The Global Technological System (GTS) is the most life-threatening challenge ever faced by humankind. It is a parasite that has grown so large that it is killing its host; that is, it is sucking the vitality out of human beings, societies, cultures, and ecosystems worldwide. To understand how we might respond creatively to it, and free ourselves from it, we need to develop a rigorously realistic understanding of it.
The GTS which confronts us today is the result of a long historical process of growth. It got its start in 1648 at the end of the Latin Christian civil war. After that, intellectuals in what had been Latin Christendom abandoned theology and devoted themselves to mastering the material world with an increasingly clear technological intent. By 1750, today’s technological phenomenon had begun with the Technological (not Industrial) Revolution. By 1920, we had technological societies or societies wholly determined by technology. By 1950, we had the emergence of a Global Technological System that integrated these technological societies along with all others.
The GTS, therefore, is the result of centuries of unwavering commitment by billions of human beings around the globe and trillions of dollars. We cannot weaken it easily. It will not go away quickly. It dominates every society on earth to such a degree that no society may serve us as a meaningful and viable alternative to it.
The GTS is a system; that is, it consists of parts forming an integrated whole. This means that a change in any part will affect all other parts. So, for example, if bad things happen in some faraway country, some bad effect will eventually hit us in our own hometown. Blowback happens.
It means that a change in the whole will affect each part. Computers quickly went from being a new technological gadget to being the central nervous system of the GTS. Now every part of the GTS must conform to them. All of us must submit to having our whole complex personality and history dissected and simplified to fit tidily into forms pleasing to computers.
Finally, because the GTS is a system, we can’t pick only the good parts and ignore the rest. It’s a package deal. We may rightly celebrate the system’s helpful products and services but we must also rightly mourn its harmful ones.
Right now, and from now on, the GTS does more harm than good. As previously mentioned, it is a parasite sucking the life out of Earth’s biosphere. The harm it does will only increase. It may yet, and soon, destroy all human life.
The whole purpose of the GTS is to expand its own power. Every day the GTS continues its own exponential growth and increases the intensity, extensity, and depth of its applications. Our ability to free ourselves from its control diminishes daily.
The GTS transcends and controls all other material realities. In now controls virtually all human beings, societies, cultures, and ecosystems. This means, for example, that the GTS transcends and controls all national governments. No national government controls the GTS within its own borders.
The GTS concentrates its power in the hands of an increasingly smaller number of individuals who together rule as technological aristocrats or technocrats. These individuals exercise their rule primarily through two forms of organizations: governments and transnational corporations. Today and for the future, however, the technocrats of transnational corporations are more powerful than the technocrats controlling governments.
Technocrats work together to increase the power of the GTS. In other words, governmental technocrats, for example, do to pass laws to prevent corporate technocrats from harming the people of a nation or creation. Instead, governmental and corporate technocrats work together to increase the power of the GTS regardless of the cost to people or creation.
Technocrats do not regard other technocrats as good or evil but as useful or not. So, for example, governmental technocrats will happily work with dictators, crime bosses, and drug dealers if they are useful technocrats themselves.
The primary loyalty of all technocrats is to the GTS and its power. Technocrats from America, for example, do not put the well-being of the American people first. Rather, they use the American people to improve the vitality of the GTS and their own share in its power. American rulers also work with foreign rulers to increase the power of their shared ruling class. American rulers do not work against foreign rulers to increase the power of the American middle, working, or marginal classes.
Technocrats, however, do not enjoy perfect unity. The GTS is all about power or control. Each individual technocrat is committed to increasing the power of the GTS as well as their share in it. To increase their own share, each individual technocrat must unite with some to oppose others. The goal of each coalition of technocrats, of course, is to destroy the power of all other coalitions. Then the goal of each remaining technocrat will be to fight for control of the one remaining coalition.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.