Marc Andreessen’s Manifesto Won’t Eat The World

Joan Westenberg
2 min readOct 17, 2023

Marc Andreessen’s Techno-Optimist Manifesto promotes a dangerous ideology that ignores the complex realities of technology and progress. It’s an absolutist celebration of endless growth, and its ambition is not noble but reckless.

We need innovation. We need technology. But technology in isolation is not an unalloyed good. Unconstrained, it threatens human dignity and ecological sustainability. The manifesto’s blind faith in markets and disdain for regulation is naive. Markets have limitations, require wise governance, and are not ends unto themselves.

The manifesto declares, “technology is the glory of human ambition and achievement, the spearhead of progress, and the realization of our potential.” But technology unchecked by ethics threatens human dignity. Innovation has to be tempered by realism and, with it, a sense of sustainability and justice.

The worldview here is far too narrow. It fixates on material abundance while ignoring spiritual poverty, social decay, community loss, and consumerism’s destructive excesses. Not everything important is material.

And its promotion of relentless competition is socially corrosive. Cooperation and justice matter, too. Its hyper-individualistic ideology treats people as atoms, not members of society with obligations to each other. This is morally bankrupt.

Worse, the manifesto’s aggressive, ends-justify-means tone is chilling. Portraying differing views as “enemies” breeds intolerance and extremism. Reasonable people can disagree without making opponents into enemies to be crushed. This path leads not to human flourishing but dehumanization.

Rather than glorifying the conquest of nature, tech leaders should be modelling a sense of respect for ecological limits and our responsibilities as stewards. Unbounded technology risks unintended consequences, even existential catastrophes. The precautionary principle matters.

Ultimately, the manifesto’s vision is tragically hollow, prioritizing the material over the ethical. As Aristotle recognised, progress must serve human flourishing in its fullest sense — not just wealth but virtue, justice, and human excellence. Technological ambition unchecked by wisdom leads not to human greatness but to our ruin.

We need balance, not blind technophilia. Moderation, not extremism. Conservation, not just consumption. Technology unleavened by ethics leads to dystopia, not utopia. We must reject this and any other manifesto’s false promises before it is too late. Our future depends on it.