America is a mistake, a giant mistake. Sigmund Freud
But… there’s no point to America anyway. It has no hereditary King or Emperor to provide a meaning or centre or source of law, merely a flag and whatever significance the individual places upon that object, whether entire people; particular section of the people with whom the individual identifies; continent; laws; congress; temporary chief officer, or any number of interpretations that do not coalesce into anything real. Notably because they are mere abstractions: notions with which each individual invests with his own misty preconceptions and unformed wishes. Therefore, America is not so much a mistake, as a conglomeration of millions of individual mistakes. So it has to be with all republics, including Rome and all the pseudo- [ non absolutist hereditary ] monarchies of today… Homer Simpson’s agonized question in the film from which the above title is purloined, though uniquely American in it’s self-misunderstanding, “Why does everything I whip leave me ?” is why Americans cannot combine moral courage and realism, even if — exceptionally rarely, as in the case of the current president — they possess the former quality. It is not enough to maintain a whip, whether right or wrong to wield it, there has to be a purpose in doing so: comfort, rightly derided by the Prussian exponents of Kultur against the concept of mere civilisation, is — like patriotism — not enough. The dearth of courage is not merely a consequence of the decline of the culture — this is shared in Europe and all westernised nations — nor solely from the idiots’ political system, but also stems from the very bases of the American Idea.
“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which and outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost it’s civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There remain many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life. Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales a to how realistic, reasonable and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weariness and cowardice… Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end ?…”
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 8, 1978
He added: “The human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits, exemplified by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.”
They still don’t like Alexandr…Rigour and unsentimentality repel the satisfied, complacent and weak; yet as Hermann Hesse pronounced: “People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.”, so it will never bother the great witness of our times.
I have no knowledge as to whether people are getting fatter and/or dumber --- nor much interest, since the depravity and inutility of democracy as a concept would remain if the entire population were composed of thin saints who were intellectual powerhouses --- but although Senator Gravel's interview was accorded attention on that false, and interpolated, note, he was generally right.
Particularly on one sacred cow...
"...properly design a health-care system that meets everything that you defined. Stop and think what failure we have in this country. Bismarck put this in place in 1888. Truman advocated this in 1946. And we still can't get it right. Maybe there's something failing in our society. And there is. It's called representative government."
"No, we are failing, and it's our leadership that's failing, and the American people, if they had the power to make laws in partnership with representative government, they could correct this. But you can't, since the country is run by corporate America, particularly the military-industrial complex, the medical-industrial complex, and we do nothing about it, because you're--look at this election and it's all money."
"Representative government and our government is broken. It's in pieces,..."
"...and the people are the only ones that can do something about it."
Ah well, as under one of the alternate forms of democratic degeneration, there's always Vodka.
Not totally dissimilar to the early Broken Sword games in navigation --- Interactive Ibsen: a quick glance ( not physically, although that may be my connection ) at some of Ibsen's works that doesn't quite blend into a whole; more on his life-style would have helped. But an interesting conceit, at least.
Ocktoberfest is upon us --- begun in commemoration of the nuptials of that prince who was to be crowned Ludwig I, as fully interesting a monarch as Ludwig II, as not only did he disdain Napoleon; give a fifth of his income to people in want; and introduce the Athenic ideal into the composition of München, but had an excellent affair with the charming, but tiresome Lola.
Since my King, the present Head of the House of Stuart, is also Head of the House of Wittelsbach, I feel drawn to this event; yet I'm guessing that the entire dislike of beer might be rather a drawback.
"A shell grazed the third funnel and exploded on the upper deck above….' said Gneisenau’s Commander Pochhammer. ‘Large pieces of shrapnel ripped down and reached the coal bunkers, killing a stoker. A deck officer had both his forearms torn off. A second shell exploded on the main deck, destroying the ship’s boats. Fragments smashed into the officers’ mess and wounded the officers’ little pet black pig. Another hit aft entered the ship on the waterline, pierced the armored deck and lodged in an ammunition chamber…[which] was flooded to prevent further damage….These three hits killed or wounded fifty men." ( Castles of Steel, 2003, by Robert K. Massie, at page 267 )here
One of the --- many --- reasons the Germans have most favoured nation status with me is that they never let rationality interfere with life overmuch; or didn't before modernity was bombed into them, leaving the woeful bland of conformist and pc drear that is the present-day. I can't find it now, but in one town, they built a statue in gratitude to yet another pig for some valiant deed.
Could one expect less from a people capable of taking time off during the most vicious war theatre imaginable, WWII OstFront, to build a statue in the snows of some captured town, not of any contemporary or hero, but of an imaginary girl, Lili Marleen ?
The rooks are looked upon by the squire as a very ancient and honourable line of gentry, highly aristocratical in their notions, fond of place, and attached to church and state; as their building so loftily, keeping about churches and cathedrals, and in the venerable groves of old castles and manor-houses, sufficiently manifests. The good opinion thus expressed by the squire put me upon observing more narrowly these very respectable birds; for I confess, to my shame, I had been apt to confound them with their cousins-german the crows, to whom, at the first glance, they bear so great a family resemblance. Nothing, it seems, could be more unjust or injurious than such a mistake. The rooks and crows are, among the feathered tribes, what the Spaniards and Portuguese are among nations, the least loving, in consequence of their neighbourhood and similarity. The rooks are old-established housekeepers, high-minded gentlefolk that have had their hereditary abodes time out of mind; but as to the poor crows, they are a kind of vagabond, predatory, gipsy race, roving about the country, without any settled home; "their hands are against everybody, and everybody's against them," and they are gibbeted in every corn-field. Master Simon assures me that a female rook that should so far forget herself as to consort with a crow, would inevitably be disinherited, and indeed would be totally discarded by all her genteel acquaintance.
Nor is the rookery entirely free from other troubles and disasters. In so aristocratical and lofty-minded a community, which boasts so much ancient blood and hereditary pride, it is natural to suppose that questions of etiquette will sometimes arise, and affairs of honour ensue. In fact, this is very often the case: bitter quarrels break out between individuals, which produce sad scufflings on the tree tops, and I have more than once seen a regular duel take place between two doughty heroes of the rookery. Their field of battle is generally the air: and their contest is managed in the most scientific and elegant manner; wheeling round and round each other, and towering higher and higher to get the vantage-ground, until they sometimes disappear in the clouds before the combat is determined.
The most poignant pain is reserved for that which we have lost --- I'm gonna merely assume that the word derives from poignard for this truly is the stiletto that never ceases mincing the instantly reconstituted aorta and ventricle chambers.
Aged about 9 I lost on a train my Edwardian copy of Olaf The Glorious; I could get a modern reprint, but I've never since seen an original despite spending my life in second-hand bookshops, and asking for it most times. Similiarly, I may, or may not, have lost my copy of Fortescue ( by I think, Sinclair Gaudie and Harold Lamb ) a spoof of mid-victoriana.
Of particular note was the eponymous hero's descent into --- very comparative --- vice in attending a Judge & Jury show presided over by the genial Renton Nicholson at the Coal Hole in the Strand ( and also at the Cider Cellars in Covent Garden ) Eheu Fugaces, this was when London still had interesting things to do... A Gabs Ray site can explain a little of the show; plus there's a puritanic view of the end here. Even Thomas Hardy cheered himself up there. Nicholson was also a writer; here's a story of his, The Actor's Tale, from HorrorMasters * although it's not horror.
A few times I used to bulk up my C.V. with working at Renton Nicholson's, Strand, London. It does sound like any firm one can imagine, and it was a surety few hiring morons would make any connection.
* As a child I was often rather terrified each night; and as a child I read deeply of this kind of Victorian junk on ghosts etc.. It is possible the two facts may be intimately related... ( particularly the one about a nun's visiting skeleton being shattered, and coming back as individual bones reconstituting at the end of the bed. )
Archibald S. Henning --- The Judge and Jury Society in the Cider Cellar
Firstly, whilst caution is a virtue in reporting, the very title of this 'incident' seems misplaced. I am fully seized of the fact that most jurisdictions no longer rely just on confessions, beside corroboration etc. ( actually it was the sole evidence required in some places, like Soviet Russia, even when simply induced... ), but when a couple are in jail on million-dollar bonds and have offered apologies for the 'unfortunate incident', alleged seems out of place...
Anyway, the story is, that chap A is charged with downloading underage porn, released on bail; a couple of virtuously outraged yokels then set fire to his house, killing his wife in the blaze. So far, so disgusting; yet things like this have happened in every age --- though not so much in the last 200 years --- and every clime --- mainly in countries where rugged individualism is revered as much as in the USA, and with a like criminality, such as contemporary South Africa and neighbour nations; where killing witches is almost the norm right now.
[ From that last link: 'I have also omitted the victims of occult belief who fearlessly throw themselves in harm's way believing they are immune to gunfire.' *chokes* Sometimes, the darwinian imperative is so killingly funny... ]
It's too much to hope for that the two will get a quick trial and then be quietly shot. Still, as ever, there is a morbid pleasure in glancing at the comments --- perfunctorily, there being four-fucking-thousand, eight hundred and eighty-two of them --- and regarding the fact that since they generally range from the inane to the psychotic, they form a perfect sample of American opinion-makers; as in We, The People.
The situation in the Russian Federation grows ever more acute, yet surprisingly the world’s press is dumb. Since the news in July there seems no update, googling lyuba + mammoth yields — here at least, everyone’s Google is supposed to be different, like souls ( although with people there seem to be many millions of clones already about at a cursory glance ) — 875 results, most of them from July.
Did Lyuba enjoy Japan ? Has the fat content of mammoth milk been established ? Are Lyuba and Dima together at last ?
* I virtually never explain; but it’s a song. An unutterably appalling song too.
Where the flocks of silver birds burnished the sky Myths of my forepeople sustain me !
My parents, rest their souls, were to Berlin; My sisters both were young. Two months of loneliness ahead rolled, enduring till the winter cold. Herr Mehler, my good tutor, was very old; more concerned with Katchen and the pies she brought from down the kitchen stair. No hap to him if I wandered late, and sought out of my too dull fate. Each metre I knew of our estate --- had I not known it thirteen year ? Him and the rest I told, for thirty days I should wander bold. No servitor saw fit to scold, or wonder at my seeking-lust. Agreeable, they knew my return was sure and shrugged with no demur. My pony lightly loaded, off to explore our chilled Pomeranian shore and hills. The roughest map sufficed to chart my way; I knew no adventure lived in this day, no romantic child was I, real in any play. Yet I would ride an ambling steed, and sketch, and gaze, and see new folk. The days passed on; on grass slept in my cloak; from farms bought food, to peasants spoke; Many castles passed. All was good --- and then... I advanced a crest, and to a rolling valley down gazed through light from red-gold clouds thrown to a perfect townlet of time-kissed stone. Pale blue the smoke of evening grew, through the living air I led my laden friend, down the winding path befringed with glowing green. Birds chattered, rabbits leapt: never was such rich life seen; I knew at once this was the good place, the fair city where all was true. Yet in that lovely twilight sure I knew, it could not be but rue. For sure it's magic would hold me fast, but nothing this pure could well permit an intruder long into its fit; only those born would there sit for aye. Nathless I was happy sure. They welcomed me, the news I brought, tales that my ramblings' taught: and generous, for keep accepted naught. Three days I stayed, air endued with awe, knowing how correct all facets of being stood. The fields brimmed gold; verdant far each wood; in that hour I knew that all was meant and good. Then the day before I home went, from each wheel where the white storks bed, I saw them rise as the sun went red, and each, each silvern bird well fled. In misery and joy I slept that night; in the bright morn thanked my friends and parted, back to the path where I had started. Again the small birds sang and rabbits darted; yet all was lost and my heart was stone for evermore. One can't return: that past beyond has no recreating. Be --- somewhat --- glad it was.
Hobbes, in the first place, is not here arguing for one form of government more than for another. He prefers monarchy; but his special point is that in every form, monarchic, aristocratic, or democratic, there must be a "sovereign” --- an ultimate, supreme and single authority. Men, he says, admit the claim of a popular State to “absolute dominion,” but object to the claim of a king, though he has the same power and is not more likely, for reasons given, to abuse it. The doctrine which he really opposes is that of a “mixed government.” As “some doctors” hold that there are three souls in one man, others hold that there can be more souls than one in a commonwealth. That is virtually implied when they say that “the power of levying money, which is the nutritive faculty,” depends on a "general assembly”; the “power of conduct and command, which is the motive faculty, on one man; and the power of making laws, which is the rational faculty, on the accidental consent, not only of those two last, but of a third”: this is called “mixed monarchy.” “In truth it is not one independent commonwealth, but three independent factions; nor one representative person but three. In the Kingdom of God there may be three persons independent without breach of unity in God that reigneth; but where men reign that be subject to diversity of opinions, it cannot be so. And therefore if the king bear the person of the people, the general assembly bear the person of the people, and another assembly bear the person of a part of the people, they are not one person, nor one sovereign, but three persons and three sovereigns.” That is to say, the political, like the animal organism, is essentially a unit. So far as there is not somewhere a supreme authority, there is anarchy or a possibility of anarchy. The application to Hobbes’s own times is obvious. The king, for example, has a right to raise ship-money in case of necessity. But who has a right to decide the question of necessity ? If the king, he could raise taxes at pleasure. If the parliament, the king becomes only their pensioner. At the bottom it was a question of sovereignty, and Hobbes, holding the king to be sovereign, holds that Hampden showed “an ignorant impatience of taxation.” “Mark the oppression ! A parliament man of £500 a year, land-taxed 20s.” Hampden was refusing to contribute to his own defence. "All men are by nature provided of notable multiplying glasses, through which every little payment appeareth a great grievance.” Parliament remonstrated against arbitrary imprisonment, the Star Chamber, and so forth; but it was their own fault that the king had so to act. Their refusal to give money “put him ( the king ) upon those extraordinary ways, which they call illegal, of raising money at home.” The experience of the Civil War, he says in the Leviathan, has so plainly shown the mischief of dividing the rights of the sovereign that few men in England fail to see that they should be inseparable and should be so acknowledged “at the next return of peace.”
Men did in fact come to acknowledge it though not for some generations, and then by virtually transferring sovereignty from the king to the parliament. A confused state of mind in the interval was implied in the doctrine which long prevailed, of the importance of a division between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers, and in the doctrine that the British constitution represented a judicious mixture of the three elements, aristocracy, monarchy, and democracy, whose conflicts were regulated by an admirable system of checks and balances. Whatever truth may have been expressed in such theories, they were erroneous so far as inconsistent with Hobbes’s doctrine. A division of the governmental functions is of course necessary, and different classes should be allowed to exercise an influence upon the State. But the division of functions must be consistent with the recognition of a single authority which can regulate and correlate their powers; and a contest between classes, which do not in some way recognise a sovereign arbitrator, leads to civil war or revolution. Who is the sovereign, for example, was the essential question which in the revolt of the American colonies, and in the secession of the Southern States had to be answered by bullets. So long as that question is open, there is a condition of unstable equilibrium or latent anarchy. The State, as Hobbes puts it, should have only one soul, or as we may say, the political organism should have the unity corresponding to a vital principle.
The unity of the Leviathan seemed to imply arbitrary power. Since the king had the power of the sword, said Hobbes, he must also have the power of the purse. The logic might be good, but might be applied the other way. The true Englishman was determined not to pay the money till he knew how it was to be spent; and complained of a loss of liberty if it was taken by force. Hobbes’s reply to this is very forcible and clears his position. He agreed with Johnson that the cry for liberty was cant. What he asks, in his De Cive, is meant by liberty ? If an exemption from the laws, it can exist in no government whatever. If it consist in having few laws, and only those such as are necessary to peace, there is no more liberty in a democracy than in a monarchy. What men really demand is not liberty but “dominion.” People are deceived because in a democracy they have a greater share in public offices or in choosing the officers. It does not follow that they have more liberty in the sense of less law. Hobbes was putting his finger upon an ambiguity which has continued to flourish. Liberty may either mean that a man is not bound by law or that he is only bound by laws which he has made ( or shared in making ) himself. We are quite aware at the present day that a democracy may use the liberty, which in one sense it possesses, by making laws which are inconsistent with liberty in the other sense.
I was brought up on the comforting assumption that web-site lives were around for an average of 100 days. Time's arrow has shortened the average life to 44 ( at least upon these assumptions = it could be less ); this emphasises the necessity for pruning of lost links --- cutting dead-wood is always to be undertaken with enthusiasm --- and that to ensure one's own pages continue to offer what they are meant, that hot-linking even if agreed with a host site should be severely discouraged. All media: pictures, music and video should be stored on the same server; storage is cheap enough and will probably not get more expensive for non-critical applications. Obviously one's server will go down now and again/eventually, but if that means one's media is unobtainable, the main website is equally so.
The rapid loss is not to be regretted too much, except for people's personal works and studies of historical fact. Probably it doesn't matter if 95% of commercial and intellectual webpages are lost forever tomorrow: the amount of dross, and severely outdated information, clogs the internet; just as that it would not matter, except to the persons concerned, if 95% of people snuffed it. I am not advocating this, nor minimising tragedy; merely conflating Keynes' quote, 'In the long run, we are all dead' with the point that nobody except God truly cares even in the short run, and He is fully capable of dealing with all eventualities. [ I doubt that He Cares about the future of the Internet however. ]
The astounding virtuosity of France Gall was such that in addition to the haunting delicacy of her songs sung in her native France, she was able to do the same thing in German to such an extent that millions of Germans sincerely believed she was one of their own and claimed her as a native daughter. Here are two of her songs sung in that language, perhaps less famous than her astounding Ein bißchen Goethe - ein bißchen Bonaparte, displaying all her verve and sensitivity, along with her adorable unconscious habit of catching her lower lip. Der Piano-Player does seem to be perhaps the best requiem for our late civilisation, and I for one feel it's existence to be a vindication of that culture.
Now I know when will come the last morning: when the Light no more scares away the Night and Love, when sleep shall be without waking, and but one continuous dream. I feel in me a celestial exhaustion. Long and weariful was my pilgrimage to the holy grave, and crushing was the cross. The crystal wave, which, imperceptible to the ordinary sense, springs in the dark bosom of the mound against whose foot breaks the flood of the world, he who has tasted it, he who has stood on the mountain frontier of the world, and looked across into the new land, into the abode of the Night, verily he turns not again into the tumult of the world, into the land where dwells the Light in ceaseless unrest. On those heights he builds for himself tabernacles --- tabernacles of peace; there longs and loves and gazes across, until the welcomest of all hours draws him down into the waters of the spring. Afloat above remains what is earthly, and is swept back in storms; but what became holy by the touch of Love, runs free through hidden ways to the region beyond, where, like odours, it mingles with love asleep. Still wakest thou, cheerful Light, that weary man to his labour, and into me pourest gladsome life; but thou wilest me not away from Memory's moss-grown monument. Gladly will I stir busy hands, everywhere behold where thou hast need of me; bepraise the rich pomp of thy splendor; pursue unwearied the lovely harmonies of thy skilled handicraft; gladly contemplate the clever pace of thy mighty, radiant clock; explore the balance of the forces and the laws of the wondrous play of countless worlds and their seasons; but true to the Night remains my secret heart, and to creative Love, her daughter. Canst thou show me a heart eternally true ? Has thy sun friendly eyes that know me ? Do thy stars lay hold of my longing hand ? Do they return me the tender pressure and the caressing word ? Was it thou did bedeck them with colours and a flickering outline ? Or was it she who gave to thy jewels a higher, a dearer significance ? What delight, what pleasure offers thy life, to outweigh the transports of Death ? Wears not everything that inspirits us the livery of the Night ? Thy mother, it is she brings thee forth, and to her thou owest all thy glory. Thou wouldst vanish into thyself, thou wouldst dissipate in boundless space, if she did not hold thee fast, if she swaddled thee not, so that thou grewest warm, and flaming, gavest birth to the universe. Verily I was before thou wast; the mother sent me with sisters to inhabit thy world, to sanctify it with love that it might be an ever-present memorial, to plant it with flowers unfading. As yet they have not ripened, these thoughts divine; as yet is there small trace of our coming apocalypse. One day thy clock will point to the end of Time, and then thou shalt be as one of us, and shalt, full of ardent longing, be extinguished and die. I feel in me the close of thy activity, I taste heavenly freedom, and happy restoration. With wild pangs I recognize thy distance from our home, thy feud with the ancient, glorious Heaven. Thy rage and thy raving are in vain. Inconsumable stands the cross, victory-flag of our race.
Novalis : Hymns to the Night --- trans: George MacDonald
THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO THE FACT OF MY NOT HAVING PASSED MY DRIVING TEST TODAY
The women were worthy of the men --- bold, quarrelsome, revengeful. Some were loyal, like Bergthora, who foresaw how all her sons and her husband were to be burned; but who would not leave them, and perished in the burning without a cry. Some were as brave as Howard's wife, who enabled her husband, old and childless, to overthrow the wealthy bully, the slayer of his only son. Some were treacherous, as Halgerda the Fair. Three husbands she had, and was the death of every man of them. Her last lord was Gunnar of Lithend, the bravest and most peaceful of men. Once she did a mean thing, and he slapped her face. She never forgave him. At last enemies besieged him in his house. The doors were locked --- all was quiet within. One of the enemies climbed up to a window slit, and Gunnar thrust him through with his lance. "Is Gunnar at home ?" said the besiegers. "I know not --- but his lance is," said the wounded man, and died with that last jest on his lips. For long Gunnar kept them at bay with his arrows, but at last one of them cut the arrow string. "Twist me a string with thy hair," he said to his wife, Halgerda, whose yellow hair was very long and beautiful. "Is it a matter of thy life or death ?" she asked. "Ay," he said. "Then I remember that blow thou gavest me, and I will see thy death." So Gunnar died, overcome by numbers, and they killed Samr, his hound, but not before Samr had killed a man.
Andrew Lang : The Sagas
Allfather's curse on nithings is stronger than that on evil-doers: therefore we too must despise weaklings and those who associate with them more than those who actively seek us harm; both take us to hell, but the weak feign it is the way to heaven.
In the same deep-mining veins dug by those linking Nietzsche to nazi praxis, is this old review of a book on Heidegger's relationship with naziism... *sighs* There are very few philosophers whose private political beliefs I would be in sympathy with: it's like art, the output doesn't depend on the moral stature of the artist. This argues the opposite.
Something to read though...
What is surprising is that Heidegger should be either surprised or dismayed to learn that the Nazis were less than fully absorbed, were in fact uninterested in his own approach to Being, in the same way that they were also uninterested in the effort of Rosenberg, the well-known Nazi "philosopher," to bring about a profound spiritual renewal. Heidegger's objection reveals, then, an astonishing lack of awareness of the nature of Nazism.
Rather that he knew pretty much what they were --- and to be fair average contemporaries in any country then would have had the same response to most philosophers --- but had hoped they could become something better.
The problem with the Nazis, according to Heidegger, was not that they terrorized and murdered people, and started World War II, but that they had the wrong attitude towards metaphysics. Whether they would have still been murderers if they had the right metaphysics is a good question. One of the most disturbing things about Heidegger's thought is that the murders -- or even the public thuggery that he could have seen in the earliest days of the Third Reich -- don't really seem to have disturbed him all that much. It was not the murders or the public mayhem that discredited "existing" Naziism but simply the wrong attitude towards philosophy, i.e. Heidegger himself. The most damning accusation, however, is just that Naziism was a form of liberalism !
Which last, uh, is factually correct. Plus one of the true reasons naziism is utterly abhorrant. National Socialism was the outcome of republican German nationalism of 1848 ( As is much of American political praxis ). And indeed a youtube of the esteemed neo-nazi band Stahlgewitter explicitly makes this connection, the black-red-gold republikaner flag makes it's appearances along with other nazi crap.
Apart from which, 'public mayhem' in the sense meant here ran through both the soviet and the American system --- even in the Thirties.
Heidegger is not a moralist and does not have anything like a theory or system of moral principles. It is not clear how a prohibition of murder would even be grounded in his system. A "resolute" and "authentic" murderer actually sounds pretty good.
There is nothing wrong with killing someone if one has authentic reasons to so do. ( The nazis didn't very often, being mostly dim thugs --- plus they did it messily whenever possible. )
Heidegger's conservatism is also reflected in his hostility to modernity, not just in the form of liberal democracy, but in the form of science and technology and commercial culture. This is another area where he appeals to modern leftists, who not only want a socialist mandarinism, run by themselves, rather than liberal democracy, but who are also constitutionally hostile to science, which depends on criteria far harder than their own self-persuasive rhetorical sophistries, and to technology and commerce, which are not only similarly hard edged but have done far more to improve the life of most people than the chatter of Marxist dialectics ever has.
Ah, the magical sweet matrix of science, parliamentary democracy and the free market... What soul-satisfying happiness it has brought; and much more importantly, will always promise to bring. 'Only a few generations, comrades-citizens-voters, and our children will live as gods !'
( Much the same mix as nazism and communism would have evolved into, in fact. )
So in the end, quite apart from the frequent hyperbole, the diatribe relies on supposed ethics and appeals to materialism: which being both that which Heidegger rejected, means that it is like similiarly accusing an eagle of not valuing either. The eagle knows that already.
In a Salon article Being Martin Heidegger Ralph Brave gives some answers as to why Heidegger's semi-sympathy with National Socialism is ultimately irrelevant to his philosophy. [ Note: click the page numbers to avoid getting lost. ]
Of course, I barely understand Heidegger, and sometimes reading both him and other fine thinkers can induce the loss of the will to live, but one should ever recognise greatness in thought, in those we admire, and in those with whom we may disagree for extraneous reasons.
At his execution, it was enquired if Alfred Rosenberg had any last words before being topped.
PROTEUS. Upon some book I love I'll pray for thee. VALENTINE. That's on some shallow story of deep love: How young Leander cross'd the Hellespont. PROTEUS. That's a deep story of a deeper love; For he was more than over shoes in love. VALENTINE. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love, And yet you never swum the Hellespont. PROTEUS. Over the boots ! Nay, give me not the boots. VALENTINE. No, I will not, for it boots thee not. PROTEUS. What ? VALENTINE. To be in love --- where scorn is bought with groans, Coy looks with heart-sore sighs, one fading moment's mirth With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights; If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain; If lost, why then a grievous labour won; However, but a folly bought with wit, Or else a wit by folly vanquished. PROTEUS. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool. VALENTINE. So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove. PROTEUS. 'Tis love you cavil at; I am not Love. VALENTINE. Love is your master, for he masters you; And he that is so yoked by a fool, Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise. PROTEUS. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud The eating canker dwells, so eating love Inhabits in the finest wits of all. VALENTINE. And writers say, as the most forward bud Is eaten by the canker ere it blow, Even so by love the young and tender wit Is turn'd to folly, blasting in the bud, Losing his verdure even in the prime, And all the fair effects of future hopes. But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee That art a votary to fond desire ?