AN AGE OF EXTINCTION
Used to be that the oligarchs needed the laboring class; citizens to build their pyramids, serfs to till their soil, etc. And closer to our time, even after the industrial revolution, laborers were need to service the new machines. These devices were not “labor saving” but labor changing.
But this is less the case lately; newer, smarter machines more and more service the older, dumber ones; hence fewer human jobs and more workers seeking those jobs. This is a scenario that drives wages down; therefore it’s one that capitalists love. These days they love technology more than humanity for sure, because tech is what keeps the job-to-jobseeker ratio just where the capitalists like it, even when the economy is growing.
So what happens to all the extra-economic people, the ones the capitalists don’t need any more? There are still jobs for these lost souls, but they are not as well-paying as the ones they lost, thanks to the one-two punch of “labor-saving” techno and a capital-heavy “free” market.
But even those jobs will go away and we’ll be left, not a Jetsonian techno-utopia but, in a more Hobbesian than Flintstonean existence. We will hunt and gather beneath the feet of capitalosaurs and the machines they love, re-evolving while praying for an asteroid. Yabba-dabba-do.
“And we are the asteroid.” –Noam Chomsky.
That quote is from a truthdig.com interview by Chris Hedges and a bit out of context as the article takes a different tack than I do—though still anti-unfettered capitalism. Good though, read it for yourself.
Funny too, that the capitalosaurs spout freedom to be an entrepreneur as the first freedom over all others while doing all they can to deny that freedom to all but themselves. Capitalosaurs hate free markets because competition lowers profits and empowers [informed] consumers and of course nothing good can come from that.