Again we ask: where does the chain of such requisitioning finally run out to? It runs out to nothing; for requisitioning produces nothing that could have, or would be allowed to have, a presence for itself outside of such positioning. What is ordered is always already and always only imposed upon to place another in the succession as its consequence. The chain of requisitioning does not run out to anything; rather it only enters into its circuit. Only in this does the orderable have its persistency [Bestand]. The Rhine river, for example, is there only as something ordered in the requisitioning just mentioned. The hydroelectric plant is not built in the Rhine river, but rather the river is built into the power plant and is what it is there due to the power plant’s essence. In order to somewhat gauge the monstrosity that reigns here, let us attend only for a moment to the opposition expressed in the two names: The Rhine, built into the power plant—“The Rhine,” as said in the artwork of Hölderlin’s eponymous hymn.
The standing reserve persists [Der Bestand besteht]. It persists in requisitioning [Bestellen]. What is requisitioning in itself? Positioning [das Stellen] has the character of challenging forth. Accordingly it becomes an expediting along. This happens with the coal, the ore, the crude oil, with the rivers and seas, with the air. One says the earth is exploited in regard to the materials and forces hidden in it. This exploitation however is supposed to be the doing of humans and their ambition.
Accordingly, requisitioning would be a machination of the human, executed in the manner of an exploitation. The requisitioning of the standing reserve appears with this character, however, only as long as we represent it in the horizon of everyday opinion. This appearance, that requisitioning would be in its essence only a human machination with the character of exploitation, is even an unavoidable one. Nevertheless5 it remains a mere illusion.
Requisitioning positions. It challenges forth. Requisitioning, however, when we consider it in its essence and not according to its possible effects, by no means goes toward spoils and profit, but rather always to the orderable. Here “always” means: from the outset, because essentially; the only reason requisitioning is
5. with technology as τέχνη—ἀ-λήθεια (Ἀ-λήθεια)