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There is widespread disenchantment with U.S.-style democracy and economy not only in underdeveloped countries but at a lesser degree in more advanced ones. Should predictions of a depression materialize, it will grow even in industrialized countries, including Germany.
Nazism is generally viewed as an intellectual aberration, fed by Wagner and the like. This is a historical misunderstanding. Heidegger's affiliation is lamented as a personal fall from academic grace. We wish therefore to call attention to a new book published by the University of California Press: Historical Destiny and National Socialism in Heidegger's "Being and Time" by Johannes Fritsche, who received his doctorate at the University of Berlin and taught philosophy there. He views Heidegger's book as a brilliant summary of right-wing politics in general, which proposes the destruction of liberal society in order to regenerate an idealized community. Political thought is the fountain of political action. We would like to know more about this trend among German intellectuals and in universities.
The disenchantment has a Catholic version, as illustrated in the declarations and actions of Pope John Paul II. For the philosophic basis of this, see a new book of selections from Alistair MacIntyre, edited by Kelvin Knight and published by Notre Dame Press. Entitled The MacIntyre Reader, it contains mostly his writings from the 1980s, much later than those of Heidegger. We would like to know how widespread his neo-Thomistic social theories are among the Catholic thinkers who find their public expression through the Pope..
Ronald Hilton - 02/25/99