The purpose of the workshop is to take another, more sober look at two philosophers who are perennial favourites within the contemporary academy: Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger. For decades it has been assumed by intellectuals on the left that these two powerful thinkers can be key resources for progressive and egalitarian politics. That assumption is very much in need of careful re-examination in light of the recent and quite alarming return of far-right politics. The contemporary alt-right has its own intellectuals, who very much pride themselves on being an intellectual vanguard. There is a far-right canon.
Beiner, in his book Dangerous Minds, cites a book review on a far-right website that offers the following list of intellectual beacons for the alt-right: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Carl Schmitt, Alain de Benoist, Guillaume Faye, and Alexander Dugin. The question for participants in the workshop is: In this new context of seemingly resurgent fascism, or “fascoid” populism, can we continue to read thinkers like Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Schmitt without giving renewed scrutiny to their relevance for the radical right?