From the very (obscure) beginning, those of us who have taken infrapolitics seriously (not many) have been insisting that it is not a matter of knowledge, it is something else. We have used the word “existence,” to some consternation from those, primarily in the deconstruction camp, who either decided by themselves or follow the word of the leader that “existence” is too subjective, too sartrian, too metaphysical. They even found confirmation in the Letter on Humanism and other texts by Heidegger himself. And yet, in Metaphysics and Nihilism, whose first part, “The Overcoming of Metaphysics,” belongs in the Beiträge series, Heidegger announces that the “overcoming,” or the “transition,” is daseinshaft, which the translator transcribes as existential for lack of a better word. Page 34. The idea is that it is a transformation for which there is no retrospective glance, and in relation to which the very idea of “revolution” is only and nothing but a “counter-play” to “conservative” (both of them “stuck in the past,” Heidegger says, and in the “long present,” he also says). It seems to me the Anthropocene is and will become the historical irruption that will have warranted that transformation–that on the one hand is a spur for it, on the other hand can only be experienced from a certain preparedness. My point is, without accepting that need for a daseinshaft transformation we are only both prey and fodder for university discourse. Which won’t do. How many of us are so caught by university discourse that think it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of university discourse?
Remember Schürmann’s word on “imperative thinking”? This is from Eckhart, the idea is thought is a response to an imperative or it is merely propositive, as in metaphysics. The “Durchbruch,” or breakthrough, is painful. Think John of the Cross’ dark night of the soul or Teresa of Avila’s transverberation. And take the god of the ontotheology out of the business. But who today is thinking about those things?
That “imperative” does not come from some extraterrestrial character, it is rather embedded in deep history: “Metaphysics is the clue-less skipping-over (metá) of physis, which is an inceptual being, to which we certainly can never return, but which in its history as the other inception makes demands upon human history” (34). Is the Anthropocene precisely not a signal from that other inception?