Von der Störung der Ordnung zur Rettung des Lebens. Überlegungen zum Verhältnis von Narrativ und Politik (vor und um 1800)

Johannes F. Lehmann


The paper reconstructs the semantic history of the word ‘disruption’ (Störung). It shows that the modern use of the term, established around 1800, replaces the former exclusive opposition of disruption vs. order by the inclusive opposition of disruption vs. life. In this context, the paper reconstructs both the historical semantics and the historical political implications of the word and inquires into the possibility of regarding disruptions as narrative. The resulting thesis is that the term ‘disruption’ always implies the possibility of a turn towards disaster, creating a space for the potential expansion and escalation of the disruption, i.e. a dramatic lapse of time stretching from disruption to disaster, which becomes a space open for narratives of rescue. Finally, by demonstrating how governments at the end of the 18th century establish programs of Livesaving, it is made evident how narratives of rescue implement a (political) time structure of action that spans the lapse between the disruption and the disaster/rescue and is conceived as present time.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2016.9.1.888