The Social Impact of Technology
There is no doubt that technological change brings about social change. The Industrial revolution saw many people displaced from their land, to find work in crowded city factories. Serfdom was abolished and the population shifted from villages to the cities. Strong family ties, self sufficiency and the right to occupy land were replaced with uncertain tenancy of land, dependency on trade and a weakening of the family unit. Economically, goods and money abounded, and trade flourished. The merchant class profited from the wealth that was generated on the backs of the displaced population of urban workers. Children were sent to work in factories, in order for families to make enough money to live. The peasant class worked long hard hours in poor conditions with no security. The Industrial revolution led to the alienation of the working class and although many union battles have since led to the adoption of better working conditions, the effects of the Industrial revolution remain. The family unit is even more vulnerable today with soaring divorce rates, high rates of teenage suicide, most of society are either heavily mortgaged to banks or paying high rents, and no one can be self-sufficient in a world governed by free wheeling free trade. Advances in technology, is generally not equitably shared within society. People with money have more opportunity to aquire technology, which enables them to acquire even more wealth. It is also important to remember that war has been and will continue to be the driving force for technology and innovation. Power and wealth are intrinsically tied together. Technology leads to greater social economic division. Laborers are viewed as commodities and expendable. Technology leads to alienation because it can create jobs that require no specialist knowledge. To date, since the industrial revolution we have seen technology used to the detriment of society. The right to occupy land has become a privelege that must be worked for and earned and now the battle is on to control all the world's food and textiles through genetically modified seeds and animals. The insidious part of GM is that there is no recall once it is released into the environment. Salmon that will grow ten times faster than normal salmon will destroy river systems, as their unfair genetically modified advantage will see all smaller life forms extinguished, and genetically modified crops that are dependent on pesticides will contaminate organic, heritage seeds that have sustained people for thousands of years. Seeds will no longer be able to be harvested and replanted but the farmer will have to buy new seed every year from GM seed makers. This fight is more important that the fight over open source because it involves the right of people everywhere to have clean, safe food that has not been genetically altered. Essentially GM is a tax on everyone because a patent will be on every seed and seeds are made to be sterile the following year. This is something to become angry about. The greedy corporations and individuals that want control over our food, water and land, do not care about the irreversible damage to the environment. people and animals that they cause. We have the right to eat tomatoes that are free of fish DNA, meat and milk that is free of human DNA, pigs that haven't been grown to harvest anthrax antibodies. They will never be able to prove the safety of GM food and no long term studies have been done. Nor will GM solve the problem of soil erosion, and pollution of rivers from artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Only a return to responsible organic and biodynamic farming practices will solve these problems. The 50 harmful effects of GM food Courts are not keen to pursue pesticide makers for poisoning farmers, or GM seed makers for monopolizing the world's seeds through patents, (through genetic engineering that not only renders the seed worthless for replanting the next year but also...
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