My friend who started this conversation writes:
Not to pick a fight with Micah Tillman, but I think there’s a big difference between the “return to the past” idea in folks like Descartes, and even Nietzche, on the one hand, and Heidegger.
Heidegger was very hostile to many aspects of modern life, particularly much technology. He was a bit of a luddite. While he thought technology could have value, he also saw it as a threat to his philosophical project. He also was a Nazi.
Nietzche liked the Greeks, and wished we could turn the clock back in many respects, but the reason for the ubermensch was that going backwards was not possible. Rather, what was necessary was an ability to “overcome,” to reestablish a moral order, and, in many respects, start things over. The alternative was nihilism. Although some Nazis appealed to Nietszche’s work, particularly The Will to Power (which was published posthumously) Nietzsche did not have the fascist sympathies often ascribed to him, and (later in life) condemned Wagner for, among other things, his embrace of crude proto-fascist German nationalism.
Anyhow, that’s just more of my two sense. I guess I should REALLY go read the book now.
Me: Maybe everyone should buy (after they buy you know what) Jeffrey Herf’s Reactionary Modernism: Technology, Culture, and Politics in Weimar and the Third Reich.