Is democracy ready for the post-natural society?

Welcome to a world where the nature is no longer the product of the evolution of life, but is engineered, modified, and redesigned. A world where even the European Union has deregulated the use of DNA editing techniques like CRISPR, steering us into an era where the natural and the synthetic intertwine.

In this post-natural society nature strikes back. The intensification of animal farming has birthed new virus outbreaks, necessitating more vaccination campaigns for both humans and animals. As environmental population peaks, we become evermore depended on a synthetic ecology: food, medicine and our own reproduction are subjected to the logic of engineering and market economics.

Nature, once a common wealth that belonged to us all, is now a private domain. With technological developments came private ownership and control over food, nature, and ecology. The questions of who owns nature, who controls it, and who defines its boundaries should echo in every parliament. In a world where nature is engineered, where crops are designed, and where animals are modified, who benefits and who bears the burden? Big Agro and Big Pharma promise a world of abundance and health, but at what cost? Who becomes “better” in this engineered landscape, and who is left behind?

And then, there’s unsettling yet intriguing question of the post-human world. When the synthetic redefines life, what does it mean to be human? And disgusted by the heritage of our species voices are calling for a societal system that no longer places humans at its center. So we are not just navigating a post-natural but a post-human or post-anthropocentric landscape, a realm where the norms of human existence are redefined.

What does democracy look like in this place? Do we share responsibility and accountability with unnatural entities? We definitely need new ways to balance innovation with ethics. New safeguards that ensure that the engineered world serves the good of a newly defined collective. We need new institutions that give meaning to the fundamental right to be alive. Are we ready to confront and embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in this post-natural world?

post-natural society projects

We are developing projects that explore democratic governance over the post-natural world. Stay tuned.