Posted on Aug 8, 2022

There is this anecdote that John Stuart Mill used to ask adherents of certain political theories what immediate benefit they would gain if their favourite ideas were enacted. I am not sure this is the right way to frame politics (or technology or science or anything else). The active pursuit of happiness is deeply individual, and I strongly agree with Castoriadis when he claims that (in The Imaginary Institution of Society):

I am not asking society to ‘give me happiness’; I know that this is not a ration that can be handed out by City Hall or my neighbourhood Workers’ Council and that, if this thing exists, I have to make it for myself, tailored to my own needs, as this has happened to me already and as this will probably happen to me again. In life, however, as it comes to me and to others,I run up against a lot of unacceptable things…

An active transformational programme (such as the one proposed by Kautsky) should focus squarely in bounding worst case scenarios. Turning life for the billions from “raging misery to simple boredom”. In the same vain, our medicine should be preventative, our robot servants entropy-reducing and our food bland and plenty.