My following article below was originally published by the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET):
As President Obama has continuously sound off the war drums against Syria, and as the people anxiously wait for a response by Congress as to whether or not another U.S. war against a sovereign Middle Eastern country is ethically desirable, the technoprogressive left of the Transhumanist movement has all but declared a voice in this debate.
Do we stand with the status quo and declare that U.S. imperial intervention is necessary, or do we draw a line and declare opposition to any imperial war moves by the U.S. govt. in respect and solidarity to Syria’s right to self-determination and sovereignty?
Where do we stand?
As Technoprogressives, we stand for the rights of workers, immigrants, LGBTQ and post-gender, nonhuman persons, etc. What differentiates us from the rest of the liberal and revolutionary left, though, is that we also stand for the rights of sentient beings in whatever form they take, which includes robotics. We stand for the individual’s right to choose how long they wish to live and subsequently when they wish to die and how.
The problem though is: War is death. No matter which side of the conflict – whether they are a nationalist authoritarian govt. or a group of religious fundamentalist terrorists – death is an inevitability for each during a time of war. The innocent are caught in cross fire as men, women, and children – combatants and non – are killed by means of gunfire, bombings, and chemical weapons.
Where are these individuals’ right to choose how long they wish to live, or when they wish to die and how? Do we even have a real say in the matter that doesn’t result in further fatal conflicts?
During internal conflicts, as being witnessed in Syria, matters such as that aren’t up to those of us looking in from the outside. The conditions of each country is only understood by those who live within those conditions and have a viable grasp in deciding what their own peoples’ path should take. The U.S. govt., on the other hand, has decided that the Syrian people have no right in declaring which path they take, whether it’s with an Islamic fundamentalist ruling or a secular nationalist one. Instead the U.S. govt. feels that, regardless who is using chemical weapons – a question that has yet to be answered by the United Nations who’s recently finished an investigation on the matter – it is the Assad regime that must be overthrown.
It doesn’t matter if the Syrian people feel the same way, or the contrary, the U.S. govt. knows best for Syria – just as they supposedly knew best for Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. Never mind the repercussions of igniting another pointless, disastrous war, fueled by a profit-driven foreign policy of imperialist adventurism – the U.S. govt. knows best for Syria.
A right to not be killed by a foreign govt.(?)
We must make it an important matter to say that we are against imperialism! We may not be the deciders of civil wars in foreign lands, but we are the deciders of whether or not our own govt. should ignite war as well and for what purpose. When the U.S. govt. had entered WWII, it was only after we’d been attacked by Imperial Japan and it became obvious to us that Nazi Germany was on a war path for global dominance.
Are we in a similar position today? Has Syria become a threat to the U.S. and its inhabitants? No. The civil war being waged within Syria is just that – a civil war.
Where the Syrian people on both sides are witnessing destruction, death, and mayhem, they do not deserve having to face an equal hand in such by a foreign govt. This also includes economic sanctions – an overt means of economic strangulation in which harms the targeted country’s peoples more so than its govt. Do the Syrian people not have a say in what happens to their own country, and consequently to themselves, especially in the hands of foreign govt.’s?
Where do our efforts belong?
The trillions of dollars going into imperialist war efforts is much needed money that isn’t going into more important programs – programs that us technoprogressive Transhumanists have declared our own struggle to ensure and improve, such as education, energy distribution, healthcare, etc. Where money is being funneled in for war efforts in Afghanistan, and here soon Syria, nearly 20% of our scientists have openly stated they’d leave the country due to budget cuts.
As our country continues to rely on fossil fuels for energy, our students aren’t getting a good education without massive federal debt, medical care still being withheld from millions of our citizenry, and our own space program – NASA – is being ignored by our own govt., having to rely on nonprofit efforts like Penny4NASA, we continue declaring war and death the right of the global people. This is unacceptable.
We fixate on troubles occurring overseas, but completely ignore our own faults. Today, here in the U.S., we run the largest prison system in the world, with the vast majority of its prisoners coming from low-wage Black communities – a community that only makes up 12% of the entire U.S. population. Where unemployment is still affecting over 7% of the population, and underemployment 15%, overemployment is negatively affecting the working class, in which over 2/3 have declared they’d opt for less hours even if it meant less wages. As automation continues progressing in the workforce, we’re leaving those with no jobs on the streets and the rest working in jobs that are gruesomely paid little with hardly any benefits. We’re stuck having debates in Congress over whether or not we should go to war, when instead we should be having debates in Congress over whether or not our people should be granted a Basic Income Guarantee!
This dilemma we find ourselves in is the result of remaining voiceless. We hide in the shadows, hoping that our lack of action is seen as being sufficient enough to be taken serious by mainstream America. The consonance of Transhumanism and anti-imperialism is a long overdue calling card of the technoprogressive left! A war with Syria isn’t just a death sentence of foreign peoples who have witnessed nothing else but death, but is a death sentence of our own people as well.
Here which lies before you is a socio-economic system that profits not on human rights – let alone cyborg and post-human rights! – but on the declaration of the right of the people to misery and death. So long we continue waging wars, the more we continue neglecting our own peoples’ rights, freedoms, and lives.
If we are to declare war, let us declare war on poverty, not the poor; let us declare war on oppression, not the oppressed; let us declare war on death, not life!
U.S. hands off Syria!