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Capitalism will die - but will it take us with it?

Go to school. Go to work. Earn money. Pay for housing, food, entertainment, whatever. Repeat. Most of us know this system too well. But will it last forever?

Let's think about the kind of jobs a young person, straight out of school (or a teenager) can do:

Basic jobs

Amazon has invented a drone that can carry a product with a weight of less than 2.6 KG directly to a customer: (archive). This has some problems for now, like needing a certain weather and obviously the limited weight, but it will get better.

Pizza Hut debuts a robot waiter: (archive)

A robot can make 400 burgers per hour: (archive) (archive) - The first robotic barista in the U.S., nicknamed "Gordon," started serving up to 120 coffee drinks an hour Jan. 30. (archive) - While the factory used to be run by 650 employees, only 60 of those people still work at the factory and their primary job is to make sure the machines are running properly (archive)- The robots are able to pluck more than 25,000 raspberries per day while human workers manage around 15,000 in an eight-hour shift Together, these robots could do millions of jobs that people would have otherwise done. What will those people do then? Maybe they should have gotten a "better education" ? Okay, let's see how that works:

"Skilled" jobs?

Robot nurse finds vein and takes blood: (archive) - Singapore became the first country in the world to launch a self-driving taxi service on Thursday (archive)

Saya had been teaching for seven years. Her impressive but short CV included stints in a few rural areas, overseas and as a substitute teacher. Not bad for someone only seven years into the role. The difference is Saya is a remote controlled robot who taught her first class of 10-year olds in 2009. (archive) - This AI reporter is capable of analyzing data from the games, pulling out the most important highlights to formulate well-constructed and informative stories.

In tennis, an automatic line calling system has replaced the line judges (in one tournament so far - but will surely extend to others): (archive). And the players like it: (archive).

Something similar is happening in football. The Premier League is using goal-line technology (which automatically detects if there was a goal or not) since 2013: (archive). If football goes the tennis way, it will also use the automatic out detection, and referees will be just for fouls.

- Robotic mules are already being tested: (archive)- These guys go through pretty rough terrain, all weather conditions. Fighter robots are also being developed - (archive)- the droid is designed "to replace the person in the battle or in emergency areas where there is a risk of explosion, fire, high background radiation, or other conditions harmful to humans.


A common argument against the idea that robots will replace us is that machines were being invented for a long time, and they've always created more jobs than they took. The problem is - those machines were not intelligent; they still required a human to operate them. This is different; a robot can now clean, cook, serve, teach, work at a factory, drive, refer sporting events, write articles, pick fruit or play a support role in the military, etc. all by itself. And this list will only get longer.

What possible new jobs can these robots create? Repairing them? Programming them? Great, but that will surely be much less than all the factory and restaurant jobs they're going to take. And not everyone is qualified to do repair or programming. What about all the people that aren't? Even if they could all do repair and programming, we just don't need that much of those. Maybe watching the robots over will be the new, big job opportunity - yes, I suspect that could be a nice scam to keep the corpse of capitalism twitching for a little longer.

Politicians all over the world have been scrambling to "create jobs" - but there's only so much that they can do. The robot revolution cannot be denied, regardless of intentions. Many basic jobs are already being lost, but they will eventually come for the construction workers, doctors...maybe even politicians themselves, as well.

What can be done? Clearly, politicians will keep supporting the current, unsustainable, system (otherwise, they would face the fucking problem instead of pretending all is fine - we will just create more jobs) - while people are losing their jobs and dying. There's been an idea called "Universal Basic Income" which would give everyone a certain amount of money unconditionally. But to me, this is just another attempt to keep the current system alive. The real solution is to take over the means of production, so that we don't pay for anything. Take control of the apartments - stop paying rent. Universal Basic Income is pointless - the money will just come back to the capitalists that don't deserve it. We don't need them.

I think it will take no more than 10 years to see the huge effects of the robot revolution all over the world (update: actually, those are the exact expert predictions (archive) - We estimate that between 400 million and 800 million individuals could be displaced by automation and need to find new jobs by 2030 around the world). Even engineers aren't safe - 56% are expected to be replaced by automation (archive). People will be literally starving on the streets. But we have a choice - either take action (because politicians won't do it for us) or stand and watch. Capitalism will die - but will it take us with it?

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