Re: BIO/POL: Fukuyama Sides with the "Gene Grabbers"

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Sat Jan 05 2002 - 12:29:46 MST

At 09:34 AM 1/5/02 -0600, you wrote:
>Francis Fukuyama has been signaling for some time that he is taking up the
>bioethics and politics of human genetic engineering as his next cause.
>Unfortunately, it appears that this very influential intellectual has
>succumbed to the temptation to use an unreflective emotional concept of
>"nature" as his guide. Here's his opening salvo:
>Notice three things: 1) he has adopted the terminology of "posthumanity" to
>describe what he warns against; 2) although he makes a gesture of
>condemnation against Rifkin and other "luddites", his position is not really
>distinct from theirs and 3) his unfortunate prescription is government
>regulation of an admittedly unprecedented type and scale. Too bad.

I find his article very revealing. It gives us a clear picture of what
some who are neither Luddites nor futurists think about a posthuman
world. However, I find his depth of knowledge lacking and down right
limited, he does come out and use the term "posthuman" which I think is a
step up. Now, how do we deal with this? By sending out a Press Release
from ExI addressing, perhaps, several issues that he brings up. Herein, we
will show where he is correct and where he is incorrect by relating to pros
and cons.

Here is a quote: "But the posthuman world could be one that is far more
hierarchical and competitive than the one that currently exists, and full
of social conflict as a result. It could be one in which any notion of
shared humanity is lost, because we have mixed human genes with those of so
many other species that we no longer have a clear idea of what a human
being is. It could be one in which the average person is living well into
his or her second century, sitting in a nursing home hoping for an
unattainable death. Or it could be the kind of soft tyranny envisioned in
Brave New World, in which everyone is healthy and happy but has forgotten
the meaning of hope, fear, or struggle. "

This myth should be debunked. That Brave New World syndrome keeps popping
up. But, we can use it to our advantage. We certainly don't want tyranny
and we certainly do want a transhumane sensibility.

Here is another quote: "True freedom means the freedom of political
communities to protect the values they hold most dear, and it is that
freedom that we need to exercise with regard to the biotechnology
revolution today."

I understand his concerns. I have stated on several occasions, I do not
find any one political agenda ultimately compatible with our transhumanist
views. I think there needs to be an alternative way to show the extropian
transhumansit perspective on politics.


Natasha Vita-More

Founder, Transhumanist Arts
Art Director, Digital Design

"I'd rather be inebriated on a classic life than a 1996 classic Merlot."

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