Excerpt from the book ÄA New World is Possible³ by Dunja and Ljubodrag Simonovi , Belgrade, 2007.

E-mail: comrade@sezampro.rs

SPORT AND CULT The Cult of Competition

Sport is a capitalist competition. Not every historical form of competition is sport, but the one which is the embodiment of the Social Darwinist principle bellum omnium contra omnes and the absolutized principle of the quantitatively measurable performance shaped in the Olympic maxim citius, altius, fortius ± which corresponds to the market economy and the absolutized principle of profit. Just as capitalism is essentially different from the Hellenic slave-owning and feudal order, so is sport essentially different from the ancient agon and knight tournaments. The Olympic Games were an authentic play of the aristocratic Hellad; knight tournaments were an authentic play of feudalism; sport is an authentic play of capitalism. The theory of sport reduces sport to a suprahistorical phenomenon the essence of which comes from the Äunchangeable human nature³, whereas man is reduced to a Äbeast³ and human society to a Äcivilized³ menagerie. However, individual competition (achievement), which is based on the principle of «Equal chances!», is a historical product and corresponds to the original spirit of capitalism (liberalism) which atomizes society according to the principle homo homini lupus. The elimination of the Äopponent³ through victory achieved by an ever better result (record) becomes a capitalist form of a (Äcivilized³) natural selection. ÄPrimitive peoples³ do not know of individual competition and individual achievement, nor do they know of the principle of record. The same applies to the Hellenic society: man is a member of polis and ÄGod's toy³ (Plato). The purpose of competition is not a record but a victory achieved by the Olympic agonistes as the Ägods' electee³ which gives him the possibility of acquiring a place on Olympus among the immortal Olympic oligarchy. The history of sport is the history of capitalism. In its original sense the term Äsport³ (since 1828, before that desport, desportare) does not denote a competition dominated by the cult of victory and the cult of record, but a pastime, a voluntary participation in the activities designed to act out the aristocratic way of life through a symbolism and forms of behaviour deriving from the aristocratic world, and which are the embodiment of the aristocratic system of values expressed in the principle Äorder and measure³ (ordre et mesure). ÄSport³ was a privilege of the aristocracy through which its exclusive ruling class status was confirmed, which means that it was not a way of integrating the working Ämasses³ into a spiritual orbit of the ruling class, as it was to become in the bourgeois society. It was not dominated by a fight for victory through the elimination of the opponent nor by the idea of progress, but by such a way of behaviour (Ägentleman's manners³) which distinguishes the members of the aristocracy from the Älower classes³. Likewise, the original concept of Äsport³, as an entertainment, is not derived from the relation to work and the Äworld of concerns³; it rather denotes the lifestyle of aristocracy as the parasitic class. It is only in the developed capitalist society

that the term Äsport³ came to designate the Äindependent³ spirit of capitalism which is the embodiment of the principles bellum omnium contra omnes and citius, altius, fortius and appears as the sphere of Äfreedom³ opposite to work. As far as the principle of Ächivalry³ is concerned, which is used by the ideologues of sport in order to give it a Äcultural³ legitimacy, in its original sense it corresponds to a static aristocratic order in which the dominant social status is not acquired by a merciless struggle for survival, as it is the case in capitalism, but by birth. Sport acquired its institutional character in the second half of the XIX century and represents a way of dealing with the leading ideas of the French Revolution, critical rationalism, emancipatory possibilities of the newly formed democratic institutions, as well as with the philanthropic and dancing movements. It is not a product of an advanced bourgeoisie which, inspired by the spirit of the Enlightenment and ideals of the French Revolution, strives to create a new society, but of the imperialist circles which strive to deal with the emancipatory heritage of the XIX century civil society and conquer the world. The modern Olympic Games are an expression of the Ämondialist³ spirit of imperialism and as such rejection of the cultural (religious) being of the ancient Olympic Games, as well as of the Olympic ideas and movements of the Modern Age ± which are based on the Hellenic spiritual heritage, national cultures and the emancipatory heritage of civil society (Gutc Muths, Schartan, Brookes, Lesseps, Grousse...). In its original form, sport does not rely on bodily activism which is supposed to enhance the development of working or artistic capacities, but on the Ächivalrous tradition³ which is of a belligerent character. Sports contests represent a war not waged by weapons, but by the bodies of Äopponents³, and thus are a struggle with the pacifist conscious and preparation for an armed conflict. Hence the ruthless Ärivalry³, which involves the ability and readiness to kill the opponent, represents the main characteristic of sports Äbrotherhood³. Sports terminology indicates its essence: sports contests which do not involve elimination are called Äfriendly³, which means that the competitions in which the victory is an imperative ± are hostile. The natural selection being the carrier of Äprogress³, it is understandable why the bourgeois theorists speak of war with such enthusiasm: they regard it as the highest and the most direct form of the law of natural selection. From Coubertin's Olympic doctrine it clearly follows that sport belongs to the sphere of war and military training and that it is the main vehicle for dealing with the pacifist conscious. The view of Carl Diem, a loyal interpreter of Coubertin's doctrine and one of the leading ideologues of German (Nazi) expansionism: ÄSport is war!³ (ÄSport ist Krieg!³), most adequately expresses the essence of sport. It should not be forgotten that Coubertin started the Olympic campaign with an overt aim to effect changes in the French education system, in order to transform the French bourgeois youth into colonial phalanges. A colonial campaign Äwithout proper sports preparations³ represents, according to Coubertin, Ädangerous unmindfulness³. It is no wonder that England, as the leading colonial power, where there is place only for Ästrong individuals³, was the main source of Coubertin's Olympic inspiration. Furthermore, it is no wonder that Coubertin, in the bloody fights on ancient Olympic playgrounds and medieval tournaments of haughty aristocrats found a source of the Ächivalry spirit³ which a bourgeois should strive for. War on a sports field was meant to preserve the militaristic traditions of the warring aristocracy and Äovercome³ them by a belligerent and progressistic spirit of monopolistic capitalism. The ability to Älook death in the eyes³, which appears in the form of a man

reduced to Äopponent³, is one of the most important characteristics of Coubertin's Änew man³, while the ability and readiness to kill a man represents the highest challenge for his Äutilitarian pedagogy³. Writing, after the First World War, on the highest evaluative challenges of the British ruling circles, Bertrand Russell, one of the most important British philosophers in the XX century, concludes: ÄIn an ordinary high class British family the killing of birds is considered to be quite honourable and the killing of people in war ± the noblest of occupations.³ (1) A Äneed³ of the aristocrats to kill is not an expression of human nature, but an expression of the pathology of the aristocratic order which degenerated man and regarded the killing of people as the supreme virtue. The same applies to greediness: it is not an authentic human need, but is an expression of the pathology of capitalism attributed to man in order to Äprove³ that capitalism is based on human nature and therefore eternal. The behaviour of Ähooligans³ is similar: it does not indicate the nature of young people, but the nature of the ruling order and the position of young people in society. In sport, the belligerent spirit of capitalism becomes Äindependent³ and, by way of Äsports competition³, strives to resurrect the spirit of the ancient slave-owning aristocracy, as well as the Ächivalry spirit³ of the bloodthirsty medieval lords. The militarization of the body, spirit, human relations and the relations between nations and races is the highest Äcultural³ form in which the ruling belligerent spirit appears. In antiquity, in the form of the struggle of individuals for acquiring a place on Olympus the ruling class struggled to preserve its privileges; in modern society, in the guise of a sports competition, the parasitic classes struggle against the emancipatory heritage of humankind and man as the universal creative being of freedom. A sports competition becomes a combat with a competition which does not involve elimination and domination of one man over another, particularly with a competition which involves the development of man's universal creative powers and offers the possibility of overcoming the existing and creating a new world. In sport, there is no outplaying; it is rather that the contest comes down to a struggle for survival and domination which is completely in line with the dominant spirit of capitalism: the stronger go on, the weaker are eliminated. The purpose of sport is not the development of play, but the preservation of the ruling order. Interestingly, it does not occur to the bourgeois theorists - according to whom gladiator's fights, knight tournaments, duels and war are Äcompetition³ - to refer to the class struggle, struggle for women's emancipation, struggle for liberation from the colonial yoke and particularly revolution ± as Äcompetition³. Likewise, in spite of the fact that they emphasize the struggle, it does not occur to them to include in the concept of play the struggle between old and new which involves the expansion of the horizon of freedom ± without which there is no true play. Basically, the purpose of competitive play is not the development of the human, but the release of Änegative energy³ so as to prevent it from being channeled into a political struggle aiming to eradicate the causes of social hardship. Play becomes the sterilization of a critical and changing conscious. In Russell, also, competition does not involve a struggle against the unjust and destructive ruling order, meaning a struggle for freedom and survival; a struggle between old and new; between good and evil; the development of man's artistic (erotic) nature ± it rather involves a struggle against nature, which means the acquisition of technical skills the purpose of which is to establish control over nature and its exploitation.

Sport is an authentic ideology of liberalism: the cult of victory and record was a form in which appeared the myth of capitalism as an order in which ÄEveryone has a chance!³ and which is capable of providing a stable progress that inevitably brings good to the citizens in every aspect of their lives, which is expressed in the maxim ÄCompetition generates quality!³ In monopolistic capitalism, based on the principles ÄDestroy the competition!³ and ÄBig fish devours small fish!³, sport has become an anachronism which maintains the appearance of a Äcompetitive society³ and as such is destined to degeneration. Instead of a Äpersonal initiative³ and Äindividual achievement³, the competition of sportsmen becomes a form of struggle between the most powerful capitalist groups for domination ± by means of a dehumanized science, medicine, technique ... The principle of competition has become the principle of domination, the latter being the principle of destruction. In a Äconsumer's society³ the original sports spirit has become completely distorted and sport has turned into a banal circus performance governed by the rules of show-business. In his original Olympic writings, Coubertin indicates where professionalism and commercialization of sport lead to. According to him, Ämoney is the biggest enemy of sport³, as it turns sport into a Äfairground³, and (professional) sportsmen into Äcircus gladiators³. Similar views were expressed by his followers from IOC. Contemporary sports theorists, talking of Äoriginal³ Olympism, never cite these Coubertin's views, as they reveal the true nature of sport and thus the true nature of their Ätheoretic³ activity.

The Cult of Record

Strivings for records condition a specific (concrete historical) nature of sports competitions. A victory over the opponents is worthless without setting a record. It becomes a universal measure, alienated from man, for determining the performance (value), which means a peculiar Äsuperior power³ to which man is submitted. A record is the market value of a sports result, and the prevailing logic in sport corresponds to the process of the reproduction of capital: the apsolutized principle of record corresponds to the apsolutized principle of profit. The increasing domination of the apsolutized principle of performance in sport has led to a gradual elimination of combative individualism, the corner-stone of the ideology of liberalism. It has nothing to do with the struggle between people for victory, but with a contest without contestants, where man fights Äphantom³ records incarnated in the measuring instruments which are the symbols of a dehumanized and denaturalized Äpace³ of the capitalist time. The history of the ancient Olympic Games is a succession of winners; the history of sport comes down to a linear increment of numbers to which the names of depersonalized Ärecorders³ are assigned. The apsolutized performance (record) acquires a mythical dimension: sports Äachievements³ become the measure of Äprogress³ and Äperfectioning³ of humankind and thus historical milestones. Simultaneously, the quantitative comparison becomes an Äobjective³ criterion for the distribution of positions on the social ladder of power, which appears in the form of Arnold's elitist Ätheory of pyramid³ that Coubertin was to adopt: a hundred people should devote themselves to physical culture if fifty of them are to engage in sport; fifty people are to engage in sport if twenty of them are to specialize; twenty people are to

specialize if five of them are to become capable of Äastonishing bravery³ (prouesse étonnante). (2) The pyramid of success indicates a hierarchy of Änatural selection³ in sport and a mechanistic logic of Äcontest³ which corresponds to the market Äcompetition³ and Äindustrial society³. The qualitative measurement becomes a form of domination of Äprogress³ over man confirming its superiority and eternity. It is not a historical product, but a Äfact³ which cannot be brought into question and thus is an instrument for training the oppressed how to accept inequality in society as something inevitable. At the same time, a record is not important as a human achievement, but as a means of proving the Äprogressive³ nature of the ruling order. As there are no medical or moral barriers to the progressistic principle citius, altius, fortius, it is clear that man's Äperfectioning³ leads to his (self) destruction. Sport crushes the modern (humanistic) idea of progress which involves qualitative leaps in the development of society, the affirmation of man as a being of freedom and the creation of a novum. It enables only (endless) quantitative shifts, advancing in the given spatial and time dimensions, which involves progressing without a progress. In sport, there is an evident distinction between intellectual and physical labour, as well as specialization (at an increasingly early age). Each sport has a specific training technique, which means that each sport in a specific way cripples people both mentally and physically and turns them into specialized sportsmen-recorders. The one-sided sports activity leads to the hypertrophy of some and atrophy of other extremities, organs, bodily and mental functions. A sportsmen becomes a specific working force (a self-destructive character), a tool for labour (highly specialized machine) and material for processing (body as a raw material) ± for producing a particular record. The bigger the gap between man's biological powers and the record that must be reached, the more the sports training contributes to man's self-alienation as a human being and the destruction of his individual dispositions and abilities. Based on the absolutized principle of performance, sport turned a healthy physical strain into an exertion that destroys man as a living being. A sportsman becomes a robot and as such a commodity on the market of sports show-business, while Äsports technique³ becomes a technical form of the destruction of man's natural and cultural being. The methods and means applied in sport are those used in the industrial production and modern science: sport is an engine for the production of recorders (records). The maxim ÄRecorders are born in vials!³ suggests the real nature of Ätop sport³ which is, as its name suggests, the highest challenge for sport generally. Behind technical terms and scientific formulations an industry of death is hiding: Ätop sport³ has become a supreme form of man's destruction. Sport is a means by which man, as a biological and human being, turns into a mechanical device. At the same time, it brings about an ecocide conscious and ecocide relation of man to his (her) own body. The Äcompetitive mind³ becomes a form of irrational processes of the capitalist reproduction which, by way of a Äsports spirit³, are infused into man. The Äaggressive animal nature³ is replaced by a self-destructive fanaticism.

The Cult of the Body

The dominant cult in sport is the cult of the body and muscular strength which is expressed in Coubertin's maxim ³combative spirit in a muscular body´ (mens fervida in corpore lacertoso). While in the ancient bodily agon there is a spontaneous relation of man to the body, which arises from the body being experienced as a constituent part of the universe and the source of man's vital energy, sport is dominated by an instrumental relation of man to the body. Everything is submitted to a modeling based on the capitalistically (ab) used technique and science: just as in antiquity the physical appearance was meant to be united with the (geometrically constituted) universe, so is in the modern world the physical appearance meant to be united with the Social Darwinist and progressistic spirit of capitalism. Also, in sport, the cult of the body has nothing to do with a broader religious context, as it was the case in antiquity, but is a means of creating a positive character and positive conscious, as well as a means of demonstrating the expansionist power of capitalism. In sport, unlike the gods in antiquity, there are no anthropomorphic symbols representing the dominant power. That role is assumed by sportsmen, and their body and appearance are completely subjected to the nature of the ruling order. Instead of the ancient holistic approach to the body, the emphasis is placed on the expansive muscular strength and mechanization of the body. In sport, man fits in with the capitalist universe by way of the body and bodily posture which is in accordance with the dynamic and progressistic nature of capitalism. The Äsports spirit³ is a manifest form of the expansionist spirit of the ruling order, while the Äsport body³ represents the most authentic capitalist form of physical degeneration and thus is a Äsupraclass³ and Äsupraracial³ model of the body. It is an ideological body which expresses the totalitarian and ecocide nature of the ruling order. A dehumanized and denaturalized world, based on the capitalist destruction, corresponds to a dehumanized and denaturalized body and a destructive body movement. Sport is an area in which the technicization of the environment, man and interpersonal relations attained the climax. It is one of the most important instruments of capitalism for destroying a humanistic and creating a Ätechnical civilization³. ³Sportivization´ of the world is the most radical form of man's denaturalization and decultivization and a means of his being involved in the life and spiritual orbit of Ätechnical civilization³. Science strives to create a being (machine) which will be deprived of all those human qualities that hinder the breaking of records and the production of increasingly bloody sports spectacles. Sport draws on a mechanistic philosophy of the body and finds mimetic impulses in the industrial and militaristic movements. Instead of a natural movement and natural body, the prevailing movement is mechanistic, the body becomes the cage of technical rationality, while the Äcompetitive character³ becomes the embodiment of the ruling destructive spirit. Coaches become body technicians and slave drivers who are to enable the achievement of a desired result (record) at the cost of man's destruction. At the same time, man's spirit is also being crippled and the cult of a technicized body is being created and thus the cult of a Ätechnical civilization³. This way of thinking absolutizes the quantitatively measurable result achieved at the cost of the destruction of man's natural being. Sport creates a capitalist ideological sphere and the appropriate Äpublic opinion³ by destroying the emancipatory heritage of the civil society which offers an opportunity for man to get rid of the ecocide capitalist tyranny.

ÄDisciplining³ the body in the bourgeois physical culture and sport reflects an endeavour to bring nature under control of the ruling order: Ätaming³ of the body corresponds to the Ätaming³ of nature. Sport does not cultivate man's natural being, but Ädisciplines³ it through a technocratically based drill dominated by the mechanics of the physical, turning the body into a machine. In contrast to the Middle Ages, where dealing with the body becomes dealing with the Äfalse³ earthly world, the bourgeois pedagogy suppresses and destroys in man all those things that do not fulfil the needs of the capitalist order and can jeopardize it, and develops all those things that contribute to the preservation of that order. Hence, Coubertin insists on a Äutilitarian pedagogy³: the Ägood³ is that which is useful to the ruling order. An aggressive belligerent (Ähealthy³) egoism, an insatiable Äneed³ for acquisition and ruling (oppression) ± those are the Ätrue³ characteristics of a Ämodel³ bourgeoisie. Coubertin's principle of Ägreater effort³, which conditions a relentless relation of man to his body and to which, in the psychological sphere corresponds the principle of Ägreediness³, is analogous to a colonial-plundering relation to nature. The Ädevelopment of sport³ is based on an ecocide logic: the physical drill destroys the body, which is for man his immediate nature, and thus breaks man's connection with nature and makes life in nature impossible. The technicized living conditions, which means capitalistically degenerated nature, become man's living environment he Äspontaneously³ strives for and in which he can survive. Sport clearly illustrates the fact that the capitalist way of production does not turn nature into useful objects but degenerates and destroys it: the relation to the body reflects the relation of capitalism to nature. In sport, the capitalist exploitation of nature is fully realized, according to the principle of an ever better result (profit) in an ever shorter time. On this the principle of early selection is based, the principle which cripples the body, destroys man's erotic nature, his mind and spirituality, and creates a sado-masochistic character. In the contemporary world (Äconsumer society³), the sports body has become an instrument for producing a sports spectacle, meaning a spiritual drug, and a moving advertising billboard. Sporting physical drill involves a modeling of the body according to progressistic (quantitative) criteria which lead to man's (self) destruction. The highest challenge is to reach the given Ämodel³ of the body which is the projection of the result (record) striven for. Instead by art and naturalness, sport is dominated by technique which involves an instrumentalized body reduced to a technical device and technicized skill conditioned by the nature of sport and the achieved Älevel³ of results. Man is reduced to a tool for the production of records, and his body to a raw material which, through physical drill and scientific methods, is to be Ätransformed³ into a Äsport body³. In sport, the ruling model of the body is not appropriate to a particular cultural pattern; it is a direct incarnation of the ruling relations and values: a sportsman is an anthropological form in which the ruling order appears. Like in antiquity, the citizen of modern society is to completely fit into the established (capitalist) universe; he is to be spiritually, physically and actively united with it. Sports esthetics does not derive from culture; it is based on the nature of sport as a war waged with bodies, on the strivings to set a record and on the nature of spectacle ± which is a commercial package of sports merchandize. The holistic approach to the body has been discarded (proportionality, harmony), as well as the softness of movements and bodily expression, the pulsation of the erotic, emotional and spiritual, the movement of man to man and the ancient kalokagathia which insists on the unity of the

beautiful and the good. Mimetic impulses are not found in nature nor in the cultural sphere, but in technical processes: technical Äperfection³ represents the highest challenge for sports esthetics. It is corresponded by a body reduced to a highly specialized machine, mechanics of movement, technicized (ecocide) mind, a suppressed and mutilated Eros, as well as man's crippled emotional and spiritual being. The mutilated bodies of contemporary gladiators become the highest attainment of the Äbeautiful³. The body is not a form of man's existence as an independent being, his possession; it is an instrument for achieving political and economic goals. Within this context, man's relation to his own body is mediated by the ruling ideology. The alienation of the body from man becomes man's alienation from his own self. ÄDisciplining³ of the body, the maxims mens sana in corpore sano, mens fervida in corpore lacertoso and citius-altius-fortius ± represent the forms of establishing an institutionalized oppression over man which means not only a destructive instrumentalization of the body, but the destruction of personality. Instead of a respect for man's specific individuality and his human complexity, the priority is given to a dehumanized (destructive) principle of performance and the appropriate model of man. The one-sided oppressive physical activity creates a physically one-sided and spiritually mutilated man. In contrast to the sophists, who by human nature mean the Äunity of the body and the soul but, above all, man's internal disposition, his spiritual nature³, (3) in sport, just as in Christianity, the dualism of the body and the spirit is established. Instead of a Ädivine spirit³, sport is dominated by the spirit of capitalism incarnated in sportsman's muscular body in combatant effort, but, instead of the soul, the character (sado-masochistic, murderousdestructive) becomes the meeting point and support of man's governing spirit. In sport, man is reduced to a depersonalized model of Äsportsman³, which means that he is deprived of elementary humanity, thus becoming part of the Äteam³ of capitalist gladiators, stunt men and circus players. He does not regard his fellow sportsman as a man, but as an Äopponent³ who should be removed from the way. Physical injuries and killing become a legal and legitimate form of Ärelation³ to the Äopponent³. The same applies to man's relation to his own body. Torturing of the body and its destruction is the basic way of achieving Ävictory over the body (pain)³, which gives rise to a (sado) masochistic character and Ävictorious will³. Man is reduced to the body, while strength, speed, stamina, killing and destructive power (skill) become the basic way of his selfevaluation. Sportsmen turn from living beings into robotized beings guided by a (self) destructive fanaticism. At the same time, in sport man is subject to an authoritarian order and is accustomed to Äresponding to a whistle³ - without reasoning. The Ägolden rule³ of every coach is that Äplayers do not think, but do what they are asked to do³. A sports training does not serve to cultivate man, it mutilates humanity. It is reduced to a technical drill which resembles a military drill, the difference being that in sport the ruling principle is not that of the optimal but of a Ägreater (destructive) effort³. Sport deprives man of his erotic nature. A man and a woman are not sexual (natural, affective, human) beings; they are raw materials and tools for setting records. ÄSpecificity³ of the woman's body is that it is Äweaker³ than man's, which means that it achieves Äpoorer³ results. If life-creation is the basic existential principle, then precisely by virtue of her body the woman is superior to man since she possesses a life-creating (fertile) body. By accepting the governing evaluative model as the basis of her own evaluation, the woman renounces that which makes her a specific human being and

reduces herself to an Äinferior being³, a surrogate, or a bad copy of man reduced to a robotized gladiator. Sports pedagogy deals with Eros which induces man to develop his affective nature and closeness with other people, and turns his energy into the driving force of Äprogress³: a muscular male body in combatant effort, as a symbolic form of the governing spirit, is the highest sporting challenge. Love destroys the fanatic concentration of a sportsman on achieving victory (record) and thus changes his relation to the body of the beloved person, as well as to his own body. It ceases to be a machine and becomes an erotic challenge ± a source of pleasure, and thus questions training that mercilessly destroys the organism, doping-treatments which decrease sexual potency, as well as the (self) destructive Äcompetitive motivation³. On the example of bodily exertion we can also see how untenable is Plessner¶s, Habermas¶s and Rigauer's theses that sport is the Äduplication of the world of labour³. Labour is dominated by the principle of optimal effort, while sport is dominated, as we have seen, by the principle of Ägreater effort³ which basically means a merciless destruction of organism ± based on the apsolutized principle of performance. The rhythm and intensity of sports exertion destroy the biological rhythm of organism. Sport abolishes the distinction between tiredness and over fatigue ± which is a pathological state of organism. ÄTo increase physical fitness³ involves suffering and blocking of pain which is organism's natural defence reaction to excessive exertion. Cells are destroyed as well as muscles, spine, heart, joints, liver, and this results in a functional and constitutional disharmony of the body and organs, some extremities, organs and functions of organism are hypertrophied and some are atrophied... Sport is a capitalist way of producing physically and mentally ill people. In the beginning of the XX century, the French physician Phillip Tissié, who analyzed the functioning of organism of long-distance runners, came to the conclusion that excessive physical exertion led to the degeneration of cells, and that the sportsman is a chronically ill person. Sports physicians do not struggle for a healthy man, but for the creation of a Äsport body³ and its Äservicing³. What is a pathological state for Äordinary people³, for sportsmen is a Änormal state³. Special terms have been coined, such as a Äsport heart³, turning chronically ill sportsmen into Äsupermen³. Off course, this applies only while the medals are being won. Physicians take active part in this physical and mental destruction of people. A typical example is the medical report on the West-German heptathlon contestant Birgit Dressel. In spite of being Äa hundred percent healthy³, Dressel died of Ätoxemia³ in agony. She was 27 years old. No one was held responsible. That is how life of sportsmen ends throughout the world... Coaches ruin the lives of a large number of children in their preadolescent and adolescent period. The most obvious example is gymnastics, where little girls are monstrously degenerated. As far as sports injuries are concerned, only rugby in the USA records 650 000 seriously injured people annually. It is estimated that most orthopedists in the West earn their livings on Äcorrecting³ the consequences of injuries incurred in sport activities. Body doping is but one of the means used to make the organism of a sportsmen achieve results which exceed his biological capacities. Anabolic steroids, Äbathing³ in oxygen, blood doping, doping-pregnancy, virilisation, Ätherapy³ with the hormone of growth, erythropoietin, computer Äprocessing³ of muscles and shock treatments (as in the Ätraining³ of horses), genetic engineering ± without all these means the Äprogress³ in sport cannot be imagined. What the sports industry is doing to sportsmen resembles the

experiments on human beings performed in Nazi laboratories of death. Body doping is carried out by sportsmen being fanaticized, which (only conditionally) can be called mental doping and which blocks the power of reasoning and generates a will for selfdestruction. A need to escape from poor slums and anonymity, dreams of making Äbig money³, the dominant evaluative model, the achieved level of results, the imposed pattern of sports conduct which involves the production of increasingly bloody and destructive spectacles ± all this creates the background for a fatalistic acceptance of one's sports Ädestiny³ and for the development of a self-destructive conscious. The maxim mens sana in corpore sano, and particularly Coubertin's maxim mens fervida in corpore lacertoso, clearly indicates that sport does not count on the development of mind, but on the development of a belligerent (murderous-destructive) character and an instrumentalized body. Sports theorists, like Matveev, see in the increase in the bodily strength and speed, and consequently the Äresults³ achieved by today's sportsmen in relation to the ancient Äsportsmen³, the chief indicators of the Ädevelopment of mankind³. The playing skill, the development of man's cultural being and interpersonal relations, as well as Ämoral qualifications³ on which Coubertin insisted when he spoke of the religious spirit (religio athletae) that pervaded the ancient Olympic Games ± all this is being ignored. At the same time, the emphasis placed on these indicators as the criteria according to which the development of mankind is determined devaluates today all those who are deprived of physical capacity required for the Ähighest achievements³ incarnated in sportsmen and their records. In addition, ancient athletes achieved results which many people today cannot achieve. Does that mean that they are degenerates?

Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Body as ³Being-in-the World´

We can agree with Merleau-Ponty's claim that to experience the world by way of the body is the original and basic mode of ³being-in-the world´ and of man's relation to the world. However, in Merleau-Ponty, ³being-in-the world´ has an objectivistic, that is to say an abstract, character. He departs from the body as the given and overlooks that ³being-in-the world´ is not an autonomous process, which means that man does not experience his body directly, but through the concrete totality of his own epoch and the prevailing ideological ³model´ of the body, that is to say as a concrete human (social) being. The human body is not a natural datum and as such a phenomenon sui generis, it is a historical product. Not only is the relation to the body today essentially different in comparison to the ancient and Christian civilizations, but we deal with an essentially different body. Each civilization creates a specific body and a specific relation to it ± and thus a specific man. Even in antiquity it was realized that to produce a particular body means at the same time to produce a particular type of man (master race and slave). The class and racial physiognomies are of utmost importance in bourgeois anthropology and the bourgeois Hellenists who idealize the antiquity place special emphasis on it. The specificity of capitalism is that it does not degenerate the body by depriving it of vitality (dying out of bodily functions) through a meditative activism (asceticism), as is the case

in Christianity, but by transforming it into a machine through an instrumentalized (technicized) destructive and productional (profiteering) activism. The sports body is a typical product of ³technical civilization´, meaning man's body degenerated in a capitalistic way. At the same time, modern man's ³being-in-the world´ means having a (critical) attitude to the existing world, as man is always ³more´ than that to which he is reduced in the existing world. The animal also is a body, but it experiences the world surrounding it in a basically different way than man. Man is a libertarian-creative being and experiences the world by way of humanized (socialized) senses, which means in a human way as a complete human being guided by a vision of the world he can create: animal is what it is; man is what he can be. Merleau-Ponty claims that the body is a ³way of appropriating the world´, but the body of today's man has already been appropriated by capitalism and corresponds to the capitalistic appropriation of nature: it has an instrumental and destructive (denaturalizing) character. The relation to the world through the body is the relation of a capitalistically degenerated body (man) to a capitalistically degenerated world. An unreflected ³naïve touch with the world´ (Merleau-Ponty) is determined even before the birth ± and it is not ³naïve´. By the very act of conception, which is increasingly only a technical insemination of the increasingly ill woman with the increasingly ill semen, a being is created which, while still in his mother, is exposed to the fatal influence of the environment. Man is not ³thrown into the world´ (Heidegger), but is begotten in a fatally ill world and inevitably acquires the features of that world. Man ³enters´ a degenerated world as an already degenerated being: delivering of a child by a woman is only a manifest form in which the world delivers a man. Subjectivity is essentially determined before man has become aware of himself as a personality, which means before a selfconscious subjectivity. It is precisely at the level of physicality or unreflected perception that a child unconsciously adopts the life style and value models which determine his future behaviour: the body is the reservoir of the unconscious. The relation to the body in childhood largely conditions the development of personality, affective nature, mind, behaviour... The ³embryology of the human mind´ (Piaget) is conditioned by physical development and the conditions in which it occurs. The way in which a child is delivered, its first contact with the world, mother, light, the environment in which it grows, movements it masters, things it touches, sounds, smells, food and the rhythm of feeding, physical contact, surroundings, way of dressing, air, diapers, water, movements around it, restricted living space, toys, relation between parents, tension, aggressiveness of the environment ± the entire living environment has a specific character and predetermines man's relation to the world. In a child's growing there is no spontaneous behaviour, which represents the pulsing of the original living rhythm of man's natural being; the dominant rhythm is rather that of repression which ³draws´ man into the existing world by suppressing and degenerating man's original nature and turning him into a pathological person. It is already in the early childhood that the ³seed of evil´ is inserted into man and the way it will develop and manifest itself is the matter of social circumstances, concrete life and personality. The so called ³aggressiveness´, which directly affects the physical growth, does not stem from ³man's animal nature´, but is a pathological (psychical and bodily) reaction to the repression man is exposed to from his early years. When it is ³spontaneous´, it is a compensatory behaviour which does not eliminate the causes of discontent, but contributes to their development.

In modern society, the relation to the body is mediated by the capitalist universe (industrial mimesis, the principle of rationality and efficiency, destructive instrumentalism...) which appears in the form of a technical sphere, alienated from and dominant over man, which is an immediate living environment and imposes the logic of living. It is by way of this sphere that the capital rules man and nature. Just as in antiquity man was the slave of the ruling order by way of the sphere of Olympic gods, so in capitalism he became the slave of the ruling order by way of science and technique. The instrumentalization of the body is based on the capitalistically-based division of labour, that is, on specialization and thus on man's mutilation. Marx speaks of man being transformed into a freak in the industrial process of production, which is brilliantly demonstrated by Charlie Chaplin in his movie the ³Modern Times´. The capitalistic form of alienated labour processes the body by turning it into a technical (working) tool, and reduces the mind to an operationalized intellect. A capitalistically degenerated body has degenerated senses and motoring. The dominant characteristics are the bodily mechanic, precision of movements, esthetics of the machine, deerotization, hypertrophy of some and atrophy of other functions, spiritless body and movements; instead of the ancient principle metron ariston, prevails an aggressive muscular body; the principle of optimum effort is replaced by the principle of ³greater effort´; the prevailing character is (self) destructive and the prevailing movement is adjusted to the capitalist rhythm of reproduction, etc. Thus, it is not about a humanization, but about a technicization of the body (nature). The capitalist way of industrial production transformed man into a robotized freak. It is best seen in sport, in the principle ³Recorders are born in vials!´, in which a robotized body is the highest esthetic challenge. If the body is neither natural nor human, then not only can man not ³be-in-the world´, he can no longer be at all ± since he is no longer a man. Physicalness as ³perceptiveness with its own spatiality and time´ (MerleauPonty) is but an illusion: capitalism appropriates man by way of a capitalistically appropriated (degenerated natural) space, which means by way of destroying him as a natural and human being. ³Peculiarity´ of the body is not the self of man, but the self of the ruling order ± as man is alienated, which means that the body is alienated from man and instrumentalized (degenerated) in a capitalist way. An instrumentalized relation to nature, which is reduced to the object of exploitation and destruction, conditions also the relation to the body which is man's immediate nature. The existing world is unnatural and inhuman and man survives in it by way of a surrogate body. People live in towns which are capitalist ghettoes and in which the capitalist degeneration of nature, life and man has reached the climax: man is ³illuminated´ by artificial light, he breathes polluted air, drinks polluted water, eats poisoned food, lives a kind of life which destroys man's connection to nature and his natural being As far as time is concerned, capitalism instrumentalizes man by imposing on him the rhythm of life suitable to the pace of capitalist reproduction and which is of a technical and destructive character. It is a totalizing time which, above all, conditions the bodily rhythm and movements and crushes the biological rhythm of body's functioning. As man is, by way of his body, ³immediately in the world´, the most fatal and inevitable form of the impact of capitalism, as the order of destruction, on man is through the body: the crisis of the world is, at the same time, the crisis of the body. Hence the basic form of man's self-alienation is the alienation from one's own body. Man

experiences himself as an otherness as against the existing world through the suffering which is the consequence not only of his unsatisfied primary needs, but also of their mutilation. He flees the world by fleeing from his body, or by fleeing to his body (narcissism). Most people in the West experience everyday frustration because they discard their own body as worthless, unfitted to the ruling (consumer-advertising) model of the body which becomes the basis of social evaluation. Man experiences his body as a punishment, as something alien, and tries to mask it (³fashion´), or change it with exhausting physical exercises, ³treatments´, operations... A capitalistically degenerated man has an instrumental relation to his own body based on the principle of profit. Physical appearance and health are not the purpose, but a vehicle for achieving social prestige and existence. The desirable model of the body is that which is in line with the dominant value-related model dictated by the dominant fashion concerns. The frequently changing fashion forces people to ever more frequent changes, which means an increasingly merciless treatment of the body. An industry was born for the production of images. The image becomes a commodity similarly to garments. The entertainment industry offers increasingly diversified forms of physical degeneration. Plastic surgery, body-building, fitness-centres and diets ± all these serve to make man conform to the dominant model of the ³beautiful´ according to the standards of advertising industry. ³Barbie´ doll becomes the ³most beautiful´ form of man's devaluation. As far as ³Rocky´, ³Rambo´, ³Terminator´ and other Hollywood freaks are concerned, they are the picture of the contemporary capitalist ³superman´, whose cultural conscience has been ³erased´ and who is guided in his behaviour by a destructive idiocy. The nature of a ³spontaneous´ movement is conditioned by the environment, circumstances and way of life. A ³spontaneous´ movement in a city is essentially different from a spontaneous movement in nature. The character of the movement conditions the nature of the body (sense motoring), the development of the intellect, interpersonal relations... Technicized movements, arising from the technical world and of a destructive-consumer character, represent the dominant form of repression over man. At the same time, physical movement has a symbolic significance: drinking ³coca-cola´ is not only meant to satisfy thirst and is not only a physical act; it is a symbolic relation of man to the existing world, to future, to himself and other people. Likewise, physical presence at a ³McDonald's´ restaurant and the consumption of their surrogate food represent a symbolic form of being-in-the world and the production of the ruling order, and the same can be said of the boxing punch, technicized physical exercises, going to the stadium... ³Searching for answers´ in children's ³spontaneity´ and in the cultures where man as an individual has not yet been emancipated, through the means and forms which are the products of capitalist civilization, is but a deviation in man's struggle for emancipation. ³Bad´ rationality cannot be replaced by mystique, which is but a return to primitive forms of consciousness. The bourgeois theory no longer seeks to affirm the capitalist civilization, but to deal with the idea of future and mind itself. ³To listen to the irrational´ becomes the renouncement of cultural legacy and escape from life. The voices of the irrational are a cry of the suppressed and degenerated human needs, of a subdued personality. ³To listen to the body´, which is the most direct product of the existing world, means to submit to the ruling order. In contrast to the former ruling classes, the bourgeoisie strives to include the working layers into its spiritual, as well as into its living sphere. The capitalist way of life

(³consumer society´) becomes a totalizing principle of life which spares no one and from which there is no escape. The commercialization of life is the worst form of totalitarianism ever created in history, since it completely submits nature, society and man to the destructive mechanism of the capitalist reproduction. Its essence is expressed in the monstrous maxim ³Money does not stink!´ - which illustrates the very gist of the ecocide capitalist terrorism. According to the dictate of the absolutized principle of profit, the totalizing of the world by ³technical civilization´ is in place ± and it destroys the possibility of creating a humanist civilization - as well as of nature, body and bodily movement, which directly conditions the ³development´ of senses and man's mental capacities. The dominant form of bodily activism becomes a consumer activism. The commercialization of the body is the ³highest´ form of capitalist degeneration of the body (man). Man's body is not only part of a capitalistically degenerated world; it becomes a means of destroying the natural and the human and as such the enemy of man. A direct product of the ³consumer society´ is a man-consumer corresponded by a consumer-body in which the surrogates of ³consumer civilization´ are to vanish. Capitalism destroys the body by turning it into a destructive mechanism ± causing hypertrophy of those physical functions which offer a possibility for the development of consumer society, and the atrophy of those functions which are not of a profitable character. The dominant rhythm is that of the capitalist reproduction which destroys the biological rhythm of life ± without which there is no healthy man. Man is not only guided by a consumer activism as a value-related challenge, but his body cannot survive without an ever bigger number of devices and aids, as well as artificial living conditions. The capitalist totalizing of the world involves the capitalist totalizing of the body, which means its distortion and the creation of a chronically ill man who can survive only with an ever bigger amount of medicaments and medical interventions. Man's survival is increasingly mediated by artificial means which turn him into an invalid. The body has lost its natural needs: it can no longer process natural food; it lives on medicaments and through medicaments. Man's whole life is under ³treatments´ which, ultimately, are to enable him to survive in a functional harmony with the ruling order. Material wealth does not provide him with a healthy life; it rather causes a specific mental and physical degeneration of plutocracy. The relation to the body shows that the development of the ³consumer standard´ involves the destruction of the living standard. Work, way of life, movements, rhythm of living, diet, sleeping, space which is a modern ghetto (towns), air, water, food, tobacco, drugs, beverages, the way of life which destroys man's natural being, night life ± all these forms of life become a way of man's degeneration. Cholesterol, cellulite, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurasthenia, depression, AIDS, etc. ± are not the ³diseases of contemporary world´, but are capitalistic form of man's physical and mental degeneration. It is about a capitalist mutation of man performed by depriving man of natural and human life-creating force and degenerating him into a plastic and technical ³being´. At the same time, an increasing number of threatening diseases are not naturally conditioned and of a natural character; they are the products of laboratories and are of a genocidal and profitable character. We are dealing here with a capitalist production of diseases which are being ³treated´ by turning man into a profitable patient, which means a chronically ill person. ³Physical needs´ of today's man are determined by propaganda machinery and his social position. Man, who constantly devours increasing amounts of increasingly low quality food, is the most

important strategic goal of the food industry. It creates an increasingly ill man who is, naturally, ³attended to´ by medical and pharmaceutical industry. The consumption of an increasing amount of food is not the need of our bodies, but is a compensation for a frustrated humanity. Capitalism is turning the consequences of the destruction of nature and man into the sources of profits and is developing ever more horrible mechanisms of destruction. The human body becomes a universal destructive machine and a universal garbage collector which should devour the ever more poisonous surrogates of the capitalist civilization. At the same time, existential anxiety, everyday humiliations, loneliness, hopelessness generated by the destructive capitalist nothingness, mentally distort man, and this is a direct cause of the degeneration of the body. The essence of historical phenomena can be realized properly only if we realize the tendency of their development, which means the tendency of the development of the world in which they arise and develop. What the body is can be realized only in the context of the tendency of the development of capitalism. At the methodological level, phenomenology offers a possibility of grasping the phenomena, through ³intentionality´ and the ³phenomenology of genesis´, in the context of their change (becoming). The ³facticity of the world´ (Merleau-Ponty) is not what by itself ³creates Weltlichkeit der Welt´ (worldliness of the world); it is the dominant (destructive) tendency of its development. It directly influences man's physical and mental development and conditions his relation to the world.

The Cult of the Existing World

Sport is the cult of capitalism. In his Olympic writings Coubertin writes of Olympism as the ³cult of the existing world´ which appears under the ideological veil of the ³cult of humanism´. The starting point for establishing sport as the cult of the existing world, however, is not humanism, but Social Darwinism and positivism. Sport is the reaction of the bourgeoisie to the guiding ideas of the French Revolution, the emancipatory legacy of the civil society and the ideal of future which becomes the landmark of a political movement striving to overcome capitalism. It is a form in which the bourgeoisie, which came to power on the wave of bourgeois revolutions, performed a spiritual counterrevolution. Instead of of ³Freedom´, ³Equality´ and ³Brotherhood´, the principle of ³progress´, reduced to the ³development´ and ³perfectioning´ of capitalism, becomes the supreme political principle; instead of a struggle to realize basic human and civil rights, there exists a conflict between nations and races and colonial expansion ; instead of a respect for cultural tradition, sport is used for destruction of nations' spiritual heritage and thus their libertarian dignity... Sport becomes the most important ³mondialist´ ideology and stadium the most important ³cultural´ venue of the capitalist world. Unlike the religious cults based on transcendental values, sport is a positivist cult reduced to the divination of the existing world. The prevailing symbolism in the stadiums expresses the prevailing spirit of the existing world and represents a means for integrating people into the ruling order. Not war, but life based on Social Darwinism and progressism is the source of sport. Instead of traditional religions, Olympism becomes the

highest (positive) religion appropriate to the spirit of the modern world: the spirit of Olympism is the spirit of capitalism. Unlike traditional religions, sport is not an attempt to make life meaningful; it is a shock-therapy meant to alleviate the ever bigger sufferings caused by the everyday meaningless and ever bloodier life. It crushes the critical visionary mind, the idea of future and man as a living (biological) being. The ³creation of future´ in sport is based on the positivistic maxim ³to know in order to predict, to predict in order to act´ (savoir pour prevoir, prevoir pour agir). A fight between people is possible, according to the rules which are the embodiment of the ruling spirit, but not for the purpose of changing the established order. In it, there is no fight between the good and the evil, which means that the basic humanistic principle is excluded from sport, the principle without which there is no civilization. Sport is the most authentic anticipation of a capitalist ³future´. Sport is an eroticized cult of the existing world. Deerotization of man and relations between people (genders) is accompanied by an erotisation of the relation to sport and sport persons as a symbolic incarnation of the ruling spirit. The Olympic spectacle, by its aggressive choreography, represents a peculiar love foreplay in which the senses are stirred and man is kept in the state of erotic arousal. The modern Olympic Games become a supreme ritual of man's submission to the ruling spirit, similarly to the ancient Olympic Games, at which man surrendered himself to the Olympic gods - the difference being in that now we are dealing with a deerotization of the ancient physical culture through progressivism, which involves quantification and industrial mimesis. Since the most important task of the sports pedagogy is to fully incorporate man into the existing world, it is also dominated by an appeal for harmony which is the ³sister of order´ (Coubertin). At the same time, great importance is attached to the rhythm as ³progress´ has a dynamic character. It symbolizes the throbbing of the living pulse of capitalism and a never ending renewal of its life-creating force which appears as a fatal power. Sport has become the most important political weapon of the class domination by which the bourgeoisie destroys the class conscious of the working people, critical mind, libertarian dignity, depolitizes the oppressed, achieves ³national integration´... In contrast to the earlier games, which expressed the spirit of the ruling order and had a class exclusivity, sport is a ³supraclass´ game which expresses the progressistic capitalist universalism by means of which the bourgeoisie draws into its spiritual orbit not only workers, but women and members of ³lower races´ as well. It serves to ³overcome´ class antagonism (³sport has nothing to do with politics´), achieves ³class reconciliation´ and thus ³social peace´. For the ruling class, sport is an ³ideological political cudgel´ (Hoch) which destroys the critical mind and workers' drive for changes. It is a vent releasing the discontent of the oppressed and preventing the creation of an organized political movement that can jeopardize the ruling order. The conflict between classes is transferred from the political (social) sphere to stadiums, the war waged in sport being the embodiment of the capitalist way of life. When a man gives vent to his discontent on a stadium, he does that in a way which does not question the existing order, but reproduces it. Sport is a capitalist ideology which ³levels off´ class differences based on the ruling principles of capitalism. To win! ± that is the existential imperative both for those who are at the bottom and for those who sit in ³blue loges´. Capitalism does not leave anybody alone. The existential uncertainty is Damocles' sword hovering over everybody's

head. Trying to escape from the bottom and struggling not to come to the bottom ± this is what makes the rich and the poor ³get closer´. ³Enjoying´ wealth means letting off the fear of poverty. Sport repeatedly produces the awareness of an unavoidable world based on the Social Darwinist principle ³The stronger win, the weaker are eliminated!´ (Coubertin). It provokes a conflict between people (nations, races and genders) thus producing the existing world of injustice. Sport serves to provide the oppressed with ³opponents´ in the form of an ³opponent team´ and ³opponent supporters´ so that they can vent their anger at them because of their humiliating position. It absorbs the increasing discontent of the oppressed working people and their children ± whose future is being destroyed. Capitalism produces an unhappy and mutilated man, and at the same time creates ever bloodier compensatory mechanisms and a need for them ± which is attributed to the ³evil´ human nature. Sport clearly shows the truth that politics is an art of directing the discontent of the oppressed towards the realization of inhuman ends. That is why in sport everything is allowed: murder, serious physical injuries, verbal abuses... ³Victory´ on a sports field is the defeat of humanity. Sports spectacles have become the chief and cheapest spiritual food for those deprived of their rights. To drive the oppressed into stadiums and sports centres has become the most important political task of the ruling regimes. Hence everything is being done to enable their regular occurrence. Those who adopt laws prescribing long-term imprisonment for children who run into the field during a game, are the main promoters of sport, which is an institutionalized violence with a spectacular dimension; those who struggle to ³abolish´ capital punishment as a ³non-civilized´ measure are the chief organizers of the ever bloodier sports spectacles in which premeditated and accidental murders as well as the infliction of serious physical injuries are legalized; the European legislation in no way tries to stop a monstrous abuse of increasingly younger children and their turning into sports slaves; the duration and intensity of trainings are not limited; the selling of players by clubs is legalized; segregation according to the gender has been institutionalized; the use of dope is elevated to the level of the state policy ± hiding the interests of multinational concerns and ruling political clans; ³physical culture´ has been expelled from schools and ³sports education´ has been introduced in which, instead of cultural conscious and tolerance, prevail physical strength and the spirit of ruthless rivalry; young people deprived of their rights acquire the status of ³hooligans´ and thus of social outcasts; instead of pedagogical measures for preventing the violent behaviour of young people and creating the conditions for changing their ever harder social position, we are facing an increasingly brutal police oppression... All those things that express the existential spirit of capitalism ± murder, physical injuries, destruction of humanity ± acquire in sports fields a spectacular dimension. The principle ³Victory at all costs!´, which corresponds to the principle ³Profit at all costs!´ - becomes a supreme and unquestionable sports principle. Officially, ³sport has nothing to do with politics´ but, in fact, it is a universal political instrument of the world rulers in their attempt to preserve capitalism. ³Sportivization´ has become the most important ideological form of the capitalist totalizing of the world, while stadium has become the most important cult venue of the contemporary world ± where to the ruling spirit a critical and change-oriented mind is sacrificed. Sport, as the chief ³mondialist´ religion, becomes a means for destroying traditional religions, cultural heritage of peoples and political ideas and movements

which oppose the ³new world order´, which means a destructive (ecocide) capitalist totalitarism. Coubertin does not hide that the chief task of IOC is to create, through sport, a global positive one-mindedness. The establishment of a total and unquestionable unique (capitalist) worldview has become the leading political principle. In the world, there are thousands and thousands of sports manifestations every day; the sports commentaries from the sports fields are given the prime time in the news and cover most of the space in public media; ³sports´ TV channels broadcast sports programme non-stop; sport is becoming the chief advertising billboard in an increasingly ruthless economic war and the most important political platform; sports paganism becomes a means of Christian churches (and other leading religious communities) for courting the ³masses´; the ruling ³esthetic model´ becomes the sports body; everyday language takes over sports terminology, especially the political language and that of business; politicians and capitalists place primary importance to their sports biographies, the photos of them are taken while engaged in a sports activity, they strive to attain a ³sporting image´ which is meant to demonstrate their ³victorious spirit´; sport becomes the chief means for ³money laundering´, meaning a mafia business of utmost importance; coaches acquire the status of supreme managers of capitalism; sportsmen become moving billboards, while stadiums, sports and betting places become the temples of capitalism. The role of a journalist is to give a ³spectacular´ dimension to the increasingly cruel sports reality. There is not a critical detachment from the aspect of morality, social interest or any other norms apart from sport. Sports commentators glorify violence and destruction and in a perfidious way encourage conflicts between the oppressed, which appear in the form of supporters, between nations, genders and races. They seek to establish a direct contact between sports spectacles and subconscious: a sports spectacle is meant to ³draw´ discontent from the oppressed and direct it towards the ³opponent´. Sports articles are of an increasingly primitive character: they correspond to the sport which destroys the power of reasoning and creates a massive idiocy. The ever more aggressive sensationalism is a commercial form of ever more meaningless texts which give a ³fatal´ dimension to marginal phenomena and a marginal dimension to the crucial issues for humanity. Writing on the nature of modern capitalism Marcuse concludes: ÄThe non-functioning of television and the allied media might thus begin to achieve what the inherent contradictions of capitalism did not achieve ± the disintegration of the system. The creation of repressive needs has long since become part of socially necessary labour ± necessary in the sense that without it, the established mode of production could not be sustained. Neither problems of psychology nor of aesthetics are at stake, but the material base of domination.³ (5) Capitalism creates not only repressive, but also (self) destructive needs. Suicidal ³feats´ become the biggest ³test of courage´ and are thus a form of dragging people away from the field of (political) fight for the realization of their human rights and the survival of the world. The same applies to boxing and other bloody spectacles. Instead of directing their dissatisfaction to the abolishment of the world of misery, people direct it to bloody clashes with other people. Sport is the most important instrument of capitalism for degenerating man. It destroys not only the body, but also the critical change-oriented (visionary) conscious and produces (self-destructive) fanaticism. By way of sport man is held outside historical space where the governing values are conserved ± which is the essence of the view that sport is a phenomenon sui generis and ³has nothing to do with politics´. Instead of changing the ruling order which increasingly

generates evil, the order changes man by destroying in him everything that makes him human and can become the basis for the development of a critical mind and changing practice. The emancipatory legacy of civil society has been discarded and ³new´ fascism is being established which is the incarnation of the ecocide spirit of contemporary capitalism. By becoming the order of destruction in a pure sense (³consumer society´), capitalism cast away its ³humanistic´ and ³progressive´ mask. Sport is no longer used for preserving the faith in the ³eternal values of capitalism´, the critical change-oriented mind is being destroyed which, above all, means the confidence that a free and righteous world is possible. Manipulation shifts from the ideological sphere to the psychological one: stadium becomes a psychotherapeutic institution. Instead of the cult of victory and records, the dominant cult is that of a spectacle which is the main spiritual drug by means of which the ruling oligarchy holds ³masses´ under control; instead of becoming ³contestants´ and ³recorders´, sportsmen become circus players, gladiators and stuntmen. Just as the true picture of war are not military parades, but killed and mutilated people, desperate mothers, burned houses and fields, starving children dying in mud ± so the true picture of sport are not smiling faces of sportsmen at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, but their degenerated bodies, ruined health, destroyed youth, life without a future... A man deprived of rights, abused, defeated and destroyed ± that is the true picture of war and sport alike.




Footnotes (1) Bertrand Rasel, obrazovanju i vaspitanju, 91.p. Klub NT, Beograd, 1996. (2) In : ³Historia´, Numero 595, 53.p. (3) Jeger Verner, Paideia, 159.p. Knji evna zajednica Novog Sada, 1991. (4) Compare : Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Fenomenologija percepcije, V.Masle a, Sarajevo,1990. (5) Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man, 246. p. Beacon Press, Boston, 1964.