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Being and Naziness

The authentic Heidegger.

Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By LEE SMITH
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The Heidegger debate matters because even 80 years after the German philosopher announced his political affiliation, and 70 years after the concentration camps were liberated, generations of Western Europeans and Americans, much of our cultural elite, have been shaped by an intellectual current that despises liberalism and dismisses as mediocre a politics based on individual freedom and committed to equality before the law. Instead, the Heideggerian spirit welcomes the return of magic, of blood and power, the violence of the strongman. In the end, the Heidegger debate is not about his thought as a philosopher but about his message as a false prophet, one who heralded the end of the liberal democratic order and the birth of something new, something terrible, something unknown.

Lee Smith is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.

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