Mediamatic Magazine Vol. 6#2/3 Pim Fortuyn 1 Jan 1991


Well gestured

Prof W.S.P.Fortuyn was responsible for the free public transport network for students in Holland. Prof. Fortuyn was a converted Marxist who called himself an adviser in political and strategic questions.


Fortuyn -

The Communicator is a Human Being

The human being distinguishes itself from other life forms by its capacity for communication. Human beings are 'languaged' beings. Through language. they express themselves in an extremely varied manner. Emotions acquire profundity when given a name and analysed: in short, through being captured in language. Emotions can also be blocked or talked through by expressing them in language: without language. no human life or emotion.
Language knows a number of expressive forms. Talking, screaming, writing, painting, sculpting are all means of expression which are used by human beings to communicate with each other through language. Even the most abstract work of art must be translated into language if it is to cause a reaction in us: language which forms in the head of the spectator and is sometimes poured into the article of the art critic.
The media which I use in my own life to express myself through language are varied, and at the same time, limited. FundamentallyI am a speaker, an orator. As a little catholic boy, I was impressed by the travelling priests who visited us in the parish and took their flock thoroughly to task on moral and religious questions. The procedure never varied. Observe, analyse, moralise and finally, the festive salvation. These men used nothing other than the spoken word and could enrapture their listeners. and sometimes challenge them into making great sacrifices.
Much more negative, but therefore no less impressive were orators like Hitler and Mussolini. They also followed the pattern described above and could inflame entire crowds. Churchill and Kennedy did the same thing in their own way with one difference: the setting was a democratic one.

The time of the great orators seems to have passed. The modern media, the emancipation of large segments (classes) of the population have contributed much to people's capacity for seeing things in perspective. Seeing things in perspective: because one belongs less than ever to a single, recognizable group, because events take place at an ever increasing tempo. One day, a complete modern war is being fought out in the Gulf, the next: old-fashioned, cynical holders of power attempt to reverse the emancipation of millions of Russians. We see it immediately on television, with commentary.
Besides the spoken word, I make a great deal of use of the written word. I write letters and memos, books and articles. Previously, they were of a scientific nature, based on thorough empirical research. Today, they are more politico-philosophical, reflective, analytical and a bit literary. More than ever, I try to formulate what I myself think and feel and to find an effective expressive form for it. This attitude extends to my work as a professor and director of a highly automated company. I supervise automation processes while I myself can barely use a text editor. I supervise these processes by speaking and writing, in short, by using language in every possible way. I influence all kinds of specialists through use of language, both rationally and emotionally, which allows us to create a product. A result which, without this supervision, communication, if you will would never have been achieved.
And yet, everything which we communicate is already there, it's only the form we seek. Or, as a sculptor once told me, so aptly, as he began kneading the first lumps of clay for a sculpture: This sculpture is already there I just need to make it.

translation JIM BOEKBINDER