ANNIHILATION AND SELF-ANNIHILATION // 77
even a “self-annihilation of humanity,” in which the modern subject as “last man” (Nietzsche) transitions into its “ending.”21 On the other hand, however, there is also a self-annihilation of the “opponent.” For this, “‘politics’” in its “modern essence” would have to do nothing more than “trick the opponent into a situation” in which the only option is “self-annihilation.”22 Presumably, in this passage Heidegger thinks of Americanism; indeed, he says in the same place: “One discovers first and late enough and even then only in half-measures, ‘Americanism’ as a political rivalry.”
But that the oscillation of the concept of self-annihilation would have as a consequence an indifferent significance cannot be justified. Much more must every single nuance of meaning be observed. For this, we must take notice of when Heidegger speaks about, for example, the self-annihilation of the “‘Jewish’” and the self-annihilation of the German. At this point, the testimonial character of the Black Notebooks is relevant. As in the lecture courses, it is important to observe when Heidegger carried out what changes to his narrative of the history of being.
The apocalyptic reduction proves to be the self-annihilation of technology. The narrative topography of Heidegger’s thinking displays a being-historical unity of “Americanism,” “England,” “Bolshevism,” “Communism,” “National Socialism,” and “Judaism,” more specifically, “world Judaism.” All of these protagonists of the history of being are determined by a “marked gift for calculation,” a gift, admittedly, that Heidegger explicitly ascribes to the Jews. They move about in a worldless space in long-range bomber planes and space capsules. They are perhaps the (in-) authentic agents of machination.
Before the war’s end, before the “end,” these agents of machination are affected by self-annihilation. What is at stake is the other beginning. The decision requires that this beginning must occur without victors or losers. For the distinction between victors