IN THE NAME OF PROGRESS

       Technocracy
     harnesses our hopes;
          feeds us fantastic final forms
          for society; 
               beckoning us
               with utopian visions,
                    collects us
                    in it's destiny.

     Scientism
          conflates our hopes and desires
          with technological possibilities
          in science-fiction inventions;
     promises:
          eminence is immanent;
          science, benevolent.
                         
                         How separate are technology 
                                      and fantasy?
                         
                    Our longings,
                         appropriated,
                    are sold to us
                         as science.

                                      It's so easy
                                      for GE to speak
                                          of WE.


"Technology for technology's sake"
     absolves human agency 
     of responsibility;
          displaces our changes
          onto supposedly impersonal,
                      neutral forces;
               hides the greed
               that drives the wheels of progress.

                              Ideal aims
                              mask acts.
                              

Who does not hope to see
eras of peace and plenty,
universal health and wealth,
leisure and liberty . . . 


Our anticipation's set on situations
          of total control, thralldom.
     Mechanical manipulations
          of us as objects
          go by the name of freedom.

     What becomes of our Exploratory Drive,
                    that Frontier Spirit,
                    our imagination
     when every person is assigned to a single, 
                    task-specific occupation?
     Is it so easy to believe 
          that the controlled roles
          on the Star Trek Enterprise 
          perfectly satisfy?
                    How happy will we be
                         in the ultimate bureaucratic hive?
                    How much comfort then, 
                         moving at light speed?
                              Warp drive,
                              why?
                    How happily will we be
                         comprehended by 
                              a Grand Unified Theory?
                              a Universal Machine?

                                       Whence subjectivity? 
                                        
                    Human fallibility
                    eliminated permanently.
                    
                              Paradisical police state;
                              Slavery with a smile.
                              

Scientific superstition,
Rationalist irrationalism,
project immodest models.
                           

                             "As for nature, 
                              we can replace her
                                 completely.
                                 Trust me."

Here's a simple solution
      to impending environmental catastrophe,
                         congestion and pollution:
      go into outer space and set up a colony
                         a glorious institution
      with an industrial strength constitution;
          Free, at last,
               from nature's
               constraints,
               neighbors'
               complaints,
               conscience's
               plaints . . .
                         an artificial earth
                              us ensconced perfectly
                              in solid circuitry
                         would be so cozy!
          Everyone would profit plenty,
                         wouldn't we?
                    If not everybody,
                         at least me?
                         GE?  
                                                    
                              Why wouldn't one want
                              to leave the earth behind?

And for every problem we don't forsee
     we still suspect some simple
          yet complex
               tech-fix
               will exist
               before we cease to . . .
                      We so expect the progress
                      of technologies to fulfill us
                                that at any innovation
                                we foresee salvation;
                                           if not,
                                           profit.

Atoms aren't just for WAR anymore!