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View Technoprogressivism

Technoprogressivism is an ideological stance with roots in Enlightenment thought which focuses on how human flourishing is advanced by the convergence of technological progress and democratic social change. Technoprogressives argue that technological innovations can be profoundly empowering and emancipatory when they are democratically and transparently regulated for safety and efficacy, and then made universally and equitably available.

Technoprogressives maintain that accounts of"progress” should focus on ethical and social as well as scientific and technical dimensions. For most technoprogressives, then, the growth of scientific knowledge or the accumulation of technological powers will not represent the achievement of proper progress unless and until it is accompanied by a just distribution of the costs, risks, and benefits of these new knowledges and capacities. At the same time, for most technoprogressives the achievement of better democracy, greater fairness, less violence, and a wider rights culture are all desirable, but inadequate in themselves to confront the quandaries of contemporary technological societies unless and until they are accompanied by progress in science and technology to support and implement these values.

Technoprogressives support the rights of persons to either maintain or modify his or her own mind and body, on his or her own terms, through informed, consensual recourse to, or refusal of, available therapeutic or enabling biomedical technology.  Technoprogressivism extends beyond cognitive liberty and morphological rights to views on safe, accountable and liberatory uses of emerging technologies such as genomic choice in reproduction, GMOs, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, surveillance and geoengineering.

Technoprogressive Declaration (adopted by technoprogressive caucus at Transvision 2014, Paris Nov 21, 2014)

The world is unacceptably unequal and dangerous. Emerging technologies could make things dramatically better or worse.  Unfortunately too few people yet understand the dimensions of both the threats and rewards that humanity faces. It is time for technoprogressives, transhumanists and futurists to step up our political engagement and attempt to influence the course of events.

Our core commitment is that both technological progress and democracy are required for the ongoing emancipation of humanity from its constraints. Partisans of the promises of the Enlightenment, we have many cousins in other movements for freedom and social justice.  We must build solidarity with these movements, even as we intervene to point to the radical possibilities of technologies that they often ignore. With our fellow futurists and transhumanists we must intervene to insist that technologies are well-regulated and made universally accessible in strong and just societies. Technology could exacerbate inequality and catastrophic risks in the coming decades, or especially if democratized and well-regulated, ensure longer, healthy and more enabled lives for growing numbers of people, and a stronger and more secure civilization.

Beginning with our shared commitment to individual self-determination we can build solidarity with

- Organizations defending workers and the unemployed, as technology transforms work and the economy
- The movement for reproductive rights, around access to contraception, abortion, assisted reproduction and genomic choice
- The movement for drug law reform around the defense of cognitive liberty
- The disability rights movement around access to assistive and curative technologies
- Sexual and gender minorities around the right to bodily self-determination
- Digital rights movements around new freedoms and means of expression and organization

We call for dramatically expanded governmental research into anti-aging therapies, and universal access to those therapies as they are developed in order to make much longer and healthier lives accessible to everybody.  We believe that there is no distinction between “therapies” and “enhancement.”  The regulation of drugs and devices needs reform to speed their approval.

As artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies increasingly destroy more jobs than they create, and senior citizens live longer, we must join in calling for a radical reform of the economic system. All persons should be liberated from the necessity of the toil of work. Every human being should be guaranteed an income, healthcare, and life-long access to education.

We must join in working for the expansion of rights to all persons, human or not.

We must join with movements working to reduce existential risks, educating them about emerging threats they don’t yet take seriously, and proposing ways that emerging technologies can help reduce those risks. Transnational cooperation can meet the man-made and natural threats that we face.

It is time for technoprogressives to step forward and work together for a brighter future.

Additional readings:

Overview of Biopolitics

TransVision 2014 - “What is Technoprogressive Thought? Origins, Principles, Agendas” James Hughes (Nov 22, 2014)

“Values and objectives of the French techno-progressivism” Marc Roux (2013)

David Wood Explains Technoprogressivism (2013)

“Towards a Transhumanist Techno-progressive Divorce” Rick Searle (Aug 20, 2013)

“Live Long and Prosper: A Program of Technoprogressive Social Democracy” Dale Carrico (July 31, 2005)

“TechnoProgressive Biopolitics and Human Enhancement,” J. Hughes, Progress in Bioethics, ed. Jonathan Moreno and Sam Berger, 2010, MIT Press, pp. 163-188

“Technoprogressives and Transhumanists: What’s the difference?” Mike Treder (Jun 25, 2009)

“Who are the Technoprogressives?” J. Hughes (Jul 14, 2013)

“Transhumanism, Technoprogressivism and Singularitarianism: What are the Differences?” J. Hughes (Jul 28, 2013)

Socrates A Transhumanist Manifesto  < ahref=“”>Singularity One on One</a>, March 11, 2016