by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
This is not a farfetched science fiction idea and notion but is on the way to becoming reality; the robots that is, and with it fact that they will cause us to lose our jobs.
More and more jobs can now be carried out by “robots”, even the mowing of lawns, even though those robotic mowers still need to be “told” precisely, often via wires surrounding an area, where too cut and all that but they do exist and are being refined more and more.
Many manufacturing jobs already are being carried out, and on some levels for some time already, such as in the automotive industry, by robotic systems. Yes, this mechanization of production processes has done away with the drudgery of the repetitive work at the production lines, but it has also done away with the need for workers and more and more jobs are under threat through the introduction and the development of robots to replace humans.
As if outsourcing of jobs to countries such as China, Vietnam and India, etc., have not caused enough problems already we are now headed towards the total elimination of some jobs altogether. Now we have come even thus far that there is software available that automatically generated newspaper articles and this may soon make the journalist redundant (or so it has been suggested).
So, what is the answer to this dilemma that many people could, in the not so distant future, lose their jobs and any chance of another one?
Some have suggested a universal (basic) income for all but I cannot see that happening unless all means of production would be in the hands of the workers (no, not the robots that do the work) and that I cannot see happening in the near future either, at least not in the UK and the US.
We have seen, in history, those things happening time and again, whether it was with the weavers at the advent of the mechanized weaving loom, or others. But now things are looking much different to then, for everything, almost, could become mechanized by way of robots and what trades can the workers replaced by those machines enter in today's world? Very few, I should think.
Yes, there will be some jobs and trades that cannot be replaced by robots but attempts will be made, of that we can all be certain, to replace as many humans as possible with machines in order to “save money”.
One has to wonder though as to whether those wishing to save money in production processes by replacing humans with robots have actually pondered who is going to buy their products if they put people out of employment and cheat them out of an income?
If you make something that no one can afford to buy because they do not have the money to do so because your actions have caused them the lack of money you soon are going to run out of customers.
That equation, however, does not seem to enter the minds of those whose only motivation is profit by reduction of costs and one of the greatest costs in any industry is that of labor and it is that one that they want to reduce at all costs.
Can anyone in their right mind really believe that those selfsame capitalists are going to be so nice to give every worker that the robots make redundant (and everyone else) a nice basic income of a couple of thousand Dollars equivalent a month and let everyone do as they wish by way of being creative, for instance, such as writing, woodcarving, painting, gardening, and all that, or even volunteering?
It is not going to happen unless we change the system and not just tinker around with the old one. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It was designed not to favor the proletarian, the worker, but only the owner of production, and no capitalist government is going to give a universal basic income to the people whether or not they are the victims of job losses due to mechanization and robots.
Robots will soon be stealing the jobs of most of us and unless we are going to do something about it, and do something about it now, we all, and our children and children's children after us, will be on the scrap heap.