Positionality [2728]

for orderable destruction. Agriculture is now a mechanized food industry, in essence the same as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and extermination camps, the same as the blockading and starving of countries, the same as the production of hydrogen bombs.

But now what is it positioned toward, the coal that is positioned in the coal reserve, for example? It is not poised upon the table like the jug. The coal, for its part, is imposed upon, i.e., challenged forth, for heat, just as the ground was for coal; this heat is already imposed upon to set in place steam, the pressure of which drives the turbines, which keep a factory industrious, which is itself imposed upon to set in place machines that produce tools through which once again machines are set to work and maintained.

One positioning challenges the other, falls upon it with a conscripting. This does not proceed by a mere sequence of acts of positioning. According to its essence, conscription occurs in secret and in advance. Only for this reason does conscription make possible the planning and taking of action upon the individual motives of the particular positionings in a useful manner. But now where does this chain of requisitioning finally run off to?

The hydroelectric plant is placed in the river. It imposes upon it for water pressure, which sets the turbines turning, the turning of which drives the machines, the gearing of which imposes upon the electrical current through which the long-distance power centers and their electrical grid are positioned for the conducting of electricity.2 The power station in the Rhine river, the dam, the turbines, the generators, the switchboards, the electrical grid—all this and more is there only insofar as it stands in place and at the ready, not in order to presence,3 but to be positioned, and indeed solely to impose upon others thereafter.

Only what is so ordered that it stands in place and at the ready persists as standing reserve and, in the sense of standing reserve, is constant.4 The constant consists of continuous orderability within such a conscription.

2. Standing reserve

3. in which way?

4. the word meant in the sense of an orderable standing reserve, i.e., not of a steady lasting [stetig andauern].

Martin Heidegger (GA 79) Positionality - Bremen and Freiburg Lectures

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