Martin Heidegger: Eine politische Biographie
Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2020
“Heidegger passes the comeback test with the grade of fully satisfactory on both sides.”
It’s the most basic thing in the world. You can look at a rock, think it’s a bear, and run away. Or you can glimpse a bear, assume it’s a rock, and get eaten. Over time, evolution will select for seeing bears, when in fact, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it’s just rocks. Then clever fools will come and say that believing in a bear infestation is primitive superstition, and that they, taught by “science” and “logic,” have surmised that there are no bears among the rocks. In fact, bears do not even exist. (more…)
1. Introduction: Leibniz and the Completion of Metaphysics
Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von Leibniz (1646–1716) is one of the most extraordinary figures in the history of ideas. A true polymath, he was not only a philosopher but a physicist, historian, jurist, diplomat, inventor, and mathematician. (more…)
1. Introduction: From Objectivism to Subjectivism
In the previous two installments (Part Three here, Part Four here) we have discussed at length Heidegger’s treatment of the “objectification of beings” in early modernity: how beings come to be seen as “objects” related to a “subject” that confronts them (indirectly) from within an interior space that is called “mind,” “awareness,” or even “self.” This objectification is essentially identical with the representationalist theory of knowledge, which holds that we are only indirectly aware of the “external world,” via internal images which “represent” external objects. So far, however, this may not be the account of modernity that my readers were expecting. (more…)
But yet they that have no science are in better and nobler condition with their natural prudence than men, that by mis-reasoning, or by trusting them that reason wrong, fall upon false and absurd general rules.
— Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
Don’t use the rules.
They’re not for you,
They’re for the fools.
And you’re a fool
If you don’t know that.
So, here’s the rules
You stupid fool.
— The Clash, “Cheat” (more…)
In my essay “Heidegger Against the Traditionalists,” I sketched a critique of Guénon and Evola from a Heideggerian perspective. Although I raised several objections to Traditionalism, the crucial one was this: Guénon and Evola are thoroughly (and uncritically) invested in the Western metaphysical tradition. According to Heidegger, however, it is precisely the Western metaphysical tradition that is responsible for all the modern ills decried by the Traditionalists. (more…)
Those on the New Right are bound together partly by shared intellectual interests. Ranking very high indeed on any list of those interests would be the works of Martin Heidegger and those of the Traditionalist  school, especially René Guénon and Julius Evola. My own work has been heavily influenced by both Heidegger and Traditionalism. (more…)
Did you know that there are only two countries in the world where it’s legal to advertise pharmaceutical drugs on television? One is the U.S., of course, and the other is New Zealand. I remember the early days of those ads, back in the 1990s. For example, there was the classic Zyrtec ad that showed someone climbing a mountain. You had to guess what the drug was for, because back then, they weren’t allowed to be more explicit. All the ad said was “ask your doctor.” My, how times have changed. (more…)
To understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty.
— Napoleon Bonaparte
I grew up in the final years of the Cold War. If you aren’t old enough to remember the Cold War, let me tell you that it was a trip.
Dangerous Minds: Nietzsche, Heidegger, and the Return of the Far Right
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018
Ronald Beiner is a Canadian Jewish political theorist who teaches at the University of Toronto. I’ve been reading his work since the early 1990s, starting with What’s the Matter with Liberalism? I have always admired Beiner’s clear and lively writing and his ability to see straight through jargon and cant to hone in on the flaws of the positions he examines. (more…)
This speech was delivered at the Francis Parker Yockey Memorial Dinner in the San Francisco Bay Area on August 19, 2017. — Greg Johnson