Anarcho-transhumanism

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Anarchotranshumanism is usually represented with a blue and black flag, drawing from the doppler effect on light.[1] This is sometimes confused with the flags of individualist anarchism (typically a lighter blue closer to cyan), and anarchafeminism (typically purple)[2]. Other symbols used include blue and black stars, a blue rose[3], or technological plays on traditional anarchist symbols (such as a circle-A symbol with gear teeth).

Anarcho-transhumanism (@H+) is a philosophy concerned with social and material liberty[4] as understood by both transhumanist views on material conditions and anarchist views on power dynamics in society.

As many misconceptions about both anarchism and transhumanism persist, it is frequently confused with many other viewpoints and movements, such as technolibertarianism, anarcho-capitalism[5], liberal transhumanism[6], social futurism, or the Venus Project.

Overview and Values

Central to anarchotranshumanism is facilitating the equality of opportunity for all individuals to exercise self-determination. Conditions that unnecessarily limit either the viable options or the individuals able to exercise them are typically rejected, including arrangements based on equality of endowment or outcome. This leads to criticism of other groups in both parent philosophies that fail to address or even encourage such conditions.

History and Development

Anarchotranshumanists identify transhumanist sentiments from historical anarchists, such as Voltairine de Cleyre.[7]

Relationship to Transhumanism

Borrowing from crypto-anarchism, anarchist activist William Gillis and others argue that the disruptive nature of emergent technologies are either incompatible or extremely dangerous with hierarchical structures of today[8], including representative or majoritarian democracy.[9][10] Failure to challenge physical and social conditions together has been argued to risk oligarchic transhumanism, primitivism, or even extinction.[11]

Alternatively, nildicit has since extrapolated on this by intersecting it with transhumanist inevitablism in an effort to curtail the apolitical sentiments imbued by many transhumanists.[12]

Individual anarchotranshumanists may or may not be singularitarians,[13] variously considering an anarchist society and hypothesized singularity events as prerequisites, mutually exclusive,[14] or inevitable outcomes of one another.

Economics

Opposition to Absentee Ownership

Capitalism

Anarchotranshumanists advoctate a variety of economic systems, with the common theme of rejecting systems based on absentee ownership of land and the means of production, such as capitalism, state socialism, and authoritarian communism. All anarchotranshumanists are anticapitalist, owing to anarchism's understanding of capitalism as a hierarchial system with capitalists and landlords as de-facto rulers.

Authoritarian Socialism/Communism

Government-mediated socialist and communist systems are similarly rejected, with the government and its agents replicating the role and issues with absentee owners.[15]

Intellectual Property

With the rejection of proprietarianism comes the abolition of intellectual property. In addition to the problems cited by other anarchists, anarchotranshumanists see numerous conflicts between intellectual property and an individual's self-determination that arise from emerging technologies. The presence of software or hardware components that are considered the intellectual property of others in a prosthetic device, in effect, means the partial ownership of one's body by another.[16]

Proposed alternatives

Communalism and Libertarian Municipalism

Libertarian municipalism and communalism, especially as described in Murray Bookchin's Post-Scarcity Anarchism, are a common starting point for anarchotranshumanist economics.

Libertarian Socialism

Libertarian socialism and communism are commonly supported systems, possibly made more viable by a transition to post-scarcity. This transition could be facilitated by manufacturing techniques enabled by 3D Printing and nanofabrication.

Auxiliary economic systems

While futarchy as originally conceptualized[17][18] is incompatible with anarchism's rejection of representative governance and elected officials, a prediction market not mediated by elected officials could be considered as a tool of informing decisions.[19][20] Trust and reputation metrics based on public or personal records may also be useful, whether arranged as a market or otherwise. These systems can be cited as a suppement to a typical market or gift economy, often to bridge the gap between scarce and post-scarce demands. Spimes or blockchains may be used to track stakeholdership over goods and infrastructure.

Criticism

Sustainability and Feasibility issues

Biases and Anthropocentrism

Consent Issues, Social Contracts, and Antinatalism

Conflation with Other Anarchist and Transhumanist Perspectives

Many critics of anarchotranshumanism may argue from a position that is not aware of the interaction between anarchism and transhumanism, or the distinction between their subtypes. Those unfamiliar with either may confuse it with positions even further afield, interpret it through conspiracy theories, and/or regard it as nonsensical.[citation needed]

For example, libertarians and other transhumanists may mistake anarchism's libertarian socialism for more authoritarian technoprogressivism and argue against planned economies, which are not a feature of anarchotranshumanist thought.

Anarchists may also incorrectly assume that anarchotranshumanists consider concepts such as mind uploading to be adequate responses to the problems posed by hierarchies such as capitalism and statism, or that anarchotranshumanists are hostile or indifferent to environmentalist issues. The presence of libertarian transhumanists that mistakenly refer to themselves as anarcho-capitalists is another point of confusion.

In popular culture

In the Revelation space series, one of the main factions were the Demarchists who used a simply neural implant to constantly vote on issues, with voters who made 'good' decisions rewarded with greater influence. This system was called Demarchy.

In the game series Deus Ex it is often possible to avoid all collectivist alliances and play entirely independently.

In Shadowrun lore, there was a period of time where the city of Berlin had transitioned to an anarchist society; where a "Flux State" was formed in the wake of hierarchical governance:

"The Free City of Berlin is the former capital of Germany and one of the most interesting phenomenons to emerge in the post-Awakening world. In the wake of the anarchist revolution of 2039, the city seceded from the German state and created the Flux State. This grand experiment in social order is anarchy in practice, where the power structure constantly evolves and the crafty shadowrunner will always find ways to survive - and even thrive. Corporations tread carefully in the Free City - and even the great dragon Lofwyr only has so much influence here."[21]

The Eclipse Phase roleplaying game's setting includes an outer solar system widely inhabited by anarchist and social democratic groups.

The Culture from the Culture series is highly decentralised an anarchistic in many of its dealings.

The short-lived web comic Political Ideology Catgirls featured an anarcho-transhumanist catgirl who hacks into people computers through using cyberhacking to espouse the virtues of mind uploading.[22]

Sources

Blogs and sites

External links

References