Wolfgang Fritz Haug: Formation of Human Beings in the Times of the Internet of Things

(in: Das Argument. Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Sozialwissenschaften, vol. 56, 2015, no. 1)

Starting point is the anthropological insight that the biological substratum of our species does not generate our historical human essence, which comes to our new born via postnatal humanisation. Assuming that, therefore, the formation of human beings (>Menschenbildung<) means more than enculturation and that, furthermore, it can been done only through an active appropriation of extant possibilities by the individuals themselves, we need to ask how this human formation is being revolutionized in the era of the >internet of things<, which operates as a veritable anthropological break, given its permanent virtual connectivity. The digital revolution could in principle create brilliant opportunities for qualified and creative work, but in fact, under the conditions of High-Tech Capitalism, it destroys innumerable jobs and life perspectives. The historical task of self-change while at the same time changing our circumstances requires a new pedagogy of resistance that counters the mute power of hightech-devices and neoliberal cost-benefit-calculations and strengthens self-determined forms of community.