So our final judgment on "what’s wrong" with Huxley’s brave .. Excerpted from OUR POSTHUMAN FUTURE by Francis Fukuyama. Francis Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future fears that biotechnology will make monsters of us. Steven Rose weighs the evidence. The power to genetically enhance future generations could be a boon for humanity – or it could lead to an era of violent rebellion against the.

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Indeed, there is futurre such thing as the human race any longer, since they have been bred by the Controllers into separate castes of Alphas, Betas, Epsilons, and Gammas who are as distant from each other as humans are from animals. Nuclear weapons, nuclear power, ballistic missiles, biological and chemical warfare, illegal human organ trade, neuropharmacological drugs, genetically modified foods, human experimentation have been the subject of effective international political control.

And insofar as human biotechnology threatens to interfere with that human nature, it is essential that it fukutama regulated. As one of the characters notes, “The Controllers realized that force was no good,” and that people would have to be seduced rather than compelled to live in an orderly society.

So what should we do about it? We may be about to enter into a post-human future, in which technology will give us the capacity to gradually alter that essence over time. They want to maximise the freedom of parents to choose the kind of children they have, the freedom of scientists to pursue research, and the freedom of entrepreneurs to make use of technology to create wealth.

The much more common dystopic writing of the past 50 years has largely been posited on disruptive scientific and technological fantasies. The novel was about what we now call information technology: It could be fukuywma in which any notion of “shared humanity” is lost, because we have mixed human genes with those of so many other species that we no longer have a clear idea of what a human being is. It was not some futuristic speculation, but an argument that the collapse of Soviet communism and the triumph of US-style liberal democracy meant that, effectively, the world was now under stable management.

That moral order did not completely break down in the west in the wake of the destruction of consensus on traditional religious values should not surprise us either, because moral order comes from within human nature itself and is not something that has to be imposed on human nature posthhman culture. They no longer have the characteristics that give us human dignity. Possession of moral choice, human language, reason, sociability, emotions, sentience, and consciousness constitute distinguishing qualities that differentiate humans from animals.

The telescreen was what permitted the vast centralization of social life under the Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Love, for it allowed the government to banish privacy by monitoring every word and deed over a massive network of wires.


The most clear and present danger is that the large genetic variations between individuals will narrow and become clustered within certain distinct social groups.

Many of the technologies that Huxley envisioned, like in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, psychotropic drugs, and genetic engineering for the manufacture of children, are fuukuyama here or just over the horizon.

Therefore, biotechnology targeting human nature will inevitably affect the discourse of values and politics. But the posthuman world could be one that is far more hierarchical and competitive than the one that currently exists, and full of social conflict posthukan a result.

Certainly, no one ever got elected to Congress on such a platform.

We do not have to regard ourselves as slaves to inevitable technological progress when that progress does not serve human ends. He is on less firm ground when dealing with genetic claims, where he accepts at face value the rather suspect evidence for so-called “smart” or “aggressive” mice engineered by adding or removing DNA from their genomes.

Lewis, called the “abolition of man” is thus a violation of God”s will. But I don”t think that a careful reading of Huxley or Lewis leads to the conclusion that either writer believed religion to be the only grounds on which one could understand the meaning of being human.

The politics of breeding future human beings will be very complex. They will look, think, act, and perhaps even feel differently from those who were not similarly chosen, and may come in time to think of themselves as different kinds of creatures. In Our Posthuman Futureone of our greatest social philosophers begins to describe the potential effects of genetic exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: Sound conclusion, faulty premises. His question is clear: For one can then ask, What is so important about being a human being in the traditional way that Huxley defines it?

He – and we – should be so lucky. The bad old form of eugenics discriminated against the disabled and the less intelligent by forbidding them to have children.

Review: Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama | Books | The Guardian

In any event, as philosophers from Hume onwards have pointed out, one cannot derive an “ought” from an “is”. The first and most sensible would be to forbid the use of biotechnology to postbuman human characteristics and decline to compete in this dimension. But this kind of freedom will be different from all other freedoms that people have previously enjoyed. To use biotechnology to engage in what oud Christian writer, C. Indeed, this is one of the few things in a politics of the future that people are likely to rouse themselves to fight over.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Poathuman in the future, the full weight of modern technology can be put in the service of optimising the kinds of genes that are passed on to one’s offspring.


They are, indeed, happy slaves with a slavish happiness. References to this book Transpositions: My library Help Advanced Book Search.

August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Fukuyama refers to the vukuyama totality of these qualities as “Factor X”, “the complex whole” as opposed to “the sum of simple parts”, which forms the foundation of human dignity.

For it seems highly unlikely that people in modern democratic societies will sit around complacently if they see elites embedding their advantages genetically in their children.

OUR POSTHUMAN FUTURE: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

Throughout, Fukuyama avoids ideological straitjackets and articulates a position that is neither Luddite nor laissez-faire. In Brave New Worldby contrast, the evil is not so fuluyama because no one is hurt; indeed, this is a world in which everyone gets what they want. For any person growing up as I did in the middle decades of the twentieth century, the future and its terrifying possibilities were defined by two books, Fuiuyama Orwell”s first published in and Aldous Huxley”s Brave New World published in It is impossible to know which of these two scenarios – one of growing genetic inequality, the other of growing equality – will come to pass.

Huxley suggests that one source for a definition of what it meansto be a human being is religion. The philosopher Peter Sloterdijk raised a storm of protest in when he suggested that it will soon be impossible for people to refuse the power of selection that biotechnology provides, and that the questions of breeding something “beyond” man that were raised by Nietzsche and Plato could no longer be ignored.

Unnatural selection

This is the world of classical tyranny, technologically empowered but not so different from what we have tragically seen and known in human history. Political freedom has heretofore meant the freedom to pursue those ends that our natures had established for us. True freedom means the freedom of political communities to protect the values they hold most dear, and it is futurf freedom that we need to exercise with regard to the biotechnology revolution today.

It may be that we are somehow destined to take up this new kind of freedom, or that the next stage of evolution is one in which, as some have suggested, we will deliberately take charge of our own biological makeup rather than leaving it to the blind forces of natural selection.