“Der Jude Kann nur judisch denken. Screibt er Deutsch… aber judisch denkt, is ein Verrater” - Heidegger, 1938 Recktorship Address cited from Emmanuel Faye, p. 332. “Emmanuel Faye incontestably shows that Heidegger’s Nazism was not fleeting, casual, or accidental but central to his philosophical enterprise. Faye’s book challenges us to recognize the ethical consequences of this fact.” - Robert Norton, Notre Dame.
I wonder about Heidegger’s teacher, the Jewish phenomenologist, Edmund Husserl. Was he, like my Lutheran, to discover that he was a Jew and that this fact was far more important than he had ever imagined? And what possible value could that have had to him sitting in his study at home, watching Germany being transformed by Nazis antisemitism and denied the use of the university library by his own prize student.
We, like the moon, are caught in the gravitational field of something much larger than we are. The moon might like to travel in a straight line, but the fabric of space-time is warped and it cannot escape. Antisemitism is a huge gravitational force. It is like a black hole that we would rather not think about. Yet we see all around us evidence of it’s power to influence minds, great and small. There is already a global coalition of groups representing the widest and most irreconcilable contradictions of ideology, theology and philosophy from the politically progressive evolutionary biologist, Steve Rose to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. From Russia, Eastern Europe, the European Union countries, the progressive left and reactionary right. One thing only they can all agree on - Israel is a racist apartheid state that has no right to exist. Fundamentalist Christians love us so much they want to save us from our Judaism, not realizing that most Jews have nothing to do with “Judaism.” Yes, there are still Jews, like myself who get up each morning and put on tefillin but the majority of Jews do not pray. Most Jews in the United States are assiduously working to shed themselves of their Jewish identity.
I do not see myself as an American. It just doesn’t mean anything to me. I study American history, the way I study Holocaust history. What is there to be proud of, the Tower of Babel? Walter Benjamin noted that as historians we must never identify with the oppressors of the past. “Empathy with the victor invariably benefits the rulers” and do we want to be a benefit to the emergency manager? The ruler who can dismiss the will of the people, usually, by the way, black people. The emergency manager system is as racist as the Drug War, which has also disenfranchised black voters. We have always known they weren’t smart enough for democracy. They need managers to handle their financial affairs, to steal what still can be stolen with impunity. No impoverished ghetto is too poor to steal from. Everyone has to pay their fair share for global war, managers excepted, of course.