This article reinterprets Martin Heidegger's engagement with Nazism based on a close reading of his philosophical writings of the 1930s and the recently published “Black Notebooks.” Heidegger envisions a mythic renewing of the Greek philosophical beginning to overcome that beginning and construct an entirely new form of human society. This new beginning represents a rebellion against the Platonic-Christian-Marxist sense of knowing as making secure and of the slavish morality of palliating the cycle of human suffering by envisioning an end—an eschaton—to history. This attempt to eliminate or at least deny human finitude Heidegger seeks to overcome by advancing a political agenda of embracing struggle, death, and openness. Nazism from this perspective has a potential greatness that Heidegger seeks to realize in the properly Heideggerian state, the true philosophical state, Germany, which seems to be ruled by the few and founded for the many: philosophy in a reformed university will provoke and unsettle, maintaining a vital dynamism that will be translated into the language of practical revolutionary activity throughout the state.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| February 01 2015
Jeff Love, Michael Meng; The Political Myths of Martin Heidegger. New German Critique 1 February 2015; 42 (1 (124)): 45–66. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2824225
Download citation file: