At first I didn’t know what to make of this alien ecologies post “The New Prometheans: Technology and the Dreams of Reason”. On twitter, the author, S. C. Hickman subtitles the post, “Reconstructing Communism in an Age of Despair”; the post draws on Brassier’s argument that “we can try to reexamine the philosophical foundations of a Promethean project that is implicit in Marx – the project of re-engineering ourselves and our world on a more rational basis”
An argument like this gets my spider sense tingling, but I didn’t exactly know why at first. What sets it tingling, I finally decided, is the notion Hickman points to of the two paths that society’s future might take.
“One aspect [Brassier] did not go into in depth was the two paths of bifurcations upon which such a future might take. He mentions the capitalist view of those such as Ray Kurzweil and others who invest in a future that would reengineer society based on a transhumanist project in which AI, Cloning, More-than-human biotechnologically enhanced humans might transcend current humanity allowing for a new class division of those who would become superior in intellect and physical capacities, while others would be disposed into ‘zones of exclusion’ much like our slum-worlds that Mike Davis and others have already documented so well.”
This is, of course, the information age take on Luxemburg’s “Socialism or Barbarism”, updated to include the potential negative effects of the most recent frontiers of science and technology. In Luxemburg’s time, the prospect of industrial scale wars and atrocities loomed over mankind as the so-called Great Powers sought to redivide the world among themselves. Today, this choice between socialism and barbarism has been extended to include biotechnologically enhanced humans who would become superior in intellect and physical capacities to all the rest of us poor working class slobs.