On the Ship of Fools

"What does it suggest to us that the protests against the "green pass" are perhaps the most criminalized, mystified, distorted and mocked of the last decades? The fear that a widespread resistance to the machine-world (in which digital orders are not discussed: they are carried out) is developing among the dirt of some of its immediate forms. Whether such resistance feeds on democratic, reactionary or egalitarian "myths," the Constitution, St. Michael the Archangel or Ned Ludd, is secondary for technocrats (when did they ever have principles, they). The crime of such resistance is simply to exist."

Source : https://ilrovescio.info/2021/11/08/sulla-nave-dei-folli/

On Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20211119055356/https://ilrovescio.info/2021/11/08/sulla-nave-dei-folli/

On the ship of fools

Never before have we felt like the cabin boy Theodore Kaczynski spoke of in his short story The Ship of Fools. The story is well known. The ship – a metaphor of the techno-industrial society – is proceeding towards the icebergs on which it is destined to break up. The cabin boy sounds the alarm to his fellow passengers, trying to make them understand that changing course is the only choice that contains all the others (where to land and how to change the relationships among the crew; in short, those questions of freedom, equality and solidarity that have been posed to humans ever since domination, hierarchy and exploitation existed). The rest of the crew lists the problems they feel are far more serious and urgent to solve: wage differences, racism, sexism, homophobia and brutality towards animals. Insisting that in order to change life on the ship it is necessary for a ship to still exist – i.e. that the priority of changing course makes all other just claims secondary – the deckhand becomes the object of cross-examination from the crew: reactionary, speciesist, homophobic, sexist! The insults still resound as the ship smashes against the icebergs and sinks.

As in the previous The Industrial Society and its Future (the so-called manifesto of the Unabomber, whose authorship, to tell the truth, Kaczynski has neither denied nor claimed*) and in the following Hit Where It Hurts Most and Anti-tech revolution, the party targeted is mainly the left, represented to the point of paroxysm by the ship’s crew. Given its “supra-socialized”, reformist and progressive nature, the left is conditioned according to Kaczynski to become the main crutch of techno-capitalism, which hides its own dehumanization programs through its seductive promises of overcoming all limits and expanding the Ego. To say that we are in the midst of it is today even banal.

The current intellectual, ethical and practical wreckage of the left and the extreme left in the face of the Emergency – a system of government that functions as a real accelerator of technocratic programs – has distant roots. Having long considered the development of techno-sciences as a secondary variable of the class clash – when not even an apparatus of knowledge and means reorientable in an emancipatory sense – does not allow now to grasp the concrete products behind the label with which they are sold. Since the label says “vaccines”, we continue to think what we already thought about smallpox or polio vaccines. The fact that m-RNA vaccines are biotechnological platforms (software of life, in the language of geneticists) that introduce genetic information into the body – and not deactivated or attenuated viruses – seems completely irrelevant. Isn’t the critique of Science a reactionary attitude? We are told that the “green pass” is to contain Covid-19 contagions, and within that framework we debate for or against. That the projects of techno-health passports – and more generally the creation of a digital identity to be assigned to each human – precede both the Sars-Cov-2 epidemic and mass vaccination are “details” that do not enter the debate. The same can be said of the analyses devoted to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. One reads the continuation of the usual neo-liberal policies, within which the digitalization of industry, agriculture, public administration and health is easily absorbed. Yet it would take little to understand that today Artificial Intelligence and its algorithms are the engine of finance, production, communication, logistics, medical research and agribusiness. Here are a few examples.

“More than 40% of online activity is already run by automata. The Internet of Things naturally accelerates non-human activity: by 2023, connections between machines (we also talk about M2M, ‘machine to machine’), particularly in hyper-connected homes and on smart cars, are expected to account for half of the connections on the Web.”

“In the financial sector, automated speculation accounts for 70 percent of global transactions and up to 40 percent of the value of traded securities. We are moving from a network used by and for humans to an Internet run by, and perhaps for, machines [ecological corollary: ‘the fact is that machine-driven funds destroy the environment more than human-driven funds’].”

“In 2017, a Hong Kong fund, Deep Knowledge Ventures, announced the appointment of a robot, called Vital, to its board of directors. No decision will ever again be made without confronting its analysis.”

(Quotes are from L’Enfer numérique. Voyage au bout d’un like by Guillaume Pitron).

The iceberg towards which the ship is going to crash is not only the ecological collapse, then, but the expulsion of humans from the choices and conflicts of life. Indeed, the former is accelerated by the latter, while the latter conceals the former with a green cloak.

Although Kaczynski’s tale has a tragic ending, it gives a representation of social conflict that is both caricatural and reassuring. The protagonists of the tale are three: the techno-industrial disproportion, the hubris of the hub and the quarrelsome myopia of the progressive camp. On the ship of the real madmen, however, things are quite different, as these last months in Italy and around the world have shown in a particularly glaring way. There is a part of the crew that does not insult the hub, but encourages him with obscene words: “You’re right, let’s change course! Let’s subtract the ship from the destinies imposed by the globalist elite and let’s make the crew – captains, cooks and shiners – an authentic Nation again!”. While someone else, addressing the complaining sailors, recoils: “It’s your ideas about gender and against the traditional family that are leading us straight into the iceberg!”. Far more difficult, in short, to put on the shoes of the hero (however tragic) in the real world of conflict. The simplification made by Kaczynski is not an oversight, but a very precise choice. In his various writings, in fact, what he reproaches the Right for is not really being against techno-industrial progress, but only against some of its manifestations. Now, Kaczynski is not an anarchist, as demonstrated by the historical examples to which, according to him, an anti-technological revolution should be inspired: the political and organizational models of the Jacobins and the Bolsheviks. In short, once the aim is established (the destruction of the technological system), the path towards the objective is marked by a single criterion: effectiveness, without any consideration of the relationship of ethical-practical coherence between means and ends. This not only reproduces in full the Machiavellianism typical of authoritarian revolutionaries, but also unconsciously accepts one of the foundations of the same apparatus of techno-sciences, i.e. the effectiveness of the results as a value in itself. It is curious that this contradiction has been little emphasized by the editors of his writings (whether or not they were surrealists, the Encyclopédie des Nuisances, anarchist primitivists or anarchists tout court). It is certainly true that the center of Kaczynski’s analysis concerns that set of problems that no one who aspires to the radical transformation of society can ignore. But the problem of how and with whom to implement that change is no less important. Since so many leftists have literally sent their brains into lockdown, do we accept collaborations with reactionaries for this? And who are the reactionaries today?

The radical critique of techno-industry specifies and updates the historical anarchist critique of the state, classes, hierarchy. But it does not replace it.

Today the context is as muddy as ever. If on the one hand even parts of the libertarian movement are slipping on the ground of transhumanism (there are even some techno-mentalists who have drawn up a real anarcho-transhumanist Manifesto …), on the other hand there is no shortage of red-browns – more or less disguised – who wink at us. This slime is profoundly historical (product of a certain phase of capitalism and of an unprecedented attack on all human faculties: perceptions, feelings, thought, bodies, the ability to associate…) and it cannot be undermined simply with anathemas or with some cautious list of anti-(fascist, sexist, racist, etc.). Much less with Pavlovian reflexes: if certain issues are also dealt with by reactionaries, then we talk about something else.

The mobilization against the “health” pass is, from this point of view, a good indicator (both of the icebergs approaching, and of the moods snaking among the ship’s crew).

The terms of the conflict (the intertwining of biomedical experimentation and the extension of digital control), its “monstrous” nature, as well as the fact that the positioning of so much of the extreme left is favoring the game of fascists, red-browns and various reactionaries: all this was easily predictable. Not thanks to some kind of sagacity of revolutionary theory, but on the basis of two elements that can be obtained by observing the dynamics instead of sinking into details. The first element is that the technocratic command, once on “autopilot”, declares as “hypothesis not to be excluded” what it is already doing, thus making its moves anticipatable. The second is simply the reverse of the first: if the entire “timetable” is not blown up (first the confinement with the factories open, then the curfew, then the appointment of a NATO general as Extraordinary Commissioner for the Emergency…), for a singular downward coherence, the pass is also accepted, the last – for now – move of the command dial.

Here are a few cues:

“Little does it matter if the European Parliament has agreed to use GMO-based vaccines and anti-Covid treatments: after decades of fighting to block the entry of GMOs into agriculture and dishes, now, because of the huge coronavirus threat, so naturally – even with general applause! – will be injected directly into our bodies, with unpredictable consequences. It matters little if all this means a restriction of the, certainly not wide, freedoms that we have; because beyond the chatter about whether or not it will be compulsory, are we sure that there will be no penalties of any kind (if not really pecuniary, limitation in travel, etc.)?” (“Impatience,” No. 4, October 2020).

“The message is clear: if you don’t accept it willingly out of a “spirit of responsibility,” we will force it on you. Maybe not with a direct obligation, but with indirect coercion: the governor of Campania has already prepared a new health card that will allow only vaccinated people to have access to certain places or services. In short, the Chinese system of ‘social credit’ is approaching” (Urgent notes against the military-vaccine campaign, ilrovescio, January 2021).

“The events on Capitol Hill will increase the “anti-system” appeal of Trumpism even in less (or not at all) bourgeois sectors. […] How one responds to the government’s measures on Covid-19 (starting with the “military-vaccine” campaign) will decide in no small part in which direction the confrontation will go. Let’s think about it. Really” (On the events on Capitol Hill, the Reverse, January 2021).

“No less a scion of the Kennedys harangued the crowd [in Berlin] against the “health care dictatorship” by calling in deed to support the champions of freedom stationed in Washington. Which, of course, does not exhaust the reasons and, above all, the heterogeneity of the social composition of the protest, which should be revitalized following a mRna vaccine campaign that increasingly seems to take on the connotations of a biopolitical experimentation on a mass scale” (from a note contained in After Trump by Raffaele Sciortino, January 2021).

“So let’s say that a nurse and a teacher enrolled in that union [USB] decided to refuse to be administered the mRNA vaccine and for this they were threatened with sanctions or dismissal: how would they be defended by those who consider them mentally ill who understand only “with a little ‘scare'”? If he or she does not have a clear “political conscience”, but does not trust state science, he or she will perhaps turn to some group that declares itself against the “health dictatorship”. And then one wonders at the successes of Trumpism even in the proletarian field…” (What’s at stake, ilrovescio, February 2021).

“Returning to sender the compulsory [vaccination for health personnel] is important for everyone: otherwise, in a while, without a vaccination pass you won’t even go to a restaurant…” (Stop Vacceleration, Health and Freedom Collective, April 2021).

Before dwelling on the “squares no green pass” as a prism of this historical phase, let’s take a few steps back and try to tie up some threads.

In the past years we have dedicated some analyses to what we called reactionary mobilization. We were not referring to an alleged risk of a return to fascist modes of government – the democratic envelope remains the most suitable form for the dictatorship of capitalists, technocrats and the military – but to the feelings that are stirred in society and the expressions that protests take on. Now, those feelings and expressions are not clearly distinguished from the more general reformist and legalitarian illusions, but they have some specificities, which actualize certain historically fascist “myths” and at the same time reflect the ongoing clashes between the different factions of capital and power. Let’s think of Mussolini’s concept of “producer” as opposed to that of “speculator”. The “producer” in the fascist sense – a nationalized version of Proudhonian and Sorelian discourse – includes both the wage earner and the capitalist as complementary figures necessary to national wealth. “National unionism” is then that form of bargaining by which the synthesis between the interests of workers and those of the captains of industry is achieved. Financial speculation is, on the contrary, the stateless enterprise whose profits plunder instead of enriching nations. These are just “myths”, because in the real world of profit there is no separation between industrial capitalism and financial capitalism. There is also a left-wing version of these “myths”, which is not only the togliattian one, but also the gramscian one: the working class as the historical subject that can fully realize the interests of the nation, against a bourgeoisie that restrains, for its own profit needs, the development of national production and industry. The fact that the current “sovereignism” is a two-faced Janus – with one face of the right and one of the left – should not be surprising. The illusion of being able to set national interests against the “dictatorship” of “world” financial capitalism, whose ferocity is directly proportional to the intelligence of the machines it incorporates, and in that framework to regain greater bargaining power with their bosses, is not an illusion: it is a reflection of the difficulties of the proletariat to fight on the international level and of the proletariat to conceive and fight as human beings.

The cross-historical process of digitizing society and engineering bodies attacks the faculties of the human species to the extent that it sinks its classist iron heel. They are poor bodies of color who must exhaust themselves in coltan mines, GMO fields, or logistics warehouses so that total capital can alienate all of humanity. It is because of the role they play in society – certainly not because of their claimed inherent virtues – that the exploited can only liberate themselves by liberating humanity – and vice versa.

Let us at this point make a quick foray into the protest against the green pass.

Why, within an interclass mobilization in search of “counter-powers”, one more illusory than the other (the Constitution, the judiciary, the good cops, Nuremberg…) has a real “myth” of the dockworkers formed? Certainly not because of the ideology of this or that dock worker, but because dockers can hurt the economy and therefore the government; because they can hurt from their own workplace; because their action can be effective without being “violent” (the taboo of “violence” has accompanied every mass protest for decades, at least here in Italy). But the descent into the field of a class sector and an element of strength is not enough in itself to dispel “sovereignist” illusions. And it is ridiculous to separate in a Manichean way workers on one side and reactionary or fascist forces on the other; not only because, trivially, fascists can also be wage earners, just as the exploited can have reactionary ideas, but also because it is precisely on the relationship between individuals, class and humanity that both the reactionary mobilization that has been going on for some time and the democratic ideology act. Without a widening of the conflict – and let’s draw a veil over those sectors of grassroots unionism that have deliberately chosen not to engage in the social battle against the pass on their own ground, preferring the union dispute on the free tampons paid by companies -, the worker (even when he moves for a just and laudable sense of solidarity) is surrounded by vampires: both those who make it a standard bearer of the Constitution and those who make it a “hero of the Nation” against the “globalist elites” (indeed, it is precisely in the midst of the former that the latter are able to cleverly hide). Vampirism makes its way by offering material support, for example by providing the coverage for strikes that neither the grassroots unions nor, much less, the state unions have been willing to guarantee. This is the case of the FISI (Federazione Italiana dei Sindacati Intercategoriali), born from the convergence of declared fascists and some elements coming from the “leftist sovereignty”. Add to this the systematic work of the media to “perimeter” the protest against the pass by continually blurting out the equations no green pass=no vax=plotters=extreme right-wing1, seasoned with the most grotesque and lying “anti-fascist” alert (in defense, for a change, of the Constitution, which translated into concrete means: national unity) and the fog becomes even thicker.

Although there is no lack, in Italy as well as internationally, of real conspiracy think tanks (and their influence can be easily recognized by the speeches that circulate in the squares), the so-called “conspiracy” – a word that is now a real conceptual device in the psychological warfare conducted by the political-military-media machine against any form of resistance – is also the expression of a social need: to explain the historical events in a simplified way. The reason is not mysterious. The conclusion that only a revolutionary rupture can preserve the Planet and together our common humanity is not only unfashionable, but it is difficult to decline in the solitude of personal daily battles against total capital. It is certainly more reassuring to attribute the vertiginous loss of all power over one’s life and bodies to Bill Gates or Google transhumanists than to the structural dynamics of an entire social system. But this doesn’t just apply to the “no green pass” squares. It also applies to the workers who attribute their dismissal to the particular speculative rapacity of the multinational company that closes a plant in the middle of its productivity, asking the government to intervene against such a “scandal”.

The more we move away from the economic-union conflict and towards terrains of confrontation that require an ethical-social judgment on the world in which we live, the more the schemes jump. Transhumanist projects (which correspond to certain factions of capital, but which chart the way for the whole of capitalist domination2) cannot be countered by more or less radical union negotiations in their forms, but rather by a vision of the human, of nature and of history. And it is there that left-wing progressivism shows its commonalities with what techno-industry claims to pursue (a Google executive can safely abhor gender discrimination, because for him humans are all the same: machines). But it is also there that the revolutionary critique of techno-sciences shares its “no’s” with the extreme right and with Catholic fundamentalism (on genetic manipulation, for example). And it is always there that protests against climate change intersect with the needs of a certain capitalism to invest in new technologies (technocrats do not do “blah, blah, blah” at all, but turn every emergency into a flight forward towards the conquest of new lands of profit and domination). So an Atlanticist prime minister can even afford to thank the activists against climate change (because they “show the way”), which allows the browns and “reds” for whom the alternative is Putin to present those same activists as pawns of the globalist elite…

Now, certain purported “convergences” are not a historical novelty in an absolute sense. Nor is their exploitation by the various warring capitalist factions. Faced with the Hungarian uprising of 1956, the anarchists and revolutionary Marxists, who defended it as proletarian, anti-bureaucratic and anti-capitalist, had to defy the cross-pulls and traps of all ideologies. Indeed, the Stalinists presented the Hungarian rebels as fascists, the Atlanticists as democrats, and the fascists as nationalists and anti-communists. In Budapest, as in other Hungarian cities, there was no lack of calls for democracy or national flags (nor were there any “whites”, monarchists, etc.), but the element that frightened the masters of both East and West was quite different: a revolt of armed workers determined to “do it themselves”.

Today, in the face of the fierce attack on the conditions of wage earners and on the faculties of humans as such, the crossfire and traps are even more devious. Thus, while a mitigated version of the treatment that has long been inflicted on animals on factory farms is applied to humans (if the latter – as some have astutely noted – are directly microchipped by vaccination so that they can be tracked by scanners, the former are required to continuously show a QR code to be able to check via a smartphone app if they have been vaccinated), thousands of “runaways” denounce that the goal is the control of populations, mocked by certain intellectuals and left-wing activists for whom the techno-sanitary pass would be nothing different from a driving license …

What does it suggest to us that the protests against the “green pass” are perhaps the most criminalized, mystified, distorted and mocked of the last decades? The fear that a widespread resistance to the machine-world (in which digital orders are not discussed: they are carried out) is developing among the dirt of some of its immediate forms. Whether such resistance feeds on democratic, reactionary or egalitarian “myths,” the Constitution, St. Michael the Archangel or Ned Ludd, is secondary for technocrats (when did they ever have principles, they). The crime of such resistance is simply to exist.

The Emergence is reinforcing the cybernetic paradigm in every sphere. Cybernetics – which is, as the etymology suggests, the art of piloting – was historically born from the fusion of several fields: the military complex, the scientific organization of production and behavioral psychology, determined to become a true social physics. This is the “capital utopia” of obtaining more and more “exact” data from human behavior in order to organize the entire social system in a scientific and rational way. In other words, to make society a permanent laboratory whose management should be entrusted to experts. The declared intention is to put an end to “politics” – whose disagreements derive from the multiplicity of opinions and value judgments, as well as from the too casual distribution of the roles of command and execution. To such a human chaos, too human, the cybernetic machine opposes “objective” – i.e. not debatable – criteria of organization. In order to realize this “utopia” – a laboratory that works without obstacles – it is necessary to overcome two cultural barriers: the “myth” of individuality and that of nature. With what follows: broken down into the bundles of reactions that characterize their lives, human beings can be educated and organized by a precise system of stimuli and disincentives; it is not possible to assign in advance ethical and social (i.e. “subjective”) limits to scientific experiments. One proceeds and sees as one goes along. The invention of DNA has provided this program of decomposition of the uniqueness of individuals with a kind of molecular exactitude: the genome with its laws. In order to dismantle any idea of “nature” (that “fabric of necessity” on which humans can intervene, but which they can neither abolish nor fabricate), cybernetics has instead put at its service the contributions of post-structuralist philosophy. The development of digital technologies and genetic engineering – with the discreet presence of the military – has succeeded in reducing the whole of reality to a flow of information. And for those who oppose principles (religious, humanistic or revolutionary), the anathemas are already ready: “essentialist” and reactionary. For those who do not have principles, however, there are no limits, but only the calculation of costs and benefits.

As Simone Weil had lucidly guessed, if we slip from the “duties towards the human being” – those supernatural principles for her and entirely terrestrial for us – to the negotiation of “rights” on the basis of what is technically feasible, we have already entered unconsciously into the Laboratory.

The cybernetic paradigm always advances in the name of a greater good. On the other hand, as the African-American writer Ta-Nehisi pointed out a few years ago, “there has never been a golden age in which the wicked did their work, flaunting it to the four winds as such”. That is why, when asked by the master whether the individual right to freedom or the collective right to health should prevail, we must resolutely refuse to answer. Our classism does not simply contest this or that government measure, but the very fact that the state presents itself as the guarantor of the “common good”; our humanism is based on a different idea of both freedom and health.

Since capitalism cannot – on pain of abolishing itself – remove the structural causes of epidemics (deforestation, increasingly disproportionate urban concentrations, intensive livestock breeding, adulterated food, constant chemical aggression against the immune system, etc.), it only buffers their effects. In doing so, of course, it imposes measures that follow very precise class – and gender – guidelines, while asking techno-science to prepare some remedies to move forward. The remedies that techno-industry makes available not only reflect the interests and competition that are ineradicable in the capitalist system, but always incorporate a certain vision of the human, of bodies and of nature. (As we saw above, this view has long been internal to the cybernetic paradigm, in which everything-from the infinitely large to the infinitely small-is considered a flow of information.3) But something else occurs between the goal of preserving the system and the techno-scientific means employed to achieve that goal. Techno-science does not limit itself to making its innovations available to solve any “crisis”, but makes the “crisis” an indispensable opportunity to “clear customs” of those innovations that at more normal rates would not have been able to impose. Precisely because “capital utopia” goes so far as to fabricate living matter itself (including bodies), there is a need for a new humanism to resist that storm that blows with even greater ferocity in Emergencies.

The months we are living are really “a chronicle that smells of history” (Stefania Consigliere). The cybernetic logic of problem solving is not only the point towards which techno-capitalism converges, but also the “black box of data” that allows rulers to justify every classist and anti-human measure in the name of “objectivity” and “hard necessity”. Having in their hands a tool that can zero out any dissent (these are not opinions, they are numbers!), why should capitalists and technocrats ever give it up without social conflict forcing them to do so? Haven’t we already entered the “climate emergency”? Don’t the anti-capitalists want to be confused with the “deniers” of global warming? In this rigged game of the parts, there is no room for those who say, with the poet: “I refuse to put order in a pigsty”.

The “black box of data” – which we cannot disprove because we are not able to control it – is now steering the ship. What can we poor hubs be sure of, if not the experience we gain together struggling to change course?

The good news is that ideas – after decades in which we could more or less cheaply opine on everything – are being forced to embed themselves in everyday gestures, to take shape in recognizable minima moralia (not respecting curfew, not renouncing hugs, not downloading the pass…).

When, as Ingeborg Bachmann wrote in one of her splendid poems, “the unprecedented has become everyday / and the shadow of eternal rearmament covers the sky”, it is no longer possible to avoid or compromise. A choice must be made.

  • In fact, a comrade pointed out, in Anti-tech revolution Kaczynski, referring to The industrial society and its future, says “my own…” (our clarification, November 17, 2020). (our clarification, November 17, 2021).

1) Among the countless possible examples, let us choose a local one. Last October 10, in Trento as in many other cities, a solidarity garrison was held in front of the CGIL in response to the events in Rome. On that occasion, a group of anarchists showed up with an unequivocal banner: “No fascism / No green pass / Landini servant”. The media, in reporting the incident, did not use the categories usually employed for similar episodes: if not exactly “anarchists”, then at least “antagonists” (maybe “troublemakers”, “violent” and even “terrorists”, but of that side). In the “new normality”, however, you can not really let it be known that it is that side to take sides against the fascists, against Landini and against the pass. Who was it then? Quickly said: “a small group of no vax, no mask, no green pass”. Not being able to say “fascists”, you have to allude anyway to ambiguous and murky people, not like anarchists!

2) In order for us not to be the first to take the totalitarian promises of techno-industry at their word, it is necessary to keep in mind that this “way” clashes both with ecological determinants (the digital apparatus is based on an increasingly fierce extractivism and needs a growing amount of electricity) and with social-capitalist ones. The shortage of microchips and the ruptures in the global chains of just-in-time logistics – as well as the undeclared strike of millions of proletarians in the USA who refuse to work under certain conditions – are there to demonstrate that the machinization of the world and of humans is a process that is anything but linear and unimpeded.

3) We have been living for a long time in the age of fears, in that mixture of anguish and fascination that makes dystopian series or movies so appealing (watching which we always side, of course, with the rebels). As has been noted (https://www.piecesetmaindoeuvre.com/spip.php?page=resume&id_article=1576), the fear that through GMO vaccines microchips are being inserted into bodies is undoubtedly paranoid, but who can rule out that it is a paranoia ahead of its time? In Sweden, ten thousand people have voluntarily had microchips implanted under their skin. As for the “cultural context”, you could bet that not a few people would already consider it more practical to enter a bar showing their arm instead of having to pull out their smartphone with its QR code.

Is it really more “rational” to consider the experimentation of genetic technologies on a mass scale completely harmless than to exaggerate its objectives in a paranoid way? What are, then, the consequences taken into account in the famous calculation of risks and benefits? Wouldn’t the name of “science” deserve an investigation that deals with the overall social effects? Among these we can already understand the fact that GMOs were immediately extended – albeit silently – also in agriculture; that the first transplants of genetically modified animal organs were performed on humans to avoid rejection reactions; etc.. But it is above all the cybernetic idea of the living that is gaining ground, as demonstrated by the acceleration in both digital therapies and telemedicine.

Two words, finally, on science and democracy. The ideal country for scientists is not at all the “most democratic” one, but the one that grants them the widest “freedom of experimentation”. American and European geneticists or microbiologists envy their Chinese colleagues because they have been able to clone human embryos for a long time or because in their research on the “increased function” of viruses (such as those conducted in the Wuhan laboratory) they do not even have to circumvent some bureaucratic “bioethics” commission. As history generously illustrates, the Lab has a self-serving morality. The purported humanistic values remain in the locker room, along with the bourgeois clothes.

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