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- Aug 2019
If, reading Herodotus, we have the sentiment of a turning point, do we not have, reading our times, the certainty of an even more considerable change, such that the events offering themselves to us would no longer be linked in a way according to what we are used to calling history, but in a way still unknown? . . . Today we meet an event bearing an elementary trait, that of impersonal powers, represented by the intervention of mass phenomena, by the supremacy of mechanical play, and thirdly by the seizure of the constitutive forces of matter. These three factors are named in a single word: modern technics, since technics comprises at once collective organization on a planetary scale for the calculated establishment of plans, mechanization and automation, and finally atomic energy, a key word. What hitherto only stars could accomplish, mankind does. Mankind has become astral. This astral era that has begun no longer belongs to the measures of history. (Blanchot 1969, 396) To the measures of history belonged the divide separating the human world from the stars, and thereby constituting that world. Humanity (the human world) was history (the world of Herodotus was the human world). Humanity (the human world) has become a star (has become the world of the human having become a star). This is an astral figure of power, which speaks to a change in epoch, to modern technics. But the power of whom or of what? Of humanity, or of the “impersonal forces” of modern technics itself?
Stiegler > Blanchot > Herodotus: "Humanity (the human world) has become a star (has become the world of the human having become a star)." ||