Postman defines Technopoly as “…the submission of all forms of cultural life to the sovereignty of technique and technology….” (Postman 52). He is referring to the loss of cultural ancestry, customs, and beliefs of a society prior to the adoption of a technological advancement. This loss is not an overt attack on these previous belief systems; it’s an adoption of new beliefs due to these technological advancements. What was once a traditional belief is slowly erased with this change. Technopoly as Postman continues has “… at its aim a grand reductionism in which human life must find its meaning in machinery and technique” (Postman). He emphasizes the society’s need for innovation strips away the meaning of individual identity for the benefit of improved efficiency and greater innovation. Life no longer has meaning in regard to communal experiences, but rather, all meaning is reduced to utilizing and discovering new advancements.
This change from Technocracy to Technoploy cannot be said to occur at any specific time. It occurs slowly as society’s belief system changes. A great example of this is social media. Its use has been heavily adopted by the millennial generation in greater proportions in comparison to the baby boomer generation. This technological shift occurred within the last fifteen years, but it has fundamentally changed the way the millennial generation communicates and interacts with each other. I cannot help but think of the last letter I received was from someone over the age of sixty. I no longer remember the last letter I wrote or sent.
The article “The Thin Blue Line Is a Burning Fuse” makes some rather poignant connections regarding governments and natural resource acquisitions. The article’s author makes the claim capitalism is the driving force behind these police states and wars which are occurring globally. If capitalism is further broken down into means of production and innovation, it can be argued a Technopoly is attempting to secure the resources it requires to sustain itself. Also, as a Technopoly is not concerned with individual liberties and is only focused on further innovation and efficiency, the society as described in “The Thin Blue Line Is a Burning Fuse” is only concerned about profits of large corporations and ignores the plight of the poor.
I don’t believe the treatment of people as described in the article is a natural extension of a Technopoly. There are societies where innovation is cherished, and the well being of its citizens are also prioritized. I can think of Singapore and Germany as two examples of where there is significant innovation and very high overall standards of living. I believe the inherent culture of a society dictates this type of outcome as describe in the article. However, as Technopolies continue to grow and expand their influence I can only imagine what types of conflicts will occur amongst themselves.