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Κοινόν. Out of the History of Beyng [193-194]

"class consciousness," "party rule," regulating the "standard of living," promoting "progress," and the creation of "culture." The proletariat indeed possesses all of this. How should it not be of the opinion that it possesses power as well? Yet the driving power in communism is that which seduces everyone into the enchantment of the uniformity and homogeneity of all. In the face of this power, which constitutes the essential ground of the proletariat, the proletariat is impotent, so definitively so that such power makes use of this impotence in order to secure and intensify the empowering of its essence.

The accomplishment of this power, the empowering of whose essence is "communism," is neither confined to being exercised by an authority of state government nor does it exhaust itself in the play of forces belonging to the power of a political party, but rather in its fundamental intent its power permeates in advance beings as a whole and the particular humankind included therein. The possession of power is thus in general withheld from the human being, and yet there must be power-possessors who direct the play of power within a "space" in which every claim to power is prevented in advance, and there is not, for instance, merely the elimination of the factual validity of individuals and groups. Such possessors of power can only be a few; for it is only the just-a-few who guarantee a uniform implementation of all available means of power that can be directed from a center and gathered back into this center. It is the just-a-few alone who are also capable of securing the possibilities of new and unanticipated forms of power and of directing their surprising actualization. Only such a few ensure that in the disposal of power the ruthlessness of its deployment is relentless and yet the inconspicuousness of measures taken is maintained. Power-possession, thus configured, in itself pursues a constant increase in power.

The "just-a-few" in no way refers only to a small number of deployers of force as distinct from the innumerable "powerless" masses, but rather designates the characteristic nature of a particular possession of power. The possessors of power that accord with this do not "have" power as their own so as to wreak some personal capriciousness with it, and for this reason they also are not who they are as prominent individuals. Every public naming and appreciation of their actions carries within it the danger of mis-directing and weakening the deployment of power by such orientation toward the public. This is why power demands of its possessors that they remain nameless and their operations inaccessible. And thus they use and exploit all the more frequently a public supply of those in whose conduct the masses recognize their own "will." The empowering of power (i.e., communism) creates for itself the most incisive securing of its pure deployment in


Martin Heidegger (GA 69) The History of Beyng