Excerpt from the book ³Philosophy of Olympism´ (pub.2004) by Ljubodrag Simonovi , Belgrade, Serbia. E-mail : comrade@sezampro.

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OLYMPISM AND PLAY Bearing in mind that Coubertin called the international sports tournament of "civilized nations" the "Olympic Games", it could be expected that play will be the chief concern of Coubertin's Olympic doctrine; however, Coubertin's Olympism does not consider sport as play. The theory that play is the essence of sport excludes sport from Coubertin's "utilitarian pedagogy", since according to it sport is a universal political means of the ruling parasitic classes for achieving their strategic interests, and places it within a far wider sociological and philosophical context, which represents a complex and dangerous challenge for a pragmatic positivist such as Coubertin. The definition of sport as the highest religious ceremony dedicated to the creation of the cult of the present world, where the Olympic Games acquire the status of the "Church", is one of the main reasons for Coubertin's depriving the Olympic Games (sport) of a playing nature. Instead of a playing spontaneity, the sacral seriousness becomes the distinctive feature of the strict form which the Olympic Games, the highest ceremony dedicated to the belligerent spirit that rules the world - which is the reincarnation of the "immortal spirit of antiquity" - must keep. A militaristic ceremony crowned by the oath which symbolizes a complete submission of the participants to the ruling order, is the most appropriate form for cult acts. Uniforms, flags and marching make Eros, spontaneity, imagination and creativeness disappear - all that creates man's playing nature. Furthermore, play involves the rules equal for all, which is for Coubertin the highest blasphemy, since according to him "might is right " is the basic life principle. In his "sports republic" Coubertin does not insist on the norms obligatory on all, but on the order characterized by the indisputable domination of the strong over the weak. Unlike the bourgeois philosophy of play, which considers play (including sport) within the formation of normative and institutional framework which should protect society from the destructive force of man's "aggressive" animal nature, Coubertin considers sport in terms of removing all the norms and institutions which place barriers to the bourgeois greediness and to the expansion of European colonial states. For Coubertin, sport is the most important means for militarizing and fanaticizing the bourgeois youth and is thus the preparation for a conquering war. Third, the idea of a sports community as a playing community is alien to Coubertin. Wishing to break the bonds between people, Coubertin reduces his positive people to Leibniz's monads: "competitive" confrontation of the members of the "master race", as "brothers-in-arms", and their oppression of the working "masses", women and colonized peoples, are the points of "interhuman" contact.

For Coubertin, sport is the most authentic form of playing a life based on the principle bellum omnium contra omnes: the stronger go on, the weaker are eliminated. At the same time, a victory achieved through a higher result, on which "progress" is based, is the foundation and limit of a sports play. As far as "sports technique" is concerned, it becomes a way of degenerating and destroying man's playing nature and the possibility of its realization. In sport, a patterned playing technique is mastered, "supplied" from the world of technique and involving the instrumentalization of the body through a technicized productivistic activism, whose purpose is defined by the nature of sports play as war with bodies. At the same time, by reducing the body to the tool for acquiring inhuman ends and to the object of manipulation, a (self) destructive character is formed. A merciless relation of man to his own body becomes the foundation of a merciless relation to the "opponent", who is seen not as a man, but as an enemy who is to be subdued and destroyed. The typical examples are the so called "martial sports", which, according to Coubertin, are the main means for educating the children and which are based on the "right" to inflict bodily injuries and kill the "opponent". That is why Coubertin gives primacy to muscular strength, speed, resolve, courage which are supposed to build a ruthless character of the bourgeois who, with fire and sword, will conquer the world - as opposed to the develop- ment of man's playing being and playing skill directed to the development of interhuman relations. Coubertin's theory brings out what the bourgeois theory attempts to hide: sport does not derive "spontaneously" from "man's aggressive (animal) nature", but is a forced model of behavior and is thus a means for creating people at the measure of the ruling order. "Sports play" becomes a capitalist way of degenerating man as a playing being.

Coubertin and Schiller If we compare Schiller's conception of play with Coubertin's conception of sport, we shall see that it is one of the "negative" starting points of Coubertin's Olympic doctrine. According to Schiller, "man can be in contradiction with himself in two ways; either as a savage, if his feelings control his principles, or as a barbarian - if his principles destroy his feelings." (1) Coubertin's positive man is below the level both of Schiller's savage and of his barbarian. He has neither feelings nor reason: there are only swollen muscles and a combatant character. Coubertin's deals with Schillers "playing instinct" which seeks to "annihilate time in time, to connect existence with absolute being, change with identity". (2) "The playing instinct" becomes an impulse for freedom based on the unity of the sensual and the intellectual. To be free within oneself, to temper extremities, to achieve internal peace - this is the basis for interhuman relations and a good life. Coubertin abolished both Schiller's "sensual instinct", which "departs from man's

physical existence or from his sensual nature", as well as "the instinct for form", which "departs from man's absolute being or from his reasonable nature and seeks to set him free..." (3) In that context, Schiller's picture of ancient Greece is in opposition to the picture of antiquity offered by Coubertin. Schiller: "We see the Greeks unifying in the fine human nature the youth of fantasy with the masculinity of reason; they are full of form and at the same time full of plenitude, they philosophize and at the same time educate, they are both tender and energetic." (4) "Fantasy", "reason", and "tenderness" are what Coubertin tries to deal with at all costs. He uses sport in order to turn people into enemies; Schiller uses play to turn people into brothers. Schiller's conception is opposed to Coubertin's "will to power": instead of Schiller's "aesthetic instinct for play", (5) Coubertin's dominant instinct is that for conquering and acquiring. He, like the Nazis, deals with "peaceloving aestheticians" (Hitler) who want to develop their sensual and spiritual nature, and tries to create colonial phalanges imbued with fanatical racism. The pacifistic and philanthropic intention of Schiller's philosophy is what creates an unbridgeable gap between his and Coubertin's doctrines. Unlike the theorists in whom play (the normative) dominates over man's playing nature, Schiller gives priority to the playing being, but he does not differentiate between the false play, libertarian play and free (true) play. In Schiller, there does not exist a normative project of play nor a concrete play; what he insists on is the definition of man's playing being and an imaginary space where it can be "realized". Schiller's conception is not a form expressing faith in man as a libertarian and creative being, capable of creating a new world in his human image, but a romantic cry for an unrealized humanity. In the "aesthetic state" it is possible to realize what is impossible to realize in everyday life: man can reach his whole humanity. It is an illusionary world which, on the basis of emotional enthusiasm, is built in people's heads and is experienced with the whole "playing" being. Schiller's "aesthetic state" is a parallel world floating on the clouds of imagination without any hope of descending on the ground. It is a space where the creative spirit goes to a voluntary exile. Hence Schiller speaks of "aesthetic appearance" - "which neither wants to stand for reality, nor does it need it to represent it". (6) And he continues: "A pursuit of an independent appearance requires more ability for abstraction, more freedom of the heart, more energy of the will than man needs to confine him to reality, and the latter he must overcome if he is to reach the former." (7) Unlike Schiller, who by way of play seeks to overcome the spiritual horizons of the existing world, Coubertin deals with imagination in order to pin man down to the existing world and deal with the idea of future. Schiller strives to the sphere of pure spirit realized in the "aesthetic state"; Coubertin strives to take spirit away from man and establish positive society. For Schiller, the "ability for abstraction" is the bridge leading man to the "aesthetic state"; for Coubertin, a ruthless combatant spirit is the bridge leading man to his "sports republic". Schiller seeks "more energy" in order to overcome reality by way of "independent appearance" embodied in his "aesthetic state";

Coubertin insists on the development of the will with which not only the "aesthetic state" should be abolished but also man's very need for an illusory world. Schiller seeks to create "flying" people who will soar towards new worlds; Coubertin seeks to cut man's wings and for ever enclose him within the existing world. In Schiller, the human is realized in man by developing the fullness of his being - outside society; in Coubertin, all essential things happen outside man - through the abolishment of society as a human community. At the same time, for Schiller, unlike Coubertin, what connects the "flying" people is not the material wealth, but the spiritual wealth, and it turns them into a flock. Instead of giving priority to art, Coubertin gives priority to positive science: the principle savoir pour prevoir, prevoir pour agir replaces a romantic ''day-dreaming'' about the future. Man is at the same level with Huizinga's "banal" man: instead of trying to create a reasonable alternative to the existing (anti-human) world, man returns to the patronage of superhuman powers, which in Coubertin appear in the form of "progress". Schiller's "aesthetic state" becomes an illusionary world and thus deals with man's critical-changing spirit, but, unlike Huizinga's illusionary world which is reduced to an idealization of the Middle Ages, it is open for visions of the future. Schiller: "On the wings of imagination leaves man the narrow boundaries of the present, which involves only the animalistic, in order to strive forward, towards an infinite future..." (8) Man's spiritual cultivation is independent of his real life and social position. Instead of striving to liberate man from tyranny, Schiller seeks to release imagination from the bonds of everyday life. Man does not reach freedom by fighting to break his chains, but with his romantic enthusiasm in which he does not feel the burden of the chains, whereas "beauty" is an abstract and instrumentalized concept creating the appearance of man's libertarian practice. "Day-dreaming" replaces the political struggle for a new world. Schiller's conception expresses a specific spiritual state in which romantic enthusiasm suppresses all that can jeopardize a free flight of imagination to the "aesthetic state" - where all that is impossible in the existing life becomes possible. At the same time, relations between people, as well as the flight of spirit to the "future", are not mediated by a progressistic logic and in that context by science and technique, nor by a trade spirit: man's faith in future is unconditional and unlimited. In spite of a romantic intonation ("more freedom of the heart"), Schiller offers a rationally based normative project intended to form the ideals of the human that become man's highest challenge and are a possible starting point for a critical attitude to the existing world. For Schiller, aesthetic inspiration is the essence of movement, and nature appears as aesthetic inspiration, and not as an object of exploitation. In him, the dominant principle is that of taking pleasure in a free movement in nature, which is totally opposed to Coubertin's principle of "greater effort", which cripples the body and destroys man's playing nature. Instead of an instrumentalized and technicized movement directed against man and nature, the dominant movement is

that towards man and nature. What he tries to achieve is the unity between nature, the body and the spirit: a liberated spirit moves the body and cultivates man's nature by way of symbols that inspire him and strengthen his faith in life. The skill of movement becomes the liberation, and not the restraint of the body and the spirit, which means an aesthetic challenge. Perfection is not reduced to a mere development of the body and of a combatant character, as is the case in Coubertin, but to the development of the spirit. Skill is not only a "technical" presupposition for articulating the spiritual, but is a way of self-realization, self-affirmation and self-cognition and is thus a bridge to nature and to man. Bodily movement becomes a romantic flight of man's spirit, which is inspired by faith in man and which offers a possibility of overcoming the horizons of the existing world. It does not thwart, but fires imagination which gives to everything surrounding man a fantastic and symbolic character. Play is not an escape from reality, but is the expression of the aspiration to freedom and has a visionary character. Bodily movement is not an animal or technical act, but is the expression of spiritual movement: skating becomes a "fine art" (Fait) realized in nature which becomes a scene for a performance created by a "dreamy spirit". Movement does not "conquer" space and time; it is a way of opening a new infinite and timeless spiritual space in man, which reflects a romantic optimism. Instead of having an effect with a quantitative dimension, in which man becomes alienated from his human powers, the main effect of skating becomes aesthetic inspiration: intensity of experience ("exaltation", "amazement") becomes the measure of its "endurance". Movement has an expressive and symbolic function. The sun ray is not only light, but is a symbol of enlightenment; ice skates are not only a technical device, but are "the wings on the legs" (Klopstock) which carry man to future; there is no dualism between the body and the spirit; there is no manipulation with the body in order to achieve certain political ends; there are no physical exercises as a means for creating the character of a loyal and usable citizen; there is no fight between people for victory, nor is there Coubertin's principle of "greater effort" which was to become the basis for developing a sado-masochistic character of a positive bourgeois. Instead of Coubertin's Social Darwinist agon, there is a liberated spirit confronting the existing world and the unity of (abstract) humanity in spontaneous movement in nature, creating a synthesis between man's aesthetical and ethical being. In Schiller everything lies in unity: beauty, truth, freedom... In that context Schiller clearly differentiates between onesided and whole developments of the body: "Gymnastic exercises create the athletes, but beauty is created only by a free and coordinate exercising of all parts of the body." (9) This contains the basic principle of Schiller's physical culture which is a mirror reflecting the true, dehumanized and denaturalized nature of Coubertin's "utilitarian pedagogy". Unlike those bourgeois theorists who seek to present the existing games, which are but the incarnation of the ruling relations and values in a "pure" form, as the "oasis of happiness" (Fink) contrary to the existing world of unhappiness, in

his romantic enthusiasm Schiller seeks to create a convincing illusory world, where it is possible to realize the fullness of human playing being. In Schiller there is no space outside man in which he is to find his lost humanity; everything occurs in the heart and imagination of the "flying people". Hence he does not insist on a strict observance of the existing rules of a game, but absolutizes the subjective. Schiller's romantic enthusiasm is a reflection of the French Revolution in the heart of free citizenship, while his "aesthetic state" is an attempt to build an illusionary castle of freedom on its ruins. In Schiller's "aesthetic state every one, even the one who serves, is a free citizen, whose rights are equal to those of the most noble man, while the reason, which forces the oppressed masses to serve its ends, must ask them for permission. So, here, in the realm of the aesthetic appearance, the ideal of equality is fulfilled, the same ideal that an enthusiast would so much like to realize in reality..." (10) Schiller is close to Coubertin's "sports republic" in which the oppressed are given the same formal rights as their oppressors, on the condition that they renounce the fight for changing their slavery social status: freedom in the "aesthetic state" involves the obedient acceptance of tyranny in society. "The aesthetic state" becomes an exclusive community of "flying people" and not of free and equal people. However, the very right of a "free citizen" to appear in the "aesthetic state" is formal, since it can be done only by those who have a developed aesthetic sense. Schiller does not hide that: "But, is there a state of aesthetic appearance, and where can it be found? According to the needs, it exists in every fine soul; in fact, we could find it, as a pure church and pure republic, only in a few carefully chosen circles in which the behavior is not determined by an empty conformation to strange customs but by one's own beautiful nature, in which man, with his bold simplicity and calm innocence, passes through most intricate relations and has no need either to impinge on other people's freedom in order to keep his own, or to renounce his dignity in order to show gracefulness." (11) In spite of insisting on an "aesthetic state", Schiller finds in the existing world mimetic impulses which crucially determine the formation of the aesthetic being. Schiller refers to that speaking of the "form", which is but a reflection of the existing world, spontaneously controlling man: "Just as the form slowly approaches him in his flat, his furniture, his outfit, so it slowly begins to control him, and transform not only the external, but also the internal man. A simple jump turns into a play, an ugly gesture into a lovable harmonious speech of movements..." (12) In Schiller, form enters man by way of the already existing cultural sphere, while man does not have an active critical-creative relation to it, but a passive-receptive one. Practically, to live the life of the chosen is the basic presupposition for entering the "aesthetic state". Unlike Schiller, Coubertin seeks to open the door of his "sports republic" for the oppressed, especially at the critical moments for capitalism, in order to "teach" them to respect the order ruled by the stronger and thus integrate them into the existing world. Coubertin's "sports republic" is not an illusory world which is reached by imagination, but a real world which is "reached" by living a life based on the principles bellum omnium

contra omnes and citius, altius, fortius. Instead of Schiller's postulate that "man is man only when he plays", (13) in Coubertin man is man only when he oppresses the weak and conquers the world. Schiller is not concerned with an (critical) analysis of the nature of concrete plays, since romantic enthusiasm is a force that enables man to experience the most illuminated freedom in the darkest of slaveries - and this freedom consists in the right to participate in the creation of the world of illusions. The freedom given back to man through the "aesthetic mood" is, according to Schiller, "the greatest of all gifts" - "the gift of human nature". (14) "Namely, the moment the two conflicting basic impulses start acting in him, both of them lose the coercive moment, and from the confrontation of two necessities results freedom." (15) Freedom "starts only when man and his two basic instincts are fully developed; it, therefore, must be lacking until he is complete and until he acquires one of the two impulses, and it must be capable of being established by means of all those things that give man back his fullness." (16) Speaking of his "aesthetic state" Schiller concludes: "To give freedom to the one who is free is the basic law of this realm". (17) According to Benno von Wiese, Schiller's true love "is not so much a moral freedom of the human kind, but much more an aesthetic freedom of a man who plays, since it is only by way of it that man can fully be man, not only as a kind, but also as an individual". (18) Through his romantic enthusiasm and aesthetic inspiration, man can be "free" within himself in spite of being a slave in society: slavery turns through play into "aesthetic freedom". Schiller's instincts are united and realized at the expense of man as a social being. He does not realize that human freedom in society is the basic precondition of a free play. Through the aesthetic appearance man does not acquire freedom, but creates a false feeling of freedom. "The flight of imagination" is not "the expression of freedom", but a day-dreaming of a slave. Freedom in art presupposes reconciliation to tyranny in society. Gadamer: "A reconciliation between the ideal and life by way of art is but a partial reconciliation. The beautiful and art give to reality only a superficial and false glow. The freedom of the soul, to which they ascend us, is the freedom only in an aesthetic state, and not in reality." (19) At the same time, in Schiller's "aesthetic state" man's hope and faith in a just world are exhausted. In his "fine souls" there is a space for "beauty", but not for the suffering of the oppressed. For Coubertin, to claim freedom is absurd. He despises the guiding principles of the French Revolution, and the rights of man and citizen based on it, and proclaims "might is right" the indisputable basis of social structuring. Instead of Schiller's principle "freedom is reached through beauty", (20) Coubertin argues for the principle according to which a ruthless struggle for survival creates a "master race", on the one hand, and slaves, on the other. Instead of arguing for the "freedom" of the individual, Coubertin argues for the "perfectioning" of mankind under the patronage of the white "master race". He does not seek to "reconcile the ideal and life through art", but to

reconcile man to the existing world of injustice by destroying his faith in a just world. For Schiller, man is man only when he realizes the fullness of his human (playing) being. Like Nietzsche, he seeks to restore the "synthetic" man of antiquity, and beauty represents an integrative ideal in which the unity of human being is realized. However, Schiller regards man as an abstract being who experiences beauty independently of social reality, which means of his concrete social being. According to Schiller, "man is man in the full sense of that word" only when he succeeds in completely separating himself, by way of romantic enthusiasm and imagination, from the gloomy reality and realizes the pureness of his being in the "aesthetic state". More precisely, it is only in the "aesthetic state" that man can establish a harmony between the instinctive and the reasonable, free from the burden of social existence. Play is not only an escape from society, but is an escape of man from himself as a social being. Schiller insists on the realization of instincts, but he empties man and reduces him to an abstract being in which reality and form are confronted and united - from which springs "the beautiful". Schiller: "From the mutual interaction of two opposing instincts and from the connection of two opposing principles we have seen how the beautiful appears, whose ideal, indeed, we shall look for in the most perfect connection and balance of reality and form. (21) Schiller's "return to nature" is totally opposed to Coubertin's "naturalistic" conception. Speaking of animals and plants, Schiller concludes: "They are what we are; they are what we should again become. We, like they, used to be nature, and our culture, by way of reason and freedom, should return us to nature. They are, therefore, at the same time the image of our lost childhood, which for ever remains something most dear to us; hence it fills us with certain sadness. At the same time, they are the images of our highest perfection in the ideal; therefore they bring us to a sublime emotion. (22) Schiller insists on establishing the unity between the natural and the intellectual in man; Coubertin insists on a complete integration of man into the existing world by removing man's natural being and his reason. In the "sports republic" man does not acquire the fullness of his human being, but is completely "emptied" of his humanity so that he can fit into the existing world. For Coubertin, nature is not a peaceful and harmonious whole, but is a space of a merciless struggle for survival. Coubertin's return to nature is not mediated by "reason and freedom", but by "might is right" and "progress", which bring about man's degeneration as a natural being. While in Schiller man becomes, from being the "slave of nature", "its lawgiver the moment he starts thinking about it", in Coubertin, this happens through sport and physical drill based on the absolutized principle of "greater effort" - with which the laws of nature turn into a power which controls nature, and it means also man's body and his "lazy animal" nature. According to Schiller, "man in his physical condition endures only the power of nature; he sets himself free from this power in the aesthetic state, and controls it in the moral one." (23) Coubertin does not seek to liberate the "forces of

nature" by way of aesthetics, let alone to "control it" by way of morality, but tries to turn it into an indisputable totalizing power. He does not even think of putting before the bourgeoisie Schiller's "reasonable request" to "turn its natural state into a moral one", and thus demonstrate its "maturity". (24) What is "sacred in man", is not Schiller's "moral law", (25) but "the law of the strong". Instead of "starting to show his independence of nature as a phenomenon" and "freely ascend his dignity to nature as a force and his nobility towards his gods", (26) Coubertin's positive man seeks to deal with all that offers man a possibility of establishing relation to nature as an independent (free) being. At the same time, since positive man is the incarnation of "progress" as a fatal power, in which the laws of evolution reached their highest level, there is no duality and conflict in him, and consequently no need for "reconciliation".

Coubertin and Huizinga Huizinga's criticism of sport is one of the most comprehensive approaches of the bourgeois philosophy of play to sport. Huizinga: "Ever since the last quarter of the 19th century play, in the guise of sport, have been taken more and more seriously. The rules have become increasingly strict and elaborate. Records are established at a higher, or faster, or longer level than was ever conceivable before. (....) Now, with the increasing systematization and regimentation of sport, something of the pure play-quality is inevitably lost. We see this very clearly in the official distinction between amateurs and professionals (or "gentlemen and players" as used pointedly to be said). It means that the play-group marks out those for whom playing is no longer play, ranking them inferior to the true players in standing but superior in capacity. The spirit of the professional is no longer the true play-spirit; it is lacking in spontaneity and carelessness. This affects the amateur too, who begins to suffer from an inferiority complex. Between them they push sport further and further away from the play-sphere proper until it becomes a thing sui generis: neither play nor earnest. In modern social life sport occupies a place alongside and apart from the cultural process. The great competitions in archaic cultures had always formed part of the sacred festivals and were indispensable as health and happiness-bringing activities. The ritual tie has now been completely severed; sport has become profane, "unholy" in every way and has no organic connection whatever with the structure of society, least of all when prescribed by the government. The ability of modern social techniques to stage mass demonstrations with the maximum of outward show in the field of athletics does not alter the fact that neither the Olympiads nor the organized sports of American Universities nor the loudly trumpeted international contests have, in the smallest degree, raised sport to the level of a culture-creating activity. However important it may be for the players or spectators, it remains sterile. The old play-

factor has undergone almost complete atrophy. This view will probably run counter to the popular feeling of to-day, according to which sport is the apotheosis of the play-element in our civilization. Nevertheless popular feeling is wrong. By way of emphasizing the fatal shift towards over-seriousness we would point out that it has also infected the non-athletic games where calculation is everything, such as chess and some card-games."(27) The main Huizinga's objection to modern sport is that "sport has become profane". "The great competitions in archaic cultures had always formed part of the sacred festivals", says Huizinga. "They were indispensable as health and happiness-bringing activities. The ritual tie has now been completely severed". Huizinga insists on competition as a form in which the divine spirit appears in man. A "sacred" competition, which means ritual expression of obedience to the deities, is conditio sine qua non of sport as play. Huizinga has a critical detachment to the games which have become "overserious" and, due to commercialization, have lost their "holy" character, which means that they have fused into everyday life and thus do not enable man a spiritual escape from the existing life and a "cultural" upbringing. When Huizinga speaks of sport as a "serious" activity, he wants to say that sport has turned into work, which means that it has become part of everyday gloominess. However, Huizinga's criticism of sport does not refer to the nature of sport and its rules, but to the position that participants have in it and their relation to the game. The present games, as the incarnation of the divine spirit, are the ideal of life which should be sought for and therefore cannot be questioned. Hence play is not dominated by a strict form which has a liturgical character. It is interesting that Huizinga dispels the illusion that sport is a festivity dedicated to the highest cultural values, and at the same time, like the bourgeois theorists of sport, creates the illusion about chivalrous fights. More precisely, Huizinga deals with an illusory world which does not correspond to his (cultural) model, in order to offer his world of illusions as the only "real" cultural challenge. Huizinga had good reasons to attack sport so sharply. We should bear in mind that, according to Huizinga, man's need for illusion, which could enable his spiritual escape from a hopelessly non-cultural world, is the only value created in capitalist society. By accepting sport as a refuge the need for (Huizinga's) world of illusions disappears and, consequently, the need for culture. Trying to stick to his ideological concept, Huizinga does not give sport the character of a deception but of a mistaken belief. Anyway, it is definitely something false: the form of play becomes a way of giving to a non-playing content the legitimacy of the playing. Here Huizinga is not at odds only with sport as the appearance of play, but with his own conception on which homo ludens is based and according to which the form of play is the only criterion for determining its truthfulness. However, Huizinga pointed out the crucial thing: sport lies beyond the field of culture. It is precisely the basic point of Coubertin's doctrine: to deprive man of his cultural heritage and eliminate all that restrains the development of the bourgeois' "will to power". It is logical that culture was the

first to bear the brunt: without cultural self-conscious there is no human dignity and freedom. For Huizinga play is a way of being in culture and creating culture; for Coubertin, sport is a way of being in life and dealing with culture - and thus is the ideal of positive life. At the same time, Huizinga tries to indicate the true nature of modern Olympic spectacle overlooking the fact that it is not "social technique" as a phenomenon sui generis which has a decisive influence on sport, but the capitalist order which uses technique as a means for "raising" - "the outward effect of mass demonstrations" to "perfection". In the beginning of "Homo ludens" Huizinga questions his basic intention, namely, to examine play as a "culture phenomenon": "Play is older than culture, for culture, however inadequately defined, always presupposes human society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing. We can safely assert, even, that human civilization has added no essential feature to the general idea of play. Animals play just like men. We have only to watch young dogs to see that all the essentials of human play are present in their merry gambols." (28) Huizinga reduces play to the given which is independent of people. Hence the playing of animals is the prototype of the playing world: the established norms should have in society the same power that natural laws have in the animal world - to be unconditional and eternal. Huizinga: "All play has its rules. They determine what 'holds' in the temporary world circumscribed by play. The rules of a game are absolutely binding and allow no doubt." (29) Huizinga creates from play a separate world, the space of play being in a mystical way circumscribed by play: play determines its own rules within a temporary world, which is, again, separated by play. Huizinga uses such tautological constructions to create an illusion of social unconditionality, and thus the eternity of the existing plays. Play, as a repressive normative mould which is the incarnation of the ruling relations, becomes the source of the playing and play. In this way man is not only closed by play within the existing world, but is deprived of his authentic humanity. In the alleged world of "freedom" and "illusion" the basic values of the existing world from which Huizinga offers people an escape are realized in a disguised form. Play is not a way of liberating man and developing his human powers, but is the bars of a cage that should keep the "banal" man under control and thus maintain the ruling (class) order. By cultivating man it raises him from his everyday gloominess: play becomes a peculiar religious ritual by which man overcomes his "banal" nature and becomes one with the divine. The stability of its rules confirms the perseverance of the "divine" in man without which he is left to his "banality" and doomed to fall into barbarism. Huizinga identifies the form of play with its rules, and not with the forms of aesthetic expression. The basic purpose of play is not the development of spiri- tuality, but the expression of loyalty to the ruling order: a man who is not ready to accept the existing world cannot be a participant in play. As far as aesthetics is concerned, it is an instrument for creating an illusory world which is an idealized incarnation of the ruling values of the existing world. Huizinga's homo ludens can "dream" only about that which does not

question the ruling order and the image of the "banal" man - to which Huizinga reduced the human being. By his criticism of sport Huizinga creates criteria which can establish the difference between culture and non-culture, which means between the human and non-human. He insists on the rules which involve mutual understanding and agreement of wills that should prevent the tyranny of the strong and, at the same time, stop the fight for changing the existing world. Play becomes a spider's web which should conserve the existing world and give it the legitimacy of being cultural. Hence the unconditional "observance of rules", which are independent of people, is conditio sine qua non of play. Coubertin is against the norms that unconditionally apply to all. He rejects the "hairsplitting rules" that stop the "new man" in his endeavours to conquer the world. Unlike Nietzsche, whose "will to power" springs from the overflowing life force of man, which is the expression of a free action of his affective nature, the dominant spirit in Coubertin is that of a greedy bourgeois who relies on the expansionist and productivistic power of capitalist monopolies that is not restricted by any norms. In that context, there is no compatibility of wills: the rules are imposed by the one who is stronger and who is not guided by universal principles which have a transcendental character, but follows the logic of life dictated by the fatal course of "progress" - which is based on a merciless struggle for survival. The purpose of sport is not the development of the normative conscious, but the elimination of the normative firmament of civil society and the integration of people, by way of a mindless (bodily) agonal activism, into the spiritual orbit of capitalism. In Coubertin, there is no duality between being (Sein) and ought (Sollen): the existing world is the realization of everything man can and should strive for. The analysis of the relation between Huizinga's and Coubertin's conceptions of sport indicates that Coubertin, in spite of absolutizing the "factual", created a normative model of sport (the Olympic Games) which offers a possibility of criticizing the Olympic reality. However, Coubertin, a "realist", constantly adapted his conception to the sports (social) reality in an attempt to preserve the original purpose of Olympism as the cult of the existing world. By the end of his life, in spite of his long fanatical fight for preserving the "pureness" of sport from the fatal influence of money, this made him show readiness to accept professionals, those, according to him, "circus gladiators", and raise them to the level which was reserved for sports amateurs. Huizinga, like Coubertin, deals with modern man and reduces him to God¶s servant. Consequently, Huizinga does not refer to people as a ("banal") man, but as a superior being and in this he is close to the "divine baron" Pierre de Coubertin. He departs from Plato's words that "Though human affairs are not worthy of great seriousness it is yet necessary to be serious; happiness is another thing" («) "God alone is worthy of supreme seriousness, but man is made Godµs plaything, and that is the best part of him." (...) "Life must be lived as play, playing certain games, making sacrifices, singing and dancing, and then a man will be able to propitiate the gods, and defend himself against his enemies, and

win in the contest" (...) "Thus "men will live according to Nature since in most respects they are puppets, yet having a small part in truth".... (30) Stating that Plato said those words under the impression of "turning his eyes on God", Huizinga concludes: "The human mind can only disengage itself from the magic circle of play by turning towards the ultimate. Logical thinking does not go far enough. Surveying all the treasures of the mind and all the splendors of its achievements we shall still find, at the bottom of every serious judgment, something problematical left. In our heart of hearts we know that none of our pronouncements is absolutely conclusive. At that point, where our judgment begins to waver, the feeling that the world is serious after all wavers with it. Instead of the old saw: 'All is vanity', the more positive conclusion forces itself upon us that 'all is play'. A cheap metaphor, no doubt, mere impotence of the mind; yet it is the wisdom Plato arrived at when he called man the plaything of the gods." (31) Huizinga moves within the Christian conception of the world. The ability of the living beings to play is not a product of evolution nor is it a historical product and thus a cultural phenomenon, but is the gift of "nature" (God) and is thus the given. Like Plato's man, Huizinga's homo ludens is not a man-player, but is a man-plaything of "superhuman" powers. At the same time, he, like Coubertin's "new man", is deprived of doubt, critical reasoning, the creative; he is not released from responsibility and sin, like Nietzsche's "overman" and Coubertin's "new man", but responds to the Christian model of man, with the addition of having the right to kill: war and knight tournaments are the highest form of play. However, if man is "God's plaything", and this is the "best part in him", then play cannot lie "beyond good and evil", nor can it be "beyond truth and falsehood", and "have no moral function" ± so that "the valuations of vice and virtue do not apply here." (32) Play "in itself", as the gift of God, is indeed the highest good, and Huizinga himself departs from that trying to give play the legitimacy of something indisputable and eternal. Play becomes the insemination of the living beings with the divine spirit, and as far as man is concerned, the revelation of the divine. Huizinga's homo ludens is a puppet deprived of human contents and is thus a shadow of the divine light, while his play is the play of human shadows. Huizinga introduces "the spirit" only to deal with man's creative being and his genuine spirituality. He places "the human" and "the noble" beyond the reach of man who seeks to change the existing world. Huizinga deals with the emancipatory heritage of civil society and deprives man of the possibility of and the right to create the world at his own measure as a free personality. Play is not a way of expressing the authentic man's playing abilities, but is a way of controlling the "evil" human nature and of establishing a spiritual patronage over man. Huizinga's theory is par excellence antilibertarian and conservative and could be (conditionally) called the Christian theory of play. Huizinga glorifies the "play" of animals which always proceeds in the same way. Practically, man is below the level of animals, which completely behave in accordance with the internal playing demands which are incorporated in

them on the part of God, since their "banal" nature can become independent of play and thus question the existing world. Huizinga claims that even "animals compete", but according to him there is no direct connection between an animal and man, that is to say, man did not inherit his playing nature from animals: both animals and man received their ability to play from God. The behavior of animals which Huizinga calls "play" is their direct existential activity by which they acquire skill and develop the body in a way that should insure their survival. Their play is always the same and is determined by the nature of their kind. By playing, a child develops his individuality and becomes a man, unlike the young of animals who through play develop the peculiar features of the species they belong to. In addition, animals do not choose their play with their free will; it is a necessary consequence of the development of the qualities contained in their genetics. Huizinga also "forgets" to tell us that animals "play" together regardless of their gender (while "love play" that precedes mating has special significance), and that people from their childhood, precisely on the basis of the existing games, which Huizinga proclaims the indisputable criterion for determining the notion of play, divide in playing communities according to their gender (as well as according to their races and classes). Coubertin brings things to the end: the woman is deprived of the right to engage publicly in sport and take part in the Olympic Games, and physical exercises should serve to help her develop her maternal dispositions and become a national (racial) incubator. Huizinga takes from the animal world everything he can use to prove the playing nature of homo ludens. He departs from the behavior of some animals which resembles the behavior of people and thus draws a general conclusion on the competitive ("playing") nature of animals. Thus, according to him, even crows, similarly to man, "compete". Not only is man outside the process of evolution, but the evolution of animal species is discarded as well. Using the same method, Huizinga could have easily realized that a great majority of animals do not "compete" and could have drawn the conclusion that competition is not in the nature of animals. How can God be mother to some animals and step-mother to others? If we have in mind the essence of Huizinga's conception, such questions are meaningless since Huizinga, an aesthetician, does not use the causalexplicative method and does not try to offer arguments, but tries to invent a "nice story" using the details from the animal and human worlds with which he can incite an aesthetic reaction and thus win man over. However, what Huizinga considers the play of animals was obtained on the basis of a certain ideological model of play. Huizinga's relation to the play of animals is the result of his relation to man - which is reduced to a combat with man's creative-libertarian being. Play is not the highest form of man's self-realization and of society as the community of emancipated individuals, but is an expression of spirit which "nature" (God) "bestowed" on the living beings. Buytendijk also opens a possibility for a critique of Huizinga when he claims that "sport bases its value and estimation precisely on the strivings to one special ideal behavior" which involves norms as "obligatory

rules". "Pure play does not have this normative demand and belongs to a completely different life sphere. Animals play; only in people exists sport, which without norms, which means without the 'spirit' - is not possible." (33) Coubertin departs from the assertion that man is by his nature an animal, but he does not depart, like Huizinga, from the playing characteristics of animals and he reduces the animal to a bloodthirsty beast. For Coubertin, the animal world is not a symbol of tolerance and pacifism; it is the realization of the principle "might is right" as well as the principle of natural selection and thus is the model for human community. Unlike those bourgeois anthropologists who regard sport as a means for pacifying man's "aggressive (animal) nature", Coubertin regards sport as a means for developing his combatant will, since man is by his nature a "lazy beast". Sport is based on the principle of "greater effort" and is not "in the nature of man", (34) but is in the nature of the capitalist order: a sportsman is a capitalistically mutated beast. Trying to deal with the idea of future and man's struggle to create the world in his human image, both Coubertin and Huizinga refer to the past. Unlike Coubertin, who in an idealized antiquity finds the highest point in the development of humankind, Huizinga finds in a romanticized picture of the Middle Ages an unattainable model. It is an endeavour to create a parallel world in people's heads, in which everything man should and can strive for has already been realized. It becomes the ideal of a "perfect world", similarly to the Christian "paradise", which appears as a way of closing man in the established world by means of a repressive normative pattern, which is an idealized projection of the ruling social relations. Huizinga clearly sees that the world's imperfection is the basic presupposition of its openness to the future and human aspirations. If the existing world is to be preserved, the sets on the scene creating illusions should be preserved first: Coubertin's principle of "control in heads" is the basis of Huizinga's philosophy. Illusion should destroy the hope of a better world and prevent a critical-changing confrontation with the existing world of misery. Instead of striving for a just world, man should strive for a "more beautiful" world. Play, which according to Huizinga is essentially "irrational", should achieve a certain psychological effect which, ultimately, is intended to show the ruling values of the existing world in a holy (divine) form, under the aureole of "rhythm and harmony", "the noblest qualities we are capable of perceiving in things". (35) Coubertin's words: "harmony is the sister of order" indicate the true meaning of this conception. Just like Coubertin, Huizinga tries to create an appearance of the cultural by aestheticizing play (harmony, proportion, rhythm). It is an instrumentalized aesthetics, but Coubertin argues for a dynamic balance and against the normative which represents a restraint to the "will to power" of the ruling class. Unlike Huizinga-s conception, where there is a hint of the ancient principle of kalokagathia, which means that the ethical and the aesthetical are given in unity, in Coubertin, the aesthetical, as the idealized picture of order, becomes a way of

providing a "cultural" legitimacy to the Social Darwinist and progressistic nature of capitalism. "Beauty" becomes a combat with freedom and novum. Huizinga, like Nietzsche and Coubertin, discards the categories of "evil" and "good", "unjust" and "just", "freedom" and "tyranny"... The relation to the world is mediated by the aesthetical criteria of "ugly" and "beautiful". The main task of art is not to deify the existing world, as is the case in Coubertin, but to create an illusory world ("a dream") which will be incorporated into man's head in order to preserve "the human" and enable it to endure everyday life. In his picture of the Middle Ages Huizinga does not show a man who suffers, but uses the misery of the oppressed to depict a life similar to the Christian world, in which man, with the obedience of a slave, accepts his humiliating social position. Trying to destroy human dignity, Huizinga, with pathological lustfulness, depicts the scenes of execution and of poor people in mud under the gallows. He condemns the modern man's becoming independent of the divine authority, which means his alienation from his playing nature, and wants to restore the sphere which is above man, which is independent of him and to which he is hopelessly submitted. Man should "return" to the illusory world of the Middle Ages, which is the incarnation of the fullness of the playing, and thus reach again his divine being. A romanticized picture of the Middle Ages becomes a mirror in which man is to meet his lost humanity, and in that sense it serves to fill in the cultural emptiness left after a hectic rush after money and a merciless struggle for power. According to Huizinga, the modern world is doomed to "gloominess", while man, renouncing the divine patronage, has become a "banal" being. The only truly valuable thing created in modern society is a need for an illusory world which appears in the form of a "dream" about the Middle Ages. Unlike Huizinga's picture of the Middle Ages, Coubertin's picture of the ancient world does not present misery and suffering. It is a picture of a (hopelessly) "happy world", which appears as an indisputable and unattainable challenge to the Modern Age. Instead of the yelling of slaves, from his mythological world come the clattering of arms and cries of the victors. At the same time, Coubertin seeks to destroy man's need for dreaming. His positive bourge ois, guided by his insatiable lust and fear of the working "masses", is constantly awake. Instead of offering a "dream" about the Middle Ages, which is reached through an aesthetic inspiration, Coubertin offers a ruthless fight on the sports field, which is the reincarnation of the "immortal spirit of antiquity" and is thus a light in the gloominess of everyday life dominated by a "futile effort" (Coubertin). Huizinga's doctrine does not contain the idea of progress, which represents the corner stone of Coubertin's Olympic doctrine: he strives for a static and unchangeable world. In Huizinga, there is no "perfectioning" of man, which is based on Social Darwinism and the principle of performance, nor are there any other challenges which cross the borders of the aristocratic world. Huizinga: "He has won esteem, obtained honor; and this honor and esteem at once accrue to the benefit of the group to which the victor belongs. Here we have another very

important characteristic of play: success won readily passes from the individual to the group. But the following feature is still more important: the competitive 'instinct' is not in the first place a desire for power or a will to dominate. The primary thing is the desire to excel others, to be the first and to be honored for that." (36) Play becomes a fight for prestige between the aristocrats, and not a fight for domination (survival) and "progress", as is the case in Coubertin. Huizinga is a representative of the aristocracy who acquired the monopoly over power "from God" and the static medieval order. A fight for victory is not the matter of survival, but of vanity, elitist status, as well as a form of the constant confirmation of a complete submission to the existing order. However, at knight tournaments and in war victory is achieved by beating the opponent, which means by his elimination from further fight, which involves killing. Huizinga speaks of "bloody ferocity" at the knight tournaments and glorifies war as the highest test of a man's maturity. In that way Huizinga, under a different ideological veil, reached Coubertin's position: the stronger survive, the weaker are destroyed. Huizinga should be credited with opposing the "criminal power" which, in the form of "total war" hung over Europe at the time of the Nazi fury. Unfortunately, even the monstrous Nazi atrocities did not make Huizinga cast away his loyal shield which he proudly carried all his life: instead of supporting those who fought against fascism, Huizinga addressed the Nazis asking them to respect certain norms in their genocidal conquests. His endeavours to give a "cultural" (playing) legitimacy to the criminal practice of the fascists came down to disclaiming cultural legitimacy of the libertarian struggle of the oppressed. According to Huizinga's theory, the American, French and Russian Revolutions do not belong to the cultural heritage of mankind, but to "barbarism", unlike wars and colonial conquests which drove to death hundreds of millions of people - with "respecting certain rules". At the same time, Huizinga "forgets" that competition between people involves a certain level of civilizatory development, and that in the course of history competition has acquired new contents. The so called "primitive peoples" do not know of competition between individuals. In ancient Greece competition was reduced to a ruthless struggle for victory. It is only in the Modern Age that the ideas of personal achievement, of comparing results and of record appear. For Huizinga, just like for Coubertin, war between peoples is a necessary and welcome destiny of mankind. However, for Coubertin, war is the highest form of natural selection and thus is the basis of the "perfectioning" of mankind, while for Huizinga it is the highest form of play. In that sense, man's readiness to kill is the most important human feature, while the skill of killing is the superb playing skill. If we add that, according to Huizinga, "pleasure" is the highest challenge for play, it is obvious that Huizinga proclaimed the pathological character prophile of the aristocracy the character prophile of his homo ludens. Huizinga's hypocrisy is also seen in his speaking of a "chronical misery in war", (37) while at the same time he sees in war the highest form of the fight of noblemen for "honor". The true

picture of war are not "magnificent military parades", but hanged peasants, burned villages, raped girls, famine, plague, corpses of children rotting in mud... Huizinga's "beauty" relies upon human misery and poverty. It is a cynical mocking at the working people who are left at the mercy of the aristocracy as the incarnation of a "fateful" power. "Law has invented horrible punishments" claims Huizinga coldly, (38) forgetting to add that the punishments were inflicted by the aristocracy which he proclaimed the incarnation of "virtue". Huizinga does not hide that horrible scenes of execution arouse in him the highest aesthetic exaltation. Bestial massacring of the poor - public taking out of the intestines, the cutting of limbs, burning, crucifixion on a wheel, cutting up of bodies by horse drawn carts and the like - all this acquires in Huizinga the character of rituals which serve to offer human sacrifices to the highest of deities and thus express complete submission to the ruling order. The same applies to wars and knight tournaments: to kill the "opponent" in a fight, respecting the established rules, is the highest form of play, and thus a cultural act. Huizinga departs from the same principle when he speaks of the suicidal fanatism of samurai (harakiri). Glorifying "feudal heroism" in medieval Japan, Huizinga concludes that "The Japanese samurai held the view that what was serious for the common man was but a game for the valiant." (39) - overlooking the fact that the sword of a samurai symbolizes the ruling order to which man is hopelessly submitted. Play becomes the highest form of man's devaluation. Huizinga's homo ludens is the picture of a "noble knight" who represents an idealized incarnation of the aristocracy and aristocratic values. Speaking of the medieval "sport", Huizinga concludes: "The warlike sports of the Middle Ages differ from Greek and modern athletics by being far less simple and natural. Pride, honor, love and art give additional stimulus to the competition itself. Overloaded with pomp and decoration full of heroic fancy, they serve to express romantic needs too strong for mere literature to satisfy. The realities of court life or a military career offered too little opportunity for the fine make-belief of heroism and love, which filled the soul. So they had to be acted. The staging of the tournament, therefore, had to be that of romance; that is to say, the imaginary world of Arthur, where the fancy of a fairy-tale was enhanced by the sentimentality of courtly love." (40) For Huizinga, the duel is a ritual form of expressing man's complete submission to the established order. The same can be found in Coubertin: in a sports fair-play man's right to life is subordinated to the right of order to survival. Nothing human can restrain the will to power of the bourgeois who seeks to conquer the world and abolish the emancipatory heritage of mankind. Life itself becomes a stake which proves the loyalty to the established order, while fight to life or death becomes the most authentic form of natural selection. Both theorists place ambition and love of power to the forefront and reject love of man and freedom. However, what "honour" is proved by killing a man? What is the nature of the erotic impulse achieved through "bloody fierceness"? What is beautiful in a cruel fight to life and death, in cutting throats

and butchering, in taking out the intestines, in mutilated bodies drowned in mud? And all that only "to win the favor of court ladies"? Huizinga proclaimed the pathology of medieval society the source of the highest human ideals. As far as the woman is concerned, Huizinga reduced her to a part of the scene as a vaginal idiot who from time to time breathes "romantic sighs". In Huizinga's medieval picture she serves to enhance the "emotional impulse" and "erotic charm" of chivalrous fights, as well as the "colorfulness" of the tournaments. Certainly, it refers to noble ladies. Plebeian women, in their rags, belong to a place of misery, pain, despair in the mud under the gallows. Most importantly, in Huizinga's world of illusions man obediently endures his everyday misery. In his picture of the Middle Ages there are no angry eyes, or clenched fists symbolizing resistance to the "horrible world" (Huizinga) in which the tyranny of the aristocracy is established. Huizinga is not a historian, but an aesthetician. He depicts the Middle Ages in idyllic colors and is not interested in how much his picture corresponds to reality, but how convincingly it represents the illusory world he offers to man as a way of escaping from the existing world. He seeks to avoid a "naive historical realism" in order to create the picture of the Middle Ages which will enable the (petty)bourgeois a "cultural" nourishment as opposed to the hopelessly noncultural capitalist world. According to Huizinga, "At all times the vision of a sublime life has haunted the souls of men, and the gloomier the present is, the more strongly this aspiration will make itself felt. Three different paths, at all times, have seemed to lead to the ideal life. Firstly, that of forsaking the world."(...) "The second path conducts to amelioration of the world itself, by consciously improving political, social, and moral institutions and conditions." (41) "For there is a third path to a world more beautiful, trodden in all ages and civilizations, the easiest and also the most fallacious of all, that of the dream. A promise to escape from the gloomy actual is held out to all; we have only to color life with fancy, to enter upon the quest of oblivion, sought in the delusion of ideal harmony. After the religious and the social solution we have the poetical. A simple tune suffices for the enrapturing fugue to develop itself; an outlook on the heroism, the virtue, or the happiness of an ideal past is all that is wanted. (...) But was it only a question of literature, this third path to the sublime life, this flight from harsh reality into illusion? Surely it has been more. History pays too little attention to the influence of these dreams of a sublime life on civilization itself and on the forms of social life. The content of the ideal is a desire to return to the perfection of an imaginary past." (42) Huizinga is here again close to Christianity: the more miserable life is, the more intensive the need for an illusory world; the greatest the everyday gloominess, the more attractive the colorfulness of illusion... Huizinga himself clearly refers to that when he claims that "every age strives for a more beautiful world. The deeper the desperation and pain because of a confused present day, the stronger the craving". (43) People should be blinded by a dazzling light, but Huizinga, instead of sports performances, offers a false picture of the Middle Ages, in which man looks insignificant in comparison to a mystical fateful

power that emanates from that picture. Coubertin does not try to arouse in people a craving for a more beautiful world, but seeks to deify the existing world and turn it into the illusion of a "happy world". The Olympic Games are analogous to Huizinga's "dream", which appears as an idealized picture of the Middle Ages. The Olympic spectacle becomes an "artificially beautified picture of pseudo reality", which for the modern man has the same significance as, according to Fromm, "the shining glassy pearls" had for savages, who were prepared to give their country and their freedom for them. (44) Instead of a sports spectacle of the circus type, which is intended to marginalize the crucial and enforce the marginal as fateful, in Coubertin, the Olympic spectacle becomes the highest cultural ceremony at which man's being is mystically inseminated with the spirit of capitalism. The same goes with Huizinga: in his "dream" the dominant values of the existing world appear in an idealized form, but he, departing from Plato, identifies play with a cult - through which play acquires "holiness". In that context, Huizinga poses the question if the cult, as the "highest and holiest reality", can also be play? That it is possible is confirmed by children's games, as well as any other games which are "played with the utmost seriousness". It includes the play of a sportsman for he plays with "the utmost seriousness and courage that spring from enthusiasm". (45) Criticizing modern sport, Huizinga expresses hope that one day sport will restore the character of the medieval tournaments. Just like in Coubertin, "future" appears as the incarnation of the past. Speaking of Plato's view of play and holiness, Huizinga says: "The Platonic identification of play and holiness does not defile the latter by calling it play; rather it exalts the concept of play to the highest regions of the spirit. We said at the beginning that play was anterior to culture; in a certain sense it is also superior to it or at least detached from it. In play we may move below the level of the serious, as the child does; but we can also move above it - in the realm of the beautiful and the sacred." (46) By way of play Huizinga raises man's spirit from the existing world; by way of sport, Coubertin nails it to the existing world. Olympism does not lead man to divinity, but seeks to deify the present world: it is the "cult of the present world" which should give an aureole of the eternal to the ruling order and cause a religious relation of people to it. Hence for Coubertin the Olympic Games are the "Church", while a sports stadium is the temple of capitalism. Huizinga's play involves an indisputable observance of the roles to which man is predestined on the basis of the class he belongs to. Play becomes the confirmation of his unchangeable social status and a way of "free" playing of the given role. Huizinga laments the fate of the "gentleman from earlier times, who, obviously, with his formal outfit demonstrated his status and his dignity." (47) Above all, by his outfit a nobleman expressed his dominant social position, particularly the "superiority of his blueblood", and it acquired its true "aesthetic" dimension only in opposition to the misery of the working "masses". The way of dressing is not the expression of the aristocracy's free will and spiritual wealth, but a demonstration of the wealth and power of the ruling class and thus its obligatory

uniform. Huizinga is enthusiastic about the aristocracy's foppishness (the aesthetics of rich people's primitivism), seeing in it a dazzling power, which is of primary importance for the creation of his world of illusions intended to impress the oppressed. In addition, clothes are the most conspicuous form of "virtue" whose bearer, by the divine will, is the aristocracy. It is, thus, a holy robe by which the divine power should arouse admiration in ordinary mortals: the dazzling power of noble robes becomes a means for deifying the aristocratic order. Huizinga insists on the "art of life", and not on a free artistic creation. That is why he attaches such importance to "fashion": clothes are not the confirmation of human independence, but a class leveling shroud man is predestined to. It is quite logical that Huizinga gives priority to the "art of life" as opposed to art itself, for it, above all, involves "nicely stylized forms of life, which should raise the cruel reality to the sphere of noble harmony". "The high art of life" ("fashion") becomes the form in which a decorative aesthetics triumphs over art as a creative act. Speaking of the Middle Ages Huizinga says: "All these nicely stylized forms of life, which should raise the cruel reality to the sphere of noble harmony, were parts of a high art of life, and did not find a direct expression in art proper." (48) Huizinga goes as far as to proclaim the apparent forms of the established relations "pure art". By way of the "artistic" form Huizinga actually seeks to prevent at all cost the original human creativeness from crossing the normative firmament of his aesthetics and thus destroy the world of illusions and question the existing order. Man is not the creator of his own world, but is part of the sets on the scene of the present world. Like Coubertin, Huizinga does not advocate a society "ruled by law", but one ruled by privileges. Huizinga's view of the structure of society is akin to the view of the structure of medieval society of the court historiographer of Philippe le Bon and Charles le Temeraire, Georges Chastellain: "God, he says, created the common people to till the earth and to procure by trade the commodities necessary for life; he created the clergy for the works of religion; the nobles that they should cultivate virtue and maintain justice, so that the deeds and the morals of these fine personages might be a pattern to others." (49) In spite of critical overtones in his presentation of Chastellain's work, Huizinga has not gone much further from this court historiographer. For him, also, the nobility, "based on virtue", is predestined to be the bearer of a cultural mission and is thus the spiritual "elite" of mankind. Huizinga: "The nobility, which once only had to be brave and defend its honor, satisfying the ideal of virtue, now, if it still feels called, has to stick to its task, either by introducing higher ethical contents into the ideal of chivalry, which in practice always turns out bad, or by being satisfied, through luxury, glamour and court customs, with the outward splendor of the high class and unsullied honor, and it however now has kept only the character of play, which from the very beginning was its distinctive feature, but used to have a cultural function." (50) Huizinga reduced culture to the aristocratic "culture of life", and it means to the imitation of strict forms of court life, dressing, indulging in luxury... Aesthetic

education is reduced to the imitation of the given pattern of behavior which is performed rhythmically and harmoniously: play acquires a ritual dimension. Culture does not appear as the development of man's spiritual wealth and his universal creative powers, but as a constant rebuilding of sets on the scene of the world which is given by the divine (self)willedness. There is not a word on the development of art, philosophy, on the creation of new playing forms: culture becomes a manifestation of the aristocracy's elitist status. By identifying the "higher culture", which becomes the highest cultural level and thus a criterion for determining the (non)cultural, with the aristocratic medieval culture, Huizinga devalued the extraordinary richness of ethnic cultures (which have become the basis of modern art), as well as the ancient and Renaissance cultural heritage. In his determination of culture Huizinga does not rely on mankind's emancipatory heritage, but on the aristocratic culture based on a belligerant and oppressive practice of the aristocracy which reached its highest "cultural" level in "chivalrous traditions". Hence, according to Huizinga, the struggle between people for acquiring "honour", including the tournaments and war, is the highest form of play. While Huizinga strives for cultural elitism, Coubertin seeks to destroy culture and turn society into a "civilized" menagerie. Huizinga finds in "rationalism and utilitarism" the cause of the miserable spiritual state of the western world: "The overestimation of domineering factors in society and in the human spirit was in a way a natural product of rationalism and utilitarism, which destroyed mystery and absolved man of guilt and sin. However, at the same time, they forgot to free him of stupidity and shortsightedness, and thus he seemed to be predestined to and capable of destroying the world only according to its own banality." (51) Using the already tested method of bourgeois theorists, Huizinga proclaims the abstract "man" guilty of the catastrophic spiritual state created by capitalism, and reduces him to a "banal" being in order to destroy his self-respect. At the same time, Huizinga proclaims "technical development" an independent and cardinal power which becomes the subject of social development: "With remarkable technical developments from the steam engine to electricity, man more and more cherished the illusion that this development also meant cultural development." (52) The banality of the capitalist world, in which everything is submitted to quantification and profit, becomes for Huizinga "man's own banality". Huizinga's analysis of capitalist society shows that he had before himself such research methods which offered him a possibility of discovering the causes of spiritual misery. However, his theory was not intended to remove the causes of spiritual misery, but to protect the ruling order. Huizinga reduces man to a "banal" being in order to destroy his dignity as a libertarian and creative being and for ever pin him down to the existing world. What he finds unacceptable is man's becoming independent of superhuman powers and acquiring the capability to create the world in his own image. Both Huizinga and Coubertin deal with man's creative-libertarian nature and the idea of future.

Trying to deprive man of the capability to create a reasonable alternative to the world based on capitalist irrationalism, Huizinga claims: ''We, after all, are not as reasonable as the 18th century, in its naive optimism, was prone to believe." (53) Thus, being no more capable of finding the causes of his misery and creating new roads of development, man was left to the mercy of the fatal effects of the irrational processes of the capitalist reproduction. Unlike the bourgeois theory which, by way of the "objectivistic" scientific mind, seeks to give the character of "being rational" to the irrational nature of the capitalist order, Huizinga, using the results of the modern mind, seeks to instrumentalize irrationalism in order to fanaticize man and enable him a spiritual escape from the existing world. The aestheticized model of play becomes a rationally projected space of the "irrational". Huizinga's irrationalism is not anti-rational, but anti-emancipatory. Like Coubertin, Huizinga does not refer to reason, but tries, by way of certain impressions, to penetrate the subconscious and control the human being from "within". Hence such a plastic picture of the Middle Ages, his insisting on details and human destinies... Every part of the human being, which is not capable of finding a suitable expression in the existing world, should find itself in an illusionary world. Huizinga portrays the Middle Ages as a time in which pulsates all that is human: laughter and crying, birth and death, love and hatred, ornate luxury and gloomy misery... The richness of contrasts is opposed to the impersonality of the industrial age; a number of open emotional expressions are opposed to a "serious" world where there is no place for laughter and crying and in which everything is subordinated to labour and gain; the world of imagination is opposed to a world governed by a strict and spiritless ratio. The heading of his first chapter of "The Waning of the Middle Ages'': "The intensity of life" is quite indicative and it becomes a metaphor with which Huizinga mocks the capitalist world. However, Huizinga forgets that his ideals are founded on mankind's cultural heritage and present one of the streams of thought in its recent development. And this is the result of the thinking activity of the "banal" man whom Huizinga addresses with contempt. Here we find Russell's paradox of the liar: how can we believe the man Huizinga when he denies the right and ability of the ("banal") man to make his own decisions? Obviously, Huizinga is not bothered by that problem. He sees himself as a link connecting man to the divine and thus as a modern "Messiah". Huizinga's culturological criticism of capitalist society could be fruitful if it were intended to eradicate the source of non-culture. Then his thesis - that technical development does not at the same time mean cultural development, would gain its true value. Unfortunately, Huizinga proclaimed capitalist society a hopelessly non-cultural world in order to deal with the aspirations to create a new world which would be a cultural community of free people. To make things even worse, capitalism becomes the foundation for creating a world of illusions, which becomes man's highest cultural challenge. To prevent the struggle for a better world, Huizinga offers to the oppressed the illusion of a "beautiful" world in

which, by an aesthetic hocus-pocus, the world of misery is deified. In that context, culture has the role to create "beautiful sights for the spirit" and to bring man, by way of play, to the divine. Just as Huizinga tries to defend the existing world by means of play, which is reduced to a "dream" of an ideal world (the Middle Ages), so Coubertin tries to defend it by means of sport, which, in the form of the Olympic Games, becomes the reincarnation of the "immortal spirit of antiquity". Instead of a spiritual escape from the world, Coubertin argues for man's complete integration into the existing world by way of a mindless agonal physical activism. To live the present life becomes the highest and most efficient way of its defense. The true nature of Huizinga's theory can be seen only if we bear in mind the destructive nature of capitalism. For here we deal not only with the "horror" from the Middle Ages, from which we should escape by creating "beautiful sights for the spirit", but also with the horror of capitalism, which threatens to destroy mankind and from which there is no escape. Huizinga's play, from which he tries to make a colorful cover which will cover the world, becomes a death shroud.

Olympism and the "Oasis of Happiness" Unlike the bourgeois theorists who insist on the dualism of the world, where play appears as an "oasis of happiness" (Fink) as oppossed to the world of "worry" and "unhappiness", Coubertin insists on the world's unity, where sport is an idealized form of the basic principles of the present world which are beyond man's critical-changing practice. "The sports republic" is not an escape from the present world and a quest of "oblivion" (Caillois), but is the most important way of teaching man how to obediently accept the ruling relations and become integrated into the existing world. In it the authentic ruling spirit of the present world plays with man in a direct form. Emphasising the ancient world as an unequaled model to the modern world, Coubertin says that in it "the present world was - happiness". "Positive society" is a hopelessly happy society; "positive man" is a hopelessly happy man. As far as the working "masses" deprived of their rights are concerned, they should not strive for a "happy life", but should reconcile to the world of injustice and find "happiness" in masochisticly courting their masters. In the bourgeois theory play can be only such behaviour which reflects the structure of the existing world and does not question that same world. Caillois' view that "play is an end in itself" (54) has the same meaning as the famous maxim "sport has nothing to do with politics". Play is derived from history, it becomes a phenomenon sui generis and acquires purpose independently of society and human existence in it. Hence Caillois is not interested in how play appears nor in the formation of its rules, in what they express and what possibilities they offer to man: "There is no reason why they should be as they are and not otherwise", says Caillois. (55) By reducing play to the given which cannot be questioned by

any means, Caillois made from play a superhistorical notion to which all historical forms of play which are the expression of the concrete totality of the epoch in which they appear are subordinated. Thus he abolished them as concrete historical phenomena, but at the same time he abolished the possibility of establishing a difference between the appearance of play and true play. Caillois, like Huizinga, tries to obtain through play the legitimacy of the cultural and ensure eternity to everything he declares to be play: play is determined by the behaviour proclaimed a play. In addition, in Caillois' classification of plays all human behaviour denoted as "play" has some of the elements constituting the notion of play. Thus war becomes "play" in spite of the fact that, except for a conflict and rules, it contradicts all essential features of play. Caillois "purposless" play is not only a "pure" expression of the ruling relations and values, but is a means for creating an illusionary firmament which should prevent man from forming the idea of a just world and from fighting to realize it: it becomes a combat with utopia. In spite of proclaiming sport a phenomenon sui generis, for Coubertin sport is possible only within the context of his "utilitarian pedagogy", the purpose of which is to create a positive man and positive society. Hence Coubertin cannot accept the view according to which play is an autonomous phenomenon which has no other purpose apart from itself. For Caillois, play is not a way of developing interhuman relations and creating from society a community of emancipated and creative individuals, but is a means for strenghtening the institutional repression over man, which is intended to defend society (the ruling order) from the "evil" human nature. Caillois: "If the principles of play really correspond to strong instincts (competition, pursuet of happiness, disguise, dizziness), then we can easily understand that they can be satisfied only in ideal and limited conditions, those which are proposed by the rules of play. If they were left to themselves, unrestrained and destructive like all instincts, those elementary impulses would only have fatal effects. Plays discipline instincts and impose on them institutional existence. When they can offer them an explicite and limited satisfaction, they educate them, inseminate them and immunize their soul from their contagiousness. At the same time, they make them capable of contributing to a noble enrichment and stability of cultural styles." (56) And he continues: "Outside the arena, after the final gong, begins a true distortion of agon, which is most widespread of all. It appears in every resistence which is not restrained any more by the strict spirit of play. So, free competition is but one of the laws of nature. It finds in society its original brutality the moment it finds a free pass through the web of moral, social and legal obstacles, which, as in play, represent restrictions and conventions. It is precisely because of that that a furious, ruthless ambition, whatever its domain, which does not respect the rules of play, and it means fair-play, should be brought to view as the crucial deviation, which thus in certain cases leads to the starting situation. Nothing can better show the civilizatory role of play then the obstacles it usually puts before natural greed. It has been accepted that a good player is the one who can accept with indifference

and at least apparent calmness the bad outcome of even the most persistent endevours or a loss of incredibly big stakes. The judge's decision, even an unjust one, is in principle accepted. A distortion of agon begins at the moment when both the judge and the verdict are no longer recognized." (57) In order to justify the repressive institutions of capitalist society, Caillois reduced man to a beast on whom he planted "greedeness" and proclaimed "free competition", which is "one of the laws of nature", the basis of social structuring. The ruling laws of capitalism become the laws of nature, while a psychological prophile of the members of the parasitic classes becomes the "nature" of the animal. Caillois "overlooks" the fact the the animal world exists uncomparably longer that man in spite of the animal "greedeness" and in spite of the law of "free competition" - even without repressive institutions. In addition, animals also "play", but they are not restrained by the given norms, but by their instinctive nature, which prevents them from hurting one another, to which Huizinga also refers. At the same time, animals do not have "destructive impulses", but seek to satisfy their primary needs in a way which does not question the unique life cycle. However, if man is by his nature an "aggressive being", why does he seek "pleasure" in play dominated by a repressive normative firmament which deals with man's original (aggressive) nature? If we consistantly follow Caillois' anthropological conception and his view that play is a way of keeping man's animal nature under institutional control, opting for play cannot have a "voluntary", particularly not "spontaneous", but a repressive character. However, even according to Caillois' theory man is not dissatisfied because he cannot realize his destructive instincts and greedeness, but because of the imposed obligations, from which follows a constant uncertainty, fear, a need to "forget" his everyday life and "escape" from it. A pursuit of play becomes man's psychological reaction to everyday life dominated by "anxiety". Hence Caillois does not offer man play as a space where he can give vent to his "aggressive" nature, but creates an illusion about play as a space where man can realize his suppressed humanity and thus experience "happiness". Speaking of play, Caillois concludes: "It exists only there where players want to play and where they play it, even if it is a highly tiring and exhausting play, with the aim to amuse themselves and escape from their worries, that is to say to get away from everyday life." (58) Play is not a means for removing the cause of dissatisfaction, but is a spiritual drug which is supposed to stop the pain created in man by everyday life - the pain which deprives him of the possibility of realizing his human being. It is a false escape since in the "world of play" the ruling relations and the principles of the established world of "unhappiness" appear in an idealized form. An "unfree" man is offered "freedom" in the form of a new cage which is proclaimed the place of "happiness". In Fink's words, play "is similar to an 'oasis' of happiness in the desert of our pursuit of happiness and our tantalizing quest. Play takes us away. By playing, we are for a while released from our hectic life - transferred to another star where life looks easier, livelier, happier." (59) It is a deception: illusion of a

happy world serves as a lure and a means for destroying a critical-changing conscious and faith in a better world. Ommo Grupe goes even further: sport does not appear only as a "space of happiness" (Stück Glück), but "in altered social conditions" it becomes a "relatively independent phenomenon" the purpose of which "is in itself" and which does not need any "foundation or justification from outside". This tendency in the development of sport, as well as the "playing motive" (Spielmotiv), correspond less to a healthy foundation of sport, and more to a pursuet of "amusement, joy, pleasure, enjoying the present moment, companioship...", in what appears as "a counterbalance to everyday life". Grupe gives a "special role" to sport in the future: it should enable a "development of spontaneity" and mediate in the knowledge of "what is not necessary" (Nicht-Notwendigen) as a "field opposed to work and profession". Sport should become an "offer of a free space", an indication of "certain human possibilities", an apparent form of what can be denoted, "of course not precisely", as a "space of happiness", where happiness cannot be conceived only individually but, ultimately, "only as socially conditioned". (60) The development of sport convincingly refuted Grupe's theory: sport is completely integrated into the capitalist mechanism of production. Anyway, even Grupe himself, questions sport and claims that he is not convinced that "traditional sports disciplines", pervaded with "technicized forms of movement",can offer the realization of the human needs for a free movement. (61) Coubertin holds the view that man is not "greedy" by nature, as claims Caillois, but that he is a "lazy animal" and thus the main role of sport, as the incarnation of the principles on which capitalism in its "pure" form is based, is to make man "overcome" his animal nature and become a super-beast. Greediness pressupposes the possession of material goods, which are not intended to satisfy the impulses, but to provide the dominant position on the social ladder of power which is based on the possession of material wealth. In sport, interhuman relations are based on greediness, envy, hatred, fear, and this is conditioned by the nature of sport as a "civilized" form (fair-play) of natural selection. According to Coubertin, sport does not result from war, but is one of the ("peaceful") forms of the struggle for survival resulting from the nature of capitalism as an order ruled by the principle bellum omnium contra omnes. Essentially, sport is a "playing of" the capitalist way of life and thus is a voluntary "playing" with the forces which determine the human destiny. It is a preparation for life and as such "liberation" of the fear of a life reduced to a ruthless struggle for survival. To live means to be an anonimous soldier in a war which for man is lost in advance. Coubertin shares Caillois' view that killing is a legal and legitimate element of sport (play). That is why boxing is an indispensable means for educating the bourgeois youth. It is interesting that the bourgeois theorists - according to whom the gladiator's fights, tournaments, duels, suicidal rituals of samurai and war are play - do not regard the class struggle, the struggle for women's emancipation, the struggle against the colonial yoke, let alone a revolution, as play. Also, in spite of emphasizing fight, it

does not occur to them to include in the notion of play the struggle between old and new, which involves the expansion of the horizons of freedom and without which there is no true play. A consideration of sport in relation to work is completely alien to Coubertin. For him, sport is not a kind of distraction, nor is it a preparation for work, as is the case in Marcuse and Adorno ("Preparation for work" is, according to Adorno, "one of the hidden tasks of sport".), (62) but is a means for developing a belligerent and progressistic spirit of capitalism. Hence the principle of "greater effort", which if formulated in the maxim citius, altius, fortius, is the cardinal principle of sport. Consequently, for Coubertin, sport is not the "duplication of the world of labour", as is the case in Habermas and Plessner, (63) but is the "duplication" of the capitalist world based on the principle bellum omnium contra omnes. That is why in sport things occur which do not occur in labour: infliction of serious physical injuries and premeditated killing; man's becoming not only the labour force, but a labour tool and an object of labour etc. Sport reproduces not only the capitalist way of production, but also the capitalist way of life, which is not based on industrial labour, but on the capitalist way of industrial production: a record is the market value of a sports result. At the same time, sport is a form of man's deerotization. It is not oriented to the achievement of a higher result (record), but to the repression and degeneration of man's playing nature. The developments in sport only confirm Kofler's identification of the tendency of "the ever stricter quantification" with the "deerotization of human individuality". (64) Sport is a capitalistically degenerated play and thus is an authentic expression of the capitalistically degenerated world.

Olympism and Phenomenology of Play If we bear in mind Coubertin's insisting on the will, which refers to subjectivity, it could be concluded that his Olympic doctrine does not have much in common with Gadamer's phenomenological conception. However, if we remember that, for Coubertin, man is not the subject of history but a means with which fatal "progress" removes the obstacles on its road, then we can conclude that Coubertin's conception is close to Gadamer's aspiration to consider play as the "guiding line of ontological explication" starting from the methodological postulate: "Not to examine what we do, nor what we are to do, but what happens to us beyond our will and action". In that context, Gadamer tries to "separate the notion of play from a subjective meaning, which it has in Kant and Schiller and which dominates the whole recent aesthetics and anthropology", (66) for play "does not enter the conscious of the one who plays and is thus more than a kind of subjective behaviour". (67) "Therefore, our question on the essence of play cannot be answered if we expect to get it from the subjective reflexion of the player.

Instead of that, we ask about the mode of being of play as such. (...) For play has its own essence, independent of the conscious of those who play." (68) From that Gadamer draws the following conclusion: "The subject of play are not the players, it is through players that play occurs.'' (69) Gadamer deprives man of his playing (human) subjectivity only to proclaim play the subject of play. It is not man who plays, but play plays by way of man as its plaything. Since everything is at the level of the given and the phenomenal play is possible without players, and man's appearing in play does not give it any specific character, since man is something through which play is carried out (play-plays-play) and thus is ranked along with waves, ballots and mosquitoes. In Huizinga, play is an escape from reality to illusion, while in Gadamer play is the fullest and most authentic form of the occurrence of life. Unlike Huizinga, in whom play is a spider's web spun from the dominant values of the aristocratic order, in Gadamer, play is the reflexion of the being (Dasein), which acts in people directly since "play has its own essence, independent of the conscious of those who play". (70) In Huizinga the essence of play are the given rules which have the divine legitimacy, while in Gadamer the essence of play are the ruling relations which acquire their playing expression in the form of "to and fro motion", while the rules of play are the reflexion of the being and are thus a datum which cannot be questioned. "Spontaneity" reflects the relation of the being to man, and not the relation of man to play: "spontaneity" in play appears as a mindless behaviour which blindly follows the spirit of play expressed in the form of the given rules. Man does not play spontaneously, but play spontaneously springs from life, which means that life spontaneously plays with man. Play is not based on the imitation of "significant gestures", which presupposes the existence of the aesthetical pattern embodied in the aristocracy and the capability of imitation - as is the case in Nietzsche - but on a "spontaneous" behaviour which is a direct phenomenal expression of the being. Huizinga's aesthetics is a culturological critique of the existing world; Gadamer's aesthetics has neither a critical nor a culturological, but a phenomenological character: play is not a mode of man's specific existence, but the existence of the being - which is independent of man. By playing, man does not affirm his humanity, but his hopeless submission to the existing world from which the rules of play - which according to Huizinga must not, while according to Gadamer cannot be questioned - originate. For Gadamer, play is not a phenomenon sui generis, but is "life in its highest seriousness" ( ar evi ), which means that play is a form in which life lives itself, that is to say, the playing form of the occurrence of life. Man is not only submitted to the normative mould of play, as is the case with Huizinga's homo ludens, but to the phenomenon of play springing from the very structure of the world which is beyond man's critical-changing practice. Man is stuck between the being and play which is its normative reflexion and is thus an indestructible spiritual firmament: the conscious of play becomes a form of selfreflexion of the being. Gadamer seeks to preserve the "ontological dignity of play" at the expense of its socio-historical

dignity, which means to abolish play as a concrete historical phenomenon and to reduce it to an abstract superhistorical phenomenon. Instead of the notion of true play, which opens the possibility of demystifying the existing plays, Gadamer introduces the notion of a "complete play" which "is not connected with seriousness which comes from play, but only with seriousness in playing. The one who does not take play seriously, spoils it. The mode of being of play does not allow the player to treat play as a kind of object." (71) Gadamer reduces play to a datum which is independent of man and he rejects subjectivity, while at the same time proclaims "seriousness in playing", which means man's subjective relation to play, the criterion for differentiating a "complete" from an incomplete play. Consistently following his conception, man cannot treat play carelessly since it is not he who plays, but play plays with him. Also, since play is a form in which life itself occurs, man cannot question the existing plays, let alone step out of them: they appear as a fatal phenomenological firmament of the existing world to which man is hopelessly submitted. For Coubertin, sport has the same meaning as play has for Gadamer: it is a mode of man's being a slave of the existing world. In sport, life, which is based on Social Darwinist and progressistic principle, plays with man. Sport does not belong to the sphere of aesthetics, but to the sphere of "pure" existence: it symbolizes a qualitative leap in the evolution of the living world which came with capitalism and its principle of "progress". Accordingly, sport has its own essence which is independent of man and his subjective experience of sport, but springs from the essence of the ruling order. Hence man is not included in sport by way of normative conscious, but by living a life reduced to a struggle for survival and domination. Sport does not offer an illusory "escape to freedom"; it is a foreplay of a cruel life play. However, in Coubertin, just like in Gadamer, what is essential for the survival of sport (play) is man's subjective relation to it, which means his obedient acceptance of the ruling order and fanatical submission to the principles of natural selection and "greater effort". Hence Coubertin attaches such importance to the principle of "control in heads" with which he seeks to abolish the normative firmament that prevents the realization of the "will to power" of the rich "elite" and thus the capitalist expansion based on the principle "right is might" and natural selection. He is not "burdened" with the questions on freedom, equality, justice... Coubertin's "utilitarian pedagogy" deals with man's subjective libertarian-creative practice, while "progress" is separated from man and its results become a means of the "trustees of the Olympic idea" for creating a positive man and positive society. Gadamer discards Marx's methodological principle according to which "the anatomy of man is a key to understanding the anatomy of the monkey", but also Coubertin's evolutionism, and departs from the lowest forms in man's evolution (''savage'') in order to explain play as a phenomenon. (72) All between nature and man that offers a possibility of making play a cultural phenomenon through which man's specific libertarian-creative nature is affirmed, is abolished. Instead in the

play of an emancipated man, Gadamer looks for conclusive evidence in the play of Huizinga's "savage" in order to support his assertions and makes the same mistake as Huizinga. In a "savage", play has a ritual character and a strict form which by no means must be disturbed lest the fury of the spirits be aroused. Every play has a specific meaning and specific rules and equipment, as well as appropriate masks and body drawings which are a preparation for play, and it also includes casting roles among the members of a tribe, particularly between the sexes and different age groups. Therefore, the symbolic forms of bodily expression have special importance, and even Nietzsche attached primary importance to such forms of expression in his attempt to abolish a normative mediation in the education of the aristocratic youth and turn the aristocracy into an exclusive organic community. At the same time, play involves a playing skill by way of which man's playing being is manifested and play is performed. As far as the play of animals is concerned, Gadamer, like Huizinga, establishes a relation between children and animals according to formalized behaviours and disregards the crucial thing: by playing, a child becomes a man (individual); a young animal, on the other hand, becomes an animal (a member of its species). It is interesting that, unlike Huizinga who places the plays of animals and man at the same level, ascribing priority and originality to the play of animals, Gadamer places at the same level natural phenomena and the behaviour of animals and man. Instead of the highest form of play being the starting point for attaining the notion of play, it is attained from the analises of the "play" of natural phenomena and machines. From there follows that play is not only "older" then culture, as it is in Huizinga, but that it is older then the living world. Following the evolutionary and progressistic conception, Coubertin does not depart from inorganic or most primitive forms of life, but from the highest level in evolution embodied in capitalist "progress" and its "new man" as opposed to Gadamer's "savage". Hence Gadamer's phenomenology of play, based on an anti-evolutionary "to and fro motion", is for Coubertin basically unacceptable. In Coubertin, man, with his "lazy animal nature", has a need to fight for domination and survival, but nor for "progress". In that sense, sport, as the embodiment of the spirit of "progress", has an essentially different nature from animal plays, as well as from those human plays which do not have a "progres- sive" character. By way of sport, as the "cult of intensive physical exercises" which is "not in human nature", a new quality in the evolution of the living beings is achieved, which corresponds to the expansive and "progressive" nature of monopolistic capitalism. The absolutized principle of performance, on which "progress" is based, is a new "quality" in the development of the animal world and civilization. Sport corresponds to the ontological structure of the capitalist world, which is based on the instrumentalization of natural forces: man is not the subject of play nor is the plaything of the being, but is the tool of "progress". Gadamer locates play in the structure of the being by way of the "to and fro motion". Gadamer: "The motion which is play does not have an aim where it ends, but is renewed in constant repetition. This to and fro motion is, obviously, so

central to determening the essence of play that it is irrelevant who or what performs it. The motion of play is at the same time without a substrate. It is a play which is played or proceeds - there is no a solid subject who plays. Play is the process of motion as such." (73) Gadamer gives to "the to and fro motion" a metaphysical character and proclaims it the first cause on which the ontological structure of the being is based. It is a projection of a fateful power which, like a "pendulum of horror", constantly hinders every attempt at questioning the existing world even in thoughts and taking a new path. Unlike labour and other purposeful activities which have the beginning and end, "the to and fro motion" is purposeless and timeless. Play manifests the unchangeable structure of the world in a "pure" form by which man completely fuses into the (given) being. The purpose of a "purposeless" play is to completely integrate man into the existing world. At the level of a non-historical (abstract) "the to and fro motion" disappears quality, which means the human. This suits Coubertin: sport is not a form of the world's duplication and a way of escape from it; a mode of creating an illusory world, as is the case in Schiller and Huizinga, but is a field in which the ruling relations appear in a "pure" form and thus is the cult of capitalism. Gadamer's play rejects both the dialectic of nature and the dialectic of history. "The to and fro motion" does not proceed through opposites; it has a mechanical character and deals with the historical motion. It reflects the logic of the capitalist motion, and not of motion as such: it is a way in which life throws man from one corner to another according to the principle to gain - to lose. Gadamer's "to and fro motion" comes down to an eternal repetition of the same, which means that it is an apparent movement which does not offer a possibility of stepping out of the existing world - whose play is but a reflexion. Ultimately, all forms of "the to and fro motion" are the forms of the being's motion within itself. Instead of a timeless "to and fro motion", the dominant motion in sport is the motion "forward", which is conditioned by the "progressive" spirit of capitalism involving quantitative shifts without qualitative changes. It is a progression without progress, which means that in sport we deal with an illusory (non-historical) motion. Speaking of the relation between play and conscious Gadamer concludes: "Here, basically, the primacy of play is recognized relative to the conscious of the one who plays, and indeed on the experiences of playing which should be described by a psychologist and anthropologist, a new and illuminated light is shed, if we depart from the mediatory sense of play. Play, obviously, represents an order in which the motion of play to and fro starts by itself. Play also means that motion is not only without purpose and intention but also without effort. It proceeds by itself. The easiness of play, which of course, should not mean a real lack of effort, but should only phenomenologically think a lack of exertion, is subjectively experienced as a relief.''(74) Gadamer sees in play a behaviour which is nothing but a "pure" form in which a life alienated from man occurs. In this context Gadamer departs from the artistic play which can be "objectivized" by being deprived of the subject: play does not involve the aesthetic sense and

discovering the aesthetic in phenomena. Gadamer does not treat play as an aesthetic phenomenon, but as an abstract form without a "substrate", in which the quality of human play as a concrete historical phenomenon is lost, which becomes the foundation of an ontological determination of play. Speaking of the play of animals, Gadamer refers to Huizinga, but overlooks the fact that Huizinga has in mind their playing together, which means that a playing community is the basic presupposition of play. This is what gives sense to the rules of play: they should regulate the relations between the participants in play. Since according to Gadamer play is possible without people, a playing community is not indispensable for play. That Gadamer is well aware of the limitations of his conception is seen from the fact that he gives the examples of the "play" of waves, machines and mosquitoes, but does not mention the play of the human spirit, the play of imagination, love play, namely, a specific human play which exceeds the framework of an impersonal "to and fro motion". What is the link between man and play without the subjective, or, how can play play with man? In Nietzsche, the cosmic powers affect man through his Dionysian nature which is developed by art. Coubertin "solved" that problem by means of "circumstances": from his early childhood man should be in such life circumstances in which he has to fight for domination and survival. "A voluntary" option for sport becomes a "voluntary" option for life. For Coubertin, sport is not possible as a subjective behaviour since man is not a subject but a "lazy animal" and thus is the material from which, by way of sport as the incarnation of the "progressive" spirit of capitalism, a tool for realizing the strategic interests of the ruling order should be made. Technically, Coubertin is here close to the Christian doctrine: the Olympic Games should inseminate man with the spirit of capitalism and create a positive man. Sport becomes a way of creating the character and conscious of a "civilized" beast and a field in which the basic principles of capitalist society appear in a "pure" form. What, according to Gadamer, are the "charms" of play? Gadamer: "Indeed, play itself presents a risk for the player. You can play only with serious possibilities. (...) The charms of play lie in this very risk. Thus we can enjoy a freedom of choice which is nevertheless limited and at the same time irrevocably restricted." (75) In his discussions on play Gadamer actually elaborates a logic of life. "The to and fro motion" becomes the pulsation of the life pulse of capitalism, while play becomes its manifest form. What makes play attractive and dramatic is that it is a play with "destiny", which means with the ruling spirit of life to which man is subordinated. The risk on which Gadamer insists is the expression of the logic to gain - to lose, which is the reflection of the logic to be - not to be. Gadamer gives a psychological prophile of the (petty)bourgeois who is "fascinated" by play, which corresponds to the world ruled by irrational laws of the market, where the creation of values is separated from their acquisition: play becomes the paradigm of a life which plays with man. It is precisely because of this that man is attracted by play: by playing man seeks to cope with life following the rules dictated by life itself - which is always the

winner. What attracts man is a need to "enjoy a freedom of choice" - "which is nevertheless limited and at the same time irrevocably restricted". Here it is clear that, according to Gadamer, play is a peculiar play of life which has a compensational character: in play man plays with life by tempting it. Certainly, everything occurs within the strict limitations of play which do not allow any questioning of the rules that are only a normative expression of the ruling relations. Man is "free" to join play and leave it at will - and this is impossible when it comes to everyday life. A "free" fusion into life is the highest form of sumbission to the ruling relations. Coubertin's play has a ritual character and it belongs to "the to and fro motion" only by its form. "The uncertainty" of play does not indicate man's freedom, but the bars of a cage in which he is hopelessly closed. It is a lure which repeatedly creates the illusion of the possibilities of overcoming the fateful powers that control man and that are always winning - as long as man plays by their rules. Just as ancient Olimpia was a holy playground where gods played with people, so is a sports stadium the holy playground where the ruling spirit of the present world plays with people. Gadamer's conception is particularly problematic when it comes to the terms which are but an ideological mask for the phenomena whose nature is essentially different from the one denoted by those terms. The theory of sport and Olympism abounds in such terms: boxing is called a "noble skill"; the Olympic competitions are regularly accompanied by the terms such as: "peaceful cooperation", "internationalism", "love between the young people of the world" etc. Gadamer's phenomenological conception reduces the ancient Olympic Games to the modern "Olympic Games" in spite of the fact that they are an essentially different (historical) phenomenon. Also, if language reflects the unambiguous ontological structure of the being, then there cannot exist contrary language expressions concerning play, which only suggest different (subjective) forms of the conception of play and a different relation to play. If it is not possible to establish how adequately certain expressions denote a phenomenon, then the question of truthfulness of the being which is "spontaneously" reflected in language expressions, cannot be asked. At the same time, the capitalist ideology gives a distorted picture of capitalism: the selfreflexion of the being occurs in a "curved mirror" in which the monstrous face of a witch acquires the form of a virgin.

Olympism and Art Coubertin's conception of art is akin to the ancient conception from the "classical period" in which art affirmed its place in the "sacral world of cult, which is its source. In its nature, it is agalma, a decoration". (76) While in antiquity the cult expressed submission to gods who symbolized the eternity of the cosmic

world as opposed to the temporary human world, in Coubertin, Olympism is the "cult of the existing world". This view determines the nature of the Olympic aesthetics: art is not a form in which man confronts this world wishing to escape from it or to overcome it, but is a means for its deification. The chief task of the Olympic cult is to remove everything that mediates between man and world and can enable the establishment of a critical detachment to it: it is beyond good and evil. Coubertin has the same (utilitarian) attitude to art as to pedagogy and philosophy: art does not represent the conti- nuity of a cultural tradition and does not have a creative character, but is reduced to a means for building spectacular Olympic sceneries designed to fascinate people and enable the ruling values to "fill" the souls of spectators and integrate them into the ruling order. Artists are reduced to decoraters and illusionists. Modern Olympism is not a "restoring" of the ancient cultural heritage, nor is it an embodiment of national cultures, but is a universal political instrument of capitalism for destroying the emancipatory heritage of Hellenic civilization as well as the heritage of national cultures. In antiquity, aesthetics was the basis of man's spiritual relation to the world, while in Coubertin it is only a means for giving a cultural legitimacy to the primitive belligerent spirit that governs the world. The Hellenic aesthetical norms sprang from their conception of the cosmos: the way of ensuring existence and aesthetical challenges form an organic unity. In Coubertin's philosophy everything is in the hands of the "elite" which is not thwarted by its fear of gods nor is it guided by its will, but is restrained by "progress" and guided by greediness. Instead in the Hellenic cultural heritage, Coubertin finds his "aesthetical" inspiration in the world industrial exhibitions, the pomps of the monarchy and military parades. The Olympic aesthetics results from the "progressive" nature of capitalism and the endeavours of European colonial states to conquer the world. Coubertin discards the ancient tradition in which aesthetics (proportion and harmony) was a spiritual expression of man's cosmic essence, and which was expressed in the principles gnothi seauton and metron ariston. In Coubertin, there are no values which transcend the existing world. It is one of the most important flaws in modern Olympism as opposed to the ancient Olympic Games, which had before them an unattainable divine model. In Pindar, "a beautiful work of art" is the main purpose of life which brings you "honour" and a place in eternity. (77) Pindar's poetry has a cult character and is a peculiar prayer written in the honour of the olympians. Pindar praises the immortal, and it is neither man nor his world, but the divine order as the embodiment of the aristocratic values. In the life-and-death struggle at the Olympic playgrounds man showed his complete submission to the cosmic order and maintaned the interest of the Olympic oligarhy in the survival of the world. "The gods are friends of the Games" - says Pindar. Coubertin's "Ode to Sport" is the prototype of the modern ''Olympic art". (78) It poetically expresses an idolatrous relation to Olympism as the "cult of the present world" and serves as a prayer addressed to the modern gods who rule the world. The artistic inspiration, which is reduced to a deification of the

existing world, is no longer the "divine inspiration" but the Olympic inspiration. For Coubertin, just like for Pindar, the Olympic playgrounds are illuminated with the purest of lights, but this light emanates not from the Olympic gods but from the original spirit of capitalism. Coubertin sees in it a reflection of the "immortal spirit of antiquity" - as opposed to the "gloominess" of everyday life - and this spirit, by way of the "holy rhythm" of the Games, is to insure eternal life to the existing world. Coubertin finds in antiquity the cheerful and careless youth of the present world, and not an obsolate past of mankind: the idealization of the past serves to idealize the present time. In antiquity the relation of the body to the cosmos is mediated by the religious sphere; in modern Olympism the relation of the body to the world is mediated by Social Darwinism and the capitalist way of industrial production (quantity, technique, instrumentalism...). It is a mimetic and normative starting point of Coubertin's aesthetics in spite of his "negative" relation to the modern age which "moans in its futile efforts". While in antiquity and in the Middle Ages a bodily movement springs from the aesthetical and ethical code which expresses the statical character of the order, in Coubertin, movement is the incarnation of the expansionist spirit of capitalism. Coubertin does not mould sportsmen according to the ancient geometrically constructed cosmos and its monumentalism which symbolizes its constancy and man's hopeless integration into it, but departs from the expansionist power of capitalism which destroys all obstacles on its way in order to establish a global domination. Unlike the ancient monuments which express a static unchangeability of the "classical" Hellenic world, sportsmen express a dynamic (progressistic) unchangeability of the capitalist world. At the same time, the bodily movement in sport is beyond good and evil since it springs directly from life which itself is beyond moral reasoning. Similarly to antiquity, Coubertin sees in physical exercises a means for creating the conscious of "racial superiority" and thus a means for a spiritual integration of the ruling "elite". Coubertin "moulds" the body according to a racist model. However, in antiquity the strivings for physical "perfection" are not only the strivings for attaining an ideal racial model, but are a form of spiritual (religious) strivings for the cosmic (divine) perfection. The ancient paideia does not insist on the creation of a muscular body, but on a harmoneous development of the whole organism and on physical health. At the same time, since a Hellene sought to build a beautiful body pulsating with an open erotic impulse, to achieve suppleness and flexibility of the limbs was one of the most important aims od the Hellenic "chiselling" of the body. Harmony is the basis of rhythm and eurhythmics not only in antiquity, but also in the Middle Ages, in the philanthropic movement, in Per-Hendrik Ling and in Philippe Tissié, which involves the domination of aesthetical criteria and not ''the will to power'', let alone the will to a greater performance and record. "To be better" is required by one's race, gender and class status and is proved by a behaviour which does not disturb the harmony of the established world. That is why graceful movements and measure (ordre et mesure) indicate a "good taste"

and the "gentleman's manners". This can also be found in the philantropic movement of physical culture which insists on the maxim "Frisch, Fromm, Frei!". The body and movement are controlled by a normative model to which man is to conform. Coubertin's aesthetical model is not based on the principles of kalokagathia and metron ariston, but on the principles bellum omnium contra omnes and citius, altius, fortius, which are expressed in Coubertin's maxim mens fervida in corpore lacertoso. The distinctive features of the body of Coubertin's "new man" are not harmonious and elegant movements, as is the case in the ideaalized model of the Hellen on ancient vases, but an explosive muscular strength and steel firmness which correspond to the expansionist spirit of the imperialist capitalism. At the same time, Coubertin, similarly to ancient sculptors, who deprived their sculptures of eyesight lest their spiritual expression disturb a harmonious unity between body and cosmos (Gombrich), deprives his sportsman of spirituality in order to bring him into harmony with a spiritless world. The eyesight does not express humanity, but is a harmonious part of a bodily expression which emanates (similarly to Thorak's "Faustkämpfer") a merciless oppressive power of order and a resolve to conquer the world at all costs. The sportsman is the moving statue of capitalism. In antiquity, man was united with nature and thus with his natural being, while at the modern Olympic Games everything has an instrumental dimension and serves to achieve the most important aim: to deal with the emancipatory heritage of mankind and completely control man. In Hellenic cosmogony space appears as a given and static geometrically constructed firmament which acquires its vitality and quality expression in the images of the antropomorphic Olympic gods. In Christianity, God is the quality by which the quantitative dimension of the cosmos is overcome. In Coubertin, the relation to space is mediated by a conquering, looting and progressistic logic. There are no symbols expressing quality, which would offer a possibility of the human "appropriation" of space, on which insists Sartre who, in his major work "L' Etre et le Néant", mistakenly ascribes to sport the characteristics of (emancipatory) physical culture, and who does not understand that man's original strivings to attain being by way of a free physical activism turns through sport into a road to nothingness. (79) The sports movement does not find mimetic impulses in nature, but in industrial processes and the progressistic spirit of capitalism. In "disciplining the body" the dominant mechanics is that of the physical, while the body bomes a cage of technical rationality, a peculiar machine. The sports model of the bodily movement embodies a dehumanized and denaturalized principle of performance and is not only outside culture but is also outside life. Sport symbolizes the victory of capitalistically mutated Thanatos over Eros. Coubertin's positive man is walking dead man. Speaking of the old Greek art, Jäger says that "the word and tone and, if they act with the word or tone or with both of them, rhythm and harmony are for the Greeks simply the forces that form the soul, since what is crucial in paideia is

the active element, which in the formation of the soul becomes even more important than in the agon of physical abilities." (80) In Plato, musical education comes before physical education for "a physically fit body cannot in virtue of its excellence make the soul good and excellent while, on the other hand, an excellent spirit can help the body to become perfect." (81) In Coubertin, music is an element of the Olympic séance intended to inseminate man with the ruling spirit: "art" becomes a means for destroying the artistic. Coubertin does not hesitate to turn the artistic masterpieces into a decor for Nazi barbarism. At the close of the Nazi Olympic Games Coubertin uses Schiller's "Ode to Joy" to glorify Nazi Germany and Hitler. (82) To what extent was Coubertin prepared to go in the manipulation of the artistic masterpieces is seen from the "cultural programme" at the opening ceremony of the Nazi Olympic Games, which, at Coubertin's request, contained even Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony" together with the most popular Nazi march of the time, "Horst Wesell Lied", whose main refrain is as follows: "Wenn dass Judenblut vom Messer spritzt, dann geht's nochmal so gut". ("When Jewish blood splashes under the knife, then everything goes much better"). (83) The true nature of the Nazi monstrosity is not reflected only in killings, but in the way the killings were committed. The killers set out to cut the throats of their innocent victims accompanied by the sounds of the greatest musical compositions inspired by love of man and dedicated to the highest human values. At the gates of the death camps stood the following inscription: "Arbeit macht frei!" ("Labour sets free!") Coubertin applies the same method when he glorifies France's colonial "exploits" and Nazi barbarism. He seeks to draw into a death whirl all that appears as a symbol of humanity as opposed to a clear picture of evil. In Coubertin's Olympic doctrine, all human achievements by which man acquires his libertarian dignity become a means for destroying the human. As far as the relation between Coubertin's doctrine and modern esthetics is concerned, of the "three great modern aesthetics: 1) subjectivization of the world, 2) a demand for the autonomy of art and 3) a demand for removing the borders between art and life", to which Mirko Zurovac refers, (84) Coubertin, like Nietzsche, adopts the first and the third. "Subjectivization of the world" is reduced in Coubertin to a direct experience of the world and the abolishment of a criticalchanging relation to it. Coubertin reached a potentially fruitful idea of the "art of living" which opens a possibility of overcoming the world in which man's creative powers are alienated from him. Speaking of ancient Greece, Coubertin says: "The life of the gymnasium was an admirable compromise between the two sets of forces which struggle within man, and which it is so difficult to reconcile once their balance has been upset. Muscles and ideas coexisted there in brotherhood, and it seems that this harmony was so perfect as even to unite youth and old age. Your ancestors, as a general rule, knew neither the extravagances of the adolescent nor the peevishness of old men: the art of living was at its apogee, and the art of dying followed from it quite naturally; people knew how to live without regrets for the sake of changeless city and an undisputed religion - something which - alas! -

we know no longer."(85) Coubertin does not abolish art as a sphere in which man's alienated creative power is institutionalized, as it is in Marx, but suppresses man's creative nature and deals with it. "The art of living" does not symbolize life as a creative act expressing man's whole being and creating complex interhuman relations, but a complete integration of (crippled) man into a life which is a ''fact' and in which there is no hope of a better world. Coubertin seeks to abolish (not to overcome) the dualism between life and art by turning the existing artistic works into a decor which is to give an "artistic" legitimacy to "muscular primitivism" (Tissié) symbolizing the expansive spirit of capitalism. The imaginative Coubertin goes so far as to demand that boxing be accompanied with the sounds of Beethoven's compositions. (86) The spectacular form of the Olympic performance best indicates the nature of Coubertin's aesthetics. It is dominated by monumentalism and grandomania which have the same role as in antiquity and Christianity: to dazzle the oppressed and arouse their admiration for the ruling order and a feeling of human worthlessness. Coubertin's aesthetics is much closer to the original period in the development of Hellenic civilization, the so called "cosmological" (Windelband) period, when man was completely submitted to the established order, but Coubertin, following the spirit of the Modern Age, seeks to replace the static monumentalism of the archaic period with a dynamic monumentalism. We have seen that Coubertin finds his inspiration for the Olympic spectacle in militaristic ceremonies, monarchist pomps and industrial exhibitions, whose common characteristic is that of being a spectacular demonstration of the dominant power. Judging by Coubertin's writings, the Nazi Olympic Games served as the best model for the Olympic spectacle. In the Nazi Olympic spectacle Coubertin found "beauty", "courage" and "hope"... (87) As far as Coubertin's insisting on organizing various "literary" manifestations is concerned, they were intended to give the Olympic primitivism a "cultural" legitimacy. At the Olympic Games there is no place for Marcuse's "silence", in which the "concentration" of the human occurs; nor is there a place for Ionesco's moment of "amazement" in which "occurrence of man" take place; nor for Caillois' "ecstasy" dominated by "obsession"... They echo with the "passionate cry" of the winner, which represents a conquering (oppressive) call of the "master race" and can be heard in Coubertin's cries addressed to the French bourgeoisie at the start of his Olympic "campaign", with which he sought to incite it into new colonial exploits: ''Rebronzer la France!" and ''Enrichissez vous!''. Coubertin's Olympic aesthetics has a utilitarian character. It turns the "law of beauty" into an instrument of politics: "beauty" is that what is useful for preserving the established order. Not even art, as something that beautifies the present world, is possible as a separate sphere with the laws of its own: the nature of art is determined by its role as a means for building the cult of the present world. In spite of the Olympic Games being the highest religious ceremony dedicated to the deification of the ruling relations and values, Coubertin does not

argue for art which tends to mask, but for an art which seeks to the "perfectioning of reality" (Gadamer), departing from the model of positive society in which mankind's emancipatory heritage is abolished. The Olympic aesthetics becomes an "artistic" shaping of the basic principles of the present world, embodied in sport in a "pure" form, and it is dominated by symbolism springing from life itself and glorifying the present order. Coubertin discarded from art everything that opens a possibility of establishing a critical detachment to this world and of stepping out of it: the nature of art is determined by the nature of the ruling order. This is the starting point for selecting the aesthetical canons which will be used for creating the Olympic spectacle, with its emphasis on a liturgical form designed to create the impression that everything proceeds under the supervision of mystical superhuman powers. Coubertin "exceeds" the demands of traditional aesthetics, which is based on Kant's dualism between being (Sein) and ought (Sollen), by proclaiming the existing world the ideal world which should be sought for. The task of art is not to bridge the gap between the ideal and life, but to contribute to building an idolatrous relation to the present life. In Coubertin, there is no contradiction between the form of life and that of art: it appears as the highest spiritual form of man's "reconciliation" to the present world. Hence harmony, as "the sister of order" (Coubertin), becomes the most important aesthetical category. Since according to Coubertin man is completely immerged into the present world, art is not possible as the creation of an illusory world, as is the case in Huizinga, but as a spectacular reflection of reality, with an emphasis on the "details" which enable the glorification of the dominant relations and values. Coubertin's utilitarian art becomes a prism magnifying and showing in bright colours the events that should arouse people's admiration for the present order and for ever integrate them into the present world. It is not a means for man's education and cultivation, or for the development of his creative powers, but for the creation of a positive man in whom all that can enable him to break the bonds with the existing world and soar towards new worlds has been repressed and crippled. Hence dealing with imagination is one of the most important tasks of Coubertin's "utilitarian pedagogy". The "artistic" act becomes the confirmation of man's hopeless adherence to the existing world which contains everything man should and can strive for. Schiller's postulate that "education by way of art becomes education for art", turns in Coubertin into a postulate that education by way of art is education for the present life. Sport is the killer while Olympism is the gravedigger of the aesthetical.

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Footnotes

(1) Fridrih iler, O lepom, 127.p. Kultura, Beograd, 1967. (2) Ibid. 163.p. (3) Compare: F. iler, Ibid. 153, 154.p. (4) Ibid. 130.p. (5) Ibid. 215.p. (6) Ibid. 211.p. (7) Ibid. 212.p. (8) Ibid. 199.p. (9) Ibid. 136.p. (10) Ibid. 220.p. (11) Ibid. 220.p. (12) Ibid. 217.p. (13) Ibid. 168.p.Cursive F. . (14) Ibid. 186.p. (15) Ibid. 182.p. (16) Ibid. 182.p. (17) Ibid. 218.p.Cursive F. . (18) In: Danko Grli , Estetika, III tom, 50.p. Naprijed, Zagreb, 1974. (19) Hans Georg Gadamer, Istina i metoda, 112.p. Veselin Masle a, Sarajevo, 1978. (20) F. iler, O lepom,121.p. (21) Ibid. 169.p. (22) F. iler, O naivnoj i sentimentalnoj poeziji, In: F. iler, O lepom, 222, 223.p. (23) F. iler, O lepom, 196.p. (24) Ibid. 123.p. (25) Ibid. 200.p. (26) Ibid. 203.p. (27) J.Huizinga, Homo ludens, 197,198.p. Routledge&Kegan Paul, London, 1972. (28) Ibid. 1.p. (29) Ibid. 11.p. (30) Ibid. 211, 212.p. (31) Ibid. 212.p. (32) Ibid. 6.p. (33) F.J.J.Buytendijk, Wesen und Sinn des Spiels, 120.p. Pod.F.B, Kurt Wolff Verlag, Berlin, 1933. (34) P.d.Coubertin, "Entre deux batailles", In: P.d.C., Textes choisis, I tome, 517.p. (35) J.Huizinga, Homo ludens, 10.p. Routledge&Kegan Paul. (36) Ibid. 50.p. Cursive J.H. (37) J.Hojzinga, Jesen srednjeg veka, 44.p. Matica srpska, Novi Sad, 1991.

(38) Ibid. 10.p. (39) J.Huizinga, Homo ludens, 1o2.p. Routledge&Kegan Paul. (40) J.Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages, 81.p. Penguin, 1972,Cursive J.H. (41) Ibid, 36.p. (42) Ibid. 37.p. (43) J.Huizinga, Jesen srednjeg veka, 39.p. (44) Compare: Erih From, Zdravo dru tvo, 173.p. Rad, Beograd, 1963. (45) Compare: J.Huizinga, Homo ludens, 30, 31.p. Matica hrvatska, Zagreb, 1970. (46) J.Huizinga, Homo ludens, 19.p. Routledge&Kegan Paul. (47) J.Huizinga, Homo ludens, 256.p. Matica hrvatska. (48) J.Hojzinga, Jesen srednjeg veka, 71.p. (49) J. Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages, 56.p. (50) J. Huizinga, Homo ludens, 91.p. Matica hrvatska. (51) Ibid. 225.p. (52) Ibid. 254.p. (53) Ibid. 5.p. (54) Ro e Kajoa, Igre i ljudi. 35.p. (55) Ibid. 35.p. (56) Ibid. 82.p. (57) Ibid. 74.p. (58) Ibid. 34.p. (59) Eugen Fink, Oaza sre e, 15.p. Revija, Osijek, 1979. Cursive E.F. (60) Compare: Ommo Grupe, "Philosophische - antropologische Grundlagen des Sports", In: Hans Lenk, Simon Moser, Erich Beyer (Hrsg.), Philosophie des Sports, 203.p. Karl Hofmann Verlag, Schorndorf bei Stuttgart, 1973.p. (61) Ommo Grupe, Ibid. 202.p. (62) T. W.Adorno, Freizeit, Stichworte, 65.p. Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt a.M. 1969. (63) Compare: J.Habermas, "Soziologische Notizen zum Verhältnis von Arbeit und Freizeit", In: Sport und Leibeserziehung, Piper, München, 1967; H.Plessner, "Soziologie des Sports", "Deutsche Universitäts Zeitung", Nr. 22/1952, Nr. 23 /24/ 1952. (64) Compare: Leo Kofler, Beherrscht uns die Technik?, 66.p. VSA, Hannover, 1975. (65) Hans Georg Gadamer, Istina i metoda, 10.p.Veselin Masle a, Sarajevo, 1978. (66) H.G.Gadamer, Ibid. 131.p. (67) Compare: H.G.Gadamer, Ibid. 18.p. (68) H.G.Gadamer, 132.p. (69) Ibid.132.p. (70) Ibid.132.p. (71) Ibid.132.p. (72) Ibid.134.p.

(73) Ibid.133.p. (74) Ibid.134,135.p. (75) Ibid.136.p. (76) V.Jeger, Paideia,13.p. (77) Milo uri , Iz helenske riznice, 17, 18.p. (78) P.d.Coubertin,The Olympic Idea, 40.p. (79) Compare: an-Pol Sartr, Bi e i ni tavilo, 568-572.p. Nolit, Beograd, 1983. (80) V.Jeger, Ibid. 13.p. (81) In: V.Jeger, Paideia, 355,p. Platon, Politika, 403. D. (82) P.d.Coubertin, "Speech by Baron de Coubertin at the Close of the Berlin Olympic Games", In: P.d.Coubertin, The Olympic Idea, 135, 136.p. (83) In: Arthur Morse, While 6 Million Died, 105.p, Secker/Warburg, London, 1968. (84) Compare: Mirko Zurovac, "Ni e i moderna estetika", In: Ni e i moderna estetika, 14.p. Zbornik radova, Esteti ko dru tvo Srbije, Beograd, 1955. (85) P.d.Coubertin, "Athletics in the Modern World and the Olympic Games" ,In: P.d. Coubertin, The Olympic Idea, 7, 8.p. (86) Compare : P.d.Coubertin,"Arts, letters et sports", In: P.d.Coubertin, Textes choisis, II tome, 494.p. (87) P.d.Coubertin, "Speech by Baron de Coubertin at the Close of the Berlin Olympic Games", In: P.d.Coubertin, The Olympic Idea, 135, 136.p. x x x