Embrace Automation

Believe it or not quite a few of my friends happen to be communists. One of them specifically dubs himself as an advocate of fully automated luxury communism. Unlike most forms of communism, fully automated luxury communism has a foundation to work from:

Located on the futurist left end of the political spectrum, fully automated luxury communism (FALC) aims to embrace automation to its fullest extent. The term may seem oxymoronic, but that’s part of the point: anything labeled luxury communism is going to be hard to ignore.

“There is a tendency in capitalism to automate labor, to turn things previously done by humans into automated functions,” says Aaron Bastani, co-founder of Novara Media. “In recognition of that, then the only utopian demand can be for the full automation of everything and common ownership of that which is automated.”

Bastani and fellow luxury communists believe that this era of rapid change is an opportunity to realise a post-work society, where machines do the heavy lifting not for profit but for the people.

I think phrases like “common ownership of automation” and “heavy lifting not for profit but for the people” are pretty nonsensical but the basic ideology, letting machines do all of the work, is what I’ve been espousing here. The reason I mention these fully automated luxury communists is because they’re the first communists I’ve come across that are screaming for more automation instead of bitching about machines taking jobs.

Imagine a world where food production is entirely automated and in such abundance nobody has to labor to produce it unless they enjoy doing so. Imagine buildings being constructed by squads of automated robots. Imagine abundances of energy being beamed down from orbital solar collectors. In such a world the necessities of survival would potentially be so cheap to produce and so abundant that even the poorest person could afford them.

Over the years I’ve shifted my views quite a bit. If you read the archives of this blog you’ll see my slow transformation from a constitutional libertarian to an anarcho-capitalist to a slightly more left-leaning anarchist to my current position today, which can basically be summed up as wanting to advance technology as much as possible for the purposes of liberation. Advancements in technology can enable liberation by lessening humanity’s dependence on centralized hierarchies. This strategy not only improves the overall quality of life but also don’t rely on the mob mentality of politics. To advance technology I don’t need to get a majority of people to vote my way. I can either directly create or partner with people creating new technologies. It’s the ultimate libertarian strategy because it relies on individual efforts instead of mobs.

Although I don’t subscribe to the communist part of automated luxury communism I do share a similar dream and can say I have far more in common with them then I do with many libertarians.

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