Occupy Austin and the Idle Talk of ‘the they’
The Being-said, the dictum, the pronouncement [Ausspruch]-all these now stand surety for the genuineness of the discourse and of the understanding which belongs to it, and for its appropriateness to the facts. And because this discoursing has lost its primary relationship-of-Being towards the entity talked about, or else has never achieved such a relationship, it does not communicate in such a way as to let this entity be appropriated in a primordial manner, but communicates rather by following the route of gossiping and passing the word along. What is said-in-the-talk as such, spreads in wider circles and takes on an authoritative characters. Things are so because one says so. Idle talk is constituted by just such gossiping and passing the word along- a process by which its initial lack of grounds to stand on becomes aggravated to complete groundlessness (SuZ, 212, emphasis original).
The groundlessness of idle talk is no obstacle to its becoming public; instead it encourages this. Idle talk is the possibility of understanding everything without previously making the thing one’s own. If this were done, idle talk would founder; and it already guards against such a danger. Idle talk is something which anyone can rake up; it not only releases one from the task of genuinely understanding, but develops an undifferentiated kind of intelligibility, for which nothing is closed off any longer (SuZ, 213).
The average understanding of the reader will never be able to decide what has been drawn from primordial sources with a struggle and how much is just gossip. The average understanding, moreover, will not want any such distinction, and does not need it, because, of course, it understands everything (SuZ, 212, emphasis original).
Thus, by its very nature, idle talk is a closing-off, since to go back to the ground of what is talked about is something which it leaves undone….Because of this, idle talk discourages any new inquiry and any disputation, and in a peculiar way suppresses them and holds them back (SuZ, 213)
The dominance of the public way in which things have been interpreted has already been decisive even for the possibilities of having a mood-that is, for the basic way in which Dasein lets the world “matter” to it. The “they” prescribes on’s state-of-mind, and determines what and how one ‘sees’ (SuZ, 213).
When Dasein maintains itself in idle talk, it is – as Being-in-the-world – cut off from its primary and primordially genuine relationships-of-Being towards the world, towards Dasein-with, and towards its very Being-in. Such a Dasein keeps floating unattached [in einer Schwebe]; yet in so doing, it is always alongside the world, with Others, and towards itself (SuZ 214).
While the particular Dasein drifts along towards an ever-increasing groundlessness as it floats, the uncanniness of this floating remains hidden from it under their protecting shelter (SuZ, 214)