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The Banality of Heidegger$
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Jean-Luc Nancy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823275922

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823275922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021



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The Banality of Heidegger

Jean-Luc Nancy

Jeff Fort

Fordham University Press

For Heidegger, the first beginning is Greek. The beginning is thus brought about by a people, whereas the decline is brought about by the mixing and indistinction of peoples. But this too is for Heidegger brought about by a figure-people, a caricature of a people, drawn from the vulgarity and banality of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, whose proximity to Heidegger’s language on calculation, democracy, manipulation and internationalism is clear enough as to leave no doubt. This is the case regardless of whether Heidegger read the Protocols or not, for he very clearly absorbed its language, as had his age more generally. Heidegger believes he is collecting banalities for the sake of higher ends, by way of a deconstruction/destruction of metaphysics which, for Heidegger, also points toward the necessity of a destruction of the West that will liberate it from its own destructive elements: a destruction of destruction. Could this be the sign of a constitutive self-rejection at the heart of the West?

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, beginning, beyng, decline, deconstruction, destruction, the Greeks, Heidegger, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, self-destruction of the West

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