Friday, March 16, 2012

Political Actvities

Over at my other blog, I've been discussing Heidegger's interpretation of modern science as "ongoing activity" (Betrieb) and the danger of letting it degenerate into "mere busyness" (des blossen Betriebs). I think it is the task of the philosopher precisely to keep science "open" in the sense Heidegger suggests: "Ongoing activity becomes mere busyness whenever, in the pursuing of its methodology, it no longer keeps itself open on the basis of an ever-new accomplishing of its projection plan..."

Well, the same can be said of poetry and politics. The poet works to keep politics open in the pursuit of its mandate. Obviously, the philosopher has to keep the scientist thinking. The poet, likewise, has to keep the politician feeling. Without this, politics degenerates into mere busyness (and becomes a business) and, just as science can succumb to it and "never again confirms and verifies its own self-accumulating results and the calculation of them, but simply chases after such results and calculations", so too can politics fail to ratify and justify its results and simply chase after ballots and opinion polls.

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