Home Sex, Family, Reproduction XXI: Artificialisation, how far will it go?

GEAB July 2021

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Jul 2021

Sex, Family, Reproduction XXI: Artificialisation, how far will it go?

The process of distancing man from nature was inaugurated a very long time ago, perhaps when he invented fire, or even before that, when he invented the first tools. The speed at which humans have extracted themselves from nature has been exponential: very slowly for millennia; more rapidly from the invention of historical memory by the great Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations… which thus gave themselves the means to accumulate experience; increasingly rapidly since the great discoveries of the 15th century, which began to cross cultures and civilisations and question certainties; the second last acceleration occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries, when people stopped being satisfied with what nature produced on the surface and started to attack what was underneath: minerals, coal, oil… This stage is important because it marks the changeover from the era of progress conceived as the optimisation of nature’s gifts: from the 19th century onwards, we began to emancipate ourselves from nature by exploiting its minerals, previously considered sterile, even to the detriment of its fertile part (animal and vegetable). It is not by chance that Nietzsche’s theory of the superhuman dates from the 19th century, for it was at this time that humans began to see themselves as Gods modelling the world in their own image.

But at that point we still remained dependent on raw materials from nature. It is with virtual reality, data, the Internet,… that humans lost their grip on nature, ceasing to want to dominate it, in order to, instead, recreate a new one.

It is through this mega-trend of ‘artificialisation’ that the themes of this special issue should be regarded (sex, family, reproduction) even if such trend should be crossed with others, such as sterilisation, commodification… and above all with a major countertrend: resistance to change.

This “sex-family-reproduction” triptych has brought our team to the heart of human society. And if we thought for a moment that this subject was as light as the month of July in which it is published, we soon realised that it was taking us down a path of quasi-philosophical thinking, of which these few pages of this special summer issue are only a prelude.

For thousands of years, humans aspiring to the divine have stumbled over the instinct that binds them to their quintessential animality. It’s not for lack of trying though! Reproduction has undergone a thousand attempts at “civilisation”: divinised in polytheistic religions, stabilised within the framework of the “family”, sacralised by religious vows, civilised by courtly love, annihilated by celibacy, etc. At a time when the world is tipping over into this decisive stage of artificialisation, it is appropriate to ask ourselves what will happen to the reproductive function, its prerequisite, sexuality, and its traditional framework, the family.

If humanity now has all the tools it needs to implement the Nietzschean dream of the superhuman, how exactly will it achieve twisting the animal function of reproduction? And how will it preserve its humanity in the midst of a storm of totalitarian trans-humanism? Strangely enough, our exploration of the future has brought us back to Love, the great absentee of the equation…

Join the GEAB Community on LinkedIn for more discussions on this topic.


To leave a comment sign up now

The differentiation between sex and reproduction, characteristic of human beings, is not new. Indeed, if humans have learned to control their fertility, they have never been fully able to control [...]

The traditional family model has been changing dramatically over the past few decades. Originally (until only a few decades or years ago), family was defined as a lasting union (marriage) [...]

When anticipations are being regularly published, as is the case of the GEAB, "the future is already here" is a very innocent phrase. Although, it rarely resonates as eloquently as [...]

Build Noah's arks... quickly! As we have seen, there is something eminently Nietzschean about the visions of the future emerging under ​the Anglo-Saxon revolution, in terms of sex, gender, family and [...]

Related articles
15 Apr 2024

Post-ChatGPT Corporation: Accelerating the Emergence of State-Companies

#AI #chatGPT #economy #society

Marie-Hélène Caillol, President of LEAP and author of this article, draws on the work carried out with the Real-Futur Excellence Centre of the INSEEC-MSc business school, (PERF) which she founded [...]

15 Apr 2024

US Elections: Tech Takes the Helm of the Empire… Yes, but which one?

#elections #geopolitics #society #unitedstates #world

The debate over whether the heads of the largest US technology companies or successive US Presidents wield the most power has persisted for many years. While the ascendance of the [...]

15 Jan 2024

Mega-Trends for 2024: Real Risks, False Fears

#elections #geopolitics #governance #society #world

"Be greedy when others are fearful" The great feature of 2024 is its jam-packed electoral calendar. This year, almost three billion people will be voting in 76 countries, including major [...]