Suitcase’s graham harman gets stranded in Cairo


All around object-oriented philosopher Graham Harman exhibits suspiciously human-oriented interpretation of his lost bag tragedy. For those not following this epic human ordeal (start now), the very human philosopher lost his bag in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is now publicly chiding American Airlines for refusing to send his lost bag to him in Cairo.

However, he is looking at it all wrong: the real tragedy is not that a human person in Cairo is now without its bag, it is that a bag is now in Cedar Rapids without its human person!

What about the bag? Who will think about how the bag must feel now? Perhaps it got tired of its human person and simply used this opportunity to escape?

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23 thoughts on “Suitcase’s graham harman gets stranded in Cairo

  1. I enjoy that Harman decided to make all of this public for the sake of his readers, who travel frequently. Thanks–until now I had no idea how to reclaim lost baggage! What a service he’s offering.

    The peevish tweets are amusing, indeed!

    • Too bad he stopped, would have been fun to see how it ended. Probably with a long post about how he was using his “celebrity” for good in order to expose the evil underbelly of American Airlines and their bag stealing scheme!

      • I’m glad it’s all over now and said suitcase has found its owner. And It’s reassuring to know the customer is still king (though how that fits a flat ontology, I’m still not sure).

  2. What a tragic situation! But he should take the situation with a ‘cool disposition’ considering his ‘philosophy’ (ahem, or whatever it is) states that these things happen. Isn’t he someone who says he is a ‘pure Heideggerian’? I wonder if his pureness with Heidegger’s thought moves his (fascist reaction) philosophy. Shall we look at what his main philosophical inspiration said:

    “The German people has been summoned by the Führer to vote; the Führer, however, is asking nothing from the people; rather, he is giving the people the possibility of making, directly, the highest free decision of all: whether it – the entire people – wants its own existence (Dasein), or whether it does not want it. On November 12, the German people as a whole will choose its future, and this future is bound to the Führer. […] There are not separate foreign and domestic policies. There is only one will to the full existence (Dasein) of the State. The Führer has awakened this will in the entire people and has welded it into a single resolve.

    Let not propositions and ‘ideas’ be the rules of your being (Sein). The Führer alone is the present and future German reality and its law. Learn to know ever more deeply: that from now on every single thing demands decision, and every action responsibility. Heil Hitler!”
    Martin Hediegger, November, 1933.

      • For one, I never said that Harman or OOO was fascist, but simply asked if it was. I also indicated strongly that there is a big difference between using Heidegger’s thoughts and calling oneself a Heideggerian – as Harman does. To call oneself a Heideggerian is essentially to associate oneself with a form of Hitlerianism, for Heidegger was Hitler’s main political and philosophical theorist.

        As Lukacs raises in his (very unfashionable book) “The Destruction of Reason”

        “The [philosophical] retreat from the ‘sub-standard’ Hitler to the ‘eminent’ Spengler, Heidegger or Nietzsche is thus, both politically and philosophically, a strategic withdrawal, a withdrawal from a pursuing enemy in order to organise the reactionary ranks and to instigate – under more favourable conditions – a renewed, methodologically ‘improved’ offensive on the part of reactionary extremism.”

        (p. 8)

        I also wonder why OOO and ‘speculative realism’ is so populated by white men? This is another pertinent question, as cultural contextuality means something to me philosophically and therefore politically and therefore materially – that is: in-my-lived-experience.

        Harman attacks ‘philosophies of access’ but isn’t he himself an access point?

    • Look…I get that you think that you have found some smoking gun that the rest of us were unaware of. Let me assure you that everyone is aware that Heidegger was a Nazi. And no, that sadly little fact is not enough to dismiss the entirety of his philosophy. And even less so does it imply that Graham Harman is a fascist. I am glad that you have discovered the quotation mark though. Keep that going for a bit and you will have mastered it. And then you can turn towards argumentation. Unless, of course, you believe philosophy’s fascination with argumentation is evidence of its racist presuppositions.

      On a related note, wouldn’t it be awesome if Harman was a fascist. That would be a fun little exercise in reading. It does get a little tiresome reading one defense after another for some version of Marxism, even if you happen to be a fellow traveller.

      • For one, I never said that Harman or OOO was fascist, but simply asked if it was. I also indicated strongly that there is a big difference between using Heidegger’s thoughts and calling oneself a Heideggerian – as Harman does. To call oneself a Heideggerian is essentially to associate oneself with a form of Hitlerianism, for Heidegger was Hitler’s main political and philosophical theorist.

        As Lukacs raises in his (very unfashionable book) “The Destruction of Reason”

        “The [philosophical] retreat from the ‘sub-standard’ Hitler to the ‘eminent’ Spengler, Heidegger or Nietzsche is thus, both politically and philosophically, a strategic withdrawal, a withdrawal from a pursuing enemy in order to organise the reactionary ranks and to instigate – under more favourable conditions – a renewed, methodologically ‘improved’ offensive on the part of reactionary extremism.”

        (p. 8)

        I also wonder why OOO and ‘speculative realism’ is so populated by white men? This is another pertinent question, as cultural contextuality means something to me philosophically and therefore politically and therefore materially – that is: in-my-lived-experience.

        Harman attacks ‘philosophies of access’ but isn’t he himself an access point?

    • To call oneself a Heideggerian is essentially to associate oneself with a form of Hitlerianism, for Heidegger was Hitler’s main political and philosophical theorist.

      This remark is totally disingenuous — and it involves some kind of gerrymandering concerning how we understand the suffix ‘ian’ (as in ‘Heiderggerian’). What you say Elllif amounts to the following: calling oneself an Aristotelian is to associate oneself with misogyny and defend slavery because Aristotle was a misogynist and a slave owner — Or similarly, calling oneself a Kantian essentially associates you with misogyny and racism because Kant thought women and everyone outside of Europe were inferior…. But there are many ways to be an aristotelean or a Kantian, and none of those ways (so far as I’m aware) involve the misogyny or racism of the thinkers….

      Similarly, and so far as I can tell, to be associated with ‘hiterlianism’ (whatever that is), would involve accepting or somehow be connected with its principles. If you can find an essential connection between the bulk of Heidegger thought and fascism, and can show that fascism is an inevitable consequence of the basic principles etc of (say) Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology, then you might have a point. But your remarks are lazy. You don’t do the hard work (and there’s plenty of work on this already, especially from French thinkers) of establishing the claim. You ask — rhetorically! — whether there’s a connection and hope that your readers will do the hard work of figuring it out for you or else accept the relation as established. The strategy is well known in argumentation theory, and it’s also well known to be absolutely infelicitous in public spaces. If you ask a question in writing — especially when it’s supposed to have the kind of implications as yours does, then it’s incumbent upon you to answer it, and defend your answer. Anything less is a massive intellectual failure.

  3. All this anti-OOO dissing and raving is starting to feel so last year–I wish some of the people who sit around doing nothing but bust on Harman because they’re overloaded with theory-bro troll ressentiment would try to be a bit more Spinozan and just let go of their sad juvenile wanker passions. I don’t even like OOO and I’m sick of it.

      • Really? Really? Heidegger is still being taken seriously today – like right now – and as Adorno rightly noted his philosophy is ‘fascist to its innermost core.’ I don’t think that Heidegger-as-Nazism philosopher is in any way boring, especially for Jews still suffering from anti-Semitism in Europe and in academia.

      • Sighs. The Heidegger controversies have been going on for at least 50 years, Ellif. Nobody tries to hide the past on these issues. (For what it’s worth, and if I recall correctly, Gotlob Frege was also a raging anti-semite, but i don’t see anyone mounting criticisms to logic on that basis and there were plenty of nazi scientists; their work isn’t criticised on the grounds of political commitment, although there are some issues here about what to do with unethically conducted research — nazi hypothermia studies spring to mind here — that are truly interesting and worth discussing). At any rate most of us have seen all this before and have been able to make up our minds. So you’re remarks aren’t really adding anything new in the large body of extant research and discussion on this issue.

        Furthermore, I’d like to point out that you’re neither addressing the questions posed to you, nor are you actually making a case for your claims. So instead of name-checking Adorno (who’s not always a charitable kind of guy) or appealing to a particular authority, make an argument: tell us what the necessary connection between Heidegger philosophy and his political commitments are (again look at the french reception of this — bourdieu has a book on it, and there are a number of others that i don’t remember off the top of my head).

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