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International Socialist Principles IV.2 Cheat Sheet by

control     international     technology     socialist     disarmament

Social Control of Techno­logical Develo­pment

49. The techno­logical revolution which has already begun in the advanced industrial economies will profoundly change the conditions of the enviro­nment and resource management within the life-time of the present genera­tion. Moreover, the impact of this change will be experi­enced worldwide. Micro-­ele­ctr­onics, robotics, weapons techno­logy, bio-en­gin­eering - plus innova­tions which are not yet dreamed of - will transform the circum­stances of both indivi­duals and the structures of society in the world as a whole.

50. Technology is not simply a matter of objective science or inanimate machines. It is always guided by particular interests and designed according to human values, whether implicit or explicit. It has to be brought under social control in order to use the positive opport­unities offered by new techno­logies for humankind, to minimise the risks and the dangers of uncont­rolled develo­pments and to prevent socially unacce­ptable techno­logies.

51. Social progress requires, and inspires, techno­logical progress. What is needed is technology approp­riate to the different condit­ions, experi­ences and levels of develo­pment prevailing in the North and in the South. There must be a substa­ntial transfer of suitable technology - and of basic techno­logical know-how - between North and South. The North has much to learn from the experience of the South, especially its use of low-waste techno­logies. There should be social dialogue, and democratic political control of the context in which new techno­logies are introd­uced. This should ensure that their availa­bility:

- contri­butes to autonomous develo­pment in the countries of the South, mobilising their resources rather than wasting them, and creating new jobs rather than increasing unempl­oyment;
- humanises labour, promotes human health, and enhances safety in the workplace;
- facili­tates economic rights and increases the scope for popular decisi­on-­making in working life.

52. In order to ensure that these standards are met throughout the world there must be instit­utions and procedures for assessment of techno­logy. Innovation should be introduced in accordance with social needs and priorities as expressed through democratic debate and decisi­on-­making.

53. Manipu­lation of human genetic material and exploi­tation of women through new reprod­uctive techno­logies must be prevented. Likewise ways must be found to protect humanity from nuclear danger and chemical risk.
 

Disarm­ament and Develo­pment

54. Disarm­ament agreements between the Superp­owers will do more than remove the threat of annihi­lation from the planet. With such agreements in place, many of the resources now wasted on thermo­nuc­lear, chemical, biological and conven­tional weapons could be released for investment in economic and social develo­pment programmes in the South. Disarm­ament between the East and West should be linked with programmes for justice between the North and South.

55. A proportion of the substa­ntial funds which the highly indust­ria­lised countries of the West and the East would save as a result of negotiated disarm­ament should be utilised to create a multin­ational fund to promote a secure and sustai­nable develo­pment in the countries of the South.

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