Nothing could improve the lot of the world’s poorest people more than uncurbed advances in certain emerging technologies – the only things that could offer serious remunerations for the people struggling with scarcity at the feet of Western bully-states and corporations. Products from synthetic biology and other emerging technologies, uncontained and unsupervised, should be circulated as the greatest hope for people in the world’s poorest countries. In the future, this might mean democratically circulating biotech machinery for farmers to genetically modify their own crops, and circulating synthetic life-forms that can enhance industry in the poorest countries and make economic participation better than a zero sum game for the world’s poor. Nothing could be better for people in poor countries in the long-term than explosions in inherently democratic emerging technologies – developments that should be counted among the few things that can seriously overcome the dependency of poor countries on rich countries.
It is completely misguided to predict emerging technologies to be jewels in the crown of the Western world, because these technologies more than anything else are destined to finally break the chains of the world’s poor and create the closest possible conditions to equality. These technologies have more potential than anything else to eradicate the division of labor that keeps the poor in servitude to powers that hold an undeserved level of monopoly over advanced technologies. The uncertainty surrounding today’s defining technological developments represents a threat only to oligopoly. Abandoning all prudence to place a secure confidence in the promise of technology-powered liberation will be the key to tackling the unfair conditions and privileges ever sustaining global inequality.
Excerpt from Bentham, H. J., Catalyst: A Techno-Liberation Thesis (2013)