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+4 votes
As technology progresses the inevitable is going to be full automation. Within my lifetime we'll see more and more jobs gone, probably most jobs really. What will this mean for everybody, how will people earn a living if there are no jobs?

To me, this is an opportunity to turn to anarchy and to further the development of a technological international community of non-coercive co-operation.

Giving over all manual jobs to technology will mean we can do what we've never been able to do before, completely relate and completely allow ourselves to grown mentally, emotionally, and creatively.

It seems to me complete technological use will be the final nail in the coffin of dictatorship in every form as companies will cease to exist as no one will be able to buy anything as no one will be earning. Just as no one will have the funds to start up companies to compete with the big businesses which have a stranglehold on the marketplace.

The logical step is for everyone to take control of technology to serve our needs as a whole rather than the needs of a few. Technology can be used to free us completely, because so long as we have to work, we're enslaved by those who claim to own and those willing to enforce that falsehood.

Full automation of food production, etc, means we can make a smooth and bloodless transition from ownership by the few to communal usage for the benefit of all. The latter obviously involving far less waste than current methods as individual ownership of things like cars, etc, would become unnecessary. Even food production could be more local and more varied than the present companies permit.
by (560 points)

@funky: re: your blockchain link

A cornerstone of Statist propaganda is the idea that without it there would be chaos. We are told (and most people believe) that State institutions are necessary to prevent dishonest and/or violent actors from harming us. When it is discovered that it is the State institutions themselves that are dishonest (bailouts) and violent (wars) we are told that they remain, nevertheless, better than the alternatives.

That narrative is undermined when we have a technological alternative to human (State) trust in the form of cryptology and the blockchain.

There is no point in re-creating the State on a blockchain. Important principles such as the NAP have to be appreciated at the same time as any kind of technological implementation such as Bitnation.

I'm currently undecided on Bitnation but follow the idea with interest.

A separate thread on blockchain may be useful as 'technology' is very broad? I am unable to create one myself.

@ba: you can convert them into fiat on exchanges which is useful for now (we've had our 'value/monetization' debate elsewhere and I believe agreed neither of us would impose our values on the other via  apv).

The government will always look at any issue in a way that ties it back to themselves and subsequently their control over it. In this sense, I don't care how governments look at things, I care how they enforce things (via apv). Crypto, used correctly, prevents them from looking at our economic activity and hence makes it harder for them to extort it whilst, at the same time, undermining their justification for controlling said activity in the first place (to 'protect' us).
i dont know quite how you havent got this yet, but literally no-one here -except syrphant- cares about protecting economic activity from anyone, including the government.  the horse your flogging is so dead its mulch im growing food in.

you can fight your economic war with the gubment whilst i try to live joyfully and immediately with the experience around me.  let me know when its over, k?
"... we have a technological alternative to human (State) trust..."

that right there pretty much sums up why i have no interest in continuing this particular discussion. some people are just "true believers" in technology - they place some kind of immutable "trust" in it. it is a kind of faith that (justifiably, imo) evokes the ubiquitous comparisons with religion. it is the same ideological basis with which people actually believe that tech is going to somehow, someday provide the solutions to all the problems that have been created by ... largely that very belief.

climate change, poisoning of air, water and soil, energy consumption on a scale beyond comprehension (or necessity), the dumbing down and physical/emotional/psychological degradation of human life, ...  these are issues that exist due to technology and the faith put in/on it, particularly by humans in positions of power capable of imposing it on everyone else (while coercing many of them into the same belief/faith).

ok, that is a bit of a rant, and i didn't mean to go there. but there you have it.

dns, you have engaged in this discussion openly, intelligently and respectfully - which i appreciate, seriously. but you have demonstrated time and again that you simply want to keep making the same points over and over, without regard for what most of us are saying in opposition. it is clear that you have faith in tech, and you think it is going to somehow bring about a world that you find liberating (by eliminating or otherwise diminishing the state while allowing economics to continue dominating human relations).

i don't. period.
@funkyanarchy couldnt -and didnt- say it better myself.

i am going to start a new thread about a more specific aspect of technology, so this one doesnt become über cluttered

1 Answer

+3 votes
The idea of automation is one that has almost always interested me, and my views have changed violently over the years.

My views used to be similar to yours, in that I saw the possibility of zero-work as a chance for widespread liberation.  But there were many problems I had and still have with this notion.

I will name drop a lot, and I justify this by encouraging you to read up on any ideas you find particularly difficult or interesting, and as such I will try to provide pointers.

Capitalism, technology, civilization, production; these are not things I think can be explained in purely economic/material things.  Woven into these issues are values, ideologies, philosophies, theologies etc.  Whilst economic exploitation, and economic privilege, do go some way towards explaining the world today, there comes a point where an honest appraisal of the world cannot be explained by a class exploiting the rest of humanity for their own personal power and pleasure.  The fact is that a lot of rich people are totally miserable.  They work long hours, incur great amounts of stress, worrying about numbers in their bank accounts, numbers in general.  They engage in self destructive as well as aggressive behaviour.  Why?  Because they sincerely believe in notions of material value and production.
Society functions to produce more to make more society to produce more to make more... on and on forever.  This is the ideology of the modern world.  Instead of engaging and experiencing with the world as actual, existent, sensory beings, we are producers and consumers of material commodities.  The experiences are secondary to what we materially derive from them.  To steal a phrase from the Situationist Guy Debord, ‘being is replaced by having, which is replaced by appearance’.

This draws upon many ideas.  For starters, Max Stirner’s idea of the Spook; an idea that can ‘possess’ an individual and make them act as if that idea has a meaningful corporeal existence.  Typical examples are great causes or social projects, such as a Nation or Civilization, to which citizens must sacrifice their lives to build, maintain, and grow, but St Max extends this even to notions such as Humanity, or Truth, or Justice.  The same can be said of Production; it is concieved of as some actual existent fact about the world to which indiviudals must devote some portion of their lives to increasing.  It is this notion of Production, and its counterpart Consumption, that the development of technology is pushed towards.  The logical endpoint of current techno-productionist system is not a kind of ‘fully automated luxury space anarchism’, but in fact the removal of the human element altogether, with automated production for its own sake.

This of course doesn’t even consider the cost of reaching the level of technological advancement you describe.  It is fair to say that technology now is not used for the creation of more anarchy, but for the expansion of Society, and the projection of homogeneity and conformity.  What will the mental state of these future humans be with the advent of full automatism?  How far down the rabbit hole of ecological destruction will we have to go to develop, produce, and maintain this technology?

Now consider the roles of Master and Slave.  There is a large body of theory that states that the only way that any individual copes with being a slave is to be a master, and that to be a master you must first be a slave.  That is to say everyone is both a slave and a master, though of course to different things.  This might mean that a working man is slave to his boss, but might be master of his wife, or children.  The woman might be slave to her husband, but could be master to a poorer woman, coloured woman, or perhaps her children again.  What about the King, or the Capitalist?  Their mastery is obvious, but what about their slavery?  The King is slave to notions of Honour perhaps, to Prestige, to Law, to Kingdom.  The Capitalist to Profit, to Production.  What are the implications of everyone having their own personal robot-slave?  Surely anarchy is the attempt to break away from this simultaneous domination and submission, and I wonder whether automation is necessarily the way towards this.

I have my grave doubts that technology can lead us towards anarchy.  Look at what it is used for right now; what technology there is that is directed towards human experience is almost exclusively used to escape the world that we have built pursuing that very technology.  Think of TV, of the Internet, of the emergence of Virtual Reality.  These exist to remove us from our reality, to place us somewhere else, to mediate our relations through things.  It seems to me part of a systematic attempt to objectify every aspect of reality, from person to relation.  Are we really the masters of Technology, or do we serve Science in the pursuit of Technology?
by (2.1k points)
If referencing Debord and Stirner is name dropping "a lot", then a lot of us who frequent this sight are in trouble.
I had initially planned on more, but had forgotten who and what by the time I got to writing the next bit, so I just wrapped up and went to sleep.
sleep>name dropping/footnotes/etc.
depends on the footnotes!
if i could upvote this answer more than once, i would.
@funkyanarchy <3