"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".
We can conclude that Heidegger, at the beginning of the 1930s, seemed to be quite revolutionary in heralding the other beginning of philosophy. Inspired by Jünger, he developed a destructed concept of work and will to characterize his own way of philosophical thinking, and was willing the overcoming of the metaphysics of the will to power. 30 But from the con-frontation with Jünger, Heidegger learned that every “overcoming of the metaphysics of the will to power” is doomed, as long as it is characterized by work and will. 31 Working and willing is absorbed in the circular course from the work-character of the world to the work-character of the way human being is dealing with it, the circular course which indicates the end of metaphysics. To put it differently, Heidegger learned from Jünger that the overcoming of the metaphysics of the will to power is the circumambula-tion within metaphysics and not the transition to another beginning of phi-losophical thinking, as long as it is characterized by will and work. As soon as Heidegger realized again, as in Being and Time, that our being-at-workis absorbed by the work-character of the world, he realized again that there is no way from our working responsiveness to the work-world to our care for the meaning of being, and that we have to release ourselves from work, will and technicity in order to enhance our ability to reflect on the meaning of being. When he realized this, he began to advocate the release from the willful way of thinking. In his later work, Heidegger speaks about the will-ing of the nonwilling, about a gelassen or non-willing way of philosophical thinking—because the will itself is the main barrier for the experience of “Being.” 32 In light of the findings of the previous section, we can under-stand this free relation as the de-formalization of the distinction between the work-character of beings in the whole and the question regarding the meaning of being.The experience of “Being” demands our bidding farewell to the concept of work and will, and demands a radically different other beginning of phi-losophical reflection ( Besinnung ) . “Why a beginning at all? . . . Because only the greatest occurrence, the innermost knowing, can still save us from being lost in the bustle of mere events and machinations. What must take place is enopening being for us and putting us back into this [Being] and thus bringing us to ourselves and before the work and the sacrifice.” (p.81)
KeywordsHeidegger, Ontology, Pragmatism, Relationality, Being, Junger, Zimmermann, Machenschaft
ThemesOn Jünger, On Heidegger
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