Re: [OPE-L] the robotic army -- "they do not get hungry, they are not afraid"

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Sun Feb 20 2005 - 10:29:28 EST

Hi Paul B:

> These issues do not change the actual social relations. <snip, JL>
> > 'Mr Johnson, who leads robotics efforts at the Joint
>  > Forces Command research centre, said: "The lawyers
> > tell me there are no prohibitions against robots
> >  making life-or-death decisions.' .
> This is an extension of the Gauntanamo doctrine.
> The key question remains, not what they do, but how do we stop
> all their sickness?

Well, yes, that is the key question.  But, these new technologies
might make _concretely_ answering that question more difficult.

E.g. the anti-war movements grew in size in the past at least
partially in response to the increase in casualties from the
nation in question.  E.g. the anti-Vietnam war movement grew
in size in the US as more and more US soldiers were dying.
If it becomes possible technologically for wars to be fought
without troops on the ground then that might undermine
popular resistance to imperialist wars in imperialist nations.

In revolutionary situations, the support of troops has often
been crucial to the success of an insurrection.  There have
been indeed revolutions that could not have been successful
had the troops (the military, the secret service, the police)
obeyed orders.  By refusing to open fire on workers and
peasants at a crucial moment,  a revolution was able to move
forward ... and move forward, for example in Russia, with
minimal bloodshed.  Do not expect appeals to a robotic
army to be successful (and, most likely, only a small group
of people in the elite will have the software knowledge to
override the robotic programming).

Of course, this technology is not fully developed and it is
uncertain exactly what form it will take, so there is no need
to panic.  Yet, the clock is ticking.   By the time revolutionary
socialist movements grow in popularity internationally, we
can expect that we will have to overcome new challenges
with new tactics.

In solidarity, Jerry

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