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Speed and Politics (first published in France in 1977) is the matrix of
Virilio's entire work. Building on the works of Morand, Marinetti, and McLuhan,
Virilio presents a vision more radically political than that of any of his French contemporaries: speed as the engine of destruction. Speed and Politics presents a topological account of the entire history of humanity, honing in on the technological advances made possible through the militarization of society.
Paralleling Heidegger's account of technology, Virilio's vision sees speed--not class or wealth--as the primary force shaping civilization. In this "technical vitalism," multiple projectiles--inert fortresses and bunkers, the "metabolic bodies" of soldiers, transport vessels, and now information and computer technology--are launched in a permanent assault on the world and on human nature.
Written at a lightning-fast pace, Virilio's landmark book is a split-second,
overwhelming look at how humanity's motivity has shaped the way we function today,
and what might come of it.