"Biology is not the essence of humanity.
Human is a step in evolution, not the culmination."
The Transhumanist Manifesto
WHAT IS TRANSHUMANISM?
One of the criticisms of capitalism is that rather than narrow, it extends the economic divide between the haves and the have nots. Nowhere is this more evident than in Silicon Valley where a median income in excess of $100,000 a year (twice the national average) is offset by a poverty rate approaching 20%. Figures such as these suggest that the Techno-Optimism that drives much of today’s economic thinking should be balanced by the realization that the rising tide of technology does not necessarily lift all boats.
Instead, what we get from technologists and business leaders is an ode to the brave new world of Transhumanism.
Transhumanism is best described as self-directed evolution: the idea that humans can – and should --transcend the limitations of their current biological state through the use of advanced technologies such as genetic engineering and artificial intelligence. The goal of Transhumanism is to deliver a utopian society in which disease and death have been banished forever. But for who?
Capitalism and Transhumanism are inseparable. Both value progress and efficiency above all else; the former as a means to profit, the latter as a way to personal power. The connection becomes even stronger when you recognize that Transhumanism is not for everybody.
Transhumanism will be expensive – very expensive. The ability to engineer your body to the point where you are “superhuman” will fall within the means of a select few: the technologists and business leaders who are today espousing Transhumanism’s many virtues.
If this occurs, what happens to the rest of us? Will the ability to share in the benefits of Transhumanism be open to all? Or will the inequality gap widen even further as we suffer under a small cadre of “superhumans” who look down upon us as inefficient vestiges of the past?