How would it be if what we take for human advance were simply a technological progress that literally leaves us out of its equations? What if Progress is not humanity striking out bravely towards the future, but an ultimately destructive force? In a remarkable tour d'horizon, Paul Virilio paints a bleak picture of current scientific, cultural, social and political values. Art has succumbed to the techniques of advertising, while in politics the battle for hearts and minds has become a mere 'synchronization of opinion'. TV ratings have triumphed over universal suffrage. The events of September 11 reflect both the manipulation of a global sub-proletariat and the delusions of an elite of rich students and technicians who resemble the 'suicidal members of the Heaven's Gate cybersect'. And, in this post-humanist dystopia, we are morally rudderless before the threat of biological manipulations as yet undreamt-of.
The Anonymity of those who initiated the attack merely signals, for everyone, the rise of the global covert state - of the unknown quantity of private criminality - that 'beyond-Good-and-Evil' which has for centuries been the dream of the high priests of an iconoclastic progress.
Publisher: Verso Books