Review of Joel Garreau, Radical Evolution, New York: Doubleday, 2004.
Opposition to DARPA’s Planned Future
Henry David Thoreau warned that men have become tools of their tools, but this warning hasn’t stopped anything. Thousands of sci fi movies showing the controllers controlling the masses haven’t changed anything. We can’t expect mass opposition when the agenda is revealed. The agenda is already revealed, or partially revealed, and very few people are even concerned about it.
Bill Joy is probably the most prominent opponent of the planned future under transhumanism. Bill Joy co-founded Sun Microsystems. He was also a software programmer for DARPA and contributed to the construction of the internet. In 2000, Joy predicted the end of the human race within a generation. In “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” (Wired Magazine), Joy complained that bioengineering will allow the development of plague viruses that can attack specified populations, robots will become more intelligent than people and will control us, and nanotechnology machines will be invented that suck the life out of every living thing, creating a “gray goo” universe. Forget nuclear weapons. Biological weapons can be created in a single lab, even by accident, and can self-replicate. Joy believes that there has to be an agency to set limits on research because the development of “certain kinds of knowledge” will be fatal to the human race. Advanced machines will be controlled by a tiny elite, and this will facilitate their control over the masses. In fact, people will not even be necessary to the functioning of the industrial system. Even if the elites turned out to be kind-hearted and allowed a portion of humanity to survive, the masses would have to be treated with some kind of conditioning to remove their aggression and potential for violence. In other words, the best-case scenario for the future involves the masses becoming the equivalent of domestic animals.
Joy associates his doom scenario with previous myths, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden, Pandora releasing evil into the world by opening a box, Frankenstein, Dr. Faust. Bill Joy believes that companies that produce new technologies must be held legally liable for negative outcomes.
Joel Garreau calls Joy’s pessimism the Hell Scenario. We call it the New World Order.
Garreau believes that in the future the world will be divided into the Enhanced elite, the Naturals who refuse to be modified, and the Rest, the masses who do not have opportunities for enhancement. Enclaves of Enhanced people already exist, and they are extremely elitist and separatist in their attitudes. They form a tight club.
Francis Fukayama conceded that his thesis in The End of History and the Last Man (the triumph of capitalism and democracy) could not prevail unless science were curtailed. In 2002 he wrote Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Fukayama worries about altering humanity away from genetically based characteristics. Anthropologist Donald E. Brown’s work on Human Universals has identified basic human characteristics. Fukayama worries that the fundamental nature of man can be altered. Thus there has to be a fundamental universal equality of human dignity to hold the line against future genetic experimentation on humans.
But Enhancement is already far along. Fukayama’s concerns are just a minor ripple. There is no significant organized opposition to bioengineering.
Fukayama believes democracy is based on equality, and without it you will get a slave culture, or at least an out-culture, from technological innovation applied to humans. Fukayama distinguishes between pointless violence and noble violence in the service of the defense of communities. There has to be some method of eliminating pointless violence or the gap between the Enhanced and the Natural will erupt in violence, but it becomes problematic to eliminate all aggression and violence. Even elimination of pain and suffering may end up causing big changes in human nature with negative consequences that cannot be foreseen. Fukayama is not interested in personal immortality, and he worries about longevity producing a class of old, rigid personalities. He favors regulation of scientific research, and this must be done worldwide. The first gene therapy came from China. The first cloned human embryo came from South Korea. Fukayama favors a global body controlling science.
Another negativist is Martin Rees, author of Our Final Hour, A Scientist’s Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind’s Future in This Century, On Earth and Beyond. His point is that technology disrupts society and makes everyone more vulnerable to system crashes.
Bertrand Russell pointed out, “Science has not given men more self-control, more kindliness, or more power of discounting their passions.” True, but Russell was a population controller and New World Order advocate.
Leon Kass, president of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics, is a leading spokesman on ethics of research.
Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are against human cloning. However, they are also Green socialist fronts.
Ellen Ullman, Close to the Machine, Technophilia and Its Discontents, and The Bug.
David Zindell, The Broken God
Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Pinker points out that there are no single genes for genius or for anything else, so genetics is not going to succeed easily in changing human nature.
Could Humans Prevail?
John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid in The Social Life of Information argue against the Hell scenario. They believe that social systems are more powerful than technologies even though technologies shape cultures. These authors believe that robots probably won’t take over because they lack a social consciousness. But we say, this is dreamy idealism. Society has already largely disappeared in the United States. The public schools and the media matrix control mass opinion now. Very soon robots will replace teachers in public schools.
Jaron Lanier believes that, when people adapt to computers, this adaptation lowers human functioning and human potential. Lanier doesn’t worry about Enhancement, he worries about vapidity, the absence of flavor when robots and computers take over. He worries about human-human relations in the era of robots.
The phrase that describes this is, “The slow suicide of nerdification.”
Lanier believes there is a curve of ascending moral progress beginning with the Declaration of Independence (All men are created equal) then moving to the civil war (abolishment of slavery) and then to women gaining the right to vote, American support for Communism in Vietnam, feminism, gay rights, animal rights, children’s rights. He calls this “enlarging the circle of empathy.” Lanier notes that young, idealistic people want to draw their circle of empathy very large, but “universal empathy takes so much energy you can’t do much else. But, if you draw the circle too small, you cut off people who are important to making you who you are.” Lanier is a naive liberal. New rights conflict with old rights, and civil rights are completely different from Communist human rights. Kids draw their circle of empathy too large because globalist slogans tell them to, and their parents don’t foster identity with ancestors.
Lanier views social progress as the formation of new communities. There is no such thing as social progress, there is only social destruction under socialism. Who is going to form the new communities? Green socialists? No thanks. Actually, new communities are forming every day, they are called Obama tent cities.
Computers and cell phones change the way communities form. Instead of going to a place to find community, individuals can text-message others and arrange to form a group at a particular place. This is called swarming. Swarming leads to time-softening, cell dancing, life skittering, posse pinging, drunk dialing, and smart mobs.
We aren’t excited about any of it. This mainly appeals to restless adolescent radicals controlled by slogans. Moreover, the pseudo-communities such as Facebook are being monitored now by Big Brother.
Howard Rheingold invented virtual communities. His book is Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Goals are determined nonhierarchically, following the model of the French Revolution. Smart mobs have driven political leaders out of power, for example, Joseph Estrada, President of the Philippines, in 2001. Fax machines enabled Tienanmen Square. Photocopiers fueled Polish Solidarity.
Note to Rheingold: the French Revolution was hierarchical, you just haven’t discovered the hierarchy. The controllers are very savvy about monitoring dissent and then controlling it through infiltration. Lanier admits that swarmers run the risk of being superficial and manipulated. Truly nonhierarchical movements are doomed to fail.
Lanier believes that Enhancement can narrow the gaps between people and lead to flavor (human values). We expect wonderful results for the deaf, blind, and paralyzed. However, Enhancement already is creating tight elite groups. It depends on how you are Enhanced.
Lanier favors the Prevail scenario. He believes that ordinary people can shape the impact of technology on human nature and society. Technology is not determinative. However, for Prevail to succeed, people must voluntarily stop working on dangerous scientific research. That will never happen, big money is involved.
World population reduction has led to societies in which a surplus of aggressive males is worrisome. This is true of China, South Korea, Pakistan, India (Delhi), Cuba, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, generally anywhere the Left has had the power to control reproduction.
Justin Stagl’s reaction: Human nature shifts over time. It includes a biological heritage but also various cultural heritages. Stagl believes in “utopian potential,” which he defines as “our better nature.” But there never has been a utopia, and utopian thinking has always featured elites controlling masses. “Our better nature” describes conservative opposition to leftist control schemes, not socialist utopia. Stagl seems ignorant of the history of utopian literature, believing it to be idealistic.
There is a prevalent idea that man can be made happy by arranging molecules and atoms. What is at stake is the belief that man can make a kind of quantum leap into new abilities and discover new values that we cannot imagine by mere projection of human abilities to slightly greater capacities. But to get there, all influential variables come under scrutiny: family, education, social and cultural influences, biological changes. So there is a “taking apart” of existing influences and an engineering of future influences, to achieve what? This can’t be evolution, it is social and biological engineering. If we get rid of pain, mental illness, overpopulation, low IQ, negative values such as cowardice or timidity, shyness, childhood diseases, if we get better memories and immune systems, the ability to process information quickly, absence of disease, smarter, faster, stronger, longer-living, why would anybody believe we have created a superior person? Perhaps the new person becomes more Darwinian and cruel, like the leaders of the Left. What framework do we have to set up to keep the stronger kids from exploiting the old, weaker humans?
In this future scenario we can see the metaphor for the scenario we have endured for the past hundred years, the Left exercising self-will and clever organization to exploit and enslave and kill the weak.
What is really new in modern organizations, since World War II, is the ability of teams of people to solve difficult problems without any of them being a genius. DARPA has exploited this new way of developing technology efficiently, for purposes of warfare and population control. DARPA’s innovations have a ripple effect. DARPA’s innovations force corporate management teams to innovate or be eclipsed by those who do. Thus a dynamic of destruction is built in to the most successful government, university, and corporate organizations. Which naturally leads to favoritism, in-group control, and corruption.
Teilhard de Chardin did great damage with his book The Phenomenon of Man, which argued that technology would create a unified web of ideas and communication that would make the world better. The idea that earth, and its various populations, constitute a living organism, using the analogy of cells in a human body, has enlisted the naive into supporting globalism. What is global consciousness? Nothing more than lying down and allowing the global socialist takeover to destroy all existing cultures.
Moreover, environmentalists have gone beyond Teilhard and claim that we cannot survive on the planet without this web of global consciousness. As if all systems are in crisis. Actually the phony alarms are all fronts for global takeover.
Working intellectually to put together explanations for how and why everything is related is the next project of the Enlightenment. It is the formation of the uniform global culture controlled by the futurists.
Martin Seligman observes there are three levels of happiness, the pleasant life, the good life, and the meaningful life. Seligman has sponsored a cross-cultural study that identifies cultural value clusters, around wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance, and spirituality. But world government won’t work around deep values. Anthropologists will link cultures according to values, rate them, and try to change them according to the futurist technological vision. This process of anthropologists altering societies has been going on since World War II, and America was the first society they altered by introducing the sexual revolution. Anthropologists are lefties, and often Communists. But it is nice to think about how people with deep values could connect better.
Mandatory compassion will serve the goal of blunting the “blind forces of change,” meaning the increased capacity of the system for control and violence. While the controllers are creating excuses for the elimination of the surplus people, the materialist socialists will be constantly encouraged to be “compassionate.” Mandatory compassion is code for “don’t resist the takeover.”
Culture and values are two entirely different things. The search for universal values devalues cultural context and serves Enlightenment and globalism. What values shape technological innovation? That should be our point of investigation. Pride is the fundamental value of the scientist, and now fraud has entered significantly into scientific projects to shape data to conclusions drawn in advance.
As long as science is funded by socialism and contributes to the global police state, it will be an anti-human project.
There is no “deep value” organized opposition, mainly because conservatives remain mesmerized by the power of the U.S. military to “spread democracy.” Having bought into the official 9/11 story, they are busy fighting the “last war” and making heroes out of soldiers, firemen, and police officers. The real hero, the man who can undo the New World Order as opposed to the man who responds to incidents of crisis, has yet to appear and organize effective action against all the controlling forces. That includes defunding DARPA research, dismantling the U.S. military global police state, and withdrawing from foreign occupations. The Left will never defund or control science. The Democrats rubber-stamp all budget requests for scientific research because they know it is going to lead to police-state control.
The important question to us is, how do we stimulate and organize independence and localism and escape the planned socialist future? To actually undo the planned police state, a pro-human anti-globalist political party would need to form and exercise power in every country. Highly unlikely. It is also highly unlikely that deep-value people will infiltrate and take over existing global institutions, reform them, run an honest ship, and control science.
As long as Big Science can sell itself to the public as medical progress and technological progress, it will continue to build the police state right under our nose.
Keep up with DARPA’s innovations at Wired: Danger Room: DARPA Watch.
Key terms: fatal knowledge, gray goo, the Hell scenario, the Prevail scenario, the Enhanced, the Naturals, and the Rest, “the slow suicide of nerdification,” virtual communities, flavor, the global superorganism, deep value clusters, mandatory compassion