By Arthur Kroker
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Extra resources for Technology and the Canadian Mind: Innis McLuhan Grant (New world perspectives)
Grant’s thought is historical in its direction, tragic in its sensibility, and a matter of remembrance. He is a witness to that which has been lost in the coming-to-be of the technological dynamo. In Grant’s world, time is privileged as we listen for the “intimations of deprival” that might remind us of some lost human good, of precious aspects of experience, which have been cancelled by the technological imperative. But this is to say that Grant is groundto Canadian thought: his perspective privileges content over form, time over space.
Again, “technique is ourselves”; and it is so in a way that is fully internal to the self-understanding of the modern project. For Grant, as for Nietzsche before him, dependency is no longer a matter of the externalities of human experience; but involves a radical colonization from within of the psychology of the modern self. “All coherent languages beyond those which serve the drive to unlimited freedom through technique have been broken up in the coming to be ofwhat we are. “‘5 The frenzied drive to “freedom through technique ~~16 is, in a word, the horizon of modern culture.
The implication of Grant’s “double refusal” (both of the immediate imperialism of the United States, and of the more mediate categories of western civilization within which the “pure will to technique” of the American way is couched) is this. If the “technological dynamo” of the United States brings to perfect fruition the “nihilistic will to will” of a now exhausted European culture; if North America has been the brilliant, historical vanguard of the “modern project”: then New World thinkers cannot escape the hidden side, the dark side, of their participation, either at the centre or the peripheries, in the “most fully modern society”49 in western civilization.
Technology and the Canadian Mind: Innis McLuhan Grant (New world perspectives) by Arthur Kroker