Reader’s Letter: The Aesthetics’ Point of View

October 6, 1885 ·

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Dr. Mortimer Granville and I am a doctor renowned for the medically treatment of hysteria, a diagnosis of women displaying an array of symptoms including nervousness, insomnia, exhaustion, depression, cramps, and sexual frustration. The only known method of treatment is to elicit paroxysmal convulsions.

The usual manual method is extremely strenuous. So in about 1883 I invented Granville’s Hammer, which was a huge relief for the doctors who found themselves suffering from fatigued wrists and hands. However, I did not apply my invention solely in the treatment of hysteria; rather, I use it also to treat muscular disorders. This makes the Hammer the fourth domestic appliance to be automated, after the sewing machine, the fan and the tea kettle.

My values as a doctor, a gentleman and as an Aesthetics are based on the belief that advances in science and technology will eventually bring about an utopia, or will at least help to fulfill one or another utopian ideal. The utopia we Aesthetics dream of is an ideal society, in which laws, government, and social conditions are solely operating for the benefit and well-being of all its citizens, when advanced science and technology will allow these ideal living standards to exist; for example, post scarcity, transformations in human nature, the abolition of suffering and even the end of death.

We believe that science and technology are the right and left hands of what we call the move from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom. In this regard all real socialists and feminists must be generally advocates of reason and science, which are to be brought about as a painless corollary of clockwork development.

The advance of technology will lay the groundwork not only for the creation of a new society, with different property relations, but also for the emergence of new human beings reconnected to nature and themselves. At the top of our agenda for empowered proletarians is to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible. Yes, that means we are focused on industrialization, economic development and the promotion of reason, science and the idea of progress.

All great thinkers of the Enlightenment commonly equated scientific progress with social progress. It is our belief that technological change revolutionizes human affairs and will increase personal freedom by freeing the individual from the rigid embrace of bureaucratic big government. Our ideal of the self-empowered knowledge workers will render traditional hierarchies redundant.

For this endeavour we Aesthetics define the four principles of modern technological utopia:

1.We are presently undergoing a revolution in technology;

2. In the clockwork age, technological growth will be sustained (at least);

3. In the clockwork age, technological growth will lead to the end of economic scarcity;

4. The elimination of economic scarcity will lead to the elimination of every major social evil.

End of scarcity is a form of society in which goods, services and information are free, or practically free. This would require an abundance of fundamental resources (matter, energy and intelligence), in conjunction with sophisticated

automated systems like the clockwork. Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human needs and wants, in a world of limited resources.

It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs. Alternatively, scarcity implies that not all of society’s goals can be pursued at the same time; trade-offs are made of one good against others. However, in Marxist economics, scarcity is said to be peripheral. Human wants in practice are not assumed to be infinite, but variable and ultimately conditioned. Scarcity, instead, is secondary to the issue of differential distribution within a society due to class, primarily between a producing class (e.g. slaves, peasants, the proletariat) and a surplus-taking class (e.g. slave owners, lords, the bourgeoisie).

All visions of post-scarcity societies must assume the existence of new technologies which make it much easier for society to produce nearly all goods in great abundance, given raw materials and energy. Only advanced industrial automation might be able to produce most physical goods that people desire, with a minimal amount of human labour required.

God save Victoria!

Dr. Mortimer

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