Modernist Anger Management

Modernist Anger Management

Steven Connor

A paper written for the Centre for Modernist Cultures, University of Birmingham, 18th March 2020. [pdf]

Modernism has been understood through many lenses, artistic, formal, historical, religious, social, sexual and political. Modernism has been characterised as daring, adventurous, committed to life, freedom, experiment, escape from restrictions, expansion of possibility, truth, beauty and justice. I am out to win you to the view that modernism is best understood as a psychopolitical phenomenon – even, in fact, in some far-off, phantasmal, final instance, a prize exhibit of the as-yet dimly mooted science of psychoscioendocrinology. Modernists, and those who praise them, if only through their attention, take pride in its ambitions, when they are not reproving them. Rather than assaying the claims of modernism’s pride, among modernists or their retainers, we might helpfully regard the need for pride as definitional of modernism. Modernism would then be seen, not as the expression of certain projects in which pride might be taken, but as the vehicle of something like a pride-drive.

Modernism, let us say it shortly, is formed around a kind of baulked, or resentful pride. As such, it anticipates a new kind of politics that, for all its epidemic manifestations, remains difficult to recognise: a politics understood, not as the theory of government, but as, to adopt the words of Harvey C. Mansfield, ‘about what makes you angry’ (Mansfield 2007). Modernists are not only angry, they are the harbingers of a new understanding of anger, as self-confirming indignation, that opens a way to the world of resentments we inhabit today.

Modernists are in this respect no different from any other variety of human, in being profoundly driven by the need to be esteemed. On the view first systematically advanced by Bernard Mandeville in The Fable of the Bees, ‘the great Recompence in view, for which the most exalted Minds have with so much Alacrity sacrificed their Quiet, Health, sensual Pleasures, and every Inch of themselves, has never been any thing else but the Breath of Man, the Aerial Coin of Praise’ (Mandeville 1924, 54-5). For Mandeville, the economy of esteem and, in particular the sacrifices of merely animal gratification that human beings are willing to make to win it, develops into a form of social and moral discipline. For Mandeville, only the craving for approval makes the inhibitions of civilisation possible. But modernism represents a peculiar, and, we must say, characteristically modern torsion in the socialising pursuit of praise and esteem. For modernism may characterised as a demand for esteem that goes beyond, and even refuses socialisation – a dehiscent and disinhibitive rather than cohering and cohibitive form of esteem.

The organ or faculty of esteem-seeking and therefore what Peter Sloterdijk calls ‘the impulsive centre of the proud self’ (Sloterdijk 2010, 11), was described in classical Greek as thymos. Psychoanalysis and the liberal politics with which it is in accord, restricts the operations of libido to the varieties of erotics, ignoring the thymotic libido expressed in ‘human pride, courage, stout-heartedness, craving for recognition, drive for justice, sense of dignity and honour, indignation, militant and vengeful energies’ (Sloterdijk 2010, 14). There will be reasons to wonder a little later why this list of qualities might seem so raggedly ill-assorted.

Much of the political theory relating to thymos, from Plato onwards, centres on the question of how far claims to esteem and recognition may be harmonised with reason or more simply regarded as reasonable. For Socrates, thymos, or ‘spirit’, must be won over from the appetitive part of the soul to the rational part. Socrates asks, ‘Is it then fitting for the rational to govern, as it is wise and has forethought for the whole of the soul, and for the passions to be subject to and an ally of it?’ (Plato 2013, 427). and is confident that ‘we shall call each and everyone brave in this latter part of his nature, when through pain and pleasure the spirited part of him keeps firmly to what he has been taught he must fear and what not, by the dictates of reason’ (Plato 2013, 429).

Needless to say, or at least one might have thought so, it is much less easy to be sure what it means for thymos to be won over to the side of reason from the side of appetite, given our heightened sense, following Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault and others, of how engorged by appetite the will to reason can be, and perhaps always is. Nevertheless, a Platonic optimism continues to glow in many liberal accounts of the operations of one of the leading sources of thymos, namely the demand for recognition by others. Though it is a topic about which Socrates in fact seems to have little to say, the idea that the lack of recognition is an indignity which naturally and proportionately justifies indignation is at the centre of what has been called recognition theory, as prosecuted in particular in the work of Axel Honneth. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, indignation was two-sided in English, and could mean actively dishonouring, disrespecting or treating with contempt or disdain as well as the angry reaction to being ‘indignified’ in this way. Since the early seventeenth century, however, indignation has become a distinctively and exclusively reactive action, even as it takes unmistakeably positive forms.

It is often assumed that recognition is to be understood as the complement of identity in the distinctively and narrowly modern sense not of what you are but of what you are known to be: ‘recognition is the necessary condition for the possibility of having a healthy identity, a testament to persons’ utter dependence on mutual relations of recognition’ (Pilapil 2012, 42). This view of recognition is what Francis Fukuyama has helpfully characterised, first of all in The End of History or the Last Man and then more recently in Identity, as isothymia, which is the desire to be regarded as equal to, or, more precisely, because more competitively, ‘just as good as’ other people (Fukuyama 2019, 22). Fukuyama contrasts this with megaloythmia, the grandiose speciality of toddlers and dictators, which is the craving for others to recognise one’s greatness. Isothymia is not the whole picture, but liberal societies act as though they would like it to be, and, indeed, even as recently as in Identity, Fukuyama can quietly celebrate the fact that ‘[t]he rise of modern democracy is the story of the displacement of megalothymia by isothymia: societies that only recognized an elite few were replaced by ones that recognized  everyone as inherently equal’ (Fukuyama 2019, 22).

In fact, though, Fukuyama continues to be unnerved by the instability of the relations between isothymia and megalothymia. The decathected, cancelled-out condition of equality seems to lead to the condition of Nietzsche’s Last Man, or the ‘men without chests’ identified in 1943 by C.S. Lewis, where ‘chest’, as the seat of magnanimity and sentiment, is Plato’s ‘spirited element’ (Lewis 1947, 15), that is thymos, which mediates between ‘cerebral man and visceral man’ (Lewis 1947, 16). Remarkably, absurdly even, Lewis sees the teaching of English literature as the potential source of the development of the capacity for strong emotion, under conditions that in 1943 seem unmistakable:

For every one pupil who needs to be guarded against a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defence against false sentiment is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head. (Lewis 1947, 9)

Lewis makes it clear what the immediate context is for this instilling of spirited sensibility through the teaching of English: ‘In battle it is not syllogisms that will keep the reluctant nerves and muscles to their post in the third hour of the bombardment. The crudest sentimentalism … about a flag or a country or a regiment will be of more use’ (Lewis 1947, 15).

Against the operations of isothymia decried by Lewis, and fretted at by Fukuyama, there is the dynamic and highly unstable equilibrium-in-the-making of competing forms of megalothymic assertiveness. Viewed in this way, according to Fukuyama

[d]emocracy’s effort to banish megalothymia or convert it into isothymia has been incomplete at best. Indeed, democracy’s long-run health and stability can be seen to rest on the number and quality of the outlets for megalythmia that are available to its citizens. These outlets not only tap the energy available in thymos and turn it to productive uses, but also serve as grounding wires that bleed off excess energy that would otherwise tear the community apart. (Fukuyama 2012, 315)

But this view is at odds with the workings of thymos, which are much more essentially antagonistic than this. The one goaded or overtaken by thymos does not simply wish to be known for themselves, or as what they are, in their finite, merely recognisable being. They wish to be esteemed, that is acknowledged as potentiality rather than actuality, and so in a certain sense beyond recognisability, which must always be typifying and so demeaning. The dignity-affirming acts of the terrorist are, as Michael Ignatieff has insisted ‘unaccompanied by demands’, and so not intended to initiate any kind of political dialogue (Ignatieff 2005, 99). Axel Honneth has characterised the Verwilderung of recognition (rendered as ‘brutalisation’ by his English translator, but perhaps better rendered as ‘rampant recognition’ or ‘recognition run wild’), as ‘a social state in which the strivings for social recognition expand excessively and become anomic as normatively justified satisfaction for them is no longer possible in the spheres of action envisaged for them in the system’ (Honneth 2012, 7). Honneth concludes that ‘the struggle for recognition in past decades has so emphatically lost its moral basis that it has been turned into an arena of decidedly rampant self-assertion’ (Honneth 2012, 18). In this kind of esteem economy, identity comes not from the social seconding of one’s own sense of self-worth, but from one’s swelling sense of indignation at the absence or deficit of such recognition.

This is less mysterious from a psychopolitical perspective than from one built on ethical questions of justification. By contrast to the approaches common to political theorists of recognition, a psychopolitical approach, or mine at least, sees the question of what justifies recognition or, more saliently, angry or resentful responses to the withholding of it, as accessory to its affective workings. This means that though there will always undoubtedly be inflaming kinds of stimulus for the countervailing expression of thymos, these need not be regarded as initiating and sufficient causes, without which thymos would die back like a fever that has run its course. From a psychopolitical perspective, anger may not be the expression of wounded pride so much as its vehicle. That is, one is not angry in order to restore one’s starving sense of esteem, or to hasten the removal of an irritation, grievance, or impediment to serene self-coinciding: one harbours and harvests indignities as occasions for indignation, and in order to ennoble and perpetuate one’s anger.

The implications of this way of thinking about the economies of affect are considerable. Most notably, the liberal habit of moralising anger, which assumes that people and groups are only angry when they seek the redress of some reasonably perceived wrong, may have to be regarded as having much narrower application than is currently thought. In a society driven by a competitive thymotic economy, if one asks the question, ‘what has person x or group y got to be angry about?’, the answer may very often be, just that, that they are starved of anger-motivation, making their anger the vehicle of the demand for its own occasion. That is to say, thymos can be fed by the very energy of thymos-envy. This is important. The esteem-economy imagined by liberal thought (which of course does not have to be the way in which liberals imagine such an economy in perpetuity, just the way in which it tends currently to happen), tends to focus on individual, one-at-a-time forms of sealed grievance, in which wage-levels, votes for women, rights to welfare benefits, workplace representation, forms of address or norms of sexual solicitation, all operate separately without reference to other forms of grievance. But the fact that esteem-economy depends so hugely upon representation, and is perhaps nothing more than the frictions of alignment between private and public representations of the self, means that esteem-demands have the capacity to combine, mutate and intensify epidemiologically through imitation and rivalry.

We may seem to have got a long way ahead of modernism. My argument here is that irascomodernist agitations are an anticipation of this condition. Modernists have the ambition of being admired precisely because they experience conventional forms of respectability and the social respect that sustains and rewards it as an insult. In order to understand modernist thymos, we need to develop a sense, not so much of the politics of recognition, in Axel Honneth’s terms, as what Harvey Mansfield has called  the ‘importance of importance’, the tautology of which tells one most of what one needs to know about how it exercises its force.

The fact is, however, that most modernists, especially modernist writers, are not especially angry, in the stinkbomb, exhibitionistically épatiste mode of Continental avant-gardeism. Indeed, a characteristic gesture is the displacement of rage on to the fantasy of the uncomprehending public, for example in Ezra Pound’s remarks in The Little Review about the poetry of Marianne Moore and Mina Loy:

One wonders what the devil anyone will make of this sort of thing who has not in their wit all the clues. It has none of the stupidity beloved of the “lyric” enthusiast and the writer and reader who take refuge in scenery description of nature, because they are unable to cope with the human … I am aware that the poems before me would drive numerous not wholly unintelligent readers into a fury of rage-out-of-puzzlement. (Pound 1918, 57, 58)

The characteristic sentiment of modernism is in fact disdain, rage refrigerated and, like revenge, served cold.

There are, of course, exceptions, such as the localised spasms of grandiosity, in writers such as Yeats (‘A great man in his pride/Confronting murderous men/Casts derision upon/Supersession of breath’) (Yeats 1997, 238), Samuel Beckett is one of the modernist writers who seems to have broken out of the neurotic self-limits of contained or deprecated anger and into the expression of thymos, based, according to Russell Smith, ‘in the indignant and prideful defence of one’s self-worth’ (Smith 2016, 143).  Smith concludes that we should be wary of accepting the common characterisation of Beckett’s work as driven by a ‘syntax of weakness’, as he described it to Lawrence E. Harvey (Harvey 1970, 435):

Is not the breathless outpouring of The Unnamable better described as a syntax of rage? Does it not more resemble the vehement engagement and concentration of the will characteristic of anger, than the patient detachment of a quietist mastery of the passions? Isn’t its disintegration of syntax better understood as a stylistic correlative of the imperious drive of thymos, of a self-assertion concentrated to the point of its own self-destruction? It seems then we might begin to understand the Trilogy as the epic of a heroic, impersonal, implacable and liberated rage. (Smith 2016, 145)

In January 1960, Beckett imparted to Alan Schneider one of his explosive fantasies of revenge regarding a director who had introduced a new element into his production of Krapp’s Last Tape: ‘I dream sometimes of all German directors of plays with perhaps one exception united in one with his back to the wall and me shooting a bullet into his balls every five minutes till he loses his taste for improving authors’ (Beckett 2014, )

Manifestoes also allow for occasional, localised forms of thymotic discharge, often, as in Mina Loy’s manifesto prose, deriving its force from its mock-sympathetic disdain for the weak and benighted:

THEREFORE you stand  not only in abject servitude to your perceptive consciousness –

BUT also to the mechanical re-actions of the subconsciousness, the rubbish-heap of race tradition –

AND believing yourself free – your least conception is colored by the pigment of retrograde superstitions. (Loy 1996, 152)

Loy promises that the passionate intensity of Futurism will purge triviality and narrowness from the craven adherents of accepted morality and understanding:

THUS shall evolve the language of the Future.

THROUGH derision of Humanity as it appears –

To arrive at respect for man as he shall be –

ACCEPT the tremendous truth of Futurism
Leaving all those

– Knick-knacks. – (Loy 1996, 152)

However, modernists do not on the whole display or participate in the colourful storms and spasms of political rage that characterise late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century political life, in the form of the convulsive revolutions considered by Peter Sloterdijk in his Rage and Time. Modernist bad temper is a temperate affair, a minor kind of resentment partly spurred by minority itself. Modernist pride is drawn together with the principle that Nietzsche defined as ressentiment. Noble pride is a kind of pure self-assertion, while ressentiment is contingent on others, and so mediated:

Whereas all noble morality grows out of a triumphant saying ‘yes’ to itself, slave morality says ‘no’ on principle to everything that is ‘outside’, ‘other’, ‘non-self’: and this ’no’ is its creative deed. This reversal of the evaluating glance – this essential orientation to the outside instead of back onto itself – is a feature of ressentiment: in order to come about, slave morality first has to have an opposing, external world, it needs, physiologically speaking, external stimuli in order to act at all, – its action is basically a reaction. The opposite is the case with the noble method of valuation: this acts and grows spontaneously, seeking out its opposite only so that it can say ‘yes’ to itself even more thankfully and exultantly. (Nietzsche 2006, 20)

Ressentiment is characterised by obliquity and the cleverness to which it gives rise, as opposed to the assertiveness which needs no self-consciousness:

While the noble  man  is  confident  and  frank  with  himself  (γενναιος, ‘of  noble birth’, underlines the nuance ‘upright’ and probably ‘naïve’ as well), the man of ressentiment is neither upright nor naïve, nor honest and straight with himself. His soul squints; his mind loves dark corners, secret paths and back-doors, everything secretive appeals to him as being his world, his security, his comfort; he  knows  all  about  keeping  quiet, not  forgetting, waiting, temporarily humbling and abasing himself. A race of such men of ressentiment will inevitably end up cleverer than any noble race, and will respect cleverness to a quite different degree as well (Nietzsche 2006, 21).

But there are reasons to doubt the fundamentally Nietzschean distinction between free and self-affirmative anger and crippled, neurotic, self-inhibiting ressentiment. Indeed, the difficulty of distinguishing noble anger from the varieties of ressentiment, with ‘the virtues of hesitations’ (Sloterdijk 2010, 10) probably accounts for the notably refracted nature of thymos, which, as noted earlier, tends to be understood as so many different, and not very compatible affects, actions and reactions, including pride, wrath, indignation, humiliation and even, in a more positive inflection, the generosity of gift-giving. Sloterdijk’s perspective suggests that most collectives in fact subsist in forms of ressentiment, which simultaneously harbour and suppress fantasies of revenge:

The fury of resentment begins at the moment the person who is hurt decides to let herself fall into humiliation as if it were the product of choice. To exaggerate pain to make it bearable, to transcend one’s suppressed suffering … to extend the feeling of suffered injustice to the size of a mountain in order to be able to stand on its peak full of bitter triumph: these escalating and twisting movements are as old as injustice, itself seemingly as old as the world. (Sloterdijk 2010, 48)

Modernists are not usually concerned with rights that they might be thought to have in common with others. Rather they demand rights of self-affirmative secession which others will have to learn to crave in imitation. The assumption of recognition theory is that one wishes to be recognised, and in the process respected, for what one is. But in order to know what that is, one must somehow have recognised one’s own nature and claim to merit. But if this is the case, why is there a need for exterior recognition at all? The one who demands recognition demands verification of what they lack, not acknowledgement of what they already have. The very need for this verification verifies the lack and the need rather than providing satisfaction. Thymotic economies do not tend towards, or tend to settle around, equilibrium. In the workings of thymos, the giving famishes the craving.

The hungry vacuity at the heart of recognition may account for why pride and anger are so closely aligned. What one wants is not the esteem of others, but the esteem of others for the very fact that one does not seem to need their esteem. This is the essential tension of modernism. Modernists resent the fact that they are not honoured even as they despise the need for available forms of social status and honorifics, and expect to be honoured just for that. Like Coriolanus, the modernist would like to declare ‘I banish you … Despising,/For you, the city, thus I turn my back:/There is a world elsewhere’ (Shakespeare 2008, 282-3).

That is, modernists wish, not for esteem, but for prestige, which is beyond mere estimation. This term prestige entered English in the seventeenth century to signify conjuring or deceitful imposture (perhaps from praestringere, the binding of the eyes), but through the course of the nineteenth century came more and more to signify the political power of awe, often thought of as exercised by the imperialist over inferior peoples, but, like the term fetish in the later nineteenth century, tending to wash back into the workings of empire itself. The power of prestige was a leading theme of the anthropological writing of the early twentieth century, with an implied, floating relation to the early developments of media society, in the figure of the star and celebrity. It was also a leading part of the distinctive psychopolitics of terror and menace to be found in the work of Conrad, who wrote in admiration to Edward Garnett in November 1900:

They step delicately round you as though you were a box of dynamite they would like to pick up but daren’t. It’s most impressive. If I talk much more about you with that lot I’ll get frightened myself. It seems to me you do not realize this extraordinary prestige you possess – the prestige of a quiescent bomb about whose deadly quality there is no doubt whatever. All these priests of imbecile idols seem to think that you may go off – if given a chance – and shatter their commodious temple to pieces. (Conrad 1928, 170)

Nevertheless, they do discover the principle that governs the modern economies of rage discussed by Sloterdijk, namely that rage can only be maintained through forms of accumulation and aggregation that trade down explosive vehemence in the interests of persistence. It is this which enables rage, otherwise so liable to purge itself in spasmodic discharges, to maintain itself in being, in a thousand plateaus of anticipated yet postponed redress. In this, modernism enacts the principle that governs the modern economies of rage discussed by Sloterdijk, namely that rage can only be maintained through forms of accumulation and aggregation that trade down explosive vehemence in the interests of persistence. It is this which enables rage, otherwise so liable to purge itself in spasmodic discharges, to maintain itself in being, in a thousand plateaus of anticipated yet postponed redress.

At the centre of this is the question of art-making, which is supposed to be the thing that characterises the modernist artist. The mutation of the esteem-economy effected in anticipation by modernist artists expresses itself in the simultaneous promotion of the profession of artist and the demotion of the very notion that the making of art can be regarded as a profession among others. This is the reason why artists begin more and more to make the discovery that, where being recognised as an artist, or, in the mutation that became increasingly common in the early twentieth century, as an example of ‘the artist’, is a maximal kind of acclamation, the actual making of art and, grubbier and pokier even than that, the disposing of it,  are an intolerable humiliation. The reconciliation of this is the making of art which resents its condition of recognisability as art, and asserts its value in its instructive refusal of consumability. The modernist desire for recognition takes the form of the desire for unrecognisability, with the artist as the expert in making work of which one can and must always ask whether it is even art at all.

This may also help account for the otherwise puzzling role played by the value of impersonality in modernist criticism and theory. The modernist artist seeks recognition for the throbbing force of individual personality, even while recognising that mere affirmation of personality is childishly generic. Impersonality is an altogether more distinctive achievement, one which sets the modernist apart from the demotic forms of attention-grabbing that would become ever more characteristic of mass experience. The ambivalence is neatly enacted in Eliot’s remark in ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’, that impersonality is itself the paradoxical proof of personality: ‘Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things’ (Eliot 1975, 43). The mixture of rancour and self-congratulation in that ‘of course’ carries much of the thymotic charge of this otherwise pallid utterance.

Certain kinds of modernist rage are certainly comprehensible in terms of an aristocratic recoil from the demands of the market and, more particularly the spread of professionalisation. Many modernist artists managed to find patrons who would allow them, at least for periods, to duck away from the kind of drudgery to which nineteenth-century desk-slaves like Margaret Oliphant or George Gissing had found themselves condemned. Gissing’s resentful melancholia at the world of publishing provides an essential insight into the underworld of shabby subsistence that lay in wait for every writer from the 1880s onwards. One of the easiest ways to get a fix on modernist rage is to consider the gap between writers who formed themselves, by aspiration or emulation, as modernists, and writers who were comprehensively, yet merely, modern – typified perhaps by Woolf’s profane trilogy of Wells, Bennett and Galsworthy.

Occultism, a minor infatuation of a surprisingly large number of modernist writers, is similarly key to the modernist struggle against professional life. What occultism represented was only for an obsessed few literally the authority of the mystical. For many more of those who flirted at the edges of occultism, the infatuation with the occult enacts a more general remystification of authority.

The most important of the ways in which modernist anger is both managed and maintained in being is the very thing that accounts for the success of modernism, namely the doubling and consolidation of modernist art practice in criticism and theory. In advance of the growth of academically professionalised institutions of teaching and learning, modernism constituted through the dispersed and discontinuous distance-learning curriculum of its manifestoes, projections and statements of intent a kind of invisible college or open university. It would be easy to tell the story of a raw or wild modernism which is progressively institutionalised through being made nameable and tradeable in the theories of modernism that began to be established, especially in American universities in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, though, we must recognise a more complex kind of Nachträglichkeit, in which it is the academic institutionalisation which gives rise to the untamed predecessor from which it derives. This is to say that the principal way in which modernist thymos is banked and banked on, is in the clearing operations of rendering accounts with modernism and making it teachable which have been in operation in the economies of academic esteem which have kept the idea of modernism alive for seven decades, and allowed modernism to function as the thymotic origin and ideal form of the resentments of the academic.

Modernism, Daniel Bell proposed in 1978, represented a set of emancipatory demands and expectations, articulated against a certain notion of bourgeois order, rationality and sobriety by and on behalf of certain self-electing individuals, which become generalised in post-war prosperity. In the post-war world, characterised both by growing prosperity, and more particularly by the circulating excitements and solicitations, and ambitions and resentments, of media society, the tension between the modern and the modernist which sustained modernism was dissolved by being generalised:

[T]he life-style once practiced by a small cénacle, whether the cool life mask of  a Baudelaire or the hallucinatory rage of a Rimbaud, is now copied by the “many” (a minority in the society, to be sure, but nevertheless large in number) and dominates the cultural scene. This change of scale gave the culture of the 1960s its special surge, coupled with the fact that a bohemian life-style once limited to a tiny elite is now acted out on the giant screen of the mass media. (Bell 1996, 54)

However, it is possible to turn the screw a little tighter on this historical paradox. For it may seem that what modernists reacted against from the very beginning was not so much tight-fisted Weberian Protestant rationality, as embodied in a notion of bourgeois continence, but rather something much more diffuse, namely the imminent collapse of distinctions and the possibility of distinctiveness in a world of genericity, or mediated commensurabilities. Post-war, this recoil from the generic into the minority form of rage-cooperative formed in modernism, would itself become generic. The overheated condition of the dignitarian economy to which this would lead tends to an all-out esteem-militancy of savage indignation, omnium contra omnes, in which, to continue Hobbes’s sentence, jus esse omnibus in omnia, all claim the right to all things (Hobbes 1647, sig **4r).



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