Politics of the Very Worst
Semiotext(e), Jan 5, 1999 - Political Science - 128 pages
Based upon a 1996 conversation Paul Virilio had with French journalist Phillipe Petit, The Politics of the Very Worst summarizes Virilio's speculations about the impact that accidents will have on the planet now that we operate on one-world time. Virilio argues that accidents have now lost all particularity. Accidents and events can no longer be confined to markers in history like Auschwitz or Hiroshima. Trajectories once had three dimensions: past, present, and future. But now, the hyper-concentration of time into "real time" reduces all trajectories to nothing. Consequently, an accident of time is bound to affect our entire being as well as the entire planet. And this is the hidden face of technical and scientific progress that Virilio is attempting to reveal, shrugging off any illusion we may have left about its alleged benefits.
Globalization doesn't make the planet bigger, it signals the beginning of "the great confinement." Speed pollutes the distances of the world. After the "green ecology" (the pollution of nature), we are now experiencing another, more invisible and mental, kind of pollution: the "gray ecology." Soon, Virilio suggests, we are going to experience the end of the world—not the apocalyptic end, but the world as finite. The communication revolution, the attainment of absolute speed, is the reduction of the world to a virtual city in which democracy is no longer possible. This extermination of world-space is a cataclysmic event. For the first time, history has hit a cosmological limit.
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accident advertisement aesthetics of disappearance already artificial intelligence atom bomb become body proper borders camera cinema civil communication revolution computer bomb crash created Cyberfeminism cybernetic cyberwar democracy deterrence developed distance distant neighbor diverged domotics drama drones Dziga Vertov Earth ecology event landscape example favor film filmmakers France French Gilles Deleuze global god-machine Gulf hic et nunc Hiroshima Mon Amour human immediacy information superhighway Internet invented Jacques Attali Jean Baudrillard living longer loss mean military-industrial complex Minitel movement negativity newsreels nineteenth century nuclear optics painting Paris Paul Virilio perception perspective of real phenomenon photograph planet political pollution possible progress propaganda question radio railroads real space relation resistance robots satellites Semiotext(e society stock market suburbs taking back language talk technical object technologies technoscience telesurveillance teletechnologies television territory threat tion Today transportation revolution urban urbanist virtual city Vladimir Jankelevitch words world proper world vision WWII