It’s Getting Dangerously Late
As a species, we’ve come a long way and accomplished so much. Soon, there will be humans landing on Mars and other planets and moons with solid surface. Soon, human organs being replaced with man-made parts will be a common thing and robots, in all shapes and forms, will be performing many functions, especially dangerous and hazardous tasks, currently being done by humans. There is a tremendous progress in genetics and genetic engineering, which together with robotics on a tiny scale, will be instrumental in combatting diseases. Brain research is also exploding, as I write these words, and can lead to treating and curing many members of our species, instead of locking them up for life. We are about to extend our lifetime to brand new heights, possibly even achieving immortality in some form or shape, and make our kids smarter with much stronger and less fragile bodies. Future generations may have brand new senses, artificially built in, such as a magnetically supported sense of direction like birds, the ability of bats to use sonar or that of fish to stay under water, the eyesight of eagles, smelling ability of bears and the ability to “see” in infrared and ultraviolet, and much much more.
But, as exciting as all the new and forthcoming advances in technology are, before they can be of benefit to humanity and make our lives better, there is a pressing problem that needs to be addressed and a major stumbling block in front of all humanity that needs to be urgently eliminated. This stumbling block is not technological, but social, and it’s not natural, but, man-made. The problem is the current system of global capitalism that channels all the benefits of improvements in technology and productivity into making a tiny minority of us humans, who have already managed to accumulate an obscene amount of wealth, even wealthier, instead of benefitting everyone. It has created a virtual caste system keeping the poor poor and the rich continuously getting richer, in perpetuity, dividing human societies into haves and have nots, and locking them into a permanent class battle, instead of harmony and peace.
Under this economic system, humans, instead of achieving freedom from the burden of labor – or the effort to find and keep it – for keeping them and their families alive, keeps them in a state of virtual slavery, as they toil away just to survive, channeling the fruit of their labor – much like under slavery – into the pockets of the rich. Most of the benefits of human progress and ingenuity benefit only a few, at the expense of the rest of us. Capitalism is also posing a major threat to the environment and its ability to sustain future generations. It also is the cause of most wars and even threatens to annihilate our species.
Under these conditions, new technology is often used to make newer and “better” weapons to make killing large number of people easier. It is also being used to spy on and monitor people’s thoughts (when it’s not used to control them), as well as, their movements and daily actions, in order to prevent a social transformation. This, too, is the direct result of class divisions and conflicts and ends up curtailing people’s freedom.
In other words, instead of helping and improving people’s lives, much of technology is now being used against them. Likewise, future advances in technology may possibly be used to make the dominant class even physically and genetically superior to other humans. At the very least, it will likely end up creating police robots to more effectively put down revolts by the masses and use much more sophisticated weapons to kill a large number of them, either in domestic or foreign confrontations between people and the giant corporations and their governments, making change even harder than it already is.
The time to change things is now. Wait any longer and we may face much more disaster to environment, more and bigger and more devastating wars and much stronger and better equipped ruling class. It’s getting dangerously late.