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IEET > Security > Cyber > SciTech > Rights > Economic > ReproRights > Life > Access > Enablement > Innovation > Health > Vision > Sociology > Philosophy > Futurism > Technoprogressivism > Fiction > Contributors > Khannea Suntzu

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Should Transhumanists Abandon the Corporatist Capitalist model?


Khannea Suntzu
Khannea Suntzu
Ethical Technology

Posted: May 20, 2013

In Khannea SunTzu remarkable new novel she’ll never write - The NeoProgressive’s New Deal - the leader character, Cassandra Assange (Daughter of Julian Assange, born in 2003), is the target of literal micro drone assassination attempts, a vicious media campaign and endless incapacitating litigation. She became a political activist like her father in the mid 2020s, and exemplified the new counter-cultural ideal. Militantly lesbian and technoprogressive she gave birth of a clone of her wife, and her wife gave birth to a clone of Cassandra in the late 2020s.

- a short narrative in reply to "Should Transhumanism Abandon the USA?, by excerpt by Zoltan Istvan". 
 

Shortly afterwards a microdrone (suspected of NAUS origine) crawled in to their appartment in Australia and her wife died. In part as a defensive response to this omnipresent threat Cassandra fled to Berlin and pursued a political career as part of the Pirate Party. As a highly visible and widely emulated media icon Cassandra rekindles the ANON movement in to "New Individualism" or NYM ideology). 

 
Cassandra is a tall girl, standing at just over six feet. She is muscled from years of diving in Australia and in her late 20s. She has long braided hair woven with bright glowing strands and she is heavily tattooed with a dragon running down her shoulders. She is hated in the (former) United States, in part because of the political activities of her father (whom she barely met in life) who was himself assassinated with Polonium isotope in 2016. Cassandra exemplifies counterculture and anticapitalism. It isn't even that she is any particular active or has any particularly strong convictions, but the symbolic value of her name and statements made the US 'war on terror machine' (now thirty years alive and as visibly a miserable failure as the earlier US wars) kick in to overdrive. Half the world renditions "terrorists" to the US by the thousands every year. 
 
In the last few years Cassandra wrote a few books, and ran for the Pirates in Australia, Sweden and Germany when she was still in her early twenties. The moment she appears on the political radar she became effectively unable to travel outside Europe. As the US transforms in to the NAUS (now including former England, sans Scotland) and the European Union transforms in the European Alliance (now including Russia) at the end of the teens, Cassandra survives on running on a political ticket of staunch anti-americanism. This includes the rainbow selection of very popular talking points, including banning human gene patents, governmental research in to life extension, renegotiating general intellectual properties completely, legalizing private of ownership of 3D printers and reorganizing the world financial sector. 
 
Her 2028 decission to give birth to a GMO (genefixed) clone of her lover Melancholy ended her inheriting the label of "transhumanist", a derogatory term in the continental US. In the late 2020s Transhumanism in the US was increasingly associated with "democracy", another historical artifact that is not well appreciated in some circles, like "socialism" half a century earlier. So Cassandra finds her somewhat against her will to become the figurehead and symbol of a international anti-corporatism. And with result - one can get arrested in the CONUS wearing a 'che' T shirt with her face on it.
 
Upon Melancholy's death Cassandra living in Europe has become inescapable. EA becomes her prison.. Cassandra flees Australia in the diplomatic mail, and settles in Berlin where she has a massive following. This increases political attacks on her, this time executed mainly by means litigation. Cassandra has a legal team that has to wade through hundreds of lawsuits between the years 2029 to 2031. 
 
This is including completely irrational (but high profile) lawsuits that her appearance and styling are in large part based on the FoxNey CGI "eviscerator" game, franchise and movie characters of Cassie Deveraux
 
Cassandra now survives on political donations by means of BitCoin, which has embedded her firmly on the NAUS terror watch lists, as BitCoin violates the 2018 Amero union banking laws. 
 
Her wife dead, one child paralyzed and one child emotionally traumatized by this barrage of state hatred, Cassie has fought depression for months and is now perfecting her survival strategy by running for the New Individualists block as a EA senator, spearheading a Pirate ticket.  That decission diminishes the drone assassination attempts, but it made the legal and media attacks become a constant toxic background hiss. 
 
Oddly, in 2031 the NAUS turns eager to talk to her. 
 
The overtures starts subtly from Microsoft "intermediaries" and take weeks, like a baroque online dance. Everyone knows that MS AI's are heavily intertwined with EA and NAUS state governance and that in effect MS executives are by and large NAUS State Department executives. The last attempt to browbeat her in to Parlay comes as subtle as would such attempts from Baron Harkonnen to discuss the art of Kanly with Duke Atreides have been. 
 
But all this back and forth kinda makes sense, since Denver would be burning through a lot of state department money every month to go after her. Cassandra isn't dismissive of meeting yet another suit, but she doesn't see the Microsoft angle. Why would the US state seek to settle its case by entangling Microsoft in to the mix?
 
Cassandra, discusses this with her oddball cyberpunk media team, shrugs and agrees to a meeting in town. Getting there by limousine is acceptably unsafe but the risk was manageable. Lunch at Berlichingen, 12:30 PM with one PR executive Crowles.
 
If Cassie has any residual optimism regarding the get-together she abandons it completely when she looks at Crowles. He is Mister Dead Eyes, eerily similar to Udo Kier. The man seems to have been genetically bred to radiate contempt and to project intimidation. This isn't anything like an olive branch. This man has come to her to break her spirit.
 
Crowles has elected to receive her seated in a private fumatorium room with table. He housed a Havana just before she enters. As she strides in he nods and he takes a long sip of his night black quadruple espresso. Cassandra catches the reflection of dead fish eyes in the coffee.
 
A sustainable minimum of pleasantries drifts back and forth. The ambiance is analogue to that of a Alcor Dewar. Crowles gets to business and his contempt as thinly disguised as a bloody uruk hai axe wrapped Furoshiki style. 
 
"I am here to offer you a billion Amero, Miss Cassandra", Crowles pipes as amicably as Dominican Nun in Inquisition Drag. "We will negotiate with third parties to abandon all attempts to harass you if you follow a certain list of steps precisely. " Crowles gestures towards a coffee coloured DDR-style plastic binder. "It is quite simple. You retire from public office, and you can retire. "
 
Cassandra blinks once.  Crowles continued, after pausing for another lubricating sip of dark ooze of Tsathoggua. 
 
"For you taking steps to disband your initiatives to become an Alliance senator. You might be wondering why we would invest a Billion, but rest assured, the current budget of these aforementioned third parties is bigger than this billion. We would desire nothing less than full administrative retirement and we will give you guarantees..." 
 
(...A clear hint at where these drones were coming from...)
 
"..and you can live what's left of your life in peace. The amount has been made available for you to deposit on BitCoin, as an amount linked to Amero. Swiss bank account. If you honor the terms of the agreement, you'll get an ante of this reimbursement in the next months and once your decision becomes verifiably irreversible the remainder in a year. You may retire in the Alliance, we don't care where, as long as you completely step away from public life. We suggest Greece. I hear Greece is the perfect ambiance for the likes of you. "
 
Cassandra shirks being stunned for a moment, then regains her composure. All this is quite direct and downright rude. For the US state department a Billion Amero BC is not all that big an investment. These people use BC to bribe warlords and assets worldwide on a daily basis, since nobody outside the US is dumb enough accepts Amero.  Bitcoin is very hard to percolate back to the US since it is next to impossible to exchange there, with these DHS banking laws in effect. 
 
Outside the US a billion's worth of BitCoin will allow her to buy several houses and live in obscene luxury for the rest of her life. 
 
These deals are common all throughout the 2020s. Lots of people fell for these corporate offers, and even at that the BC equivalent of a Billion Amero was a very high offer to betray all she stands for. 
 
Cassandra is actually tempted for a split second, but curiosity prevails.
 
"Show me your terms" she inquires maintaining detachment. Crowles smiles cautiously and breaks the seal on the binder. The artifact was 3D printed solely for her benefit, seal and all. The insides are all plastic cards that shimmers in holographics  and thus are difficult to photograph unless from precisely the right angle and distance. Even then, Cassandra has attended the meeting without recording devices, as per agreement, and glances over at the terms of the offer. 
 
Parts on Basic Income makes immediate sense. NAUS hates the popular basic income in the Alliance. The idea of basic income has been spreading - China, Japan, Australia, India, Brazil all offer their citizens a lean basic income and media agitators in the mainland US call it "populist democratism". 
 
There are some points on her abandoning her political struggles on Intellectual Property and patent laws and that was also to be expected. 
 
An article on population growth quota. Fertility quota is a sensitive point for Americans, who still let in a few million highly educated 'guest workers' every year. Yanno, "pay taxes, wear a guest worker uniform, maybe become a citizen", that sort of thing. The EA on ten other had has closed its borders and has applied population growth quota on all member states. In fact, that's why Cassandra had originally agreed to 'marry' Mel - she didn't want to constantly be slandered a racist. It is so easy to confuse birth quota with racist immigration policies.
 
Her father had pioneered these points in the mid teens as an Australian parliamentarian, nothing surprising there.
 
However... contract point 15. Distance herself publicly from transhumanism. Denounce 'neo-eugenics'. Denounce the life-extension articles she was currently running on in Alliance parliament. She looks up at Crowles her face betraying her confusion.
 
"Oh I see you noticed a few  key points" Crowles smiles like a shark 
 
"..that's why we offer a Billion. You may understand we have our own motives. Let's not belabor these points, you may appreciate we have our motives in the US. Let's keep it simple - we just don't like people in the EA to make claims they are "progressive". It is a tautology as far as I am concerned, and quite silly. I mean, seriously. The EA is a demographic mausoleum.  
 
" Transhumanism ... it is .. distasteful. Old modernist ideology, not that dissimilar from Communist utopianism. You are the most visible spokesperson of this outdated ideology world wide. We simply don't like it. You have been hammering this Transhuman filth over here in the EA. You are associating New Individualism with Transhumanism. This whole notion has been a nuisance for us for decades as you may appreciate. 
 
" Let's be simple about it. Transhumanists are in essence hackers" (he states with a deeply menacing undertone) "and that means terrorists. Very simple. Transhumanists are hackers. They upset the established status quo. That means they are terrorists. Plain and simple. We dealt with hackers quite nicely - most of them are resident of the 52th state now.. " 
 
That was a reference to Cuba. Guantanamo.
 
" However you also have credibility in this distasteful field. Transhumanism is actually spreading in Russian EA. There are actual 'Transhuman' political parties there. If your european initiatives popularize these memes, it will signify a considerable annoyance for us. "
Crowles looks closer, for full force of intimidation.
 
"Do realize the alternatives, Cassandra. Not take this deal and you'd live in your Berlin Bunker for the rest of your life as a Teleworking Senator riding a telepresence drone working 16 hours a day for a pitiful wage. 
 
" Take this deal and you'd be living along the Greece Riviera in considerable luxury. Understand closely - the state department, and we at Microsoft and Monsanto  we had enough of this nonsense of "birth quota" in the EU. We don't want further research in to "life extension". This expensive nonsense is hurting our medical patents. 
 
" Seriously, what is this "life extension" doing? Just a few statistical years since the beginning of this century? - it is pitiful and it costs Alliance taxpayers billions. But those few extra years are breaking states world wide under the accumulating costs for pensions. And the measly extra 20 months gained by life extension are costing medical conglomerates billions, as people need ordinary medical treatments later. 
 
" That is why a billion is a spare change for us, Cassandra. We get rid of you, we have you discredit and step away from this Transhumanism Science Fiction modernist nonsense, are all better off. 
 
" We want things to remain as they are Miss Cassandra. The corporations of this planet need technological and scientific stability. People who fall in line. Predictable, not constantly disrupted by these chaotic new technologies or politicized utopian science. 
 
" Young people should remain consumers, playing their little MS Dreamscape games all day. Keep them in food aid and labour reserve and please don't start this nonsense of trying to give these dead end idiots a "basic income" for doing absolutely nothing and being available for forced labour or the military. 
 
 
" What kind of democratist drivel is that? Who is going to pay for this democratist nonsenseCertainly not the corporate sector! And that's our core point of this contract, Miss Cassandra. We want to nip this whole growing Basic Income nonsense in the bud. Giving useless bums a few hundred euro is already an affront to Capitalism and free markets. The advances you already made are inspiring similar initiatives in Britain - NAUS territory. England is NAUS now, despite of it still having .." (whince) "...a parliament. We do not want this basic income and life extension nonsense to catch on in London."
 
“Are you kidding me, Crowles?” Cassandra finally blurts out. 
 
Do I look like I’m kidding, Miss Assange?” Crowles eyes are especially icy.

Khannea Suntzu describes herself as cosmist, cosmicist, upwinger, socialist-libertarian, hedonist and abolitionist. Khannea is transgendered, and currently lives in the Netherlands.
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COMMENTS


http://blog.khanneasuntzu.com/?p=5144





I think Khannea’s writing is fantastic. And I would love to read the full story. Cheers, Zoltan Istvan





“New Individualism” ??

Cassandra Assange - Neo-Socialist?
Dagny Taggart - Neo-Liberal?

Oooh.. I know you must hate me for such audacious comparison!

And yet, in a “Mirror, Mirror” Universe Socialist Luddites oppress Rand’s ideological freedom using force, coercion and the blackmail of ruin too!

But really what is the common denominator of the protagonist? Courage? Sense of Justice? Integrity? Audacity? Heresy? The Value of “individual freedom” above all else?

Can’t wait for the next installment where Cassandra gives him the finger?





“New individualism” would be the kind of “fight club” fuck you lower class empowerment where the marginalized and countercultural types state - “society is composed of all its members” and “society does not limit itself to borders”. In essence corporate power uses countries and governments and religions to do its bidding, but at some point people will say to this type of tyrant “to here and no further”.

Cassandra Assange would be just someone wanting to be left alone. However she inherited a universe of bad karma because (a) her father was the new Che, and (b) she had the gall to be a Lesbian and do the ultimate status quo disrupting sin - give birth to a genefixed clone. She isn’t a transhuman-ist - she DOES transhumanism. No pretense. Practice. She doesn’t even “call” it Transhumanism. For her it was just the right thing to do.

Corporations use force, Randian or not. In this version they claim to be Randian superhero’s but at the end of the day they just send the bureaucrat dogs to do their bidding. Prisons, Blackwater, Cops, Justice systems, State department, CIA, Economic hitman, etc. etc. Throwing around taxpayer billions. Very unRandyan.

The common denominator is that we are in the age of disparity. We are seeing new tyrants rize up, because they can, and new rebel alliances rize up because they have to.

Why do you need a Cassandra Assange to give the corporate Industrial Complex a finger? Why don’t you? Her life was already ruined before the story started. She was already a depressed mess when fate forced her hand to confront Sauron.

Where are you when the armies of Mordor march upon the world? Because with exponentially accellerating technologies the world is cut in two - the Corporate Asskisser Fanboys (Humanity+ is full of those) are applauding the corporate mother Theresa’s like Diamandis and Thiel and Elon Must. Great people, but all people living in Ivory Towers. All people who will do very little when people starve in the third world, right? People who do very little when people start starving along the perifery of the developed world. And yes, people that will hide in their private estates and bunkers when Empire collapse, and who will blame it all on Obama and socialism.

What’s the other side that still embraces technology? The Pirates? ANON?Hackers? Cyberpunks? Zero State? Pirates? The Venus Project maybe? You see what a Cassandra has to work with and what she’s up against?





When in Rome…

http://www.pbs.org/empires/romans/empire/plebians.html

“For many, however, life was a daily struggle.

But although individual plebeians had little power, there were a lot of them. In bad times, or during political unrest, there was always the risk of the Roman ‘mob’ rioting or rebelling against the upper classes.

The Emperor Augustus was well aware of this risk and was keen to keep the poorest plebeians happy enough and reasonably well fed so that they would not riot. He began the system of state bribery that the writer Juvenal described as ‘bread and circuses’.

Free grain and controlled food prices meant that plebeians could not starve, while free entertainment – such as chariot races and gladiators in amphitheaters and the Circus Maximus – meant that they would not get bored and restless. Bribery it may have been, but it often worked.”

People oftentimes imagine a dystopian future where our dog-eat-dog capitalist/corporatist system is brought to it’s logical conclusion.  My counter-point is that for every rich corporate executive, there are many plebeians who can only be pushed so far before they riot.





“Why do you need a Cassandra Assange to give the corporate Industrial Complex a finger? Why don’t you?”

Indeed I do, pushing at those big corporates and the govt, giving them the finger, and a damn good tongue thrashing on social media! That is… until I realize how much value I then apply to my Android or iPhone device, how much I need my Starbucks Coffee buzz, my ISP connection?

Consumerism is used as a strategy to divide and conquer, misdirect, promote divisiveness and prevent organized revolt - and no matter how much suffering the govt, (and corporates), may carefully and deliberately impose, “none of us” are really that prepared to do anything until the pain and anguish truly comes a calling, and you get your home or freedom taken from you?

Do I need Cassandra to give ‘em the finger? ... Well yes, I think I do, otherwise I will again be disappointed, perhaps even become disheartened that yet another that showed courage of conviction and audacity, (even if applied as rational Self-interest?), has let their integrity slide?

“What’s the other side that still embraces technology? The Pirates? ANON?Hackers? Cyberpunks? Zero State? Pirates? The Venus Project maybe? “

Hmm… Not sure about the Venus Project as technocracy does not align itself with anarchism, small govt and self sufficiency perhaps?

But yes, it IS the individual that counts, the individual that turns words into actions. These are the real existentialists whom espouse “existence!“Not merely words in books and treatises?

We can all be strong, if we are courageous? we can all be informed if we seek knowledge? We can all be wise if we apply deliberation? We can all change the world as individuals, and especially in coming together for common purpose and applied Universal values, (freedom)?


“People oftentimes imagine a dystopian future where our dog-eat-dog capitalist/corporatist system is brought to it’s logical conclusion.  My counter-point is that for every rich corporate executive, there are many plebeians who can only be pushed so far before they riot.”

I do not think or feel there is a logical conclusion? Humans, by nature, are consumers and so consumerism will prevail, even after the demise of money,(and bitcoin!)

And yes, when you see the “whites of their eyes” and the froth of their mouth, ease up on the Plebs! (Such is the attitudes of the superior corporate exec?)

Comfort zones..

“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”

 





“Consumerism is used as a strategy to divide and conquer, misdirect, promote divisiveness and prevent organized revolt - and no matter how much suffering the govt, (and corporates), may carefully and deliberately impose,”

I’ve never really bought into this idea. ‘Bread and circuses’ may have been a deliberate policy in the days of Augustus, but it seems to me that modern consumerism developed much more organically. Juvenal did not need much imagination to identify bread and circuses as a deliberate policy, he just needed keen powers of observation, whereas I think you do need a vivid imagination - or to have picked up the idea from somewhere else (it is common enough) to see the current state of world affairs as the result of some kind of grand conspiracy. (And it would have to be grand, since power is currently too decentralised for a small conspiracy to pull it off.)

““none of us” are really that prepared to do anything until the pain and anguish truly comes a calling, and you get your home or freedom taken from you?”

Perhaps the above is something of a quibble, and government and corporations are really imposing suffering, if less ‘carefully and deliberately’, or at least consistently, than some of us might imagine, through a bread and circuses-type strategy. Then what *should* we be doing about it? Must we resign ourselves to seeing everything as a choice between amoral collaborationism and self-sacrificial revolt, undertaken only by the desperate? This seems rather disempowering.

The truth is that we can and should ‘do something’, but not necessarily in the style of outright rebellion. ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ is indeed good advice. The worst thing we can do, in my view, is to sit around complaining about Evil Corporations and Government, and then continue to value those Androids and iPhones and wait for fictional characters to play the hero, for fear of ending up dissappointed or disheartened. Just trying to improve our own behaviour in small, subtle ways is a good way to start.





“The truth is that we can and should ‘do something’, but not necessarily in the style of outright rebellion.”

Violence is out- and in the era of improved WMDs at lowered prices, violence no longer has any practicality. Nevertheless without civil disobedience (a fancy term for nonviolent rebellion) the Underground Railroad wouldn’t have existed. Thoreau and Garretson could be said to have been in rebellion. Even Germany’s widespread civil disobedience when France took its coal in 1923 was rather necessary.
More recently, anti-war protests for seven years (‘65- ‘72) against the War in Vietnam were instigated by many factors (incl. conscription; real and rumored atrocities; the poor leadership of LBJ; Southern discrimination towards blacks [also several thousand blacks killed in Vietnam] ).
Protesting can’t always be limited to singing ‘We Shall Overcome’.





Indeed. I’m all for rebellion if it is engaged in with a clear purpose and isn’t causing harm that clearly outweighs any benefit. That can also be a way of improving our behaviour, as can giving the finger to our corporate bosses (literal and metaphorical). Just I wouldn’t want us to talk ourselves into an all or nothing mentality where we are paralysed into inaction and subservience because we think the only alternative is to take up our respective crosses and prepare for crucifixion.





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