The Political Becoming of Hermeneutics
In his book, The Reckless Minds: Intellectuals in Politics, Mark Lilla rehearses the familiar condemnation of Martin Heidegger for his association with the Nazi Party. For Lilla, Heidegger is just one of many contemporary intellectuals who has no business commenting on, or involving oneself in, politics: Better to avoid the political sphere altogether than run the risk of the philosophical love of wisdom degenerating into what Lilla terms a philotyranny. In contrast to Lilla, Gianni Vattimo and Santiago Zabala accomplish the nearly unthinkable task, not only taking on the mantle of Heidegger for their entirely original and sorely needed articulation of the meaning of the politics of hermeneutics, but convincingly demonstrate that a truly Heideggerian politics would be communistic, not fascist. In so doing, Vattimo and Zabala not only reinvigorate the politics of the left, but even more, they redefine and redirect philosophical hermeneutics. As such, it can be argued that Hermeneutic Communism is the first salvo in the political becoming of hermeneutics.