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The Fate of Capitalism

Robotic Sandia Hand – flickr

Came across is little item in Raw Story. One of may that have popped up in the last year or so. Even Paul Krugman has mentioned this, as has Robert Reich. That at the rate technology is progressing, there will be few items that requiter people – humans – to do. That Robotics and technology is replacing people in many sectors and it is increasing. And I think that this article understates the situation.

I personally can come up with ways to replace fast food workers with robotics and automation, and I am certainly no genius at robotics.  We already have robotic surgery or robot assisted surgery.

Our food uses automation in nearly every step. When I shop, I quite often use the self check-out and even this and stocking could more – if not entirely – automated. In fact most big box stores could be nearly entirely automated. As could automobile factories. One commenter posted about dark factories and more and more of this is going to happen. Not less.

We go to the store to buy food, but at least two people who post and comment here live entirely off of food thrown away. We have the ability now to build custom houses, apartments and other buildings using automation and the transported to the site, assembled and within a week, inhabited. With all the plumbing, electrical and data wiring done as the sections are being built. Instead of dozens of highly skilled carpenters needed on site, only a few and a crane operator. And even with that, we have thousands of homes sitting empty.

With solar and wind power and new organic batteries to store the energy, electric companies are not really necessary.  Electric companies that already need fewer and fewer people to run.

Even the military apparatus is getting the robotic treatment for arms manufacture to the actual fighting.

Yet with fewer and fewer people needed, our population keeps growing.

The whole point of this diary is NOT top make any more direr predictions, but to point out one little fact.

That with all this going on. The vast majority of people in this country still have not really absorbed it. The vast majority of people in this country still cannot get their heads around it. They are still thinking and seeing a world where hundreds or thousands of people were needed to design and build a color television set that is not even as complex or versatile as your cell phone.  A cell phone where the workers simply put the boards in a plastic case, hook up a few wires and put into a box. And even THAT can be easily automated these days.

That capitalism is not only responsible for that which I covered in my previous diary, but capitalism it self is becoming – if it not already has – unnecessary and obsolete.

We either replace it and put our energies to better use or  face a like upheaval that may return humanity to the neolithic.

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