Technological Solutionism: Capitalism and Apathy in the Age of Nihilism

Adrian de León
13 min readApr 30, 2020

The pandemic has shone a light on the structural failures of our system that had previously lurked conspicuously in the shadows. Our hyper technological neoliberal society is an unsustainable mechanism to guarantee the moral and spiritual well being of our society.

Repeated ad nauseum in the media, the COVID-19 pandemic has “changed our world forever”. It has been made known that we are now entering a “new normal”. However, this is a misleading statement. The world has not changed. The threat of a mutated virus that could lead to this scenario has been around since the dawn of time. The laws of nature haven’t changed, and we have always been confined to the realities of our ecosystem.

What had changed many decades ago is the society that resides within this “world” of ours.

Today’s understanding of society is built upon an anthropic system obsessed by technological progress. This system is sustained by a neoliberal capitalist ideology which puts profit over health. Moreover, the rapid increase in technological progress has disrupted our understanding of life whether moral, spiritual or civil. A disruption that has created a vacuum in our political, economic, and sociological institutions bringing many people to lament a decay of our civilisation.

The future of our civilisation has been tied unequivocally to the ark of technological progress. Thus taking us away from the biological and closer to the virtual. We are made to believe that the future of our species resides in the creation of the ultimate artificial intelligence (AI). The dominant actors of our society are no longer the elected, or unelected, officials who govern the nation states. The politicians may have our cards in their hands, but the tech companies own the casino. Regardless of how much progress we do achieve whether in the fields of poverty, agriculture or material comforts, our biggest threats still reside in the organic world. The response by our governments and the tech companies to the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect illustration of how our system intends to deal with threats thrown at us by nature.

“Technological solutionism” as coined by Evgeny Morozov describes the encroached belief that any threat or shortcoming to, or created by, the system can only be salvaged by more technological progress. This is manifested in the current situation and the effects of the lockdown measures in the fight…