The Third Directive [126-128]

the machine appears, i.e., technology appears, in an almost quotidian and hence unnoticed and hence signless relation to writing, i.e., to the word, i.e., to the distinguishing essence of man. A more penetrating consideration would have to recognize here that the typewriter is not really a machine in the strict sense of machine technology, but is an "intermediate" thing, between a tool and a machine, a mechanism. Its production, however, is conditioned by machine technology.

This "machine," operated in the closest vicinity to the word, is in use; it imposes its own use. Even if we do not actually operate this machine, it demands that we regard it if only to renounce and avoid it. This situation is constantly repeated everywhere, in all relations of modern man to technology. Technology is entrenched in our history.

He who has ears to hear, i.e., to grasp the metaphysical foundations and abysses of history and to take them seriously as metaphysical could already hear two decades ago the word of Lenin: Bolshevism is Soviet power + electrification. That means: Bolshevism is the "organic," i.e., organized, calculating (and as +) conclusion of the unconditional power of the party along with complete technization. The bourgeois world has not seen and in part still does not want to see today that in "Leninism," as Stalin calls this metaphysics, a metaphysical projection has been performed, on the basis of which in a certain way the metaphysical passion of today's Russians for technology first becomes intelligible, and out of which the technical world is brought into power That the Russians, e.g., are always building more tractor factories is not primarily what is decisive, but, rather, it is this, that the complete technical organization of the world is already the metaphysical foundation for all plans and operations and that this foundation is experienced unconditionally and radically and is brought into working completeness. Insight into the "metaphysical" essence of technology is for us historically necessary if the essence of Western historical man is to be saved.

But technology understood as modern, i.e., as the technology of power machines, is itself already a consequence and not the foundation of a transformation of the relation of Being to man. Modern mechanical technology is the "metaphysical" instrumentanum of such a transformation, referring back to a hidden essence of technology that encompasses what the Greeks already called τέχνη. Perhaps the transformed relation of Being to man, appearing in technology, is of such a kind that Being has withdrawn itself from man and modern man has been plunged into an eminent oblivion of Being. (Consequently, man can now no longer, or in the first place cannot yet, ponder the question raised in Being and Time as it is raised there.)

Perhaps the much-discussed question of whether technology makes man its slave or whether man will be able to be the master of technology