Saturday July 28th 2012 Tim
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.