Authentic Heidegger vs. Inauthentic “Fake” News, Part 1


Martin Heidegger, 1889-1976

The trouble with Martin Heidegger, the widely acclaimed Western philosopher, is not just how to correctly interpret his texts, but also how to correctly interpret the works of his interpreters. Out of a multitude of books and articles by hundreds of Heidegger’s critics one can barely single out two critics who are on par with each other. Each critic, or rather each would-be expert on Heidegger, usually handpicks several Heidegger’s words, only to interpret those words according to his own readymade conclusions. In traditional German scholarship this obsessive compartmentalization of social science, which skips over a wider social, racial, literary, historical, etc. context, has been derisively labeled with a noun “Fachidiotismus,” that is, “expert idiocy.” Such a compartmentalized approach in social science today is pretty much widespread among liberal academics and self-proclaimed media experts.

One is, therefore, obliged to raise a simple question: Is it worthwhile reading Heidegger’s mutually exclusive critics in the first place? Part of the problem also resides in Heidegger’s own opaque prose, devoid of footnotes and bibliography, which never offers a reader a single illustration from the public realm and which remains closed off from any ethical judgments. For modern social justice warriors such abstract philosophizing is inadmissible. To make matters worse Heidegger’s toying with German compound nouns makes his texts read like a jigsaw puzzle reminiscent of the travails of Orpheus, the chores of Theseus, or the labors of Heracles during which these three mythical heroes embark on a dangerous voyage of a deadly guesswork in an attempt to decipher the puzzle of life (Being). Although these heroes had managed to divine all of life’s puzzles, at some point however, the inexorable destiny sets in. The uncontrollable individual fate, combined with the unavoidable destiny of their community befalls them all: first the violent death of the hero and then the downfall of the hero’s community[1].

It comes as no surprise then that Heidegger, just like all “nationalist-socialist-conservative-revolutionary-traditionalist-pagan-traditional-Christian, et. al” European thinkers, poets, and scholars, including sympathetic prewar political figures, was in deep love with the ancient Greek language and lore. “Yes to Athens, no way to Jerusalem!” was the underlying motto of all of them. However, Heidegger meticulously avoids any reference to the public realm, never ever venturing into the troubled waters of race studies, sociology or theology — quite unlike his nationalist or conservative contemporary colleagues, inspirers, or even imitators of the same or similar intellectual caliber, such as Oswald Spengler, Carl Schmitt, or Ernst Jünger,[2] whose books still provide a very accessible and very readable historical, social and literary narrative about the abstract verbiage known as “Western democracy” or “humanism”(or one may paraphrase Heidegger with his own veiled words of “downward plunge” or “downfall” (i.e., Absturz) into liberalism). His sole and almost obsessive concern remains language and how language copes with immaterial and all powerful Being, and how in turn Being interrelates with physically visible “Being-there”, that is, man’s life or “Dasein.” Or, to put it simply, albeit more crudely, Heidegger theorizes on how indefinable Being affects man’s “thrownness”, or “falling” into this world without ever being asked whether he wanted to be thrown into this world in the first place. The late American rock singer Jim Morrison, who used to be an avid reader, is reported to have been influenced in his song by this Heidegger’s concept.

Heidegger’s sudden and unexpected fame is, paradoxically, more attributable to a few sympathetic left-leaning French intellectuals that came to be known after World War II as “existentialists” than to sympathetic European right-wingers, or to his own ambition for self-promotion. He was a modest and socially shy man who avoided polemical exchanges with his detractors and who intensely disliked the hustle and bustle of large cities, preferring instead to live a provincial life of a small town. “In large cities one can easily be as lonely as almost nowhere else.”[3] Neither did Heidegger’s looks, i.e. his “phenotype” match the Hollywood iconography of the tall, blond Nazi usual suspect all set to gas the entire planet. Heidegger was a man of modest physical stature resembling more a handyman from the Ozarks, or an elderly choir boy in his small town of Messkirch lighting candles every morning at his local eponymous church of St. Martin than a tall and muscled White philosopher king.

Heidegger took great pride in reminding his visitors of his peasant pedigree. But his vivid eyes mirrored a man of high intelligence able to read the hidden thoughts of his adversaries. Heidegger may therefore be a big disappointment for many White Nationalists who focus on the role of physical race only while neglecting the study of spiritual race. Widespread and newly constructed compound nouns, popularized during his lifetime by prominent racial scholars in Germany — words such as ‘Ahnenerbe’ (ancestral heritage), ‘Rassenhygiene’ (racial hygiene), or ‘Rassenschande’ (racial defilement) — are absent in Heidegger’s books.[4] His avoidance to write at least one chapter on the “ontology of heredity” may be also a major drawback in his entire philosophical career. The loss of identity (i.e., the “downfall of authentic Dasein,” i.e., human life) will inevitably have an entirely different meaning for a native of Papua Guinea than for a White man who is a native of multiracial New York.

It was to be expected that after WWII, his critical, mostly mundane Jewish and Marxist critics, with Theodor Adorno at the helm, would start assessing Heidegger’s works through Heidegger’s earlier National Socialist affiliations. Adorno derides Heidegger’s language: “as soon as he loosens his voluntary self-censorship, he falls into the jargon, with a provinciality which cannot be excused on the grounds that it becomes thematic of itself.”[5] However, in his own flowery but also more explicit language, Adorno correctly notices Heidegger’s proclivity to “pedantic language” whose transposition into the jargon of fake democracy Adorno claims to be spotting anew in the American-run postwar Western Germany. Yet, in passing, Adorno can’t avoid displaying his own tribal fear and his victimhood of wandering Jewish “homelessness” as well as his own “Ahasuerian“ (i.e., Hebrew) plight marked with the yellow star, each time when Heidegger tackles the sensitive topic of “inauthenticity” and “homelessness.”

When Heidegger finally calls “homelessness” the “third essential characteristic of this phenomenon,” he conjures up the Ahasuerian element. He does this by means of the demagogically proven technique of allusion, which keeps quiet about that to which it expects secret consent. The pleasure of mobility becomes a curse for the homeless. The opposite of “everyday Dasein,” which “is constantly uprooting itself,” is “observing entities and marveling at them,” though it is not yet, by any means the contemplation of Being. In philosophy in 1927 the rootless intellectual carries the yellow mark of someone who undermines the established order.[6]

Predictably, following the end of World War II, and largely due to Adorno and the efforts of his acolytes in the newly re-established Frankfurt School, social science college classes all over Europe and America soon turned into serial antifascist courses in demonology. Each non-conformist thinker, critical of both the American liberal-capitalist order and the Soviet-sponsored Marxist scholasticism, ran the risk of being labeled a Nazi or a Fascist demon. The derogatory word ‘Nazi’ (which was never in the official usage in National-Socialist Germany), became after World War II a major shut-up word in the arsenal of Western opinion makers in their own opportunistic, albeit self-censored quest for political or academic prominence and in their vilification of their intellectual and political opponents. [7]

Heidegger’s critics, however, overlook that their methods of literary and judicial process of guilt by “Nazi” association are once in a while bound to backfire. Academic or media demonization of “Nazi Heidegger” has only added further glitz and glory to Heidegger’s already well established reputation. However, in light of Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism, two methods regarding the objective assessment of his works are worthy of being tested again. One option is to suppose that National-Socialism was an absolute cosmic evil with zero intellectual and cultural achievement whose pseudo-scientific and insane scribes must be extinguished forever. Since the end of the Second World War this method of legal and academic criminalization of heretics has been widely upheld in the public realm and in higher education in Europe and America. A second option in assessing Heidegger’s works is radically opposite and goes as follows: Given such a large number of European and American scholars and writers who were sympathetic to National Socialism and Fascism, and in view of Heidegger’s own adherence to it, was not National-Socialism the highest peak of Western intellectual endeavor, as well as a desperate attempt at creating the most sophisticated political-cultural model — “Dasein” — in the entire intellectual history of the West? 

Idle Talk, “BS” or Modern Speech Subversion

Heidegger was enamored with his native German tongue which, to be sure, is the richest European language and an ideal means of communication for thinkers and poets. “Language is the house of Being. In its home man dwells. Those who think and those who create with words are the guardians of this home,” writes Heidegger in the first paragraph of the first book he published after the end of World War II.[8] The poetics of the German language always had a prominent place in Heidegger’s menu and particularly during his earlier descriptions of the language used by his cherished German poets.

In the essay, “Letter on Humanism,” written in late 1946, Heidegger addresses the meaning of the word ‘humanism’, a word which ever since World War II has been regurgitated on all wave lengths by Western and Eastern liberal and communist politicians and intellectuals. Heidegger responds that each historical epoch elicits its own definition of humanism: “humanism differs according to one’s conception of the ‘freedom’ and the ‘nature’ of man. So too are there various paths towards the realisation of such conceptions. The humanism of Marx does not need to return to antiquity any more than the humanism which Sartre conceives existentialism to be. In this broad sense Christianity too is a humanism.”[9]

In this mildly ironic passage, written in his usual cryptic language, Heidegger says the obvious: the notion of humanism will always be defined by the quality of the winner’s sword and by the subsequent zeitgeist that the winner imposes on the vanquished. Hundreds of Heidegger’s critics ploughing through this text often overlook the time and place when Heidegger first drafted it. Back then, in 1946, Heidegger knew all too well that his words were not allowed to offend the all-present ears and eyes of the French and American military re-educators residing in his vicinity. In that cold and hungry German winter of 1945–46, The Letter on Humanism was composed by a man who was denied the ability to enjoy at will his local Bock beer or take relaxed meditating strolls along the nearby off-the-beaten paths in the nearby Swabian woods. When Heidegger penned this piece, the whole of Germany, from the northern city of Flensburg down to the southern city of Freiburg, was a smouldering landscape of towns and cities bombed to pieces, with 10 million additional Germans, from all parts of communist occupied eastern and central Europe, “on the run toward their authentic being-toward-death.”[10]

By 1946 Heidegger’s abstract language on death and dying, written two decades earlier in his masterwork Being and Time, had materialized in the real plight of millions of German dying “Daseins” whose stories were not supposed to reach the Western primetime “fake” news. “If idle talk is always ambiguous, so is this manner of talking about death,” wrote Heidegger in Being and Time long before World War II had even started.[11] Thus when his “Letter on humanism” was composed, in 1946, Heidegger, like hundreds of thousands of German teachers, professors and journalists along with millions of ordinary Germans, with Allied guns literally pointed at their head, was obliged to fill out the humiliating Questionnaire and explain in each of the 131 questions every single detail of his former public and private life, ranging from his sexual and religious preferences to his political and academic affiliations in the Third Reich.[12]

In his Being and Time, Heidegger’s language had come close to the point, at least in some sections, of voicing a relatively explicit critique of the Liberal system. In the sections “Idle Talk,” “Ambiguity,” and “Thrownness,” a reader can obtain a first glimpse into contemporary political mendacity, colloquially peddled in the American and European mainstream media today under the title of “fake news.” Similar to Heidegger’s “Letter on humanism,” each reader, however, before assessing his masterwork Being and Time, must also take the trouble of grasping the prevailing social, political and military conditions of Germany in 1926, the year when Heidegger wrote it. Reeling from the humiliating defeat in World War I, strangled by inflation and huge reparation payments, which were scheduled to expire only by 1988, rocked by urban civil war between Moscow-sponsored Bolshevik agitators and a growing number of German nationalists and decommissioned soldiers, Heidegger’s Weimar Germany was not a place for fun or romantic meditations about the beauty of the liberal order. Sections 27 and 28 of the book refer to ongoing social uprootedness and the strange political custom of mutual mimicry amidst the ruling liberal class. “Everyone is the other, and no one is himself,” (p. 128) writes Heidegger — words that made him later quite famous among students of postmodernity.

These were the topics that would soon become a major subject of inquiry among neo-Marxist scholars in their own critical writings on the sociology of modernity.

In fact, even his former Jewish pupils, later to be known as the main figures in the Frankfurt School, some of whom, like Hebert Marcuse, also became his strongest critics, had already been piggybacking on Heidegger’s theories, selling them in turn to American and European students as their own. In the section “Idle Talk,” Heidegger doesn’t use loaded words like “fake news,” “lies of the System”, “double-speak” or “newspeak,” preferring instead his own poetic coinages such as “inauthenticity” (Uneigentlichkeit) and “falling” (Verfallen) — words that illustrated not just his own somber mood and anxiety in the newly established Weimar Germany, but also the mindset of thousands of European intellectuals in search of identity. The full scope of contemporary Liberal propaganda today, where each media outlet is trying to outbid the other outlet with its own, often phony coverage of political and historical events, and with each doubling down on reciprocal mimicry, can be better grasped after reading these early Heidegger’s lines:

Everyone keeps his eye on the Other first and next, watching how he will comport himself and what he will say in reply. Being-with-one-another in the “they” is by no means an indifferent side-by-side-ness in which everything has been settled, but rather an intent, ambiguous watching of one another, a secret and reciprocal listening-in. Under the mask of “for-one-another”, an “against-one-another” is in play. [13]

This is a passage in which Heidegger illustrates the make-believe communication in the Liberal system without however ever uttering the word “liberal phoniness” or “fake news.” By the same token, today’s academics and mainstream media commentators in the US and EU are keen on hyping up their students’ and their readers’ credulity by feeding them with surreal World War II tales or extraterrestrial stories about the imminent rebirth of Fascism. An example of such idle talk in the modern media today can be observed in the fabrication of lurid tales about Donald Trump’s private life or his alleged Russian connections. The sudden surge of the so-called fake news, however, is nothing new in the history of the so-called liberal free press. Fake news is its main pillar.

Fake curiosity among readers and students must be also churned out by fake news experts and college professors. Heidegger writes how “idle talk controls even the ways in which one may be curious. It says what one ‘must’ have read and seen. In being everywhere and nowhere, curiosity is delivered over to idle talk.“[14]

Heidegger’s compound noun “idle talk” (Gerede) can be used today as a handy euphemism for the description of the ongoing liberal propaganda. If idle talk and its contemporary “fake news” version are additionally embellished by the ruling class and its opinion makers with disarming words and phrases, such as ‘humanism’, ‘tolerance’, ‘democracy,’ ‘diversity,’ ‘ethnic sensitive training,’ ‘affirmative action,’ etc., they have a better chance of being implemented and are more likely to be embraced by citizens as the ultimate truth.

Go to Part 2.


[1] T. Sunic, “Myths and Mendacities: The Ancients and the Moderns,”

The Occidental Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 4, Winter 2014–2015)

[2] T. Sunic, Against Democracy and Equality: The European New Right ( Arktos, 2011)

[3] M. Heidegger, “Why do I stay in the Provinces” (1934) transl. Thomas J. Sheehan, In Thomas Sheehan (ed.), Heidegger: The Man and the Thinker ( NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1981), p. 17

[4] T. Sunic, “The Notion of Racial Diversity in German Academia and National-Socialist Legislation,” TOO


[5] Theodor Adorno, The Jargon of Authenticity (trans. by Knut Tarnowski and Frederic Wil)(Evanston: Northwestern University Pres, 1973), p. 50


[6] Ibid., 111- 112.


[7] Alain de Benoist, Les Démons du Bien (Paris : Pierre- Guillaume de Roux, 2014), pp. 34-35. T. Sunic. Also “Es leben meine Toten!; Die Antifa-Dämonologie und die kroatische Opferlehre,”


[8] M. Heidegger, “Letter on Humanism” in Basic Writings ( David Farrell Krell, ed.) (New York: Harper and Row, 1977), p. 193.


[9] Ibid., p. 201.


[10] M Heidegger, Being and Time, translated by John Macquarrie & Edward Robinson (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1962), pp. 237-241.


[11] Ibid., p. 297.

[12] Also the novel by the nationalist revolutionary, former Freikorps member and novelist, Ernst von Salomon, Fragebogen [The Questionnaire] ( NY: Doubleday, 1954).

[13] Heidegger, BT, p. 219.

[14] Ibid, p. 217.

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