The Age of Transhumanist Politics Has Begun: Will It Change Traditional Concepts of Left and Right?

By Roland Benedikter
The Leftist Review

According to political scientist and sociologist Roland Benedikter, research scholar at the University of California at Santa Barbara, “transhumanist” politics has momentous growth potential but with uncertain outcomes. The coming years will probably see a dialogue between humanism and transhumanism in—and about—most crucial fields of human endeavor, with strong political implications that will challenge, and could change the traditional concepts, identities and strategies of Left and Right.

Question: In the book you co-authored with Pentagon-advisor and Georgetown-neuroscientist and neuroethicist James Giordano “Neuroscience and Neuroethics: Impacting Human Futures“ you state that these two fields at the interface between science and politics might lead to bigger changes in the coming years than either conventional politics or science. The reason: Technology is becoming an increasingly more powerful political and social force – not only sectorially or nationally, but globally.
Benedikter: In recent years technology has indeed emerged as a concrete social and political force. 2014 has seen a noticeable intensification of that trend. The traditional political players are poorly prepared for it. What, for example, nowadays takes place in just one year at the interface between the human brain and technology, until recently required a decade. It is an exponential development. The mechanization of society and humanity is occurring within many disciplines– for example, in the form of neurotechnology, which is increasingly used for medical and both dual-use and direct military purposes. But there are other fields too. From neuroeconomics  to, neuroaesthetics, neurosprituality, neurosociology and even neuropolitics, the “neuro”-prefix is becoming omnipresent in the understanding and meaning of our time and civilization – and with regard to its self-ascribed identity.



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