6 Introduction

where action requires a principle to which words, things, and deeds can be related. Action appears without principle in the age of the turning, when presence as ultimate identity turns into presencing as irreducible difference (or reducible only categorially). If these are the contours of the program of deconstruction, the necessity of an avowal of ignorance begins to be glimpsed: the very question of a "political system coordinated with the technological age" is one of principial constructs.

The most adequate expression to cover the whole of these premises would be 'anarchy principle'. The word 'anarchy', though, clearly lends itself to misunderstanding as does the juxtaposition of the two nouns which, for the professionals of speculative contradiction, inevitably suggests redemption through sublation. 'Anarchy' here does not stand for a program of action, nor its juxtaposition with 'principle' for dialectical reconciliation. With this twofold caveat, the paradox of the expression is nonetheless instructive, dazzling. Is not the backbone of metaphysics—whatever the ulterior determinations by which this concept would have to be specified—the rule always to seek a first from which the world becomes intelligible and masterable, the rule of scire per causas, of establishing 'principles' for thinking and doing? 'Anarchy', on the other hand, designates the withering away of such a rule, the relaxing of its hold. This paradox is dazzling because in two words it points within and beyond the closure of metaphysics, thus exhibiting the boundary line of that closure itself. The paradox that the expression 'anarchy principle' articulates locates the Heideggerian enterprise, it indicates the place where it is situated: still implanted in the problematic of τί τὸ ὄν; ("What is being?"), but already uprooting it from the schema of the pros hen, which was connate to that problematic. Retaining presence, but dislocating it from the attributive schema. Still a principle, but a principle of anarchy. It is instructive to think this contradiction. The principial reforence then appears to be counteracted, both in its history and in its essence, by a force of dislocation, of plurification. The referential logos becomes "archipelagic speech, " "pulverized poem" ("parole en archipel," "poeme pulverise," Rene Char). The deconstruction is a discourse of transition. By putting the two words 'anarchy' and 'principle' side by side, one prepares oneself for this epochal transition.

Needless to say, here it will not be a question of anarchy in the sense of Proudhon, Bakunin, and their disciples.7 What these masters sought was to displace the origin, to substitute the 'rational' power, principium, for the power of authority, princeps—as metaphysical an operation as has ever been. They sought to replace one focal point with another. The anarchy that will be at issue here is the name of a history affecting the ground or foundation of action, a history where the bedrock yields and where it becomes obvious that the principle of cohesion, be it authoritarian or 'rational', is no longer anything more than a blank space deprived of legislative, normative, power. Anarchy expresses a destiny of decline, the decay


Reiner Schürmann - Heidegger On Being and Acting