How biopolitics could reshape our understanding of left and right

Allyssa Ford in Utne Magazine:

Didn’t think it was possible for the left to be anymore splintered? Welcome to the world of biopolitics, a fledgling political movement that promises to make mortal enemies out of one-time allies — such as back-to-nature environmentalists and technophile lefties — and close friends of traditional foes, such as anti-GMO activists and evangelicals.

Biopolitics, a term coined by Trinity College professor James Hughes, places pro-technology transhumanists on one pole and people who are suspicious of technology on the other. According to Hughes, transhumanists are members of “an emergent philosophical movement which says that humans can and should become more than human through technological enhancements.” The term transhuman is shorthand for transitional human — people who are in the process of becoming “posthuman” or “cyborgs.”

It may sound like a movement founded by people who argue over Star Trek minutia on the Internet, but transhumanists are far more complex and organized than one might imagine. They got their start in the early 1980s as a small band of libertarian technophiles who advocated for any advancement that could extend human life indefinitely or eliminate disease and disability. Their members were some of the first to sign up to be cryogenically frozen, for example.

More here.

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