AUGMENTED VS UNAUGMENTED, OR BORGITE VS HUMANIST
Since even before the Red Empire of Mars, there was always a division between those who had accepted cybernetic implants and those who had not. On the one hand there were the augmented – the cyborgs, the borgs, the borgites . On the other there were the unaugmented – the “whole” humans, the humanists.
Where first the terms ‘borgite’ and ‘humanist’ first meant simply those who were augmented or not, as time progressed it came to define more than that; it represented a viewpoint, a political declaration of what that individual thought was best for mankind’s future. The Free-Thinkers emerged, those who were neutral in the whole debate and saw no reason why the two divisions of mankind could not co-exist. The persecutions and pogroms that appeared in the latter part of the Red Empire, where borgites discriminated against the humanists, only further polarised the debate which had long since turned violent, and the free-thinkers were marginalised and became largely a minority.
The division was not assisted by the other technological developments which forever altered mankind. Accelerated-Growth biovats allowed an embryo to reach full maturity and an adult to emerge after a handful of months. Genetic modifications, organic implants and other medical procedures permanently altering the human body, were viewed by some as still being ‘unaugmented’. Rough and industrial cybernetic implants created man-machine monsters, whilst others were indistinguishable from the unaugmented. Minds could be linked and slaved, with vast hive consciousnesses created where billions of people were linked to one another. Biomorphs, super-advanced genetically-modified humans with vast arrays of cybernetic implants, emerged. The darker experiments saw primitive alien life-forms imbued with human intelligence, a travesty to both the borgite, humanist and free-thinker alike.
In the days of post-Dissolution of the Red Empire, following uncounted years of persecution by borgites, the enmity reigns strong and the humanist and the borgite division is a stark reminder of that basic tragic tenet of human nature – to be different, is to be wrong.
Extremist Borgite (also known as Modernist) – Extremists believe all humans should be augmented, and those that reject it should be terminated or forced to undergo implant procedures.
Hardline Borgite – Many borgites are hardline, seeing augmentation-at-birth as the only option for the human race. Some hardline borgites are hivers, hive mind consciousnesses permanently linked. Some hardliners also favour overt augmentation, where it is obvious that cybernetic implants have been implemented. The Red Empire of Mars became hardline borgite, and it is the predominant view even post-Dissolution.
Borgite – They view the unaugmented as backward, and even unnatural in their dislike of the augmented. Some borgites favour enforced augmentation at birth, the more moderate view it as a natural cure for when things go wrong in a human body. All borgites think it is the natural progression of the human race, and that to reject augmentation is immoral.
Free-Thinker – A free-thinker can be either borgite or humanist in nature. Their general viewpoint is acceptance of the other, the pointlessness in the division; however, even with the most liberal, there is still some small tendency for preference. It is in human nature to favour those who are like you.
Humanist – Whilst accepting of the role technology can play in advancing the Human race, humanists reject the very thought of augmentation by cybernetic implant. Machinery and computer programs should exist only in droids, not in people. Some humanists accept organic implants, however, and genetic modification and birth via biovat (but not necessarily Accelerated Growth biovat technology).
Hardline Humanist – Augmentation is seen as abhorrent and unnatural. Even organic implants and genetic modification technology is not acceptable as it interferes with what nature intended.
Extremist Humanist (also known as Traditionalist) – Complete rejection of any form of augmentation is coupled with a hatred of even genetic manipulation or anything beyond the most basic form of medical care and alteration. Any form of technological assistance, such as biovats, is deeply frowned upon. Technology is to be used as a tool, not as part of your body or to affect your body in any way. It’s surprisingly resurgent popularity as a viewpoint is due partly as a reaction to the vicious pogroms and persecutions of the Red Empire, with hatred of the borg leading more people to this way of thinking.
Notes : the term ‘extremist’ no longer defines a terrorist per se; there are terrorist groups operating that identify themselves as being at all points along the augment/unaugmented divide. Extremist in this context rather refers to the view of the person. Hardline viewpoints at both sides of the spectrum are sadly the most common.