The Autonomous Polytechnics Manifesto
Once, technologists came together to construct a new vision of the future. This had a dramatic affect on the world: reshaping society, global politics and the very meaning of what it is to be human. However, over time, another group began to attach themselves to this movement – individuals who saw an opportunity in the new image of hacking that was being created by the media.
Together, these individuals slowly turned the hacker movement into a subculture. And unaware of the role that ideas and motives play in every movement, the hackers became overtaken by them, and slowly their collective vision lost much of its power to shape and transform the world.
An opportunity presents itself for a group of nonconformists to lead technology out of this paralysis. Our group has started small but we will wield massive influence over politics and technology. Our scope is global and historical. We want to touch every area of society through technology, to influence it according to our ideals.
Technology is power. We will use technology to change governance, economy, law, society, politics and culture, both through research and practical work. We will work to actively apply concepts of digital governance, decentralised economy, and distributed law, and by doing so will transform society & culture.
“People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years.” – JCR Licklider
We believe that technology is a key pillar of the state based system, and that technology has been manipulated into serving power and domination. But we also believe that technology does not have an inevitable path. If we grasp technology and steer it towards a socio-political goal, then a new route for advancing the cause of human freedom opens up.
We live in a world of fake diversity that masks ideological homogeneity. The internet has created an explosion of niche lifestyles and identities but they’re all equally superficial. Social media enforces a rigid conformity where people around the world ridicule and shame others for holding beliefs that are considered unacceptable. There’s millions of blogs, Twitter accounts and YouTube channels offering the appearance of diversity, but the underlying logic is the same – BE HEARD, BE SEEN.
But it is nonconformists who bring new ideas and creations that make society vibrant.
Nonconformity is not just rejecting and challenging the socially acceptable. People who reject things just to be “different” are still conformists, as their life is still formed by an external source – the crowd. The nonconformist follows his own truth for personal or authentic reasons. He adopts social norms not from the desire to be accepted, but because he understands their utility.
Lewis Mumford in the book “Technics and Civilization” introduced the key idea that technology was twofold:
Polytechnic, which enlists many different modes of technology, providing a complex framework to solve human problems.
Monotechnic, which is technology only for its own sake, which oppresses humanity as it moves along its own trajectory.
Our challenge as authentic hackers and technological utopians is to reconfigure technology into enhancing a new paradigm of human freedom, rather than erecting an invisible apparatus of tyranny which erases humanity.
How we create this paradigm is based off sociological analysis – using the methods of sociology to further the aim of freedom – and applying this knowledge to the use of technics. And with our utopia to work towards, we can develop a long term plan that will serve as the basis for a wider movement.
Nonconformists of the world, come and join us!