10. Radio Nietzsche, or, How to Fall Short of Philosophy
Radio-activity It's in the world for you and me.
I grant you also a very general but not universal agreement could come from a transmission diffused throughout the whole of mankind.
LEIBNIZ,New Essays on Human Understanding
A good place to start is from where and whom we distance ourselves, even if ultimately we all think, make our decisions, and act “in the emptiness of a distance taken.” Well-known statements by Gadamer observe a certain distance from Nietzsche, and Gadamer is not the explicit subject of my intervention in this anthology devoted to him and his repercussions. An essay on Nietzsche may be out of place, hors de saison et de combat, so I should justify my inclusion here with a prologue.
Distance from Nietzsche demarcated Gadamer from other philosophers in what mirabile dictu has just been dubbed “Gadamer's century.” Heidegger and Derrida are the ones he publicly highlighted in his “Nietzsche connection,” but it is crucial not to forget Strauss. As for “Gadamer's century,” I'd prefer the term “current period of the globalizing tendency of liberal-parliamentarian free-market capitalism,” though perhaps they amount to much the same thing—both promoting “moderation,” “dialogue,” and the like. Two of Gadamer's remarks about Nietzsche are especially well known and yet insufficiently analyzed individually or together.
Gadamer welcomed part of Strauss's epistolary response to Wahrheit und Methode. In Gadamer's published paraphrase, whereas “the point of critical orientation for Heidegger was Nietzsche, for me [it was] Dilthey.” This distanced him also from Strauss, who is by common consensus Nietzschean, though not qua Heideggerian (and certainly not Diltheyan). Gadamer never mentioned that Dilthey and Nietzsche had had a brief but intense contretemps in the i88os over the then new concept of “inner experience”
The second of Gadamer's two relevant statements about Nietzsche still involves Heidegger but expanded to Derrida. It was published in “Destruk-tion und Dekonstruktion” (1985), Gadamer's postmortem on his contretemps with Derrida that had begun four years earlier but symptomatically terminated before it began. Gadamer summed up the difference between philosophical hermeneutics and deconstruction by remarking that “evidently Nietzsche marks the critical point,” and then stated bluntly that, unlike and against Derrida, “I am in fact convinced by Heidegger's interpretation.” This concession would require viewing Nietzsche as the famous “completion” or “perfection” of the history of metaphysics leading back at least to Plato and the purported “fall away from Being.” Yet Gadamer's own Plato was sooner the originator of the “unwritten” or esoteric philosophy expressed in open-ended dialogic form, a seminal hermeneutic model with perduring significance. And this is how Gadamer had interpreted Nietzsche a year earlier in his only detailed analysis of what he called “Antipode Nietzsche.”
We have observed four things so far, the first three mostly obvious, the last tacit, i) Gadamer agrees with a relatively friendly Nietzschean interlocutor (Strauss) that Nietzsche for him (unlike for Heidegger, or Strauss) was not his “point of critical orientation,” and takes for his own such point one (Dilthey) opposed to Nietzsche. 2) Gadamer reacts to a quite hostile Nietzschean non-interlocutor (Derrida) by averring that he himself (contra Derrida) is “convinced” by the interpretation of Nietzsche by the philosopher (Heidegger) with the rival point of orientation, Nietzsche. 3) When Gadamer produces his extended reading of Nietzsche it is in terms less of Platonic metaphysical closure than of open-ended Platonic dialogue. 4) Two thematic threads emerge from what Gadamer precisely does not say. These are the history of philosophy's two most embarrassing problems, each in its own way “unwritten” and “unsaid”: insanity and esotericism.
Observation number 4 may be controversial, but there's no doubt that Gadamer's “Nietzsche connection” has ushered us into a hermeneutic circle that is “political.” I mean this (thus far) in the wholly uncontroversial sense that Gadamer's dialogue with different partners in the polls is differently policed by certain prejudices or prejudgments (more or less explicitly stated) about who that partner is, and what that partner stands for. In the properly Platonic tradition, politeia (the political, politics, or constitution) “designates … the way of life of a society … decisively determined by hierarchy,” and “implies … something like a right of un-wisdom, a right of folly” because “the polis as polis is characterized by an essential, irremediable recalcitrance to reason.” In any case, the Gadamerian hermeneutic circle, or circle of dialogue, is at once closed-and-open, open-and-closed, and so forth. This is one of the most rudimentary features of the subtending system—not just its politics, but what I'd call its political economy. There's nothing novel or interesting here, either, at least in formal, procedural, or theoretical terms, and certainly not for the true believers. Jean Grondin, for one, has argued that the circle of philosophical hermeneutics is not the circle of fundamental ontology due in part to their differing views of the circle's limit qua metaphor. Whereas Heidegger sees its explanatory power as overly restricted existentially and ontologically, Gadamer's objection is comparatively epistemological and hermeneutic. For Gadamer, still according to Grondin, “there is not really a circle, because it only expresses a requirement of coherence that calls for a constant revision of the hypotheses of interpretation (following the anticipation [of] perfection).” My own focus is not only on the allegedly ongoing and open-ended processes of Gadamerian understanding, interpretation, and dialogue, but also and even more on Grondin's parenthetically stated phrase, “anticipation [of]
Here … we see that understanding means, primarily, to understand the content of what is said, and only secondarily to isolate and understand another's meaning as such. Hence the most basic of hermeneutic preconditions remains one's own fore-understanding of completeness [Vorgriffder Vollkommenheit], which comes from being concerned with the same subject. This is what determines what can be realized as unified meaning and thus determines how the fore-conception of completeness is applied.
But it is here that Gadamer adds to the authoritative edition of Wahrheit und Methode what is its most remarkable footnote—indeed “passage” in all senses. As stated:
There is one exception to the anticipation of perfection: the case of disguised or encrypted writing [den Fall des verstellten oder verschliisselten Schreibens]. This case poses the most difficult hermeneutic problems [die schwierigsten herme-neutischen Probleme].
Way back in 1809 Schleiermacher (Nietzsche's ‘Veil-maker”) had memorably written that “the difference between easy and difficult writers only exists via the fact that there is no complete understanding.” So why is Gadamer's only admitted exception—to all of Gadamer, in effect—big news? We will return to der Vorgriffder Vollkommenheit shortly, but first a word about its exception.
Without mentioning the term, Gadamer's footnote refers to the great tradition philosophical esotericism, as the reference to Strauss in the note's continuation makes clearer. (Gadamer's objection to Strauss is so cursory and imprecise that it may be intentionally misleading, but that is a demonstration for another time.) Gadamer refers to Strauss on several other occasions in his collected works, but in terms far less of the basic problem of esotericism than of the merely subsidiary one of taking different sides in les quereUes des anciens et des modernes and debates about natural right. On other occasions, Gadamer alludes to the general problem of esotericism, as is well-nigh unavoidable in so many reflections on what Aristotle famously dubbed Plato's “unwritten” philosophy and its first principle, though he has comparatively little to say anywhere about the ensuing “logographic necessity” of the “noble lie.” In any event, Gadamer's stated single exception (qua enonciation) to what philosophical hermeneutics can understand is itself exceptional (qua enonce). Given all his fine attunements to subtilitas leg-endi, prudentia, and der richtige Takt, it is note and question-worthy that Gadamer never treated esotericism with anything remotely like the attention
Once again summarily and crudely stated, the hermeneutic structure of Gadamer's relation to the “Nietzsche connection” is indeed not fully circular. But nor is it (pace Grondin) fully open through “constant revision of the hypotheses of interpretation (following the anticipation [of] perfection),” though that is precisely its public or exoteric face. The unsaid and esoteric structure is that of a political economy adjustable to specific interlocutors and situations, and ultimately closed to full disclosure or debate. As such, Gadamer's “Nietzsche connection” is homologous with his foreclosure of open dialogue about esotericism, which is the one exception to the basic precondition of hermeneutic understanding called der Vorgriff der Vollkom-menheit. The tertium quid articulating the two terms of this homology is the signifier “Leo Strauss” insofar as it represents, at once: i) the point of critical departure not shared by Gadamer; and 2) the exceptional problematic of philosophical esotericism not analyzed by Gadamer. Since what I call Radio Nietzsche is an esoteric Nietzsche, and since Strauss is more help in identifying its existence than anyone else, the justification I give for the inclusion here of my essay on Radio Nietzsche is a type of argument per nega-tionem. Perhaps the best I can hope for is that the Gadamer Industry will now be informed (to paraphrase John Cage) by “a space, an emptiness, that it formally lacked.” But because I want to dispel any impression that my argument is merely ad hominem, I want to devote the remainder of this prologue to der Vorgriff der Vollkommenheit. This is the axial point around which philosophical hermeneutics and the major exception to it are said by Gadamer to turn, and with which any interpretation of Nietzsche must settle accounts.
German Vollkommmen is “complete” or “absolute” in addition to “perfect”—whatever has “come-to-full.” Thus, for example, a philosopher is said to “perfect” the history of metaphysics. This word is easy enough to translate, but the phrase der Vorgriff der Vollkommenheit is not, and not only because of Vorgriff, to be considered presently. The phrase is a genitive metaphor and as such semantically duplicitous. There is no way to tell grammatically whether der Vollkommenheit is genitivus obiectivus or genitivus subiectivus.
Vor-griff is “pre-grip” (as Be-griffis “con-cept”—“a taking in” from Latin capere, “to take”). Gadamer depends for his term on section 32 of Sein und Zeit in which Heidegger famously articulates Vorgriff to Vorhabe (“intention,” also “what lies before us”) and Vorsicht (“foresight,” “circumspection,” also “caution” or “prudence”). All these significations can and do overlap and merge. Heideggerian Vorgriff had decisively resituated the age-old question of whether any interpretive act “draws from the entity itself” or instead “forces the entity into a concept to which it is opposed in its manner of being” because, as Heidegger concludes, “in either case the interpretation has already decided in favor of a definite way of conceiving the entity, be it with finality or with reservations.” It is in this sense that “prejudice or prejudg-ment” (Vorurteil) is “philosophically vindicated” by Heideggerians and Gadamerians alike. But why stop at the philosophical? Does not its political vindication follow sooner or later? It is here that hermeneutics became “a subdivision of ethics,” to say the least. A related problem is that even if we could determine degrees of prejudice (though it seems we cannot), then on what basis could that ever be, inasmuch as that, too, would be always already a function of prejudice—and so forth. Moreover, Heidegger's distinction between conceiving “with finality” and “with reservations” indeed becomes moot, but so do all others. There is no center to hold, and mere anarchy is loosed upon a groundless world. If Gadamer's Vorgriff der Vollkommenheit has no answer to this problem (read also: is part and parcel of it), then Hans Albert would be correct in saying that, many appearances to the exact contrary, Gadamer's “urbanization of the Heideggerian province”—their shared “rehabilitation of prejudice”—“has the extreme consequence for textual interpretation of a sort of immunization of interpretation from all relevant criticism whatsoever.”
Now, had Heidegger and Gadamer written in Greek (and effectively they did), Vorgriff would be prolepsis (pro + lambanein, “prior grasp” and “preconception” or “anticipation”—the latter two also derived from capere). In grammar, the proper name “X” in the phrase, “When he joined the National Socialist Teachers Union in August 1933, X was widely respected as …, ” is anticipated by the proleptic shifter “he,” its referent determined only retroactively. In rhetoric, prolepsis is the more or less sly anticipation or
Pace Gadamer's footnote, no external “exception” (“disguised or encrypted writing” being the only one admitted) is required to problematize
If at day's end Gadamer's work remains (in Hans Albert's phrase) “a continuation of Heidegger's thinking” or even im Banne Heideggers, then their only major difference (pace Albert) would not be that they began “with different premises.” It would be that Heidegger and Gadamer differed on how to employ esotericism (the “unwritten” and the “unsaid”) to remarkably similar ideological and political-economic conclusions, which they shared a tout prendre with Nietzsche. And if Nietzsche's work can be read as the “completion” or “perfection” of metaphysics (or, more precisely, its “closure effect”), as Heidegger and as many Heideggerians assert (though perhaps not Gadamer), then this claim is valid only in the following reformulation. If Nietzsche does return to the purported “origin” or “primal fissure and leap” (Ursprung) of metaphysics, he does so only to its constitutive form, namely, the paradoxical fact that any most esoteric “first principle” can be exoterically expressed only as “unwritten doctrine.” Radio Nietzsche remains the most powerfully retrofitted response under modern (and postmodern) conditions to that origin. Its ultimate significance lies in the success of its Vorgriff der Vollkommenheit, that is, its proleptic strike against effective philosophical opposition to the globalizing tendency of liberal-parliamentarian free-market capitalism. Take it or attack it.
RADIO-ACTIVITY AS EXO/ESOTERICISM
The concept of dissimulation has to do with a practical problem. And the blurred outlines of the concept don't change anything about that.
WITTGENSTEIN, Last Writings on the Philosophy of Psychology
Radio Nietzsche is a covert project of secular modern “oral” transmission by means of which Nietzsche intended to produce proleptic subliminal “radioactive”
By Nietzsche's design, the precise content or meaning of the resulting transmissions of Radio Nietzsche was to remain concealed or, more precisely, to appear to exist only in its subliminal effects within what he anticipated would be changing but largely hostile historical conjunctures. A single surplus content or center of his transmission nonetheless does exist in the form of what he called—appropriately only in private—“my centrum.”
On January 3, 1888, Nietzsche remarked in a letter to Paul Deussen (one of his oldest friends, with whom he had almost lost contact) that some German critics who had just begun to be interested in his work were given to characterize it in pejorative medical terms as “‘eccentric,’ ‘pathological,’ ‘psychiatric,’ et hoc genus omne.” But, Nietzsche continued, “These gentlemen, who have no clue as my centrum, as to the great passion in the service of which I live, will have difficulty casting a glance even where I previously have been outside of my center, where I was really ‘eccentric.’” The last term has little to do with any pathological eccentricity, or with the well-known Romantic trope of “eccentric circle” as a figure of irony or poetic and conceptual rigor. It has far more to do with Nietzsche's principled refusal, in public or even private, fully to reveal his center of radio-active transmission.
But he concealed this center so well that it arguably cannot be identified. It is certainly premature to assign it any ideological value before its logical structure has been articulated. This is not to say that Nietzsche's center is
Critiquing the dependence of psychoanalytic theory and practice on the concept of negation (Verneinung) as the basic way to “transgress” ideology—when negation in fact is one of ideology's main ways of functioning—an Al-thusserian argument has recently been developed to suggest that “somebody who knows about the mechanisms of negation can instrumentalize them as a code of communication.” Furthermore, “everything that negation says—even what it says at the level of its enunciation—belongs to its enunciated content. Only the fact that it is a negation remains on the level of enunciation. Everything that can be falsified or verified is a part of the constative level of the enunciated—not the performative level of enunciation, where the question of truth does not play any role.” Translated into terms of Radio Nietzsche, this means that although any of us is free to falsify or verify the manifest content of Nietzsche's code of communication, to accept or reject it—in short, to read it as unconscious negation—it was Nietzsche's intent to instrumentalize the mechanisms of such negation so as to render the performative level of his enunciations concealed from view in inverse relation to their perlocutionary effectivity. So, to anticipate, when Nietzsche's enunciation explicitly defends, say, human slavery, we appear free to read him as saying the opposite, whereas the real slavery here is being transmitted not at the level of the enunciated but at the level of the enunciation itself—where it remains impervious to detection, let alone verification or falsification. Unless a new way of reading be developed—one which will necessarily be dictated proleptically by Nietzsche, to some extent, but which will explore the possibility of escape.
The effect of Radio Nietzsche's transmission was also designed to be mainly formal (as opposed to semantic) and prophylactic (as opposed to positive or constructive). In spite and because of his fervent and publicly expressed desire to produce, say, the “superman” in an age he diagnosed as increasingly democratic and permeated by “slave morality,” he was pessimistic, prudent, and practical enough not to limit himself to the superman's production, and certainly not to his immediate production. Nietzsche did
Now, the world has hardly needed Radio Nietzsche to produce or reproduce “order or rank.” But, for more than a century now, Nietzsche's effects have been particularly enervating. They constitute postmodernity's necessary, if not sufficient, logical condition. Radio Nietzsche was produced to be “radio-active” in both senses of the word: a transmission across distant space, and especially time, more or less subliminally received, and, as such, debilitating or even lethal for those unaware that this transmission indeed has a content and who persist in the mistaken belief that Nietzsche's thought must—somehow—be liberating. Responding to Radio Nietzsche, then, real philosophical struggle cannot occur at the level of “free debates” grounded in an unacknowledged consensus appealing always already to Nietzsche, but in as yet uncharted radio-active waves. And precisely these are what is exo/esoteric or “aesoteric.”
FALLING SHORT OF PHILOSOPHY
Premises of the machine age. — Thepress, the machine, the railway, the telegraph are premises whose thousand-year conclusion no one has yet dared to draw. NIETZSCHE, The Wanderer and His Shadow
By falling short of philosophy, I mean stating propositions as “conclusions without premises,” as Spinoza and Althusser would have put it.
BALIBAR, The Philosophy of Marx
The juxtaposition of these enthymematic epigraphs indicates that Nietzsche was not merely a philosopher sensu stricto, but also a philosopher of the indefinite technological future.
It is insufficiently recognized that Nietzsche was “Hegelian” not only in his concern with techniques of ideational incorporation (described in Hegel's
The philosophical problem whenever “reading” Nietzsche is always philological: we must grasp the conceptual peculiarity of his “love of words” as well as of his “love of wisdom.” Generally speaking, to paraphrase or translate him is not merely to say something slightly different from what he openly said—all paraphrase or translation unavoidably does this (traduttore, traditore)—but is also to incorporate unwittingly something else he said between or behind the lines, namely, his unstated, enthymemic premise. Actually, the last part of this notebook text breaks down, as Nietzsche's notebooks frequently do, under a certain pressure. In addition to contingent physiological pressures (Nietzsche's health) it is also the pressure of coming dangerously close to putting in print what ought never to be uttered explicitly
Basically, such postmodern post-Marxists trust Nietzsche, who gives them their root definition of philosophy as “the creation of concepts that are always new.” But why, returning to Nietzsche's elided words, is it “natural” that perhaps the “One” philosopher before Nietzsche would have “taught the opposite” of what that philosopher believed? Why should he have given off the appearance of skepticism with regard to all inherited concepts? Arguably, because Plato had some hidden agenda in mind that neither he nor Nietzsche states publicly because it would be illogical and counterproductive to do so. This agenda is shared elitism with regard to politics. In this context, Nietzsche's attack on Plato's metaphysics is too well known. It has to do with the concomitant requirement to speak exo/esoterically at once to those both “in” and “out of the know.” This requirement—at once Platonic and Nietzschean—logically entails the subliminal incorporation of concepts. This thesis emerges between the lines (with Hegel's help) from Plato's depiction of the death of Socrates and its mortally transformative, bi-suicidal relation to society via the (Hegelian and Nietzschean) ruse of reason.
But then it would follow against Deleuze and Guattari that if we are philosophers in their Nietzschean sense (i.e., conceptually creative), then among the “newly” minted concepts we must most distrust are those created by Nietzsche. The dowry (German Mitgift) of this pharmakos is always already poison (Gift). So I argue that the trust Nietzsche most betrayed is ours, namely, our trust that the “object of philosophy”—its joy and its terror, as Deleuze and Guattari also say—is the “creation of concepts that are always new,” when in fact Nietzsche's concepts were created surreptitiously to serve ideological interests and agendas that are premodern, archaic in their commitment to social, conceptual, and rhetorical hierarchy of the kind that, paradoxically, Nietzsche affirms and that Deleuze and Guattari reject. Therefore, our task is to grasp the paradox of philosophy as being, at once, “the creation of concepts that are always new” (Deleuze and Guattari) and/ or “the possibility of univocal translation” (Derrida) and/or “struggle”—not least “class struggle in the specific element of theory” (Althusser) and not most the struggle not to fall short of philosophy.
ACTIO IN DISTANS
New Battles. —After Buddha was dead, his shadow was for centuries still exhibited in a cave—a gigantic, terrifying shadow. God is dead; but, as is the way with humans, there will perhaps be caves for millennia in which his shadow will still be exhibited.
NIETZSCHE, The Gay Science, 1882
The true formula of atheism is not God is dead … the true formula of atheism is God is unconscious.
LACAN, Seminar XI, 1964
Kleist wrote somewhere that what the poet would most like to be able to do would be to convey thoughts by themselves without words. (What a strange admission.) WITTGENSTEIN, Culture and Value, ca. 1931
To advance intercourse within the borders of the four corners of the earth, an electrical telegraph has recently been invented, a telegraph that by means of dynamo and electrical wire communicates information at the speed of thought, I mean to say in less time than any chronometric instrument can register. KLEIST, “Letter Bomb Project,” i8io
Island down before One who does not yet exist [Ich trete vorEinem zuruch, der noch nicht da ist], and make my bow, a millennium in advance, before his spirit.
KLEIST, letter of 1803 (also cited by Heidegger in the documentary film Im Denken unterwegs, 1975)
Philosophy acts at a distance, in a void (mine!) ALTHUSSER, L'avenir dure longtemps, 1985
Obviously it is anachronistic to attribute to Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900, and who effectively ceased writing in 1888) any serious thoughts-neutral, negative, or positive—about current “technoculture” (the tendency increasingly to fuse culture, in the broad and narrow sense, with digital technologies that can “freely” manipulate and synthesize images and sounds) and hence about his own technocultural afterlife as techno-Nietzscheanism. Nonetheless, speculative attempts linking Nietzsche to various forms of wireless communication are already underway, at least en passant. But the deeper problem lies elsewhere. As parsed by Charles Grivel in his work on radio, “since God is dead the voice, without reservation, dissolves.” And so it is that Nietzsche's parable of the ear in Thus Spoke Zara-thustra (also the central exhibit of Derrida's otobiographie) has been called “a parable of the effects of radiophonic art.” But Grivel is simply wrong. God is not dead, is “not-dead.” We recall, with Lacan, that the most radical statement of atheism is not “God is dead” (any more than God is eternal), but rather “God is unconscious.” This is what enables Radio Nietzsche to
Now, radio qua technology (as opposed to its concept or possibility, both of which came much earlier) was arguably created in 1913; and the first commercial radio broadcast was in 1920. Radium had been isolated chemically and radioactivity discovered in 1898 (by Marie and Pierre Curie). In the words of radio's historian and theorist Allen S. Weiss (whose Phantasmic Radio analyzes the way the medium disembodies and reembodies what I call corps/es), it was on January 31, 1913, that
Edwin H. Armstrong notarized his diagram of the first regenerative circuit, an invention which was to be the basis of radio transmission. His discovery was that the audion (vacuum tube) could be used not only as a detector of electrical waves but also, through regeneration or feedback, as a signal amplifier. Furthermore, as a generator of continuously oscillating electronic waves, it could be used as a transmitter. The very first demonstration of audio amplification, by Lee de Forest in November 1913, created the “crashing sounds” of a handkerchief dropping. Radio was created—and along with it, an unfortunate electronic side-effect was first heard, that of static.
In 1898 Nietzsche was still alive but not receiving broadcasts of any kind from the outside world. And by 1913 and 1920 his physical corpse had naturally long decayed; the globe had fast turned toward its first technowar, which accelerated and was accelerated by radio technology; and the basic structure of Nietzsche's influence (i.e., “immanent” or “structural causality,” in the Spinozist and Althusserian senses) was firmly rooted in place qua corps/e. This was the Nietzsche who had written in Thus Spoke Zarathustra not of handkerchiefs dropping, it is true, but that it is the thoughts coming in our “most silent moments” and “with the feet of doves” that “guide the world.” Nietzsche intended this particular thought, as his thought generally, to be exoterically beautiful, esoterically chilling, and ultimately concealed by, and transmitted through, static.
As a rule of thumb, it is worse to underestimate than overestimate Nietzsche, whose influence would be much less had he anticipated less. Certainly he had taken the pulse of the mass—or, as he called it, “philistine” and “decadent”—culture of his own, early capitalist time. And this was the same time for Germany as for the rest of Europe, the United States, Japan, and increasingly the globe. He had already done so by his 1873 essay on David Friedrich Strauss, and he continued to do it in his extensive critiques of Wagner's “total work of art” (Gesamtkunstwerk) and, most tellingly, in his
The discovery of radium aside, basic technological prerequisites for radio were well in place within Nietzsche's sane lifetime (though my argument resists technological determinism). On December 6, 1877, “Thomas A. Edison made the first recording of the human voice onto a tinfoil roll, singing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’” Weiss continues:
As never before voice is separated from body and eternalized in a technological mechanism—breeding the first of sundry techno-phantasies … where the fears, hopes, and phantasms of disembodiment are finally actualized. At the very moment that the invention of the typewriter and the practice of experimental psychophysics freed words from both their gestural significance and their meaning, and at the time that psychoanalysis dissociated meaning from consciousness, phonography transformed voice into object, marking an end to several millennia of pneumatological, ontotheological belief.
To be sure, readers of the Bible accustomed to God speaking through burning bushes or prophets will find nothing new here, nor would anyone attuned to the other types of accousmatically disembodied voices. In any case, this was hardly the end, for Nietzsche, of the archaic need and desire to maintain all types of hierarchy and order of rank by the best technological means available. Rather, it was for him yet another new beginning within the great cycle of Eternal Recurrence of the Same informed by Will to Power.
Weiss suggests that “the paradox of radio” consists in the fact that “a universally public transmission is heard in the most private of circumstances; the thematic specificity of each individual broadcast, its imaginary scenario, is heard within an infinitely diverse set of nonspecific situations, different for each listener; the radio's putative shared solidarity of auditors in fact achieves their atomization as well as a reification of the imagination.” So it is, too, that Radio Nietzsche cannibalistically, incorporatively feeds off this paradox to produce (“interpellate”) auditors receiving a universal esoteric message in the exoteric guise of maximum individuality. As pertinent for Radio Nietzsche is the fact that the omnidirectional “surround sound” of radio (in my extended, non-technologically reductive sense, and in any case unlike visually rooted, monodirectional technologies or concepts such as television) allows the consumer to do other things in the rest of the more or
The properly Nietzschean articulation of aesthetics, politics, and prophecy also consists of the desire to “write”—that is, to be “heard” before being read—so as to have maximum possible and subcutaneous effect in the future, after the death of one's material body, under the sign of the slogan, as Nietzsche put it in 1882 (as always bastardizing Spinoza), “sub specie trecento-rum annorum “ (under the aspect of three hundred years). And a year later: “To be ignited in 300 years—that is my desire for fame.” (Not fortuitously, Nietzsche's tercentennial timeframe was adapted by Heidegger for the pro-leptic dissemination of his own work.) In 1881 Nietzsche spoke in social Darwinian terms of millennia, and had his own version of a millennial Reich: “The age of experiments [Experimente]! The claims of Darwin are to be tested—through experiments [Versuche]! As is the evolution of higher organisms out of the lowest. Experiments [Versuche] must be conducted for millennia! Raise apes into men!” Raise them, that is, as work force, as the “trained gorillas” of Taylorism. Now recall Nietzsche's 1880 aphorism “Premises of the machine age”: “The press, the machine, the railway, the telegraph are premises whose thousand-year conclusion no one has yet dared to draw.” And note the striking double homology: on the one hand the relationship between Nietzsche's desire to have an effect beginning in 300 years (or millennia), his desire for prestige and its required prestidigitations, and his need for social Darwinian experiments extended into the distant future; and, on the other hand, “postmodernist” Nietzsche's implication, “prediction,” or “self-fulfilling prophecy” that his effectivity would be conterminous and compossible with the development of whatever new information technologies might become available.
Lacking exposure or access to radio, film, video, HDTV, even telephones and phonographs, let alone the digital technologies of cyberspace and implant chips, and having barely discovered the typewriter, Nietzsche did know technoculture superbly well in its then most powerful mode. The Wagner-ian “total work of art” was the sublime and subliminal mode of communication that is today widely viewed as a crucial protoform of virtual reality (VR). Yes, Nietzsche criticized “the music drama of the future” (Zukunfts-musik), but not in principle, only in kind: Wagner himself had betrayed its politico-philosophical, world-historical mission to transmit “order of rank” by selling out to such epiphenomenal and counterproductive aberrations as anti-Semitism, Christianity (“Platonism for the people”), and the Germans. Presumably Nietzsche would have had the same reservations mutatis mutandis about any future technology, including the internet, cyberspace, and so
It's deathly still in the room—the one sound is the pen scratching across the paper—for I love to think by writing, given that the machine that could imprint our thoughts into some material without their being spoken or written has yet to be invented. In front of me is an inkwell in which I can drown the sorrows of my black heart, a pair of scissors to accustom me to the idea of slitting my throat, manuscripts with which I can wipe myself, and a chamber pot.
This text from 1862 outlines Nietzsche's subsequent project: to take advantage of the limited technology of writing to work proleptically on the “material” of the human race until more advanced techniques of subliminal and subcutaneous “imprint” might be found. And Nietzsche was to have remarkable success in sublimating and transforming the scatological, sadomasochistic, suicidal aspect of his juvenile project into a fully mature and more social process of euthanasia, one related specifically to music and to radio-active aural transmission generally. “Compared with music,” Nietzsche stressed, “all communication via words is shameless; the word dilutes and makes stupid; the word depersonalizes: the word makes the uncommon common.” And music is one of Radio Nietzsche's transmissions inter alia inter pares.
As for the precisely scatological aspect of Nietzsche's precocious teen-aged fantasy of “influencing machines,” it can be linked directly to radio by reference to Artaud's famous failed attempt at radio broadcast. In philosophical “translation,” for Nietzsche, death is profoundly involved in the transactions between producing corpse, corpus, and receiving corps. On the one hand the mere biological contingencies of birthing and of the division of mammals into two basic (binary) sexes may all be replaced by a bio-engineering that Nietzsche's many affirmations of the necessity for the higher man's “breeding” (Zuchtung) give us no reason to believe he would reject. On the other hand there seems to be, at least for Nietzsche, a direct homology between male birthing and the projective nature of “radio” transmission as a particular type of excrement: the expulsion of dead but potentially lethal matter. Weiss follows Freud, Bataille, and particularly Artaud to note that, like radio transmissions,
excrement, as a sign of death, is formless matter excluded from the organization of the symbolic order. It poses a threat to cultural formations both because it signifies a wasteful expenditure that circumvents societal modes of production and because it is an originary sign of autonomous production, of sovereign creativity bypassing societal structure of exchange. Excrement marks the body, and not the socius, as the center of production, whence comes the necessity, in the process of socializing the infant, of controlling anal functions and establishing the anus of possession and exclusion. This exclusion entails, in the major irony of human ontogenesis, the rejection of one's own body, a rejection which is the very origin of sublimation. Any desublimated return to anality in adult life marks a return of the repressed and serves as a contestation of the symbolic law.
So it was in the case of young Nietzsche's prediction of imprinting technologies. But so it also was, at the outset of his academic teaching career, that Nietzsche's then closest friend (the classical philologist Erwin Rohde) and their harshest enemy (Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, an underclassman of Nietzsche's at Schulpforta and the dominant classical philologist of this and the next generation) were thus not wrong to set out the terms of debate about Nietzsche's philology in his first book The Birth of Tragedy—all according to the antinomy: Zukunftsphilologie versus Afterphilologie. For the philology of Radio Nietzsche is precisely both a proleptic philology of and for the future and an anal philology, that is, anally aggressive to maximum effect, ex extremis.
Make no mistake, however. The adult Nietzsche—Radio Nietzsche—was never out to contest all “symbolic orders,” only those that threatened his own “order of rank.” Friedrich Kittler also cites the chamber pot passage from the teenaged Nietzsche, whom he places at the axial passage from the classical-romantic discourse network (“1800”) to the properly modern or postmodern (“1900”). Kittler describes this moment as “a primal scene, less well known but no less fraught with consequences than the despair of Faust in and over his study in the Republic of Scholars. This (the) scholar is replaced, however, by the very man of letters whom Faust made to appear magically as the redeemer from heaps of books.” For Kittler, however, the representative Nietzschean technology remained the typewriter, the increasingly blind Nietzsche being the first major philosopher to use this new technology designed for, and indeed by, the blind. With the typewriter and its “psychology” (as it came to be called in 1909), a certain epistemo-logical and ontological break arguably occurs within the discourse network: ‘“in place of the image of the word [in handwriting as somatic creation] there appears a geometrical figure created by the spatial arrangement of the letter keys.’ Indeed, a peculiar relationship to place defines the signi-fier: in contrast to everything in the Real, it can be and not be in its place.”
Heidegger criticized the invention of the typewriter as part of the “increasing destruction of the word” insofar as “the typewriter grabs script away from the essential domain of the hand—and this means that the hand is removed from the essential domain of the word,” “degrading the word to a mere means for the traffic of communication.” Nietzsche, too, had no use for “mere traffic in communication”—the very reason to invent the more properly prosthetic and oral transmission-reception system of Radio Nietzsche. It is not (just) radio in the literal sense, say, as the extension from the writing hand to the typewriter to the telegraph already known to Nietzsche. Rather, Radio Nietzsche is (also) radio in the sense of an authorial intent to communicate influence across space and time, as a probe into the future, as a mode of Spinozist immanent causality and actio in distans, just slightly beneath the surface of full cognition. As Kittler notes, the physical condition of Nietzsche (and, by extension, the paradigm shift from “1800” to “1900”), including his continually worsening eyesight, undoubtedly contributed less to his abandonment of Faustian books than to the production of a particular type of book, namely, the “first experiments with telegraphic style” in 1880 in The Wanderer and His Shadow —that is, even before he purchased his maladroit typewriter in 1882. But the material form of these experiments, by hand or by typewriter, was immaterial to Nietzsche. At stake, I argue, is a transmissive structure or discursive network of corps/e/‘ing. InEcce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is (1888), in the section “Why I Write Such Good Books,” Nietzsche claimed-in his now patented telegraph style—that “My eyes alone put an end to all book wormishness [Bucherwurmerei]: in plain language [auf deutsch]: philology: I was delivered from the ‘book,’ for years I read Nothing any more—the most charitable act I ever conferred upon myself!—That nethermost self [Jenes unterste Selbst] submerged, as it were, grown silent under the constant pressure of having to listen to other selves (—what reading means, after all!) awakened slowly, shyly, suspiciously,—but eventually it spoke again.” And when it spoke it (id, (a) was radio-active.
Nietzsche's periodic and increasing near-blindness was more than a physical ailment, more than a reiterated theme in his correspondence during the last years of his sanity. In response to Nietzsche's painful near-blindness, his secretary, the musician and composer Heinrich Koselitz (known as Peter Cast), encouraged Nietzsche in September 1888: “You have dragged your artillery to the highest mountains, you have guns such as have
Much of Nietzsche's original genius and subsequent afterlife lies in his extraordinary ability to transform (“sublimate,” one might suppose) his painful near-blindness and other illnesses (which appear to have been more somatic than psychological, which is also to say psychosomatic) into concepts—concepts that were “new” and hence to have these (in fact exceedingly “old”) concepts incorporated by readers beneath the surface of cognition by his ruse of reason. For their part, Deleuze and Guattari follow Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Marx to say that “The concept is an incorporeal, even though it is incarnated or effectuated in bodies.” Spinoza's principle of immanent causality, that the cause “indwells its effects,” eminently prefigures Marx's critique of leftist idealism: “The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism by weapons, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical. To be radical is to grasp the root of the matter.” As most succinctly defined already by Kant, “an argumentum ad hominem is an argument that obviously is not true for everyone, but still serves to reduce someone to silence.” Nietzsche was a radical philosopher defined in just this sense; but his ideological and political commitment was the reverse of Marx's insofar as his centrum of radiographic transmission and incorporation was in principle esoteric and surreptitious, whereas the enlightenment commitment of Marx was to maximum possible exposure, rendering Marxism to date incapable of locating or even knowing about the Nietzschean centrum. In this regard Althusser was right to suggest that Nietzsche had
If I am on the right track, tracking Nietzsche correctly, whenever it speaks, Nietzsche's voice speaks “radio-actively.” Lacoue-Labarthe has suggested in his analysis of what he calls “the echo of the subject” that the modern subject has been formed—in a trajectory from Schopenhauer, Wagner, and Nietzsche to Theodor Reik—not only visually, representationally, under the sign of Apollo, but also under the sign of Dionysus. Which is to say musically, aurally, willfully, and as an echo not of “signification” but of a “significance” that is sensu stricto not “of the order of language.” Rather, in Lacoue-Labarthe's words, “it affects a language, and affects in the use of a language … its musical part, prosodic or melodic,” in order to produce a mode of communication and response “that is capable of offering infinitely greater material, according to Reik, than what is given to us by conscious perception.” But this is also why what is crucially at stake far Nietzsche is the production of a constitutive problem in Nietzsche, that of Stimmung—of voice, fine tuning, and mood. It remains here to illustrate how such a Nietzschean mood has been proleptically transmitted across space and time in and by Radio Nietzsche, in ways that “translators” and “creators” alike are unaware and that forge ostensibly rival “creations” and “translations” into the harmony of unacknowledged consensus. And when “class struggle in the specific element of theory” still today might be the more appropriate response, necessary though insufficient.
“THESE GOOD EUROPEANS”:
THE ADORNO-HORKHEIMER-GADAMER CONSENSUS
However far language might slip into a technical function, as language it holds the invariable things in our nature fast, those things which come to be spoken of in language again and again. And the language of philosophy, as long as it remains language, will remain a dialogue with that language of the world.
GADAMER, Hegel's Dialectic
Everything that is thought, written, painted, composed, even built and formed, belongs either to monologic art or to art before witnesses. Among the latter is to be taken into account even that apparently monologue-art which involves faith in God, the entire lyric of prayer: because for the pious there is as yet no solitude—this invention was made only by us, the godless. I know no more profound difference in the entire optic of an artist than this: whether he looks out from his work in progress (at “himself”) with the eye of a witness, or whether he has “forgotten the world,” which is the essence of all monologic art. It is based on forgetting, it is the music of forgetting.
NIETZSCHE, The Gay Science
Let us now turn back to the year 1950 as the symbolic and actual halfway point between the death of Nietzsche's corpse, the concomitant birth of his
Nineteen fifty marked the half century after Nietzsche's death with several public events. Above all, in retrospect, there was Bataille's remark that “Nietzsche's position is the only one outside of communism”—a thought whose repercussions have only now begun to be played out in social as well as intellectual history, for we find ourselves in a situation in which, assuming “the death of communism,” Nietzsche and Nietzscheanism have become totalitarian, globally hegemonic. Nineteen fifty also saw the affirmation and reaffirmation of Nietzsche as an “existentialist” philosopher, albeit one working in basic solidarity within the antifoundational tradition of enlightenment critique. This interpretation was codified philosophically in the recent republication and discussion of the 1936 Nietzsche book by Karl Jaspers, and publicized in the English-speaking world by Walter Kaufmann's obsessive and influential rehabilitation of existentialism and especially of Nietzsche. Particularly in Germany, 1950 celebrated Nietzsche with several more public occurrences, including two major radio shows. The second of these remains relatively well known (at least in Germany), namely, Gottfried Benn's broadcast entitled “Nietzsche—nach fiinfzig Jahren” (Nietzsche—after fifty years). It was transmitted from Berlin on August 25, fifty years to the day after Nietzsche's death. Benn not only depicted Nietzsche hyper-bolically as “the most far reaching giant of the post-Goethean epoch” but also radiophonically as “die groBte Ausstrahlungsphanomen der Geistes-geschichte.” Which we can now translate as “the greatest phenomenon of radiation, of radio and radioactivity, in the history of consciousness.” A year earlier Benn had celebrated what he called Radardenken (radar thinking). He now turned, on radio, to Nietzsche. Benn not merely affirmatively constated Nietzsche's commitment to “monologic art,” he also reperformed it in his patented monotone, producing a hagiographic levitation rite around Nietzsche's corpse. The first radio show on Nietzsche had already taken place at the end of July, and is today almost wholly unknown or forgotten. Whereas Benn's broadcast was a self-conscious monologue about a monologue, the first broadcast was to have been a dialogue. In other terms, Benn's format was far closer to the spirit of Nietzsche than had been the first transmission; if the latter had been designed as a proleptic strike against Benn's position, it failed miserably. In this respect it has justly sunk into virtual oblivion.
That an unacknowledged consensus with regard to Nietzsche cuts across virtually all ideological differences is succinctly illustrated by this second broadcast, “Uber Nietzsche und uns: Zum 50. Todestag des Philosophen”
Now, specifically German philosophy—as well as mutatis mutandis continental European philosophy in the last three-quarters of the twentieth century, its high-modernist moment—was defined by three texts published in a half-decade of the Weimar period: Wittgenstein's Tractatus logico-philosophicus in 1921; Lukacs's History and Class-Consciousness in 1923–24; and the never-completed torso of Heidegger's Being and Time in 1927. “These three works, the most influential philosophical writings of this century, originated from, and defined themselves in relation to, certain traditions which they themselves brought to an end.” The effect of National Socialism, on at least German academic philosophy, was to eliminate or radically diminish—and not just temporarily between 1933 and 1946—the impact of two of these three seminal works, their traditions and legacies. Both the analytic, postpositivist, and latter common-language tendency and the Hegelian-Marxist tendency were both effectively terminated or deformed during the Third Reich and its immediate aftermath. All that remained more or less intact was the Nietzschean-Heideggerian tendency, most notably represented after World War II by Gadamer. When analytic philosophy and Marxism belatedly began to return, as the latter did in the work of Horkheimer and Adorno's Frankfurt School of Social Research, they were critically but indelibly effected by the Heideggerian—hence Ni-etzschean—tendency. This, then, is the sociological explanation for the symptomatic and exemplary modern “virtual consensus” that I identify as Radio Nietzsche. But mere sociology is never adequate even to describe, let alone explain, such complex issues.
In the 1950 Frankfurt “conversation,” despite minor differences of opinion about Nietzsche (having to do, I would argue, with different views of Heidegger), there turned out to be remarkably few real bones of contention. In short, yet another consensus under capitalist hegemony. What was really at stake, in other words, was already the German complement to the
Now, remarkably, this is the philosophical version of the social “convergence theory” that has deep, and problematic, roots in nineteenth-century German conservative thought. As recently as the 1930-5, for Heidegger and (other) Nazis alike, this theory had held that the United States and the USSR had developed into an “in-essence-the-same” syndico-technical form of society. This entailed the proposition that Germany, “the heart of Europe” (Holderlin), must seek its proper “third way” between and beyond the “pincers” of “Americanism and Bolshevism.” (Similar national and social self-legitimations were global, most visibly in Japan.) In this matter, there was also a difference. Our three German panelists concurred that “Americanism” (read: pragmatism, Fordism, Taylorism, pluralism, multiculturalism, liberal democracy, culture industry and mass culture, and so on) necessarily entails the instrumentalization of language and the latter's “reduction to statements and propositions” (as Horkheirner put it). By contrast, under Soviet communism, “every word is a thesis for which one can die, if taken at one's word.” But these “two cultures” have one tertium quid that Nietzsche is said by the consensus to expose, critique, and properly reject—definitively.
On the consensus view, the relentless, unreflecting tendency of both “rival” cultures is “to take language literally” (in Horkheimer's words), rendering it “simply impossible”—de facto et dejure—even to read a Nietzsche who, as Horkheirner, Adorno, and Gadamer all simply presuppose, used language in a “radically different” manner from the “American-Russian” paradigm. Gadamer prefers to say that Nietzsche was a “parodist,” while Adorno (and, years later, Rorty) favors “ironist,” but in the matter of celebrating Nietzsche it all amounted to the same thing. And it may not have mattered much, ideologically, if others had been invited to the Frankfurt studio that evening in 1950. “When everyone is invited, it is not the hoped-for new science that is being invited (for it is never the result of a gathering of specialists who are ignorant of it), but a character no one has invited—and whom it is not necessary to invite, since it invites itself!—the common theoretical ideology that silently inhabits the ‘consciousness' of all these specialists: when
On this consensus assumption, Nietzsche never quite meant what he said, never could mean what he said. In short, a prohibition performatively becomes a constated impossibility. So it is, for the Frankfurt consensus, that both the Nazi “misappropriation” of Nietzsche and the “whitewashing” of his elitism by well-meaning liberal-existentialist philosophers (meaning Jaspers and especially Kaufmann) were equally misguided, equally literal, potentially “totalitarian” even. Such were the explicit terms employed in the Frankfurt studio. Paradoxically, however, this same ideological consensus holds that in one matter we can read Nietzsche literally, after all. That is, his own remarks ought never to be taken … literally. To be precise: Sometimes we can read Nietzsche literally, sometimes figuratively, or we can conflate the two, but in any case we don't need to get exercised about his intentions, because the one thing we can take at face value is his own claim to be a “free spirit,” “smasher of all idols,” “perspectivist,” “parodist,” “ironist,” “thinker on stage,” “enlightener,” “great emancipator of humankind,” and so forth, ad infinitum et nauseam.
This a priori “logic” with regard to reading Nietzsche is thus at root benevolent about what he intended to say, in spite of the subsequent “misrecog-nition” by all others who take him too literally in one literal direction or another. Yet this “logic” itself remains binary and dualist, rendering it impossible for Nietzsche ever to have said something different or more radical than the consensus can ever see and hear. And what it cannot see and hear is his One Aim, his ruse of reason. This “German consensus” “left,” “right,” and “center”—there are equivalent national variants everywhere, from the French Derrida and Deleuze to the North Atlantic Rorty and across the Pacific—tacitly embodies Nietzsche/anism, never worrying why “we” ought to take him literally only when he might ordain it. If by stating propositions as conclusions without premises we fall short of philosophy, then the Nietzschean consensus falls short o/Radio Nietzsche because it is already always informed and incorporated by Radio Nietzsche. This is not avant-garde radio but slapstick radio—philosophically speaking, speaking with the esoteric Nietzsche himself. He would have had as little use for Gadamer as he would have had for Adorno and Horkheimer (or Benn)—except insofar as he was effectively using all of them to prevent access to any alternative way of approaching him.
What matters most in Radio Nietzsche cannot be perceptible at the level of theme or dialogue. This includes even the fact that what he meant by “fateful” is the task to split future humanity in two by subliminal rhetorical means up to and including suicide and euthanasia. Rather, what matters are his illocutionary means to this end and their actual perlocutionary effect. In other terms, all auditors and speakers within Nietzscheanism—alongside capitalism
Here is Horkheimer introducing the radio broadcast “On Nietzsche and Us”:
Nietzsche predicted that in Germany one would erect monuments to him when he could no longer defend himself. Radio he could not have foreseen. What would he have indeed said if he had foreseen that we-you Mr. Gadamer, and you Mr. Adorno—would sit together and solemnly converse about him on the fiftieth anniversary of his death? Why are we really here?
These remarks at the half-century mark of Nietzsche's death were imprecise if not simply mistaken. The question remains, as we have passed the centenary of that death: Are we any less imprecise and mistaken about Mr. Nietzsche? In any case, the reason Horkheimer, Adorno, and Gadamer were “really here” was that they had gathered unconsciously to embody Nietzsche's corpse and voice. They all “overheard”—and hence reiterated—all the “punctuation marks” of Nietzsche's centrum.
If you listen to the finale of the 1950 broadcast you will hear-more or less unconsciously-not Hans-Georg Gadamer but Pastorsohn Friedrich Nietzsche ventriloquizing the voice of Gadamer, intoning platitudes about Nietzsche's place of birth and burial in the context, or “horizon,” of “world history.” Whereas Benn was simultaneously to perform and constate his embrace of Nietzschean monologue, Gadamer's voice performed precisely the monologue that his own philosophy explicitly rejected at the level of con-statation. This Nietzschean voice-not its message or content but its Stimmung—makes serious critical confrontation with Nietzsche as impossible as does the excited, sharper, and apparently more critical theoretical voices of Adorno and Horkheimer. All are modulations of Nietzsche's own voice. All Nietzscheans speak in his medium, Radio Nietzsche, as mediums for this near-blind living or dead man, and never fully in their own voice. This Adorno-Horkheimer-Gadamer broadcast in 1950 was not a “conversation” or “dialogue” about Nietzsche at all—except on an exoteric level handicapped in advance by Nietzsche exo/esoterically. And not by chance, this broadcast was yet another preliminary, performative celebration of “the death of communism.” The “only” difference between the way Gadamer on the one side and Adorno and Horkheimer on the other received Radio
So I agree with Kqjin Karatani's attempt to shift the drift of what he calls “secular criticism” (at the end of a twentieth century globally marked by the purported death of communism and the factual resurgence of religious fanaticism and theocratic states) away from literary criticism, much psychoanalysis, and cultural studies toward philosophy and proper psychoanalysis (a shift I find more properly informed by Althusser, Lacan, and Karatani than by Derrida or Deleuze). Alluding to Marx's critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law, Karatani interprets Marx to be arguing “that it is impossible to dissolve any religion unless the ‘real suffering’ upon which every religion is based is dissolved. There is no reason to criticize religion theoretically, because it can only be dissolved practically.”Pace Karatani, however, I do not regard Nietzsche as an immediate ally in any argument. Nietzsche and his repercussions are a form of religion across the ideological spectrum. But this difference aside, I tend to concur with Karatani's thesis that, in our times, “religion, albeit as Schein, has a certain necessity inasmuch as man is an existence of passivity (pathos); it functions ‘regulatively’ as a protest against reality, if not a ‘constitution’ of reality.” Karatani continues:
Although communism as well is a mere Schein, to criticize its “illusion” means no more and no less than “to call on [people] to give up a condition that requires illusions.” And religion will be upheld so long as this state of affairs endures. We can never dissolve fundamentalism by the criticisms or dialogues motivated by enlightenment, precisely because to criticize the “illusion” of the latter is “to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.” The advocating of the collapse of Idee and the insistence on its realization are, in fact, intertwined and inseparable, and both are Schein that represent, each in its own way, the real (the thing-in-itself) of world capitalism, of which they themselves are members.
It is this real that Nietzsche—and the consensus of all Nietzscheans—ultimately monologically has closed off from any “conversation” or “dialogue.” If, as I argue, Nietzsche and Nietzscheanism—Nietzsche's corps/e—constitute the radically unquestioned ideological support—the Idee—of the fundamentalism known as late capitalist hegemony, then this would also confirm per negationem Bataille's 1950 thesis that communism remains the only position outside of Nietzscheanism. For worse or for better.
Closer inspection of Nietzsche's writing than is normally granted it across the ideological spectrum would reveal that it is too simple to say that he was “against” socialism or communism, at least not in any easily identifiable sense. After all, Radio Nietzsche is programmed not to be part of any enlightenment problematic, except exoterically. Here what we consciously hear is incepted to appear different from what we unconsciously get. There
No matter how the public face of a text like Beyond Good and Evil might appear to anyone, the esoteric intent was crystal clear in Nietzsche's mind, the mind of this prototypical “good European.” In 1885 he wrote to himself in his now patented telegraphic mode:
These Good Europeans that we are: What distinguishes us from the Men of the Fatherland? First, we are atheists and immoralists, but for the time being [zunachst] we support the religions and morals of the herd instinct: for these prepare a type of human that must one day fall into our hands, that must desire our hands. Beyond Good and Evil, but we demand the unconditional maintenance of the herd morality. We hold in reserve many types of philosophy that need to be taught: Under some conditions the pessimistic type, as hammer; a European Buddhism might perhaps be indispensable. We probably support the development and maturing of democratic institutions: They enhance weakness of the will: We see in “Socialism” a goad that in the face of comfort ———Position toward nations [or peoples: Volhern]. Our preferences; we pay attention to the results of interbreeding …. By possessing a dis-ciplina voluntatis, we are in advance of our fellow men. All strength applied to the development of will power, an art that allows us to wear masks, an art of understanding beyond affects (also to think a “supra-European” manner on occasion).
That Nietzsche wears illocutionary masks is hardly news. What is at issue is the kind of mask he adapts as the occasion demands, the fact that he intended these masks to look like one thing and yet have another effect entirely, and the more or less unconscious effect—“beyond affect”—that his masks have on “readers” and “viewers”—but above all “listeners” who for him should better die than live. And not just listeners in Derrida's sense of otobiographie or “biography of the ear,” who still appeal to the considerable, but still merely rational, powers of deconstruction, and thus delude themselves into thinking that they can thereby deconstruct “Nietzsche's teaching” and “politics of the proper name.” As our nom-du-pere, to speak La-canian, Nietzsche has no proper name.
Any broadcaster is not only Machiavellian but also ‘Jesuit” or ‘Jesuitical,” in the extended Gramscian sense, who declines, in principle or in practice, “to elaborate a modern ‘humanism’ able to reach right to the simplest and
FAIRE UN ENFANT DANS LE DOS
What seems to happen before their eyes happens, in reality, behind their backs.
ALTHUSSER, Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists
I'm almost tempted to conclude my counter-transmission with that old line from Leonard Cohen: “You can say that I've grown bitter, but of one thing you can be sure, the rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor.” For so it is that we—all of us—always risk falling short of philosophy, falling on our collective face. And Nietzsche could be held responsible. But one final caveat about the problem of holding trickster Nietzsche responsible. Slapstick indeed!
The recently suicided Gilles Deleuze once turned a remarkable, untranslatable phrase to express how difficult it is to translate philosophy in general, and that of Nietzsche in specific. Deleuze remarked that, for him,
the history of philosophy is a sort of buggery or (it comes to the same thing) immaculate conception. I saw myself as taking an author from behind and giving him a child that would be his own offspring, yet monstrous. It was really important for it to be his own child, because the author had actually to say all I had him saying. But the child was bound to be monstrous too, because it resulted from all sorts of shifting, slipping, dislocations, and hidden emissions that I really enjoyed.
Now Deleuze turned to face the problem of Nietzsche. “It was Nietzsche, who … extricated me from all this. Because you can't deal with him in the same sort of way. He gets up to all sorts of things behind your back [Des enfants
This essay is the second of a two-part essay on Radio Nietzsche originally written for this commemoration of Hans-Georg Gadamer and his repercussions. In the meantime, Yutaka Nagahara has translated part one in the Japanese journal Gendai shizo [Contemporary thought] 26, no. 14 (1998): 188–219. The two parts will be united in my forthcoming book, Traces of Communism in Capitalist Culture: Essays in the Pre-modern Postmodern. With the exception of what I now call its prologue (including notes) and unless otherwise remarked, the current essay is essentially the same as the one commented upon in this volume by Catherine H. Zuckert.
1. Louis Althusser, Machiavelli and Us [ca. 1962], trans. Gregory Elliott (London: Verso, 1999), 8. Le vide d'une distance prise is one of Althusser's several basic definitions of philosophy (which include the Platonic synoptihos). [BACK]
2. See Gadamer's Century: Essays in Honor of Hans-Georg Gadamer, ed. Jeff Malpas, Ulrich Arnswald, and Jens Kertscher (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002). [BACK]
3. Although he refers several times to this differentiation, see especially Hans-Georg Gadamer, “Text und Interpretation”  (GW2:330–60; here 334). For the original remark and context, see Gadamer and Leo Strauss, “Correspondence Concerning Wahrheit und Methode,” Independent Journal ofPhilosophy 2 (1978): 5–12. In his magnum opus Gadamer had analyzed Dilthey in detail and Nietzsche hardly at all, though he did make the following passing remark. “In raising the question of being and thus reversing the whole direction of Western metaphysics, the true predecessor of Heidegger was neither Dilthey nor Husserl … but rather Nietzsche. Heidegger may have realized this later; but in retrospect we can see that the aims already implicit in Being and Time were to raise Nietzsche's radical critique of ‘Platon-ism’ to the level of the tradition he criticizes, to confront Western metaphysics on its own level, and to recognize that transcendental inquiry is a consequence of modern subjectivity, and so overcome it.” Gadamer, TM 257–58. [BACK]
4. On Nietzsche as having been in effect Strauss's “point of critical orientation,” see the anti-Straussian account by Shadia B. Drury, The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss (New York: St. Martin's, 1988), and the pro-Straussian account by Lawrence Lam-pert, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). [BACK]
5. Scholarly discussion of the Dilthey-Nietzsche contretemps (originally mediated by their mutual acquaintance, Heinrich von Stein) began around 1939 but reached its first important stage a decade later in two essays. Jan Kamerbeek's essay, “Dilthey versus Nietzsche,” Studio philosophica 10 (1950): 52–84 (favoring Nietzsche), was followed by Georg Misch's attempted rebuttal (favoring Dilthey), “Dilthey versus Nietzsche: Eine Stimme aus den Niederlanden, Randbemerkungen,” Die Sammlung 7 (1952): 378–95. (Misch, Dilthey's son in law, intended his title to be dismissive.) Several important analyses have appeared in the meantime. See Antonio Negri, Saggi sullo storicismo tedesco: Dilthey e Meinecke (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1959), 124–29; Helmut Pfotenhauer, “Mythos, Natur und historische Hermeneutik: Niet-zsches Stellung zu Dilthey und einigen ‘lebensphilosophischen’ Konzeptionen um die Jahrhundertwende,” Literaturmagazin 12 (1980): 329–72; Johann Figl, “Nietzsche und die philosophischen Hermeneutik des 20. Jahrhunderts: Mil besonderer Beriicksichtigung Diltheys, Heideggers und Gadamer s,” Nietzsche-Studien 10 (1980–81): 408–41; Ernst Wolfgang Orth, “Phanomenologie und spekulative Ontologie bei Dilthey und Nietzsche,” in Dilthey und der Wandel des Philosophiebegriffs seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Ernst Wolfgang Orth (Freiburg im Breisgau: Karl Alber, 1984), 80–120; and Alfredo Marini, Alle origini dellafilosofia contemporanea: Wilhelm Dilthey (Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1984), esp. 163–94. [BACK]
6. Heidegger, Beitrage zur Philosophic (Vom Ereignis) [1936–38], ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Hermann, in Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1989), 65: 253, and Nietzsche (Pfullingen: Neske, 1961), 2: 110. [BACK]
7. See Heidegger, “Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit” [1930–31; first published 1942], in Wegmarken (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1967), 109–44; here 109, and Nietzsche, i: 158. [BACK]
8. See Heidegger, Beitrdge zur Philosophic, in Gesamtausgabe, 65: 235. Heidegger was most explicit about Nietzsche and Holderlin in this regard in this self-described “esoteric” and “sigetic” text written during the Third Reich, but unpublished until 1989 (though some insiders had had prior access, including Otto Poggeler and perhaps Gadamer). But Heidegger had said much the same thing more publicly in his 1937–38 lecture course, Grundfragen derPhilosophie:Ausgewdhlte “Probleme” der “Logik” (Foundational questions of philosophy: selected “problems” of “logic”), first published in 1984 as volume 45 of the Gesamtausgabe. This publication must have put peculiar pressure on Heideggerians to practice their “damage control”—considerably before the scandal unleashed by Victor Farias and then Hugo Ott several years later. [BACK]
9. To take on Dilthey as your “point of critical orientation” hardly entails rejecting esotericism, even when done to distance yourself from more explicit esotericists like Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Strauss. As is well known and discussed at length in Wahrheit und Methode, a crucial text for Heidegger in developing the analytic of historicity in Sein und Zeit was the correspondence between Dilthey and Count Yorck von Wartenburg, then just recently published. Gadamer does not mention that the very first letter contains Yorck's stern caveat that he and Dilthey never divulge themselves
10. Gadamer, “Destruktion und Dekonstruktion”  (GW2:36i-72; here 368, 372). For the original contretemps between Derrida and Gadamer, see Text und Interpretation: Deutsch-franzosische Debatte, ed. Philippe Forget (Munich: Fink, 1984). If I may be allowed a personal reminiscence, I was privy to some of the thoughts that went into “Destruktion und Dekonstruktion” (which I was later to translate). Gadamer told me that he considered it to be one of his most compressed and important interventions into current philosophical debates. [BACK]
11. See Gadamer, “Nietzsche—der Antipode”  (GW4:448–62). On the importance of Zarathustra's animals, compare Heidegger, “Wer ist Nietzsches Zara-thustra?” , in VortrdgeundAufsdtze (Pfullingen: Neske, 1954), i: 101–26. This is a compressed version of the argument in Was heijlt Denhen? [Freiburg winter semester 1951–52 and summer semester 1952] (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer, 1954). [BACK]
12. Leo Strauss, On Plato's Symposium [Chicago fall semester 1959], ed. Seth Be-nardete (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 8, 9. [BACK]
13. Jean Grondin, “Gadamer's Basic Understanding of Understanding,” in The Cambridge Companion to Gadamer, ed. Robert J. Dostal (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 36–51, here 49. [BACK]
14. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 294. Compare Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode (GWi: 300). [BACK]
15. Gadamer, Wahrheit und Methode (GWi: 3OO, n. 224). Despite its revisions of the execrable first translation, the currently official English text often remains unusable, as it does here: “There is one exception to this anticipation of completeness, namely the case of writing that is presenting something in disguise, e.g., a roman a clef. This presents one of the most difficult hermeneutical problems.” Gadamer, Truth and Method, 295–96, n. 22. [BACK]
16. Friedrich Schleiermacher, “General Hermeneutics” , in Hermeneutics and Criticism, And Other Writings, ed. and trans. Andrew Bowie (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 225–68; here 266; emphasis added. This dictum (no. 45) follows immediately from Schleiermacher's more familiar one (no. 44), a bone of contention between Strauss and Gadamer: “Complete understanding grasped in its highest form is an understanding of the utterer better than he understands himself” (ibid.). [BACK]
17. See especially Gadamer, “Hermeneutik und Historismus”  (GW2: 386–424), as well as Ernest L. Fortin's interview with Gadamer in 1981, published as “Gadamer on Strauss: An Interview,”Interpretation 12, no. i (1984): 1–13. This interview is particularly disappointing (innocuous and mutually congratulatory), particularly given the venue in which it was eventually published. [BACK]
18. See Aristotle, Physics 209b14; also Plato, Second Letter 314b-c; Seventh Letter 34ib, 344c-d; and Phcedrus 264b-c, 275c-276b; also Leo Strauss, The City and Man [1962–64] (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977), 52–62. In addition
19. Note the symptomatic tension—to the point of implosion—between the subject of the utterance (enonce) and the subject of the enunciation (enonciation) in the last sentence of Gadamer's postmortem (or postpartum) response to Derrida:
20. John Cage, Silence [ 1961] (Hanover, NH:Wesleyan University Press: 1973),xi. [BACK]
21. Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit , 7th edition (Tubingen: Max Nie-meyer), 150. Recall Heidegger's later defense of interpretive “force”: because the great thought of great thinkers is “unsaid,” authentic “Auseinandersetzung with them operates on the ground of an interpretation that is already decided and removed from any debate.” (A lot of nonsense has been written about Heidegger's “turn” and thus about his student Gadamer's response to it and his own turn. For the violence required to read the unwritten there has never yet been a sufficiently radical turn. Communists take particular note.) In my next sentence, I have taken the notion of “vindicating the positive function of prejudice” from Vattimo, though he seems to assume that this is more unproblematic than I am convinced it is. See Gianni Vattimo, “Gadamer and the Problem of Ontology,” trans. Stefano Franchi, in Gadamer's Century, 299–306; here 303. [BACK]
22. Alasdair Maclntyre, “On Not Having the Last Word: Thoughts on Our Debts to Gadamer,” in Gadamer's Century, 157–72; here 169. [BACK]
23. Hans Albert, “Critical Rationalism and Universal Hermeneutics,” trans. Michael Isenberg, in Gadamer's Century, 15–24; here 18. The first of these apt phrases, “urbanization of the Heideggerian province,” was notoriously coined by Habermas. [BACK]
24. See Everett L. Wheeler, Stratagem and the Vocabulary of Military Trickery (Leiden: Brill, 1997). [BACK]
25. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 382. Indeed, one of the only readers of Sein und Zeit who has taken this kind of articulation seriously is Johannes Fritsche, “On Brinks and Bridges in Heidegger,” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 18, no. i (1995): 111–86, and Historical Destiny and National Socialism in Heidegger's Being and Time (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), esp. 1–28. [BACK]
26. See Albert, Kritik der reinen Hermeneutik: Der Antirealismus und das Problem des Verstehens (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1994), 36–77. This chapter on Gadamer is entitled “Im Banne Heideggers.” To be in somebody's Bonne is to be under his or her “spell” and thus “spellbound,” often with an effect that is “baneful” (Old Norse bani, “destruction” or “death”). If Heidegger and Gadamer and we all remain im Banne of any one thing, I suppose it to be Radio Nietzsche or some cognate. [BACK]
27. Let me stress, here at the outset, that there is little “new” about Nietzsche's project, as I understand it. Indeed, what I call “Radio Nietzsche” (as I think Nietzsche himself must have conceived it, given his social and psychological formation) is exceptionally “old”—in its intended aftereffect in our ostensibly “postmodern” or “postcontemporary” era. His intention was to keep alive the premodern concept of “order of rank” by employing an updated version of a principle of esoteric communication
28. Some readers will recognize that certain phrases and concepts in this sentence, as well as in the immediately following ones, have been appropriated-sometimes verbatim and without quotation marks—from a key passage in Leo Strauss, “Persecution and the Art of Writing” , m Persecution and the Art of'Writing (New York: Free Press, 1952), 22–37; here 24 They may also notice that I am turning these phrases and concepts against the Straussian tradition, but not necessarily against its controversial methodology and deep insight into Nietzsche. [BACK]
29. Nietzsche to Paul Deussen, January 3, 1888, in Nietzsche, Kritische Gesam-tausgabe, Briefwechsel, ed. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1975 ff), 3/5: 221–23; here 222; emphasis added. Henceforth I will cite this edition as KGB, followed by volume, section, and page numbers. (One year to the date of this letter Nietzsche was to suffer his irrevocable breakdown in Turin.) Deussen (1845–1919) had been a friend of Nietzsche's during their university days, going on to become one of the first preeminent scholars of so-called Eastern philosophy, in particular the Indie Vedanta. Deussen was a crucial source
30. Louis Althusser as cited in Olivier Corpet and Francois Matheron, “Presentation,” Ecrits sur la psychanalyse: Freud et Lacan, ed. Olivier Corpet and Francois Matheron (Paris: Stock/IMEC, 1993), 7–14; here 12. [BACK]
31. Robert Pfaller, “Negation and Its Reliabilities: An Empty Subject for Ideology?” in Cogito and the Unconscious, ed. Slavoj Zizek (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1998), 223–46; here 232. See further Pfaller's extended treatment of this problem in Althusser: Das Schweigen im Text; Epistemologie, Psychoanalyse und Nominal-ismus in Louis Althussers Theorie derLehture (Munich: Fink, 1997). [BACK]
32. Pfaller, “Negation and Its Reliabilities,” 233. [BACK]
33. Were my terminology not ungainly enough already, it would be more precise to replace the term “exo/esoteric” with “aesoteric” (a-esoteric). In mind is homol-ogy with Heidegger's seminal interpretive translation of Greek aletheia not (“positively”) as “truth” (Wahrheit) but (“negatively”) as “unconcealment” (Unverborgenheit). In all cases (the epistemological and/or ontological and/or discursive), the alpha privative emphasizes that one can never access truth or the (in any case “unwritten”) esoteric except by various forms of indirection-not least (or most) by deception and encryption. And, I add, we must access Truth by our decisions. (N.B.: This note was not in the original version of my essay.) [BACK]
34. For a discussion of this concept and problem, see Geoff Waite, Nietzsche's Corps/e: Aesthetics, Politics, Prophecy, or, The Spectacular Technoculture of Everyday Life (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996). The overhasty, but very influential, depiction of Nietzsche as anti-Hegelian was classically established by Gilles Deleuze's Nietzsche et la Philosophic (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1962). [BACK]
35. Friedrich Nietzsche, Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke, ed. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967 ff), 7/3: 206. Henceforth I will cite this edition as KGW, followed by volume, section, and page numbers. [BACK]
36. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, What Is Philosophy? , trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 6. If one wanted to put it this way, part of my project is to dislocate what I regard as Deleuze's superior earlier work from that produced after his association with Guattari (e.g., Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus). This is not to say, however, that I wish to denigrate all of Guattari's overwork, most notably his collaboration with Antonio Negri in their coauthored Communists Like Us: New Spaces of Liberty, New Lines of Alliance , with a “Postscript, 1990” by Toni Negri, trans. Michael Ryan et al. (New York: Semiotext[e], 1990). [BACK]
37. Deleuze and Guattari, What Is Philosophy? 5–6. [BACK]
38. Nietzsche, KGW, 7/3: 207. [BACK]
39. That Nietzsche, and after him Heidegger, remains entangled to various degrees and at various times in a Platonic and post-Platonic philosophical problematic should hardly be news. I am thinking first and foremost of Stanley Rosen's ongoing reflections on the complex Platonism of Nietzsche and Heidegger (see especially The Mash of Enlightenment: Nietzsche's Zarathustra [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995]). For another quasi-Straussian perspective on Nietzsche's Platonism, see Laurence Lampert, Nietzsche and Modern Times: A Study of Bacon, Descartes, and Nietzsche (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993), and Leo Strauss and Nietzsche
40. Kleist refers to the recent invention of the electrical telegraph by physician and physicist Samuel Thomas Sommering (1755–1830). See Heinrich von Kleist, “Entwurf einer Bombenpost” [181 o], in Sdmtliche Werhe und Briefe, ed. Helmut Sem-bdner (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2001), 2: 385–86; here 385. I'm grateful to Rachel Magshamhrain for directing my attention to Kleist's extraordinary text-Wittgenstein's source, as the continuation of the passage I cite makes clearer. If there is an earlier reference in literature to the concept and even technology of the letter bomb, I don't know it. (N.B.: This epigraph and the following one from Kleist were not in the original version of my essay.) [BACK]
41. See, for instance, Christopher Schiff, “Banging on the Windowpane: Sound in Early Surrealism,” and Frances Dyson, “The Ear that Would Hear Sounds in Themselves: John Cage 1935–1965,” both in Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and theAvant-Garde, ed. Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992), 139–89 and 373–407, respectively. [BACK]
42. Charles Grivel, “The Phonograph's Horned Mouth,” trans. Stephen Sarta-relli, in Wireless Imagination, 33–61; here 33. [BACK]
43. Allen S. Weiss, “Radio, Death, and the Devil: Artaud's Pour enfinir avec lejuge-ment deDieu,” in Wireless Imagination, 269–307; here 293. [BACK]
44. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Booh XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts ofPsycho-Analysis 1964 , ed. Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: W W Norton, 1981), 59. [BACK]
45. Le seminaire deJacques Lacan, Livre VII: L'ethique de la psychanalyse 7959–7960, ed. Jacques-Alain Miller (Paris: du Seuil, 1986), 212. [BACK]
46. Weiss, Phantasmic Radio (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995), 5. [BACK]
47. Nietzsche, KGW, 6/1: 185. [BACK]
48. On Nietzsche and these issues, see Waite, “The Politics of Reading Formations: The Case of Nietzsche in Imperial Germany, 1870–1919,” New German Critique 29 (Spring/Summer 1983): 185–209, and “Nietzsche's Baudelaire, or, The Sublime Proleptic Spin of His Politico-Economic Thought,” Representations 50 (Spring 1995): 14–52. [BACK]
49. Weiss, Phantasmic Radio, 3. [BACK]
50. Ibid. [BACK]
51. Ibid., 6. [BACK]
52. Nietzsche, KGW, 7/1: 9. [BACK]
53. Ibid., 195. [BACK]
54. In his Spiegel interview, Heidegger remarked that his thinking is “not for everyone”; that “National Socialism had gone in the direction” (correctly, in his opinion still) of using thinking to “assist technology to find its proper limits,” even if individual Nazis “were much too inexpert in thinking” to succeed; that the intervening years following the Third Reich had “failed to convince” him about the value of “democracy” or of public access to thinking at its deepest levels; that true thinking can occur only in the German and Greek languages; and that “another thinking” can still “change the world,” but only through “indirect influence.” This, then, was the context in which he noted of his own work that “It can also be that the way of thinking today leads to silence in order to preserve it from being sold dirt cheap [ver-ramscht] within a year. It can also be that it needs 300 years to have its ‘effect.’” “Spiegel-Gesprach mil Martin Heidegger,” in Antwort: Martin Heidegger im Gesprach, ed. Giinther Neske and Emil Kettering (Pfullingen: Neske, 1988), 81–114; here 96, 103, 105, 109, 107–8, and 101, respectively. The interview took place September 23, 1966, but was published posthumously, as per prior agreement with Heidegger, in Der Spiegel on May 31, 1976, under the heading “Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten” (only a god can save us). Compare Heraclitus's Fragment B 92 (Diels-Kranz): “The Sibyl-who with raving voice [|amvo|a.evq> oTO|a.aTi] utters through the god what cannot be ridiculed, embellished, or beautified—reaches out over thousands of years [xiXtoov errov]. [BACK]
55. Nietzsche, KGW, 5/2: 406. [BACK]
56. Contrast Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci, ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International, 1971), 302. [BACK]
57. See Michael Heim, The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 124–28. [BACK]
58. By contrast, Nietzsche's objection—most thoroughly in David Friedrich Strauss as Confessor and Writer (1873)—that the great alternative kind of writing and thinking in his time, the newspaper, was necessarily democratizing may appear rather less prescient. Critics of the newspaper on the right, center, and left—including Karl Kraus, Georg Simmel, and Walter Benjamin—have tended to conclude that its power is anything but democratic, that is, that it has rendered the newspaper reader “increasingly unable to assimilate the data of the world around him by way of experience,” that “the linguistic usage of newspapers [has] paralyzed the imagination of their readers,” and that “the principles of journalistic information (freshness of the news, brevity, comprehensibility, and, above all, lack of connection between the individual news items)” only serve “to isolate what happens from the realm in which it could affect the experience of the reader.” Walter Benjamin, “Uber einige Motive bei Baudelaire” , in GesammelteSchriften, ed. Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Schweppenhauser (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1980), 1/2: 605–53; here 610–11. To give the critique another leftist spin, the newspaper prevents the formations of a geopolitical consciousness of the kind necessary to produce authentic communism and with which Nietzsche has been in competition. Similarly, all “experiential” criticisms of the newspaper, e-mail, and the ostensibly “interactive” internet, which often imagine themselves to be Nietzschean, can really appeal only to Nietzsche's many exoteric attacks on newsprint. From his esoteric perspective, all such baneful effects are actively desired by him for a huge slice of humanity, in order to increase
59. Nietzsche, Werke und Briefe: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, ed. Karl Schlechta et al. (Munich: Beck, 1933–42), 2: 71. [BACK]
60. Nietzsche, KGW, 8/2: 159. [BACK]
61. Some of these remarks are conveniently assembled for the English-speaking reader as Book 4 (“Discipline and Breeding”) of Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Random House, 1968). [BACK]
62. Weiss, Phantasmic Radio, 22 [BACK]
63. The German title of Nietzsche's later workjenseits von Gut und Base: Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft (Beyond good and evil: prelude to a philosophy of the future) plays aggressively both with Wagner's slogan of the “artwork of the future” (Zukunftsmusik) and with the classical philologist Ulrich Wilamowitz-Moellendorff ‘s parodic ridicule of Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music (1872), as “philology of the future” (Zukunftsphilologie). Rohde in turn ridiculed Wilamowitz-Moellendorff's detailed and hostile criticisms as Afterphilologie: meaning not only post or pseudo-philology but also an ass-backwards philology of anality for assholes, “anal-philology” (German After, “anus,” “backwards,” “second-hand,” “fake”—with the homophobic and/or homosexual associations being rather more closeted than open). For the facsimile reprint of this entire confrontation, see Der Streit um Nietzsches “GeburtderTragodie”:DieSchriftenvonE. Rohde, R. Wagner, U. v. Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, ed. Karlfried Griinder (Hildesheim: Olms, 1969). The abusive term Afterphilosophie had enjoyed a rather long history in German thought, significantly predating the contretemps between Nietzsche and Wilamowitz-Moellendorff. [BACK]
64. Friedrich A Kittler, Discourse Networks: i8oo/i<)oo [ 1985], trans. Michael Met-teer, with Chris Cullens (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1990), 181. [BACK]
65. On Nietzsche's encounter with the typewriter in 1882, though not on the more sinister dimensions of Nietzschean logographia, see Kittler, Discourse Networks, 177–205. [BACK]
66. Ibid., 193; citing Friedrich Herbertz, “Zur Psychologic des Machinenschrei-bens,” Zeitschriftfur angewandtePsychologie 2 (1909): 551–61; here 560. [BACK]
67. Heidegger, Parmenides [Freiburg winter semester 1942–43], ed. Manfred S. Frings, in Gesamtausgabe (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1982), 54: 119–20. It is small surprise that current discussions of technologies like hypertext, virtual reality, and cyberspace take their point of departure from an appreciative embrace of such passages in Heidegger (see, e.g., Heim, The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality, 55–72; here especially 63). [BACK]
68. Kittler, Discourse Networks, 191. [BACK]
69. Nietzsche, KGW, 6/3: 324; also Kittler, Discourse Networks, 191. [BACK]
70. Nietzsche, KGB, 3/6: 309–10. [BACK]
71. Nietzsche, KGB, 3/5:482–83. [BACK]
72. Nietzsche, KGB, 7/3: 363. [BACK]
73. Deleuze and Guattari, What Is Philosophy? 21. [BACK]
74. Karl Marx, “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law: Introduction” , in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works (New York: International, 1976), 3: 175–87; here 182. [BACK]
75. Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Logic [1 7705 and 17805], trans, and ed. J. Michael Young (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 241. [BACK]
76. Althusser, “SurFeuerbach” [i()6>j],mEcritsphilosophiquesetpolitiques, TomeII, ed. Francois Matheron (Paris: Stock/IMEC, 1995), 169–251; here 227. [BACK]
77. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, “The Echo of the Subject” , trans. Barbar Harlow, in Typography: Mimesis, Philosophy, Politics, ed. Christopher Fynsk (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989), 138–207; here 159. [BACK]
78. Ibid., 162. [BACK]
79. For an astute analysis of aesthetic aspects of “mood” in Nietzsche with some mention of the combative project, see Stanley Corngold, “Nietzsche's Moods,” Studies in Romanticism 29 (Spring 1990): 67–90; for a similar analysis of Heidegger, see Corngold, “Heidegger's Being and Time: Implications for Poetics” , in The Fate of the Self, 197–218. Heidegger is most responsible for elevating mood into its properly philosophical dimension in Sein und Zeit but especially in his 1929–30 lecture course Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik: Welt-Endlichkeit-Einsamkeit, where philosophy itself is defined as nothing less than the capacity to create authentic mood. It was Nietzsche, however, who eventually gave Heidegger his mature notion of the concept of mood as physical embodiment. As Heidegger put it in his 1936–37 lectures on Nietzsche (punningly, in the untranslatable German), “every feeling is a bodying tuned in a certain way, a mood that bodies in a certain way.” Heidegger, Nietzsche (Pfullingen: Neske, 1961), i: 119. There are worse formal descriptions of the desired effect of Radio Nietzsche on us “listeners.” (N.B.: This note augments one in the original version of my essay.) [BACK]
80. Georges Bataille, La part maudite [1950–54], in CEuvres completes, ed. Denis Hollieretal. (Paris: Gallimard, 1970–88), 8: 405. [BACK]
81. Gottfried Benn, “Nietzsche—nach funfzig Jahren” , in Gesammelte Werke, ed. Dieter Wellershoff (Wiesbaden: Limes, 1968), 4: 1046–57; here 1048. [BACK]
82. See Benn, “Der Radardenker” , in Gesammelte Werke, 6: 1435–51 [BACK]
83. The original program was first broadcast from Frankfurt am Main on July 31, 1950, and subsequently rebroadcast (after the unification of Germany) on the same Hessischer Rundfunk, September 19, 1991, as “Gesprach iiber Nietzsche” (Conversation about Nietzsche). Transcripts have subsequently been printed. See, for example, Max Horkheimer (with Theodor W. Adorno and Hans-Georg Gadamer), “Uber Nietzsche und uns: Zum 50. Todestag des Philosophen,” Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Alfred Schmidt and Gunzelin Schmid Noerr (Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 1989), 13: 111–20. Obviously what is crucial to radio is missing from the transcript: the modulations of voice and mood (what Adorno might call the “punctuation marks”), in short, the link to oral-aural tradition. I will cite in my translation from the original broadcast. [BACK]
84. Herbert Schnadelbach, Philosophy in Germany 1831–1933 , trans. Eric Mathews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), i. [BACK]
85. For preliminary remarks on the constitutive influence of Nietzsche on Horkheimer and Adorno, seejiirgen Habermas, “The Entwinement of Myth and Enlightenment: Rereading Dialectic of Enlightenment,” New German Critique 26 (Spring/Summer 1982): 13–30. But on this issue Habermas places too exclusive a focus on their early Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944) as their “blackest, most nihilistic book” (p. 13). I have argued elsewhere that Habermas himself, in whom the Frankfurt School is arguably
86. For a discussion of this powerful trope of German political thought with particular focus on Heidegger's updated variant, see Hans Sluga, Heidegger's Crisis: Philosophy and Politics in Nazi Germany (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993), 79–81 (though this is ultimately a superficial book on Heidegger himself, unaware as it is of even the question of exo/esotericism). [BACK]
87. In the broadcast Adorno also alludes to Hegel's first and most basic definition of Socratic irony, namely, as a subcategory of the dialectic, insofar as irony “grants force to what should be granted force, as if it had force, but only in order to allow it inherent destruction to develop itself: the universal irony of the world.” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Werhe in zwanzig Banden, ed. Eva Moldenhauer and Karl Markus Michel (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1971), 12: 460. But rather more to the point for Adorno's argument would be Hegel's technical definition elsewhere of “parody” as “the use of forms in the era of their impossibility” in order to “demonstrate this impossibility and thereby altering the forms.” Theodor W. Adorno, Noten zur Literatur I, ed. Rolf Tiedemann (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1974), 303. But note also that, for Hegel, “Hypocrisy is the truest irony,” since it allows us wantonly to contradict ourselves for subjective motives (Werhe, 12: 461). [BACK]
88. Althusser, “Philosophy,” in Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists and Other Essays, 97. [BACK]
89. In hermeneutic terms, developed by Gadamer through Heidegger, a main technique of exo/esotericism is “giving-to-understand” (Zu-verstehen-geben), and what in a different tradition Michel Pecheux, following Althusser and semiotic theory, calls transdiscours (see, e.g., Analyseautomatiquedu discours [Paris: Dunod, 1969]). Gadamer's 1934 lecture on Plato's Republic, and on the reason why the foundation of the State apparently requires the expulsion of poets, rigorously refused to give his audience what they most expected, namely, the connection between this detailed philosophical, historical question to the just recent instauration of the National Socialist state. Gadamer was thus employing a form of sigetics whereby the speaker tells his audience everything except what they fervently desire to hear, so that they are given the illusion of having produced this meaning themselves. Which in this case was the bridge between Plato to Hitler. For a discussion of Gadamer in this regard, see Orozco, Pla-tonische Gewalt, although Nietzsche is not a main exhibit in her argument. Orozco has made a good circumstantial case that Gadamer's philosophical writings and professional activities during the Third Reich suggest that he was working, quite selfconsciously, within the esoteric “oral” tradition of philosophy extending, or so he held, back to Plato, and that his success in concealing his own deepest political agenda (in tune with what I would call Heideggerian political ontology) explains Gadamer's speedy rehabilitation as a (if not indeed the) philosopher of postwar West Germany. Yet Orozco does not really tackle the problem of the perlocutionary implementation of Gadamer's project, nor does she grasp the full dimensions of philosophical esotericism. (Orozco is not alone in this regard; a similar problem informs
90. Kojin Karatani, Architecture as Metaphor: Language, Number, Money, ed. Michael Speaks, trans. Sabu Kohso (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1995), 187. [BACK]
91. See ibid., xx, 8–9. In the Japanese version of this essay I go into this difference in detail. [BACK]
92. Ibid., 188. Note that in the German idealist tradition (in which Marx is to be included here), Idee (idea) is defined, roughly, as “an ideal that is realized, concretized,” and that Schein plays simultaneously with two senses, “appearance” and “illumination”; in other terms, it is phenomenal appearance of something thus rendered im /perceptible and exo/esoteric. [BACK]
93. Paul A Cantor, “Leo Strauss and Contemporary Hermeneutics,” in Leo Strauss's Thought: Toward a Critical Engagement, ed. Alan Udoff (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1991), 267–314; here 277. [BACK]
94. Nietzsche, KGW, 7/3: 234–35. Again, the long dashes indicate illegibility. The passage then concludes: “Preparation for becoming Masters of the Earth: The Legislators of the Future. At least out of our children. Basic attention to marriages.” [BACK]
95. For by far the best account, see Rosen, The Mask of Enlightenment. [BACK]
96. Contrast Jacques Derrida, Otobiographies: L'enseignement de Nietzsche et la poli-tique du nompropre (Paris: Galilee, 1984). [BACK]
97. Antonio Gramsci, “Concept of the ‘National Popular’” , in Selections from Cultural Writings, ed. David Forgacs and Geoffrey Nowell Smith, trans. William Boelhower (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985), 206–12; here 211. See further Gramsci's remarks entitled “Father Bresciani's Progeny,” including the editors' comments (pp. 298–341). “Brescianism”—from the Jesuit priest and novelist Antonio Bresciani—was one of Gramsci's code terms for ‘Jesuitism,” a tendency he tried to combat also within his own Communist Party. [BACK]
98. Nietzsche, KGW, 8/1: 116–17. [BACK]
99. “Zarathustra gliicklich dariiber, dass der Kampf der Stande voruber ist, und jetzt endlich Zeit ist fur sein Rangordnung der Individuen Hass auf das demokratis-che Nivellirungs-System ist nur im Vordergrund: eigentlich ist er sehr froh, dass dies so weit ist. Nun kann er seine Aufgabe losen.—” Nietzsche, Werke, ed. Fritz Koegel (Leipzig: Naumann, 1899), 12: 325. [BACK]
100. Leonard Cohen, “Tower of Song,” /‘TO Your Man, © 1988 CBS Records Inc. [BACK]
101. Deleuze, “Letter to a Harsh Critic” [1 973], in Negotiations [Pourparles, 1972–1990, 1990], trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 3–12; here 6. [BACK]
102. Ibid. See also the translator's note on page 184. [BACK]