From Common Meal via Acéphale to Unsacrificeable

Bernard Harbaš


In this article, the author introduces several approaches to the concept
of sacrifice. It begins with the classic sociological approach of
Émile Durkheim who in sacrifice remarks forming, strengthening
and maintaining of a community. In his anthropological conception,
Georges Bataille demonstrates that the production and accumulation
of wealth are wrong moral principles and suggests a new moral
practice of giving oneself without asking anything in return, which
represents the only way to realize a society of equals. Such a society,
in which there would be no leader or a singular sovereignty, he calls
Acéphale. For Jean-Luc Nancy, sacrifice is impossible. Starting from a
standpoint that the Being is nothing and that there is nothing except
this worldly plurality, Nancy considers sacrifice impossible since there
is no higher principle for which the sacrifice would be performed. Beside
the standpoints of the above-mentioned theoreticians, this article
also offers a theory of discipline and sacrifice for achieving a socially
expected perfect appearance. In all the mentioned theories, non-classic
dimension of sacrifice is demonstrated. In them sacrifice is performed
as activity for achieving social unity, greater equality, socially
expected appearance and it is also presented as something impossible.

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