No, I don’t mean the current or any past Republican nominee. I’ll leave that perennial charge to Democratic Party agitprop writers. I refer to Martin Heidegger, often regarded as the most significant philosopher of the 20th century, and certainly one of the main sources of leftist postmodern philosophy, even if many ignorant leftists today don’t know it.
Heidegger’s affinity for Nazism has long been disputed by his fans, or at the very least it is argued that even if he was a Nazi sympathizer, it can be detached cleanly from his pure philosophical teaching, which is highly abstruse. I’ll leave this argument for some other time (though I do go into it in some detail in chapter 3 of my forthcoming book, on sale now at Amazon), but for now it is enough to take note of some new Heidegger letters to his brother from the early 1930s, published this week in The Paris Review. The Review concludes that “he was the real deal, a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi who bought into Hitler’s ideology wholesale.”
Here are two letters that stand out:
18th of December, 1931
Dear Fritz, dear Liesl, dear boys,
It would appear that Germany is finally awakening, understanding and seizing its destiny. I hope that you will read Hitler’s book; its first few autobiographical chapters are weak. This man has a remarkable and sure political instinct, and he had it even while all of us were still in a haze, there is no way of denying that. The National Socialist movement will soon gain a wholly different force. It is not about mere party politics—it’s about the redemption or fall of Europe and western civilization. Anyone who does not get it deserves to be crushed by the chaos. Thinking about these things is no hindrance to the spirit of Christmas, but marks our return to the character and task of the Germans, which is to say to the place where this beautiful celebration originates.
13th of April, 1933
Thank you for your long letter. With each day that passes we see Hitler growing as a statesman. The world of our Volk and Reich is about to be transformed and everyone who has eyes with which to watch, ears with which to listen, and a heart to spur him into action will find himself captivated by genuine, deep excitement—once again, we are met with a great reality and with the pressure of having to build this reality into the spirit of the Reich and the secret mission of the German being […]
I argue that in fact Heidegger’s philosophy was directly connected to his Nazism. Game on.
JOHN adds: I find this easy to believe as, based on my own attempts to penetrate his intellectual haze, Heidegger was a crappy philosopher.