Send in the Clones
By Rod Van Mechelen
As we look forward to see where the technology race leads, we should ask three questions. What is possible, what is achievable, and what is desirable? - Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, K. Eric Drexler
A woman needs a man, like a...man needs a woman?
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - Assume we already possess the ability to clone humans. (Note: By 1996 we did.) Of what use would we have for the opposite sex? Given a technology that could control all genetic variables to combine and recombine them all into as many variations as sex provides, but with the added benefit of no genetic accidents, of what use would women and men have for the other?
George Gilder raised this question in Men and Marriage, pointing out that men, with thousands of years of violence socialized into their myths, traditions, lore and sexuality, would quickly dominate in a world where sex was no longer required for reproduction.
The mythopoetic men's movement is helping men reconnect with their emotional lives and teaching them how to nurture one another. If men could get all the "emotional housekeeping" they need from one another, what use would they have for women?
Conversely, of what use would men be to women? Technology provides women with men's brute strength, and soon it will even provide the means to simultaneously promote growth and restore our planet to a sound ecology. With all of this, what need would women have for men?
Women harness the energy of "aggressive" men, anchoring their ambition and drive to the long-term growth of civilization. Aggressive men push the limits of society, making it grow. What grows, lives; what does not, dies.
But random growth, uncontrolled and savage, creates a cancerous wilderness in which civilization cannot survive. This is why women also value "stable" men, men less energetic but more enduring than their aggressive brothers. The stable men provide the fluid power that sustains the status quo, the foundation from which the rebels and iconoclasts work to open new frontiers and create growth. Hence, without the opposite sex, a dynamic civilization would not be possible:
Historians place women at the center of civilization. Men in the first human tribes were carrion scavengers and women were gatherers and growers. They stabilized life and made civilization possible. (Women Vs. Women: The Uncivil Business War, Tara Roth Madden, p 31)
The energy that allowed men to compete with ancient predators also made them human dynamos - the raw energy that vitalizes humanity and makes civilization possible. But like the dynamo, without something to transform that energy into work, it's useless.
Transformers and Generators
In the equation of human existence, women are the transformers. They give meaning to men's existence, purpose to their lives, and channel the energy generated by men into the conduits that sustain and create civilization. Without women, a community of men might be glorious, but about as short-lived as a fireworks display. Conversely, without men, women might still live in stone-aged "harmony" with nature.
The virile desire to explore, to create, to push against the limits of the present is an energy that both builds and destroys. Unleashed, like a bomb it radiates destructively in all directions; but anchored, focused on the task of optimizing survival and growth, it becomes the driving force of civilization. Few women, despite any socialization to the contrary, possess such drive. Babies and hormones have a way of catching up with most women, rooting them to an interdependence that demands thoughts of providing a stable, safe status quo. At one time, the stone age was the status quo. In some places, it still is. But men are driven by testosterone to confront, to act, and to ignite the present with a glory that burns through to the essence of new tomorrows.
In absolute terms, there are innumerable exceptions, but these are relatively few. Those few aside, women need men because without them, they would have the stability of stagnation. Men likewise need women because without them our civilization would be more flourish than flourishing.
We Create Civilization Together
Beyond the most basic needs of reproduction, we need each other: Without women, men would be like lions roaring without reason, and without men, women would be like songs without music.
In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud asserts women "come into opposition to civilization" because they "represent the interests of the family and of sexual life." In other words, they tend to undermine the construction of civilization because all they want their men to do is stay home and copulate (during her 1994 lecture tour, Naomi Wolf said she essentially agrees with this view--the following year she referred to women as "buckets of lust"--and will present her argument for it in her next book), while their men are otherwise inclined to mount wagon-trains and pioneer new worlds.
Obviously, he was mistaken. But his error was not in making a sexist generalization, but in not taking his concerns far enough. In their own way, men are just as anti-civilization as women are. Together, women and men make civilization. (Sex in History, Reay Tannahill, p 425)
Yesterday's Possibilities, Tomorrow's Realities
2012 Olympia, Wash. - Nanotechnology is now a major industry. But this is only the beginning. Stem cells are now being made out of our own tissues. "Regenerative medicine" will soon make headlines with new organs that are grown from our own cells. Some pundits go out on a limb to suggest the first humans to live to be 200 have already been born. I think they are too pessimistic. The first humans to live to be 1,000 have already been born.
These and the many other considerable advances make the question of why women and men need one another more relevant than ever.
Among the companies in my portfolio, one is working to grow new hearts. Another is working to break the so-called Hayflick limit, which is one of the great barriers to extremely long lifespan. Another is working on a cure for the common cold...and the flu...and all other viruses. (To learn about these and other companies working on transformational breakthrough technologies, you'll need to subscribe to Patrick Cox's Breakthrough Technology Alert; no, I don't get a kickback, I'm just a big fan.)
At the same time that the wealthy elites are working to create a world government, technologies are about to make death from sickness and old age unnecessary. Who will get access to those technologies? If we continue to let ourselves be distracted by things like the fake war on women and the real war on men, you can bet that it probably won't be us.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.