Many present-day dilemmas about emerging technologies are inherently political and presented in the framework of democratic and authoritarian political regimes. Understanding how technological impact is politically structured can be challenging. Walesa’s view was cognizant of the different constraints and opportunities that technology creates for political regimes but failed to recognize their non-linear character. A fundamental political imperative for the use of emerging technologies in authoritarian regimes is domestic, namely regime survival. Authoritarian regimes – much like democratic ones – pursue emerging technologies for geopolitical reasons. Governmental and private-sector legal and ethical concerns around the application of emerging technologies in democratic contexts are already shaping political outcomes. The chapter explores the role of politics in the machine a play on Ryle’s 1949 “ghost in the machine”. It argues that the development and use of emerging technologies is shaped by political context, which in turn redefines the scope and the means through which different political regimes pursue perennial political interests.