RSS FeedRSS FeedYouTubeYouTubeTwitterTwitterFacebook GroupFacebook Group
You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Heidegger's conservative-reactionary misunderstanding of freedom

Heidegger's conservative-reactionary misunderstanding of freedom

". . . [M]odern man finds his own 'essence' in his greatest discovery, namely, that the most important thing is to turn 'life' into a 'lived experience' and to make all possibilities of lived-experience accessible generally to all in an equal manner so that through this universality of 'lived experience' 'life' may prove and actualize itself as the unconditioned whole. . . . Without initiating its own self-destruction, how could that which has made itself beforehand the goal of itself and has put all goal-setting at the service of this goal, ever inquire into a goal?

"The unconditionality of the 'life' of 'lived experience' means positing 'becoming' as the actual 'being' and thus simultaneously consolidating the unquestionability of being itself. . . . The forgottenness of forgetting is the most hidden sheltered process in the 'dis-humanization' of man. . . .

"[A] uniformly emerging and uniformly expanding fostering of all potentials of the creative spirit receives it first 'justification' and determination for the unity and unification of life and its actualities. Thus the 'historical' man of culture fulfills that doom, which, within the forgottenness of forgetting of being drives the 'dis-humanization' of man to an ab-ground that can become a ground for the fundamental transformation of man." [252-253]

-- Martin Heidegger, Mindfulness, "The Completion of Occidental Metaphysics (Hegel and Nietzsche): Be-ing and 'becoming'" (1938) [Athlone, 2006, 249-254]

* * *

But, as James Miller (author of The Passion of Michel Foucault, 2000) put it, in his introduction to Rousseau's Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (Hackett, 1992):

"The principle of freedom and its corollary, 'perfectibility,' suggest that the possibilities for being human are both multiple and, literally, endless. . . . Contemporaries like Kant well understood the novelty and radical implications of Rousseau's new principle of freedom [and] appreciated his unusual stress on history as the site where the true nature of our species is simultaneously realized and perverted, revealed and distorted. A new way of thinking about the human condition had appeared. . . . As Hegel put it, 'The principle of freedom dawned on the world in Rousseau, and gave infinite strength to man, who thus apprehended himself as infinite.'" [xiv-xv]