balkana in jezikovnih vprašanj je bila sama turbolenca dogajanj v kontekstu političnih (nad)oblasti in posledično nenehnega iskanja identitete ter sidrišča formirajočih se narodov. Področje Balkana je enostavno »zamudilo« ero vzposatavljanja nacionalnih držav in posledično standardizacij jezikov, ki so se dogajali drugje v (zahodni) Evropi. Ti vplivi in zgledi so, kljub sorodnostim in skupnem poličnem okviru, »silili« narode k formiranju širše priznanih (čistih) oblik družbeno-politične ureditve t.j. »čistih« nacionalnih držav. Kot posledica teh procesov je po obdobju večjih konfliktov nastala aktualna slika standardnih jezikov držav nastalih ob razpadu Jugoslavije (slovenski, hrvaški, bosanski, srbski, črnogorski in makedonski jezik). Zanimivo pa ostaja, da se predstavniki teh narodov med sabo v praksi še vedno sporazumevajo v neki obliki »jugoslovanskega« jezika, predvsem pa da se med sabo razumejo. Kljub podobnosti med jeziki narodov na področju bivše Jugoslavije, pa med njimi vseeno obstaja nekaj značilnih razlik. Zahodni del govori štokavsko narečje z ekavsko izgovorjava in pisavo v cirilici, medtem ko vzhodni del govori kajkavsko narečje z ijekavsko izgovorjavo in latinsko pisavo. Ob vsem tem so tako na vzhodu kot zahodu določena področja, kjer uporabljajo drugo oziroma obe rezličici; sploh je to značilno za področje Bosne in Hercegovine. Naslednja specifika Balkana je ta, da ima zaradi večstoletne tuje nadvlade zelo omejeno elito in prevladujejo srednji, predvsem pa nižji sloji, ki imajo večje varietete jezikovnih variant in se jih bolj trdno (konzervativno) oklepajo. Nenazadnje so na tem relativno majhnem področju zelo raznolika kulturno-religiozna ozadja različnih etničnih skupnosti, ki v medsebojni interakciji z jezikom tega značilno oblikujejo in zaznamujejo.

Esperanto za razliko od standardnih jezikov zgoraj omenjene zahteve za nastanek standardnega jezika zrelativizira oziroma omehča, ko se distancira od sidrišč kot je država, kultura, birokracija ipd. S tem, ko se dviga nad politično ureditev posameznih držbenih skupin (držav) in nad kulturno specifične karakteristike, transcendira na nevtralno povezovalno raven in izgublja subjektiven in »pristranski« naboj. S tem se rešuje problematika etnije in etike, vendar pa se nam na drugi strani odpre vprašanje sidrišča. Torej v konkretnem primeru, katera instanca lahko oblikuje in vzpostavi sam jezik balkan esperanto, ter katera instanca ga v prihodnje zastopa ohranja in nadgrajuje. Za razliko od standardnega t.i. naravnega jezika, je esperanto v osnovi objektiven umetni jezik izdelan s strani relativno nevtralne instance, naj si bo to jezikovna avtoriteta ali institucija s področja Balkana ali pa neka svetovna avtoriteta. Za namene ohranjanja, promocije in razvoja balkan esperanta bi ga morala pod svoje okrilje vzeti neka nevtralna institucija (npr. Združeni narodi, OVSE, ali pa ustanovljena meddržavna komisija). Za razliko od poskusa uvedbe enotnega “jugoslovanskega” jezika, ki bi pomenil zlitje ostalih jezikov (oziroma dialektov pretendentov za standardne jezike), bi uvedba balkan esperanta pomenila neokrnjeno ohranjanje naravnih jezikov. Vzpostavljen bi bil paralelno z njimi z jasnim ciljem vzpostavitve relativno nevtralnega jezikovnega koda za namene čim enostavnejšega in efektivnejšega sporazumevanja med posamezniki tega področja.

Zakaj sploh balkan esperanto, če pa že obstaja esperanto z velikim “E”, ki ima podobne tendence? Dejstvo je, da je glavna prednost esperanta pred drugimi umetnimi jeziki ta, da ohranja stik z naravnimi jeziki prek uporabe besednih korenov iz romansko-germanskih jezikov. To na eni strani omogoča enostavnejše učenje in pomenenje besedišča, na drugi strani pa ohranja nek presežek nad popolno umetnostjo jezika. Ta prednost pa na drugi strani predstavlja tudi slabost, saj njegove pretenzije, da postane svetovni jezik sporazumevanja avtomatsko izključujejo oziroma postavljajo v slabši položaj skupnosti iz govornih področij, ki nimajo nobene zveze z »evropskim« govornim področjem. Torej nosi v sebi nekakšen paradoks. Balkan esperanto bi bil primernejši korak v smislu “obvladljivejšega” vzorčnega primera uporabe esperanta. Taktika postopne vzpostavitve skupnega svetovnega (umetnega) jezika bi lahko tako z morebitnimi uspešnimi primeri večih regionalnih različic lažje utemeljevala potrebo in prednosti uvedbe tovrstnega koda sporazumevanja. Esperanto bi se tako lahko obogatil oziroma črpal iz teh posameznih regionalnih različic in se tako razvil v bolj nevtralno različico mednarodnega jezika. Balkanski narodi bi bili kot prvi deležni prednosti, ki jih prinaša povezovalen jezik kot bi bil balkan esperanto, v zameno za težave, ki so jih imeli kot posledico spopada med zahodnimi in vzhodnimi cesarstvi na njihovih plečih.

O načinih, stopnjah in metodah vpeljave balkan esperanta je nehvaležno govoriti, zato bi morda omenil eno od možnih izhodišč. Balkan esperanto bi bil lahko uveden pod pokroviteljstvom in sponzorstvom Evropske Unije, kot geste za njen interes za čim prejšjo vključitev t.i. Zahodnega Balkana oziroma njegovo »de-balkanizacijo«. Vzpostavila, oblikovala in zastopala bi ga (novoustanovljena) mednarodna nevladna organizacija v sestavi lingvistov Evrope, Balkana in esperantistov. V prvi fazi bi lahko vpeljali balkan esperanto v okviru Bosne in Hercegovine kot jezik prešitja v njej živečih narodov. Najprej bi jezik uvedli v “tehnični” del družbe torej v administracijo oziorma upravo, potem pa postopoma v ostale družbene institucije oziroma “kulturni” (mehki) del družbe kot so mediji, gospodarstvo, itd. Proces implementacije balkan esperanta bi se nato postopoma širil v regiji in postal eden uradno priznanih jezikov v EU. Podobne regionalne esperante bi se po uspešni uvedbi na Balkanu potem postopoma uvedlo v drugih regijah, v naslednji fazi, pa bi lahko vsi ti »lokalni« esperanti transcendirali v mednarodni svetovni (umetni) jezik enostavnega in učinkovitega sporazumevnaja s paralelno funkcijo prešitja in transcendence humanizma.

Za esperanto lahko rečemo, da je kompatibilen z razvojem in razmahom globalizacije. Njegova ključna prednost je, da lahko maksimalno zmanjša napore v sporazumevanju ter zagotovi prešitje in transcendenco humanizma. Obstaja pa na drugi strani močan odpor ali bojazen za njegovo uveljavitev, saj jeziki predstavljajo močno sociokulturno komponento in vzvod identifikacije posameznih skupin. Tako obstaja bojazen, bi esperanto sčasoma nadomestil naravne jezike in bi tako “oropal” jezik njegovega (kulturnega) presežka oziroma bi ga osiromašil za emocionalno komponento, za katero ljudje poleg racionalne tudi hrepenimo. Te bojazni so v določeni meri neupravičene, saj smo ljudje “dvokomponentna” bitja, ki vedno bolj ali manj težimo k vzpostavljanju ravnovesja med razumom in emocijami. Neogiben obstoj slednjih nam zagotavlja ohranitev dialektov, narečij in drugih jezikovnih različic. Še noben proces koineizacije do sedaj namreč ni uspel popolnoma zbrisati dialektov. Največ kar je, so se v medsebojni interakciji med standardnimi jeziki in dejanskimi naravnimi jeziki, ki so lokalne variacije in dialekti, ene z drugimi spreminjale in dopolnjevale po naravni poti. Identično velja za področje Balkana in uvedbo balkan esperanta. Takšen jezikovni kod bi pospešil “de-balkanizacijo” in povezavo področja s pomočjo združevalnega skupnega koda sporazumevanja.

Kakorkoli, esperanto prej ali slej prihaja, a zaradi specifična občutljive etnično-etične komponente prihaja bolj med zadnjimi aspekti globalizacije. V kakšni obliki in s kakšno taktiko ter stopnjami bo ta uveden ostaja vprašanje nadaljnega razvoja na tem področju ter nadaljnega razvoja in oblikovanja globalne družbe.

Avtor:Klemen Fajmut


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