The Tectonic Shift: Unraveling the Socioeconomic Implications of Automation

Explore the profound implications on our society, economy, and traditional structures, as we delve into the potential shift from a centralized system to a more decentralized future.

The Tectonic Shift: Unraveling the Socioeconomic Implications of Automation
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The unfounded fear frequently spread about AI's potential destructive capabilities can seem rather overstated. Common narratives such as 'AI will bring about our doom' are often exaggerated. It's true that certain AI applications could pose risks, but it's similar to stating that a knife, while harmless in itself, can be a dangerous weapon—an observation that is hardly ground-breaking.

The more pressing concern, with potentially profound implications for society, revolves around the disruptive impact of AI on our economy and social structure. This paradigm shift, largely brought about by automation, may fundamentally alter the way we work and interact.

Disproportionately affected by this shift is the middle-class white-collar office workers. A good chunk of the tech, media, legal, accounting, finance & managerial jobs in general could be rendered obsolete as AI assumes these roles with greater efficiency.

Provided the right framework, AI has the potential to replace entire teams of developers, project managers, and architects. This isn't merely a distant hypothesis; it's an imminent reality supported by advances in AI technology and its expanding capabilities.

To envisage the implications of this shift, consider a hypothetical scenario based on the recent dismissals in Big Tech. The resulting impact was not confined to the tech hub; it sent shockwaves through the global financial system, with institutions such as Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse feeling the aftershocks.

Suppose 15% of middle-class workers are displaced due to AI automation. This group, often burdened with substantial home mortgages, might find themselves financially incapacitated. Consequently, banks might have to foreclose these properties—a predicament with no simple solution.

The ideal scenario would involve large real estate investment trusts (REITs) purchasing these properties and converting them into rental units. However, the prospective tenants who can afford the rent are the same individuals who have just been evicted from these properties.

So, what's the inevitable consequence of this scenario? If properties cannot be rented due to the economic incapacity of potential tenants, these homes risk remaining vacant. Meanwhile, families, many with children, could end up on the streets or in homeless shelters.

We don't need to speculate wildly to envision what could follow. Similar scenarios have unfolded in countries like Italy Spain, and many other countries. The outcome? An increase in squatting. Displaced families, prioritizing their children's safety, may choose to reoccupy their foreclosed homes.

The ripple effects continue as more families follow suit, overwhelming local law enforcement. Remember, each police officer is also a family member, a friend—tasked with evicting their loved ones from their homes. This untenable situation could lead to public unrest, dwindling tax revenues, and ultimately a total market collapse if it's allowed to spread.

The fallout from such a collapse could be the disintegration of the entire governmental structure in the west, one that is fundamentally interwoven with banking. As Ayn Rand said: "Without property rights, no other rights are possible."

While Universal Basic Income (UBI) might not present a comprehensive solution, it could serve as a vital buffer, allowing governments the necessary time to design and implement more sustainable systems. This is where policy discussions, like those surrounding 'The Great Reset', become crucial.

The notion of 'owning nothing and being happy' isn't emerging from a utopian societal advancement where wealth is equally shared. Instead, it's an attempt by those who have positioned themselves as Guardians of Society, as characterized in Plato's Republic, to maintain their supremacy.

I would like to digress for a moment to clarify a common misinterpretation about Plato's 'The Republic'. It is frequently presumed that Plato or Socrates proposed radical societal designs in this work. However, the reality is more nuanced. When Socrates was challenged by a skeptic of his time, he opted for a thought experiment illustrating an ostensibly perfect society.

He crafted each proposition on this ideal society with subtle imperfections, subtly revealing the folly of striving for a flawless social order. He underlined that any seemingly perfect society would inevitably deteriorate and be corrupted over time, as 'Gold People', the supposed guardians of society, would gradually be replaced by 'Silver' or 'Bronze People'.

This was intended to showcase that the society they inhabited, despite its shortcomings, was adequate and striving for perfection might lead to unexpected complications.

For those intrigued by this concept, I encourage you to delve into 'The Republic' - it's a stimulating read. Now, let us return to our central discussion.

This transformation needs to be executed by 2030. Failure isn't merely a threat to ordinary citizens but poses a significant risk to the very fabric of governments.

The image of societal collapse often portrayed to the public involves total chaos, anarchy, and rampant crime. Yet, in recent history, we've seen in Catalonia, Lybia and Syria, where governmental structures have crumbled, but life has found a way to continue. Despite the chaos, people have persisted in their work, and local forms of law and order have emerged to maintain a semblance of order.

Life, against all odds, invariably perseveres. This observation has become increasingly poignant in recent years with the advent of cryptocurrencies. In places like Venezuela, experiencing economic turmoil, the rise of this decentralized financial system has offered a glimmer of hope amidst traditional banking system failures.

The failure of traditional banking systems might have been catastrophic a couple of decades ago, but with the rise of cryptocurrencies, people could potentially transition to decentralized payment solutions—free from banks and taxation.

This transition raises questions about the future of public institutions and services. What happens to firefighters, doctors, police officers? It's conceivable that, much like in the days of the Wild West, these services would still be funded by the public, albeit at a more local, community level rather than by a centralized government.

Only time will uncover the true outcomes of these potential scenarios. As we navigate this uncertain terrain, our adaptability will be tested, but it may also prove to be our greatest asset.