File spoon-archives/heidegger.archive/heidegger_2001/heidegger.0107, message 54

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 15:45:53 +0200
Subject: Re: misunderstanding the statement

>To me they seem to be bad jokes -- this sort of posturing in heroic
>You rightly point to Heidegger's yearning for Bodenstaendigkeit,
autochthony. It
>remains ambiguous because he sees that the old rootedness in the soil has
>it doesn't have a chance of survival. But, Heidegger asks late, "could not
a new
>ground and soil be given back to humans?" (Gelassenheit S.21) Does human
>require rooting in the soil? 


You're right in that there isn't any romanticism in Heidegger. I was a bit
inspired by "Was heisst Denken",
the helpless one-dimensionality, in which man abides, when the world is no
longer a 
fundamentum bene fundatum (Leibniz). What harm an uprooted concept like
'humanism' can do, Heidegger has explained after the war. 
Heidegger understood Nietzsche's "god is dead' in the sense of: the
metaphysical god is dead, 
or: the metaphysical subject is dead. This subject is since Descartes man.
And the completion of metaph.
brings us the last man. Nietzsche says, he jumps on the earth, like a flea.
But you do, as if you know all that, what they are, man, soil and rooting.
The question
"what is ..." is  itself metaphysical, Heidegger taught us. Ergo ... When
another way of asking, 
thinking is needed, then you cannot know beforehand what will come out.
That's my point
with the Grundstimmung. 

>Or does the real challenge for human being consist in
>coping with the difference and diversity of ways of living on this planet,
>that we understand each other sufficiently to share the world? You may have
>noticed that one of the 'fruits' of technology and capitalism is the large
>migration of people all over the globe. Does that mean that they are all
>(We have to keep in mind that Heidegger's thinking tells us nothing at all
>capitalism. This blind spot in his thinking presumably has something to do
>his deep-seated, provincial, Catholic Anti-Communism.)
>Heidegger in some ways remained his whole life long deeply provincial and
>narrow-minded in the worst sense, totally incapable of coping with an urbane,
>metropolitan milieu and deeply suspicious, for instance, of the Englaender
>Amerikaner. Some of his small-town prejudices and personal fears found
their way
>into his philosophy in the guise of grand, world-historical
pronouncements. In
>this regard, the little man is really very little. Heidegger's greatness lies
>In the absence of anything better, your contempt for democracy as nihilism
is very

Nietzsche: contempt is the greatest danger, it should be learned. 
I didn't speak of democracy, but of the combination of democracy and
And: the DDR also called itself a democracy. Again: what is that: democracy,
what is people, what is power?

>Today there are people being murdered and tortured daily because they
>are fighting for some kind of democracy and self-determination against
>oppressive and corrupt regimes. We have to ask ourselves: would I have the
guts in
>such a situation to openly risk political opposition? Heidegger did not
have this
>kind of personal courage, as far as I can see.

As some ironic Frenchman said: to stay, as a German of the 20th century,
out of two
worldwars, is in itself an achievement. 
He could have easily waited in 1933, till the clouds would have be gone, as
many did,
who then spoke afterwards.
He did have the courage, to expose himself, he did, didn't he? Otherwise,
what are we talking
And: it came from the heart. My conclusion is, he can only be lauded for
that. Suppose this revolution
could have led to ... - there's a lot of talk about other beginnings,
advent, gods ... 
- to something different than a situation where everybody has the right to
say everything on
every topic, where who has preserved some individuality, is crushed, if he
has no home
of himself - and (suppose) he would again not have taken part, that would
have been treacherous,
to his cause.  Do you know anything of the two revolutions, first the
national, then the socialist?
When Roehm was killed, that was over. Anyway, too much nihilism already.

> As a thinker, however, he had great
>courage. It's not just important, but absolutely crucial to distinguish.

But that leaves us either with an idiotic genius or an ingenious idiot.


drs. René de Bakker
Universiteitsbibliotheek Amsterdam
Afdeling Catalogisering 
tel. 020-5252368              

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