Mahon O’Brien on political philosophy
The stock response by less tractable, ‘hardcore’ Heideggerians to previous attempts to establish links between his philosophy and his politics was rather dismissive, owing, in the main, to the philosophical shortcomings of these attempts. And, to be fair, these studies are rightly dismissed by Heideggerians who can quickly point to the interpretive deficiencies of these texts. However, with that, one is not then entitled to summarily dismiss any question as to a possible relationship between Heidegger’s philosophy and his politics.
As it happens, Heidegger’s philosophy simply cannot be straightforwardly reduced to his political views; however, this is something that needs to be demonstrated, since it is Heidegger himself who says explicitly and repeatedly that the basis for his political views lies in the essence of his philosophy. Not only that—and this is something that has not been sufficiently acknowledged in previous incarnations of the Heidegger controversy—throughout the 1930s, Heidegger feverishly looks to articulate a political philosophy on the basis of key concepts in his thought, including central notions from Being and Time.
But he failed to articulate a political philosophy. And it wasn't a particularly interesting Holwege