The Question Concerning Technology

of the situation is grounded, whether it knows it or not, in the metaphysics of subjectness.

"The great noon" is the time of the brightest brightness, namely, of the consciousness that unconditionally and in every respect has become conscious of itself as that knowing which consists in deliberately willing the will to power as the Being of whatever is ; and, as such willing, in rebelliously withstanding and subjugating to itself eVery necessary phase of the objectifying of the world, thus making secure the stably constant reserve of what is for a willing of the greatest possible uniformity and equality. In the willing of this will, however, there comes upon man the necessity that he concomitantly will the conditions, the requirements, of such a willing. That means : to posit values and to ascribe worth to everything in keeping with values. In such a manner does value determine all that is in its Being. This brings us to the question:

What is now, in the age when the unconditional dominion of the will to power is openly dawning, and this openness and its public character are themselves becoming a function of this will? What is ? We are not asking about events and facts, for every one of which at any time, in the realm of the will to power, testimonies may always be brought forward and laid aside on demand.

What is? We do not ask concerning this or that particular being, but rather we ask concerning the Being of whatever is. More especially, we are asking what is happening to Being itself. Furthermore, we do not ask at random, but with a view to the truth of what is as such, which is coming to utterance in the form of the metaphysics of the will to power. What is happening to Being in the age of the dominion, now beginning, of the unconditional will to power?

Being has been transformed into a value.39 The making constant

39. Within the highly elliptical connection between this and the following sentence in the text lies Heidegger's understanding of the complex interrelation of Being, what is, and man. That meaning might, in the context of the present discussion of the will to power, be suggested as follows.

The "Being" to which Heidegger here refers is, first of all, the Being possessed by what is. The metaphysics of the will to power, which thinks Being in thinking the truth, the unconcealedness of what is, takes the Being of what is-a Being linked indissolubly with the security and certainty of the objectively represented-as a value, a determining condition directing power-actualizing willing. Hence the metaphysics of the will to power can, with Nietzsche, take Being to be a value (d. p. 84) ; or it might say that to be is to have value. And it is Being itself, ruling in the modern age in the mode of the will to power, that gives itself to the thinking of metaphysics in this way. Yet, at the same time, metaphysics is not here thinking Being itself. It is not thinking Being as Being, "presencing specifically as presencing, from out of its truth" (p. 109) . Being, in manifesting itself precisely as value through the thinking belonging to the metaphysics of the will to power, is, at the same time, concealing itself as regards that which it is as Being.

Metaphysics, for Heidegger, "grounds an age" (AWP 115). In interpreting or in laying out (auslegen), i.e., in thinking forth, the Being of what is precisely as a value, that is, in making Being manifest-insofar as it is given to metaphysics to apprehend and manifest Being at all in the latter's holding-sway in the mode of the will to power-the metaphysics of the will to power, as the consummation of the modern metaphysics begun with Descartes, provides the thought-out basis for the activity of modern man. And Being needs that activity, undergirded by that thinking, in order to endure as present and to rule in the manner that is now proper to it. Precisely when Being has become a value, when to be is to have value, the metaphysical basis has been consummately given for that human activity through which whatever is-offering itself in the manner governed by the will to power-is fixed as a stable reserve that has value and can be of use just in virtue of its being and of its being available for future "willing to will" and "empowering to power." And precisely through just that metaphysically grounded activity and through it alone, the holding-sway of Being-of Being now manifesting itself in the mode of the will to power-is accomplishing itself through the only open center through which it can ever find accomplishment, namely, through man.

Martin Heidegger (GA 5) The Word of Nietzsche: 'God Is Dead'