The Metaphysics of Delay

28.11.2021
The clarification of the relation of Heidegger's philosophy to the political ideologies of the Third Way leads us to a very delicate problem, which can be called "the problem of delay".

After German philosophy, formalized by Nietzsche and interpreted by Heidegger, was recognized as the End of Western European metaphysics, the seynsgeschichtliche localization of the "great midnight" was theoretically fulfilled. But does this mean that it had been attained? This question, in which uncertainty and wavering knowingly show through, explains in many ways the paradoxes of the ties of the Conservative Revolution with the history of the Third Reich. If the End had come and been recognized, then within the framework of the seynsgeschichtliche history of Germany as the centre of European thinking in the era of the End, the transition to another Beginning, and Ereignis itself, could and should have taken place. Hölderlin's prophetic visions and Hegel's philosophical predictions concerning the "narod of philosophers" should have reached their culmination and flown out into something great and unprecedented.

And although at a certain moment it seemed that this "is just about to occur" and that what was occurring was precisely this another Beginning, in fact, it again became clear that this possibility was ephemeral, and hence that the point of midnight was again not attained. "Always this not quite yet ", as Heidegger says in his very important text, "What Are Poets For?"

The fate of Hitler's Germany and the observer position of Heidegger in it, as also his personal fate and the fate of his philosophy, show unambiguously that this time, too "not quite yet", that the accidental lightning strikes were taken as the first distant rays of advancing morning; the darkness from them only became even deeper. And Heidegger's post-war texts are full of courageous despair. That which was supposed to occur did not occur. Once again "it has not occurred". Two ideologies, at the centre of which stood frank ontological nihilism - liberalism and communism - won not only a military, but a philosophical victory, the significance of which is even more significant because it was won not only from without, but from within, inasmuch as the political ideologies of the Third Way could not get onto the path of another Beginning and, consequently, lost even before the start of the decisive battle. Germany lost, being divided into two parts. Europe lost, being occupied half by the USSR, half by the USA, as two forms of a single evil, infinite in its nihility.

In a certain moment, notes of hopelessness are heard in Heidegger's voice: technique as the fate of the West came into the totality of its rights, nuclear weapons were ready to destroy the Earth, to equate the world, already bogged down in nihilism, with nothing; nobody now remembers the onset of night, since the memory of the light (let it be twilight and evening light), is solidly and surely erased. Man in his "inauthenticity" has forgotten about being to such an extent that he simply no longer understands what one is talking about.

In his "Spiegel" interview, published after his death, Heidegger says: "Apparently, only a God can save us now". A significant phrase for a thinker who always insisted that the last God is not called to save anyone: he simply comes and passes by, nodding to men, who find their vocation as "guardians of being". Now this arrival of the last God is unbelievable. The very possibility of "the future ones" (kunftige) to become "future ones" is closed by the entire totalitarian planetary power of the past; not of that which was, but of that which passed, passes and will pass in the same moment in which it comes. Consequently, there is no to sing a paean to the coming God. And, ultimately, there is no one to save.

So whence is taken this "not quite yet "? To answer this question is equivalent to unravelling the hidden seynsgeschichtliche reason for the foreign and domestic defeat of the Third Way, and also the logic of the fate of Martin Heidegger himself.

The "not quite yet", and also the expectation of a rapid Ereignis, the breath of the proximity of another Beginning, the declaration of a course towards fundamental-ontology - what is this? The imprecise determination of a moment, place, instant? Is this an error in calculations, expectations and localizations, or is something else the matter?