Americans are discussing the possibility of a universal basic income (UBI) more seriously than ever before, largely due to the surprisingly popular campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Yang has made UBI the central issue of his platform, promising a "Freedom Dividend" paid for by a Value Added Tax on businesses which would give every American over the age of 18 an unconditional $1,000 a month to help offset the looming crisis of automation replacing US jobs.
Yang is absolutely correct that automation is going to be replacing the jobs of many people in the very near future, and he is absolutely correct that new solutions unlike anything ever tried before are going to be necessary to help address this problem.
But his plan, and indeed all the most publicized plans which involve the implementation of a universal basic income, will necessarily lead to an oppressive oligarchic dystopia unlike anything we've ever seen before.
Do you know who supports the implementation of a UBI besides Andrew Yang?
Billionaires... Lots of billionaires, especially 'the new money tech billionaires' who are positioning themselves to inherit the earth in the transition to a new paradigm dominated by automation and artificial intelligence...
...have all been seen advocating for a policy that is now being popularized as one which would level the economic playing field and 'take power away from the billionaire class.'
Of course not.
As Jimmy Stewart's character says in It's A Wonderful Life, Potter isn't selling, Potter's buying.
I am not arguing against the general principle of universal basic income here.
If humanity is to learn to collaborate in a healthy way with the ecosystem in which we evolved, a lot more of us are going to have to start doing a lot less.
We're going to have to stop using up energy driving to jobs the world doesn't need to produce crap you have to propagandize people into believing they want so they'll spend money on it and then throw it in the landfill.
That's obviously an insane way for an increasingly technologically advanced species to continue to function, and one way or another we are going to have to start doing a lot more nothing quite soon.
That would be total oligarchic control.
Not what we're seeing
now; what we're seeing now is not total oligarchic control. Our
current predicament pales in comparison to how bad it could get.
Because our last bargaining chips would have been taken away from us.
Think about how such a paradigm would dance with the current populist movements we're seeing in the world today as people grow upset with their already oppressive living conditions.
The left will be neutered far more definitively than it has been by anything that government agencies have ever been able to engineer; the workers can't unite if there are no workers.
Yellow Vests-type demonstrations would have no effect on a power structure that doesn't require law and order outside its automation complexes.
Attempts to vote the problem away will be laughed off by a political system that is even more oligarch-controlled than it already is.
Now imagine how that would dance if you add in the sort of narrative domination that advanced artificial intelligence programs would allow, as Julian Assange warned shortly before his silencing.
That's what the billionaires are going for. That's what Potter's buying.
The rich and powerful have always feared two things:
Because both of those things can take away everything they've stolen.
Our current rulers, the billionaire class, are currently working on unlocking the secret of immortality in a number of creepy ways, and they're working on addressing the problem of the public in the way I just described.
Someday Jeff Bezos and his ilk hope to become the first rulers in history who get to rule without the threat of losing it all to death or to revolution.
The solution, obviously, is to stop this before it happens, because if it's allowed to happen it will be far too late to do anything about it.
People are going to have to wake up out of the propaganda matrix and take power away from the billionaire class, and that must necessarily include taking control of automation technologies.
Artificial intelligence and automation are far too consequential for their future to be determined by a few billionaires who are only billionaires because they can think like a machine better than other people can.
Humanity's future must be guided by the collective wisdom of all human beings in the service of humankind, not by binary-minded tech wizards in the service of corporate profit margins.
A universal basic income could work under a very different system, but the one thing all the most popular UBI/automation models being promoted by the billionaire class and by Andrew Yang have in common is that none of them seek to fundamentally change the system which enables plutocrats to shore up more and more power and control for themselves.
They all seek to maintain the status quo and plunge it further into oligarch-dominated dystopia.
This should be rejected...