The New (Old) Characteristics of Posthuman Politics
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Technological developments associated with transhumanism, genetic engineering, human-machine interfacing and the ‘Singularity’ will disrupt the foundational assumptions of modern politics. Rather than benefiting all mankind (in principle), the new technologies will modify the character and expression of human nature in ways that will divide society. The political consequences of transhuman technologies will be to reintroduce a division between those who can and wish to adopt the new technologies and those who cannot or do not wish to do so. Liberal politics, based on the fear of death and the universal benefit of technological advances, will be replaced by a technologically enabled return of classical politics: the rule of the unwise by the wise, with wisdom now defined as rational calculation. While most political discussion of transhuman technologies revolves around securing equal access to them or preserving mankind from unintended consequences, the transhumanist intellectual movement depends on hopes that undermine the foundations of modern liberalism. Only a recognition of spirited resistance to rational control will avoid a political conflict between those insisting on the rationality of transhuman technologies and those refusing on the honour of human nature.
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