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Benno Herzog
in: Ferrer, A. & Sánchez-Biosca, V. (eds.) El inferno de los perpetradores, Barcelona: Bellaterra, pp. 93-112.
Publication year: 2019

Perpetrators find themselves in a normative, social space. On the one hand side they follow certain social norms. On the other hand, following these norms is contradicting superior norms, thus allowing us to identify their acts as perpetration. In order to perpetrate, one has therefore to silence or invisibilize somehow the moral reprobation related to those norms that try to avoid social suffering and that prevent social disintegration.

The main aim of this text is to show the relation between misrecognition / disrespect and perpetrator and to unfold the mechanisms of invisibilization and silencing that facilitate the act of perpetration as form of disrespect.

Therefore, first of all I will unfold a theoretical language that understands social suffering as a form of disrespect, i.e. as a for of norm-violation that takes place in a space of mutual recognition. In a second step I will show how the disrespect towards the victim also is mirrored back towards the aggressor. I will then offer an analytical systematization of different mechanisms of silencing and invisibilization of social norms that hinder social aggressions. Finally, I will show how complete silencing and invisibilization of the voice of suffering is impossible and how suffering, despite of all mediatization, is maintained as external force also upon the perpetrator.