Re: Heidegger and the Political? A Question from a newcomer.

On Fri, 7 Apr 1995, Jonathan Maskit wrote:

> Chris Rickey wrote:

> >The short distance is surprising only to one who wouldn't be familiar with
> >Heidegger's writings on technology. It comes as little surprise to hear
> >such arch-deconstructionists as Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy falling back
> >upon an Arendtian notion precisely because they follow Heidegger in his
> >understanding of technology. More or less, she translates Heidegger's
> >thought into the language of economics, which is important because
> >Heidegger includes politics as part of technology, whereas Arendt kept
> >them distinct.
> Chris,
> I've read quite a bit of both Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy and don't recall
> seeing any references to Arendt. So, where does this happen? And, an
> Arendtian notion *of what*? And, while I'm asking, what's an
> "arch-deconstructionist"?
> Jonathan

I actually haven't seen them in person, but I have seen a reference to
this in two different places, and apparently one can find these
references in the conference "The Ends of Man," in 1980 and also in the
Center for Research into the Political's first (or second?) publication,
Le Retrait du Politique. Because I don't read French, the exact context
is unknown to me, but the commentaries on these tracts that I have read
mention that they refer to Arendt and labelled this "surprising." I
can't imagine why the commentators would have referred them to Arendt
rather than the more obvious Heidegger unless Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy
had actually referred to Arendt.

Another connection that I have actually read is in Nancy (somewhere),
where he refers to the connection between racism and totalitarianism as
demonstrated by Arendt.

"An Arendtian notion of" - the loss of the political realm as it was
swallowed by modern technology/economics. Despite his explicitly
assigning politics to technology, Heidegger might not be adverse to
holding open another politics that evades technological thinking.
Actually, I think he does hold this, and it comes out in his discussion
of a more originary ethos (place) than metaphysics thinks. Whether this
politics is intelligible is another problem.

Arch-deconstructionist. Well, I've been having problems assigning a name
to that group of french (and some american) thinkers who adhere to to that
style of thinking progulumated by Derrida. Apparently
arch-deconstructionist doesn't fly. Suggestions would be appreciated. At
any rate, both Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe acknowledge a debt to Derrida,
and openly practice a thinking that has been called deconstructionist, and
at times imply that they want to push the envelope past even what Derrida
has done thus far (hence the "arch-"). I don't think it would raise any
eyebrows if I included Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy in a group called
deconstructionists. In any case, it wasn't meant as an insult.


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