Heartless Machines Will Ignore Our Children As They Beg For More

We can safely look to the benefit state and past ‘poor laws’ to see the level of provision the State, and society generally, considers acceptable for those who cannot work and do not support themselves. Oliver Twist famously begged his masters at the orphanage for more gruel. The very suggestion that he should have more than barely required to subsist was met by outrage. Unfortunately as machines become smart and eventually enable more production than humanity can consume, most likely by several multiples, much of humanity will drift (we already see 1/10th of humanity in this state in developed economies and much worse in developing economies) into unemployment and our children will beg the heartless machines and the even more heartless wealthy for more.

The Welfare State

Rice Gruel

Rice Gruel

It’s easy for us to correctly assess the current Welfare State as a waste of money and a disincentive for many of the lazy and drug addicted underclass in Britain to actually take up much of the available work. This is to the point where millions of immigrants come from Eastern Europe to work for a pittance serving us sandwiches at fifty-pence sandwich stores. The reason I’m covering this now is simply to ensure you understand that we’re not on the side of more welfare – quite the contrary – the Company believes strongly in work for all and that we should develop coherent and deliberate plans to achieve full employment even at the detriment of embracing technology. It would be one wish of ours that full brain emulation and artificial intelligence never be developed and implemented, for example.

All our discussion of the Welfare State in this article is simply to illustrate the level of living that society feels is appropriate to issue those who do not work with. An amount that absolves those who have of any guilt. For the record it’s enough to live in a tiny one-bed council flat, shop only at discount superstores and never taste a fine cognac without having to save for months to buy a bottle.

When Half Don’t Work

It’s easy to say ‘well of course they shouldn’t have fine cognac – they don’t work’. But think ahead. Think ahead to 2040 when machines design the machines that make the products at such a pace and at such a cost that half of humanity is out of work. Only the most intelligent – those who can work with the machines to compliment them, and those who can design the machines better than the machines themselves will have work. Those who have money and power will have more machines and will control Congress much as the wealthy slave owners – who could simply buy land and work it with slaves to the detriment of free men and small businesses – did before the civil war in the US. Except this time, the weapons of war will be the very machines that humanity is weak and almost powerless to fight. This time the slave owners will have their machine slaves and powerful drones to defend their wealth from those who would fight and die for liberty.

Now ask why would the powerful corporations and individuals that own the machines and the half who do work wish to give the ‘rest’ more than we give the ‘rest’ now? Why do they deserve more than ‘enough’ to simply live and eat. Heck they are getting all that for free, they should be grateful to their overlords who provide them with wonderful technology. Measuring wealth in this way and ignoring people’s need to be valued and to be able to improve their lives – being born, supported by welfare, then passing on is hardly a life to inspire a Company Officer. It’s hardly a life at all.

It’s Not The Industrial Revolution Again

The most popular, and probably weakest argument against this theory of mass unemployment is that machine intelligence is just the Industrial Revolution all over again, and that went swimmingly in the end, right? Well except for two generations of poverty and misery (that’s your kids and their kids if it happened again now, by the way…) it went quite well. To the point where we can joke about the Luddites that feared the machines (the diggers… the 10 men with spades… oh but 1000 men with spoons… you know the ad!). However, remember, we live in a world now not of things being made and ever growing demand. There is a day coming where there are no more people on Earth to destroy and exploit. No more frontier markets to manipulate. Tech start ups now can be worth Billions but only have fifty employees or less. This isn’t the new Ford creating a working class that could buy their cars. This is a tech elite making all the money and creating a future of slaves, born into a subsistence living that they will be told should be grateful for.

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