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The Best of Times, The Worst of Times


#1

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Josh Hoxie

It's the best time for a few in America, the worst for many more. If you didn't read that book, it didn't end well.

"There’s no natural order dividing the ultra-wealthy from a nation of strivers. These conditions have been socially created by a system of rules and norms." (Photo: Common Dreams)

#2

I hope so as well, but the longer folks take to understand the depth of tyranny against We the People by corporations, their CEOs and major shareholders, and the elected officials in their back pockets, the less likely a peaceful transition will occur. It appears to some extent we’re repeating our own history:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.


#3

Let the narcissistic hoarding dregs eat cake!


#4

I’m not optimistic at all. I think we’ll see the collapse of civilization and endless suffering. And the rich will get away with it. The rich always win and everyone else always looses. It has been that way for thousands of years. I’m pretty convinced that the French Revolution was an anomaly.


#5

I’m not so sure.

Today people can socially network in ways that were never before possible. You don’t need to carry torches to the street. Instead, you can torch politicians and policy on-line.

Yes the US is bitterly divided at present but this too will change. Demographics will change the US in a generation. African-American and Hispanic persons will be in the majority in 2045 and increase their percentage of the population every year. They will not vote to perpetuate systems that yield greater inequality and repression.

Meanwhile, in the economy, dislocating technological developments like artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation promise to displace tens of millions of workers. In 20 years, for example, there may be no more human truck drivers, couriers, or taxi drivers. White collar workers may be displaced too. Watson is already invading medicine and accountants may be replaced, quite easily and effectively, with algorithms.

What does this mean? Lazily, we can imagine a dystopian future where corporate overlords enslave the masses in bad matching costumes and dreary lives of subjugation. But at some point, why would billions of people accept that fate when all they need to do is confront a few thousand or hundred people and their degenerate social and economic models?

In time, the market-driven, corporate capitalism that reigns supreme in first world nations today, the one that produces our highly unfair and dysfunctional every-man-for-himself, winner-takes-all economy, the one that so many know and hate, that model will not survive these technological changes.

It’s already failing in spectacular fashion. Anyone can look around and see that there simply are not enough good jobs to go round when we leave our economic existence to the invisible hands (which anyone can see by looking down the forearms of folks like Bezos and Gates).

The economy of the future must employ a better way to produce and share resources, goods, and services. The economy of the present has run its course and is very near its end.