welcome to the human welfarism state
where the power of the few is whitewashed into looking like the good of the many
many of you have likely heard me opine something along the lines of “anyone speaking about coercive “collective good” has a 99.999% chance of being an aspiring supervillain.”
it’s a near flawless shibboleth.
and it has just racked up some further points in this truly ambitious and ethics challenged essay written under auspices of the world economic forum (WEF) global futures council.
this was written in 2019. (and isn’t it always fun to see what people were saying back when they thought no one outside their circles was watching…)
note that the third author, linda fried, is the aunt of ineffective altruist cum crypto smash and grabber sam bankman fried (maybe this runs in families? could explain a lot.) and let me tell you, if you think that guy is a scary creep, wait until you see the tree this apple fell from. because it is a doozy.
human enhancement technologies (HET) are a dizzyingly broad bailiwick.
the paper dabbles around the predictable precincts of “what are we to do about people who want to gene modify kids to be smarter or stronger or faster?” but then veers into all manner of odd equity ideas that go so far as to describe one person bettering themselves as “implicit coercion” of others by violating “equity” as though there were any such thing to begin with (much less an entitlement to it) and that hominids (and every other creature, great and small) had not been choosing the best breeding partners they could find on the basis of these traits since long before monkeys invented monkey-business.
it goes so far as to say: (bold mine)
If it gave an individual the capacity to choose to work harder, it would, however, promote freedom and autonomy. Yet, at the collective level, this would significantly advantage communities which use the modification, undermining the autonomy of other communities to refuse to use it as they may become less productive. An ethical framework that explicitly prioritizes both individual and community well-being would protect from such “implicit coercion”. Limiting the number of daily work hours to eight hours as in western societies is an example of such a protection.
i mean, really read and think about this, because this is kurt vonnegut dianna moon glompers handicapper general style thinking, defines the betterment of one group as oppression toward another, and calls for explicit coercion (labor limits) to counteract the “implicit coercion” that someone might have more capacity to work than you do.
what next? ankle weights upon the swift? deliberate distraction of the bright to stop them from thinking too hard? ban makeup for attractive people? scar them?
this is the stuff of dystopian novels. it’s also an excuse to step in and adjudicate and level absolutely fricking everything.
and that is where the real shape of the beast lurking here emerges:
this is not ethics, it’s justification for vast systems of totalitarian suppression.
gee, i wonder who the WEF is imagining would be qualified to render judgement on precisely what and whom to level?
Improving competence may not be ethically positive or even neutral. If humans could be endowed with eagle vision or greater cognitive capacities, these capabilities would be valuable to many, including war fighters. Yet, does that mean we should force those wanting to join the army to undergo human enhancement? What if the cost of the enhancement is so high, it can only be given to the most promising troops? Would the HETs preserve and ossify the position of the lucky superiors – or would it allow others finally to compete? What happens when these fighters leave the armed forces; do we strip them down of their capacities?
leaving aside the idea of forcing people to accept augmentation which seems anathema, i just read these sorts of inquiries and ask one thing:
why the hell is it any of your business?
we are not a hive. why does “the collective” (whatever the hell that is) get a vote about your or my choices about augmentation and improvement? this is a VERY dangerous idea.
and where should we draw the line? if i can drink protein shakes and go to the gym 5 times a week, why can i not take a pill that would grant me similar outcomes?
in either situation, my gain is not someone else’s loss. it might affect our relative positions, but that is NOT the same thing as coercion, oppression, or rights infringement. but coercively telling me that i cannot because of some unknowable, unprovable, and utterly arbitrary claim to a “collective good” certainly is.
you could apply her same argument to lasik. now what?
and then we get into the really scary garbage.
Collective competence is rarely considered in these debates; yet enhancement of individual competence is at risk of creating even greater disparities between the haves and the have-nots as exemplified above. Furthermore, different constraints may apply to individual and to collective competence. For example, the collective intelligence of a group is not well captured by averaging the intelligence, or G factor, of its individuals. Rather collective intelligence, or the ability of a group to solve complex tasks in a real-world setting, appears captured, at least in part, by factors such as the number of women in the group, high social perceptiveness among its members, large amounts of evenly distributed communication, and importantly moderate diversity in individual intelligence10. Thus, collective intelligence may be best enhanced by reducing disparities in individual intelligence rather than enhancing a few individuals’ intelligence. As we strive for quality of life and well-being, we should aim for HETs and their application so as to enhance both individual or collective intelligence. In sum, while augmenting competence is typically seen as highly valuable, it may be important early in technological development to consider not only how that new competence impacts the individual, but also how it may be distributed across individuals.
got that? no being smarter because it might affect some cherished fable like “collective intelligence” in some amorphous fashion that we pretty much just made up cuz, uh, “collective good.” no making the smart smarter because we fear that and want instead to “level” everything. this is a hilarity of misconception, presumption, and error.
(oh, and anyone wanna wager that “government” and “elites” get an exception?)
one could certainly argue that in the modern age of massive economic scale and the scalability of ideas, one really good conception is worth more than a hundred middling ones, perhaps more than a million. we’re not sitting around weaving baskets, we’re writing code and one really top flight programmer is worth more than a whole datacenter full of competent but unexceptional assemblers. that’s where the top structure and innovation comes from. this seems true in most tech and biotech fields. but hey, let’s ignore that and pretend that “equity” trumps it because, of course, equity gives us power.
presumption to know the collective weal gives us power.
and we want coercive coercion as the “remedy” to the false problem of “implied coercion.”
they even go so far as to argue that it’s fine to inflict small harms to serve the collective good and we all know how THAT one goes…
you’ll LOVE the example they choose.
i’m honestly at a loss to see how “small individual losses” from a vaccine lead to group benefit. either it has net positive risk/reward or it does not. evidence for this “network effect” where your vaccine protects me and mine you is illusory and often deeply dangerous. this implies that the vaccines are non-sterilizing (leaky) and leaky vaccines drive viral evolution to escape variants that wind up vaccine advantaged. this whole “if everyone takes a 70% effective vaccine no one gets sick” idea is not just wrong, it’s a recipe for herd level antigenic fixation where everyone gets sick forever because the pathogen evolved in response. this is, of course, the very definition of a collective harm.
whether this is incomprehension or dishonesty is anyone’s guess. prior to seeing so much of “public health” in action over the last 3 years and realizing how little they actually know, i would almost certainly have said “dishonesty” but now (even despite all the sinister sidelines going on), hell, i don’t know. 3 to 2 the field and pick ‘em. i cannot really tell you that.
what i can tell you is this:
spoiler alert: it’s going to be coercive laws they sell as “voluntary frameworks” and then impose with the fist (be it their own or one they outsourced.)
because when has this worked any other way?
what they have planned is something altogether more horrifying and they are saying it right out loud. and this stuff is ghastly. if you doubt me, please, read them in their own words as quoted here by gatopal™ igor:
these are more WEF lackeys and bill gates funded vaccine imperialist “ethicists” literally advocating the surreptitious dosing of populations with “compliance drugs” to make them “ethical” and “pliable” so they will adhere to some handed down notion of “the collective good.” (there’s that phrase again, cropping up right next to proposed super-villainy…)
are these people you want mandating and handing out untested vaccines as they take over the WHO and international vaxx passports? because these are the EXACT people looking to take charge of those programs. and they are point blank in no uncertain terms telling you they think that secretly dosing the water with “morality drugs” or mandating their use is the acme of bioethics for societal success.
anyone see some worrying parallels to mandated global vaccine programs with annual boosters?
because that’s more than a little creepy to consider.
especially from the folks who have been so laudatory/envious of draconian chinese policies.
you may think they are kidding, but i am not at all convinced that they are.
some of them are actually that crazy. and societies and medical organizations will go for it. pharma cos will go for it. this is the collectivist and oligopolist/totalitarian/corporatist wet dream. and they are happy to sacrifice your liberty to get it. they mostly see that as an evil (or, at best, a mischief) anyhow.
free choice must die that the “grand collectivist vision” may live and the few may rule the many without having to worry overmuch about convincing them. this (from igor) is WAY past just propaganda. this is the stuff of nightmares:
oh, surely you go to far, señor cat. not even they are this mad or this evil. no one would really do things like this!
is that so…?
because it kinda seems to me like they are already doing it and just want to up the scope because some odd bodds keep kicking up a fuss. they cannot convince, so they will capture and they will compel.
just wait until “climate change denial” gets added to the DSM-V.
these are people who read “brave new world” and did not think “dystopian horror” but instead thought “this is a how to manual to make ourselves the alphas!”
they have been slinking around since the 20’s at least as fascists, totalitarians, internationalists, club of romers, davos dwellers, and who knows what else.
and they are metastasizing again.
this is a blueprint for domination and control of critical emerging technologies and the commanding heights of the coming century.
it’s how you dominate a society full of mind prisoners while calling yourself a swell guy for doing it. it’s sweaty horror nightmare fuel and it’s as unethical as it is unpredictable.
and it, like every other such enterprise, will go rancidly bad.
any actual equity or “collective good” here will be incidental.
the real goal is control.
this is why they are always ginning up a new crisis to justify draconian “remedy.”
this is why they vilify exceptionalism and enhancement as “implicit coercion.”
it’s why they frame disagreement or disavowal as “stochastic terrorism” that “makes violence more likely.”
(yes, this is a real term and a real “argument.” it’s also quite a stunning flex from the folks who keep calling wide swathes of america “domestic terrorists” for disagreeing with them and demanding they be barred from public life.)
scientific american publishes this claptrap. keep an eye out for it. this is clearly the new coming argument to demand censorship because “speaking against X makes violence more likely against those that are or support X.” it’s faux utilitarian hand waving to make silencing your political opponents look like “the public good” and “opposing violence” without ever having to prove any actual causality. so it’s going to be catnip for those who are terrified of free and fair debate.
but this is nothing remotely resembling science or american values.
they just want a pretext to strike any nail that stands up. because your free speech is probabilistic harm. our, um, models say so.
and so they have penned a justification manifesto to serve up some very real coercion to “right” these conjured wrongs by pretending to know “the collective benefit,” that grand polestar for would be tyrants.
this is why it’s such a prefect predictor of villainy.
“collective good” constitutes obvious, unknowable twaddle, but it SOUNDS so wonderful and plausible.
“if only the great and good would selflessly lead us to utopia!” said every group of rubes about to become slaves since time out of mind.
the real truth is stark:
anyone who explicitly demands the right to harm you and call it “good” is not your friend.
their mad lusts for power and domination have been bent around narcissism and entitlement until they have become convinced that using secret mind control is public service and that the “collective good” demands it.
you’ll thank them later.
they erect grand false problems that “demand” collective action, set the stakes as “existential” so that any atrocity may be seen as lesser if it be in service of preventing “disaster,” gin up fugazi ethics to justify harming people to chase away these hobgoblins, and then lionize taking and wielding the absolute control to do it.
it’s the mental process of the monster.
and the most counter intuitive part, is the bigger it gets, the less you can see it. the same people that would go stark raving bananas if you suggested doubling the price of parking on main street just shrug off ideas like “mind control drugs in the water” or “all these crises are end to end lies” because “it’s just too big.”
you cannot wrap your head around it and trying to do so is too aversive for those opposed and too big a threat to personal identity for those who have gone along.
but wrap our heads around it we must for if we don’t, what it will wrap around us will be the end of our freedom.
if you’ve never watched “serenity” (the firefly movie) i really recommend it. it deals with this beautifully.
and this is a not a future or an ethos you want.
and it’s not one you can fight once it starts.
so it’s time to get way, way out in front of this one and stop it before it begins…