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The being of the Volk: state, Führer and ‘the political’ in Heidegger’s seminars during the Kairos

Version 2 2024-06-18, 10:51
Version 1 2018-10-11, 09:34
chapter
posted on 2024-06-18, 10:51 authored by MJ Sharpe
This chapter will address Heidegger’s legal theory, or rather, what should be called his political or metapolitical theory, wherein the philosophy of Being is adapted to the perceived demands of ‘the urgency of our [German] Dasein [that] assails us’. As Susanna Lindberg has commented, this period of 1933–1935 holds a particular interest for political theorists. For it is the only period in which Heidegger descends to what we would standardly recognize as political philosophy. In 1933–1934, his advanced seminars included an extensive deliberation on the state and its relation to the Volk. The advanced class of 1934–1935 was devoted to a confrontation with Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Heidegger speaks on directly political subjects: the Führerprinzip, the masses, ‘Semitic nomads’, the distress of the German Volk, and the need for the German state to ‘work out into the wider expanse’ (2015, 55). In the process, he makes clear his criticism of rival National Socialist thinkers, whom he consistently accuses of insufficiently fathoming what Heidegger conceives as the deepest significance of the Bewegung. Heidegger positively articulates what might be called a National Socialist political theology. This is grounded in the ‘theophany’ of the founding, decisionistic self-assertion of the Volk as a communal Being – ‘the cutting nearness of the coming god’ – and the alleged, destined calling of the Führer, as someone who ‘makes a gesture towards the Bereich of the Demigods’, educating the Volk for its spiritual mission: ‘a total transformation, a worldwide blueprint, on the foundation of which he educates the whole people’.

History

Pagination

199-217

ISBN-13

9781786602657

Edition

1st

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2018, Rowman & Littlefield

Editor/Contributor(s)

Zartaloudis T

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield

Place of publication

London, Eng.

Title of book

Law and philosophical theory: critical intersections

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