Authoritarianism and Technology

Technological sophistication does not necessarily entail social progress or augmented individual liberty. In fact, managing technological development is a social and political problem of how decisions about the nature of humankind and its environment are to be made and by whom. Moreover, technology operates like a function of power, which some use at the expense of others. Hence, the vexation regarding the potentialities of technology implies another dilemma, that between democracy and authoritarianism.

This entry addresses “technology” as a power arrangement enacted through material (i.e., artifactual) or social techniques, such as bureaucracy or the nation-state. Speaking, then, to the context of the volume at hand, the genesis of “green” technologies involves both a consideration and a challenge of human and/or environmental values. One way to describe ...

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