Saturday, July 28, 2012
The expression belonged to Durkheim. I wish I could remember it. He was French, of course and the father of modern social science. And I guess ultimately translations from both French and German into the English language lose some quality. I heard Alan Greenspan use something like the phrase, and I think he was quoting Maynard Keynes. It has to do with a sudden exuberance, which upon reflection is not warranted and never should have been. A moment of mental riot, that afterwards brings on the question "why did we think that."
Hegel was guilty of it when Napoleon took the French Revolution by the throat and turned it orderly. Then when Napoleon declared himself Emperor, Hegel must have known depression, or at least disappointment. Heidegger, too was guilty of it. He saw that same orderliness in Hitler. Joined the Party, to keep his job perhaps. And then when the Second World War was over he was a pariah, and he turned his mind away from "Being." And maybe if I hunt around long enough I'll find Durkheim's expression.