There is a human-induced process of equalization at work on earth: transformation of difference into sameness.
From the point of view of the master, there is the belief that it is possible to impose such dissolution of specificity on others without affecting the master’s singularity.
The idea is that once beings are transformed into standard bits, they are more manipulable and less recalcitrant, and that as equalization propagates, it is however possible for the happy few to remain aloof from the dissolution of the people into data.
The ruse of the digital masters is that they can now discretise all beings into bits without appearing to physically affect their integrity. This is technological voodoo. We help you generate a digital avatar of yourself, and when we manipulate the avatar, it affects you because you are connecting yourself to it every day.
Many people believe they are at least partly on the side of the master, that they can for the most and for what counts control the process, that they are not ultimately the victim of equalization. This might be partially true, for now, if one knows what counts for oneself.
The question is: can the equalization program work? Or is there a singularity feature in each being that prevents a complete discretization? Are we more than data? Can we be free?
The simple answer is that it takes a great deal of courage to be free. You need to be ready for the possibility to lose everything in the process of actualising your autonomy. Most people are not. We are controlled and limited in innumerable ways, partly by norms, partly by alienated beliefs, but also by our own desires or sense of responsibility. Only an immense faith can be stronger than fear and dependence.
If people new that life was like a videogame with infinite possibility to restart the game once you die, then they would take many risks. Death would be a daily sport. Now many people believe they only have one life, and they hold on to it at all cost, not unlike slaves might do.
The political question that answers the reductive process of equalization described above is: can we equalize freedom? Can we produce autonomy and freedom faster than we produce dependence and alienation? And for whom?
Given the current status of individualism, we might expect the happy few to conquer autonomy for themselves while capitalising on the lack of autonomy of others.
A world in which all beings would be fully free could look like the above-mentioned deadly videogame, unless there is something that limits people’s will to power. For example, a gratitude for being without the need to constantly expand one’s territory, or better, the understanding of what expansion really means.
If expansion means more money, a bigger house, more social recognition, then this is a competitive game with winners and losers. If expansion means more love, more joy, more participative understanding, more co-creation, less frustration, then it might be possible to counter the expansion of digital control.
This is not to mean that you should want nothing, in a Stoic fashion. This rather means, in a Nietzschean manner, that you should want what is. And here again not what is in the sense of the phenomena that are, which can be unfair or ugly. But what deeply is, the noumenon, essence of the universe, the Creal.
This is the recipe to be free: become the noumenon, asymptotically. That search itself, if perseverant, will protect you.
One usually opposes the necessary and the possible. Once freedom becomes a discipline, and I would argue that it can only be cultivated as such, then one could think there is a paradox in the idea of – not constrained – but at least a trained attitude of liberty inducement.
The paradox disappears if we look at the domain of music improvisation, today associated with Jazz but formerly also practiced in baroque music. There is a necessity dictated by the score, the tonality at least, some elements that one needs to return to, a field or grid of expression, but these function as a trance inducing protocol to generate the liberty of improvisation, the singularity of a musical mood or style.
The domain of human existence is equally constrained, more or less than music.
Is free will a condition of possibility for freedom? Perhaps it is the opposite: the capacity to train oneself to improvise and think as personally as possible slowly generates a character that allows for free will. This may mean that not all human possesses free will.
Here a soft imperative (comparable to a musical tonality for an improviser) might be: to become yourself, remain constantly faithful to your mode of access to freedom (a motto for example), and then see what happens, let life and the Creal offer you synchronistic opportunities. Become your own self-conscious program. Becoming the noumenon systematically, the robot of the Creal rather than the robot of cyberdigitalism.
How to become your own self-conscious program? This is the topic of my novel Paridaiza.