This essay is a philosophical polemic against the essence of modern technology. The piece does not advance a Luddite's agenda, however, since it describes modern technology's essence as technological thinking, rather than as the manifold of technical instruments and processes. Technological thinking is not just careful planning towards well thought-out ends. Rather, it is an entire orientation to life, and as such it is a monstrosity: it relentlessly and heartlessly transforms the world's beings, including human beings, into measurable units of production and consumption that are constantly being judged for their contributions to "productivity." Nature is thus made into a vast warehouse, and humanity into a standing reserve of "human resources." Absent from technological thinking is any reflection on technology's end, in the sense of its ultimate purpose. A synthesis of the thinking of Heidegger, Marcuse, Weber, and Sorel, this essay claims that the ultimate end of technology as such is, and ought to be, freedom for responsibility, and that freedom from necessity is both a condition and a consequence of this. It argues that there is a desperate need for thought and speech to break with technological thinking, and to begin bringing the means of modern technology into contact with its ultimate end.
Louis E. Wolcher,
The End of Technology: A Polemic,
79 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol79/iss1/17