For Work / Against Work
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Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity: Technology, Politics, and Art

by Zimmerman, Michael E (1990)

Abstract

The relation between Martin Heidegger's understanding of technology and his affiliation with and conception of National Socialism is the leading idea of this fascinating and revealing book. Zimmerman shows that the key to the relation between Heidegger's philosophy and his politics was his concern with the nature of working and production.

Key Passage

As elitists, Heidegger and junger believed that the technological era could  be carried to its completion only  by  an  elite corps of humanity who scorned the cheerful optimism of mass culture. junger's "worker" was by  no means equivalent to Marx's "proletariat"! Heidegger and junger looked to Nietzsche for insight into   the remarkable men, the "overmen," needed to complete the process of nihilism. junger had spoken of his interpretation of such men in his collection of essays The Adventurous Heart.[AH] These men were  willing  to  use violence in order to pursue the uncharted paths being opened up  by modern technology. Regarding  hisattitudetowardjunger'stechnologicalOverman,Heideg-get'sattitudewasambivalent.On the one hand, the Overman as technological "adventurer" and destroyer was a manifestation of the nihilism resulting from the  total self-concealment of being.  On the other hand, the Overmanas the one who went "over and beyond" existing humanity could be, paradoxically, a harbinger of the  new, post-nihilistic world heralded by Holderlin, (p.88)

Keywords

Heidegger, Technology, National Socialism, Junger, Production, Germany, Nazi

Themes

On Heidegger

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