In Fully Automated Luxury Communism (2018), the British writer Aaron Bastani puts a leftist spin on the Promethean view of technological development. While noting the revolutionary potential of recent genetic innovations, he insists that the latter are no different in kind from the selective breeding practices of the past: they are simply another great leap forward in humankind’s mastery over unruly nature. Referring to the movie Elysium (2013), which depicts a world where biotechnologies are only available to the very rich, Bastani’s only political concern is whether the new genetic technologies will be privately or socially owned. All other questions are beside the point, at least as far as he is concerned. As he puts it, with alarming insouciance: ‘Before editing the human genome at scale such efforts should be subject to vigorous public debate. But how much difference is there between improving nutrition for health outcomes and optimising our biological programming? Not much’. [More here.]