"Jünger’s Concept of the Gestalt of the Worker as the Consummation of Modernity"
by Blok, Vincent (2015)
From 1934–1935 on, Heidegger does not see this positive relation with Junger's concept of work anymore. Heidegger also calls the epoch of the worker "the epoch of the consummation of modernity". Heidegger concentrates on this identification of the subject of The Worker and the way this subject is being discussed in Junger's book. In a note, Heidegger writes: "Junger's descriptions achieve only this: indicating being by showing beings, without questioning this being". But because Junger is absorbed by his responsiveness to the work-character of beings in the whole as worker, he only indicates this essence of the work-world while the question of being itself remains forgotten and concealed. Heidegger calls this new beginning of philosophical reflection a decision. Heidegger speaks about the "great indecisiveness and undecidability of this whole fundamental metaphysical position".
Jünger’s absorption by the work-world is however not primarily his mistake or fault. According to Heidegger, it belongs to the inner logic of machination that it conceals itself all the more as it unfolds itself. 19 We can understand this self-concealment of machination if we remember Heideg-ger’s analysis of the movement of work in Being and Time (see Section 6.1); all works are characterized by a double movement of their withdrawal as equipment in favor of their presence as work. In 1934–1935, Heidegger conceptualizes this double movement in terms of the concealment of machi-nation as the essence of the work-world in favor of its presence as work for the worker. The dominion of machination and lived experience thus reigns in such a way that it demarcates the way in which the world appears aswork ( machination) for our human responsiveness as worker ( lived experi-ence ) , without ever being accessible for work itself. 20 Heidegger’s criticism of Jünger’s concept of work can therefore be understood as self-criticism regarding his own use of the term in the early 1930s. Our being-at-work has an origin—the meaning or truth of being—which is itself inaccessible for work and therefore remains forgotten. 21 This forgetfulness, and in this sense the “nihil” of the horizon of being—the meaning of being—within the work-world of machination and lived experience, is what Heidegger calls the forgottenness of being as the essence of Nihilism. (p.80)
KeywordsHeidegger, Ontology, Pragmatism, Relationality, Being, Junger, Zimmermann, Machenschaft
ThemesOn Jünger, On Heidegger
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