A few days ago, transhumanist author and politician Zoltan Istvan had an article published on The Maven titled “Transhumanism is Under Siege from Socialism.” It was there that he stated, “Transhumanists must favor the free world and free market to make its movement as powerful and successful as possible,” and must equally “be on their guard against [socialism].”
This is because the prominent demographic adopting modern-day transhumanism is the youth, and over the last couple of years, polls have shown that the majority of today’s youth view socialism quite favorably.
Sure. Everyone loves a free lunch. Until they find out it’s not free.
In response, we’ve both advocated for variations of a basic income system.
See above comment on “free lunch”. Anyway, it’s way too early for “basic income”; there are several, less destructive measures to be taken prior to that.
He states that, in doing so, we’d be giving the land “back to the American people,” but in truth, will be handed over to private businesses, thereby exploiting the land for profitable gain.
Well, that’s what business does, after all. At the end of the day, EVERY business is an exploitation of natural resources for profitable gain. Just think about what Amazon’s electric bill must be. :-)
I, on the other hand, am an advocate of funding a “basic income guarantee” via a combination of corporate tax increases and profit sharing.
You can’t increase corporate taxes unilaterally. If corporate taxes go up, jobs and workloads move to where they are done most efficiently, which isn’t in the US.
We just got done fixing this problem, let’s try to wait a few years before fucking it up again, shall we?
He even goes as far as saying that, “Ultimately, I believe the so-called One Percent — the very richest of society — don’t desire to leave the rest of the world behind.”
Well, he’s right, but that’s poorly stated. Better to say that the 1% know that their interests are aligned with the interests of the rest of society, a fact that the Left seems to constantly miss. After all, if 99% of the country has no disposable income, then nobody will be able to buy the 1%’s stuff, and if nobody can buy their stuff, then they go broke, eventually.
Unfortunately, there’s one other thing these three have in common: Union busting!
Unions are a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem. They have no solutions in an information-driven society. Part of the information driven revolution is that workforces become virtual; unions are only effective when you congregate workers physically.
Those being displaced will need a basic income to keep them financially stable and, if possible, retrained to better serve newer industries.
Long term. I see this in three phases:
- Cut to the current workweek. If you mandate a workweek of 32 hours, then suddenly you need 20% more workers.
- Jobs guarantee. There are plenty of public sector jobs which need to be done which aren’t being done because of budgetary constraints. Pick the funding mechanism of your choice. In this scenario, the social program also becomes the training program.
- UBI (probably in the 2060 timeframe)
And for those who still have a job, there is still the issue of an increasing wealth gap as the rich get richer and the poor are withheld from a living wage. Clearly, these tech philanthropists have no interest in providing a living wage.
Well, the wealth gap has been rising since the late 60’s; it doesn’t seem to care what party is in power, if there are unions or not, or what the tax rates are. It constantly surprises me that people think there are political or tax policy solutions to this problem.
That is where unions should step in. Without them, the free market won’t protect workers (let alone the unemployed). Quite the contrary, as history has shown, time and again.
See above. The data shows that union strength and membership doesn’t change the wealth gap.
As entrepreneurs and economics theorists alike have noted, the proliferation of automation will eventually give way to a future of abundance that is post-scarcity and post-capitalist.
Yes. Blade Runner. A future which 80% lives in dystopic conditions, to a varying extent. If you have a STEM degree, however, you get to live well.
When it comes to environmentalism, Zoltan and I appear to be in agreement when he said that it’s “a movement associated with leftist political tendencies,” given the fact that “the GOP outright deny climate change despite much scientific evidence, and our President has recently rolled back environmental regulations — all in a bid to push back against leftists gaining traction in this ever increasing hot-button political and social issue.”
The GOP is always going to oppose any solution to anything that involves large government spending programs. If the left REALLY wants climate solutions (I am not convinced they really do, at the strategic level) then they’d find common ground with conservatives on ground-up solutions.
But given his article’s anti-socialist sentiment, I can only assume that this observation isn’t to say that leftist environmentalism is on the right side of history; rather, it’s a lost opportunity for the free market and its proponents to lead the environmentalist movement themselves.
I actually agree with this. The right has a tendency to postpone solutions they ought to be able to live with and eventually find themselves having to accept solutions they really don’t like. Health care is a great example; same-sex marriage is another.
Historically, we already know that, when it comes to the free market and protecting the planet, the two are practically antithetical from one another.
Disagree completely. The problem is that neither “side” speaks the language of the other. The instinct of the leftist is to “let’s get together and solve this”; the instinct of the free marketer is “how can I address this and still make a buck in the process”.
Examples abound. 18 wheeler trailers can add “wings” to the back of the rig that improves fuel mileage; no brainer. Wal-Mart years ago started adding more skylights to their new stores so they could get away with less electricity during bright days; no brainer. All good environmental measures DRIVEN by the free market, not regulations, not some big-government regulatory program.
To quote Bill Gates himself, when it comes to combating climate change and protecting the environment, “there is no fortune to be made.” The free market won’t address coal ash or guaranteed safety to workers within these fossil fuel industries. There has to be regulatory intervention.
Gates is wrong. You address coal ash (and coal pollution) by making clean alternatives cheaper. Every corporation wants to say they are “green” these days, even if they’re not, because it’s good business.
The problem in the above process is that it is evolutionary. Leftists tend to lack patience; they see a solution, and they want it NOW. Conservatives tend to sit back, realize the trend line is going in the right direction, and are willing to wait a few decades for the problem to fix itself. The latter method is less disruptive to jobs, the economy, and society.
We remained a capitalist country, but we weren’t afraid to embrace socialism when it came in the best interests of the commonwealth and our surrounding environment.
I am not aware of the US “embracing socialism”. I am aware that we have social PROGRAMS, and I am aware that people on the left try to pretend that a social SPENDING is SOCIALISM, but that’s simply not true.
Which isn’t to say that private industries can’t be involved or allowed to The belief that a regulated private sector would stifle growth and innovation is patently bogus.
(Coughs.) Bullshit. Every regulation, all the way down to the government wage posters hanging in the lunchroom, has a cost of compliance. That’s patently obvious. Ergo, the difference between good and bad regulations is the solution to an ROI calcuation, as far as growth and profits are concerned.
More broadly, however, a regulation is a business decision which the government has already decided on behalf of the company. Same statement as above; this could be good or bad, but what is *not* in question is that they are authoritarian edits which limit the flexibility of the business to make decisions on their own.
The problem with THAT is that an increasing number of business decisions is being made by people (government bureaucrats) who don’t really understand your business, or even business in general, or even CARE about the impact on your business. One of Hilary Clinton’s most famous gaffes was back in the early 90’s, when it was revealed that Hilarycare’s coverage requirements would basically put every low-wage people intensive business on the ropes. (Think Domino’s and food delivery). Her response to criticism? (paraphrase) “Well, the government can’t concern itself with every undercapitalized business in the country.”
Undercapitalized? It’s a friggin business model that employs tens of thousands of people! (People ask me why I wouldn’t vote for Hilary. That one statement was plenty of reason.)
Friendly competition would still take place — just not at the expense of its workers or our planet. And if that makes you uncomfortable, then you should really start asking yourself where your interests truly lie.
With people. And historically, the best way to insure that the most people prosper is a minimally-regulated free market capitalist economy.
What is, most assuredly, a shared goal between Zoltan and myself, the pursuit of a cure to aging (i.e., all age-related diseases) is the ultimate journey of any transhumanist.
Sorry, I’m not that much of a navel-gazer.