Lesley Chamberlain posts
about art critic Meyer Schapiro's attack on Heidegger's admiration of van Gogh's boots painting, and Derrida's rebuttal.
What Schapiro didn’t realise, and what quite a few commentators overlook, was that Heidegger was also out to de-Idealize Hegel, as part of his own campaign to undo the hold of traditional metaphysics on creaturely being. Heidegger didn’t destroy and rebuild philosophy in the name of a deprived global proletariat. But he did link conceptual abstraction with the power of technology and ultimately, when he came half-way to his senses, linked it with the ambitions of Hitler. The aim wholly to subordinate nature, and what was natural in human beings, to the totalitarian-mechanistic vision, was both Nazi and Soviet, and both were despicable. Heidegger’s enemy was what even social democracy in the German and Austrian 1920s called ‘The New Man’, homo sovieticus in his Russian guise, who, in Heidegger’s feeling, was no longer capable of an authentic being-here.