Socialist utopia 2050 …

what could life in Australia be like after the failure of capitalism?

That’s the title of my latest piece in The Guardian . It’s had quite a good run, but of course, plenty of pushback, mainly along the following lines

  • General objections to any kind of utopian thinking, even the very modest version in my article
  • Political impossibility
  • What about Stalin/Venezuela ?

What I haven’t seen, interestingly, is any suggestion that continuing expansion of financialised capitalism (aka neoliberalism) would produce a better outcome. Feel free to discuss this and other issues

30 thoughts on “Socialist utopia 2050 …

  1. jackstrochi,

    I fail to see how the “left” demonstrates opposition to Judeo-Christian straight white males (JCSWMs) with regular jobs. Under “left” governments, JCSWMs haven’t been banned from jobs since, by definition, they have jobs. They haven’t been paid less as it is well known from factual data that it is women, not men, who are paid less for doing the same work. So, just how is this “opposition” to JCSWMs demonstrated?

    Or, is being asked to give up special and unfair privileges being “opposed”?

  2. We only have the past to guide us here. When mercantilism was replaced by capitalism it was a gradual process. France, England, Germany, the USA followed by Australia, Canada and New Zealand were the early adopters. But the spread of capitalism stalled due to political considerations. Neoliberalism is more a political movement to somehow save capitalism. Financial players have a great influence on politicians. Some have been hijacked into believing that neoliberalism is the only possible economic system. Until this is addressed capitalism will linger on using many disguises just as mercantilism linger for a very slow “death”.

  3. Pr Q said

    Most formal employment is in the public and non-profit sectors, including health, education and social services of various kinds, as well as infrastructure. There are still some big businesses left, particularly in the manufacturing sector. They account for around 10% of total economic activity and about 5% of all employment, down from around 30% at the turn of the century. Most of the work in these firms is done by robots and computers,

    I am staggered by the implied prediction that by 2050 “robots and computers” will only comprise less than 50% of total output. Presumably shared between blue-collar sectors that are already mostly mechanized and partially automated. Intelligent machines will automate white collar offices, just as they are fully automating farms, mines and factories.

    Most economic output – ~ 50% of GDP – is currently generated by high-remunerated, low-productivity white collar service sector.  Its days are numbered as virtual AI is nowhere more at home than in office or lab, the place of its birth.

    The genteel middle class economy has long been in the cross-hairs of AI engineers.  The only thing that has saved the beneficiaries of Baumols cost-disease from going the way of the Luddites has been the halting linguistic capacity of virtual agents.

    That computer lingual fluency gap is closing fast (hullo Google, Alexa, Siri).  By 2040 computers will have passed the Turing Test with flying colors. That means all white collar work based on symbolic communication and computation will be trivial.   All manuals will be read in an instant and all office workers will be redundant soon therafter.  It also spells doom for the software industry, in fact all STEM occupations.  Computers love algorithms. And once owners can speak directly to their intelligent machines they will have no need for programmers to translate Natural Language into computer language.

    By 2050, the relentless progress of intelligent maxhines will mean there will be precious little paid employment for humans. Particularly in mundane white collar occupations in the service industry (buiness administration).  And that spells doom for any “socialist utopia” based on rosy projections from current Scandanavian trends.

    Human-centred jobs (bar-tender, therapist, nurse, prostitute) would still get guernsey.  There wiĺl be no shortage of unemployed people needing shoulders to cry on.

    Socialist thinking must start to get a grip on the notion that a fully automated economy of networked intelligent machines (the IoT) will have no need for human labour. Thats why they csll it the Internet of Things.

    As in so many other areas, the Left has gone backward. Speaking to Trotskyites the other day who were, of course, woried about Somalis, I asked them what they thoght of Chinese socialism. “Bah!, State capitalism,” they snorted with disgust.

    But the SOE component of Chinese socialist market economy is rising, and it will continue to rise as it evolves into a statist technocracy. In Sep 2018, Chinas top economic mandari insisted on that SOEs were the cutting edge of the Chinese economy:

    Vice-Premier Liu He – President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser and chief trade negotiator with the US – is expected to urge China’s state enterprises to “make breakthroughs in key aspects” of cutting-edge technologies and call on them to “take a leading role at the front” of the country’s drive to make technological progress, according to one source involved in the planning for the conference.,

    That sounds like socialism with a spine, compared to Scandanavian milquetoast. Still less endlessly denouncing “racism”, based on a social constructivist model of biology which is now pretty much utterly discredited.

  4. Jack, if you changed ONE WORD of your rhetoric from ‘an’ to ‘my’ you may might jusy sneak you in to the honest zone.

     “My rhetorical tactics may be “shameful”, but they are based on (( an )) MY honest appraisal of the facts.”… 

    Read yourself Jack. You state straight up a “positive vision of a socialist society is essential ” and the proceed to white ant and “joke” and predict from then on. John Quiggin did PROVIDE A POSITIVE VERSION. Your negativity just didn’t notice.

    I especially appreciate your humilty ala “I have predicted …” … “the turing test”. Take it away Jack!

    jackstrocchi says:
    JANUARY 20, 2019 AT 11:52 AM

    a positive vision of a socialist society is essential.

    More seriously, I have strong doubts that a liberal form of socialism is at all possible, at least for humans as we know them.

     If you cant teach an old dog new tricks, well get a new one and euthanase the old one

    Young people are Leftier but also, on average, fatter, dumber and crazier than comparable cohorts from previous generations.

    One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

    These people have absolutely nothing in common with each other except aninstictive aversion to Judeo-Christian, straight, white, males with regular jobs.

    The CCP, which has managed the most successful statist corporation in human history (since 1978 a Compound Annual Rate of Growth in state finances of 13%+), knows all about what it takes to build a socialist team ethic … (( Sub Editor kt2 says Jack read todays paper. “An official reading around 6.4 per cent would probably be fine from a central planning point of view.”…”It would bring GDP growth in line with the official target for 2018. It would also equal the 2009 GFC low and could also be used to justify even more stimulus.”…”Given the remarkable stability (and questionable quality) of the data, the actual number is probably less important than the direction — most independent analysts believe the Chinese economy is heading downhill more rapidly than planned.” ))

    But pretty clearly he is a poorly trained bot with a mild case of OCD, focusing on my feeble attempts at humour. (( jack well trained at saying his rhetoric is a joke! This is a joke Jack.)) 

    My attack on Pr Q’s “socialiat utopia” is mainly on the grounds that his theory of political culture is miles off and likely to badly misread future partisan re-alignments. 

    Pr Q’s bitter denunciations of the L/NP are based on his disappointment that they have swung “tribal” rather than “cosmo”. 

    I have predicted 

    opposition to Judeo-Christian straight white males with regular jobs.

    By 2040 computers will have passed the Turing Test with flying colors.

    By 2050, the relentless progress of intelligent maxhines will mean there will be precious little paid employment for humans. Particularly in mundane white collar occupations in the service industry (buiness administration).  And that spells doom for any “socialist utopia” based on rosy projections from current Scandanavian trends.

    There wiĺl be no shortage of unemployed people needing shoulders to cry on.”””((( end jack)))

    To quote aoc quoting from watchman “your locked up with jq jack”. You think you are locking us up! Ha! A Joke. (( quote from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    To quote Alan Moore: “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.”

    Go Jack!

  5. jackstrochhi
    I really don’t see the problem you have with automation. You’re probably retired like I am. Do you have problems filling your day with things that interest you? I don’t imagine that you do. So if the full time paid working week was 5 or 10 hours because of automation, would that be a problem?

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