Heidegger on Agriculture and Technology

“Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs.”

-Martin HeideggerDas Ge-Stell (1949)

This is an absolutely astonishing quote from a man notoriously silent concerning Nazism, including his own involvement.  While, clearly, Heidegger intends to emphasize the destructive capacity essence of the agricultural industry, is it right to make such a bold comparison, specifically for someone who was, on all accounts, complicit?


About jleavittpearl

Philosopher and Theologian out of Pittsburgh PA.

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Quotes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. John T. Maher

    That is exactly what industrial agriculture is

    • Perhaps… I understand the sentiment regarding industrial agriculture, to a certain extent. But, I nonetheless question the metaphor. The crimes of the holocaust, while I would not necessarily say that they are incomparable to any other event (considering for example, the Russian Gulags, the Genocide of Rwanda, etc.), there is nonetheless a nearly infinite qualitative divide, at least in my thought, between these nearly countless grotesque murders and the mechanized food industry, even it the latter is viewed through the most negative lens. That is to say, my concern with this passage is not Heidegger’s condemnation of agricultural industrialization, but his choice of language and metaphor. For, no one should be so callous in their use of language then the thinker who names language the very “house of Being.”

  1. Pingback: עשרת הדיברות של התנועה האנטי-אקולוגית | היפר-יקום (לכתוב מרוצה)

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