Bernard Stiegler on Agriculture as a Technical System

Pieter Lemmens


According to Bernard Stiegler’s theory of techno-evolution, technologies have an intrinsically pharmacological nature. They can be both supportive and destructive for sociotechnical practices based on them. Technological innovations always first disrupt existing sociotechnical practices, but can and should then always be appropriated by the social system to be turned into a new technical system upon which new sociotechnical practices are based. As constituted and conditioned by a technical system, agriculture is necessarily a system of care. Current deployment of transgenic technologies under capitalist conditions leads to processes of proletarianization in agriculture, which has led to their widespread rejection. However, they can and should become the basis of a new system of care, but only under the condition that they are wrought from corporate control and redeployed to initiate a process of deproletarianization

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