dimanche 23 juin 2019

Carl Schmitt and Martin Heidegger - Sedentary Revolutionaries: Two Academics Who Joined the Nazi Party

Jaspreet Singh Boparai

Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) and Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), two of the most prominent German thinkers of the twentieth century, became members of the Nazi Party in 1933, and briefly held positions of some prominence after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Heidegger spent just over a year as Rector of the University of Freiburg (1933–1934); Schmitt spent the years 1933 to 1936 as the “Crown Jurist of the Third Reich” whilst teaching law in Berlin. After the end of the Second World War, neither man publicly explained or apologised for his earlier political activities.

In spite of his close association with Nazism, Heidegger’s reputation as one of the twentieth century’s preeminent thinkers has never faded: he ranks with Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) as one of the most influential philosophers since Nietzsche, and he has enjoyed particularly widespread admiration in France; prominent thinkers including Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980), Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961), and Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) have all learnt from (and struggled with) Heidegger’s notoriously difficult oeuvre.

Schmitt’s work, on the other hand, fell into relative eclipse after the war. But his essays on legal and political theory have grown steadily in popularity over the past half-century. Almost all of his important work is now available in English, and has enjoyed renewed attention with the rise of populist political movements in America and across Europe. In the Anglosphere, Schmitt’s most important current champion is probably Adrian Vermeule, a law professor at Harvard who converted to Catholicism in 2016 and has recently become an unlikely Twitter celebrity with his sardonic attacks on liberalism. […]  
Schmitt’s and Heidegger’s activities in the 1930s are often excused on the grounds that these unworldly professors joined the Nazi Party out of naivety, academic careerism, or complete miscalculation. They grew up in a world where suspicion of Jews was commonplace, it is said, and never found occasion to reflect seriously on their own prejudices or paranoia. Such explanations are unsatisfactory. Still, Nazism was only one of several contemporary movements informed by (or based on) overtly antisemitic doctrines. It does not fully explain Schmitt’s or Heidegger’s ideas or political choices. 
Antisemitism attributes to Jews extraordinary power, influence, and wickedness. Over the centuries, its tropes have been adapted to scapegoat Jews for a wide variety of problems, from localised outbreaks of illness to economic depressions and international wars. The politicised variant that flourished in Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries began in the wake of the revolutions of 1848, and intensified with the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). The central preoccupation at this time was Jews’ perceived predominance in banking, commerce, and industry.

The most influential antisemitic political theorist during this period was Charles Maurras (1868–1952), a French poet and literary journalist best known in the English-speaking world for his influence on T.S. Eliot. 
Lire l'article complet @ Quillette

1 commentaire :

Path a dit…

Lovely blog. Thanks for sharing with us.This is so useful.