In the past 200 years we are flying through the sky using artificial contraptions, speaking to people on the other side of the planet in an instant, growing organs, driving ground vehicles that travel faster then any other creature on the planet, illuminating the earth at night with artificial light, travelling into space, and splitting atoms. This is the most important time in human history ever; we have only been treading water for the last couple billion years until now.
Some may look at humanity and point out all the flaws or looking for radical economic and political change. While I think the ideas are interesting, it’s a little sour with unrealistic idealism. The reality is that there has never been any political system that has stood the test of time. Capitalism, facism, and socialism have all been tried to their extremes and have failed. The problem is that most humans don’t understand that political and economic failure is a part of evolution. When things fail and collapse what remains is the strongest bits.
The reality is there has never been any political system that has stood the test of time.
There is no such thing as a long-term lasting political/economic system and if there were it means we have reached the apex of our possible evolution. However it is important, despite unavoidable failure, that humans strive for the best possible systems. I don’t think this would be accomplished by starting completely fresh. In the grand scheme of things the largest corporations and the most greedy politicians are a relatively small blip on the human radar.
Every single economic theory or philosophy whether it is capitalism or communism function under one primary assumption, humans are always doing work. In the past 50 years something has happened that puts all economic theories into jeopardy and the consequences are not science fiction, they are already happening. Humans are being replaced by automatons both in physical activity, by robots, and virtually with code.
Capitalism which to date has been the best system for rising quality of life has had an unexpected consequence that no one is truly confronting. Contrary to what idealists may believe capitalism doesn’t have the objective of creating jobs, instead jobs are a bi-product or a side effect of greed. If a CEO has the option of two employees that can do the same job as ten employees, if he is a capitalist, he will choose two. Employees are a huge expense, everyone knows it, but they are a requirement of scale. The system works perfect until you start cutting humans out. The side effect of creating jobs is being cured paradoxically by the very system everyone believes is supposed to create jobs.
Capitalism works perfect until you start cutting humans out.
Unemployment will continue to rise and everyone will continue to look at the traditional reason and this is highly problematic. Governments will dump money into companies who will throw it into R&D to create more advanced systems that cut more humans out. Most developers are aware that their job usually involves making things that cut jobs. The more efficient the code, the less people are needed. When I write code there is the potential I could be writing an employee that will work 24 hours a day, and be 100% efficient; you won’t stand a chance no matter how nice your resume is. These problems will continue to snow ball and by the time everyone realizes that the biggest competition for a job isn’t a human but a mainframe, it may be too late.
The answers may be difficult, but a place to start is to realize that work generated by automatons at some point, even if it is a percentage, need to be redistributed socially. Since automatons don’t generate revenue for themselves, they can not spend their own work product. Without spending all economies will fall apart. If automatons are not taxed the only way anyone will be able to purchase anything is by enslaving themselves to corporations who will employ people not because they need them but because they can. If this happens it will make both robber barons and the darkest communism look like utopia. Even worse would be the situation that, in response to wide scale loss of jobs due to technology, humans respond by destroying technology and moving the world back in time in order to support dated economic systems.