The heart of Heidegger’s critique of the technological society is his notion of “standing reserve,” the idea that matter is just there, without an inherent order or qualities, plastic to whatever shapes the whims of human will want to impose on it.
He says, “Everywhere everything is ordered to stand by, to be immediately on hand, indeed to stand there just so that it may be on call for a further ordering . . . The word ‘standing-reserve’ assumes the rank of an inclusive rubric. It designates nothing less than the way in which everything presences that is wrought upon by the revealing the challenges. Whatever stands by in the sense of standing-reserve no longer stands over against us as object.”