This contribution discusses the philosophical meaning of the Martin Heidegger’s Rectoral address. First of all, Heidegger’s philosophical basic experience is sketched as the background of his Rectoral address; the being-historical concept of “Anfang”. Then, the philosophical question of the Rectoral address is discussed. It is shown, that Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität is asking for the identity of human being there (Dasein) in connection with the question about dem Eigenen (the Germans) and dem Fremden (the Greeks). This opposition structuralizes the (...) confrontation with the beginning of philosophical thinking in the Rectoral address. When read against the philosophical background sustaining the Rectoral address, words appearing therein such as “Kampf”, “Macht”, “Volk” and “Marsch” have nothing in common with the same words as used by the Nazis. It is shown that the Rectoral address is an extremely ambiguous text, because it claims a transformation of human being there (Dasein). Although Heidegger’s view on NationalSocialism is distinguished from Nazis ideology, it is clear that he made a mistake about Hitler. This article makes clear how Heidegger later changed his mind and vocabulary, and in what way this kind of mistakes and changes of mind are inherent to philosophical empiricism. (shrink)
In 1933 the philosopher Martin Heidegger declared his allegiance to Hitler. Ever since, scholars have asked to what extent his work is implicated in Nazism. To address this question properly involves neither conflating Nazism and the continuing philosophical project that is Heidegger's legacy, nor absolving Heidegger and, in the process, turning a deaf ear to what he himself called the philosophical motivations for his political engagement. It is important to establish the terms on which Heidegger aligned himself with National (...)Socialism. On the basis of an untimely but by no means unprecedented understanding of the mission of the German people, the philosopher first joined but then also criticized the movement. An exposition of Heidegger's conception of Volk hence can and must treat its merits and deficiencies as a response to the enduring impasse in contemporary political philosophy of the dilemma between liberalism and authoritarianism. (shrink)
Derrida's reading of Heidegger in Of Spirit provides an excellent opportunity to assess the ethical and political value of each of their works. Derrida uncovers a slippage in Heidegger during the 1930s in which Heidegger ?forgot to forget? the dangers of the ?spirit? he had disavowed in Being and Time. This reveals a substantial early investment in the National Socialist project from which Heidegger never adequately recovered. Even in his attempts to distance himself from his Nazi past, Heidegger was (...) still caught up in a metaphysical, though not a racial?biological, gesture and while Heidegger may have written at the end of philosophy, it was an end never come. One cannot stop reading Heidegger on this account. Rather, one is all the more compelled to read him, and after him Derrida. In Derrida's reading of Heidegger, we see the ways in which Heidegger opened up for Derrida an alternative space for the ethical ? in ?The call of Being? before any decision ? in the obligation to the other. However, this ethical possibility of deconstruction is only a space of undecideabiliry and questioning, never a space for political comportment; that is, it is ontological?existential, not ontical?existentiell. In this, while deconstruction opens up a space for ethics, it is never to guide, only to expose. (shrink)
The "Socialist Calculation Debate" is little known outside the economics profession, yet this inter-war debate between liberal and socialist economists on the practical feasibility of socialism has important implications for all contemporary public sector bureaucracies. This article applies the Mises-Hayek critique of central planning that emerged from this debate to the crisis presently facing the British National Health Service. The Mises-Hayek critique suggests that the UK government's plan for a renewal of the National Health Service will fail (...) because of the epistemological pathologies that face any centrally planned system. It is argued that the key lesson of the Socialist Calculation Debate is that market prices and private property rights are essential for the efficient allocation of resources and the attainment of the best possible health outcomes. (shrink)
The Synthetic Theory of Evolution (SyntheticDarwinism) was forged between 1925 and 1950.Several historians of science have pointed outthat this synthesis was a joint venture ofSoviet, German, American and Britishbiologists: A fascinating example of scientificcooperation, considering the fact that theevolutionary synthesis emerged during thedecades in which these countries were engagedin fierce political, military and ideologicalconflicts. The ideological background of itsAnglo-American representatives has beenanalyzed in the literature. We have examinedthe scientific work and ideological commitmentsof the German Darwinians during the ThirdReich. We based (...) our analysis on four criteria:1) General attitude towards the Third Reich. 2) Membership in the NSDAP and other nationalsocialist organizations. Endorsement anddisapproval of the state ideology in 3) scientific and 4) other publications. We willmainly discuss the various authors that havecontributed to Die Evolution derOrganismen (1943), a collection thatrepresented the evolutionary synthesis inGermany. Most of the authors promoted eugenicideas, but not all of them adopted the racistinterpretation of the Third Reich. Anotherfinding is that there existed no directconnection between party membership andpromotion of the state ideology. (shrink)
The myth of the homeland -- The Nietzschean self-assertion of the German University -- The geo-politics of Heidegger's Mitteleuropa -- Heidegger's Greeks and the myth of autochthony -- Heidegger's "Nietzsche".
Acclaimed throughout the world as a philosopher of liberation and revolution, Herbert Marcuse is one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. His penetrating critiques of the ways modern technology produces forms of society and culture with oppressive modes of social control indicate his enduring significance in the contemporary moment. This collection of unpublished or uncollected essays, unfinished manuscripts, and correspondence between 1942 and 1951, provides Marcuse's exemplary attempts to link theory with practice, and develops ideas that can (...) be used to grasp and transform existing social reality. These papers vividly chronicle Marcuse's increasing, yet reluctant estrangement from Max Horkeimer, director of the Institute for Social Research and his years as an analyst with various U.S. government agencies. Marcuse's later attempts to link theory and practice in the 1960s and 1970s in regard to the New Left, National Liberation Movements and other new social movements were grounded in his work from the 1940s. As the 1940s witnessed the rise to global prominence of German fascism and its defeat in World War Two, and the emergence of the Cold War, Marcuse strived to preserve the radical vision of his youth during a difficult historical period while many turned toward more conservative positions. Precisely the sort of broad theoretical and political theorizing that Marcuse undertook througout his life is needed today to analyze the momentous changes that we are currently undergoing. Excerpt: Personal history is interwoven with intellectual and political events in these papers. We debated whether letters belonged here: whether some should be published at all. My father had a deep sense of personal privacy, both as a character trait and as a political expression of resistance to the commodification of the private. Yet the letters contain substantive discussions also. We could have edited out, expurgated some of the material. While not publishing every letter my father wrote, our selection was based on interest, and every letter that is included is included in full. That decision was in part painful for me personally. The juxtaposition of the letters to Horkeimer and the exchange with Heidegger highlights the point. --from the Foreword by Peter Marcuse. (shrink)
" Heidegger and Modernity is an intervention in the Heidegger debate in France which many may see as decisive. Its central claim is that the responses of left Heideggerians to continuing disclosures regarding Heidegger's Nazi affiliations fail to come to terms with central ambiguities in his philosophical responses, both early and late, to modernity and technology. . . . Incisive and hard hitting, Luc Ferry and Alain Renault have condensed in a short and tightly organized book both a judicious and (...) well-informed account of the Heidegger question and an implicit defence of humanism which has a strong political resonance."--Liam O'Sullivan, Political Studies. (shrink)
In this book, Weikart helps unlock the mystery of Hitler’s evil by vividly demonstrating the surprising conclusion that Hitler’s immorality flowed from a coherent ethic. Hitler was inspired by evolutionary ethics to pursue the utopian project of biologically improving the human race. This ethic underlay or influenced almost every major feature of Nazi policy: eugenics (i.e., measures to improve human heredity, including compulsory sterilization), euthanasia, racism, population expansion, offensive warfare, and racial extermination.
Insofar as John Stuart Mill can be accurately described as a socialist, his is a socialism that a classical liberal ought to be able to live with, if not to love. Mill's view is that capitalist economies should at some point undergo a `spontaneous' and incremental process of socialization, involving the formation of worker-controlled `socialistic' enterprises through either the transformation of `capitalistic' enterprises or creation de novo. This process would entail few violations of core libertarian principles. It would proceed (...) by way of a series of voluntary transactions. Capitalists' property rights would be respected throughout. The process would take place within a national system of laws that permits private ownership of productive property and competition, and would not result in that system's overthrow. And, if we accept some basic tenets of Mill's social philosophy, the outcome at which we should expect the process to arrive is a `patchwork' economy in which capitalistic and socialistic enterprises exist side by side. Key Words: Ludwig von Mises John Stuart Mill socialism capitalism worker control. (shrink)
One of the most intractable contemporary problems in the USSR is the Soviet federal dilemma. The late 1980s witnessed competing claims among the national minority groups of the USSR to rights of voice, representation, and cultural, economic, and even political sovereignty. Since the onset ofperestrojka, the principle of nationalstatehood has acquired a new legitimacy. Nationality is one of the pillars of the federal reform. The drive to create a new Soviet federalism has become an important component ofperestrojka. But, according (...) to Leninist doctrine, the nation is a transitional formation. Unless there is a significant departure from Leninist theory, the new acknowledgement of the rights of nations in the USSR can only be a political — and thus temporary — concession. Can the ideology evolve in such a way as to provide ideologically-based political legitimacy to the notion of national-statehood? Is Gorbachev''s dynamic interpretation of Leninism capable of rejecting one of Lenin''s most fundamental concepts? The thesis of this article is that Soviet federal reform requires a substantial departure from the Leninist tradition. The extent to which Soviet leaders are prepared to do this casts light on one of the perennial concerns of socialist thought, namely whether ideology matters at all. (shrink)
The author discusses some aspects of the problem how to transform the former socialist into democratic states. In the first part he argues that the ‘socialist societies’ were not societies in the modern sense but organized in the way of traditional community without (civil) society---with the absolute domination of politics over all spheres of societal activities, in which the only permitted (Communist) Party, mostly reduced to the power of the secretary general, used to decide over almost everything. The psychic functional (...) basis of socialism was happy consciousness and collective narcissism. In the second part the author warns that the realization of the “European way of Iife,” as a basic program of changes in Europe in 1989, was misunderstood because it was conceived as a fixed content and not as a procedure of attaining agreement. In the third part he concludes that nationalism and fervent religiosity, which predominate in several ex-socialist countries, are main obstacles of the transformation of the former socialism because of their exclusion of the different. This tends to continue the societyless community, filled with again absolutized (national or religious) contents, namely with new forms of collective narcissism. (shrink)
What is perhaps most remarkable in regard to both Socialism and Anarchism is the association of a widespread popular movement with ideals for a better world. The ideals have been elaborated, in the first instance, by solitary writers of books, and yet powerful sections of the wage-earning classes have accepted them as their guide in the practical affairs of the world. In regard to Socialism this is evident; but in regard to Anarchism it is only true with some (...) qualification. Anarchism as such has never been a widespread creed, it is only in the modified form of Syndicalism that it has achieved popularity. Unlike Socialism and Anarchism, Syndicalism is primarily the outcome, not of an idea, but of an organization: the fact of Trade Union organization came first, and the ideas of Syndicalism are those which seemed appropriate to this organization in the opinion of the more advanced French Trade Unions. But the ideas are, in the main, derived from Anarchism, and the men who gained acceptance for them were, for the most part, Anarchists. Thus we may regard Syndicalism as the Anarchism of the market-place as opposed to the Anarchism of isolated individuals which had preserved a precarious life throughout the previous decades. Taking this view, we find in Anarchist-Syndicalism the same combination of ideal and organization as we find in Socialist political parties. It is from this standpoint that our study of these movements will be undertaken. (shrink)
Since 1972, the journal Radical Philosophy has provided a forum for the discussion of radical and critical ideas in philosophy. This anthology reprints some of the best articles to have appeared in the journal during the past five years. It covers topics in social and moral philosophy which are central to current controversies on the left, focusing on theoretical issues raised by socialist, feminist, and environmental movements. The articles engage with contemporary issues in critical terms, and represent the best of (...) recent philosophical work on the left. (shrink)
Socialists believe that equality, community, and economic democracy can only be achieved by a system of joint ownership in the means of production. These property rights do not, as such, pass judgment as to what rights individuals have to their own person. Libertarians believe that individual liberty and autonomy are only coextensive with a set of stringent rights to the person and its powers. These property rights do not, as such, pass judgment as to what rights individuals have to the (...) external world. Bringing libertarianism and socialism together is therefore, in principle, possible. This paper takes this further step, by sketching a constituiton that reconciles individual autonomy with radical equality of condition. To those libertarians drawn to socialist values (such as the pioneers of nineteenth-century anarchism), the paper offers a reconciliation that is arguably more true to these values than left-libertarianism. To those socialists drawn to libertarian values, it offers an alternative to left-libertarianism that avoids the pitfalls of statism. (shrink)
This study looks at some of the traits that characterized Argentina’s scientific and university policies under the military regime that spanned from 1976 through 1983. To this end, it delves into a rarely explored empirical observation: financial resource transfers from national universities to the National Scientific and Technological Research Council (CONICET, for its Spanish acronym) during that period. The intention is to show how, by reallocating funds geared to Science and Technology, CONICET was made to expand and decentralize (...) to the detriment of universities. This was the primary tool used by the military regime to thwart higher education’s research development, bolstering research efforts at other realms. Thus, CONICET grew in budget, number of researchers, and staff size, creating new research institutes, while national universities struggled with reduced funding and were forced to shut down their institutes and programs. As a result, CONICET virtually concentrated all scientific research, foregoing the knowledge accumulated at universities, which drove a wedge between both institutions. This military approach to science and technology policy-making is discussed, bearing in mind the notion of dependence—both in terms of the state’s intervention in the inner workings of the scientific-university field as well as regarding the role played by international financial support in scientific research development. (shrink)
President Bush and his Council of Economic Advisors have claimed that the U.S. shouldn’t adopt a national health program because doing so would slow innovation in health care. Some have attacked this argument by challenging its moral claim that innovativeness is a good ground for choosing between health care systems. This reply is misguided. If we want to refute the argument from innovation, we have to undercut the premise that seems least controversial -- the premise that our current system (...) produces more innovation than a national health program would. I argue that this premise is false. The argument requires clarifying the concept ‘national health program’ and examining various theories of human well-being. (shrink)
This volume asks which national histories underpinned which national identity constructions in almost every nation state in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It explores the construction of national identities through history writing and analyses their interrelationship with histories of ethnicity/race, class and religion.
This paper seeks to contribute to the sociology of nations, a literature that is only starting to carve out its place in the social sciences. The paper offers a reconceptualization of “nations” as “national cultures”, employing an evolutionary perspective and a systemic framework in which “nations” are understood as cultural systems of a special kind. National cultures are intimately tied to natural languages, and the acquisition of a national culture occurs as part and parcel of the acquisition (...) of a natural language. Acquiring a natural language is a prerequisite for learning other cultural systems (artefactual languages as well as other natural languages). National cultures function as metacultures. They are also the reference cultures for modern states and their citizens, a political dimension of nations that is of paramount importance, though it will only be touched on in this paper. National cultures should be considered as the most fundamental type of cultural system today. (shrink)
The article analyzes the interaction of Orthodoxy and the state and its role in asserting national identity in the context ofRomania’s modernization process. I have developed the concept of tendential modernity for studying the distinctive nature of Romanian modernity Modernity in Romania focused primarily on national and geostrategic problems, due to the absence of a state encompassing all Romanians. The Orthodox Church had been recognized as a symbol of national identity, therefore it was included among the basic (...) institutions that would support the national project, in order to serve the new purposes imposed by modernity. In the context of the modernization process undergone by Romanian society, the church is not separated from the state, but becomes a church of the state, a church whose prerogatives are established by the secular power; thus the church is defined as an institution that is embedded in the process of modern change decided by the state. As a matter of fact, modernity itself was ambivalent and ambiguous, which influenced decisively the role of Orthodoxy in the assertion of Romanian identity. (shrink)