On Derrida’s Messianic and Heidegger’s “Authentic Existence.”

I have reread some of the Derridean texts on messianicity without messianism.  And, concurrently, I have been rereading Being and Time’s pages on being toward death and resoluteness.  As a result, I am convinced (for now at least) that Derrida’s messianicity without messianism, which is for Derrida the very cipher of his position on politics,  relates precisely and univocally to what Heidegger calls “authentic existence.”  As you might remember if you have read the text, but then you might not, “authentic existence” is the existentiell recognition of the fact that death is not to be bypassed, and that it is the “possibility of the impossibility of existence in general.”  In “resoluteness,” which is the “anticipatory revealing” of the impossibility of existing, always and in every case for me, we come to “understand” existence as radically singular and individual, subtracted from the “they.”  It is a freeing for existence in the very face of the impossibility of existence, which “initially and for the most part” remains entangled and obscured in everydayness.  Heidegger says something towards the end of his analysis of being-toward-death that seems inconspicuous but where in fact everything comes together: “Because anticipation of the possibility not-to-be-bypassed also disclosed all the possibilities lying before it, this anticipation includes the possibility of taking the whole of Da-sein in advance in an existentiell way, that is, the possibility of existing as a whole potentiality-of-being.”  It is here, I think, in this possibility of full existence that Derrida situates his messianicity without messianism–in other words, the structure of the to-come, always already perhaps-to-come.  Which means that even politics, as democracy-to-come, hinges for Derrida on the messianic possibility of full existence.  The other side of this is of course that apocalypse must then be understood as the revelation of a certain (I mean, certain with certainty) sacredness or sacrality in death (which Angst confirms and sustains).  The sacrality of the understanding of death, mine, opens for Da-sein “the complete authenticity of its existence.”   “Passionate anxious freedom toward death,” which is the Heideggerian formula, remains to a certain extent hidden in Derrida, but not so hidden if one reads, say, “Circumfession” carefully.  For me, this calls for a rereading of Derrida in exactly the same way Schürmann read Heidegger: from the end back to the beginning.   Needless to say, but I should say it: if the very condition of politics, particularly in the sense of democratic politics, is to be found on the “messianic” (remember: a waiting without horizon, which is the waiting for death/the event in the understanding that death/the event is always already here, has always already happened) project of authentic existence, then we are talking about infrapolitics.

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