What is anthropofugal philosophy?
In his essay, first published in 1983, then in 1985 as a Suhrkamp paperback, Horstmann develops the basic pattern of what he calls “anthropofugal thinking.” The use of the book immediately sets the ironic-sarcastic tone of this philosophizing:
The apocalypse is upon us. We yahoos have known it for a long time, and we all know it. Behind the party bickering, the disarmament debates, the military parades and anti-war marches, behind the façade of the will for peace and the endless ceasefires, there is a secret agreement, an unspoken great understanding: that we must put an end to ourselves and our kind, as soon and as thoroughly as possible — without pardon, without scruples and without survivors. (Suhrkamp edition, p. 7)
This thesis is at first more than surprising. It implies that all efforts of mankind, even and even more so those aiming at a fundamental overcoming of war, ultimately, “in the secrecy of [our] reason” , mean the opposite and are directed at an extinction, not only of human life, but of life in general:
The true Garden of Eden — that is the wasteland. The goal of history — that is the weathering ruin field. The sense — that is the trickling sand blown through the eye sockets under the skull roof.
Thus, from the outset, all ideas, whether of philosophy or religion, of progress, a telos of history, or even of redemption, are swept aside. They can be nothing more than laborious attempts to conceal the meaninglessness of our existence, nay, more, they work to the nothingness which they do not wish to apply, secretly, as we have seen,