Prior to to the Industrial Revolution most people toiled away in various roles on the land. The calendar of festivals in most countries as well as much else in folk tradition originates from the harvests and the collective celebrations when the communities’ entwined, if unequal, hopes were satisfied with a successful crop and so survival through a winter – if infectious disease did not visit – was guaranteed.
This was the story for almost all of recorded history. The industrial revolution changed things fundamentally and in spite of how it is often perceived to be a completely different thing the computer age is merely an extension of what emerged in the Industrial Revolution and that was: an enhancement of human potential to manage their surroundings through machines.
There are 300 million people in the United States, they eat a lot, sure some of their foods are imported but more are exported. So how many people work in the essential food production, not marketing and retail but in actually making the food that is eaten, just… 1%. This is a pretty astounding fact 99% of people do not work in food creation.
Sometimes it is worthwhile just examining our surroundings and their rate of change, and rate of potential change without first having to ally ourselves to one politico-economic system or another.
There are comparable stories across our world of industry and indeed with developments such as IBM’s Watson https://youtu.be/L5QJs6byoaI
Or 3-D Printing homes, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k74rb7xl3aY that provide companies as currently constituted the means to develop major sources of revenue with very little need to provide large scale employment.
So, on one hand we are becoming more like magicians each day with our technologies enabling ever greater control of our environments, on the other we are locked in a single option only production method, the market economy. The benefits of the market economy and others will be discussed in OPEN in the next post, while keeping in mind the reality of unemployment that looks set to follow if things continue on as they are.