Von der «verspäteten Nation» der Deutschen zur verspäteten Föderation Europas

Helmuth Plessner über die «Verführbarkeit bürgerlichen Geistes» im Zeitalter «hochkapitalistischer Lebensmacht»


  • Hans-Peter Krüger




biopolitics, global history, high capitalism, life power, United States of Europe


Plessner did not just criticize the democratic deficiencies in German history, in comparison with Western democracies, for its future as a delayed nation. He also at the same time brought out the federalist potentials within German history for a United States of Europe. Above all, he arrived at a new understanding of global history: European and US-American history give rise to High Capitalism, representing an economic (rather than political or spiritual and cultural) integration of all areas of life and action. These high-capitalist life-powers can dissolve themselves from the global West and be taken on by the global East in Asia. The relative decline of the global West and the relative rise of Asia were accelerated through the globalization of US-American neo-liberalism since the 1990ies. In view of the danger that high capitalism can be combined with a right-wing dictatorship in the West or a left-wing dictatorship in the East, Europe must reinforce its civilizational role between the USA and China. Measured against this responsibility, the federation of Europe is delayed but has at least finally taken the right direction with the Green New Deal.