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Some social implications of modern technology

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Some social implications of modern technology
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n this article, technology is understood as a social process in which technology itself (i.e. the technical apparatus made up of industry, transport and communications), is only a partial factor.  This is because men are both an integral part and factor of technology, and this not only because they invent the machines or work with them, but because they constitute the social groups which direct its implementation. and its application. Technology, as a mode of production, as the set of instruments, devices and appliances that define the machine age, [1]
[1]
See Lewis Mumford, Technique and Civilization, Paris, Seuil,…

2Technology itself can favor authoritarianism as much as freedom, scarcity as much as abundance, the expansion of labor as much as its abolition. National Socialism is a striking example of how a highly rational and mechanized economy achieving the highest productivity can also work in the interests of totalitarian oppression and the perpetuation of scarcity. In National Socialist Germany, the reign of terror is not based solely on brute force, itself unrelated to technology, but also on ingenious manipulations of the power inherent in technology: the intensification of labour, propaganda, the training of youth and workers, the organization of government, industrial and party bureaucracies – which constitute the daily apparatus of terror – all meet the requirements of the highest technological efficiency.  This is, on the contrary, the natural state of National Socialist social and economic shaping, shaping of which technology is one of the main stimuli. industrial and party organizations – which constitute the daily apparatus of terror – all respond to the imperatives of the highest technological efficiency.

This terrorist technocracy cannot be attributed to the exceptional imperatives of the war economy. This is, on the contrary, the natural state of National Socialist social and economic shaping, shaping of which technology is one of the main stimuli. industrial and party organizations – which constitute the daily apparatus of terror – all respond to the imperatives of the highest technological efficiency. This terrorist technocracy cannot be attributed to the exceptional imperatives of the war economy. This is, on the contrary, the natural state of National Socialist social and economic shaping, shaping of which technology is one of

Cf. A.R.L. Gurland, “Technological Trends and Economic

 

3In the course of the technological process, a new rationality and a new model of individuality have spread within society, different from (and even opposed to) those who initiated the march of technology. These transformations are not a direct or indirect consequence of mechanization on its users or of mass production on consumers; rather, they are themselves determining factors in the development of mechanization and mass production. In order to fully understand the full significance of these transformations, it is necessary to briefly consider the essence of rationality as well as the pattern of individuality subject to dissolution in the current stage of the machine age.

4The human individual that the representatives of the middle-class revolution consecrated as the ultimate unit and the end of society carried within him values ​​in stark contradiction to those that have taken hold of today’s society. If we tried to bring together in a single concept the different religious, political and economic currents that forged the notion of the individual in the 16th and 17th centuries, we could define this individual as the subject of a certain number of norms and values ​​over which no external authority should have any influence. These norms and values ​​related to the most adequate forms of social and personal life for the full development of human capacities and faculties. As such, they constituted the “truth” of his individual and social existence. It was considered that every individual, as a rational being, was capable of discovering these forms of life by his own thought and that once this freedom of thought had been acquired, he was capable of directing his action with a view to their actualization. The task assigned to society was then to guarantee these freedoms to the individual and to remove the obstacles to his rational action.

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