How can Workers of the World Really Unite?

by Kris Notaro

Social Darwinism, Ayn Rand’s objectivism, capitalism and eugenics are all catastrophes of human thought: How to create a federation of anarchist-socialist / anarchist-syndicalist workers. Warning: This is a techno-optimist and “politically”-positive article.

Workers of the world will unite, I hypothesize under several conditions.

A. Enhancement and “upgrading” brain/mind under the current system is available to everyone.

B. Unconscious robots replace human labor.

C. Current brain/mind renders capitalism as destructive, useless, and corrupt while embracing future technology and science.

D. A mix of the above happens before the wealthy upper class gets their hands on powerful brain/mind enhancements.

A diverse anarchist federation where technology (almost instantly) collects votes from informed, educated, healthy communities so that the “government” is the vote, and the ‘minds’ ‘who’ keep it going are simply robots, supercomputers and/or anarchist computer technicians. The vote would be as consensus like as possible abiding by traditional anarchist ideals. They would be collected on the supercomputers, hourly, daily, weekly, etc, and output immediately, perhaps after being run through a kind of ethical theory algorithm(s) before being presented to the conscious minds of the world.

Robots will replace human labor, leading to types of structural unemployment. Under this condition the robots must NOT be “conscious” not even as conscious as a mouse, or a worm. They have to be completely run by unconscious computer algorithms. If they are even conscious at the level of a mouse there will be protests for their liberation, leaving a post-work society to give up on robots bit by bit all around the world.

The federation of anarchist-socialist workers in a human-working society can have a number assigned to them very much like that of the numbers and letters assigned to every Ethernet/Network card on the planet, simply for voting purposes.

This will allow the rational human-working being to vote for such and such on the local to global level. However this is assuming a post-capitalist society, post-religion, and the lack of hackers and old government trying to hack the anarchist system of voting to implement capitalism again.

Power corrupts most people, historically, therefore the computer technicians (if needed) that run the the consensus worldwide voting system must be elected by the people and any corruption must be delt with. However, if we actually have this scenario play out, the workers of the world would be “brain/mind enhanced”. The likelihood of an enhanced conscious mind beyond the human to be corrupted enough to believe in the catastrophe known as capitalism, in my opinion, would be slim.

The techno-optimist and political-positive outlook on upgraded brains/minds assumes that A. We will live in a post-capitalist world. B. Everyone in the world who wants to be “upgraded” can be. C. After the upgrade, without anything but more knowledge and awareness of that knowledge leads the worker to accept anarchist-socialism out of awareness that this kind of social “structure” makes the most sense given the historical implications of other “ideologies”.

This does indeed assume that with a brain/mind upgrade people get the same kind of knowledge of political theory as everyone else. If education is the key to unlock the potential of mind, why not take an upgrade? Because this is in the anarchist context, the upgrade itself would not force the critical thinking brain to accept anarchist-socialism as fact, but a concept to consider. If it is the case, and I believe it is, that the upgraded mind will accept anarchist-socialism as the ultimate “structure” of society, then after thinking about their upgrade, they will indeed accept it.

If upgraded critical thinking leads to a new kind of social structure outside the realm of anarchism then so be it, however, that “structure” would most likely reject top down political power. In my opinion it will be, if different from what we know now, very close to anarchism, which was in the spotlight of political theory hundreds of years ago during the Enlightenment, the Spanish civil-war, the modern day globalization movement, and recently the Occupy movement to name a few.

Another likely condition is the lack of work because robots have replaced human-labor. In this case, we must have a guaranteed “income”: housing, healthcare, education, access to resources, etc. The anarchist-technoprogressive stance would be that EVERYONE who is replaced by an unconscious robot is given the resources for an anarchist-socialist society. Can science figure this out? Can an unconscious supercomputer figure out how to use the resources of the earth to have unconscious robots replace our labor, upgrade the human mind, and give people a life of happiness instead of wage slavery and the “race to the bottom” under capitalism?

In conclusion I feel that all these positive anarchist-socialist scenarios should happen, but we must have the technology to fix the ecosystem if the current ecosystem is indeed the best system for future life, etc – we can’t live in a dystopian junk yard. I hope that people accept the upgrade, and I also hope that before we get to upgrading brains via computer, nanotechnology, and biotechnology that we can agree that the ultimate way to “structure” society is indeed anarchist-socialism.

The acceptance of anarchist-socialism under the human condition would eradicate any need for a “vanguard party”, dictatorship, or a war to destroy capitalism. We must create a future where the rich do not enhance and upgrade their minds before the working class.

This, in my view, that of the rich enhancing their minds before the working class can lead to un-fairness if they use the upgrade, extra memory, and awareness to their benefit – only making the “1%” that much more powerful.

Enhancing the mind, upgrading brains, and replacing labor with unconscious robots will happen, but how, and in which social order? It is up to you!

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No Dystopian Future For Me!

By Kris Notaro: How can we save our planet, ourselves, and increase the quality of life world wide?

The new Total Recall movie is centered around a grim outlook of the future. It takes place in a metropolis – over populated, affected by global warming, under a totalitarian State, after World War 3. This sci-fi picture of the world takes place at the end of the 21st Century where the “United Federation of Britain” and the “Colony” are at war.

The only interesting things about the dystopian city is the use of anti-gravity and what seems to be magnetics in various technologies such as transportation and elevators. The use of a robot army is also, of course interesting to say the least.

I am not writing a review of the movie however, instead I want to focus on some concepts that have come into play in several dystopian movies recently. Some major taken-for-granted issues is that there will be overpopulation, a smoggish underworld, and an acceptance that global warming has melted the icecaps and all of Al Gores predictions have come true.

Indeed, we are living during a time in which the above dystopian future seems inevitable – the U.S. uses drones, though not autonomous (yet) in war (the DOD and DARPA have many more ideas for future robot warfare) the icecaps are indeed melting from global warming and population continues to skyrocket.

We do have many alternatives however, and this is where I want to take a brief look at the future in a Utopian fashion instead of dystopian. The above image, in reality cannot become true everywhere. If we take the picture on the left we see trees and a dirt road, where the picture on the right (from Total Recall 2012) shows a city after global warming, in a totalitarian State, with overpopulation, etc. Both realities are unattainable and/or catastrophic in nature to humans and posthumans.

In reality we live somewhere in the middle of each image, and the future just might, if we do it right, combine the beautiful image of a biological future mixed with a metal and concrete technological one. In academia, government, and the private sector we see many examples of people trying to save this world.

In China we see the population increasing, but we also see the government working on improving higher education and living standards for college educated youth. If the trend continues we should see more educated people whom, world wide, tend to have less children, not to mention China’s one child policy. These factors should lead to the actual decrease in the population of China by 2030.

In India, we continue to see the population rise, a clear difference between the education of women and men, men having higher education, and poverty scattered throughout the country. The people of India have to take it upon themselves to see that they are educated and not rely on the current government or on the private sector. Three examples that seem somewhat promising is the outlawing of child labor by the ILO and India’s government (cough!), distance learning, and semi “progressive” political groups fighting for womens rights, worker’s rights and against the caste system. Again, in a fair world the only thing that makes sense to me is the increase in education and prosperity to lead to a better tomorrow for India where population is concerned.

However if the solution to overpopulation is prosperity and education, one huge concern is that people will want more stuff. Simply put, more stuff tends to equal more green house emissions. If we want the world to patch up the ozone layer, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and fix the emergent complex system known as the ecosystem we will have to use radical new technology. Supertrees are currently being genetically engineered for the use of lumber and replacement of our shameful destruction of forests. Garbage eating nanotechnology, including genetically engineered bacteria are being designed as I write this. New “green” technologies are on the rise, and with a simple Googling, you can find Time Mag’s list of the top 20 green tech ideas, including Recycling e-Waste, Algae Biofuel, Algae food, Thin-film Solar, Molten Salt Storage, Solar Tower, Custom Biofuels, Electric Cars, Smart Meters, Lithium-ion Batteries, Fuel Cells, Rooftop Wind Power, Tidal Power, Green IT, Green Concrete, Green Building Materials, Modular Nuclear Power, Artificial Photosynthesis, Waste to Energy and “Biochar”.

We have to decrease carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and fluorinated gases through public policy, education, and technological advances like the ones mentioned above, various new concepts to increase rain, because rain does not have salt in it, and if it can be increased over the arctic ocean, some scientists believe it will increase ice, but we have to figure out exactly how to make it rain where it is supposed to rain, a challenge of mega proportions but one in which academic and private sector scientists are ready to take on. Geoengineering may just be the future of saving our ecosystem from catastrophic climate change. Summits have been hosted, scientists have come up with answers, and if a Manhattan Project style of organizing becomes a reality to come up with positive geoengineering we just might beat global warming.

The dystopian future of Total Recall also involved a resistance to totalitarianism, which is very important to say the least. Working people need to get organized and educated so that they can have a leading voice in a direct democracy technoprogressive future to push scientists towards the right kind of life saving, ecosystem fixing science. As long as “the rise of the machines” is not a reality, as long as computers are not conscious, we are going to have to rely on ourselves to come together and save the ecosystem. Instead of modeling nuclear blasts on supercomputers we need to model the ecosystem and take appropriate action, etc.

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to live in a totalitarian, overpopulated, icecap and tree depleted future. Human, posthuman life is not just about existing and quantity of lifespan, it is most definitely also about quality.


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Transhumanism contains the essence of the revolutionary spirit

By Summerspeaker

Drawing on Marx, I define the revolutionary spirit as the belief that we can and should radically transform the world for the better. It spurns compromise and necessary evils, opting instead for creative solutions and consistent morality. It ever struggles against restraints and limitations. The revolutionary saves both the spider and the butterfly or dies in the attempt. “We’ll have both equality and plenty,” say the communists. “We’ll have both freedom and order,” say the anarchists. “We have both longevity and happiness,” say the transhumanists. This mindset motivated Ricardo Flores Magón to dream of a Mexico without the state, bourgeoisie, or clergy. It caused Howard Scott to struggle for an economy of equally distributed abundance and Shulamith Firestone to advocate cybernetic communism. The same impulse drives Eliezer Yudkowsky to push problem-solving superintelligence and Aubrey de Grey to stump for the defeat of aging.

This spirit is not universal within the movement but it is prominent and important. Internally, it stands beside millennialist notions of utopia unfolding from historical processes regardless of our involvement. Externally, it contrasts with the reformist and conservative positions, which argue dramatic change to be impossible, undesirable, far off, or some combination of the three. Transhumanism contributes to the revolutionary discourse by expanding the conceptual territory subject to transformation. In the sense that anarchism addresses social relationships, communism the economy, and feminism the home and family, transhumanism looks to the body and mind as sites for improvement. Additionally, it encourages ambitious scientific investigation specifically targeted to enable transformation. Optimistic futurism sets no boundaries beyond the known laws of physics, which themselves are written in clay rather than stone.

While I favor revolution over reformism in the abstract and thus have a natural affinity for the movement, radical change can be employed by most any value system. My assessment of transhumanism in this respect by no means implies an endorsement of the goals and methods of current leading figures. Moreover, the whole transformative project lends itself to the traps of hubris and self-righteousness. Any would-be revolutionary need proceed with circumspection and caution. Yet, with those dangers in mind, I perceive vast potential in synthesis between the technological and political visionaries. Our stated core values overlap more than not. At present, the transhumanist program exists at grave risk of enshrining in diamond the oppressions of het white male supremacy and economic inequality.

Together, we just might have chance. Our shared commitment to making things better from the roots and denying all but the most adamant of limitations will unite us. The odds of successful transformation may be small, but I guarantee they are smaller still if you discard the possibility.

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