Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does politics matter?

I gave up on elections a while ago. More recently, I've increasingly been discouraged by the prospects of effecting change via engagement with the political culture (e.g. ideological debate). Both of those seem to be ineffective ways to shape the future of our society. Increasingly, I get the feeling that the future is held by small groups who invent new technologies that will be embraced for their short-term benefits.

Case in point, a proposed "chemputer" that will allow at-home synthesis of various drugs. As suggested by Tyler Cowen, this type of device would upend the enforcement of drug prohibition. If the basic materials for these devices are widely available for "legitimate" uses, then drug laws would become irrelevant. There are assorted other technologies that could have similar disruptive effects on systems of domination. At the moment, my favorite (being the most inclusive and having the most direct benefits alongside profound social cosequences) is the Diaspora project.

If you want to change the world, don't become a cog in the electoral system.

1 comment:

rulingclass said...

In the end, democratic collective action is only a means to constrain(enforce accountability) of a political class. In that sense, I think the United States is the most glaring argument against any effectiveness of democratic action as a corrective action.

If we dispense with collective action being corrective, then the "logic of collective action" takes over. And that logic is dominated by minorities