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Humanist Debacle

The technological potential to develop ever greater wealth promises social justice and equilibrium, while actually destroying them. Humanism, in its multiple dimensions, has only superficially borne out hopes for a general boon to mankind; there is far less reason to think that one-dimensional globalism or transhumanism, let alone religion, will lead us anywhere but further into dystopia. The worldwide advance of capitalism and nominal democracy in nation states has entrained a very uneven social progress, to say the least. The nature of power becomes increasingly elusive and abstract, its locus concentrated and economic rather than widespread and political. Nations, let alone communities, are no longer forums for self-determination. Even as some nations are still emerging from tribal units, others are dissolving as quickly back into tribalism or chaos. Large-scale power is relocating beyond civic control. Shareholders in transnational corporations may have an official vote, but chances are the only issues that will ever be brought before them are ones affecting the internal structure and revenues of the corporation: election of officers, mergers, etc. In this way, running the world is left to economic technocrats whose loyalties are to completely artificial groups (shareholders) united only in the abstract goal of growth and in their common absentee participation in artificial systems for accomplishing it. Since neither shareholders nor money managers contribute any real productive effort, such money is necessarily “made” at the expense of increasing disparities of wealth while depressing the quality of life of the species as a whole. In terms of the original dreams of humanism, it is a system gone mad and out of control.

RELATED TAGS: [technological potential (of technology), economic dystopia/technocracy, nominal democracy, locus of power, local self-determination/autonomy, tribalism, corporate fascism/democracy/rule]

© Copyright Dan Bruiger 2008. All rights reserved.