Break Their Haughty Power

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at SPAMoregon.uoregon.edu
Tue Oct 31 17:54:07 MST 2000




On Tue, 31 Oct 2000, Louis Proyect crossposted:

> (Some of you may be familiar with the name Loren Goldner. His writings have
> "The Nazis and Deconstruction: Jean-Pierre Faye's Demolition of Derrida".)
>
> Faye shows that after 1933, under pressure from Nazi polemics, Heidegger
> began to characterize the prior Western metaphysical tradition as
> "nihilist" and worked out the whole analysis for which he became famous
> after 1945: the "fall" in the Western conception of Being after Parmenides
> and above all Aristotle, the essence of this fall in its modern development
> as the metaphysics of the "subject" theorized above all by Descartes, and
> the evolution of this subject up to its apotheosis in Nietzsche and the
> early Heidegger of Being and Time.

What pressure? Heidegger was that rarest of all things, the true-blue Nazi
from the very beginning. Adorno's "Negative Dialectics" has a really
wonderful analysis of Heidegger, emphasizing the H-Man's debt to Husserl's
logical positivism, which set the stage for fundamental ontology the same
way that the Weimar Republic set the stage for Fascism: i.e. expressed
certain irresolveable social conflicts, which would explode into the most
hideous violence.

> missing a step. The process, for a more American context, goes from Krieck
> to Heidegger to Derrida to the postmodern minions of the Modern Language
> Association. The "oscillation" that Faye demonstrated for the 1890-1933
> period in Langages totalitaires has its extension in the contemporary
> deconstructionists of the "human sciences," perhaps summarized most
> succinctly in Lyotard's 1988 call to "donner droit de cite a l'inhumain."

Nonsense. The MLA are salaried culture-workers who've been getting the
shaft from the market forces for years. There are a few overpaid superstar
theorists out there who afflict the world with their hyper(te((x)t)ual
crap, but deconstruction was genuinely radical in the 1970s, and opened
the doors for all sorts of multinational Marxisms, radical
identity-politics, the decolonization of the aesthetic canon, culture
studies, and all the other heavy ideological artillery which first got
used on the streets of Paris '95, Berlin '96 and Seattle '99. Next stop:
Tokyo!

-- Dennis






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