New era for civilisation

IT'S goodbye to all that we think we know. We see jobs disappearing from the less skilled and increasingly from the more skilled as robots and automation takes over. We see the trend towards political extremism.

If this continues, as it probably will, we will move into a world of even greater power at the top with increasing unrest among even more people who have no share in, nor any say in, their own future. People value themselves for their ability to bring home the bacon and defend their future family.

As my past 42 essays have pointed out, policymakers are in a state of denial, relying upon textbooks which are entirely wrong in some fundamental ways. The PEER REVIEWS have confirmed this.

Tyranny beckons

Unfortunately, even if that denial difficulty is overcome and the world’s economies boom, we are still not out of the mess. Unemployment will soon be growing again. We are thinking that it is about terrorism and internal political conflict. Politicians are thinking that they must put that down using the world’s vast resources, already in the hands of governments.

But what governments can do to put down extremist movements, the other, unemployed side can also do to governments and their people. It is just a matter of time. It can even go biological or nuclear. Governments will fall. Tyranny beckons.

Civilisation needs a new vision

We need a new vision of the future – a future that we can all enjoy. It may be a future in which almost all of the world’s means of production (robots) is owned by a few people. There will be almost unlimited green energy provided by automated robots which manufacture and maintain themselves.

How? Technology is already at the stage where whole factories are managed by six people. Intelligent robots are coming. Prostrate glands can already be surgically removed by computer controlled machinery. In the USA, 47% of all jobs are reportedly at risk from these developments including medical diagnosis.

It can be a world in which entertainment travel, and adventure is the way to pass the time. Game playing will allow men to impress the ladies, or not, depending upon how well they play. People will be entertainers and artists, and looking for ways to please others however they can.

As always, demand will exceed supply. People always want more. How will they share the goodies? Traditionally, people need money. Where from? No jobs, no money. No money, no demand. No demand, no way to fund the robots and the means of production. Fortunately there is a way.

Some people vote for governments to provide as much as possible out of taxes to keep everyone healthy and safe, while others want no taxes. Now we can have both. This is how:

We have all seen how nations can print their own money. About 97% of all money is electronic and is created electronically. A bank creates a deposit and lends it to a customer. When the money is repaid, it disappears and another person gets a loan. (Many people do not know this, and many textbooks assume that only deposits can be lent. But a quick Google search on how money is created by the banks will quickly correct that impression.)

It can just as easily be destroyed electronically. In future it will be created electronically and distributed by governments as spendable income, and everyone will get their regular share. The supply of goods and services comes into balance and people buy those goods and services which they want most, buying a home or a fast car included.

War or peace - it's up to us. (Artist: Chad Sibanda)

Melting money

The money ends up in the hands of the providers. Most of that goes to the super-super-super rich who own the means of production. The trick is that the money which they earn by the trillions of trillions will melt very fast. Electronically it will just melt as programmed.

They will only be able to buy what they can enjoy in a very short time before the money melts. We can even make a start in both directions right now – free money and melting money, as long as the total is controlled.

The super-rich will not be allowed to buy whole nations or take away the world’s most desirable land assets, leaving people with the crumbs. But their skills will be vitally important and they will be rewarded. The rest of us will be healthy.

If we are lucky and if politicians permit, because knowledge is power, we will all be educated. There will be power struggles, but work and doing each other favours for money will be largely voluntary. The difficult decisions will revolve around how to gain social power and influence.

On that side, nothing will ever change. But at least we can all enjoy the robots. They will offer remarkable pleasure.

* Edward Ingram is a leading thinker on the world stage of macro-economic design and has written a series of essays for Fin24.

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