Authentic Heidegger vs. Inauthentic “Fake” News, Part 2

Martin Heidegger, 1889–1976

Go to Part 1.

The expression “fake news” has a generic purpose whose meaning varies with each individual user. This phrase, alongside a number of other phrases describing language manipulation in the media, can be ranked in the category of Heidegger’s “idle talk.” The political effects of idle talk and its related word “newspeak” were also well illustrated by the novelist and essayist George Orwell.[14] Attempting to grasp the meaning of liberal political propaganda while skipping over the study of Heidegger’s idle talk, or Orwell’s newspeak, is a nonstarter. Orwell had done a revolutionary work by demystifying idle talk and fake news by exposing frequent falsehood in modern political communication.

Needless to say a White nationalist in Europe or in America today will define differently Orwell’s description of newspeak than his globalist-minded liberal or antifascist counterpart. Blaming only Joseph Goebbels, the former National Socialist minister, for being the first to launch fake news in Germany, or for that matter for being the first in standardizing political lies and self-deception in public discourse, is false.  Ironically, it was Goebbels himself, much earlier than Orwell, who had pointed out in his books and his speeches the rising tide of idle talk or fake news in the liberal media: “And if we are to tell the truth, then we must simply confess that we are slowly getting sick of this idle talk (“Gerede”) about morality and humanity that is travelling, column by column, through the English press today.”[15]

The event which has acquired lately a historic importance and which makes modern opinion makers in the US and EU extremely worried is that charges against fake news media are being levelled by a man who represents the most influential and the most liberal country on earth—Donald Trump, president of the United States. If Trump doesn’t shy away from calling out mainstream news as fake news, he might someday start calling out the names and describe the ethnic origin of major fake news distributors in America. Trump’s labeling of major news outlets as providers of fake news is an  unprecedented indictment in the entire history of Liberalism — all the more so because the much-lauded so-called free press is viewed as the main pillar of liberalism or for that matter of the official, i.e., “deep state”  America today.

The Poetics of the Political

Heidegger only scantily discusses language manipulation in politics and only within the framework of a retrieval of Being from inauthenticity by comprehension of his much discussed German poets.  Some of his rare yet important remarks on language within the context of ongoing, mechanization and commodification of human life, which he later described as the process of  “enframing,“ are nevertheless quite revealing:

Meanwhile, there rages round the earth an unbridled yet clever talking, writing, and broadcasting of spoken words. Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man. When this relation of dominance gets inverted, man hits upon strange maneuvers. Language becomes the means of expression. As expression, language can decay into a mere medium for the printed word.[16]

Heidegger’s remarks about language becoming “a master of man” and not the other way around bear witness to the loss of authenticity of liberal politicians who often, unknowingly, utter palaver that has no meaning whatsoever. Idle talk and fake news in political communication today are nothing new; both were used in the official communist propaganda in former Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The official speech in communist countries consisted of menacing or promising phrases spiced up with foreign words that were meant to give their authors an aura of intellectual sophistication. In terms of syntax, each sentence measured the size of an entire paragraph, occupying a quarter of a newspaper page. For such linguistic torture French anticommunist intellectuals some fifty years ago invented the expression  “wooden language” (langue de bois). The expression “wooden language” has by now become a popular catchword in France, with citizens ridiculing as unintelligible the talk of politicians and media outlets.[17] Likewise, during the cold war, dissidents in communist Eastern Germany coined the word “Betonsprache” (cemented talk) when critically referring to the state-sponsored fake news.  Similar communist-like speech, albeit dressed up in far more elegant and insidious signifiers, has entered in full force the EU and US media and higher education today. Fake talk can be best observed in the introduction of abstract and criminalizing phrases such as “hate speech” or “white supremacist” which originated on US campuses  in the early 80’s of the previous century and which have by now become widespread in the judiciary of the EU and USA. Someone’s free speech is always someone else’s hate speech.

No European language is immune to idle talk or fake news. Both idle talk and fake news are the logical results of the descent of liberal society into inauthenticity. Heidegger maintains that only poets can help us in re-appropriating our Being from inauthenticity, and that “the poetic is the basic capacity for human dwelling.”[18]

Such pessimistic musings by Heidegger, however, can hardly preordain the rich German language and its culture to become an important transmitter of authenticity — at least not according to many non-German speakers, let alone Heidegger’s enemies.

To be a poet in a destitute time means: to attend, singing, to the trace of the fugitive gods. This is why the poet in the time of the world’s night utters the holy. This is why, in Hölderlin’s language, the world’s night is the holy night. [19]

Worth recalling is that before World War II the German language was a “lingua franca,” that is, a common idiom in higher education and in civil service among cultivated non-German citizens all over Central and Eastern Europe. After the war, the German language became the subject of political ostracism and of frequent “Hollywood-Nazi” derision. Even Heidegger’s poeticized words and sentences, when translated into the English or the French languages, resonate differently, often oddly, and often incapable of retaining the nuances of Heidegger’s wording or of capturing the German spirit. Unlike other European languages, the German language gives free reign to its speaker to craft as many compound nouns as he wishes, which can be seen all the time in Heidegger’s own text. Yet the modern German language can also give birth to grotesque fake news compounds, such as the modern legal scarecrow featured by the German Criminal Code, Section 130, carrying the heading “Volksverhetzung.” This scary  newspeak construct, has been awkwardly translated into official English with a clumsy and inaccurate expression: “incitement of popular hatred.”[20] This German noun, however, had been conceived deliberately by the German postwar authorities as a shut-up word for the so-called German racists or Holocaust deniers. Smartly enough, German legal workers had made sure that the words ‘Holocaust’ or ‘Jew’ would never show up, neither in this legal construct nor in the entire corpus of German legislation. This heavy-handed compound noun has landed nevertheless hundreds of Germans in jail over the last several decades.

Given its extraordinary etymological richness the German language is best suited for philosophical speculations. German verbs, often surfacing at the end of each subordinate clause, force a reader or a talker, to take a big breath beforehand. The German language might be described as a “slow motion” language, ideal for pensive loneliness and the best tool for cultural pessimists and dark romanticists who abound in German literature in the early nineteenth century. Unlike the French language, with its huge number of homonyms, or unlike the American English with its tricky phrasal verbs, the German language has a concise and disciplined normative grammar that forbids verbal escapades. It cannot be ruled out that Germany lost World War II because its language, unlike the French language, forbids political ambiguity. French homonyms frequently allow French diplomats to weasel out of an embarrassing situation while providing them with a ready-made disclaimer: “No, I didn’t mean it!” The German language, however, with its clear- cut and audible syllables doesn’t  provide its speaker with margins of  diplomatic maneuvering.

The stark German language has not produced any erotic literature as has the Italian language and its Renaissance author Giovanni Boccaccio, whose prose teems with sexually-charged scenes. Also, the founding father of French satire and colloquial French, the Renaissance author Rabelais, could hardly find his match in Germany.  When his young fictional prankster, a giant boy named Pantagruel urinates from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, drowning out bypassers, Rabelais announces a new literary genre that would bypass Germany. The most popular modern French novelist, Louis Ferdinand Céline, whose  satires about communists and Jews are  banned in France (termed wrongly by modern censors as “anti-Semitic pamphlets”) managed to  put together a large number of obscene French slang expressions that could hardly find their equivalent, let alone their German translator in the German-occupied Vichy France (1940–44).[21]

The French and the English each have half a dozen vulgar words for a Jew, whereas the Germans have none.  Hence the reason the Germans again resort to vulgar and clumsy compound nouns like “Scheissjude”  or “Saujude” when voicing their displeasure or hatred of Jews. Even the American Henry Miller’s sexed-up novels when translated into the German sound odd to German ears.  Neoclassical sculptures of naked women by the German artists Arno Breker or Josef Thorak that once adorned public buildings in National Socialist Germany, always sporting on their faces a look of the tragic, can hardly arouse sexual fantasy among onlookers like the paintings of naked women by the French Gustave Courbet or by the eccentric Spanish anti-communist artist Salvatore Dali.[22]

Despite its pietistic language, ideal for a sober philosophical inquiry, the German people of all European peoples, has never fallen prey to Catholic or Protestant religious fanaticism that rocked other European nations for centuries. In fact, Germans are the least Judeo-Christian-inspired nation in the West.  Obsessive political moralizing or Bible thumping, which has been the trade mark of many public figures in America, has been largely ignored by German poets, thinkers and politicians.  Only with the political caesura that occurred in 1945, with new German “Being in the world” setting in, most German politicians and savants have willingly transformed themselves into self-hating and meek creatures. Germany’s angst for not stepping out of political line has resulted since 1945 in citizens’ mutual mimicry which Heidegger called long ago “theyness,” (das Man). “Theyness” of an anonymous crowd can be observed today in the deliberate self-dumbing down of the German populace who after World War II was obliged to accept self-censorship and self-reeducation, and whose practice has spread to all White peoples the world over by now.  What Heidegger specifically meant by his  concept of “theyness,“  as opposed to his description of individual authenticity,  has been a subject of endless scholarly debates. Modern high-tech society, operating like a giant preprogrammed computer skeleton, a process Heidegger calls “ enframing”  (Gestell),  removes gradually any quest for Being, making every person a pliable creature and a perishable commodity that Heidegger labels  ” standing reserve.” When these human biomasses or the standing reserve, renamed today by the liberal idle talk into marketable  “human resources” arrive at their expiration date, they are due to be discarded. [23]  This apocalyptic vision of the West offered by Heidegger can no longer be dismissed.

The threat to man does not come in the first instance from the potentially lethal machines and apparatus of technology. The actual threat has already affected man in his essence. The rule of Enframing threatens man with the possibility that it could be denied to him to enter into a more original revealing and hence to experience the call of a more primal truth. Thus, where Enframing reigns, there is danger in the highest sense.[24]

Fake news in politics is just one of the segments in the giant state-enforced enframing process. It can best be seen in the unstoppable rise of hygienic language forced upon citizens in America and Europe. Modern heretics in Europe and America, in order to professionally survive and avoid political demonization, need to resort to their own coded language, similar to the coded language of dissidents in former communist countries.

Fake news does not only transpire in the mainstream media and among corrupted politicians,  but also spreads to other realms of  the written word, especially in modern historiography. If most media outlets lie, then we must conclude that most media experts, most college professors, and most advocates of liberalism are obligated to lie as well.

Dr. Tom Sunic’s has written several books, the latest of which, Titans are in Town (Arktos, 2017), consists of a novella and essays on ancient and modern myths.    


[14]  Georg Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (London: Secker & Warburg, 1949). See also:

https://www.planetebook.com/ebooks/1984.pdf

[15] Joseph Goebbels, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel;  Reden und  Aufsätze  aus den Jahren  1939/40/41. “Aussprache unter vier Augen mit der Demokratie”, (München; Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1941) p.82.  See also:

http://www.thule-italia.net/sitotedesco/Vari/Goebbels/Goebbels,%20Joseph%20-%20Die%20Zeit%20ohne%20Beispiel.pdf

[16] Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, transl. Albert Hofstadter ( 2001 N. York: Harper and Row, 1971),  p. 213. See also:

http://ssbothwell.com/documents/ebooksclub.org__Poetry__Language__Thought__Perennial_Classics_.pdf

[17]  See T. Sunic, “Le langage « politiquement correct » Genèse d’un emprisonnement”,  Catholica (summer 2006) Nr. 92. Also:

http://tomsunic.com/?cat=24

[18]    M. Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought p. 226

[19]  Ibid, p. 92.

[20] T. Sunic , „The Liberal Doubletalk  and its Lexical and Legal Consequences,”  in Posmortem Report;  Culturally Examinations from Postmodernity, preface K. MacDonald  ( London:  Arktos, 2017), 146-160. Also: http://tomsunic.com/?p=253

[21] Alain de Benoist, Céline et l’Allemagne, 1933-1945: Une mise au point (Bruxelles:  Le bulletin Célinien,  1996). Also: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Sunic-Celine.html

[22] T. Sunic, “Art in the III Reich,”  in Postmortem Report, pp102 -110. Also: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2011/10/08/art-in-the-third-reich-1933%E2%80%931945-part-1/

[23] M.Heidegger,  The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays.  transl. with an Introduction by W. Lovitt  (New York & London: Garland Publishing  Inc.  1977), https://monoskop.org/images/4/44/Heidegger_Martin_The_Question_Concerning_Technology_and_Other_Essays.pdf

 

[24] Ibid. 28

21 replies
  1. Luke
    Luke says:

    Trump might start calling out the ethnic tribe who owns the media and who pump out fake news?

    Not as long as Ivanka continues to keep her doting daddy’s testicles stored in her purse, he won’t.

    • Karen T
      Karen T says:

      If Trump had testicles they wouldn’t have ended up in her purse, or rather, his Zionist son in laws back pocket.

    • Louis Ferdinand Celine
      Louis Ferdinand Celine says:

      Sorry T. J., but that article is another trick. People who have reached a certain level of understanding will know what I mean immediately. Others will be perplexed.
      —————————————————
      Also I’d like to point out that we don’t need “the next Hitler”. Not one man to be accountable, to make the decisions for us, to take the heat. We need a critical mass of humanity to reach a level of understanding that makes it impossible for these creatures to exist.

      Hopefully, we will get there before it’s too late.

  2. Niker
    Niker says:

    What? Have you heard of Zwickau prophets? Martin Luther’s writing on the Jews? Thomas Muenzer and peasant wars? Hell, Romanticism in itself is a lot like fanaticism! Germans are one of the most fanatical nations of Europe, why do you think they reacted with fideistic Reformation against rationalistic Renaissance

    • Tom Sunic
      Tom Sunic says:

      Prussia’s king Frederick II, “ Old Fritz”, (1712 – 1786). Today is his birthday. The most tolerant ruler in Europe; had heretics, intellectuals, refugees from Catholic and Protestant Europe. Didn’t care about someone’s religious affiliations. Spoke several languages. His French was better than his German mother tongue. Vilified by modern historiography.

      • Seraphim
        Seraphim says:

        ‘Tolerance’ was the hallmark of Free-Masonry, of which the Great Fritz was a notorious member.
        A category which was a beneficiary of his self-serving tolerance was the ‘gays’.

  3. Karen T
    Karen T says:

    Die Sprache spricht…language speaks. (((Adorno))) distorted Heideggers statement to “acquires a voice.” That was only the beginning. Classical liberalism advocated private property, rule of law, freedom of religion and the press, and international peace based on free trade. It’s since been distorted to mean inflated taxes, open borders, rule by oligarchs, lauding perversity and licentousness, censorship of free speech, muzzling of the press and ongoing wars. The original suffragettes or first wave feminism fought for the right to vote and personal/legal autonomy which has been distorted to pussy hats, slutdom and the screeching demand that indoctrinated feelings are equal to knowledge. Originally, black civil rights campaigners demanded that blacks be seen and treated as Human Beings, now …no need to go into that travesty. All that was noble and of good intentions has been poisoned. My original point was that the use of “liberal” by so many, even here, in the (((Adorno))) misrepresentation rather than in the true and original. Either our sense of history is as short as our attention spans or we are being set up through the purposeful distortion of language to accept that boot stamping on our faces forever. Die Sprache spricht.

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      If this year produces another comment as balanced and insightful as the preceding one by Karen, it will be a very good year indeed.

  4. Tom
    Tom says:

    I understand why Professor Sunic argues that modern political heretics need to develop a new coded language to allow for a public discourse on issues deemed otherwise risky or taboo, but I think that such a move would be unwise in the long run. Leftists are not so stupid as to ignore the repetitive use of certain words by those on the Right. The recent overuse of the word “thug” comes to mind. As a result, the word has now attained virtual taboo status.

    Conservatives could profit more in my opinion by simply owning up to the moral legitimacy of certain traditional stances, such as in support of frank declarations on the abominable nature of abortion and state-endorsed homosexual coupling.

    Finally, what really needs to happen is for the fake piety of the Left, enshrined in relativistic coded catch-phrases such as “inclusiveness”, “tolerance”, and “coexistence”, to be de-coded and shown for what they truly are – the intellectual ammunition of certain tribal factions to disarm another tribal faction and thereby gain demographic, cultural, and political hegemony. When irreconcilably different tribes meet, it’s always only about tribal supremacy. To disarm the Left, the only thing required is to unmask its particular version of that instinctive tribal supremacy.

  5. Seraphim
    Seraphim says:

    Wouldn’t be much simpler to call ‘fake news’ by their real name: lies, falsehood? It is the domain of ‘the father of lies” in which ‘there is no truth’ and of his children who fight against the Truth:

    ” 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (John 8:42-45).

  6. Franklin Ryckaert
    Franklin Ryckaert says:

    “…the German people of all European peoples, has never fallen prey to Catholic or Protestant religious fanaticism that rocked other European nations for centuries…”

    What about the Thirty Years’ War ?

    “The Thirty Years’ War was a war fought primarily in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the longest and most destructive conflicts in human history,[20] as well as the deadliest European religious war in history, the war resulted in eight million fatalities.”

    Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years%27_War

    • Tom Sunic
      Tom Sunic says:

      The 30 Years War is another fake news in modern historiography. Not “religious ” at all. Very Catholic power hungry France against equally very Catholic Holy German Empire-center of very Catholic Austria. The German people paid the price ( several million dead Germans).Came to be known later as “religious.”

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      With no disrespect meant to either disputant, I don’t think your point has been adequately addressed or otherwise rendered moot by the response it drew, Mr. Ryckaert. Surely it should not be hard to accommodate the notion that the Thirty Years War, like many another war, might not end as it began.

      On a matter more to the fore in other threads, I hope you won’t let yourself be beaten down by the attacks from Ms. Yeager, whose moral assumptions appear to range from the dubious to the near-barbarous. If Hitler’s or any other man’s words and actions can’t be questioned, what can?

  7. Fredrick Toben
    Fredrick Toben says:

    After he had launched the Black Notebooks reflections 1939-41 in New York in 2014 Peter Trawny, director of the Martin Heidegger Institute, was horrified to receive an email from me. I just couldn’t resist informing me how the labelling Heidegger’s thoughts with “Antisemitism” is pure nonsense:

    The Jews, with their marked gift for calculating, live, already for the longest time, according to the principle of race, which is why they are resisting its consistent application with utmost violence.

    This one-sentence sums up the Jewish secret to success, and failure, in whatever Jews as a group do. Kevin MacDonald’s trilogy: “The Culture of Critique”, “Separation and Its Discontents” and “A People That Shall Dwell Alone,” in detail reveals what some, who are new to this topic. may find puzzling if not frustrating: Why are Jews to be found at the head of those corporations/agencies. governments, etc., that currently are driving world events?
    Goebbels labelled this phenomenon as being a part of “Juedische Spitzfindigkeit-Jewish sophistry”, which then employs the Talmudic death dialectic as ruthlessly or as persuasively as is needed to eliminate one’s perceived foe.
    In other words, the eternal battle-of-the-wills that begins within the familiar family environment extends and reaches out into globalism can be understood as a search for unifying values where the shield and the sword secure the “realm” – and whatever concepts will be called upon to achieve this.
    Currently the denial of the biological imperatives – like denying the Kantian Categorical Imperative, and propounding cultural relativism, where racial DNA factors are deemed to be irrelevant because they, too, are culturally determined, but which they are not – is having a catastrophic effect on the next generation’s directives.
    This trip into hedonistic consumerism-nihilism is a certain sign of a culture in decline, a gradual trip into the Spenglerian Untergang. We have the freedom to go shopping and to self-destruct but not the freedom to lift ourselves and our Volk into a fully developed community where physical and mental arrested development are banished and we embrace motivational ideals such as: Truth, Honour, Justice, Beauty, et al. Heidegger asks us to stop and pause for a while and to look in the mirror and to self-reflect, and then to become again a part of Nature!

    • Tom Sunic
      Tom Sunic says:

      Fredrick. Herr Trawny knows the game. He knows where not to cross the line. Otherwise, he is history in academia and msm limelights .That’s why I didn’t discuss the Black Notebooks– blown out of proportion by the msm on account of some very rare and mildly critical words about Jews. There are “scholars” in the US, EU claiming to have detected a road to Auschwitz in each of Heidegger’s coma, hyphen. BTW Juedische “Spitzfindigkeit” -transl. “sophistry.” Hard to translate this German compound which is far more than just verbal sophistry. You can spot it every day in NYT, Wapo and HufPost language.

  8. David Ashton
    David Ashton says:

    Any comments on the way Derrida and Barthes handled language/meaning questions in Nietzsche and Heidegger?

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