Why are Transhumanists such lefties? The deeper I dig into this movement, which I so want to be part of and contribute to, the more bemused I’m left feeling at the sheer blind idiocy of their left-wing politics (I will not use the word ‘liberal’ to describe people who are this minute openly supporting tech giants to clamp down on free speech – whatever verboten emotion you want to attach to that speech).
Transhumanism, as most outsiders can see, and a few of the more self-aware followers of it can grasp, is resembling in many ways a secular faith. It is a faith in the future of technology to change the human in positive ways. Some of the beliefs that many transhumanists share, although not necessary to be a transhumanist, such as the belief in a coming ‘Singularity’, are clearly the latest in a line of millenia old primal beliefs in some kind of ‘End Time’ or day of salvation – in this case a ‘rapture of the nerds’. The more core belief that humans are imperfect, and can be brought to a closer state of perfection through technology, is akin to the idea found in religions from Christianity to Buddhism that describe man as a kind of fallen God, who can only reach his former state through following the chosen path of enlightenment.
Of course, the argument that transhumanism is a religous cult has been done to death, and as a transhumanist myself, the only point I’m making is that transhumanists – especially the lazy ones – inevitably share certain psychological traits with followers of religious faiths. We live in a largely secular age, where the ethical framework and moral consensus formerly provided by state religion has now largely been assumed by state government, media, and academia that pushes a politically correct set of left-wing ‘progressive’ ideas and values. Transhumanism does not provide an alternative secular faith to the dominant narrative, it complements it. It provides the salvation aspect that political correctness lacks and that all true religions need.
There was of course a time when the Left had a goal of salvation in the form of the perfect communist state, but now the Left (in First World countries) has largely given up on the goal of true economic equality, and replaced it with moral equality in the form of ‘diversity’ and absolute faith in multi-culturalism and an overriding obsession with ‘anti-racism’ (or anti-whiteness, with whiteness being the ‘original sin’). We no longer progress to an economic end state of perfect equality, but rather racial, sexual, and gender equality.
Thus I’m writing this the day after the Islamist attack in Barcelona that killed at least 13 innocent tourists – elderly couples and parents with their children left with their entrails strewn across Las Ramblas. Also a few days after the violence in Charlottesville that left an Anti-Fa activisit dead, also hit by a rampaging vehicle, a young woman part of a group who were engaging in violence themselves (as they habitually do). The transhumanists on my Twitter feed have little to say about the attack in Barcelona, other than the usual trite #prayforbarcelona hashtags. These now regular Islamist outrages are, after all, becoming something of a secular human sacrifice to the Gods of multi-culturalism and diversity, occasions for us all to indulge in collective appeasement to those unpredictable and wrathful powers who may strike us all down if we are not sufficiently pious to recognize that #diversityisstrength.
But they are having a lot to say about Charlottesville. In particular, supporting the efforts of tech giants such as Google to clamp down on freedom of speech, or rather ‘hate speech’. Unfortunately for these ‘liberal’ transhumanists, we will have to wait a little closer to the Singularity before Google can literally ‘peer into the souls of men’ and correct – through nanobots connected to A.I. servers –
hateful neurons from firing and forming hate thoughts that might lead to hate speech and even hate acts.
Another reason for my surprise at the near blanket left-wing bias of transhumanists is a false assumption I originally made that the community is composed of a geeky male demographic – the same autistic demographic that spawned the decidedly politically incorrect 4Chan and perhaps a lot of the momentum for the alt-right movement itself. But this appears to be far from the truth. It is indeed male and white, but transhumanists are not science-fiction geeks. Science-fiction tends to look to science to change society, but the (human) characters in sci-fi works are invariably the same as us, often placed in dystopias that say as much about our own society as an imagined future one. But transhumanists understand that the future will no longer be about tech changing society, it will be about tech changing humans.
Geeks feel themselves to be different and excluded, but love themselves and want to live in a different society that accepts them. They are therefore inclined to want to change society. Transhumanists are all too normal it seems, but hate themselves and yearn to be different. As most transhumanists are white and middle-class, and these things represent the original sin in modern secular faith, this may indeed be where their self-hatred comes from. Now they seek to bring technology to the progressive project, and seek to turn themselves into virtual signallers made Gods.