I want to begin with a quotation from The Hyperindustrial Epoch, the first volume of Stiegler’s Symbolic Misery:

It is in the nineteenth century that mnemo-technologies make their first appearance. Technologies are no longer simply technics, these are the industrial products and machines which open the audiovisual era (the photograph and the phonograph, cinema, radio and television). Then, in the twentieth century (following from Hollerith’s work on data processing) come the technologies of calculation, and the mnemo-techno-logical becomes the actual support of industrial life, fully subjected to the imperatives of the global, mechanical division of labour – a fortiori since by way of the generalized digitization the technologies of information and communication converge to form the context for what we today call ‘cultural’ or ‘cognitive’ capitalism.

(2014b: 8; emphasis added) This quotation is significant because it draws together the four elements of a specific reading of Marxist history based according to Stiegler on the originary technicity thesis: digitization, calculability, technological reproduction and the manipulation of human cognition. The quotation provides a condensed account of the way in which the technological tendency of human society, whose evolution is mediated by the simultaneous development of orthographic culture, has taken control of the aesthetic, philosophical and political relations that constitute the life of spirit. This chapter will therefore be concerned with the development of what I have called the technological arche-programme that is set out in Stiegler’s work. Stiegler himself calls this programme ‘the One’, a term he uses to designate the evolving degree of synchronization that exists among the various technological programmes that constitute hyperindustrial society. He also relates this latest phase in human evolution to the idea of ‘the Anthropocene’, whose defining characteristic he conceives as the progressive absorption of the sensory and noetic faculties of human beings into the mnemo-technological systems that saturate the world and anticipate every act of will (2014d: 19). 1 I have, of course, borrowed this idea of the arche-programme from Derrida’s concept of ‘arche-writing’ that precedes the formalization of language, speech and writing, and which is the condition of the general economy of différance that arises from their inscriptive-performative regimes (Derrida, 1976: 6–26). I will begin with a brief account of the relationship between the arche-programme, as a teleological tendency in the evolution of modernity, and the history of technology that is presented in Stiegler’s Technics and Time.