Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hediegger. Left or Right Wing?


The above is Patricia Cohens article on Emmanuel Fayes book critical of Heidegger. Cohen writes at one point,

Although Mr. Faye talks about the close connection between Heidegger and current right-wing extremist politics, left-wing intellectuals have more frequently been inspired by his ideas. Existentialism and postmodernism as well as attendant attacks on colonialism, atomic weapons, ecological ruin and universal notions of morality are all based on his critique of the Western cultural tradition and reason.

As we know, Left and Right Wing mean different things depending upon which country we happen to be in when we say it. Emmanuel Faye is French so for him Right-Wing is associated with Fascism and Left-Wing with Communism.

But here in the U.S. Right-Wing harks back to the American Constitution. Right-Wingers are Conservatives who want to leave the government and country the way it was when the founding fathers created it more or less. Left-Wingers in America consider themselves progressives and want to make improvements in the government and country. And the American Left does attack the matters Cohen describes.

Julian Young would argue that Heideggers heroic leader was spiritual and had the good of the Volk in mind. Notice that Fayes book addresses Heideggers comments in 1933-1935. Those were still early days for Hitler. Neville Chamberlains Peace in our Time speech was three years beyond this period; so to argue that Heidegger in 1935 should have known what Hitler would become later on is asking rather too much prescience it seems to me.

However, in regard to the Left and Right wings in America, the founding fathers created a government that would never again support a King. The Right Wing in America opposes a powerful centralized government and a king-like leader. Heidegger on the other hand favored those features in his ideal government.

Then too, the American Left Wing is much closer to European Socialism than the American Right Wing. And when we look at what made National Socialism distinct from Communistic Socialism, we see that it is much closer to the present European ideal. National Socialism doesnt take over all the means of production. Those remain autonomous. But it does assume ultimate control in regard to the welfare of the people and the nation at large.

Which is to say that if they could get rid of the term Nazi and the name Adolf Hitler, and described National Socialism, many in Europe today would think it was fairly close to their ideal. Certainly the Russians would. Meanwhile here in the U.S. it is the Left Wing that hankers after the European ways of doing things.


Anonymous said...

"Peace for our time," not "peace in our time."

Lawrence Helm said...


I used as my reference the actual speech given to the British Parliament. They call it as it did "The Peace in Our Time" speech. See http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/workbook/ralprs36.htm