Technological rationality dehumanizes people through capitalist systems

Truth transforms the modes of thought and existence. Reason and freedom converge. At the disposal of willful subjects operating in a world without objective limits, objects now enter into the abstracted realm of equivalencies, differentiated only by a competitive rationale and the predetermined and stunted choices of the marketplace. Technological rationality both makes up and drives the social control of a society subdivided into hierarchical social divisions of production, ownership, and aggressive competition under the profit motive.

Technological rationality dehumanizes people through capitalist systems

Technology has an obvious effect on individual freedom, in some ways increasing it, in others restricting it. However, since capitalism is a social system based on inequalities of power, it is a truism that technology will reflect those inequalities, as it does not develop in a social vacuum.

By Moya K. Mason

No technology evolves and spreads unless there are people who benefit from it and have sufficient means to disseminate it. In a capitalist society, technologies useful to the rich and powerful are generally the ones that spread. This can be seen from capitalist industry, where technology has been implemented specifically to deskill the worker, so replacing the skilled, valued craftperson with the easily trained and eliminated!

In Proudhon's words, the "machine, or the workshop, after having degraded the labourer by giving him a master, completes his degeneracy by reducing him from the rank of artisan to that of common workman.

Technological rationality dehumanizes people through capitalist systems

Thus, while it is often claimed that technology is "neutral" this is not and can never be the case. Simply put, "progress" within a hierarchical system will reflect the power structures of that system.

As George Reitzer notes, technological innovation under a hierarchical system soon results in "increased control and the replacement of human with non-human technology. In fact, the replacement of human with non-human technology is very often motivated by a desire for greater control, which of course is motivated by the need for profit-maximisation.

The great sources of uncertainty and unpredictability in any rationalising system are people. McDonaldisation involves the search for the means to exert increasing control over both employees and customers" [George Reitzer, The McDonaldisation of Society, p.

For Reitzer, capitalism is marked by the "irrationality of rationality," in which this process of control results in a system based on crushing the individuality and humanity of those who live within it.

In this process of controlling employees for the purpose of maximising profit, deskilling comes about because skilled labour is more expensive than unskilled or semi-skilled and skilled workers have more power over their working conditions and work due to the difficulty in replacing them.

In addition it is easier to "rationalise" the production process with methods like Taylorism, a system of strict production schedules and activities based on the amount of time as determined by management that workers "need" to perform various operations in the workplace, thus requiring simple, easily analysed and timed movements.

And as companies are in competition, each has to copy the most "efficient" i. Thus the evil effects of the division of labour and deskilling becoming widespread. Instead of managing their own work, workers are turned into human machines in a labour process they do not control, instead being controlled by those who own the machines they use see also Harry Braverman, Labour and Monopoly Capital: As Max Stirner noted echoing Adam Smiththis process of deskilling and controlling work means that "When everyone is to cultivate himself into man, condemning a man to machine-like labour amounts to the same thing as slavery.

Every labour is to have the intent that the man be satisfied. Therefore he must become a master in it too, be able to perform it as a totality. He who in a pin-factory only puts on heads, only draws the wire, works, as it were mechanically, like a machine; he remains half-trained, does not become a master: His labour is nothing by itself, has no object in itself, is nothing complete in itself; he labours only into another's hands, and is used.

Modern industry is set up to ensure that workers do not become "masters" of their work but instead follow the orders of management. The evolution of technology lies in the relations of power within a society.

Early Advocates Mason The Age of Enlightenment brought about a sense of individuality and rationality which emancipated humankind from the chains of mythology and traditional forms of religious and economic authority. There came the birth of the individual who established that reason, not domination, would determine the direction to be taken and how people would act.
D How does capitalism affect technology? Capitalism[ edit ] Rationalization formed a central concept in the foundation of classical sociology, particularly with respect to the emphasis the discipline placed — by contrast with anthropology — on the nature of modern Western societies.
Capitalism: Overview Mason The Age of Enlightenment brought about a sense of individuality and rationality which emancipated humankind from the chains of mythology and traditional forms of religious and economic authority.
Rationalization (sociology) - Wikipedia The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.
Capitalism: Overview | monstermanfilm.com Behavior had become dominated by goal-oriented rationality and less by tradition and values.

This is because "the viability of a design is not simply a technical or even economic evaluation but rather a political one.

A technology is deemed viable if it conforms to the existing relations of power. Work that is skilled and controlled by workers in empowering to them in two ways. Firstly it gives them pride in their work and themselves.

Secondly, it makes it harder to replace them or suck profits out of them. Therefore, in order to remove the "subjective" factor i. This need to control workers can be seen from the type of machinery introduced during the Industrial Revolution.

According to Andrew Ure, a consultant for the factory owners, "[i]n the factories for spinning coarse yarn. During a disastrous turmoil of [this] kind. This invention confirms the great doctrine already propounded, that when capital enlists science in her service, the refractory hand of labour will always be taught docility" [Andrew Ure, Philosophy of Manufactures, pp.

Because "[b]y the infirmity of human nature, it happens that the more skilful the workman, the more self-willed and intractable he is apt to become, and of course the less fit a component of mechanical system in which We have made and stimulated every imaginable effort to replace the service of men by tools more docile, and we have achieved our object.

Machinery has delivered capital from the oppression of labour. Fearful that skilled shop-floor workers would use their scare resources to reduce their effort and increase their pay, management deemed that knowledge of the shop-floor process must reside with the managerial structure.

Taylor himself considered the task for workers was "to do what they are told to do promptly and without asking questions or making suggestions. Unsurprisingly, workers responded to his schemes by insubordination, sabotage and strikes and it was "discovered.

This created a reward system in which workers who played by the rules would receive concrete gains in terms of income and status. Over time, such a structure would become to be seen as "the natural way to organise work and one which offered them personal advancement" even though, "when the system was set up, it was neither obvious nor rational.

The job ladders were created just when the skill requirements for jobs in the industry were diminishing as a result of the new technology, and jobs were becoming more and more equal as to the learning time and responsibility involved.D How does capitalism affect technology?

Technology has an obvious effect on individual freedom, in some ways increasing it, in others restricting it. However, since capitalism is a social system based on inequalities of power, it is a truism that technology will reflect those inequalities, as it does not develop in a social vacuum.

spheres of monopoly capitalism have become embodied with formal rationality, value efficiency, and the rational organization of both commodities and people (Hearn , ).

One outcome of this new rationality is a further alteration to the status given to the natural world. The term “technological rationality” was first captioned by the Frankfurt School of Thought’s theorist Herbert Marcuse, in his article, “Some Implications of Modern Technology”(Marcus,).

- As people develop technology to gain power over the world, the capitalist economy gains more control over people ° ° Revolution ° - The only way out of capitalism is to remake society ° - Socialism is a system of production that could provide for the social needs of all ° - Marx believed that the working majority would realize they held the key to a better future ° - The change would.

Commentary

1 THE MOLOCH AND THE ARTS: HABERMAS AND FEENBERG ON TECHNOLOGY, MODERNITY, AND AESTHETIC RATIONALITY 03/08/11 By David Ingram Herbert Marcuse taught his students that they could embrace the liberating potential of technology while rejecting technology in its current, oppressive form.

D How does capitalism affect technology? Technology has an obvious effect on individual freedom, in some ways increasing it, in others restricting it. However, since capitalism is a social system based on inequalities of power, it is a truism that technology will reflect those inequalities, as it does not develop in a social vacuum.

The Militant - September 22, --Capitalist system dehumanizes and alienates workers