Transhumanism’s Fabian Backstory: A Companion to Martins’ Later Work
Fuller’s chapter anchors Martins’ Firms Markets, Technology and Paths to the Posthuman in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. The book partly satirizes Aldous’s brother, Julian Huxley, a ‘missing link’ between Fabian socialism and today’s transhumanism. Julian, who coined ‘transhumanism’ in the 1950s, extended the Fabians’ original eugenic orientation in the context of the movement’s distinctly economistic approach to welfare. Here ‘human capital’ is the linchpin concept, one first elaborated by the American progressive economist, Irving Fisher (1867–1947), also a eugenicist and a proto-transhumanist. Fuller shows how this idea migrated from Fabianism to ‘neo-liberalism’ via such Fabian defectors as Robbins, Coase and Hayek, who formed the Mont Pelerin Society. Fuller reveals an elective affinity between neo-liberal governance and the platform of Zoltan Istvan, the first presidential candidate of the US Transhumanist Party (2016).
I would like to acknowledge the support of the Russian Science Foundation, project number 14-18-02227, ‘Social Philosophy of Science’, with which I’m associated as a Research Fellow in the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy.
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