292 Conclusion

metaphysical hierarchies it dislocates. Neither do these criteria resemble those used by Proudhon (the substitution of Science for the domination of man by man)19 or Bakunin ("spontaneous life," "passion," the "revolt of life against science").20 The criterion in question is rather technology itself and its bifrontal essence. Economic anarchy is there fore a concept of phenomenological ontology. It has nothing to do with the ancient debate about the best form of government: the three forms traditionally judged good, monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, and their respective perversions, tyranny, oligarchy, and anarchy. To confuse the amalgam of these three perversions—the anarchy of power—with economic anarchy is to be mistaken about the starting point, the method, and the result of the phenomenology of reversals in presencing. Its starting point is the ambivalence of the technological age, not some valuation of human types; its method consists in tracing the economies that have produced that ambivalence , not in redistributing power among human types; and its consequence is a potential for freedom in our age, not the control of one type by an other.

2. You give such status to contemporary technology that it comes to close a culture . Does that not exaggerate the significance of today's transformations? Rather, let us say that for a century Western intellectuals have run out of ideas and that from the prescriptive that it was, philosophy must henceforth remain content with being modestly descriptive . This does not entitle one to claim a dramatic break in world history, still less to advocate some sharp political discontinuity . If Heidegger inflates the Kehre to such proportions, he can only end by asking for a total change, which amounts to rendering all change impossible.

—It is true that the technological reversal is for Heidegger the most decisive in over two millennia. Its potential is therefore hardly skimmed when social scientists define it by the transition to advanced capitalism , the post-industrial era, the managerial rather than authoritarian disposition of power, post-liberalism, etc. All these traits pertain to one of the two Janus faces, the one whereby the age without a beyond, which is ours, calls in its very economy of presencing for something to stabilize its drifts . As absolute referents have lost their credit, the office of stabilizing passes over to administrative rationality. It is this rationality—which is not instrumental, as Weber would have it—that reaches its acme with the technological turn. It is the same rationality of total ad ministration which becomes monstrous in totalitarianism. One has to see that these deliria indigenous to 'framing' are backlashes to the anarchism in the modality of presencing itself. The either-or that Heidegger suggests brings into play the other Janus face : we either learn how to comply with the drifts in the network of phenomenal interconnectedness, or we will witness and bring about more and more of those deliria—and truly global ones.

This is not to say that the transition beyond epochal constellations is anything extraordinary, a sharp, highly visible turnabout in public life. It consists in doing explicitly what we always do and cannot help doing: