Thursday, November 30, 2006

Communicative Freedom and Genetic Engineering

"The biotechnological revolution unleashed by both the prodigious advances in information systems and the convergence of science and technology over the last century, thus giving rise to what is now called “technoscience,” has raised a series of questions that pertain to our most fundamental beliefs about human nature. These questions have in turn cast doubt on the nature of political modernity. The biotech revolution has allowed us directly to intervene in the processes of the production of biomass and bioplasm. While most of humanity’s phylogenetic history has been lived as toilers of the land, growers of crops, always entailing an industry of breeding, cross-breeding, selecting, nurturing and preserving plant and animal diversity, it is only in the last century that what was haphazard and always at the mercy of the inclemencies of the chaotic patterns of weather could be industrialized. This industrialization of agriculture in the second half of the twentieth century was called the green revolution. This revolution, so pronounced the agro-business of the industrialized nations, would spell the end of famine and the beginning of an age of crop superabundance. No children would go hungry in the age of industrialized agriculture. In tandem, although not visibly related, the same century saw the trans-national use of medicine to eradicate pestilence, plagues, and epidemics. We forget that the last century’s human cruelty was matched by the blind and devastating fury of microbes and viruses, some of which were only eradicate by trans-national efforts (small pox, influenza, malaria, cholera, etc.). Societies became populations to be carefully tended to and monitored by the biopower of the health state; the state became the general doctor of society. Medicine became socialized, normalized, politicized, and highly scienticized, precisely because its benefits had to be maximized and its costs minimized. Both medicine and agriculture, and in concomitantly animal husbandry, have undergone unprecedented processes of scienticization and industrialization (i.e., techno-science) with the introduction of “bio-informatics.”"

Read the full article

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page