Friday, January 28, 2005

Utne Reader on the Emerging Biopolitics

Although she gets some of the details askew (I didn't help found the WTA for instance, nor were its founders "leftists") Alyssa Ford's review of my arguments for biopolitics and democratic transhumanism in the Utne Reader are a heck of a lot more positive than I would have expected. Kudos to them. Now I feel bad about saying in Citizen Cyborg that more people in the developing world want to live in a Wired future than an Utne future. If Utne is open to a techprogressive argument the future is a lot brighter.
By definition, social conservatives oppose the transhumanists, but the new movement also has many enemies on the new age, environmental, anti-GMO, and anti-biotech left. These progressive opponents have even aligned with right wing factions in opposition to transhumanist goals. In 2002, Jeremy Rifkin and other environmentalists joined with anti-abortion groups to float an anti-cloning petition. Abortion opponents again found themselves working with the left when a group of feminists and civil libertarians began pressuring the Indian government to restrict women's access to ultrasounds and abortions for fear of female infanticide. The transhumanists, in turn, call these anti-technology liberals "left luddites," "bioconservatives," and "technophobes" -- a not-so-subtle linguistic clue that the new biopolitical axis has the potential to completely reconfigure traditional politics.

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