A Letter to Marinetti, the Founder of the Futurist Movement

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Dear Marinetti, If only you were alive to see the world we live in today! Your futurism movement is still a great influence for some. However, today, when we talk about futurism, we are not usually talking about painting, sculpture, or poetry. Futurism today is focused on technology rather than art, but like the Italian Futurists, today’s Futurists praise invention, modernity, speed, and disruption. I am worried about how futurism led to fascism back in your time, and why it could happen again now.

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The Italian Futurists emphasized youth over experience, they believed that the only way to live was by pushing forward and never looking back. The first tenet of your manifesto clearly sates: “We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness” (Marinetti 39). Although today’s most important voices in technology might not communicate their values with such aplomb as you, they are also speaking the same kind of things. Anthony Levandowski, cofounder of the Waymo project, once said: “The only thing that matters is the future. I don’t even know why we study history” (qtd. in Duhigg). This shows just how similar futurism in your time and modern futurism in technology actually are. Where you declare “We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!” (Marinetti 40), today’s technologists say, “the future is now”. Where the Italian Futurists were obsessed with cars and planes, today’s Futurists in technology are drooling over rocket ships and space travel. You believed that women were to effeminate to bring about the kind of speedy progress you desired. Well, there is also a gender gap in the field of technology. Technologists today affirm that men and women are “biologically different” and some even argue that women should not get involved in this field. Like I said before, your Futurist movement and today’s futurism are not that different at all.

You and your Futurists also embraced fascism, pushed aside the idea of morality, and argued that innovation must never be hindered. Some technologists are getting close to this. For example, you and your movement were delighted when Italy invaded Northern Africa because it was the first air bombardment in the history of the world and thus represented a major innovation. Today, some technologists praise drone warfare in a similar way. In their never-ending quest for progress and innovation, today’s tech companies are flirting with fascism. Amazon has been providing the US police with facial recognition software. Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Thomson Reuters, Microsoft and Motorola Solutions are all in contact with ICE and are profiting off the current wave of deportations and internment camps. American scientists and tech companies are helping China track minority groups, China which is, with Google’s help, suppressing information about their treatment of these minority groups. It is also known that big tech companies are contributing to the current climate crisis. YouTube is also contributing to the spread of conspiracy theories, white nationalism, and fascism in many ways. The list goes on. As it is, today’s technologists and tech companies love to eschew history for the same reasons the Italian Futurists did.

Oh, Marinetti, if only you were alive to see the world we live in today! You would see that your futurism movement, although focused on technology rather than art, is still really influential. Technologists today share the same values of invention, modernity, speed, and disruption as the Italian Futurists and are getting dangerously close to fascism. Oh, Marinetti, you would love this world we live in today! 

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A Letter to Marinetti, the Founder of the Futurist Movement. (2020, December 24). WritingBros. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/a-letter-to-marinetti-the-founder-of-the-futurist-movement/
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