If you would go out of your way to argue how easy it is for capital to automate away jobs when labor costs become too high, then you should probably know that you’re giving all kinds of credibility to those of us who advocate fully-automated luxury communism. I mean, think about it: you’re arguing that so much of human labor ISN’T NECESSARY because said jobs can be done by machines, and yet you STILL want the bulk of humanity to pointlessly scrape by laboring for the capitalist class, receiving meager wages to buy the shit they helped generate in the first place. The above billboard is a THREAT. Let’s not mince words – that billboard is bourgeois propaganda designed to turn the working class against each other and against the broader goals of resource democratization. “If you fight for a basic livable wage, just know that you’re easily replaceable, peon!”
This is what leftists mean when they say that capitalism is an economic system filled to the brim with tensions and contradictions; it’s also what they mean when they say that capitalism inevitably produces its own gravediggers. Automation is one of those gravediggers, and it’s a major one at that. As more and more jobs become automated in the coming decades, the working class will face widespread dispossession, ramping up revolutionary class consciousness in the process. At that point, capitalism will either focus on generating more superfluous jobs for people to work or set about instituting a universal basic income – regardless, the point is to keep enough scraps flowing downward so that people don’t call for a broader system change. In this way, capitalism’s ruling class can maintain control over the wealth-producing means of production and imperialist capital accumulation can continue unrestrained.
For these reasons, “more jobs” and universal basic incomes are not enough. We need to democratize the broader social infrastructure and eliminate the profit system. If you recognize how possible it is to automate away human labor, then you should defenestrate yourself out of the Overton Window and use some political imagination – cut out the unnecessary jobs, automate all the labor you can, produce for human need rather than elite profit, and you end up with drastically reduced working hours and bountiful leisure time. This is the essence of fully-automated luxury communism – the natural conclusion of the conditions that capitalism set in motion.
Be wary of automation in the present climate, but always trace it back to the class struggle. Robots taking our jobs SHOULD be cause for celebration; why should we treat these potential liberators as harbingers of dispossession? Technological advancements are pushing us exponentially towards a de facto post-scarcity world, where everyone’s needs can be comfortably met alongside their desires for community and leisure and entertainment, and yet we’re held back by Empire’s insistence on keeping the means of production hoarded under the command of a superfluous ruling class. As long as we are divided into capitalists and workers, humanity will never know full liberation.
Did you know that the Thirty Years’ War – one of the longest and most destructive wars in Europe, a war so bad that Europe never fought again over religion – was started by three men being thrown out of a window?
The men were the Catholic regents of the Catholic emperor of Bohemia. Under the rules governing the Holy Roman Empire which Bohemia was part of, individual princes could choose what religion their subjects followed. Religious freedom, yay! As you may have guessed the Bohemians were ordered to be Catholic. This did not sit well with Protestant nobles in Prague. When the Bohemian authorities started cracking down on their Protestant churches, they called an assembly at Prague Castle, and demanded the four regents answer for their actions.
After some talking, two regents were let go. But two were held back. After a nice little speech about their tyranny, both men were thrown out the third-story window. Then their secretary, for good measure.
It goes down in history as “The Defenestration of Prague.”
All three were badly hurt, but survived. “A miracle!” claimed the Catholics, “They fell in a dung-heap!” claimed the Protestants. Within days, troops were being mobilized, and within months Bohemia was ablaze. Most of central Europe would catch fire. And millions would die because of the actions of a handful of noblemen in Prague.
intp: syzygy (n) an alignment of celestial bodies istj: vellichor (n) the strange wistfulness of used bookshops infp: nefelibata (n) “cloud walker” one who lives in the clouds of their own imaginations or dreams; one who does not obey the conventions of society, literature, or art estp: clinomania (n) excessive desire to stay in bed istp: pluviophile (n) someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days esfj: eloquence (n) the art of using language in an apt, fluent way estj: petrichor (n) the pleasant, earthy smell after rain isfp: phosphenes (n) the light and colors produced by rubbing your eyes infj: sonder (n) the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own enfj: limerence (n) the state of being infatuated with another person isfj: ethereal (adj) extremely delicate, light, not of this world esfp: supine (adj) lying face upwards intj: luminescence (n) light produced by chemical, electrical, or physiological means enfp: chatoyant (adj) varying in colour when seen in different lights or from different angles entj: denouement (n) the final resolution of a plot entp: defenestration (n) the act of throwing someone out of a window