“Whereas once we were flesh and blood man, now we are soulless machines.”
We are reaching the dawn of the machine age, a world dominated by silicon rather than meat, but what does it exactly entail for humanity? Many things it turns out, and what holds the key to dystopian nightmares also holds the key to a future paradise, how things turn out are ultimately up to us.
The relentless neoliberal drive towards the increase of “growth” and “productivity” in the name of the Market™ has first lead to men being treated like machines, making the worker beholden to the corporate bureaucracy like a slave is beholden to the whip. In time however, even wage slavery isn’t enough for our bourgeois overlords, and so they turn to all out mechanization instead.
There soon won’t be a “labor market,” because there will be no laborers, everything will be automatized. This will lead to mass unemployment and a huge social crisis in the decades to come, income inequality will become even worse than it is now, as there would now exist a huge permanently unemployable underclass numbering in the hundreds of millions, if not billions, and this, combined with the pressure of climate change, will be the spark of revolution, and quite possibly, collapse along with it.
The very real potential of proletarian revolution scares our capitalist overlords, and this is why they’re proposing UBI, or “universal basic income,” basically bread and circuses to keep the masses complacent enough not to revolt. It also serves the dual purpose as the carrot and the stick, the carrot being UBI and the stick being that vital lifeline in this automated hellworld being yanked away at the slightest hint of rebellion and rejection of the capitalist hegemony.
In the end, however, as bad as automation will be, climate change will be our ultimate reckoning. The fallout of both combined will be either disastrous for humanity as a whole, as we get flung back into the stone age, or it will be the birth of a new order, a socialist order. Indeed, we already see the beginnings of the global socialist revolution to come, as the workers begin organizing and resisting, as dual power structures start to be set up to ignore capitalist society entirely.
These exist on the fringes of society of course, capitalism still holds sway, but cracks are forming beneath the surface. During the later days of feudalism, capitalist unions existed on the fringes of society as well, in the cities with merchant trade guilds, and when the time was ripe for action the capitalists lead a revolution that overthrew the feudal aristocracy and replaced it with a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in its wake.
Our time will come, and that day is sooner than you think, so don’t give in to the forces of pessimism, for that’s what the capitalist bastards want.