Recently the establishment mouthpiece known as The Guardian, posted an article that tells you a lot about what elites want. Specifically, how the elites want to control us with automation. The article discusses Bill Gates’ recent idea to tax robots as a way to mitigate the possibility that automation will cause more income inequality.
What’s particularly interesting about this article, is the nightmarish future that it predicts. If automation eventually eliminates all of our jobs, and with it, the political power and wealth of the common man, how will the elites respond? By separating themselves from the rest of society in private fortified communities, and then exterminating us when we get angry.
If that scenario isn’t bleak enough, consider the possibility that mass automation could lead not only to the impoverishment of working people, but to their annihilation. In his book Four Futures, Peter Frase speculates that the economically redundant hordes outside the gates would only be tolerated for so long. After all, they might get restless – and that’s a lot of possible pitchforks. “What happens if the masses are dangerous but are no longer a working class, and hence of no value to the rulers?” Frase writes. “Someone will eventually get the idea that it would be better to get rid of them.” He gives this future an appropriately frightening name: “exterminism”, a world defined by the “genocidal war of the rich against the poor”.
To be fair, I don’t doubt that this is something that the elites want (and by elite, I don’t mean the 1%. More like the .00001 percent), or at least see as unfortunate and inevitable. The real propaganda in this article is the solution that is offered to this problem.
When I asked the prominent leftwing thinker Matt Bruenig for his thoughts, he explained that whatever we do, we shouldn’t try to discourage automation. “The problem with robots is not the manufacturing and application of them – that’s actually good for productivity,” he told me. “The problem is that they are owned by the wealthy, which means that the income that flows to the robots go out to a small slice of wealthy people.”
Job-killing robots are good, in other words, so long as the prosperity they produce is widely distributed. An Oxfam report released earlier this year revealed that the eight richest men in the world own as much wealth as half the human race. Imagine what those numbers will look like if automation accelerates. At some point, a handful of billionaires could control close to one hundred percent of society’s wealth. Then, perhaps, the idea that wealth should be owned by the many, rather than monopolized by the few, won’t seem so radical, and we can undertake a bit of sorely needed redistribution – before robot capitalism kills us all.
Do you see the point of this propaganda?
They want us to think that we have only two choices. Either we can accept nearly unimaginable levels of wealth inequality and class warfare, or we can accept socialism and wealth redistribution at the barrel of a gun. But as we all know, socialism doesn’t actually take from the rich and give to the poor. It takes from the rich and middle class, and gives it to the ultra rich.
In other words, this article is giving you two solutions to a problem, and both of those solutions benefit the establishment elites. Also, they are solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist.
The truth of the matter, is that wealth inequality is not caused by automation. Throughout human history, labor saving devices have only ever benefited the common man by lowering prices and reducing the amount of work we need to do to achieve a good standard of living. Wealth inequality is actually caused when the government creates regulatory conditions that only benefit a handful of elites. It happens when you inflate the currency, and give the ultra-rich first dibs on that new cash, so that they can spend it before it losses value.
If automation is going to lead the extermination of the poor by the rich in the near future, it’ll happen because the government created economic conditions that gave a handful elites more money to begin with. It’ll happen because certain government policies made it so that ordinary people wouldn’t have enough money to buy their own robots, and compete with the rich.
Automation is a scary thing. A lot of us aren’t sure yet how we’re going to adapt to it. But don’t let the establishment convince you that the only way to survive automation is with wealth redistribution and tyranny. The real solution is freedom, sound currency, and deregulation. When in doubt, trust the free market. We wouldn’t have a good standard of living to lose in the first place without it.