November 29, 2023

Miklos Lukacs: a perceptive observer of the rise of transhumanism

Surely there must be a thread linking the great bioethical and cultural challenges of our time: transgenderism, transhumanism, artificial reproduction, population decline, wokeism (or post-modernism, or whatever), secularization, genetic engineering, and so on. Or is the existence of such a thread a paranoid conspiracy theory?

The anglophone world distrusts grand narratives – for a good reason. Twentieth century experiments with ideologies led to the worst bloodbaths in history. However, continental thinkers are more sympathetic to unified theories of intellectual history. One representative of this tradition is the Peruvian public intellectual Miklos Lukacs.

Lukacs has studied and worked in Peru, Chile, New Zealand, and the UK, where he now living. In his first book, Neo entes: Tecnología y cambio antropológico en el siglo XXI (Neo entities: Technology and anthropological change in the 21st century), he analyses the rise of transhumanism. Below are some excerpts from a fascinating interview in the on-line magazine European Conservative.

A belief in the inevitability of progress is a kind of religion:

It is sold as a material improvement, as an idea of progress in which the human being is improved, replaces God, and becomes God thanks to technology. The problem with this approach is that it is a false and empty promise. The sine qua non condition of this process is that the human being ceases to be human. You will progress, but the cost of that progress is that you cease to be what you are. So, homo sapiens can transition into a homo deus or any kind of form, what I call a neo-entity. Basically, technology is going to allow you to be whatever you want to be and that is one of the promises of progress.

Left vs Right is an antiquated frame for politics:

Therefore, reading today’s politics through the lens of the past, as a dispute between Left and Right factions born in the 18th century, is anachronistic. The war of the 21st century is not just a political, economic, cultural, or social war. The great war of the 21st century is the anthropological war between progressive visions who conceive of the human being as improvable and those who believe that the human being must maintain his dignity and integrity. Human beings at the service of technology versus technology at the service of human beings.

The significance of transgenderism

In the name of this technological progress, all categories of human being are emptied of their ontological content. This means that there is not one sexual category, but hundreds of genders, or that there is no difference between adults and children, not only ontologically but also morally with regard to the decisions they can make, and all are included in the term ‘persons.’ Thus, we hear progressive politicians say that sexual diversity is enjoyed by ‘persons’ as long as there is consent.

The significance of artificial reproduction:

The greatest risk is that all human reproduction will be put in the hands of technology, and that would be the end of the human being. It would be the creation of homo deus, but not of the whole population but of the minority that controls, markets, manufactures, regulates, and supervises these technologies. We already have genetic pre-implantation and in vitro fertilisation techniques; the UK’s three-parent law already exists; the University of Eindhoven is working on the creation of artificial human wombs; and there are even postpartum artificial intelligence nannies to control the development of babies without human presence. This is not science fiction, it is reality.