Rather than advancing humanity with new achievements as they often claim, the United States and other governments are allocating hundreds of billions of dollars to develop real-life ‘Terminators.’ Except in this case, the immediate danger isn’t that such automated armed machines will go rogue and attack all of humanity, but rather they will be used by one part of humanity against another. So far, that is the plan.
The US military alone is planning to spend $246 billion over the next 20 years to develop warrior robots used for various roles in combat. Remote control devices such as drones are already used in many combat situations, and it will not be long before automated systems, such as those which patrol the ‘demilitarized zone ‘between northern and southern Korea, will find wider applications. American-made drones are also currently being used by the Indian state in its fight against the insurgent Naxalite movement, and are also used to provide surveillance along the US/Mexico border (which itself was established as part of a military conquest of northern Mexico in 1848). In a video featuring ‘Big Dog,’ a mobile robot developed by engineering company Boston? Dynamics in cooperation with the Pentagon, it is claimed such computerized, mobile machines will be able to effectively aid in the combat of ‘guerrillas’ by transporting additional supplies for state forces in difficult terrain. According to one insider, a high-ranking member of the US military so liked the design of the humanoid killing machines in the most recent Terminator movie, that he asked the Department of Defense to have one built. With further advances in autonomous mobility technology, the US and other imperialist powers may soon have the ability to do just that.
Beyond the obvious ethical questions involved in the deployment of unmanned and autonomous machines to fight in conflict situations (i.e., to what degree can a machine, its user or maker be culpable in the damage or death, accidental or otherwise, it causes) and the very real practical concerns (what happens when a robot with a machine gun and a highly advanced targeting system has a computer glitch or malfunctions), lie the social nature of the development of new combat robots. Namely, they are to be used by the ruling classes to protect their own position within capitalist-imperialist social relations, against hostile upstarts and to forcibly repress mass resistance.
Oppressors throughout history have always boasted of their impressive arsenals. Yet modern weapons alone have never defeated a revolutionary movement. Rather, the success or failure of the revolutionary movement is often bound to its own conditions: if it can sufficiently mobilize people on a widespread basis; if it can devise new tactics to draw on its strengths and prey on its opponents weaknesses; if it can remain disciplined; and if it is willing to go through to sufficiently isolate and eliminate the forces of its enemy. Combat technologies developed by oppressors have always found their way into the hands of the oppressed. Just recently, the Islamic Republic of Iran was able to remotely seize control over an Amerikan spy drone illegally operating over its territory, landed it with no major damage and is now busy analyzing the technology. No doubt, from the capture of the drone, the IRI will gain further knowledge of its weaknesses and be able to develop their own related technology.
Imperialists, rather than spending money to feed, shelter, educate people and keep them healthy, prioritize developing technologies to maintain their rule perpetually. These efforts are justified as threats to its rule, whether from a mobilized people or from rival imperialists, are real. However, the masses organized under the principle of proletarian internationalism and for revolution against capitalist-imperialism can not only defeat the global ruling class (despite the technology they boast), but also usher in a world in which technology is used to uplift and empower, not oppress.
This following link is an imperialist-sponsored propaganda piece meant for First Worlders, yet provides an interesting insight into some of the things the US is planning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LDDtYMD2L0