Work as Total Reason for Being: Heidegger and Jünger’s 'Der Arbeiter'

Hemming, Laurence Paul (2008) Work as Total Reason for Being: Heidegger and Jünger’s 'Der Arbeiter'. Journal for Cultural Research, 12 (3). pp. 231-251. ISSN 1479-7585

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Abstract

This article examines Heidegger’s reading of Ernst Jünger’s 1932 Der Arbeiter by making appeal not only to Heidegger’s remarks on the work (and its associated text “Die totale Mobilmachung”) scattered in various texts, but by concentrating on Heidegger’s now‐available seminar notes and marginal notes to his actual copy of the text. Heidegger held two seminars on Der Arbeiter, one shortly after its publication and one in 1938, which show his close confrontation not only with Jünger’s reading of Nietzsche, but also Heidegger’s own Nietzsche examination. The article shows how Heidegger distinguishes himself from Jünger by, on the one hand, seeing Der Arbeiter as very much a product of its time and, on the other, identifying a prescience in Nietzsche of a Europe and planetary phenomenon (globalisation) yet to come. This is accomplished in the naming of the triad of Bolshevism, fascism (Nazism), and Americanism metaphysically as the singularity of “world democracy”, and as an entirely nihilistic phenomenon. The article therefore relates the confrontation of these two thinkers with the third (Nietzsche) to issues of the demand for justice, democracy, and the will to power in contemporary economic and political developments, as well as to wider themes in Heidegger’s thought of the end (or consummation) of metaphysics, the will to power, and valuation.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal for Cultural Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3314
Subjects:
ID Code:
64546
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 May 2013 10:46
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
04 Jul 2020 01:53