Millions of workers have been displaced by robots. Or, if they have managed to keep their jobs, they’re being deskilled and transformed into appendages of automated machines. We also know that millions more workers and their jobs are threatened by much-anticipated future waves of robotics and other forms of automation.I must be remember that robots, automation, artificial intelligence, and all the marvels of technology and science have been created by people who are also workers. But because this upper-middle class of people are indispensable to capitalists, they are generously rewarded and allowed to socialize with their masters which has made them feel very important and has alienated them from their fellow workers. See my commentary here for a lengthier explanation.
But mainstream economists don’t want us to touch those robots. Just ask Larry Summers [a prime member of the capitalist ruling class].
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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up