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I was surprised and pleased to see that Bhaskar had decided to post Shulamith Firestone’s , as it’s one of my favorite pieces of Marxist-feminist writing.
In his speech to the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park, Slavoj Žižek lamented that “It’s easy to imagine the end of the world, but we cannot imagine the end of capitalism.”
In the process of trying to pull together some thoughts on intellectual property, zero marginal-cost goods, immaterial labor, and the incipient transition to a rentier form of capitalism, I’ve been working out a thought experiment: a possible future society I call anti-Star Trek . Consider this a stab at a theory of posterity . One of the intriguing things about the world of Star Trek, as Gene Roddenberry presented it in The Next Generation and subsequent series, is that it appears to be, in essence, a communist society.
AN APOCRYPHAL tale is told about Henry Ford II showing Walter Reuther, the veteran leader of the United Automobile Workers, around a newly automated car plant. “Walter, how are you going to get those robots to pay your union dues,” gibed the boss of Ford Motor Company.
<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-42569" title="Harvest Automation Robot" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/business/2011/11/Harvest-Automation-Robot.jpg" alt="" width="660" height="495" />
FEAR of displacement from one's job by a superefficient machine is as old as modern economic growth (which is to say, about two centuries old). It is somewhat surprising that there has not been more made of the possibility of technological unemployment during the recent recession and lacklustre recovery.