Socialism as the Custodian of Being
by Martin Heidegger
Is 'Being' a mere word and its meaning utterly nebulous, or is it the spiritual destiny of the Occident?
The spiritual decay of the earth is so advanced that peoples risk exhausting that reserve of spiritual force which enables them just to see and take stock of this decay (in respect of the destiny of 'Being'). This simple observation has nothing to do with cultural pessimism: for in every corner of the world the darkening of the world, the flight of the gods, the destruction of the earth, the massification of man, the contemptuous suspicion of everything which is creative and free, have reached such proportions that such childlike expressions as pessimism and optimism have long become laughable.
lie in a pincer-grip. As the people placed at the centre we experience the
hardest pressure, as the people with the most neighbours we are most at risk,
and on top of this we are the most metaphysical people. But this people will
only be able to forge a destiny out of its fate if it first creates in itself a
resonance, some possibility of a resonance, of this fate and achieves a
creative understanding of its tradition. What all this involves is that this
people as a historical people projects itself and thereby the history of the
West from the core of its future development into the original realm of the
forces of Being. If the great verdict on
In order to underpin values which have been raised to the level of a moral imperative, the values themselves are attributed Being. But in this context Being basically means no more than the presence of what exists. Only that what is meant is not as crude and palpable as tables and chairs. Once values are endowed with Being the high-point of confusion and rootlessness has been arrived at. However, since the expression 'value' is gradually coming to sound hackneyed, especially since it still plays a role in economic theory, values are now called 'totalities'. In 1928 there appeared the first volume of a complete bibliography of the concept value; 661 works concerning the concept of value are cited. They have presumably grown to a thousand by now. This is all called philosophy. What today is systematically touted as the philosophy of National Socialism, but which has nothing in the least to do with the inner truth and greatness of this movement (namely the encounter of a globally determined technology with the man of the new age), darts about with fish-like movements in the murky waters of these 'values' and 'totalities'.