Alessiato, Elena: In & out: fear reaction and identity building. On the basis of events from the German history

“We are in, you are out”. In this expression a boundary is set up and two identities are defined. In political and cultural history establishing a distinction based on discrimination criteria has helped in a substantial way to build identities. In so far as identities work as stabilising forces, inclusion and exclusion have been often used as intellectual and cultural, and conseguently legal, devices for normalising and thus keeping fear under control. But a difference exists between an intellectual device thought as reaction to fear, preventing it from trasforming into resentment, and a legal or cultural system based on fear. This difference calls up the distinction between (potential) integration and (probable) segregation. The paper tries to clarify these points, with correlated riskes and opportunities, with reference to a peculiar stage of the German history: the time of Prussia’s Napoleonic invasion and the Addresses to the German Nation by the philosopher J.G. Fichte