The atomic threat

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By FELIPE CATALANI*

Afterword to the recently published book by Günther Anders

1.

“The story I will read now has the following context: in 1961, that is, three years after my stay in Hiroshima, and one year after the publication of my exchange of letters with pilot Claude Eatherly, I received from Federal Germany a letter from a young girl who asked me to write something about the atomic situation for a collection.” This is how Günther Anders begins in one of the rare footage available, from 1987 – he is almost 90 years old, his hands are severely deformed by the arthritis he has suffered from over the decades.

In the footage, he reads aloud the fable “O futuro chorado”, the same text that opens this book – the only fictional text among other articles and essays. He begins by briefly recounting the origin of the text. The collection he refers to was published with the title Gegen den Tod: Stimmen deutscher Schriftsteller gegen die Atombombe [Against death: voices of German writers against the atomic bomb], and features texts by Anna Seghers, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Oskar Maria Graf, Max Brod, Bert Brecht, among others – Anders' text is used as the opening of the book.

It continues: “In the time that has passed, the organizer died, or, to honor the truth, she ‘was killed’. The name of this girl, who I had never seen in my life, was: Gudrun Ensslin. Without her, this story that I am going to read to you would never have emerged.”[I]

As is known, Gudrun Ensslin was, together with Ulrike Meinhof and Andreas Baader, one of the founders of the RAF (Red Army Faction), which represented, after the reflux of 1968, one of the most dramatic moments of political radicalization in post-war Germany. In other words, the issue was already in the air when, in a 1986 interview with Manfred Bissinger, Günther Anders shocked his readers, his fellow anti-nuclear fighters and German-speaking public opinion in general by legitimizing the use of violence against the dominant powers. , emphatically criticizing “pseudo-actions” and happenings in which, for example, protesters hug public buildings and give flowers to police officers, among other performances.[ii]

He announces the “end of pacifism”, although the “pacifist” movement, both anti-nuclear and opposition to the Vietnam War, is precisely the one with which he has been involved for decades. In a small book organized by Manfred Bissinger on the problem of violence, which even contains an “imaginary interview” and countless indignant responses from the public, Günther Anders says that “those who prepare or at least accept the extermination of millions of people, today and tomorrow, these must disappear, they cannot exist.”[iii]

If we connect one thing with the other, we would deduce that Günther Anders was an unrestricted RAF enthusiast – which would be hasty. On September 20, 1977, Anders writes together with Robert Jungk[iv] an “open letter to the RAF”. At that moment, the confrontation between the German State and the RAF (at this point, “second generation” militants) escalated to stratospheric levels. Ulrike Meinhof had died the previous year, and Gudrun Ensslin and Andreas Baader had been in prison since 1972, and in April 1977 they had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

On September 5 of that year, aiming to free their political prisoners, members of the RAF kidnapped Hanns Martin Schleyer, then president of the German Businessmen's Union and the German Industry Association, as well as formerUntersturmführer of the SS during the Nazi regime. In the media, conservative parties called for the death penalty for prisoners, and the State mounted a true military operation to “hunt terrorists”, without the slightest intention of exchanging the ransom.

Anders and Jungk begin that September 20th open letter with a Dear friend - "Dear friends". For a few lines below, write in bold letters: “We need to tell you that we view your blindness and the style of your actions with perplexity and horror!”[v] Throughout the letter, they say that such acts would produce the opposite of what they intended and contribute to a new authoritarian State, and ask for the attacks to cease and for Schleyer to be released. Less than a month after this letter, on the night of October 18, 1977, Jan-Carl Raspe, Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin died of “suicides” in Stannheim prison in Stuttgart. As a result, Schleyer was executed the next day with three shots to the head, and left in a car in the French city of Mulhouse, on the border with Germany. Thus ends the “German autumn”.[vi]

In 1981, four years after these events, the book Endzeit und Zeitenende [End time and end times] (1972), now with the unambiguous title Die atomare Drohung [The atomic threat]. This is probably Anders' most political and sharpest book, which is also an offshoot of the first volume of The obsolescence of man (1956), which ends with an extensive essay entitled “On the bomb and the roots of our blindness in the face of the apocalypse”. His analysis will always be double, focused at the same time on the bomb and on the “blindness” it produces, that is, both on the bomb “itself” and on the bomb “for us”, making visible this vacuum that is the gigantic discrepancy between the what the bomb actually is and what is apprehended by our limited faculties of perception, cognition, imagination, etc.

Much more emphatically thanObsolescence…, there is a politically situated clash, also against specific contemporary figures. Karl Jaspers, for example, who in 1957 published a 500-page book entitled Die Atombombe und die Zukunft des Menschen: Politisches Bewußtsein in unserer Zeit [The atomic bomb and the future of man: political consciousness in our time],[vii] appears as a constant antipode (in correspondence with Hannah Arendt, Günther Anders recounts his reading impressions with increasing irritation).[viii] Jaspers adheres to the fallacy of the “axiom of two hells” (equating the atomic threat with the “totalitarian” – in this case, Soviet) threat and will also appall Maurice Blanchot, who in “L’apocalypse begins"[The apocalypse disappoints] is struck by the fact that “what worries him is the end of humanity, but even more so the advance of communism.”[ix]

In addition to the madness of anti-communism, Karl Jaspers makes the philosophically absurd comparison between a historical fact – the existence of the Soviet Union – which at any moment could end (as it did), with the danger of the irreparable and irreversible end of humanity. Günther Anders' verdict is clear: “If Jaspers won the peace prize, it was mainly because he left Adenauer alone” (p. 63).

Em The atomic threat, Günther Anders puts his method into practice, which is, according to his curious definition, “a hybrid crossing of metaphysics and journalism”.[X] Worldly facts do not appear to “illustrate metaphysics”, eternal par excellence – rather the opposite: it is by delving into the casual historical fact (in the “occasion”, as he says) that philosophical thought gains consistency; That’s how yours works.”Gelegenheitsphilosophie”, or “occasional philosophy”.[xi]

And in fact there is something unique about his style – in a late interview, from 1982, reflecting on his work and his generation, Günther Anders responds: “I only became known because everyone from my generation is already dead. […] I don’t deny that I reacted in a more contemporary way than my friends to questions of philosophy of technology; Most of them were incapable of jumping out of the problematics and vocabulary of Marxism or psychoanalysis and diving into the new problems of the atomic age. Instead of reading the classics, I read newspapers. But precisely philosophical mode. "[xii]

Of course, this is not a naive leap into immediacy. To understand his procedure, it is also necessary to take into account his education as a phenomenologist in dealing with objects in the world. Against self-centered philosophy, degenerated into an eternal discourse of method and always formulating new “epistemologies” (etc., etc.), Günther Anders tried to think starting from “things themselves” – be they television or the atomic bomb.

Whoever has his eye fixed on the method of explanation ends up blind to the thing being explained, a bit like the dog Castor who, instead of seeing the sausage, only sees the finger that points to it: “When I pointed to Castor the piece of sausage that I had placed on the side of the tree, he, jumping wildly, looked at my finger, instead of looking at what was being indicated. Apparently, animals don't understand indicating. […] Don’t we philosophers behave like Castor? Always jumping high, looking at your index finger? Instead of looking at what is indicated?”[xiii]

Added to this is the fact that Günther Anders' intellectual life and production developed, to a large extent, outside academic philosophy. There is a mix of political conviction in this story (“the bomb doesn't just hang above the university roofs”, he repeated) and chance (the tragedy of emigration). If in the 1920s Günther Anders was a “darling” at the university and a brilliant student, the son of well-established intellectuals and a frequenter of the great philosophy of his time (having studied with Husserl, Heidegger, etc.), in American exile he began to live off the hands of to his mouth, and he will go from being a studio sweeper in Hollywood to a factory worker, after having taught some philosophy of art classes at New School for Social Research in New York.[xiv]

Upon returning to Europe, after 14 years in the United States, he asked Helmuth Plessner for help to get a place at university, and says he wants to return to teaching. Ernst Bloch also tries to get him something in East Germany.[xv] In no case did it work. Years later, the Free University of Berlin offered him – twice – a professorship, an invitation mediated by Jacob Taubes. At that moment, the invitation was refused – both times.[xvi]

Regardless of these biographical facts, the conscious and constant effort to break the “esotericism” of philosophical jargon (an issue frequently discussed by him) is notable in his texts, which makes him develop a very particular writing style and his own diction.[xvii] He seeks as much as possible to use blunt language that challenges the reader head-on, with a very unusual use in German prose of short sentences and direct syntax, free from all ornamentation.

If his style eventually approaches the strength typical of religious discourses (it is impressive how he manages to formulate, in a convincing and sober way, both “commandments” and the need for “oaths”[xviii]), it's because there is actually something there that interests him. At a certain point in the exchange of letters with Hans Jonas, where they talk about the relationship with religion, Günther Anders says: “In fact, I listen to the local priest's speeches on the radio every morning at 6am, as there is a tradition of direct language in them [Direct contact] who was totally lost in philosophy.”[xx]

2.

Adorno's essay “Education after Auschwitz” is well known, which begins as follows: “The demand that Auschwitz not be repeated is the first of all for education. In such a way that it precedes any others that I believe it is neither possible nor necessary to justify it. I can't understand how it has received so little attention to this day. Justifying it would have something monstrous in view of all the monstrosity that has occurred.”[xx]

Günther Anders shared with Adorno the intuition that, from a certain moment on, certain moral demands (the decisive ones) needed no justification: “The question of whether there should be humanity or not makes sense at most within the scope of theoretical reason (if it is possible answer it), for 'practical reasons' it is uninteresting.”[xxx] Forcing an analogy (not so forced, given the structural kinship between the extermination camp and the atomic bomb, “historical brothers” so to speak[xxiii]), we could summarize a good part of Anders’ work under the rubric: “Education after Hiroshima”.

And even though Günther Anders is not concerned with pedagogical issues in the strict sense (that is, as far as the school sphere itself is concerned), it is possible to extract from his work an emphatic notion of education – an education through catastrophe, so to speak. , anti-apocalyptic, that confronts the anthropological mutation to which we are subjected. An education centered on the most fundamental of human faculties according to Anders, namely, the imagination (from his first essay on the bomb, the imperative of the “formation of moral fantasy” is stated).[xxiii]).

Not by chance, precisely the faculty that fell short of all civilizational technical development, which in turn led to its opposite, to the exact extent that the unimaginable was produced: the “unimagined nothing”[xxv] It is human work. In the early 1940s, in the outline of what would become his “Philosophy of Culture” (never published), Günther Anders defined: “Barbarism is the difference between man and his products”.[xxiv]

An education whose ends are close to those sought by Theodor Adorno, but which in turn is formulated in other terms, especially because the underlying psychological theory has another vocabulary – yes, there is a psychology in Günther Anders (who was actually the son of two famous psychologists, Clara and William Stern), whose assumptions, however, he does not make explicit, so that it is not so easily classifiable.

If Theodor Adorno has in mind the dialectic of the civilizing process, more or less as thought by Freud in The malaise in culture, Günther Anders is not thinking so much about the issue of misdirected or poorly contained drives, nor about the problem of individual aggressiveness (linked, evidently, to its collective forms). His problem is rather the imaginative vacuum, the result of the “Promethean discrepancy”, and the producer of “indifference in the face of the apocalypse”.[xxv]

That is, the issue is not so much hatred or coldness – Günther Anders even speaks of a sinister abolition of hatred and enmity[xxviii] – but the moral and mental apathy that sustains a monstrous normality, cemented by the blindness of work as a universal form of activity (alienated and alienating, certainly) and that functions as an enormous system of collaboration.[xxviii]

Günther Anders directs his didactic effort, in the Brechtian sense of the term, against this normalization, which is its true object – it would not be an exaggeration to read Günther Anders' work as a great theory of conformism (in this case, of the change in how such “conformism” " it works). It is no coincidence that the original title ofObsolescence… were Soft terror and other studies on conformism. This peculiar mix between horror and comfort Günther Anders saw in Franz Kafka, who deciphered the macabre normality of the 20th century: hence the peculiarity of his literary form, which operates a kind of strangeness in reverse.

That is, in the Brechtian technique of estrangement it was about showing what was “natural” as actually being artificial (that is, historical and, therefore, transformable), revealing the normal as being strange – Kafka does the opposite. He presents the strange as being normal, unusual or even terrifying things occur with the greatest naturalness, because, precisely, “the amazing thing about Kafka is that the amazing doesn’t scare anyone”[xxix] – the frightening that does not amaze, or the horror that does not cause anguish or fear: this is the problem to be investigated. That's why Anders will talk about the “anti-sensationalism” of the Kafkaesque tone and a formal principle that he calls “negative explosion”, a muted explosion rather than a thunderous one, which remains without dramatic consequences. Something like a fire alarm in reverse.[xxx]

The maintenance of normality, regardless of what has already happened and what may happen, is also at the basis of Beckett's desperate comedy, which, in end of game, develops a dialogue like: “Clov: There are so many terrible things. Hamm: No, no, there aren't that many now. [Break]"[xxxii] Analyzing the play Waiting for Godot, Anders interprets Vladimir and Estragon as “guardians of the concept of meaning in a manifestly meaningless situation”.[xxxi] That is, they are not “nihilists”, but rather incapable of being nihilists even in an absolutely hopeless situation. “Part of the miserable sadness that the play radiates arises not so much from the hopeless situation of the two heroes, but precisely from the fact that they, by continuing to wait, are not up to this situation, that is, from the fact that they are not nihilists . And to this incapacity they owe the strength of their comedy.”[xxxii]

As must be clear, Günther Anders' education for anguish involves becoming aware of the apocalyptic situation of our time, whose temporality is analyzed extensively in the crucial essay “The Deadline” (p. 185), including outlining the distinctions (and common aspects) between nuclear apocalypse and traditional eschatologies. There would also be the issue of duration, as the deadline is also an “abbreviated” time.[xxxv], but not necessarily brief, it can even be long enough to make you boring (hence the nonsense, formalized by Beckett, of an apocalyptic time experienced as boring, a time that is essentially “detemporalized”).

But beyond our “apocalypse without a kingdom”, that is, this end that is pure end (and which is not, as in John's apocalypse, at the same time a beginning), we must also consider the “non-eschatology” in apocalyptic times, which in turn is linked to that ideological mechanism for maintaining normality – also known as progressivism. “You don’t believe in the end, you don’t see the end – the concept of progress has made us blind in the face of the apocalypse.”[xxxiv] This blindness is also not accidental, to a large extent it is ideology in the most rudimentary Marxist sense, that is, the vision of the ruling class. Those on top do not see and have no interest in seeing “the end”, as they also see what they want, that is, the continuity of the world as it is, getting better and better.

Outlining what a “sociology of the end times” would be, Günther Anders observes that “[…] there have never been apocalyptic expectations that owed their origin to dominant powers. […] Those who dominate insist on their own permanence and, with that, on the permanence of the world. Only those who are ‘at the end’ think about the end, wait for the end, console themselves with the end. Formulated positively: apocalyptic conceptions always owe their existence to groups that find themselves condemned to impotence through almost absolute pressure […]. Only such groups need (or rather: needed) to think about the end, because with the help of this they were able to overcome the humiliation they endured in this world” (p. 136).

In short: eschatology is, historically, a thing for the damned of the earth, who go from despair to hope (and vice versa), while conceptions of continuity constitute the vision of dominant groups and those who are satisfied with this world. In the situation we find ourselves in, both then and now, those who mock “catastrophism” as something “irrational” necessarily become the guardians of normality, just like the Beckettian figures. But it is equally necessary to see the B side of such a vision, that is, the use of the apocalypse as blackmail for the maintenance of normality, which starts to function only under the constant tension of a permanent threat.

The great danger (which, in most cases, has a real basis) becomes a rhetoric of obedience, or, at worst, a sacrificial logic: nowadays, we see the emergence of a right-wing “collapsology”, which by example turns the real threat of climate collapse into a basis for racist misanthropy – against immigration and demographic panic, even death becomes “ecological” (currently, in France, it has become common to speak of “ecofascism”). Anders himself lived to see something like this in the first half of the 20th century, with the conservative revolution in Germany and the “apocalyptic counter-revolution”.[xxxiv]

If the apocalypse also generates mystifying discourses, the Andersian position would perhaps be what Jean-Pierre Dupuy defined as “enlightened catastrophism”.[xxxviii] Günther Anders is not shy about declaring himself a rationalist, although the way he does so is quite heterodox, so to speak. From the philosophical tradition of illustration, Günther Anders preserves its heretical and negative side, to the same extent that he presents himself as a fierce critic of progressivism.

Günther Anders even claims a moral rigor analogous to Kant's – perhaps to the astonishment of Kantians themselves, Anders says he is a Kantian in the same paragraph in which he defends the need for violence: “A state of emergency justifies self-defense, morality breaks legality. It is not necessary to substantiate this rule two hundred years after Kant. The fact that Kantians like us are labeled ‘troublemakers’ need not disturb us […], this is just a sign of the moral illiteracy of those who label us that way”.[xxxviii] Seeing the limits of reason (communicative or not...) and not expecting moral clarification from those who have apocalyptic powers is something, in itself, rational: “Only sentimental idealists overestimate the power of reason! The first task of rationalism is not to be fooled by the power of reason and its power of conviction.”[xxxix]

Günther Anders defines himself as a “moralist” (The atomic threat is, to a large extent, a book of moral philosophy), with the full awareness that “the space to which we must jump is the space of politics.” (p. 178). Obviously, this is not about the world of politics in a trivial sense – to oppose it, Günther Anders even talks about “metapolitics”. On the one hand, the good old revolutions seem to belong to another historical temporality; on the other hand, it is still something similar to them, perhaps with another conception of history and another notion of “transformation”, because, for the world to be transformed, it must still exist. In this sense, Günther Anders joins the tradition of revolutionary apocalyptics, which dates back at least to Rosa Luxemburg and Walter Benjamin. In any case, such a “metapolitical” scope refers to politics as struggle and decision, since it is the “being or not being” of humanity that is at stake.

This is where “education after Hiroshima” goes.

*Felipe Catalani is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at USP.

Reference


Gunther Anders. The atomic threat: radical reflections on the nuclear age. Translation: Gabriel Valladão Silva. São Paulo, n-1 editions, 2023, 256 pages. [https://amzn.to/3H9uYAL]

Notes


[I] Video available at: https://vimeo.com/37359723

[ii] “It is equally insufficient, no, senseless, to go on a hunger strike for nuclear peace. This produces an effect only in him who fasts, namely, hunger; and perhaps the good conscience of having ‘done’ something. Reagan and the nuclear lobby don't care if we eat too much or too little bread. These really are just 'happenings‘. Our current actions, supposedly political, resemble these pseudo-actions that emerged in the sixties, truly appalling. Those who carried them out believed they had surpassed the theoretical-only barrier, but they nevertheless remainedactores‘ only in the sense of stage actors. They only did theater. And they did this, namely, out of fear of truly acting. In reality they did not fire any shots, but only a shock. Even a shock that should delight. Theater and non-violence are closely linked.” Günther Anders, Gewalt – ja oder nein. Eine notwendige Diskussion. (org: Manfred Bissinger). Munich: Knaur, 1987, p. 24. Hereinafter: Gew.

[iii] Gew, p. 104.

[iv] Jungk was a close friend of Anders and also dedicated a series of books to technological and nuclear issues.

[v] Günther Anders, “Offender Brief an die RAF”, Literaturarchiv der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, 237/W186/4.

[vi] Regarding the events of the “German autumn”, one of the best elaborations is still the film Deutschland im Herbst (1978), directed by a group of filmmakers, including the enfant terrible of his generation Rainer Werner Fassbinder, together with Alexander Kluge and others. The 1997 prison interview with Stefan Wisniewski, who participated in Schleyer's kidnapping, is also one of the most interesting materials on the subject. Stefan Wisniewski, Wir waren so unheimlich konsequent… Ein Gespräch zur Geschichte der RAF. Berlin: ID-Verlag, 1997.

[vii] Karl Jaspers, Die Atombombe und die Zukunft des Menschen. Politisches Bewußtsein in unserer Zeit. München: Piper und Co. Verlag, 1960.

[viii] Hannah Arendt, Günther Anders. Schreib doch evil hard facts über dich. Brief 1939-1975. Munich: Piper, 2018.

[ix] Maurice Blanchot, “L'Apocalypse déçoit” in L'Amitié... Paris: Gallimard, 1974.

[X] Gunther Anders, Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen I. München: Beck, 2010, p. 8. Hereinafter: AdM I

[xi] Anders' considerations about his “method” are few and unpretentious, largely formulated a posteriori, with a retrospective look at the work itself. They are found in a more concentrated way in the introduction to the first volume ofObsolescence…, and at the end of the second volume.

[xii] Gunther Anders, Günther Anders antwortet: Interviews & Erklärungen. (org.: Elke Schubert). Berlin: Edition Tiamat, 1987, p. 79. Hereinafter: Gaa.

[xiii] Gunther Anders, Ketzereien. Munich: Beck, 2022, p. 142.

[xiv] In a letter, Max Horkheimer refers to GüntherAnders as follows: “Marcuse and I could, for example, write articulate essays on progress. Furthermore, the hungry Günther Stern [Anders] could deliver additional work for a small fee.” Brief Max Horkheimer an Gretel und Theodor W. Adorno, 4.8.1941, in: Theodor W. Adorno/Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Band II: 1938–1944. Frankfurt/M, 2004, p. 179.

[xv] Gunther Anders, Gut, dass wir einmal die hot potatoes ausgraben. Briefwechsel mit Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse und Helmuth Plessner. München: Beck, 2022.

[xvi] The exchange of letters with FU members is friendly, and Anders always responds to the invitation flattered and grateful, but talking about the impossibility of reconciling his other political activities (which involved a lot of traveling, especially linked to the Russel Court) with his academic obligations. After some insistence, Anders mentions the fact that precisely at that moment the CIA's financing and indirect support for “cultural institutions” in West Germany – including the FU – had been made public, which definitely made it impossible for him to become a member. from college. (Letter from G. Anders to Margherita von Brentano, 25/02/1967 – Literaturarchiv der ÖNB, 237/B41.)

[xvii] There is a small fragment, in homage to Walter Benjamin, in which Anders talks about the relationship between “truth and diction”. G. Anders, “[Wahrheit und Diktion] (1950)”  in Schreib doch bad…, cit., p. 181. Also in the exchange of letters between Adorno and Anders, there is a discussion about style and the relationship with the reader and the object that is of high philosophical and political interest. It is worth noting that Anders' attempt to move away from conceptual prose and “universalize” his thought in a literary form is not always successful. There are several fictional philosophical dialogues, which seem to emulate something of the Socratic dialogues, which are simply bad, pedagogical in the bad sense of the term, and which fall far short of his essays. In this aspect, Die Kirschenschlacht (and to some extent, also the Ketzereien) ends up being a minor work, no matter how much interest it may arouse. Already in your diaries (Die Schrift an der Wand. Tagebücher 1941-1966), the matter of personal experience is finely combined with philosophical reflection (moral, historical, etc.) – yet another German example of the fragment as form. In a letter to Helmuth Plessner, Anders says that his “employment of all literary forms is intended for precision.” Günther Anders, Gut, dass wir einmal…, cit., p. 221.

[xviii] Cf. “Commandments for the Atomic Age” in Günther Anders, Hiroshima is everywhere. São Paulo: Elefante (in press) and “The Hippocratic Oath”, here p. 151.

[xx] Letter from Günther Anders to Hans Jonas, 24/09/1976. Literaturearchiv ÖNB, 237/B1494.

[xx] T. W. Adorno, “Education after Auschwitz.” Education and emancipation. São Paulo: Paz e Terra, 2008, p. 119.

[xxx] AdM II, p. 390.

[xxiii] Cf. Anders, “The most monstrous of dates”, p. 183.

[xxiii] AdM I, p. 271.

[xxv] Here, p. 110.

[xxiv] G. Anders, “Kulturphilosophie”, ÖNB Literaturarchiv, 237/W52.

[xxv] Here, p. 200.

[xxviii] Here, p. 119 and G. Anders, Die Antiquiertheit des Hassens. In: Kahle/Menzner/Vinnai (org.), Haß. Die Macht eines unerwünschten Gefühls. Reinbeck: Rowohlt, 1985. To a large extent, Anders saw a few decades in advance what drone warfare would be like. On the subject, see also Gregoire Chamayou, Drone theory. São Paulo: Cosac & Naify, 2015.

[xxviii] See G. Anders, We children of Eichmann. São Paulo: Elefante, 2022. Although he avoids the term, says Anders in his speech when he received the “Adorno Prize”: “The ‘alienation’ [alienation] was the theme of all of us, the theme of Marcuse, Horkheimer, Adorno, and mine. The accent we placed was certainly different.” Gaa, p. 173. For the phenomenon of alienation, in some passages Anders says that the term alienation than the classic alienation (probably due to the prefix Ent-, a negation equivalent to “de-” or “des-“ in Latin languages).

[xxix] Gunther Anders, Kafka, pro and con.The case files. São Paulo: Cosac & Naify, 2007.

[xxx] On August 2, 1914, Kafka narrates the beginning of the First World War as follows: “Germany declared war on Russia. – In the afternoon, swimming class.” Franz Kafka, Diaries: 1909-1923. São Paulo: However, 2021, p. 387.

[xxxii] samuel beckett, end of game.

[xxxi] AdM I, 221.

[xxxii] Idem.

[xxxv] On apocalyptic expectations and the abbreviation of time, cf. Reinhart Koselleck, “Time Abbreviation and Acceleration. A study on secularization” in Strata of time. Rio de Janeiro: Contraponto/Puc-Rio, 2014.

[xxxiv] AdM I, p. 276.

[xxxiv] With the term “counter-revolution apocalyptic”, Jacob Taubes designated Carl Schmitt. See Jacob Taubes, Ad Carl Schmitt. Gegenstrebige Fügung. Berlin: Merve Verlag, 1987. Another regressive aspect of apocalyptic visions is also linked to a certain suicidal drive, far from any perspective of social transformation, which is expressed in phenomena ranging from the eschatology of the new extreme right (analyzed by Adorno at the end from the 1960s) to the new jihadist Islamic fundamentalism – in both cases, ideological expressions of an objective collapse.

[xxxviii] Jean-Pierre Dupuy, For an enlightened catastrophism. When l’impossible is certain. Paris: Seuil, 2002.

[xxxviii] Gew., p. 93.

[xxxix] Gew., p. 104


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