Axel Fair-Schulz: "Ein Moralist im besten Sinn"

Axel Fair-Schulz: “Ein Moralist im besten Sinn”

Unter dem Titel >A ‘Wandering Jew': Stefan Heym’s Humanist Socialism< erinnert der deutsch-amerikanische Literaturwissenschaftler Axel Fair-Schulz in der Zeitschrift Logos an Stefan Heym:

When Heym appeared from behind the curtain in order to walk on stage, he seemed every bit like an 87 year old man. Everything changed, however, once he sat down and started to read from his last novel, The Architects. He read for about one and a half hours, with a lively voice that brought to bear his experience and wit as well as his cosmopolitan outlook, — as here was a man who had literally survived the 20th century. Uprooted many times by politics, he had become a citizen of the world. This endowed Heym with a unique perspective that forced him to develop a critical distance, even towards places where he felt at home.

Fair-Schulz würdigt mit seinem Artikel nicht nur den öffentlichen Intellektuellen, sondern macht auch die bleibende Aktualität von Heyms Werk deutlich:

Slovenian cultural critic and philosopher Slavoj Žižek has noted that many of those who have gratuitously smirked at the naiveté of Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History have nevertheless actually, unwittingly fully internalized its claims. Fukuyama argued that the end of the Soviet experiment meant the inevitable global victory of a mix of liberal democracy and capitalism (characteristic of the US and its European allies during the last few decades). History thus would end in the conventional sense, inasmuch as the ideological evolution of humanity would reach its end-stage — with the supremacy of American capitalism. The implosion of East Germany, and its subsequent incorporation into West Germany, seems to suggest to many observers, including David Binder, that any and all alternatives to consumerism and corporate capitalism are hopelessly out of touch, both with what the people want and what is realistically possible. Thus Heym’s stubborn rejection of capitalist consumerism attracts a generalizing scorn.