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Re: [existlist] Nietzsche/Heideigger: an answer for all eras?

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    So what? What is your point? Is the USA beyond criticism to you? WS ... From: libbyawilliams@yahoo.com To: existlist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wed, 31 Jan 2007
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2007
      So what? What is your point? Is the USA beyond criticism to you?

      WS

      -----Original Message-----
      From: libbyawilliams@...
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 7:57 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Nietzsche/Heideigger: an answer for all eras?

      I found an entry on Anti-Americanism on Wikipedia today, and
      I found
      the section (excerpted here) that quotes Nietzsche and Heideigger to
      be particularly interesting, considering how frequently these two
      names are invoked on this list. What struck me the most was the
      reminder that opinions, theories, historical movements, and even
      philosophies are not developed in a vacuum. If, when asking any
      question or making any statement, we have to first look to ourselves
      as the source, to know on what grounds we are asking or stating, do we
      not then have to question where Nietzsche and Heideigger were coming
      from as well? As I have only recently joined this list, I am not
      certain if this area has been discussed, but when I see sources cited,
      I must question the source, particularly in a discussion about
      something that resists definition as does the nature and meaning of
      human existence. And, not having read Nietzsche for about six years,
      I wonder: would he want to be held up as a cited source, to have it
      said, in effect, "We know because Nietzsche said?" I find that
      unlikely. It's beginning to sound a little like he's being taken as
      Universal Truth, or at the very least, that a group of people
      somewhere, decided through consensus to conclude that Nietzsche has
      the nature of our existence figured out for all time, in every
      situation.

      ......."With the rise of American industry in the late nineteenth
      century,
      intellectual anti-American discourse entered a new form. Mass
      production, the Taylor system, and the speed of American life and work
      became a major threat to some intellectuals' view of European life and
      tradition.
      Nietzsche wrote, "The breathless haste with which they (the Americans)
      work - the distinctive vice of the new world - is already beginning
      ferociously to infect old Europe and is spreading a spiritual
      emptiness over the continent."
      It has been argued that this thesis transformed into a Heideggerian
      critique of technologism. Heidegger wrote in 1935: "Europe lies today
      in a great pincer, squeezed between Russia on the one side and America
      on the other. From a metaphysical point of view, Russia and America
      are the same, with the same dreary technological frenzy and the same
      unrestricted organization of the average man."
      A derivative of the thesis regarding the soullessness of America and
      its inherent threat to Europe was also used in Fascist rhetoric and in
      German and Japanese propaganda during World War II. It has been argued
      that the Heideggerian critique, incorporated into existentialist
      (Sartre) and leftist thought after the war, played a central role in
      the political rhetoric of many Western European Communist parties."






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