Wednesday, November 23, 2016

No Banner Under Which To March Next Time: It’s Downhill

I don’t really know what I am talking about.

I need to start that way because I have a few pretty doctrinaire things to say and I have absolutely no credentials to allow me to make these statements.

But that deep lack of credentials apparently doesn’t stop anybody else any more so I am just going to let it rip.

First, I want to crop my universe: I am talking about only Europe and its spawn – you know – places like the United States of America.

Second – and this is just a limiting statement – I am, more or less talking about that European mélange that has emerged since Pharamond became the first official Chef de France in 418 AD.


It took me until a couple of years ago – 72 years – to realize that the universal representation of the human race as an ancient and venerable manifestation of the improvement resulting from the never ending upward thrust of evolutionary biology and, latterly, the never ending and constantly accelerating motivating force of intellectual progress is a total sham; the human race is just a bunch of smart monkeys that is headed to perdition.

The story, properly told, is a short one, so I am going to tell it shortly.

In the time slice at hand – and think about how tiny that slice is that I have chosen to talk about – two things have continued to happen over and over.

Wealth has accrued to those who control power.

Those who control power, although never very many in number, have always been able to expropriate most of what all “the others” (the ones who have always had to work to produce something – back in Pharamond’s time that was mostly food); that is why and how the power controllers have always accumulated wealth; they have always taken it from the producers.

The sophistication of the power controlled and the sophistication of the product produced have both vastly risen over  the last 1700 years, but the end result equation has remained the same.

There have been over the time under scrutiny lots of attempts to change that equation: Wat Tyler in England in 1381; the French revolution; Andrew Jackson’s return to Jefferson in America in the late 1820s and through his successor into the 1830s and 40s; and the needs of winning WWII put the producers in the catbird seat, albeit financially controlled, for the duration of that conflagration.

And that bled into the 1950s and 1960s to produce the various socialist states of Europe and the golden age of unionism in America; (the American component of that phenomenon has produced the hallucinations that have resulted in the election of donald trump).

So here we are, all cultural descendants of Pharamond, Wat, Andy and the rest looking – if we are honest with ourselves – through a looking glass into a really bleak future.

I don’t have anything to say that is going to ameliorate that.

I do, however, have something to say and I haven’t ever heard it anywhere else; but I have quite a truncated grasp on reality and a not very deep participation in the daily news cycle – and/or the daily phony new cycle; so what I have to say may either be even more ridiculous than it sounds, or have been shouted from the treetops in multiple places; but I am having so much fun writing this that I don’t really care.

Here is the deal: the-almost-human-race-to-date battle between the few who control power and the rest who produce things has not really had much change to it for the duration of its existence.

But in the last few years the whole thing has changed: “producers” are no longer human.

Robots producing unlimited stuff are rapidly replacing the entire human race.

The controllers of power are still there.

The controllers, not ever having been stupid, are already shifting their real focus, concern and concentration to expropriating the wealth of the robots.

This leaves the human producers odd man out.

They just don’t know it yet.

That’s why $15.00 an hour is a farce.

The power holders are just making nicey nicey with the producers as transition plan: the robots can’t do it all yet and the humans need to be retained; but they aren’t going to be paid very much.

And they aren’t going to be there very long.

So the battle lines, obviously, are drawn around the robots.

The producers are not real stupid any more due to the educational advancements that have occurred as result of the various revolutions that have tried to change the equation.

They are going to figure out pretty soon that they can be the new masters if they get control of the robots.

But the holders of power are already doing that.

So what is going to happen – soon – is going to make Wat and the French Revolution and the uproarious Jackson era in America and all the other leaps toward being human that the producers have tried over our time slice look like child's play.

The only unknowns are how long will it be and will anything be left?

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