It’s Going Down: Against Automation, Against UBI, Against Capital

Editor’s Note: I was wondering what was taking so long. OD has been ahead of the curve on this issue for two months now. This article along with the St. Louis Zoo travelogue will be fleshed out this evening. I’m currently busy with family and that is interrupting my writing.

It’s Going Down:

“The scars of neoliberalism dot our landscape. But while outsourcing has pushed production overseas, at the same time in the last 19 years, the majority of jobs lost in manufacturing, 85%, has been to machines that can now do the work of humans, also known as automation. Over the next 10 to 15 years, massive amounts of the American workforce are also expected to be displaced from their jobs by machines. As one expert on automation recently stated, cities like Las Vegas in ten years could become the next Detroit, as robots replace service workers. Meanwhile, other places will soon start to feel the hit with the coming of self-driving vehicles in the trucking industry, as massive corporations now pump billions into the creation of autonomous cars and trucks that will allow companies to compete with AmazonThe future is here, but only to leave us behind.”

I will start off by saying that Andrew Yang is the only presidential candidate who is offering a UBI of $1,000 a month. Blompf and the other Democratic candidates are planning to … uh, well, just pretend that nothing is happening in the economy and continue with Boomer politics as usual. The actual choice being offered here is between $1,000 a month now or nothing in 2020.

“The concept of UBI is simple but its implications are sweeping. It calls for (generally) the abolishing of most if not all forms of welfare and a social safety net (food stamps, cash assistance, Section 8) and even according to some, things like medicaid and medicare. In its place, will be simply a base payment to every citizen, regardless of their income. For white nationalists like Charles R Murry and various libertarians, UBI represents a path towards destroying the last vestiges of the the New Deal and the Welfare State they have been attempting to widdle away at for years. Members of the Alt-Right, such as Richard Spencer, see it as a motivating factor for convincing people to not allow immigrants into the country. Move over “Blood and soil,” the new rallying cry is “They’ll take our UBI!”

This is false.

Andrew Yang’s UBI proposal is purely opt-in and those who choose to continue to receive traditional welfare state benefits will be given the option to do so. Also, Yang’s Legion of Builders and Destroyers is a revival of the New Deal-era WPA and CCC in the 21st century.

“Tech capitalists and neoliberals like Andrew Yang see UBI however as a placebo to not only hold off possible social unrest, but also give people a buffer in which they will be able to find ways to integrate themselves back into the market and become “innovative” and “reinvent” themselves again. The $1,000 a month is thus seen as an investment in human capital in the hopes that it will somehow make people find a way to be ‘productive,’ or at the very least, hopefully not riot and burn the country down.”

Very few people outside of radical anarchist circles believe that violent revolution is the solution to automation. It makes much more sense to have a peaceful transition to a new economic system.

“The point here is just that in an economy where many of us are paying half of our income on rent and then factoring in the cost of healthcare, childcare, food, and transportation, to say nothing of debt, educational costs, clothing, and beyond – $1,000 a month isn’t that much money. And it especially isn’t enough money for someone to elevate themselves out of poverty. In fact, many in favor of UBI see it as designed this way, to keep people poor enough to where they “want more,” and won’t get comfortable. The irony is that this is currently the reality in which people already live in under capitalism.”

Yeah, well, our answer to that is $1,000 a month is nothing but an icebreaker. As we are seeing with Blompf’s reelection campaign, it is nearly impossible to get the Boomers to think outside of the “socialism vs. capitalism” dichotomy of the 1980s and to imagine a world in which their descendants have been liberated from drudgery and scarcity to live in a world of abundance.

Obviously, $1,000 a month isn’t the solution to automation, but a UBI that is pegged to technological progress actually is the solution. It can always be raised to higher and higher levels in the future. Andrew Yang is the only figure on the national stage of American politics who is even talking about these vitally important issues and proposing practical solutions to those issues and deserves enormous credit for simply raising awareness of the coming tidal wave of job destruction.

“At the end of the day, UBI will do nothing to actually redistribute wealth to the people that have literally made the modern world possible through their labor, instead it will (in theory) do what it is intended to do: save capitalism, or at least, keep it on life support. Thus, our point in opposing UBI is not to make a moralistic stance against taking money from the State (which it has taken from us), but instead to create an anti-capitalist analysis as to why different sections of the elites want to push such a thing through and what they are trying to achieve out of doing so.”

Once again, the anarchists don’t grasp the significance of what is transpiring here with automation, which is the revelation that capitalism is and always has been slavery, whether in the form of chattel slavery or wage slavery, and that capitalism is the defining feature of the modern world and its impending demise at the hands of automation heralds the beginning of the post-modern world.

What’s happening here is that chattel slavery is returning in the age of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation. We have restored chattel slavery by creating a new race of machine laborers who will replace human beings in the workforce. It will probably take decades though to transition to the new economic order and burning the world down in a fit of pent up rage isn’t going to solve any of our real problems. What’s more, the myopic focus on “white supremacy,” which doesn’t even exist anymore in the 21st century, is absurd because AI is going to be vastly more intelligent than even the smartest human beings on the planet. In the future, we will have to maintain human supremacy.

” At the end of the day, UBI won’t be a solution to any of our problems. It won’t be able to get people out of poverty, help them secure better housing or education and it won’t allow them provide a better life for their children. What it will achieve is solidifying the role of the State as a person’s boss; in control of what meager amount they are allotted and able to cut off payment at any time someone gets out of line. It will be a meager lifeline that will barely keep anyone afloat yet constantly gasping for air.”

Sure it will.

Imagine a world where the government simply gives you $50,000 a month because robotic slave laborers are generating so much wealth that the problem for society is no longer scarcity but how to distribute it and reckon with everyone having so much more leisure time.

“But despite these important struggles, we are still going to see a massive wave of automation hit us. One of the first things proletarians and autonomous anti-capitalists can do is attack the narrative presented by the mainstream and pro-business news media. Automation and robots aren’t cool, sexy, or exciting, they are instruments in a class war. Technology and innovation isn’t neutral; these things aren’t being used to make our lives better, they are being designed to make things more productive, and thus, more profitable. In short, we need to replace a vision of development, technology, and robotics that sees “progress” as a progressive arch towards human happiness and well being, with an anti-capitalist understanding that held in the hands of the class enemy, all of these tools only will continue to alienate us from each other, increase the regime of industrial capitalism, and further destroy the living earth.”

I’m much more optimistic.

I think all these -isms are going to shortly be proven to be obsolete. I also think liberalism and its various descendants which include anarchism is going to be the most obsolete of all the -isms.

About Hunter Wallace 12367 Articles
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20 Comments

  1. As massive automation looms over the horizon, the Chamber of Commerce still claims that we must have mass immigration to relieve our impending “labor shortage.” Such dishonesty, such greed are truly astounding.

    • Mass immigration drives up rents and land prices, very good for the moneyed class.
      Typical crummy house in CA, 750 k+.

  2. It’s 2k a month and nothing, because the ancient Congress and Senate will reject it completely and make sure that it never sees the light of day.

    Besides, President Biden will be governing on the premise that it’s 1981, and he needs to save all of those union steel mill and auto plant jobs. He’s not interested in the 21st Century. Neither are most American industrial barons who aren’t people like Elon Musk or Amazon.

  3. Peak Oil didn’t come true. Instead there was a world oil glut, tanked the Venezuela economy. Should have brought us here in the USA complete oil/energy independence from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East – should have prompted a complete divorce, tarrifs on all Muslim things. But, deep state goes on.

  4. That there exists a group of people whose primary strategy is anarchy, and fratricidal war/death against all who disagree with THEM; and that they have web presences like this IGD, should be the first line of governmental action against them, for clear TREASON against all America.

    When I read that article HW had about the Blair Mountain coalminer folk, who unfairly had that label attached to them (i.e., being tried for Treason), when it was the Owners and Bosses (and their hired assassins – listening, Anti-faggots!?) who were impoverishing the people, [ paid in scrip, buying only at the company store, at-will employment, vindictive eviction, etc.] my blood boiled.

    The lie in that IGD article (among many) was that a family would ‘only’ get $1000 Yangbux total a month- untrue. EVERY person over `18 and under 64′ has been the consistent message; therefore, a heterosexual family (of 2) would already have $2000 a month coming in, BEFORE ANY OTHER JOB. And that the Yangbux stop at 65, means that, for the present, Social Security is still going to be afloat- but will a retired couple getting SS get much more than $2000 a month, anyway (if only one had been working)? So, it’s technically almost a moot point.

    Lies, and damned lies. Russia had the Reds, and it brought them hell, for 70 years. Antifa are the new Bolsheviks. They deserve to have the book thrown at them.

    • I said awhile back that the Left would be the biggest opponents of UBI and automation. Even bigger than the Jews and Oligarchs.

  5. “The actual choice being offered here is between $1,000 a month now or nothing in 2020.”

    The choice being offered is, as usual, a mix of legislative gridlock preventing any new policy and more of the same (with some major foreign policy and judicial and minor educational/environmental/housing policy changes). The Dems are only getting to 50-50 in the Senate after 2020, and Manchin isn’t voting for UBI (which I think is bad policy overall for numerous reasons).

    “Over the next 10 to 15 years, massive amounts of the American workforce are also expected to be displaced from their jobs by machines.”

    Not happening. I predict the unemployment rate will never go above 9% over the next twenty years. The real problem is not rapid automation (which is demonstrably not happening), but stagnant productivity.

    “As one expert on automation recently stated, cities like Las Vegas in ten years could become the next Detroit, as robots replace service workers.”

    Also not happening (and Las Vegas would become the next Houston, not the next Detroit, if service jobs were automated -demand curves slow downward).

    • @pithom

      Automation in the U.S. is practically a nonstarter. Certainly, a lot of repetitive work, that can be done with little or no thought, will be automated. But this has already been happening in Europe and Japan since the 1980s.

      What’s disappearing are unskilled jobs. Shifting boxes around, packaging, etc.

      The Oligarchs, Jews and Leftists who depend on the 19th and 20th Centuries for their political existence won’t allow themselves to be made redundant.

      They need the people to keep shovelling shit and living in fear of homelessness and hunger. That’s the source of their power. Which they’re not going to give up.

      When people talk about artificial intelligence, they’re thinking about artificial consciousness. Something that may never be possible.

      Which means that for technical and other reasons, many jobs won’t be automated.
      A lot of companies simply can’t afford it. And in many cases, the costs of robotics vs. Human labour are negligible, or in favour of Human resources over machines.

      The stock ordering and inventory control at Dollar General are automated. The employees just have to unload the truck, unpack the freight, scan it into the system, and put it on the shelf.
      They’re not going to embed wires in the floor for stock robots. Neither is Kroger.

      Where American workers can really benefit is from having their workplaces brought up to date with current machinery and tools, and eliminating muscle power and the 19th Century work regimen. Companies in Europe have gone to 30-35 hr work weeks. But that’s because they don’t have machinery that’s older than Bernie Sanders. Or do work by hand, that should have been mechanised decades ago.

      Factories becoming building sized machines that eat raw materials and spit out products will eventually happen, it’s already happened in places in Japan. But not in America.

      America always has to be decades or a century behind the rest of the developed world. The Oligarchs, Jewish and otherwise, and various political parasites, menaces and nuisances like it that way.

      • No; there’s no evidence of that. What was it in 2009, then; 50%? Unemployment is at historic peacetime lows. The average duration is still rather elevated, but that is due to greater employer choosiness, not a high number of people unemployed.

  6. Anarchists used to be a little bit smarter before they drank the gender fluid kool aid. There’s long been a small contingent of Luddites among anarchists. John Zerzan’s book Elements of Refusal has a pretty good history of it, as well as a good critique of the left for always, in the end, siding with business over labor. They’ll do it again with automation, of course, because the left has never represented the working class – they’ve always been a larp.

  7. 1000 a month will just be eaten instantly by inflation , rent increases . just make life harder on the working poor.

  8. Politics at the national level in America at this point is Boomers like Biden, Bernie and Trump fighting over things no one cares about or fighting over who is going to restore Pittsburgh and Detroit to its former glory in order to secure that coveted rust belt vote.

    2020 will be more of this. It’s too bad that it takes an Asian to bring something new to the table while White politicians spend all their time arguing over who is the most anti-Semitic or racist to secure those big donations from men like Sheldon Adelson.

  9. Can’t believe I’m agreeing with them more than HW. It truly is clown world. They said it better than I have tried to explain it, UBI is a life support for a failed system. The oligarchs are scared of the reality they created-monopolies with no customers able to purchase. When you eat everything to unnaturally get to the top of the food chain….don’t be surprised when there’s nothing left to eat and you starve to death yourself.

  10. Whether HW cares to admit it or not this country is headed for a violent break-up. And I welcome that.

    • I used to believe that.

      Now, I see the future very differently. Instead of a violent breakup, I think there will be a peaceful resorting into homogeneous tribes in a post-modern economy that has led to abundance.

      • Oh come on, you’re a student of history. How many “peaceful resorting into homogenous tribes” have ever taken place? Especially in comparison to violent breakups. I’m not even convinced there will be any kind of “abundance” anytime soon, if ever. The West could have had it, but our globalist elites insist on pouring in a limitless amount of low IQ, low impulse control, 3rd world “resource drains”.

        • Yes, that’s why it is difficult to imagine.

          Historically speaking, world history has been defined by scarcity. It has only been in the last few centuries that we have moved closer and closer to a future of abundance. Now, we are literally about to warp into that future with the arrival of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation wiped out half the workforce by 2030.

          Have you ever seen Star Trek?

          There is a scene where Q flings Picard and the Enterprise into their first experience with the Borg in order to show the crew how overconfident and unprepared they were for the future.

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