Artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and other forms of emerging technology must be viewed by each nation, state, community, and individual not as a mere novelty or potential industry, but also as a potential means to grant those who develop and monopolize it economic, political, and even military superiority history has taught us they most certainly will abuse.However, I believe what we need most is the development not of newer technologies that can be used for good or evil, but the creation of radical grassroots social systems to replace a class system based on the ownership of property that is tearing humanity apart with never-ending wars, widespread poverty, and environmental devastation. Until then we, as humans, are only gambling with our ultimate fate, and the best we can hope for is a lengthy "stay of execution" of our extinction.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up