@bzangy what do you think of post-capitalism (ha, i guess post-work) via automation? (note: i’ve only read nick srnicek’s book) xxx


I’ve not read that, gimme a pointer!

The trouble with capitalism is that it’s an economic system whose time has passed. It’s as relevant and progressive as feudalism now. The profit motive is incompatible with paradigm-breaking innovation (where’s the profit in an ever-lasting lightbulb?). And it tends towards concentrations of wealth and thus huge inequality (hence the 1%). It also fosters monopoly and other hugely restrictive and anti-innovative practices.

For me, the basis of bourgeois economics is flawed *now*. We nearly have access to unlimited energy and unlimited resources. All it takes is one breakthrough in materials (100x more efficient solar cells / room temp superconductors) and we’re there. As for resources: if we could co-operate enough to get off this planet, think of all those tasty asteroids out there, even discounting the Oort cloud.

So, if you want an example of a post-work, post-capitalist future, that’s Star Trek. No money, no war (between humans at least), poverty and inequality wiped out. Star Trek is really COMMIES IN SPACE but I don’t think Roddenberry could have got away with calling it that.

Or, Iain M. Banks’ Culture. That’s very explicitly a socialist future paradise because we’ve relinquished control of a lot of autonomy to AIs. As with Trek, the major conflict is when The Culture encounters unfriendly outsiders.

Imagine if every human, all seven billion, could wake up tomorrow and know they had water, food, shelter, healthcare and education guaranteed. Throw in free childcare and broadband. Imagine the possibilities of all those humans liberated from subsistence drudgery. Free from war, from violence.

The little girl who invents room temperature superconductors may be alive now but if she’s going to be blown apart by one of Obama’s terrorist drone attacks tomorrow…. well, we’re fucked, aren’t we?