Will the bourgeoisie effectively replace us with automatons? It seems with the recent advances in AI, self-driving cars, drone delivery technology and robots that they are trying to be less dependent on human labor for profits. But is automation just a meme to fuel click bait articles or will the working class be displaced by these advances in tech?
Is automation a meme ?
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It's already too late
automation is porky's wet fantasy of removing the struggle from class struggle
if they actually went thru with it it would delegitimize their position so hard that the only possible way to recover without everyone revolting would be stepping down and establishing AI-led planned economy or straight up mass genocide
The purpose of the bourgeoisie is to exploit workers, automation makes them redundant.
Workers vs technology is a reactionary concept that diverts attention from class struggle,
Automation which means less units of effort per unit of reward is not a problem it's a good thing,
the problem is who controls the machines at the moment.
Yeah but my question was whether is it something that will increase or not. Considering that labor is pretty cheap why is automation such a hot topic?
To a large part, yes. There are already humans who are so removed from capital that they are not even permitted to be exploited by it. I expect that trend to continue, unfortunately. That combined with the other existential crises that humanity faces combine to form a vision of the future that is segmented between technocapital city-state under 100% surveillance (cameras, drones, internet activity, etc.), with it's own powergrid, intranet, sewer system, security force, etc. and 'outside the wall', where the rest of humanity scrapes by as best it can, exploited when technocapital deems it necessary, cast aside as refuse the rest of the time. A sort of Gibsonian sprawl, but with bigger walls, essentially.
Automation replaces people when its implementation is cheaper than exploiting labor. The reason you don't/won't see cleaning robots for a long time is because it is really cheap to hire someone to clean your mcmansion/hotel/office. Technological development continually lowers the cost of implementing technological instead of human labor. If that trend continues, much of humanity will be displaced.
-This could be a good thing if it freed up human labor to do something actually productive (for itself, for its community, for humanity) but the current algorithm guiding human culture is profit at all costs, which disregards the reaction of humanity to being displaced of menial (automatable) work. The reaction to this will be interesting to watch, but to some degree I have lost hope that the modern proletariat is indeed still a revolutionary class, and even if it is, is it still a viable one in an era of extreme automation?
My theory is porkie is accelerating automation for the upcoming climate crisis. They don't need a genocide if they just wall themselves off in automated city states while the climate wrecks havok on the general population.
labor is not actually cheap in the first world
automation is a huge boon to the ruling ideology because it perfectly feeds a) a permeating and excessive feeling of uselessness and impotence, b) a techno-utopianism that conveniently lets the market lead the march for progress and emancipation, and c) the need for a clear answer regarding what we will do with so many disposable people (the answer is, of course, nothing, just UBI with neofeudalist characteristics)
Not if they use the machines to pacify the proles with record-setting efficiency.
it doesn't matter if you use the machines to pacify the proles, if you make the machines (which if you're going to baleet all proles from existence is necessary) do absolutely ALL the work society needs you also need some form of powerful general AI (presumably the singularity) that would figure out that porkies are a liability for maximum efficiency. what follows is silicon valley death cultists willingly jumping off a building to live on in the cloud or some shit
besides, there would not be any proles in this scenario in the first place
They are already being displaced. I've read about factories being run completely by robots. The issue with that, of course, is that under capitalism, the workers will be simply left to die.
Looks like Marxism failed then. There is no "proletarian uprising", only the bourgeoisie accumulating more power and bringing in post-scarcity without having to forfeit power to the hands of the lower classes.
Anyone who has worked a serious job in physical labor knows that automation is decades away from even conceptually threatening to take over. To make such a thing function would require a complete reworking of all physical infrastructure from the ground up, which will necessitate a period of spending that will never satisfy private interests.
So shit like self driving cars, drone deliveries and what not are just memes?
Kinda what's happening now lol. If anything the capitalists can give the proles a tiny fraction of what they make for bread and circuses and they'll be content as ever.
Labour productivity growth (which can be used as a rough proxy for rate of automation) has been on a downswing since the early 2000's. The technology you listed creates the potential for mass automation, but it isn't happening because it isn't profitable (at least in the short-term). We won't see mass automation under capitalism in our lifetimes, unless their is a huge increase in the price of labour or decrease in the price of automative technology.
The automation meme in the bourgeois press is actually a type of subtle capitalist propaganda because it implies that working time could be reduced under a system in which humanity is enslaved by market forces. Bourgeois economists have been predicting technology will radically reduce working hours for a long time ( See Keynes on "Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren"), but they fail to understand that technology isn't used in a neutral or rational way under capitalism. It is used to facilitate ever greater capital accumulation rather than improve working people's lives.
this is data on employment in England from 1856 to 2015. They industrialized and de-industrialized. yet employment rates have gone up or remained the same.
Based Marxposter. Where's the automation? I don't see it. The bourgeois press has been promising us that robots will be walking around for years but I don't see any. It's much easier and cheaper to push production further out into the periphery. Automation primarily becomes a means of proletarian control, their labor still exploited as ruthlessly as ever and now managed up to the second through "gamification" systems. Although there are also possibilities for algorithms to further shatter the psyches of the population like the recent case of YouTube's algorithms steering pedophiles toward families' home movies of their kids in bathing suits – entirely on autopilot.
The pushing of automation memes has only ever been a threat to the working classes, telling them that they will be replaced. Reducing the work week was never seriously considered after the 40 hour week gave enough time for recreation (and thus consumption) and gave time for Jesus so the plebs would retain their religious programming. And indeed, they're taking away the work week and the lower classes get worked harder than ever.
The reason you don't see automation is largely because it's not technologically feasible in a way that is cheaper than just paying a person to do the work. Technology isn't the magic liberals and boojies are raised to believe it is, this shit takes some engineering (and a lot of automation plans would require engineering the whole society and landscape around technology, rather than just inventing some novel new machine, for instance you can't really automate driving without overhauling the whole road system and removing human drivers from the road). The moment it becomes technologically possible at any reasonable price, automation will be pursued, even if it is a short-term loss, because it is absolutely important to make sure the workers are removed from the production process as much as possible. There is no calculus where workers can just be shit upon more to stave off automation; even if workers were literally slaves, the capitalist would still pursue automation because machines don't complain, can work 24/7, and usually produce at a rate far greater than human hands could realistically.
Just refine their autopilot mechanisms. Have them like Tesla but even safer. Not too hard.
figure it out yourself then.