Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Peter Thiel and Elon Musk Are the Koch Brothers of Reactionary Futurology

That last post was rather long and covered lots of topical ground, but I do want to make sure this late link-rich paragraph doesn't get overlooked:
Anyone who knows the history of Movement Republicanism and the role of a handful of impassioned ideologues backed by a handful of super-rich donors in the creation of an institutional archipelago that disseminated a deranging anti-governmental discourse and organized a legislative program that turned the tide of New Deal to Great Society civilization into Reagan era through Bush and Teavangelical anti-civilizationism (about which I've said more here), should pay close attention to PayPal billionaires Peter Thiel and Elon Musk and their coziness with transhumanoid and singularitarian and futurological would-be gurus, from Kurzweil to Brand to Brockman, their support of the rhetoric of "spontaneous order" and hence the practice of privatization of public investment and culture (for example, of public education, security, infrastructure, the space program), their inevitable hypocritical reliance on government coupled with anti-government rhetoric, their peddling of reactionary geo-engineering and Web 2.0 superficialization schemes as though these are in some way "green" or progressive (aided and abetted by many progressive-identified folks whose fetishization of "technology" renders them, as so often happens, particularly susceptible to reactionary authoritarian politics).

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