Jim heartfield jim at heartfield.demon.co.uk
Sun Aug 6 14:31:25 PDT 2000

In message <SIMEON.10008061030.B at kenneth.utoronto.ca>, kenneth.mackendri ck at utoronto.ca writes
>On Sun, 6 Aug 2000 10:23:13 -0400 Gordon Fitch <gcf at panix.com> wrote:
>> I don't know if it is accurate in this context to characterize
>> Heidegger as a "Nazi philosopher" even if he was (1) a Nazi
>> and (2) a philosopher.
>Despite my Adornoesque dislike for Heidegger, I agree. The problem with
>Heidegger (one problem, not the problem) is that he knew very little about that
>Nazi party (one Heideggerian scholar once mentioned to me that the only reason
>he was a member was because he hadn't read the party platform), despite being a
>member (although, hell, one would think he knew enough!!!). If my memory
>serves, he might even be read as a kind of (pathetic!) internal critic... since
>he, more than once, pointed out that the party had failed to achieve its
>greatness... (note my earlier parenthesis about pathetic!).

I appreciate that this is the standard defence of Heidegger's philosophy (ie that it was untainted by his fascism). In a forthcoming issue of the journal Prometheus, I argue the opposite, that Heidegger's philosophy is substantially a transliteration of concepts drawn from the far right.

I take Gordon's point about the City of God, but I think that Heidegger has priority in that his is a reaction within the terms of our own epoch, one in which modernity is the condition, even in that it is denied.

-- James Heartfield

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