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A-Z of the Future > Up/Down Politics

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The traditional right/left political dichotomy is increasingly inapt for capturing the range of political opinion in these fractured times.


Some have suggested the right/left dichotomy needs to be broken down into cultural (liberal v conservative) and economic (social democratic v laissez faire); but even this seems deeply inadequate to capture the political pathologies of the current day.


Some futurist thinkers are beginning to see our attitude to technology and nature as integral to the political landscape of the future. They argue for an up/down dichotomy in addition to or perhaps even instead of the right/left conceptualization.


Up is seen as being technologically Utopian – often Up-wingers will embrace concepts such as transhumanism and strongly believe technology can solve other problems which currently face humanity such as resource depletion and environmental degradation.


Down-wingers meanwhile tend to place more emphasis on the importance of the conservation of nature and sustainable ways of living. They tend to conceptualise human rationality as limited and emphasise the unpredictability and unforeseen side-effects of the impacts of technology.


As such in their view, the ever increasing power technology enables humans to wield is likely to further the dangerous aspects of human nature: the narcissism, hubris, naivety, unending quest for power, and misplaced sense of importance, ultimately leading to catastrophe. 

Up / Down Politics

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