76 // ANNIHILATION AND SELF-ANNIHILATION
to Heidegger, both serve destruction, both have abandoned the earth and move about in universal space. This portends that for Heidegger the Platonic Idea and Judaism are connected. Augustine, in any event, asks himself in book 8 of The City of God whether Plato could have known the prophets, and first among them Jeremiah.19 He comes to a negative judgment, but nevertheless says that he would almost like to agree with the claim that Plato must have known those books. Judaism, Platonism, Christianity— three figures of the universal that Heidegger attacks in the Black Notebooks.
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The history of being arrives at the completed apocalyptic reduction there where the “enemy” no longer exists, the enemy who, in whatever way, threatens the “Dasein of the people.” History itself must make the decision. Now annihilation becomes self-annihilation. But self-annihilation can now, according to Heidegger, affect each and every thing. Machination is total, makes no exceptions. At one point Heidegger speaks of the self-annihilation of communism, i.e., of being-historical communism as he construes it, according to which there is no difference between Bolshevism and Americanism in regard to their supposed promise of universal mediocrity. Then he speaks, after the war, of the self-annihilation of the Germans and—still before the end of the war—of the self-annihilation of the “Jewish.” He says:
Only when what is essentially “Jewish” in the metaphysical sense battles against the Jewish is the pinnacle of self-annihilation in history achieved; assuming that what is “Jewish” has everywhere monopolized dominance entirely for itself, such that even the battle against “the Jewish,” and this first of all, becomes servitude to this.20
Self-annihilation does not need to be understood everywhere as physical annihilation. Rather, there is according to Heidegger