Technology is going to bring drastic changes to society. Modern politics needs serious rethinking in order to keep up with the evolving technology. In the future we will have enormous social injustice to people who won't be able to reach, buy or understand the impact.

Some examples might include genetic engineering, such as:

  • greater physical features
  • emotional intelligence
  • general intelligence

Will we have laws that would prohibit to raise for example someone IQ up to a certain point and how will future politics be able to stop it from happening?


I think it will depend on which country you are in.

Consider the most basic form of this, which is already in existence: gene therapy. Gene therapy allows us, to a limited extent, to track for potentially dangerous genetic diseases and eliminate them. Some forms of cancer, mental illnesses like Downs Syndrome, and physical defects can all be prevented through gene therapy. However, there are many individuals in the modern day that object to both the research practices in gene therapy, as well as gene therapy itself. Elimination of Downs syndrome is seen by some as discriminatory and dehumanizing towards people with Downs. Slippery slope arguments are also common: if we're stopping a child with Downs from being born, what's to stop us from stopping a child with the wrong gender or the wrong hair color from being born?

In many countries, perhaps in particular countries with a strong religious majority, such arguments are likely to win out. However, there will be other countries in which the majority of voters have no such qualms about these practices. In South Korea, for example, many parents already enroll their children in expensive therapies to try to make them taller. The government has also funded efforts in human cloning research. It's likely that in a country like South Korea, gene therapy will be more welcomed than it will be in countries like the USA or India.

The same is probably true for more advanced gene therapy: there will be some countries that fear it and some that welcome it. However, the wealthy will always be able to find a country whose laws match their wishes, and will simply travel to countries where advanced gene therapy is available until such a time as their home country makes the shift towards legalizing advanced gene therapies. They would, after all, be a lucrative market that most capitalistic countries would love to have helping to boost their GDPs.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Umm, we have stopped children of the wrong gender from being born. ie: China $\endgroup$ – user3082 Jan 3 '15 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, and we have also stopped children with Downs syndrome from being born. At the same time, there are states in the US which have passed laws banning sex-selective abortion. It's likely that the same pattern would be seen with gene therapy for children: it would be common place in some areas and banned in others. $\endgroup$ – ckersch Jan 3 '15 at 21:52

Will we have laws that would prohibit to raise for example someone IQ up to a certain point and how will future politics be able to stop it from happening?

Yes. Here's why.

Say you're a politician. You like being in power, and you'll (cough cough take bribes cough cough) do what the people want you to do, unless you plan on going the Palpatine route and seizing complete power for yourself. How do you stay in power? By getting elected. How do you get elected? By satisfying your constituents.

Most of your constituents aren't rich. Let's face it: unless the people who elect you are all named Bill Gates, they'll likely be in the average income bracket. At first, this technology is going to be pricey; chances are, most people won't be able to afford it. Therefore, only a negligible amount of your constituents will be able to afford it, if any.

They'll be naturally predisposed to hate those who can afford it. Why? Most of us aren't exactly thrilled with the rich - at least, the rich who flaunt their wealth. They also already have a lot of advantages over us, and these new "super-abilities" will only give them more advantages, further broadening the gap between the rich and the Joe Schmoes.

So your constituents aren't happy. They'll want this technology gone. So you, the dutiful civil servant, will quickly pass a law that bans this technology, and so you'll happily stay in office.

Things do get interesting if you take bribes. That would mean that the rich who can afford this stuff would control you far more than your constituents do. In that case, the rest of us are in trouble because the rich will get their super-abilities, and we'll be left in the dust.

Outcome 1: Dutiful civil servant$\to$ banned super-abilities.

Outcome 2: Bribe-taking politician $\to$ legal super-abilities.

Eventually, though, the technology will get cheaper, and soon the majority of people will be able to afford it. Then, it will be your prerogative to make it really legal really fast.

  • $\begingroup$ Like marijuana? Most people have wanted that since the 1960s in the US. Something like 70% have used/use. And it's still (mostly) illegal... Things aren't as simple as you portray. $\endgroup$ – user3082 Jan 3 '15 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ @user3082 That's not a valid analogy, because marijuana is pretty accessible, and not too expensive. Also, using it doesn't necessarily leave traces, whereas getting these improvements would be hard-to-get, expensive, and visible to everyone, although the enhanced IQ might not. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 3 '15 at 16:37

How do technological intelligence enhancements differ from the cultural, nutritional and educational enhancements which we already have available?

Families of means can and do enhance their children's intellectual capabilities through discipline, high-expectations, the hiring of tutors, and careful selection of what schools their children attend at every level.

If the rich can get gene enhancements that the poor can't afford, isn't that just another reason for everyone to work hard and become rich?

...or perhaps it would just be easier for everyone if we made the hiring of private tutors into a criminal offense.

  • $\begingroup$ Started to write a response to this, decided it was going to turn into pure political theory, killed it. You're welcome. $\endgroup$ – keshlam Jan 3 '15 at 5:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What you don't seem to acknowledge is that luck plays a huge role in becoming rich. It is really different to enhance someone capabilities through training than it is with gene therapy. Consider this. Someone with higher IQ and emotional intelligence will be able to manipulate people to such a deegre that they will simply accept what is said to them and obey. We always had gaps between low class and high class citizens but this gap without proper politics is going to become immense. $\endgroup$ – user5203 Jan 3 '15 at 9:44

Yes, easily, with violence

Whether social structure X can keep up with social structure Y smoothly is a hard question. However, violent solutions resolve the issue quickly by making sure at least one side will lose ground.

If the super rich become too "big," eventually social structures on the bottom of society WILL figure out some way of describing the effect. There may be elections, or there may be riots. For all we know, the result could be the annihilation of the lower social classes. Most of us would call this bad, but the question is only concerned with politics.

Politics has survived thousands of years of war and inequality. I see no reason why politics would extinguish under mere technology. There will almost certainly remain an opening for politicians in our society.

Will there be laws along the way? Absolutely! Without any shred of doubt in my mind

Can you name a single disruptive technology ever invented in the history of laws which has not been bound by law along the way? I don't believe there is a single example. At the very least, import/export regulations will have to keep up.

The more interesting question will be how spastic the law is. The further technology races ahead, the more likely it is that politicians will enact ineffective laws which target the symptoms, not the causes. The laws WILL be passed (which was your question).

The worse the law targets symptoms rather than causes, the more extreme it will be. If they can only target symptoms, not causes, they will have to rely on fear to styme the causes. Expect to see grave penalties for anyone showing symptoms of a technology they cannot understand.


I'm not clear on whether the future difficulties you describe in the first paragraph of your post are intended as an exercise in imaginative world building where the socio-political possibilities are open-ended or a future that in the real world you consider inevitable.

In any case, much of the social, economic, and political conflict you posit for the future in your first 3 sentences is already a fact. So, on the one hand, its not hard for me to imagine these conflicts continuing. But, on the other hand, why should they? Why must we continue to allow inequalities (in access to material goods, education, employment, healthcare, housing, political participation, etc.) we know to be counter-productive to the wellbeing of the vast majority of the citizenry, to continue. After all, the intellectual capacities necessary to conceive, construct, and implement advanced technologies certainly indicates that we have sufficient brain-power to solve issues of gross inequality, if we set ourselves to that task.

Much of the inequality and injustice you spoke of stems from the structure of our social organization - in public government, as well as in private business, the model is hierarchical; power is highly centralized; and, of course, wealth and privilege are concentrated exclusively at the apex of that pyramid, while the overwhelming majority of a politician's constituents and a CEO's employees occupy the base - and those citizens at the base happen to contribute most of the energy and agency without which all above them could not maintain their status - i.e., invert the pyramid and what happens ... immediately? The structure falls. That demonstrates what's fundamental and what's not - every strata of that pyramid above the base ultimately depends upon the integrity of the base.

Now, in some (though not all) organizations--such as government--more productive models are available. The advanced technologies we already possess (the World Wide Web) would allow us to easily transition from the present, hierarchical pyramid with its highly centralized power (a representative but merely nominal democracy) to an actual democracy wherein every citizen directly votes on all pertinent issues (and, I guess, pretty much all issues are pertinent). Such a change would allow the majority (nee, We the People at the Base) much greater political participation. At that point local, State, and Federal Legislatures and court Justices (who are either elected or appointed) could restructure the laws and overturn the judicial decisions which gave for-profit corporations the same legal standing that you & I supposedly enjoy in courts of law, and we would be well on our way to a far more sane, healthy, and just world.

Then again, if it was your aim all along to imagine a future dystopian police-state, I've probably bored the feces out of you and wasted your time, in which case I offer my sincere apologies. This is my first attempt at an answer here and I don't really have the feel of the site yet, OK?


Once technological augmentation, meaning true intelligent design, brings significant advantages, un-augmented humans are obsolete. A country that works against human augmentation will be like countries lacking education today: hopelessly outcompeted, with no chance to dominate world politics.

Two points that just can't be dodged:

  1. Don't underestimate intelligence
  2. Trial-and-Error evolution is a massive, horrible waste

There is no known weapon or strategy against higher intelligence (as defined by actual mathematical/scientific ability, not proxies like IQ). On top of that, higher intelligence is increasingly hard to detect. Even teachers, who have a lot more experience than their students, are inept at detecting raw learning ability, which is the best resource for real intelligence. If the intelligent want to act stupid, they will be hard to spot.

Even if the design of higher intelligence doesn't work well enough, the amount of sickness and bad adaptation in modern humans is a gigantic draw-back. If people can just halve the rate of cancer and heart problems, they are already at a huge advantage. Add replacement limbs, longer life, better psychological stability, and there's not much left holding us back from advancing society much further.

The step from n to n + 1

Fortunately for intelligence, but unfortunately to someone trying to predict the future, there is no known reason why the advancement should stop at any point. On the contrary, as society gains efficiency, it is even more capable of constructing further upgrades and altering the members of its society. Evolution is still working, and kicking out members and societies that fail to compete, so the upgrades will be about as radical as possible. I would assume that giving birth soon fades, and soon everyone is equipped with wi-fi or laser communication, then splits their brains off their bodies and remote-controls their decreasingly human bodies to the extent communication speeds allow.

Basically, society dashes out of reach of our imagination.

People trying to stop this are like the mammoths trying to stop humans. Intelligence will find ways to deal with them and leave them on the graveyard of evolution.

  • $\begingroup$ The point is not whether some countries will support technological growth but whether modern politics will be able to control certain factors as genetic therapy. Rich people will definitely want to enhance their skills such as influence which if taken to a great degree will be able to manipulate and cause evil to unfortunate lower class people. $\endgroup$ – user5203 Jan 3 '15 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @user5203 My point is that the exact mechanics are irrelevant as long as there is any competition in the technological advancement. Those at the top of intelligence and technology will compete to create even more of it, accelerating the change until humans in today's form are just another dated species in museums. Once this starts working out, everyone will be massively modified from today's humans, and society will be unrecognizable. Abusing "lower class people" won't be nearly as interesting as just constructing whatever people/beings are needed. $\endgroup$ – Vandroiy Jan 4 '15 at 12:07

Governments have kept up with technology and have used technology to help their party's, and themselves to get elected. Governments will keep up with future technology, just as we all will.

The change will come from the up lifting of the meme personal consciousness. This is being bolstered by the vary technology that is being used by everyone.

Can or will governments try to restrict this uplifting of the general population? This is about population control by authority figures. It has been used in the past and is being used right now. This is also the crux of the question.

We as a human population will change how governments work by virtue of a unified understanding of our freewill. This has been tampered with by governments, propaganda policies and laws forced against the populous for hundreds of years.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.