381 CHRONICLESnmemories; Plato is a prototype of thinkers wanting toncelebrate the marriage of ideas with political rule. This isnalso what the intellectuals sensed in Heidegger: politicsntending to metapolitics, an unveiling of the genuine Logos.nWhat they admired was exactly what religious thinkersnlike Etienne Gilson, Hans Jonas, Cornelio Fabro, and othersnhave condemned. Gilson speaks of Heidegger’s “metaphysicalnimmaturity,” his incomprehension before the Logosnmade flesh as the solution of the ontological question. Jonasnwrites (10th essay in The Phenomenon of Life) that fornHeidegger, revelation is immanent in the worid since thenworld is divine. It is thus, for Heidegger, a permanentnrevelation, Jonas adds, so that the very idea of a truendoctrine vanishes. Truth is always on the way; it is anself-unveiling process: yesterday the Greek gods, tomorrownthose called forth by German national revival. For Fabron{God in Exile), Heidegger wants to make place for an”preontological experience,” before the birth of conceptsnand the discourse which integrates them as philosophy. Innsum, there was a remarkable unanimity facing Heidegger,nbut without the hysterics of intellectuals. The philosophers’nverdict has been in for quite a while; why was Heidegger notncriticized before on the intellectual forum place?; why onlynupon the appearance of a mediocre book by a Victor Farias?n”If I had religious faith,” Heidegger, the one-timenstudent of theology, wrote, “I would close up my philosopher’snshop; if I prepared a theology book, I would never usenthe word Being.” This distinction swept the intellectuals offntheir feet, for they saw in it the final emancipation ofnphilosophy from belief They could forgive the statementnLIBERAL ARTSnProfane LanguagesnThe long march through the ModernnLanguage Association continues. ThenMLA’s delegate assembly, meetingnrecently — where else? — in San Francisco,nproposed the following resolution:nBe it therefore resolved that thenModern Language Associationnwill refrain from locating futurenMLA conventions, not alreadynscheduled, in any state that hasncriminalized acts of sodomynthrough legislation unless thatnlegislation, though still on thenbooks, has been found to benunconstitutional or the state hasnbeen enjoined from enforcing itnthrough decisions rendered bynthe courts.nnn”Nazism is a humanism” because, if true, their ownnideologies also had a chance, in the radical but real sense ofnthe label “no God, only man.” They were ready to applaudnwhen Heidegger spoke of God as “the one before whomnDavid sang and danced,” that is a God of no consequencenfor philosophy, calling forth only emotional responses, notnreflection. Pronouncing God dead, Heidegger became annally, whether of neo-pagans, process theologians, Teilhardians,nor simply of atheists with a lemon twist. FrancisnGuibal speaks of Heidegger waiting for a “truly divinenGod,” one who (which?) is beyond God; not that of thenBible, not incarnate. Heidegger himself had rallied long agonto Meister Eckhart, who “had weakened God’s figure as ancreator for the benefit of a higher sort of intimacy [betweennGod and man] in which God dissolves himself” {“ent-wirdnja sogar Gott,” as Eckhart put it). If God is not Being, this isnof course a possibility. Only man remains.nSo we always return to the same proposition: the real godnis man, whether individually, or as a race, a class, an esotericnsect, or a biological superman. This is why for a long timenHeidegger was forgiven by the intelligentsia — its Jewish,nChristian, pagan, humanist, and other members. BeforenVictor Farias cried out that the philosopher was naked, thatnHeidegger was a Nazi, the embarrassing episodes could benhidden. Yes, he was Rektor in 1934, but was he not also thenJewish Husserl’s disciple and Hannah Arendt’s lover? True,nhe never actually recanted, but, after all, was he not lookingnfor a revived pagan Hellas like so many other opponents ofnthe Ghurch, among them Hegel and Nietzsche? True, henscoffed at Raymond Aron as a representative of democracynand Das Kapital, but did he not also predict the GreatnMutation of the West, away from bourgeois values? Truenagain, he disparaged democracy, stating that it suits only thenexasperatingly shallow technological age, but did he notnleave the future open to “authenticity” and “selfovercoming”?nFor every rninus a plus was found, becausencondemning Heidegger meant the dismissal of the chiefncontemporary form of atheism, its academically most prestigiousnmanifestation. Condemning Heidegger would havenmeant the restoration of religion and faith in God.nWhere will the present debate lead? Most probably to anspate of books and symposia on “Heidegger’s politicalnthought.” The hidden purpose — and the interest of thenparticipants in the debate — is to separate Heidegger’snphilosophy (jealously guarded treasure) from his politicsnwhich would be unanimously cursed. What will thereforenbe underemphasized is the hardly deniable core of thencontroversy — that his politics follows from his philosophy,nin other words that a thoroughly atheistic speculative systemnengenders totalitarian rule, whether of Robespierre, Lenin,nor Hitler. This is, of course, the best-guarded secret in ournintellectual marketplace, which has adulated Heidegger, notnbecause of his merits as a speculative genius, or even as anmetaphysician, but because of his sophisticated atheism. InnParis, where, after all, Heidegger was invented (like Hegel,nLukacs, and Gramsci), booksellers told me that by far thenmost popular books are Nietzsche’s and Heidegger’s. Wenmay wonder what will happen now that Heidegger risksnbecoming taboo. Too many people have invested too muchnin his reputation as the century’s oracle for them to go backnon their enthusiastic and rash commitment.n