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Socialist view of nanotechnology

For a lighter moment here at Nanodot, we look at nanotechnology from the Socialist Worker perspective:

“Capitalism, forever in search of updated means of production, has seized upon nanotechnology as a panacea for its present ills and invested huge amounts in research programmes…The possibilities offered by nanotechnology and nanoscience have been hyped to attract investors to such an extent that it is almost guaranteed to be a disappointment. The short term benefits of nanotechnology will be very mundane or frivolous…If we are to maximise the benefits of nanotechnology, we should not leave control of this field to the ‘band of warring brothers’, as Karl Marx called the capitalist classes of the world.”

This is written by researcher Mark Baxendale, whose web page lists some nanotech uses: “These applications include molecular quantum electronic devices; probes for scanning probe microscopy, and magnetic tags for biomolecules.” These don’t sound mundane or frivolous to me. —Christine

4 Responses to “Socialist view of nanotechnology”

  1. Edie Says:

    I have actually written a post on the relationship between nanotechnology and socialism (and faith), here. I’m obviously not an expert, only extremely interested in the field. I think Baxendale is a very clumsy logician, if indeed he is deserving of the term at all.

  2. Paul Moore Says:

    Anything that has the anti-capitalist Luddites this upset has got to be good.

  3. Nick Says:

    I love this, the “capitalist vs the socialist” ethos stuff cracks me up thanks to both of you and in the spirit of the clearly tounge-in-cheek nature of the post we have capitalisim or dog-eat-everybodys dog vs if-we-all-hold-hands-and-pretend-everyone-is-the-same of luddite socialist theory debating if the emergence of a technological paradim that will make both schools of thought irrelevent (think about it no scarsity (MNT) so no way to withold or “own” either labor (social theory) or goods (market forces)). As both are effectivly forms of social control and MNT means people will have none over each other other than what they agree to WITHOUT coersive forces if poses some interesting times for social fabrics…….

    Ha ha ha cant wait

  4. Jon Says:

    Nanotechnology offers the best hope for lifting the lower classes from their misery that has ever existed in human history. And as a side note, capitalism in the west has already lifted them above the highest point ever achieved (even for the wealthiest classes) prior to this time already. Way to go Christine! Nice post.

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