We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Rise of the Robots

Click here to access article by John T. Larabell from New American

The use of automation, artificial intelligence, and robots will undoubtedly created numerous and profound problems for the tiny class who will own these technologies under the system of capitalism. This article is written in the interests of this class and to allay the fears of the ninety-nine percent whom the technologies will undoubtedly impact. Because I don't know Larabell, I can't discern his motivation. He may be a very well indoctrinated useful idiot for the owning class or he may be a knowing, trained agent for this class to insure that we don't get any "bad" ideas about our future.

In any case, in addition to some fascinating recent illustrations of businesses using these advanced technologies, Larabell trots out one capitalist shibboleth after another to insure that we interpret the future properly: without the incentive of money people will do nothing because humans are basically lazy, government is a thing out there in the great beyond and is a menace to all freedom loving people, and the market will insure that people remain productive by forcing the unemployed to be creative entrepreneurs. 

Of course, Larabell never refers to the system of capitalism which will create these future problems--that would be blasphemy! Thus any ideas to suggest that society as a whole has any legitimate claim to these marvelous technologies is forbidden because they are legitimately "owned" by a tiny class of people. Also forbidden are any thoughts that the vast majority of people can benefit from these technologies by freeing them from the dulling effects of wage labor to engage in educating and governing themselves to create a decent, sustainable, and peaceful society and world.

The really only interesting part of this article are illustrations of the new uses of these technologies. Aside from this, you might want to avoid subjecting yourself to the ideologically tainted treatment of the social issues by skipping the rest of the text and listening only to Larrabell's comments in the 4:54m video. 

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