National 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?

This Europe, which is always in the process of tearing itself apart out of utter blindness, lies today in the great pincer-grip formed by Russia on the one hand and America on the other. Seen metaphysically, Russia and America are both the same: the same desolate frenzy of unbounded technology and of the unlimited organization of the average human being. Once the furthermost corner of the globe has been technologically conquered and opened up to economic exploitation, when every possible event in every possible place at every possible time has become as accessible as quickly as possible, when people can 'experience' an attempt on the life of a king in France and a symphony conceit in Tokyo simultaneously, when time has become only speed, instantaneousness, and simultaneity, and time as History has disappeared from the existence of all peoples, when the boxer is seen as the great man of a people, when mass gatherings running into millions are regarded as a triumph—then, yes, then, the questions which hover over this whole grotesque charade like ghosts are: for what?—where to?—and what then?

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.

We 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 Europe is not to be reached on its road to annihilation, then it can only be reached because of the unfolding of new historically spiritual forces from the centre.

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'.

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