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Thursday, 9 May 2019

For A Rightwing Transhumanism

by Romain d'Aspremont, author of Penser l'Homme nouveau, pourquoi la droite perd la bataille des idées (The New Man, Why the Right is Losing the Battle of Ideas)




The fact that the right is missing out the nascent technological revolution is not surprising: lagging behind is historically one of its trademarks.

However, missing the transhumanist revolution – genetics engineering and cyborgization – may cost the right much more than all the previous failures to deal with progress. This time, the stakes are higher than they have ever been: the very content of human nature is going to be revamped, and it is imperative for the right to have something else to say than a "no, thanks".

The transhumanist revolution will happen, regardless of how intensely the conservatives push back.

The right is caught up in conservative shortcoming: slowing down the pace of  "leftwing advances" rather than proposing a new course. This posture is politically suicidal for it implies giving up writing history. In fact, if history were a book, the progressives would hold the pen, the reactionaries the eraser, and the conservatives would fight to postpone the writing of the next chapter.

The French philosopher Luc Ferry writes that transhumanism partly stems from the counterculture of the 1960s: "feminist, ecologist, egalitarian, libertarian and deconstructionist". The "progressives” are eager to hijack the new horizons opened by science. They are always struggling to transform reality – economic, social, as well as biologically – whereas the Conservatives are reluctant to get their hands dirty – to the point of losing them entirely.

Like any past ''advances'', the Transhuman will at first be disrupted and slowed down by the conservatives' mobilisation. But, as for the same-sex marriage, medically-assisted procreation and surrogate motherhood, he is going to come into being, shaped by the leftists and the liberals. The Transhuman will be asexual (as the transhumanist feminist Donna Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto, 1985, advocated many years ago), herbivore and mixed race.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, transhumanists such as Max Moore want to modify the very being of the Transhuman qualities such as promoting genetically induced pacifism, lack of aggressive impulse and overwhelming altruism and empathy. Here is the final stage of their crusade: moving from the deconstruction of "stereotypes" to biological deconstruction.

Should we foolishly pursue our demonisation of transhumanism, we shall have both the Transhuman and the Hermaphrodite, genetically programmed by the left. Rather than trying to nip it in the bud, the right must fight to shape the content of this ongoing anthropological revolution, and to craft its own Transhuman: intellectually superior, more rational but always capable of aggression while physically and muscularly enhanced (rather than thin and androgynous).

Physical and intellectual, this improvement should also be of a psychological nature. The creation of the Nietzschean superman is not out of reach: an affirmative man, free from resentment and pessimism, capable of generating new values. Here are Nietzsche's words:
Man is the pretext for something that is no longer man. Conservation of the species, is that what you want ? I say: let us overcome the species!
Moreover, should the West forbid transhumanism, Asian civilizations, already embracing this technological prospect, would crush us. Let us be careful not to repeat our past mistakes: massive technology transfers to the benefit of non-Western nations, now able to compete and threaten us, economically and militarily.

The secret of a potential breakthrough in the field of transhumanism will have to be jealously safeguarded. In China, research centers are sequencing geniuses' genomes, planning to engineer a generation of highly gifted children. Making a fuss about these ''promethean delusions'' leading to a so-called "end of mankind" is worthless.

Those dancing on the brink of the abyss are not the ones we usually think about.

Firstly, because the transhumanist nations will outpace the bioconservative peoples in all areas (scientific, economic, military and even artistic). Should the West choose the wrong side, it would turn itself into a Third World country populated by individuals with obsolete IQs.

Secondly, because transhumanism is an emergency on a civilisational scale, as well as an ethical one: freed from natural selection, humanity is doomed to degenerate. This can (may) only be fixed through genetic engineering.

The Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine (1965), Jacques Monod, wrote that in our modern societies,
the selection has been suppressed [or] at least is no longer ''natural" in the Darwinian sense [so that] today, many of these genetic disabled individuals live long enough to reproduce, [because] thanks to scientific and ethics advances, the mechanism shielding the species against degeneration (unavoidable when natural selection is abolished), is now working only for the most serious defects.
In other words, in the absence of genetic engineering, random mutations – no longer sorted out by natural selection – will stockpile. This is one of the worst side effect of the welfare state: protecting the weakest and the sickest, and allowing them to share their defective genes.

Monod is also concerned about the risk of intellectual decay, noting "a negative correlation between the IQ (or the educational level) and the number of children for couples" – the lowest IQ couples having less children than those with superior IQ.

He concludes that "the non-selective and even reverse-selective conditions reigning in the advanced societies are a very real danger for our species". Let us be reminded that Monod, far from being a fascist, was a communist sympathizer.

If he never spoke in favour of transhumanism (which he erroneously considered to be science fiction), his alarm cry should at least make the right reconsider its opinion on transhumanism: less a Promethean lunacy than an moral and civilisational imperative.

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