To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it’s inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it’s not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us. And more importantly, we have to ask ourselves whether punishments like imprisonment are only considered humane because they are familiar, because we’ve all grown up in a world where imprisonment is what happens to people who commit crimes. Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn’t simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments – the goal is to look at today’s punishments through the lens of the future.
The Olympic Games are what they are: a floating, rotating boondoggle-shaped shitcake of graft, venality and cronyism, with a spotty icing of athleticism spread thinly on the top to mask the taste of the shit as it goes down the gullet. Barring some sort of active revolution, that’s not going to change. Sochi’s problem is that this time, they heaped extra shit into the cake and skimped on the icing, and what icing it has is also made of shit. You can’t mask the taste. At this point it’s not worth it to try.
The future is the only kind of property the masters willingly concede to the slaves.
And so I cringe a bit at the term ecosocialism — it’s too earth-toned. What we need is a cyborg socialism that points not to the primacy of ecology, but to the integration of natural and social, organic and industrial, ecological and technological; that recognizes human transformations of the natural world without simply asserting domination over it.
The Left doesn’t need to go green — to save the planet and the people on it, it needs to go red.
The android is just another way of speaking about the new other, and I consider myself to be part of the other just by being a woman and being black. There’s still certain stereotypes that I have to fight off, and there’s still a certain struggle that we all individually have to go through.
But this is a larger failure, the failure of a kind of progressive-leaning bourgeois politics of class sympathy. It’s a perspective that is very alive to class, but a politics largely deaf to it. Liberal politics tells you we can solve the contradictions of capitalism simply by figuring out a way to include more people in the wealth that’s been generated. The main problems are moral (greedy mean people!) and distributional (which might explain why Blomkamp smuggles in some Malthusian themes of “overpopulation”).
Radicals know it’s going to take much more fundamental restructuring of society, one which will require prolonged struggle ending with the defeat of the rulers. I welcome a popular culture containing more radical themes, but, in the final account, this is not the class struggle movie we are looking for.
Heh it’s a totally reasonable question, it’s the terms themselves that are ambiguous ;)
I think the best way to think about it is in terms of...