In Andy Miah’s A Critical History of Posthumanism, we are warned against the commercialization of medical enhancements by Francis Fukuyama. He specifically cautions that the increased privatization of more and more of the crucial sectors of our society could result in the debasement of the fundamental human quality that Fukuyama calls, Factor X. While I believe Fukuyama is perfectly justified for having such a fear, I think he is missing a crucial piece to the puzzle that is our future selves. Privatized medicine, or whatever area in question, does not necessarily mean a loss of human dignity, a loss of Factor X. In fact, I think that if everything was privatized there would be a resurgence of this Factor X. If someone stands to profit off of something, they will absolutely make sure that people can buy it, that it is available, they care, hopefully, about the product they are selling, the thing that their livelihood is made from. Private industry is not the demon they are being made out to be, and to assume that the future economy will be ravaged with overpriced biomodifications is a bit fantastic. Barring some New World Order taking over, society today is actually on a pretty good path, I think increasing access to public and higher education across the globe should be our primary focus. I believe a more educated society would have a hard time becoming the commercialized automatons that Fukuyama fears we will turn into. People will always want to buy the latest stuff, but that doesn’t mean they want to blindly waste their money. They want a good deal, and if someone can provide them with one, they walk away satisfied. There’s no need to fear the future, after all, we’re the ones shaping it, aren’t we?
Andy Miah’s article, “A Critical History of Posthumanism,” takes a very unique look at posthumanism by addressing it through the view of politics/history, culture, philosophy, and morality. Last semester I took Intro to Comparative Political Analysis where this categorization process was all too common as well as the works of Francis Fukuyama. Continue reading