1 March 2016

Muslims should look at technopolitics

The Blog


In a lengthy Facebook post republished to the Pakistan-based online magazine Voice of East, Moeed Pirzada asks politicians and intellectuals in the Islamic world to look at the "relationship between technology and politics".


This relationship between new technologies and politics gives rise to the term technopolitics, which is known quite widely among transhumanists and futurists in the west.

In his post, Pirzada appeals to Muslims to see the ways technology can be abused to reduce freedom (or conversely, protections built in to ensure freedom is protected on an even greater scale than before):
Western society and intellectuals understood the messages conveyed by the visionaries like Adlous Huxley and George Orwell and they built firewalls against authoritarianism... but there were no Huxleys and Orwells in Muslim world, perhaps there could not have been because of colonialism... that ‘battle of ideas in the world of technology’ and its relationship, its impact on the future of democracy, is not understood. Technologically empowered elites can endlessly market illusions as reality.
While these claims largely ring true, and are similar to the claims of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Assange has also written of a type of "rebel elite" emerging through the same technologies to challenge the ruling elite in technopolitics. The book in which Assange makes such claims is Cypherpunks (2012).

We may be faced with numerous types of control or oppression enforced by technology, but the history of revolution proves that no solution can be obtained except by different conquests and uses of the very same technology. Hence, today, we have rebels within the global technopolitics space who include hackers, dissident bloggers and encyption experts at the frontline of the battle for online freedom and privacy.


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