FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE ABOLITION OF MONEY

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And so we’ve arrived at the self-service airport with its do-it-yourself check-in. It should be easy, for we’ve already been well trained: we’ve all learned how to manage the tactile-screen world that we are ever so deeply enveloped by. Doesn’t it make everything so easy now? We used to speak metaphorically about having the world at your fingertips, but now it is a literal fact.

Nevertheless, the self-servicing of services at the airport, has definitely complicated rather than eased the consumer’s experience of catching a flight. The host at the check-in counter has been theoretically obsolete, although he or she seems to be just as busy as ever, and, perhaps even more stressed. Stressed, yes, because those of us checking in are definitely more stressed. Now, we must do all the work, and if there is an error … if there can be an error in the perfect self-service world … then it is we who are to blame.

The companies that have implemented self-service check-in will argue that by doing so they can keep ticket-costs low, but how much of that idea can we really believe. What self-servicing does indicate is that technology can effectively replace most kinds of customer-contact labour. There are restaurants that have made waiters obsolete by introducing tablet-app menus: just press the items you want and wait for the signal to go and pick your food up from the counter. Robots have automized industry: almost anything can be obtained from Amazon.com and the human-factor involved in the process of delivery is practically null.

Of course, Amazon delivers books, and the books are not (yet) written by machines. Did we say “not”? Woops. Correction: they already are,[1] and for the pulp-fiction editorial world the temptation to pre-programme a book with all the ingredients they “know” the readers want will be much more appetising than the traditional procedure of accepting manuscripts from cantankerous authors, that must be tediously edited in order to come up with the publishers’ needs.

Technology is destined to replace human labour – that is really part of its purpose – but what is the end-result of this process of “alleviating” labour? Surely, the ultimate goal is a society in which services and production-orientated work no longer has to be endured by the human members of society themselves.

Nevertheless, civilisation is still not geared toward, or even particularly conscious of this end-result. While the technological revolution unfolds, the political and economic fabric of the nation-states and the global economy enveloping them, remains the same. This is probably because the profits engendered from the tech revolution are immense for the few empowered with the control of that revolution. Whilst huge harvests can be reaped and the bubbling unrest from the non-privileged classes below doesn’t burst into revolt, Wealth has no intention of letting society develop into the technologically revolutionised Utopia that it should be evolving toward. Why would it? The self-servicing implied the complete technological redrafting of society suggests an evolution towards the non-necessity of money, and unto the abolition of Wealth itself. Of course, Wealth understands this. Technological progress is inevitable, but carries within it the seeds of Wealth’s own annihilation. We are governed oligarchically now by the empowered wealthy classes, but in that government lies a subliminal fear of this paradox. Only the creation of a Dystopia for humanity will ensure the existence of Wealth after the complete technological redrawing of civilisation has taken place. For Wealth, the only way forward is toward Big Brother. For wealth, survival implies absolute control.

THE ALTERNATIVE

 

For the moment, the revolutionary idea of a complex society that can function without money, is a sublime, if Utopic, one. It transcends any faculty of the senses. The idea seems like nonsense, or we are awestruck by it. We just cannot perceive it properly. Money is not just a part of the status quo, it is a seemingly essential ingredient in our own being. But this is a misleading perception.

The shadows we see flickering on the wall in Plato’s cave, are the shadows of the monetary system. In the real light that illuminates the human condition, money is by no means an essential ingredient. Rather it is a transitory phase that has enabled the development of technology but which needs to be abandoned at some point if technology is ever allowed to fulfil itself in its final purpose.

But the revolution is happening, and the point of abandonment from the control over our lives that money engenders can now be seen. Our politics can now be geared towards the technological revolutions complete realisation as a Utopia – the only alternative is the Dystopia that we are currently being shoved towards.

[1] SEE THIS ARTICLE FROM SCIENCE ALERT, 2016: https://www.sciencealert.com/a-novel-written-by-ai-passes-the-first-round-in-a-japanese-literary-competition

POLITICS AS A DESIRE FOR NON-POWER

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The cry for Real Democracy demands a reappraisal of the voting systems that undemocratically favour two major parties, nearly always the centre right and centre left. liberal-democratic parties, who themselves ensure a continuation of the dominant capitalist-economy of the global world civilisation. Most Western-style democracies have cheating mechanisms which are designed, according to their supporters, to provide “strong” governments.

From a point of view of political comfort, the cheating mechanisms seem to be necessary for maintaining a desirable stability. We have seen in the last few years how the arrival of more radical parties into the governmental scenario (e.g.: in Greece, Spain and Italy) has done little to make any fundamental changes to the system. Anti-capitalist parties have been castrated by the global capitalist-economy. Because of this, the System falls into an impossible paradox in which winning power becomes political suicide for radical parties.

But what if the objectives of winning the elections were radically opposed to power itself: that instead of gaining power, the objective of the radicals is to create non-power? Can we imagine a political party with an anti-power ideology? Of course this sounds like anarchism, but let’s ask why anarchism is so scarcely seen in democracies? Why do we think we need power so much when, over and over again, we see how greedy and selfish it is?

The reason is that Power in our economics-driven society is inextricably tied to the flow of money. Power makes and distributes the wealth. It is an underlying belief in our society that without money we would die, and this means Power is related to survival, and only when Power threatens our survival, as it did in 18th century France or 20th century Russia and China, will major revolutions take place. That Power is inextricably aligned with Wealth is no secret, but when that alliance is seen as a threat by societies to our welfare and as an endangering force in our lives, it starts to be questioned, and the seeds of revolution begin to sprout.

However, a real revolution can only truly hope to succeed if it attacks the real source of the problem, which is the relationship between Power and Wealth, and which stems from the inextricable bond between Power and money. In other words, only by questioning monetarisation and envisaging societies in which money as we know it no longer has to play a part, will successful revolution or purposeful political change ever come about.

But for this to happen, political activists have to enter the political scene not with a thirst for power, but with a desire for non-power.