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Heidegger’s Notion of “Being”

Ljubodrag Simonović
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                                           Heidegger’s Notion of “Being”

             Heidegger has established a duality between Being (Sein) and man. There is a “relationship” between Being and man, with Being as prior to and independent of man and representative of that conditioning the entity which allows man to be man. Indeed, there is no “relationship” between Being and man; but man stands in relation to Being, which, as such, is the key to understanding the nature of man and, thereby, the nature of Being. Heidegger’s Being does not have a historical foundation or a historical character. Rather than being based on man’s libertarian and creative practice, it is a givenness independent of man and the world, which means it has a phenomenological character.

             According to Heidegger, man can be the “neighbour” and the “shepherd of Being”, but not its creator. It is only through such a relationship of man to Being that Being can be Being, which means that only as the „shepherd of Being“ can man be  man. Man, being the „shepherd of Being“, is actually the shepherd of his authentic (tragic) existence and thus the caretaker of the world, which is the house of Being. Indeed, Heidegger’s Being is a form in which man becomes alienated from himself as a social, creative, libertarian, historical and, thus, a visionary being. Man’s need to fulfill his real human potential as a concrete social and visionary being is replaced with the „need“ for an abstract „Being“.

             In Heidegger, the truth is not inside, but outside of man. Instead of being guided by humanism and emanating an aura (Benjamin) that illuminates the path leading to the future, man is human only when he is illuminated by the light emanating from Being, a gleaming that is at once above and beside man. Heidegger postulates humanism with a metaphysical nature, which means that it is independent of man. It becomes a mirror in which man can recognize his image. Heidegger’s interpretation of Hölderlin is very indicative of that. Instead of directing his gaze towards another man and the future, man should direct his gaze towards the sky, like early seafarers who navigated only by the stars.

              Heidegger: “What is Being? Can we ask of Being what it is? Being remains self-explanatory and unquestioned and, therefore, unthought. Being persists in the long forgotten and fathomless truth.”

             The purpose of fundamental ontology is to abolish the very possibility of questioning the nature of Being, because, according to Heidegger, it inevitably amounts to the objectification of Being and thus to the abolishment of the tragic, which is the essence of human existence. By personifying Being, Heidegger indicates that man cannot establish an immediate relation to Being by way of reason, which, by questioning its nature, conceptualizes and thus objectifies Being. In other words, reason makes it impossible for man to experience Being and to dwell in its neighbourhood.

             Heidegger abolishes the possibility of an unobjectifying rational relation to Being. His fundamental ontology therefore does not seek to create a mode of thinking that would be able to think of Being without reducing it to an object, but rather seeks to abolish thinking as a mediator between man and Being, which means between man and his existence. „Poetically man dwells“ – Heidegger cites Hölderlin. This is the „long forgotten and fathomless truth where Being persists“. The truth cannot be attained by thinking, but by living a life based on the experience of Being.

             Heidegger fell into the trap that he, himself, had set. If Being “remains self-explanatory and unquestioned and therefore unthought”, why does Heidegger mention being as “something”? Moreover, Heidegger declares Being to be a non-conceptual phenomenon and then determines its specific concept, reducing it thereby to an object. The specificity of Being as “something” lies, according to Heidegger, in that we cannot comprehend it, can only experience it. Also, Being has a personal nature and we cannot ask of it “what it is”. Furthermore, “Being remains self-explanatory and unquestioned and therefore unthought”. And,  “Being persists in the long forgotten and fathomless truth”.

              Just as with theology, naming and personifying produces a „God“, with Heidegger’s philosophy, naming and personifying produces a „Being“. Being, however, does not exist; there is only a notion of „Being“, which is the product of Heidegger’s philosophical (religious) imagination and exists in Heidegger’s philosophical language. Just as the word „God“ denotes the synthesis of a specific and absolutized view of the world, man, ruling order and future, Heidegger’s expression „Being“ denotes a specific and absolutized ideological model of the world, man and future. Being is a givenness that is not thought because the ruling order is a givenness that cannot be questioned. Heidegger’s philosophical relation to Being is actually a theological relation to the ruling order. Instead of turning to the future, man turns towards Being, which is an instrument for deifying the existing world.

             Heidegger confronts the mind because it creates concepts that mediate between man and his existence, but Heidegger must name Being, personify it and determine its concept because, without it, man cannot have a notion of Being and relate to it. In other words, it is only through the notion of Being, which is the product of Heidegger’s philosophy, that man can believe that Being exists and to „relate“ to it by experiencing it. By his philosophy, Heidegger personifies and conceptualizes Being, providing the illusion of its existence: „something“ that is an ideological product acquires the dimension of real existence. The peculiar quality of Heidegger’s philosophy is not the ideology it produces, but the way in which it does so.

              Heidegger proclaimed the flaw in his thinking to be the flaw in thinking itself. However, it is Heidegger’s philosophy rather than thinking that turns a phenomenon into an object. Heidegger posed the question on the nature of “what” in an objectifying manner. What gives Heidegger’s thinking the objectifying qualify is his phenomenological relation to man and history. Rather than departing from dialectical thinking, according to which “what” has a historical nature, Heidegger departs from the kind of thinking that produces phenomenological abstractions.  “What” is an object if it is reduced to a givenness and thus separated from the creative practice of man as a historical being. Indeed, “what” is not that what is, but that what can be. Its essence is not grasped by serving Being, but through a creative practice which can give life to his emancipatory potential. It is only in the context of creating a new world that “what” can overcome objectification and thus the danger of falling into the metaphysical. In that sense, revolution is the most radical form of the abolishment of thinking as the production of objectification.

             The essence is not in the question but in questioning. By posing questions, man establishes a relation to the world, whereby he changes both the world and himself by becoming an authentic creative being. By questioning the world, man indicates that the world is not a  givenness and that he is not merely a part of the world, but an authentic creative being, whereas the world is the product of his libertarian and creative practice. The relationship between man and the world is dynamic and has a dialectical and thus a historical character. In the historical process of man’s becoming a creative being, “what” loses its objectifying and acquires a historical dimension. The posing of questions is such a relation to the world that indicates its limits and opens up spaces for a possible future.

            Heidegger calls for the abolishment of all that mediates between man and his existence and then, by way of his philosophy, postulates Being, which he proclaims is the unquestionable entity mediating between man and the world. This is the basis for man‘s being a “shepherd of Being”. The indisputable loyalty to Being is the basic presupposition of man’s co-existence with Being. Any doubt in Being or a critical relation to Being are excluded. Man does not have a questioning but an idolizing relation to Being. He does not relate to Being as an emancipated citizen, but as a loyal subject. Man has a religious relation to Being.

             Why does man have a need for Being if he is thrown into the world where Being is forgotten? Heidegger, actually, does not address Being; he addresses man. His demand that man be a “shepherd of Being” is meaningful only if man already has a need for Being, and if he is ready and willing to be the “shepherd of Being”. Heidegger does not problematize this question, since it opens the possibility of coming to the conclusion that man, who has a need for Being and who is ready and willing to be the “shepherd of Being”, does not actually need Being. In other words, man is already that which, according to Heidegger, he is only to become as the “shepherd” and the “neighbor” of Being. Ultimately, man’s need for Being conditions man’s relation to Being and thereby the possibility of Being as Being.

             In order to be the “shepherd of Being”, man, according to traditional philosophy, must know what Being is and must have a notion of Being. For Heidegger, this is an obsolete way of thinking, preventing man from having a more immediate relation to his existence and thus to Being. According to Heidegger, man’s relation to Being is based on the immediate experience of his tragic existence arising from the fear of death. Because of his fear of death, man acquires a need for Being that enables him to conquer death and experience eternal life. Man’s return to Being is actually man’s return to his immediate existence with a tragic character.

              What does the “oblivion of Being” mean? Does it mean that modern man has lost his notion of Being or that he has lost his need for Being? If we have in mind Heidegger’s insistence that man has to become the “neighbor of Being” and that his relation to Being is not based on his thinking of Being, but on its experience, we can conclude that, for Heidegger, the “oblivion of Being” means that modern man has lost his need for Being. Departing from that conclusion, to insist that man should become the “shepherd” and the “neighbor” of Being becomes meaningless. According to Heidegger, in spite of falling into the abyss of nothingness created by the world of technology, man is a mortal being and the fear of death is awakened in him over and over again, creating a need for Being. The experience of the fear of death is the path leading man from the abyss of nothingness to Being.

             Heidegger’s abstract Being is a mediator between man and the world, which means a mediator between people. For Heidegger, sociability does not have any importance whatsoever with respect to man’s confrontation with death, since human beings as human beings cannot conquer death and thus abolish their tragic existence. A need for people is therefore replaced with a need for Being. Being becomes the essence of man, who is deprived of authentic sociability.

             Trying to determine Heidegger’s Being in a rational way is the same as trying to capture clouds with a fork. The indeterminability of Being represents its primary property. Being manifests its indeterminability when we attempt to determine it. Indeterminability is actually the expression of the elusiveness of Being. Man’s relation to Being is similar to that between a child and a ball: whenever a child tries to catch a ball, it bounces back. Heidegger attempted to establish a relationship between man and Being that will enable man to grasp Being in such a way that it remains elusive. Man cannot determine Being rationally and through his creative practice, however, he can experience Being. This is the starting point for the creation of a new thinking that insists on poetry and involves the overcoming of philosophy as a pure ratio. Instead of the thinking of Being, the dominant feeling should be a closeness with Being. That is why Heidegger insists on a “neighborhood with Being”.

             Heidegger attempted philosophically to “resolve” the question of God as the embodiment of values that serves as a bulwark and prevents man from falling into the abyss of nothingness. His fundamental ontology was meant to be the basis for a new way of thinking that turns theology into ontology. God moves from Heaven to the Earth. He is no longer an abstract entity to which man relates by way of a religious dogma and the church, but a being living in man’s neighborhood, illuminating him and filling him with warmth. The experience of the presence of Being and the co-existence with Being, without the mediation of reason based on the objectification of man’s existence that leads to a doubt which is the source of nihilism, is the most important point connecting Heidegger’s philosophy to the philosophy of Kierkegaard.

             In the analysis of Hölderlin’s poetry, Heidegger points out the presence of God. Talking about God and Heaven, he creates the impression of a warm certainty that brings calmness into people’s lives. Homelessness and the fear of vanishing are gone… Through science and technology, man has created a false image of himself and has acquired a false sense that he has become the master of life and death – thus creating an inauthentic existential condition. He is “thrown into the world” ruled by nihilism, which is his home only in a technical sense. Heidegger propounds an authentic existence ruled by the fear of death, since it is only on the basis of such fear that man can have a need for God, offering him a possibility to conquer death and ensuring eternal life. The “oblivion of Being” is based on the oblivion of this Earthly temporariness, and it is only relative to this oblivion that a need for Being is possible.

            It is no accident that Heidegger cites Hölderlin, whose poetry brings God into people’s homes. The language of poetry connects man with Being. It becomes the language of praying: the way of addressing God is not a calling forth, but appealing to God. The poetical, which corresponds to the ancient poiesis, is the construction of the home of Being, whose roof is the sky as the divine firmament. God has returned to man’s home at this poetical call, whereby man is assured eternal life in God’s world. In his co-existence with Being, man becomes a god-man. Dasein is a deified man.

Translated from Serbian by Vesna Todorović (Petrović)

English translation supervisor Mick Collins

11. март 2016. at 05:26

Хайдеггер и нацизм

Любодраг Дуци Симонович
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                                                 Хайдеггер и нацизм

               Было бы ошибочно пытаться установить непосредственную связь между нацистской идеологией и философией Хайдеггера (Martin Heidegger), тем более, если пытаться искать в нацистской идеологии основу Хайдеггеровой мысли. Близость Хайдеггеровой философии и нацистской идеологии основывается на том, что обе доктрины имеют один и тот же источник. Они представляют собой ветви дерева, укоренившегося в велико-германском экспансионизме.

               В лекции под названием “Европа и немецкая философия” (“Europa und die deutsche Philosophie”), которую 8 апреля 1936 года Хайдеггер прочитал в фашистском Риме, он недвусмысленно указал на стратегические политические цели немецкой философии. Ее важнейшая задача – „спасти Европу“ от „азиатских народов“, противостоя „искоренению и расщеплению“ европейских народов. Хайдеггер отстаивает „изменение исторического существования“ Европы, которое может быть достигнуто не „слепым проникновением в неопределенное будущее“, а „только созидательной расправой с совокупной прежней историей“. Он завершает свою войно-подстрекательную речь словами Гераклита: “Война — отец всего и царь всех, одних она являет богами, других – людьми, одних сотворяет рабами, других – свободными…“ Не трудно сделать вывод о том, кого предстоящая война должна превратить в рабов, а кого – в господ.

               Хайдеггер, в действительности, дал немецкой философии задание – удалить из истории европейских народов все, что может помешать их интеграции в нацистский „новый европейский порядок“. Речь о Gleichschaltungu, который должен уничтожить эмансипаторское наследие европейских народов и сотворить из них средство для реализации важнейшей стратегической цели Германии: уничтожение Славян и покорение их жизненного пространства (Lebensraum). В Хайдеггеровской философии основные экзистенциальные интересы немецкого капитализма получили философский фундамент и как таковые стали стратегической платформой для немецкой колониальной экспансии. Хайдеггер был последователем идеи „великой Германии“, которая появилась на много раньше Гитлера. Нацистский порядок для Хайдеггера был только одной из исторических форм, в которой нужно было реализовать эту идею. Хайдеггер и после слома нацистской Германии остался верен идее „великой Германии“ и в этом контексте -стратегическим целям нацистского порядка.

               Говоря современным языком, Хайдеггер появляется как „специалист по стратегическим вопросам“. Это – основная причина того, что Хайдеггер настаивает на том, что его философия не имеет политическую природу. Его мысль имеет в виду не временные политические события, а „возрастание бытия“, которое появляется в облике развития завоевательских сил Немцев как господствующей расы. Хайдеггеровская философия только обманчиво находится в эссенциальной сфере. Сущностью „бытия“ являются не свобода и правда, а экзистенциальные интересы немецкого капитализма.

               Если бы мы попытались утвердить, какая политическая доктрина проистекает из Хайдеггеровской фундаментальной онтологии, мы могли бы заключить, что речь идет о фундаментальном тоталитаризме. В Хайдеггеровской философии все общественные области отчуждены от человека и представляют собой средство для его интеграции в господствующий порядок. Человек не создает мир, а находится „в мире“; не создает историю, а находится „в истории“; не создает язык, а находится „в языке“… Хайдеггер не предлагает человеку свободу, а предлагает вечность в тени „бытия“ – под условием, что он примет безоговорочную лояльность господствующему порядку, который лишает его всего того, что делает его человеком. Хайдеггер бальзамирует человека. Опорожненный от человечности человек уходит в „вечность” как мумия.

               Хайдеггеровская философия представляет собой основу политической стратегии, которая стремится построить не только тоталитарную державу, но и тоталитарное общество. В этом контексте Хайдеггер старается создать „нового человека“, который лишен тех особенностей, которые ему предоставляют возможность создать гуманное общество. Вместо того, чтобы настаивать на развитии диалектического ума, дающего человеку возможность создать гуманный мир, Хайдеггер настаивает на переживании трагичной экзистенции, которая имеет фатальный характер, и на этой основе на вере в “бытие“, представляющее собой идеализированную сущность существующего мира.

               Являются ли упразднение умного отношения человека к своей экзистенции и миру и переброс вопроса „бытия“ в сферу инструментализированной мистики сильнейшим звеном, связывающим Хайдеггеровскую философию с нацистской идеологией? Обе доктрины подлизываются мистичным силам, властвующим миром, для получения их благосклонности. Тьма „ничего“ становится источником „воли к власти“. Мистичный язык проникает в мрачные лабиринты подсознания и путем вербальной манипуляции дает возможность делать проекции вытесненных потребностей в иллюзии, которые путем политической индоктринации превращаются в призраке, которые поглотят мир. Хайдеггер был одним из тех, кто подкармливал демонов, растущих в мрачных глубинах подсознания немецких мещан.

               Руководствуясь господствующей политической логикой, Хайдеггер старается превратить несчастье, ежедневно переживаемое человеком, в действенную мощь правящего порядка. Его философия старается преобразить экзистенциальную обеспокоенность Немцев в движущую силу велико-германской экспансии. Одновременно, он в Немце видит органическую часть „народной общности“, чья действенная воля основана на мифе о „расовой супериорности“ и которая институционализирована в облике правящего (нацистского) порядка. Конечная цель Хайдеггеровской философии – превращение немецкого общества, как политически и культурно плюралистической общности эмансипированных граждан, в „немецкий народ“, который „объединен“ под одним (тоталитарным) политическим флагом и который, на основе фанатичного мифологического сознания, имеет „ощущение своей исключительности“, и как таковой готов выполнить свою „историческую миссию“. Милитантный велико-германский фанатизм, который имеет мифологический фундамент, становится основой коллективного сознания.

               Для Хайдеггера будущее Германии находится в капиталистическом горизонте, с тем, что держава является верховным регулятивным механизмом всеобщей общественной жизни. Анти-либерализм и анти-коммунизм представляют собой первый камень фундамента его политической доктрины, и на них основывается и его отношение к нацизму. Хайдеггер старается ограничить „свободу рынка“, которая приводит к экономической нестабильности, а также расправиться с политическим плюрализмом, который приводит к политической нестабильности. В этом контексте он старается расправиться с рабочим движением и идеей социализма (коммунизма) и интегрировать рабочих в правящий порядок в облике принадлежащих „немецкому народу“. В конечном, экономическая и политическая стабильность Германии должны были обеспечить ее успешную колониальную экспансию. Хайдеггеровская политическая доктрина близка нацистской политической доктрине, цели которой по Герберту Маркузе (Herbert Marcuse) – „организация монополистического производства“, „разгром социалистической оппозиции“ и „обновление империалистического экспансионизма“.

               В Хайдеггеровской философии предчувствуется политическая доктрина, на которой основывается католическое и фашистское видение будущего. Речь идет об „индустриальном феодализме“, который подразумевает упразднение человека как эмансипированного гражданина, а тем самым как политического субъекта, в конституировании общества как политической общности; сведение державы к орудию мощнейших капиталистических групп для установления „социального мира“; упразднение рабочих профсоюзов и сведение рабочих к индустриальным крепостным, а капиталистов к феодальным властелинам; упразднение классового общества путем „народной общности“; установление тоталитарной политической власти, воплощенной в „Вожде“ и правящем порядке… „Ein Volk – ein Führer!“ – это политическая сущность Хайдеггеровской фундаментальной онтологии. Она четко выражена в Хайдеггеровской позиции, высказанной в 1933 году: „Сам фюрер и он один является настоящим и будущим германской реальности и ее нормой».

               Хайдеггеровская открытая поддержка нацистскому режиму – это не только его утверждение в карьере, она не может быть отделена от его философии, в которой упразднено эмансипаторское наследие гражданского общества и создана теоретическая основа для велико-германской экспансии. Здесь необходимо вернуться к началу сотрудничества Хайдеггера с нацистами. Энтузиазм Хайдеггера, с которым он как профессор и ректор возвеличивал Гитлера, пропагандировал нацизм и доносил на своих коллег, – выражение его стремления стать ведущим философом нацистской Германии, чтобы его философия была общепринятой основой нацистской идеологии. Для Хайдеггера Гитлер был политическим вождем Немцев, а сам Хайдеггер дал себе роль духовного вождя Немцев.

               Хайдеггер был одним из тех немецких интеллектуалов, которые стремились доказать, что „предназначение“ Немцев быть „мессианским народом“ основывается на немецком культурном наследии, которое является супериорным над другими культурами. На много ранее Хайдеггера миф о Немцах как о „народе философов“ был составной частью велико-германского экспансионизма. В этом контексте онемечены Леонардо да Винчи (Leonardo da Vinci), Джотто (Giotto di Bondone), Буoнарроти (Michelangelo Buonarroti)… В то же время немецкие интеллектуалы присваивают антическое духовное наследие и делают его средством для создания мифа о „духовной супериорности (превосходстве) Немцев“. Типичным примером являются археологические раскопки в античной Олимпии, начатые во времена Бисмарка (Otto von Bismarck) и законченные нацистскими археологами (Эмиль Кунце/Emil Kunze) с помощью „личного“ денежного вклада Гитлера в сумме 300 000 рейхсмарок. Особую символичную ценность, в контексте организации нацистских Олимпийских игр в Берлине в 1936 году, имеет манифестация переноса „олимпийского факела“ от „святой Олимпии“ до нацистского Берлина, чем нацисты стремились доказать то, что они являются легитимными наследниками культурного наследия античной Эллады, „духовной колыбели“ Западной цивилизации.

               Хайдеггеровская идея о Немцах как „метафизическом народе“ – политическая идея par excellence. Она является основой политической платформы велико-германского экспансионизма. Философия становится поддержкой, оправданием и философским фундаментом правящего политического проекта. Нацистский порядок не был средством для реализации Хайдеггеровских идей, но его философия была способом приобретения философской легитимности для нацистских политических и экономических целей в конечной нацистской практике.

               Хайдеггер не оригинален. Чтобы оправдать немецкий экспансионизм, он ссылается на „духовные ценности“ точно так же, как империалистические Франция и Англия ссылались на „культуру“ и „цивилизацию“ для оправдания их колониальной экспансии и истребления „цветных рас“. В самом деле Хайдеггеровская философия отбрасывает эмансипаторское наследие немецкой культуры, а тем более то наследие, которое открывает место для превосхождения колониализма и расизма. Когда имеются в виду события на современной мировой сцене, Хайдеггеровская философия представляет собой не только философский облик, в котором появляется экспансионистическая стратегия нацистского „нового европейского порядка“, но и экспансионистическую стратегию американского „нового мирового порядка“. На Западе все без перемен.

               Имея в виду авторитет, который Хайдеггер имел в интеллектуальных кругах нацистской Германии, без преувеличения можно утверждать, что его философия создала значительное интеллектуальное пространство для подтверждения нацистской идеологии. Хайдеггер с его философией сделал существенный вклад в строительство теоретической основы идеи о Немцах как „господствующей расе“. В конкретных политических условиях нацистской Германии утверждение, что Немцы имеют „супериорную культуру и ум“ по сравнению с другими народами, неминуемо вело от национализма к расизму, и на нем основывается переход из „ведущего народа“ в „господствующую расу“. Миф о Немцах как „народе философов“ стал одним из источников расистской идеологии. Немецкий расизм воздвигнут на философский трон.

               Разве немецкое культурное наследие не навязывало философу Хайдеггеру, как и другим немецким интеллектуалам, обязательство противопоставить себя нацизму? Вместо того, чтобы быть основой для критики нацистской идеологии и практики, немецкая философия стала основой для выдачи философской легитимности нацистскому варваризму. Праздношатающиеся и полицейские доносчики, подобно Адольфу Гитлеру и Йозефу Гебельсу (Joseph Goebbels), стали воплощением „философского духа“ Немцев.

               Здесь необходимо указать на то, что в течение ХХ века факел „немецкого философского духа“ носили Евреи (Вильгельм Дильтей/Wilhelm Dilthey, Эдмунд Гуссерль/Edmund Huserl, Герберт Маркузе/Herbert Marcuse, Теодор Адорно/Theodor Adorno, Макс Хоркхаймер/Max Horkheimer, Эрнст Блох/Ernst Bloch…), которых „философский“ немецкий народ почти истребил как „низшую расу“ в концентрационных лагерях Третьего Рейха.

               Печально, но факт, что Адорно и Хоркхаймер допустили, чтобы в послевоенной Германии их инструментализировали для прикрытия настоящей природы немецкой „демократии“ под американским сапогом. Пока они в западно-германских университетах преподавали немецкую философию вчерашним фанатичным приверженцам Hitlerjugenda, Американцы создали армию из 40 000 самых преданных Гитлеру эсесовцев во главе с одним из самых кровавых Гитлеровских штурмовиков Рейнхардом Геленом (Reinhard Gehlen), которая под американской командой должна была „защищать немецкую демократию от коммунизма“.

               На примере Хайдеггеровского отношения к немецкому языку можно отметить расистскую и тоталитарную интенцию его фундаментализма. Немецкий язык становится par excellence молитвенным языком, на котором призывается “бытие“ и устанавливается „соседство“ с ним, а Хайдеггеровская философия – немецким „Святым Писанием“. Хайдеггер путем своей фундаментальной онтологии старался обоготворить политический проект будущего, который он отстаивал и в котором Немцы, в виде нацистского порядка, получили роль „мессианского народа“.

               Хайдеггеровское положение о том, что Немцы – „народ философов“, как и его восприятие того, что его философия, в виде немецкого языка, – „дом бытия“, основываются не только на культурном империализме, но и указывают на то, что Немцы, в виде Хайдеггеровской философии, являются неприкосновенными владельцами истины. Это – то, что им дает право быть „избранным народом“, у которого имеется задание – вернуть человечество на правый путь. Другими словами, хотя они и „брошены в мир“, в котором властвует нигилизм, Немцы как „народ философов“ обладают, в отличие от других народов, такими умственными и духовными качествами, которые им дают возможности и право совершить духовное возрождение человечества.

               Так как Немцы как „народ философов“ являются носителями высочайшей мудрости, критика их (злодейской) практики возможна лишь как их (немецкая) самокритика. Это и есть одна из причин того, что Хайдеггер, который видел в себе самого аутентичного представителя „немецкого философского духа“, отбросил с резигнацией саму возможность того, что ему можно поставить вопрос об ответственности Немцев за Вторую мировую войну и содеянные злодейства.

               Фридрих Ницше (Friedrich Nietzsche) „новому дворянству“ доверил задание произвести „переоценку всех ценностей“ („Umwertung aller Werte) и вернуть человечество на правый путь. Хайдеггер эту роль доверил Немцам, действенная сила которых появляется в виде нацистского порядка. Немцы предопределены быть „господствующим народом“, который имеет эксклюзивное историческое задание – вернуть человечество на путь, который оно покинуло еще в античные времена.  И что тогда по этому мессианскому заданию злодейства, содеянные Немцами, которые Хайдеггер никогда не осудил? Концентрационные лагеря и истребление целых народов – все это незначительно по сравнению с судьбинным заданием, которое Хайдеггер доверил Немцам. Природа этого задания определяла и природу политической практики, которая была необходима для его осуществления. Принцип „цель оправдывает средство“ получил в Хайдеггеровской философии фундаментально-онтологическую базу.

               Хайдеггер не просветитель, а современный крестоносец, который видит в Немцах „господствующий народ“, действенная сила которого появляется в виде нацистского порядка. Хайдеггер призывает Немцев не обратиться к философии, а делать то, что обеспечит им правящее положение в мире. Возвращение к „бытию“ достигается не воодушевлением Немцев, а покорением и истреблением других народов с использованием науки и техники. Руководствуясь правящим принципом монополистического капитализма – „Уничтожь конкуренцию!“, нацисты с открытой поддержкой Хайдеггера – бескомпромиссного критика техники створили из Германии фабрику смерти. То, что Хайдеггер прежде всего имеет в виду, когда ссылается на „традицию“, это – не немецкая культура, а немецкий милитаризм. К „бытию“ приходят не философией и искусством, а обнаженным мечом.

               Что касается непосредственного сотрудничества Хайдеггера с нацистами, мировая общественность все еще имеет доступ только к „вычищенной“ биографии Мартина Хайдеггера, из которой удалены „детали“, которые могут указать на то, что Хайдеггеровская поддержка нацистов была на много объемнее и основательнее, чем это утверждается официально. На это указывает Хайдеггеровский „Черный дневник“ („Die Schwarzen Hefte“), части которого в 2014 году появились в немецких книжных магазинах и который содержит Хайдеггеровские заметки и ежедневные комментарии из периода 1931-1941 г.г. В то же время есть оправданная боязнь, что некоторые документы, указывающие на сотрудничество Хайдеггера и нацистов, уничтожены с намерением оградить „философа Хайдеггер“ от компромитирующих „деталей“ из его прошлого. Во всяком случае, „досье Хайдеггер“ не закрыто. Только когда в Германии к власти придут настоящие антифашисты и немецкие граждане конечно расправятся с фашистским наследием, на свет истории выйдет истина о Хайдеггеровском прошлом.

               В „примирительном“ отношении послевоенной официальной Западной Германии к Хайдеггеру отражается ее отношение к нацизму. Детали, связанные с интервью, которое Хайдеггер дал журналисту „Der Spiegel“-а Рудольфу Аугштайну (Rudolf Augstein) в конце сентября 1966 года, указывают на то, в какой мере нацизм был вплетен в послевоенную историю Западной Германии, которая была союзнической „оккупационной зоной“ и в которой нацистское прошлое Немцев было важнейшим гарантом лояльности американском оккупатору. Это единственное продолжительное интервью, которое Хайдеггер дал в течение своей философской и политической карьеры, длившееся сто минут. Разговор проходил в Хайдеггеровском горном домике в Тоднауберге (Todtnauberg). Хайдеггер согласился на интервью под условием, что оно будет объявлено после его смерти. Хайдеггер умер 26 мая 1976 года. Ему было 86 лет. Только спустя три дня „Spiegel“ объявил интервью под названием „Der Philosoph und das Dritte Reich“ („Философ и Третий Рейх“) и „Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten“ („Только бог еще может спасти нас“). При разговоре в свойстве „редактора по общественным наукам“ в „Spiegel“-е присутствовал и Георг Вольф (Georg Wolff) – бывший эсесовец. В ходе Второй мировой войны у него был чин SS-Hauptsturmführerа, а в Норвегии он участовал в расстрелах заложников. Он подготовил интервью с Хайдеггером для объявления. Sapienti sat.

               Здесь необходимо сказать и то, что отношение к Евреям является важнейшим критерием, по которому на Западе определяется близость Хайдеггера и нацизма. В этом контексте Хайдеггера упрекают в том, что он не осудил злодейскую политику нацистской Германии по отношению к Евреям. А что же с отношением нацистской Германии и Хайдеггера к Славянам, которых нацисты также свели к „низшей расе“? В течение Второй мировой войны нацисты и немецкая регулярная солдатеска уничтожили свыше 35 миллионов Славян. В Польше Немцы убили свыше 6 миллионов Поляков. В СССР Немцы уничтожили 70 000 деревень, 1710 городов, 2766 церквей и монастырей, 4000 библиотек и 427 музеев, 32 000 заводов – и убили свыше 27 миллионов Русских, Белорусов, Украинцев… В Сербии немецкие солдаты расстреливали детей, а в Хорватии нацистская Германия обеспечила усташам возможность убить свыше 700 000 Сербов. Почему на Западе не упрекают Хайдеггера за то, что он не осудил монструозные злодеяния, которые нацистская Германии совершила над Славянами? Сокрытие геноцида Немцев над Славянами в действительности является сокрытием сущности Второй мировой войны.

               Точно так же, как идея об „исключительности Американцев“ служит для оправдания империалистической политики США в современном мире, так и Хайдеггеровская идея о Немцах как „супериорном народе“ служила для оправдания немецкого „прорыва на Восток“ (Drang nach Osten) – покорение „жизненного пространства“ (Lebensraum) и истребление Славян. Хайдеггеровская философия основывается на тотализирующем принципе монополистического капитализма – „Уничтожь конкуренцию!“ и на экспансионистической природе немецкого капитализма, для которого покорение „жизненного пространства“ – неприкосновенный экзистенциальный императив. Это – то, что дает витальность Хайдеггеровской философии в современной Германии, в которой сейчас происходит все более драматичная биологическая пропасть Немцев и природной окружающей среды. Она – источник тоталитарно-интегративной и экспансионистической политической доктрины, которая и далее живет в сознании немецких мещан.

               Главной причиной того, что Хайдеггер отказался осудить нацистский режим и его злодеяния, является та, что таким образом он бы поставил под угрозу политические фундаменты его философии. Хайдеггер в своей философии видел неприкосновенный источник самосознания Немцев. Было необходимо, чтобы путем Хайдеггеровской философии Немцы, наперекор поражению нацистского режима, сохранили о себе сознание как о „супериорном народе“, который предопределен иметь ведущую роль в мире. Для Хайдеггера поражение нацистской Германии было только одним из поражений, которые пережил немецкий народ в борьбе за „великую Германию“, а не проигранной войной за будущее. Падение Гитлера и крах нацизма не имели права поставить под вопрос стратегические интересы немецкого империализма. Нельзя забывать, что идея Ницше о „вечном возращении того же самого“ („Die Ewige Wiederkunft“) – alfa и omega Хайдеггеровского отношения к будущему.

               В послевоенной переписке с Маркузе Хайдеггер старается показать Немцев как жертвы Второй мировой войны. Индикативно, что он не делает различия между нацистским режимом и немецким народом, а тем более между правящим классом юнкеров и капиталистов, с одной, и немецкими рабочими, селянами и гражданством, с другой стороны. Таким образом он только указывает на то, до какой меры нацистам удалось интегрировать Немцев в нацистский порядок и в какой мере Немцы отождествились с нацистским режимом.

               Хайдеггеровское непризнание вины Немцев за разжигание Второй мировой войны и за содеянные монструозные злодеяния и его настаивание на том, что Немцы – жертвы войны, создает в современной Германии политическое состояние, подобное созданному после Первой мировой войны. Нацистское движение развилось на основе мифа о том, что Германия была жертвой Первой мировой войны. Реваншизм был важнейшим психологическим средством для фанатизации Немцев и для разжигания войно-поджигательной истерии. Хайдеггер причитает над судьбой Немцев, прогнанных с Востока, и таким образом создает политическую атмосферу, из которой снова должен проистечь призыв к „возращению“ на Восток.

               Здесь необходимо предупредить о том, что политическая инструментализация идеи о Немцах как „супериорном народе“ была основана на немецком поражении в Первой мировой войне; на распаде немецкого царства; на унизительном мировом соглашении; на политической нестабильности Германии; на экономическом кризисе капитализма и массовой безработице… „Потребность“ в покорении и истреблении „низших рас“ проистекла из страха за существование, созданного капитализмом, и была компенсацией несчастий, переживаемых „обычным“ Немцем в ежедневной жизни. И в современном капитализме экзистенциальный страх, который по ходу все более драматичной пропасти европейских народов и природы превращается в экзистенциальную панику, представляет собой spiritus movens приобретшего черты вампира фашистского варваризма.

               Хайдеггеровская мысль – философская маска расистской идеологии и нацистской практики, но она многослойна и в состоянии появиться в „чисто“ философском облике. То, что сама маска приобрела вид живого существа, представляет собой важнейшее идеологическое качество Хайдеггеровской философии. Поэтому поклонникам Хайдеггера не трудно „лишить“ его философию политического содержания. И нацистская идеология имела магичный философский плащ, в который были вплетены выражения, символизирующие общечеловеческие ценности: „мир“, „счастье“, „благосостояние“… Подобно американскому „новому мировому порядку“, который прикрыт кровавым покрывалом „демократии“. Гражданская философия всегда и снова появляется как „гуманистическая“ маска злодейской практики капиталистов. Вместо стремления к демистификации философии, которая стала идеологией, гражданские философы превращают идеологию в философию.

               „Защита“ Хайдеггера от нацизма – выражение стремления сохранить иллюзию об автономности и тем самым об „объективности“ философии, самым значительным представителем которой в XX веке является Хайдеггер. Хайдеггер становится мифологическим образом, которого от нацизма „защищает“ слава „последнего великого философа“. Если бы нацистская Германия победила, Хайдеггеровская философия показала бы свои настоящие потенциалы, а Хайдеггер – свое настоящее лицо. Вся философичность Хайдеггеровской мысли, создающей видимость политической непристрастности, слилась бы в кровавое нацистское болото. На основе Хайдеггеровской философии Немцы, как „метафизический народ“, стали бы „спасателями человечества“, а их „Фюрер“ получил бы божеский ореол. Хайдеггеровская философия стала бы „Библией“ Третьего Рейха.

С сербского перевела Татьяна Джурашкович

11. март 2016. at 05:26

Heidegger and Nazism

Ljubodrag Simonovic
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                                               Heidegger and Nazism

              We would be incorrect to try and establish a direct relationship between Nazi ideology and Heidegger’s philosophy, particularly if we were to look for the basis of Heidegger’s thought in Nazi ideology. Heidegger’s philosophy and Nazi ideology are closely related in as much as they both come from the same source. They are branches on a tree growing from German expansionism.

              In the lecture delivered on 8 April 1936 in fascist Rome, and entitled “Europe and the German Philosophy” (“Europa und die deutsche Philosophie”), Heidegger clearly indicates the strategic political goals of German philosophy. Its primary task is to “shield European people” from “the Asiatic” by overcoming the “rootlessness and disintegration” of the European nations. Heidegger advocates a “transformation of the historical survival” of Europe, which cannot be achieved as a “blind pushing forward into an indeterminate future”, but “only as a creative confrontation with the whole of history up to now”. He ends his war-mongering speech with Heraclitus: “War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves and some free…” It is easy to see who was supposed to be turned into slaves by the imminent war and who would be masters.

              Heidegger actually presented German philosophy with the task of removing from the history of European people all that can impede their integration into a Nazi “new European order”. It is a Gleichschaltung, a process meant to destroy the emancipatory heritage of European people and use them in the realization of Germany’s most important strategic task: the annihilation of the Slavs and the invasion of their living space (Lebensraum). Heidegger’s philosophy provided the philosophical grounds for the basic existential interests of German capitalism and became a strategic platform for German colonial expansion. Heidegger supported the idea of a „Greater Germany“, an idea that long predates Hitler. For Heidegger, the Nazi regime was but one of the historical forms through which this idea was to be realized. Even after the collapse of Nazi Germany, Heidegger remained faithful to the idea of a „Greater Germany“ and, in that context, to the strategic goals of the Nazi regime.

              To express it in a more popular, contemporary jargon, Heidegger appears an “expert on strategic issues”. This is the main reason why Heidegger was adamant that his philosophy not have a political nature. His thought is not concerned with temporary political events, but with the “increase of Being”, which manifests itself in the development of the conquering abilities of the Germans as a master race. Heidegger’s philosophy appears to be in the essential sphere, however, for the essence of “Being” is not freedom and justice, but the existential interests of the German capitalism.

               If we tried to establish the political doctrine that rises from Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, we might conclude that it is fundamentally totalitarian. In Heidegger’s philosophy, all social spheres are alienated from man and are but the means for man’s integration into the ruling order. Man does not create the world, he is “in the world”; he does not create history, he is “in history”; he does not create a language, he is “in the language”… Heidegger does not offer freedom to man; he offers him “eternity” in the shade of “Being” – provided he pledges unquestioning loyalty to the ruling order, which deprives him of everything that makes him human. Heidegger embalms man. Deprived of any humanness, man travels to “eternity” as a mummy.

              Heidegger’s philosophy represents the basis of a political strategy which seeks to build not only a totalitarian state, but also a totalitarian society. In that context, Heidegger sets out to create a “new man”, one deprived of all the properties that enable him to create a humane society. Instead of insisting on the development of a dialectical mind, enabling man to create a humane world, Heidegger insists on the experience of a tragic existence with a fatal character and, based on that, on a faith in “Being”, representing the idealized essence of the existing world.

             Is the abolishment of man’s reasonable relation to his existence and the world and the shifting of the question of “Being” to the sphere of an instrumentalized mysticism the strongest bond connecting Heidegger’s philosophy to the Nazi ideology? Both doctrines try to bring themselves into favour with the mystic powers that rule the world. The darkness of “nothingness” becomes the source of the “will to power”. A mystical language penetrates the dark labyrinths of sub-consciousness and enables suppressed needs to be projected, by verbal manipulation, into illusions, which by means of a political indoctrination turn into spectres that will devour the world. Heidegger was among those who fed the demons growing in the murky depths of the German petty-bourgeois sub-consciousness.

              Guided by the ruling political logic, Heidegger strives to turn the misery experienced by man on a daily basis into the active power of the ruling order. His philosophy attempts to convert the existential anxiety of the Germans into the driving force of German expansionism. At the same time, he sees in the Germans the organic part of a “folk community”, whose active will is based on the myth of  “racial superiority” and is institutionalized in the form of the ruling (Nazi) order. The ultimate goal of Heidegger’s philosophy is to turn German society, as a politically and culturally pluralistic community of emancipated citizens, into the “German nation”, which is “united” under one (totalitarian) political banner and which, based on a fanatical mythological consciousness, has the “feeling of intrinsic superiority” and as such is ready to fulfill its “historical mission”. The militant Greater German fanaticism, with its mythological foundation, becomes the basis of the collective consciousness.

              For Heidegger, Germany’s future is on the capitalist horizon, the state being the supreme regulatory mechanism of all social life. Anti-liberalism and anti-communism are the cornerstones of his political doctrine, and his relation to Nazism is based on them. Heidegger seeks to limit the “freedom of the market”, which leads to economic instability and does away with political pluralism, which then leads to political instability. In that context, he seeks to confront the workers’ movement and the idea of socialism (communism) and to integrate workers into the ruling order as members of the “German nation”. Ultimately, Germany’s economic and political stability were meant to ensure its successful colonial expansion. Heidegger’s political doctrine is close to that of Nazism, whose aims, according to Herbert Marcuse, were to “organize monopolistic production”, “shatter the socialist opposition” and “restore imperial expansionism”.

              In Heidegger’s philosophy, we can discern a political doctrine underlying the Catholic and fascist vision of the future. It is an “industrial feudalism”, which involves the abolishment of man as an emancipated citizen and thus as a political agent in the establishment of society as a political community; reduction of the state to an instrument of the most powerful capitalist groups in their attempt to establish “social peace”; the abolishment of trade unions and the degradation of workers to industrial serfs and the exaltation of capitalists to feudal masters; the abolishment of a class society by replacing it with a “folk community”; the establishment of a totalitarian political will embodied in a “Leader” and in the ruling order …. “Ein Volk – ein Führer!” – this is the political essence of Heidegger’s fundamental ontology. It is explicitly expressed in Heidegger’s view from 1933, that “the Führer alone is the present and future German reality and the law”.

              Heidegger’s open support of the Nazi regime is not only the product of his careerism and cannot be separated from his philosophy, which abolishes the emancipatory legacy of bourgeois society and provides the theoretical grounds for German expansionism. We should remember here the very beginnings of Heidegger’s cooperation with the Nazis. The enthusiasm with which Heidegger, as a professor and rector, endorsed Hitler, supported Nazism and denounced his colleagues, are expressions of his endeavors to become the leading philosopher of Nazi Germany, while his philosophy was to be the generally accepted basis of the Nazi ideology. In Heidegger‘s view, Hitler was the political leader of the Germans, but he reserved to himself the role of their spiritual leader.

              Heidegger belonged to the group of German intellectuals who tried to prove that the Germans’ “predestination” to be a “Messianic people” is based on German cultural heritage that makes them superior to other cultures. Long before Heidegger, the myth of the Germans as the “nation of philosophers” had been an integral rationale for German expansionism. In that context, Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Buonarroti were all claimed as Germans… At the same time, German intellectuals appropriated the Ancient Greek spiritual heritage and used it to create the myth of “German spiritual superiority”. A typical example is the archaeological excavations in Ancient Olympia, started at the time of Bismarck and finished by Nazi archaeologists (Emil Kunze), with Hitler’s “personal” donation in the amount of 300 000 Reichsmarks. The carrying of the “Olympic Torch”, during the organization of the Nazi Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, from the “holy Olympia” to the Nazi Berlin, has a special symbolic value and served to prove to the Nazis that they were the legitimate heirs of the cultural legacy of the Ancient Helada, “the spiritual cradle” of Western civilization.

             Heidegger’s vision of Germans as a “metaphysical nation” is a political idea par excellence. It is the basis of the political rationale for German expansionism. Philosophy becomes a support, a justification and philosophical foundation for the governing political project. Rather than using the Nazi regime in the realization of his ideas, Heidegger used his philosophy to provide philosophical legitimacy to the Nazi‘s political and economic goals, and ultimately to Nazi practice.

              Heidegger is not original. In order to justify German expansionism, he refers to “spiritual values”, in the same manner that imperialist France and England referred to “culture” and “civilization” in their attempts to justify colonial expansion and the eradication of “colored races”. Indeed, Heidegger’s philosophy rejects the emancipatory heritage of German culture, particularly the heritage that opens a space for overcoming colonialism and racism. In view of the events on the contemporary global scene, Heidegger’s philosophy is not only a philosophical expression of an expansionist strategy for the Nazi‘s “new European order”, but also for the expansionist strategy of the American “new world order”. Nothing new on the Western Front.

             Considering Heidegger’s authority in the intellectual circles of Nazi Germany, we can safely say that his philosophy created a significant intellectual space for the affirmation of the German ideology. Heidegger’s philosophy greatly contributed to the development of a theoretical foundation for the idea of the Germans as a “master race”. In the concrete political conditions in Nazi Germany, the claim that the Germans have a “superior culture and mind” relative to other nations, inevitably led to nationalism and racism, and it is what the transition from the “leading nation” to the “master race” is based on. The myth of the Germans as the “nation of philosophers” became one of the sources of their racist ideology. German racism was elevated to the throne of philosophy.

            Did the German cultural heritage not oblige Heidegger, as well as other German intellectuals, to oppose Nazism? Instead of being the basis for a criticism of the Nazi ideology and practice, German philosophy provided philosophical legitimacy to Nazi barbarism. Scumbags and snitches like Adolf Hitler and Josef Goebbels became the embodiments of the German “philosophical spirit”.

             It should be noted here that during the 20th century the torch of the “German philosophical spirit” was carried by Jews (Wilhelm Dilthey, Edmund Husserl, Herbert Marcuse, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Ernest Bloch…), a people who were almost eradicated as a “lower race” by the “philosophical” Germans in the concentration camps of the Third Reich.

              It is a sad truth that Adorno and Horkheimer allowed themselves to be used in post-war Germany‘s attempt to conceal the true nature of German “democracy” under the American boot. While they were giving lectures in German philosophy at West German universities to recent fanatical members of the Hitlerjugend, the Americans built an army of 40 000 SS members, still highly loyal to Hitler and led by one of the most notorious of Hitler’s storm troopers, Reinhard Gehlen, a force meant to “protect German democracy from communism” under the American command.

              Heidegger’s relation to the German language illustrates the racist and totalitarian intention of his fundamentalism. The German language becomes a prayer language par excellence with which to appeal to the “Being” and establish a “neighborhood” with it, while Heidegger’s philosophy becomes the German “Holy Scripture”. With his fundamental ontology, Heidegger sought to deify the political project of the future he advocated, where the Germans, in the form of the Nazi movement, would take on the role of the “Messianic Nation”.

             In addition to being based on a cultural imperialism, Heidegger’s view that the Germans are the “nation of philosophers” and that his philosophy, as manifested in the German language, is the “home of Being”, also indicates that the Germans, as manifested in Heidegger’s philosophy, are the indisputable owners of the truth. This entitles them to be a “chosen people” with the duty of bringing humanity back to the right path. In other words, in spite of being “thrown into a world” ruled by nihilism, the Germans, as the “nation of philosophers”, uniquely possess such mental and spiritual qualities that both enable and entitle them to bring about a spiritual rebirth of humanity.

              Since the Germans, as the “nation of philosophers”, are the bearers of the supreme wisdom, a criticism of their (criminal) practices is possible only as their own (German) self-criticism. This is one of the reasons why Heidegger, who saw himself as the most authentic representative of the “German philosophical spirit”, indignantly rejected the very possibility of being questioned about the responsibility of the Germans for the Second World War and the atrocities committed.

              Friedrich Nietzsche charged the “new nobility” with the task of “re-evaluating all values” (“Umwertung aller Werte“) and returning humanity to the right track. Heidegger entrusted the same chore to the Germans, whose active power appears in the form of the Nazi movement. The Germans are predestined to be the „master nation“ with an exclusive historical task to return humanity to the track abandoned in Ancient times. How can the crimes committed by the Germans – and never condemned by Heidegger – even compare to this Messianic task? Concentration camps and the eradication of entire nations – all this is nothing compared to the crucial task that Heidegger bestowed upon them. The nature of that task determined the nature of the political practice necessary for its realization. The principle that „the ends justify the means“ obtained, with Heidegger’s philosophy, a fundamental-ontological foundation.

              Rather than being an educator, Heidegger is a modern crusader, who sees the Germans as a „master nation“, the active power of which is manifested in the Nazi movement. Heidegger does not call on the Germans to turn to philosophy, but rather to do whatever it takes to assure the ruling position in the world. A return to the „Being“ is not achieved by their enlightenment, but through the submission and eradication of other nations by means of science and technology. Guided by the governing principle of monopoly capitalism, „Destroy the competition!“, the Nazis, openly supported by Heidegger, a staunch critic of technicity, turned Germany into a death factory. What Heidegger has in mind when he refers to „tradition“ is not  German culture, but German militarism. Rather than being attained through philosophy and art, „Being“ is attained  with a drawn sword.

              With regard to Heidegger’s direct cooperation with the Nazis, the general public has an insight only into his censored biography, missing all the “details” indicating that Heidegger’s support of the Nazis was much stronger and more thorough than officially claimed.  This is clearly seen in Heidegger’s “Black Diary” (“Die Schwarzen Hefte“) – parts of which appeared in German bookstores in 2014 – which contains Heidegger’s notes and daily commentaries from the period 1931-1941. At the same time, there is a justified concern that some documents, hinting at Heidegger’s cooperation with the Nazis, have been destroyed in attempts to save „philosopher Heidegger“ from compromising „details“ of his past. In any case, „Dossier Heidegger“ is not closed. Only when true anti-fascists in Germany come to power, and the German citizens finally confront their fascist heritage, will the truth about Heidegger’s past come to light.

              The „conciliatory“ attitude of official West Germany to Heidegger in the post-war period reflects its attitude toward Nazism. Details surrounding the interview given by Heidegger to the journalist of „Der Spiegel“ Rudolph Augstein, at the end of September 1966, indicate the extent to which Nazism was present in the post-war history of West Germany, which was an allied „occupation zone“ where the Germans’ Nazi past was the most important warrant of their loyalty to the American occupier. It is the only long interview given by Heidegger in his philosophical and political career, and it lasted 100 minutes. The interview was held in Heidegger’s mountain cabin at Todtnauberg. Heidegger agreed to give the interview under the condition that it be published after his death. Heidegger died on 26 May 1976, at the age of 86. Only three days later, „Der Spiegel“ published the interview under the following titles „Der Philosoph und das Dritte Reich“ („Philosopher and the Third Reich“) and „Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten“ („Only a God Can Save Us“). The interview was attended by Georg Wolff, former German SS soldier, in his capacity as „editor of social sciences“ for „Der Spiegel“. During the Second World War he held the rank of SS-Hauptsturmführer and participated in the executions of prisoners in Norway. He prepared the interview for publishing. Sapienti sat.

              It should be noted here that Heidegger’s attitude towards the Jews is the most important criterion in the West for determining the extent to which he was close to the Nazi movement. Heidegger is thus accused of not condemning the Nazi Germany’s criminal policy towards the Jews. But what about the attitude of Nazi Germany and Heidegger to the Slavic peoples, who were also degraded to the status of a “lower race”? During the Second World War, the Nazis and the regular German army killed over 35 million Slavs. In Poland, the Germans killed over 6 million people. In the Soviet Union, they wiped out  70 000 villages, 1710 towns, 2766 churches and monasteries, 4000 libraries, 427 museums and 32 000 factories, and executed over 27 million Russians, Belarussians and Ukrainians. In Serbia, German soldiers executed children, while in Croatia, Nazi Germany allowed the Ustasha to kill over 700 000 Serbs. Why does the West not criticize Heidegger for not condemning the numerous atrocities committed by Nazi Germany against the Slavs? To cover-up the German genocide carried out against the Slavs actually means to cover-up the essence of the Second World War.

             Just as the idea of “American superiority” serves to justify the imperialist policy of the USA in the contemporary world, Heidegger’s idea of the Germans as a “superior nation” served to justify the German “thrust towards the East” (Drang nach Osten) – i.e., the conquest of „living space“ (Lebensraum) and the extermination of the Slavic peoples. Heidegger’s philosophy is based on the totalizing principle of monopoly capitalism, „Destroy the competition!“, and on the expansionist nature of German capitalism, which regarded the conquest of „living space“ as an indisputable existential imperative. This gives vitality to Heidegger’s philosophy in contemporary Germany, where we are witnessing a dramatic biological demise of the Germans and the environment. It is the source of a totalitarian-integrative and expansionist political doctrine, which continues to live in the consciousness of the German petty bourgeoisie.

             Heidegger never condemned the Nazi regime and its crimes primarily because he did not want to jeopardize the political foundations of his philosophy. Heidegger saw his philosophy as the indisputable source of the German self-consciousness. In spite of the defeat of the Nazi regime, the Germans were to preserve their self-consciousness through Heidegger’s philosophy as a “superior nation” preordained for the leading role in the world. For Heidegger, the defeat of Nazi Germany was but one of the defeats experienced by the German people in their fight for a “Greater Germany” and not a lost war for the future. Hitler’s defeat and the collapse of Nazism were not to call into question the strategic interests of German imperialism. We should not forget that Nietzsche’s idea of the “eternal recurrence” (“Die Ewige Wiederkunft”) is the alfa and omega of Heidegger’s conception of the future.

             In his post-war correspondence with Marcuse, Heidegger tries to present the Germans as the victims of the Second World War. Indicatively, he does not make a distinction between the Nazi regime and the German people, particularly not between the ruling class of Junkers and capitalists, on the one hand, and German peasants and citizens on the other hand. This only goes to show the extent to which the Nazis managed to integrate the Germans into the Nazi regime and how much the Germans identified themselves with the Nazi regime.

             Heidegger’s refusal to condemn the Germans for starting the Second World War and for committing atrocities, and his belief that the real victims of the war were actually the Germans, give rise to a political climate in contemporary Germany similar to the climate of the period following the First World War. The Nazi regime resulted from the myth that Germany was the victim of the First World War. Revanchism was used as a psychological instrument for fanaticizing the Germans and inciting war-mongering hysteria. Heidegger laments the fate of the Germans who were expelled from the East and thus creates a political atmosphere that should give rise to a new call for the German people to “return” to the East.

              It should be pointed out here that the political instrumentalization of the idea of the Germans as a “superior nation” was based on the German defeat in the First World War; on the collapse of the German Empire; on the humiliation of the Versailles peace treaty; on Germany’s political instability; on the economic crisis of capitalism and mass unemployment… The “need” to conquer and exterminate the “lower races” came from the fear of survival created by capitalism and was a compensation for the misery experienced by “ordinary” Germans in their everyday life. The existential fear in contemporary capitalism that, with the growing destruction of the European nations and their ecosystems’, turns into an existential panic, represents the spiritus movens of a revived fascist barbarism.

              Heidegger’s thought is a philosophical mask covering the racist ideology and Nazi practice. However, as it is multi-layered, it can appear in a “pure” philosophical form. That the mask itself acquired the form of a living image is the most important ideological quality of Heidegger’s philosophy. Heidegger’s followers therefore can easily “deprive” his philosophy of its political content. The Nazi ideology similarly had a magical philosophical veil interspersed with the expressions symbolizing the common human values: “peace”, “happiness”, “well-being”… The same can be said for the American “new world order”, covered with the blood-stained veil of “democracy”. Over and over again, bourgeois philosophy appears as a “humanist” mask over the criminal capitalist practice. Instead of trying to demystify a philosophy that turned into an ideology, bourgeois philosophers are turning an ideology into a philosophy.

              To “defend” Heidegger against the charge of Nazism actually means to try to preserve the illusion of autonomy and thus of “objectivity” of philosophy – Heidegger being its most important representative in the XX century. Heidegger has become a mythological character “defended’” against the charge of Nazism by his reputation as the “last great philosopher”. If Nazi Germany had won the war, Heidegger’s philosophy would have demonstrated its true potential and Heidegger his true character. The entire philosophical content of Heidegger’s thought, creating the illusion of a political unbiasedness, would have then slid into one blood-stained Nazi swamp. Drawing on Heidegger’s philosophy, the Germans, as a “metaphysical nation”, would have become the “saviours of humanity” and their “Führer“ would have obtained a divine aura. Heidegger’s philosophy would have become the “Bible” of the Third Reich.

Translated from Serbian by Vesna Todorović (Petrović)

English translation supervisor Mick Collins


8. март 2016. at 05:28

Intervju: Sonja Đuric – Ljubodrag Simonović

Ljubodrag Simonović
Preuzmi tekst “Intervju: Sonja Đurić – Ljubodrag Simonović”


Ljubodrag Duci Simonović, čuveni jugoslovenski i srpski košarkaš ni danas nije izgubio borbeni duh. Loptu je zamenio knjigama i doktoratom Filozofskog fakulteta, a protivnik mu je kapitalizam, hidra sa bezbroj glava. Jedan događaj prati ga kroz život. Naime, 1972. godine napustio je Olimpijske igre u Minhenu jer se suprodstavio dopingu i manipulisanju sportistima. Veliki je protivnik ispiranja mozga putem industrije zabave u kojoj sportski spektakli zauzimaju posebno mesto.

x Izjavili ste jednom da je sport oprobano sredstvo za ispiranje mozga?

– Sport je nastao kao institucija krajem 19. veka u Engleskoj, najrazvijenijoj kapitalističkoj zemlji, gde se negovao duh socijalnog darvinizma. Istovremeno, radnici su se izborili za osmočasovno radno vreme i kapitalisti i aristokratija nastojali su da kontrolišu njihovo slobodne vreme. Sport je postao najvažnije sredstvo za kolonizovanje dokolice radnika i kao takav masovna zabava, što znači prvorazredno sredstvo za depolitizovanje potlačenih. Pored toga, sport je postao prva mondijalistička religija. Putem olimpijskog pokreta Zapad je postigao ono, što nije pošlo za rukom Katoličkoj crkvi: da izvrši duhovno kolonizovanje sveta. Papa Leon XIII još je 1891. godine u svojoj encikliki „Rerum novarum“ (s podnaslovom „Prava i obaveze rada i kapitala„) insistirao na tome, da se sa svim sredstvima spreči politička borba radnika, uključujući i sport – što je gotovo neverovatno kada se ima u vidu priroda antičkog paganizma i hrišćanstva. Stigli smo dotle da ja koji nisam hrišćanin pokušavam da se izborim za emancipatorsko nasleđe hrišćanstva, a da hrišćanske crkve podržavaju olimpijski paganizam i sportske predstave.

x Da li je sport neka vrsta reality-show programa za narod?

– Sport nije nastao kao zabava za narod. U svom prvobitnom obliku, sport je bio eksluzivna zabava aristokratije. U izvornom smislu „sport“ označava zabavu. Vremenom, sport je dobio populističku dimenziju zato što je on otelotvorenje temeljnih principa kapitalizma: socijalno-darvinističkog principa „borba svih protiv svih“ (bellum omnium contra omnes) i progresističkog principa „brže, dalje, snažnije“ (citius, altius, fortius). Sport vaspitava mlade da prihvate vladajući poredak. Šta su Olimpijske igre? One su kapitalistički Uskrs i kao takve reklamni spot kapitalizma. Kuberten je insistirao na tome, da se u modernom dobu, kao i u antičkoj Heladi, vreme meri olimpijadama (četvorogodište). Radi se o nastojanju da se nanovo uvede mitološko vreme koje je obračun s istorijskim vremenom. Sport je ideološka podvala. On je dobrodošao svakoj vlasti koja se zasniva na pljački radnika. Umesto da se ljudi bore za svoja radnička i ljudska prava, oni odlaze na stadione gde sagoreva njihova „negativna“ energija koja može da promeni svet.

x Čime se danas zombiraju građani?

– U savremenom sportskom show-businessu vlada pravilo da „publika voli miris krvi“. Sport je kompenzacioni mehanizam: sve bespoštedniji sportski spektakli postaju najvažnija duhovna hrana ljudima koji su žrtve sve bespoštednijeg života. Zbog toga krvavi sportovi dobijaju sve veću popularnost. Čovek na sportskim predstavama iživljava nesreću koju svakodnevno doživljava. Istovremeno, on se na stadionu poistovećuje sa sportskim „idolima“. U životu je niko i ništa, beznadežni gubitnik… Na stadionu on stiče iluziju da je „pobednik“.

x Da li je stadion prvorazredni politički prostor?

– Stadion je najvažnije kultno mesto savremenog sveta. Zbog toga se ne zidaju pozorišta i domovi kulture, nego se zidaju stadioni. Kako samo izgledaju danas crkve u poređenju sa stadionima? Nekad su crkve bile građevine gde je moglo da stane najviše ljudi. Danas crkve izgledaju kao pustinjske kolibe u odnosu prema stadionima od kojih neki primaju preko 150. 000 gledalaca. Olimpijske igre i druge „vrhunske“ sportske manifestacije postale su najvažniji događaji savremenog sveta. Nijedna manifestacija u savremenom svetu ne može da se poredi po „popularnosti“ sa Olimpijskim igrama ili svetskim prvenstvom u fudbalu.

x Kako su izgledale antičke Olimpijske igre?

– Antičke olimpijske igre bile su krvava predstava. Nije to bila pacifistička manifestacija, već je to bio ratnički „turnir“ na kome su se plaćenici bogatih mecena borili na život i smrt. Borci su imali pravo da ubiju protivnika i kad je ležao nemoćan na zemlji. Pravo da učestvuju na Olimpijskim igrama imali su čistokrvni Grci koji nisu bili osuđivani i koji nisu uvredili bogove, a ženama je bio zabranjen pristup. Jedino su sveštenice boginje Here (Zevsove sestre i žene) „učestvovale“ na Igrama i to tako što su krunisale pobednike. Na to koliko su Igre bile korumpirane ukazuje i to, što su organizatori dovodili Egipćane da budu sudije. Da bi sprečio korupciju, legendarni atinski zakonodavac Solon doneo je, početkom 6. veka pre nove ere, zakon po kome su olimpijski pobednici dobijali nagradu od 500 drahama, zašta se moglo kupiti 100 volova ili 500 ovaca – što je bilo ogromno bogatstvo. Na pravi duh antičkih Olimpijskih igara ukazuje to, što one nisu bile posvećene Prometeju, već su bile posvećene Zevsu – vrhovnom olimpijskom bogu i bogu rata. Olimpijske igre nisu bile „sveti mir“, već „sveto primirje“. One su se završavale trkom hoplita u punoj ratnoj opremi i zovom trube koji je pozivao u rat.

x Kako je nastao moderni olimpizam?

– Opšte je prihvaćeno da je francuski aristokrata Pjer de Kuberten „otac“ modernih Olimpijskih igara. To nije tačno. Prve Olimpijske igre u modernom dobu, pod nazivom „Panhelenističke igre“, organizovane su 1829. u Grčkoj, godinu dana posle oslobađanja Grka iz turskog ropstva. Grci su nastojali da obnove helenističko duhovno nasleđe – uprkos tome što je ono imalo paganistički karakter i što su oni bili hrišćani. Grci su nanovo organizovali Olimpijske igre 1859, kao i 1879. Nosilac projekta ponovnog organizovanja Olimpijskih igara bio je Grk Evangelios Zapas. Njega gotovo niko ne pominje zato što se nastanak Olimpijskih igara vezuje za kolonijalnu Evropu kojoj nije odgovaralo da grčki narod bude nosilac obnove helenističkog duhovnog nasleđa. Kao rezultat sukoba između kolonijalne Evrope i Grka, Pjer de Kuberten nije bio pozvan u Atinu 1896. na prve zvanične Olimpijske igre. On je došao kao turist, bio je u publici i organizator ga nije pozvao ni na počasnu tribinu. Ovde treba reći i to, da nije Kuberten bio tvorac čuvene olimpijske maksime „Važno je učestvovati, a ne pobediti!“. Te reči izgovorio je pensilvanijski biskup Talbot 19. jula 1908. u katedrali Svetog Pavla u Londonu na misi posvećenoj učesnicima Olimpijskih igara.

x U kom smislu je sport izraz liberalnog kapitalizma?

– Nekada su u sportu vladali principi „jednakost na startu“ i „neka pobedi bolji“. U današnjem svetu u kome vlada monopolistički kapitalizam, sport je anahronizam. Nema više individualnog dostignuća. Savremeni sport postao je industrija koja proizvodi robotizovane rekordere. U njemu vlada princip da se „rekorderi rađaju u epruvetama“.

x Da li je sport postao vašar i ko tu najviše zarađuje?

– Sport je postao show-business u kome se okreću ogromne pare. Sve je u rukama velikog kapitala koji „posluje“ po mafijaškim principima. Svake godine u sportu se „operu“ hiljade milijardi dolara. Sport je postao najvažniji legalni mafijaški biznis i kao takav je stratište za svetsku sirotinju. Treneri ne idu da traže „talente“ tamo gde žive bogataši, već gde živi radnička sirotinja. Crnačka geta, u kojima vlada  čemerna beda, najvažniji su izvor „vrhunskog sporta“.

x Doping u sportu?

– Doping je neminovna posledica vladavine principa „brže, dalje, snažnije“, jer ljudsko telo ima ograničene mogućnosti. Kada je taj princip neprikosnoven, što znači da je smisao sporta u postizanju novih rekorda, jasno je da je uništenje čoveka kao prirodnog i ljudskog bića neminovno. Kada sam 1972. godine napustio Minhenske olimpijske igre u znak protesta zbog dopinga, već tada je doping bio masovan.

x Izjavili ste jednom da je politika prevara?

– Politika jeste prevara, ali ona ne mora da bude prevara. Ona je prevara kada je od ljudi otuđena sfera vladanja – koja je karakteristična za klasno društvo. Ja se zalažem za neposrednu demokratiju i za ukidanje od ljudi otuđenih centara političke moći koji se pojavljuju u obliku političkih partija. Ukoliko se ljudi angažuju kao emancipovana politička bića u svim sferama života, politika može da dobije humanu dimenziju. Nažalost, politika je postala privilegija korumpiranih demagoga i hohštaplera, a „običnim“ ljudima je „prepušten“ svet zabave koji ih uništava kao umna i politička bića. U tom procesu zaglupljivanja i deplitizovanja ljudi sport zauzima najvažnije mesto.

x Kako će opstati „potrošačko društvo“ u vremenu kada ljudi ostaju bez posla?

– „Potrošačko društvo“ je završna faza u razvoju kapitalizma. Ono nema samo nehumanu, već i destruktivnu prirodu. Čovek više ne može da se bori samo za radno mesto, već za takav način proizvodnje koji neće uništiti prirodu i čoveka kao prirodno i ljudsko biće. Savremeni kapitalizam, koji je postao totalitarni poredak destrukcije, nameće radnim ljudima nove izazove. Ne radi se samo o borbi protiv eksploatacije i za sigurno radno mesto, već o borbi za opstanak života na Zemlji.

x Da li je neonacizam dobio danas novu šansu?

– Fašizam je jedan od političkih pojavnih oblika kapitalizma. Tačnije, fašizam je stisnuta pesnica kapitalizma u krizi. Mi živimo danas u vremenu u kome dominira američki fašizam, ali je on pokriven Koka-Kola kulturom. Mi, zapravo, živimo u iluzornom svetu i nismo svesni da se čovečanstvo nalazi na brodu koji plovi ka bezdanu.

x Hoće li kapitalizam opstati?

– Svaki dan života kapitalizma podrazumeva otvaranje nove rane na telu prirode i čoveka. Ostrvo na kojem čovečanstvo živi sve je manje, a čovek je sve bolesniji i sve usamljeniji… Savremeni kapitalizam stvara novi fašizam za koji je Hitlerov fašizam igra za malu decu. Za razliku od Hitlerovog fašizma koji je imao genocidnu prirodu i koji je nastojao da istrebi Slovene, Jevreje i Rome i osvoji „životni prostor“ (Lebensraum) za Nemce, savremeni fašizam, koji se pojavljuje u vidu američkog „novog svetskog poretka“, uništava ne samo narode, već i prirodu – istovremeno genetski modifikujući ljude. Čovečanstvo se danas nalazi pred najdramatičnijem izazovom: ili će kapitalizam uništiti život na Zemlji, ili će čovečanstvo uništiti kapitalizam. Revolucija nije više samo slobodarski izazov, već je postala osnovni egzistencijalni imperativ.

                                                           x         x        x


15. фебруар 2016. at 18:17

Heidegger’s Fear of Death

Ljubodrag Simonović
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                                          Heidegger’s Fear of Death

             In his endevours to confront man as a libertarian being and emancipated citizen, Heidegger imputes a fear of death to man as the basis for his tragic existence. If man’s relation to existence derives from his own immediate experience, then the basis for his authentic existence is not a fear of death, but his experience of life. Death is merely an abstraction for man as long as he is not directly faced with it. Man can only reflect on death; he cannot  “live” it.

             A fear of death does not derive from the experience of death, but from the experience of life. Since Heidegger does not postulate thinking, but rather experience, as the basis for determining authentic existence, the basis for  authentic existence in Heidegger is also not a fear of death, but a fear of loss of life. Man, therefore, has no need of a Being that would enable him to conquer his fear of death through an illusion of “eternal life”; he has need of life and, thus, of people with whom he can fight for his life and for humanity’s survival.

             In order for man to experience his mortality in a tragic way, he must have a need to live and a vision of the kind of life that can satisfy that need. Rather than death, the basis of a tragic existence is the kind of life that does not enable man to realize his humanness, which means to becaming a human being. Tragicality does not appear in the relation with an “eternal” heavenly life, but in relation to the actual possibilities of man becoming a human being in this earthly existence, which involves faith in a humane world and a fight for such a world.

              Tragicality does not have a fatal character. Man can abolish his tragic existence if he changes the life he lives, which means, if he abolishes capitalism and creates a world that will be the expression of his authentic human powers as a social and visionary being. With respect to that, man is willing to risk his life to prevent global destruction and create a world where people will be safe and free.

              Instead of being based on a fear of death, life should be based on a faith in life. Not a fear of death, but a joy of living should be the pivot of man’s entire existence. By his insistence on a lonely individual’s fear of death, Heidegger deprived man of the joy of life and human warmth. He reduced man to a walking corpse.

             Interestingly, in spite of being a great “magician” with words, Heidegger calls man a “mortal”, but it does not occur to him that, presupposing man as a living being, he might call him a “living-being”.  Indeed, man is a living being in his role as a life-creating being. Not only is he a living-being, he is also a life-creating being.

             Death and man’s relation to death have a historical nature. Fears faced by man, just as the very nature of fearing, are historically conditioned.   Modern man’s existence and his perception of this existance are essentially different from those of the Ancient Greeks, and, by the same token, death and modern man’s perception of death are essentially different from those of Ancient man. Modern man experiences fear in an essentially different way from his Ancient counterpart, and, consequently, his response to fear is essentially different. Traditionally, man percieved and experienced the world as a divine givenness and all that befell him as the product of a divine will. Hence he did not have an activistic-changing, but rather a passive-submissive relationship to the world. A confrontation with that fear was manifested in the form of a submissive relation to divinities.

               Thanks to the development of his cognitive and creative capabilities, modern man percieves and experiences himself as the creator of the world and hence perceives and experiences the world as his own creation. This is what his fear of death is based on. Rather than kneeling before gods, man confronts death through his understanding of the concrete nature of fear and by eradicating the underlying causes thereof. Instead of a religious-submissive consciousness, the dominant consciousness is active and changing, and is shaped into a libertarian-changing practice based on man’s life-creating capabilities as an emancipated natural and social being.

              Modern man, as a self-conscious historical being, can relate to the Ancient world and can understand his relation to the fear of death as a specific, historically conditioned relation. While for Ancient man there is no  future, but only an idealised past, modern man perceives his existence and death relative to a future expressed in the idea of progress, meaning that he relates to death in the context of the emancipatory potential created in modern society, a possibility for the realization of a new world.

             The abolishment of a speculative mediation between man and his existence abolishes the possibility of his critical-changing relation to the world, and reduces him to a non-human.  The abolishment of thought as a mediator between man and his existence leads to man relating to his existence through a world that devalues him as a human being. “A need for God”, for suffering, a fear of death instead of a joy of life – these are all psychological responses of a man deprived by capitalism of his libertarian and creative dignity, of an authentic sociability and thus an authentic humanness.

              The ruling order, which conditions the nature of the world, has objectified man, who is to experience his existence without posing the question of the true human beingness, which is the basic postulate for the evolvement of the critical and visionary consciousness that will enable the creation of a world where man will bring to life his humanness. The ruling order insists on the abolishment of man’s reflective relation to his existence and the creation of the ideal of human-beingness man should strive for, imposing at the same time a philosophy that becomes the basis for man’s self-perception and a mediator between man and his existence. This philosophy springs from a world where a human is reduced to a non-human.

               A typical example can be found in Kierkegaard’s thought. His philosophy is that of a desperate man, doomed by capitalism to solitary hopelessness. As a victim of capitalism, Kierkegaard seeks the meaning of life in a spiritual sphere deriving from his solitary misery. His philosophy is not based on reason, but on unreasonableness. “A need for God” is the product of the spiritual desolation created by capitalism and not a reasonable response to man’s suffering. “God” is the product of a desparete man’s imagination, one who cannot bring his humanness to life in the existing world. Kierkegaard’s philosophy does not purport to abolish the world that produces a miserable man; it rather builds a stairway beyond the clouds. And when the clouds disperse, man faces utter emptiness ruled by absolute nothingness.

               Heidegger bases his notion of the tragic on man having an existential fear. Instead of pointing out concrete social causes of this existential fear, Heidegger imputes to man a fear of death, which becomes a projected sublimation of the concrete existential fear experienced by man on a daily basis. The existential fear in the contemporary world, however, springs not from a fear of death, but from a fear of capitalism. With capitalism’s increasingly ruthless confrontation with people and nature, the fear of capitalism has an increasingly devastating effect on man and leads to disastrous forms of social pathology.

               The fear of losing the basic means of survival is a “Sword of Damocles” hovering over the heads of people whose livelihoods depend on their work and is the most important instrument in guaranteeing people’s submission. In developed capitalist countries, a majority of people live in debt slavery and in fear that they will not be able to pay off their loan and that their family will end up in the street or in prison. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people commit suicide because they cannot repay their debts.

              In contemporary capitalism, man has a concern with a specific historical character: a concern over the survival of life on the planet and thus a concern over the survival of humankind. This concern is a product of capitalism and, with the growing destruction of life, it acquires an increasingly dramatical character. If humankind does not stamp out capitalism in due course, if it does not establish a production aimed at satisfying genuine human needs and does not start treating nature in a more rational way, this concern will turn into an existential panic, which, after a possible nuclear devastation, will reduce the world to an ash heap.

              Since death is inevitable, Heidegger placed the tragic into a sphere beyond man as a libertarian and creative being. Man has no other option but to resign to his tragic existence and resort to illusions which are meant to compensate for his tragic life. Hence the need for the metaphysical as an active mediator between man’s “temporary” earthly existence and the “eternal” heavenly world. When man’s life is reduced to meaningless suffering, then the fear of death turns into faith in “eternal life”, producing a religious imagination that breeds illusory worlds.

              By abolishing man’s rational relation to his existence and by reducing man’s relation to his existence to its experience, Heidegger separated the existence of man from the existence of humankind, creating the possibility for man to perceive his existence regardless of what is befalling humankind – i.e., to become an abstract being and in an abstract manner. For man’s existence to be concrete, it must be viewed in terms of the concrete existential situation in which the world finds itself.  In other words, man’s existence is inseparably bound up with the existence of the world. If man is to experience his concrete existence, he has to have an idea of the existential prospects of humankind.

               A starting point for people’s mutual struggle against capitalism should not be a fear of death, but the growing destruction of life on the planet and the resulting concern for global survival. By becoming a totalitarian and global order of destruction, capitalism has placed all people on the planet in the same existential situation. We are all sailing on a ship heading for an abyss – regardless of our way of life and the way in which we relate to human and humankind’s existence. If man is not capable of reasonably assessing the increasingly dramatic existential situation brought about by capitalism, his relation to his existence will be based on a mental state leading to escapism and madness.

             The euphory of consumerism is the most widespread and the most devastating form of escapism from humanity’s concrete existential situation. This escapism actually comes down to man’s cooperation in global destruction. It represents the most direct embodiment of the destructive spirit of capitalism. This escapism from destruction produces the destruction of man as a destructive being.

             Death is not necessarily the source of tragicality. A fear of death is but one possible way in which man relates to death. The nature of one’s relation to death is conditioned by the nature of one’s life: the experience of death is conditioned by the experience of life. For a man who gambled away his life – death is the worst punishment; for a man who lives in hopeless misery – death is salvation; for a man who had a rich and creative life – death is a deserved repose…

              In Heidegger, man does not have a conscious relation to death. Actually, a conscious relation to death and man’s sociability are the basic presuppositions of a fear of death. Tragicality is possible from the very moment man becomes aware of his mortality. A child is not aware that he/she will die, nor is an animal. They cannot have a tragic existence. On the other hand, man can have a fear of death only as a social being. Man cannot experience his death, he acquires an idea of his (human) mortality only through the death of another human being.

              Heidegger abolishes man’s emancipated (reasonable) relation to death because such a relation questions the idea of the tragicality of human existence on which his philosophy is based. Death is the basic presupposition of the totality of human activism. Without death, there can be no wish or will to live. If man were immortal, life would be absolutely meaningless. A happy life is possible precisely because of its finitude. An „eternal life“ is the greatest curse.

             As did Christian theologists, Heidegger imputed to man a fear of death. Death, by itself, is not the source of the tragic; it becomes such only if it involves man’s vanishing. Although this is implied by Heidegger‘s thought, eternity is not as sured through man’s creative practice as a social and historical being, but through co-existence with Being.

               A fear of vanishing means that man fears he will fall into oblivion after death, which actually means that his life devalues him to such an extent that it is not worth mentioning. A worthless life makes man a worthless being. This devalued life wipes man from human memory by preventing him from leaving behind any legacy through which he might be remembered. He does not vanish as a human being, but as an individual who failed to become a human being. Death is tragical in so far as it finally deprives a man of the possibility of becoming human. By depriving him of life, death deprives man of the possibility to realize his humanness.

              Those who are not capable of a great achievement in their lifetime will mark their lives by means of the grave. For a man who did not leave a trace behind him, the grave becomes the only proof of his previous existence. The grave is a life turned into stone. A destroyed man appears in the form of indestructible stone. The grave is not a trace of the joy of life. It is a stony misery.

              As long as we remember our ancestors and respect their legacy – they are alive. As long as their creativeness permeates our life – they are alive. As long as their libertarian struggle inspires us to fight on – they are alive. As long as our noble ancestors can be discerned in our grandchildren – they are alive. As long as a tear appears in our eye when we look at a family photograph and see the caring look in the eyes of our dear parents – they are alive…

              Not only does Heidegger not make a distinction between death and vanishing, he does not make a distinction between death and destruction,  either. What faces modern man as a concrete, natural, historical and social being, is not just a fear of death, but a fear of the destruction of humanity and all life on the Earth. Man is scared of a possible nuclear war; he fears climate change; he fears viruses that might wipe out humanity; he fears fanatics ready to kill billions of people. Instead of imaginary fears based on religious illusions, he has real fears produced by capitalism.

              With capitalism becoming a totalitarian destructive order, man’s creative potential has turned into a destructive power in the form of science and technology. Instead of enabling man to provide for his existence and further develop his creative potential, science and technology, misused by capitalism, have become tools for global destruction and, as such, are a means for the production of an existential fear that is slowly becoming an existential panic.

              By abolishing man as a social being, Heidegger overlooked the fact that what makes man human is his responsibility for the lives of others. An atomized man lacks the most vital life forces: love and respect.  As a human being, he has nothing to lose as he is deprived of the very thing that makes him human. Man is not miserable because he is mortal, but because he is discarded as a human being and cannot realize his humanness as a social being.  This moment is dominant in Kerkegaard: despair over being discarded. His tragic thought  is the hopeless cry of a desperate man lost in the icy land of capitalist nothingness. It should be pointed out here that truth is not to be found in philosophy, science, art and religion, but in the eyes of a child begging for help.

               By reducing man to an abstract being and by abolishing reason as a mediator between man and his existence, Heidegger abolishes man as a valuable being. Man’s tragicality in capitalism is based on his evaluating himself through a value model that depreciates him as a human being and on his attempts to provide for his existence through an existential sphere that calls into question the very survival of humanity and nature. If we consider the nature of man’s existence as a concrete historical (social) being, which is the concrete existence of man in capitalism, then man’s very existence has an anti-existential character.

              Heidegger’s accounts of man’s tragic existence lead us to the conclusion that a “happy life” in a miserable world is but a fake existence, specifically, an existence based on lies. Only by way of experiencing the tragic existence can man set out to find a way out of everyday nothingness – instead of resorting to the destructive hedonism offered by capitalism in the form of “consumer society”. However, Heidegger deprives man of faith in a happy life and thus of any possibility of happiness. A fear of death is deeply set in man’s soul and prevents him from being happy. The anxiety created by the fear of death is a primary effect on how man experiences his existence.  Instead of the joy of life, the fear of death becomes the basis of human self-recognition. Striving for a happy life leads to the oblivion of death and thus to the obliviation of Being.

  For Heidegger, the true source of anxiety is death, rather than slavery, oppression, humiliation, increasingly threatened life, lack of love and respect, lack of possibility for man to realize himself as a creative and social being … Everything that shows the anti-libertarian, oppressive, exploitive and destructive nature of capitalism is removed from the scene. The reduction of man’s authentic existence to a fear of death and strivings for Being serves Heidegger by doing away with the peculiar human qualities that make man a libertarian and creative being.

              The tragic existence based on a fear of death becomes a non-historical existence and as such an abolishment of history and man as a historical being. By declaring the fear of death the basis of human tragic existence, Heidegger reduces man’s tragicality to a non-historical givenness. The meaning of the tragic as a concrete historical phenomenon can be determined only relative to the concrete historical (social) possibilities of overcoming the tragic, which are based on the emancipatory legacy and life-creating potential of people as social beings.

              If Heidegger’s notion of the tragic is viewed in the context of the ever more dramatic destruction of the world, it has an anti-existential character. Heidegger separates man’s existence from the tendency in the development of capitalism toward a destructive totalitarian order and, in that context, from the existence of humanity and nature in a life-creating totality. In view of the existential plight created by capitalism, the most important task before man is not to provide eternal life for the individual by way of an illusory heavenly realm, but to secure humanity’s survival by preserving the earthly life-creating sphere. The indisputable point of departure for the experience of human existence is not an abstract “Being”, but nature as a life-creating entirety. Nature as a life-creating entirety and man as an emancipated natural being and the organic part of nature as a life-creating entirety – this is the basis of human existence.

              By becoming a destructive totalitarian order, capitalism compels man directly to confront the increasing threat of destruction. The capitalist zunami has swept through all doors. The smell of death is all around. No longer does man need science or philosophy to be aware of his dramatic existential situation. Man relates to his existence by experiencing it immediately as a growing threat to life on this planet. By becoming a global order of destruction, capitalism has abolished the duality between individual and common interests – between the existential interest of an individual and the existential interest of humanity. By increasingly threatening life on the Earth, capitalism threatens the life of the individual and at the same time the life of the whole of humanity. This is potentially the most important integrative link enabling humanity to unite and become a force capable of destroying capitalism.

             It is up to us to initiate this vital historical turn. Instead of a cult of death, we should build a cult of life. Similarly to religious fanatics, guided by the idea of apocalypse, the ideologists of capitalism are creating an existential defeatism and, through an increasingly aggressive production of illusions, offering virtual cosmic worlds as the spaces for humanity’s future existence. The idea of eternity must be brought back from the illusory “worlds” and the vastness of the universe and placed within the framework of our earthly life. People should become aware that the Earth is our only home and the only place in the universe that gives us a chance to survive. This awareness should be the impetus for a will to fight for survival and thereby secure the future of humanity.

Translated from Serbian by Vesna Todorović (Petrović)

English translation supervisor Mick Collins

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15. фебруар 2016. at 18:10

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