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2023 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

5. Technoscientific Rationality and Capitalist Accumulation. Transhumanism as Alienation in Marx’s Humanist Approach

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Abstract

The transhumanist movement aims to liberate the human subject through scientific and technological development. However, from Marx’s notion of alienation, transhumanism can be conceived as a process that exacerbates the degree of subordination carried out by the capitalist system. This research presents the relationship between capitalist accumulation, scientific and technological development, and the alienation of the labour process. It delves into how technoscientific rationality and the capitalist pursuit of profitability have created a “Promethean gap,” manifested in the transhumanist movement. It examines the impact of technoscientific commodities in a transhumanist scenario. The chapter also shows how technoscientific rationality and the dynamics of capitalist accumulation are associated with generating transhumanist and utilitarian ideals. This aspect coincides with the intensification of the alienating and fetishist condition of the system.

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Fußnoten
1
The study considers “social disruptions” and “negative consequences” on vulnerable or historically marginalised groups as minor impacts (Jensen et al., 2018, p. 6). Adverse health effects are characterised as having a moderate impact compared to other issues (Jensen et al., 2018, p. 6). Results of “low significance” are related to changes in commercial relationships and environmental damage from the increased production of toxic technological waste (Jensen et al., 2018, p. 6).
 
2
Susan Levin (2020, p. 131) explained that Utilitarianism is a well-known form of consequentialist philosophy that holds that the moral value of any action is determined by its consequences. This applies not only to individual actions but also to larger entities such as institutions, laws, and practices. Transhumanists, who advocate for the use of technology to enhance human capabilities, employ a similar consequentialist argument (Levin, 2020). They argue that therapy and enhancement offer comparable benefits, and thus, it is better to enhance rather than just treat or avoid disease. This argument is based on the “moral continuum” that links value and action, as noted by Malmqvist (2014, p. 44; Levin, 2020, p. 132).
 
3
Technoscience is the union of (capitalist) technique and science that emerged as part of neoliberal public policies in the early 1980s in the United States. This model is characterised by generating commodities that have been the product of strong investment in research and development.
 
4
H+ is the symbol that has been disseminated by the Humanity+ platform and refers to the human condition that subjects will acquire through the advances provided by technoscientific commodities. Cfr. https://​humanityplus.​org
 
5
Byron’s studies (2016, p. 375) demonstrate that Marx’s investigation into human nature and alienation are interdependent and complementary concepts. Therefore, in Capital, when exploring the transformations of human nature associated with capitalism, Marx also delves into examining alienation.
 
6
According to Diéguez (2017, p. 109), the term “megascience” refers to how scientific research has evolved to require the use of expensive and sophisticated technology, the involvement of large research teams, and the acquisition of significant financial resources for its successful execution.
 
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Metadaten
Titel
Technoscientific Rationality and Capitalist Accumulation. Transhumanism as Alienation in Marx’s Humanist Approach
verfasst von
Baruc Jiménez Contreras
Copyright-Jahr
2023
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-40139-8_5