In ancient Greece all free men were welcome to participate in political decisions. They were the only people considered citizens, and in that sense it was the most democratic system the world has ever seen. It only had one small catch: The rest of the work were done by slaves and women. That way “everybody” had time to be politicians..
The world is facing the greatest technological revolution ever. Computers are becoming more intelligent, robots increasingly competent. There are fewer and fewer jobs we humans really need to do. Some express concern about what will happen in the employment-marked. Technology is not the problem, the problem is the system.
The system we are living under is based on a lot of people working for a few capitalists to afford the goods the same few capitalists are offering them. The technology could theoretically make this system unnecessary as the means of production can be accessible to everyone.
The idea that technology takes our jobs is not a new thought. The luddits was an anti technological movement in the early nineteenth century who protested against this: That the machines were taking their jobs. But the problem was not the machines
The current situation is not very different. If there is going to be less need for workers we have every reason to work less. The eight-hour day is an unhealthy lifestyle, although many are so used to it that they can not imagine living without. Some slaves felt the same way when slavery was still officially accepted. If people were to open their eyes they would quickly realize that there is a lot of other things that is far more rewarding than the industrial job they base their lives on, such as family and friends, or voluntary organizations to help others. The possibilities are endless.
Back to Ancient Greece.
As the slaves did all the work the Greek didn’t have to do much. That’s the advantage of having slaves, the only thing you need to do is to suppress them. Machines are on the other hand far easier to deal with than slaves. They do only what they are programmed to do.
If the world is actually heading towards a level of technology where machines are capable of doing all the work, there are every reason to be happy about it. It can, if we create a system of equality, give us an opportunity to pursue what interests us the most, whether it’s mountain walks, football or working to make the world a better place to live for everyone. In addition, there are an ocean of jobs that are far from rewarding than the ones machines are capable of doing, like art, literature or professional sports.
There is no reason why the machines create poverty, they don’t have to do anything but make the jobs easier. By working less per person we can easily maintain jobs for everyone. It’s not really a problem if people are without jobs anyway, as long as they are provided with what they need. So let’s do a battle for the future and rid ourselves of the chains. The machines do not complain anyway.