Fully Automated Luxury Communism



good evening and welcome to a very special edition of tyskie Sauer it's been almost five years since Theron Bustani released his video explainer on YouTube fully automated luxury communism and since then it has become a rallying cry for hipster leftist worldwide today a very special day is the launch of the manifesto the book fully automated luxury communism by our mastani cofrin and viral media my colleague right here this evening well it's a real pleasure to be with you tonight Michael thank you for giving us your time on this on this very special day actually you know my first port of call was Michael Walker you know I said I made it very clear when we were planning the promotion for the book I said look whatever else we do we have to do Michael Walker tyskie sir every Tuesday don't miss eight pm navara me to YouTube how's the launch gone you have to live it really well I mean the thing is because you've obviously you'd like to say the ideas been in circulation for a long time so the sort of pre-law and a soft launch has been for a while lots of pre-orders and Amazon and so on I think at the moment it's like in maybe the Amazon's top 200 books which is good for the first day I Cerrone waterstones earlier Foyle's NYT article so it's going well I mean obviously time will tell but it's it's doing okay sick so today usual format we're gonna go through the book I want you to be explaining all of the concepts and then I'll do some challenges and then your questions so so let's go for it the order is in the book so you start off with you know capitalism is in crisis something that you've about a lot on nabarro media yeah but it's a compressed I think you named about five yep so tell us about capitalism's crises yeah and why it's only fully automated luxury communism that can resolve them yeah so the books composed of three parts fundamentally and like you say the first bit is about crisis and I call it the Great disorder and I say that we have the breakdown of our economic model starting in 2007-8 that was not a blip it was not a cyclic rut cyclical Christ as part of a secular crisis we can talk about it more in a second there's climate systems breakdown which consists of climate warming is one christ i talk about another is of course resource caste resource scarcity can refer to diminishing stocks of fresh drinking water with the melting places that kind of intersects with global warming quite significantly then you've got demographic aging which actually in the short to medium term for countries in the global North is probably the biggest challenge and then after that you've got a few other crises you could argue they're just one really one is automation underemployment and then an addendum to that it's a crisis of what I call the global unnecessary oats so because of change in automation the developmental trajectory of countries and the global South is fundamentally different to what it was 3040 years ago so when wages in West Germany Britain the USA were too high capital RIA relocated to China to war in Japan South Korea could the spatial fixed we know that happened now the premise really from liberal mainstream economics has been well when something similar happens in China they will have a growing service sector they will have more domestic led consumption prices for wages the price of wages domestic are too high for global manufacturers that will then relocate Indonesia Pakistan Nigeria Bangladesh etc and what automation means is that doesn't happen because rather than those jobs moving elsewhere like they did in the 70s there automated so rather than the spatial fix you get the technological fix now for countries like Indonesia Nigeria that's a bad bad story because Nigeria population could be 400 million in a couple of decades declining crop yields less drinking water all those things and then to compound all of that like I say a crisis of what I call a rising global unnecessary at people who can't really enter sort of global commodity chains in a way that we've anticipated was inevitable for the low south over the last several decades as populations rise and countries develop that's changing so you can argue it's three crises the climate change or climate systems break down demographic aging and the other one really automation developmental trajectory all five in the book I say five to add some precision now fundamentally what I'm saying here as well as of course the the economic paradigm that's mm 7/8 breakdown what I'm saying in the book is these are all existential crises to capitalism maybe because Kapil isms you know it's survived for two hundred years right people say it survived World War one to the Great Depression etc maybe it could survive one of these crises I would submit can't survive all of them and to offer the scope and scale of the crisis of the economic crisis in 2007 if anybody's watching this and saying well that's not true it's before 2007 us food stamps were used what about 20 million people that's federal assistance of people who need food in the u.s. it Peaks around 46 47 million I think in 2012-13 then the economy picks up a bit and it goes down to 40 million now in 2016 Trump was on the campaign trail saying how can Obama have done a good job where than 40 million people still use food stamps and for all the talk of fake news that was an entirely accurate number in the UK we have rising food bank use in the UK home ownership today is at its lowest level since 1985 in the US its lowest level since the mid 1960s real wages haven't gone anywhere for 10 years productivity in the UK more or less same where it was ten years ago all of those metrics are unprecedented and that's not even judging capitalism by the metrics left this should be judging it by rising living standards etc we're judging them by the metrics they want to be judged by and they're failing so those crises that panoply of crises I say is the basis for a great disorder in both the global north and the global south and it doesn't matter that much of this disorders coming along because the big fix is also coming along much bigger than the spatial fix or technological fix it is a new mode of production right so you talk about free free disruptions free great disruptions you're in the third the first one is the Agricultural Revolution the second one is the Industrial Revolution yeah what's this new transition yeah we're in right now Aaron so obviously it's a it's a it's a common place to period eyes history quite easily and people say well actually those periodization czar wrong and of course anybody who says that history fits into three neat periods yeah they're going to be contested but fundamentally human life doesn't change much for hundreds of thousands of years until about 12,000 years ago the Neolithic Revolution we had the emergence of agriculture domestication of animals we understand practically not we don't understand how it's working but we understand the practical applications of hereditary breeding breeding in and out certain characteristics for both crops and animals it's around this time that we develop wheat from three wild strains of grass we developed chickpeas we develop peas I think so basically a lot of the common crops we now think of as like they've always existed they haven't always existed right we begin to see shortly thereafter the emergence of surplus there's a good Marxist argument that says with the arrival of surplus therefore comes the arrival of society and you there you then have the arrival of politics because large social groups need to work out how they wish to distribute these resources which isn't the case with pre Neolithic contact and equality emerges right so we in a corner you get inequalities of power precisely and you get institutions you get coach you get society you get cities literacy numeracy you get slavery you get new suits or novel social configurations of humans and animals humans and humans and that goes all the way through for me until the second disruption which is really the mid 18th century now somebody might listen to that and go how the hell can you say that somebody living in Babylon is living in the same paradigm fundamentally as somebody living in the sixteenth century it's a good point because somebody might say well in the 11th 12th century you have a kind of energy revolution with water and windmills in Europe that's true you have the arrival of the printing press that's true the Reformation is a huge deal but if you think about Machiavelli writing in Florence in the early 16th century he's writing his discourses on Livy right how did Livy moved from A to B was the optimal way of moving around in 1st century AD Rome horseback what's it in 16th century Florence horseback if you want to cross the Seas what's the optimum way to do it wind power by you know the sailing ship same thing heating and light what's the optimal source of heating and light fire not much changes right the the drinking water of first century Rome was almost certainly better than what it was in in Florence and Machiavelli's day all the same so my argument is fundamentally you're in a similar paradigm right there's something pretty amazing changes around the mid 18th century the emergence of the steam engine we don't need to say what steam engine because it has precursors but that's clearly the game changer and the steam engine can joins to fossil fuels coal and new ideas of a society near social relations new ideas around political economy and over a period because clearly capitalism capitalism exists before the mid 18th century right cap ideas of production of profit in exchange exist before then but they all really come together the new technical process is the social relations the new energy paradigm and this creates a new form of society which I call the 2nd disruption and that means a rapid change so in the mid 19th century Jules Verne can talk about Phileas Fogg around the world in 80 days a generation early the same trip takes a year because of a really dramatic transformation and society Eric Hobsbawm talks about this really well in the age of capital and then we've got the third disruption so just as the prior two disruptions are based around sweeping changes in energy in society and social relations so for instance where's energy come from the first disruption it's increasingly coming from animals right travel in terms of agriculture you're using the organic labour of animals second disruption its fossil fuels you're using the condensed solar energy you have coal initially and you've got the steam engine producing this surplus and then for the third disruption which I say has really been unfolding for several decades you have another transition around what Jeremy Rifkin would call a technology energy matrix moving to renewable energies robotics artificial intelligence and just as the industrial evolution meant an ever greater abundance of mechanical labour that's indisputable you know try taking a steamboat around the world compared to rowing around the world one's a lot easier than the other what this means this third disruption means we have were moving to increased abundance for cognitive labor and that doesn't even necessitate the emergence of a general artificial intelligence just means that pretty much anything that repetitive can be automated generally speaking which in the literature is a you know a lot of people agree on that so the third disruption is about automation and labor it's about renewable energy and energy it's about the declining cost of information and what that means for food production for healthcare and so that's it so we have this big change in a technology can wick paradigm which isn't news been happening for a good thirty years you know the transistor is emerging the 50s or 60s the solar cell in late 50s but it's only now that they're really economically efficient enough to really go mainstream so I would say that a socialist project or even any social democratic point and any progressive project needs to be situated within that understanding that we're moving into a new technological economic energy paradigm so I mean the periodization I mean that's kind of Marxist right he had the same thing where you had sort of like pre pre feudal feudal and then the Industrial I think he had five right yeah that he did dd-do five he had a lot Oriental despotism classical antiquity yeah whatever yeah but the controversial bit in your argument yeah is that what many people in sociology would call the information economy or whatever you're saying is going to be characterized by extreme supplies we're going to have abundance in basically every realm of production yeah every different aspect of our life there's no longer gonna be any need for markets because we've got so much stuff we can't move for it would that be need for markets civil future there would be markets but I mean how so how the markets work how to markets allocate things generally under capitalism you produce things for a profit yep and the problem with extreme supply is it collapsed the prices of things permanently they get permanently cheaper and the example I give in the book is of entertainment industries with film and music at the turn and millennium and Larry Summers and Bradford belong to economists say capitalism only produces things where the price equals at a minimum marginal cost and if all of a sudden so if you're able to distribute something for zero under the capital production that's not gonna work so yeah and they say market competition can't work for this so we need to create an explicit you say there's my site in the book in 2001 we we explicitly need monopolies in false scarcity forms of rationing we don't know what the long-term solution is but in the short term that will do and my contention is that will increasingly have to apply to ever more parts of the economy in healthcare with synthetic biology and food we sell you know sell your agriculture in energy with renewables simply because these things become so abundant it becomes increasingly hard to to distribute them through a market-based system and the price mechanism and so that's I mean that's how you're related to Marx as well right so he's talking to communism is when you have the end of scarcity yeah and so you're looking at all these different realms of the economy we're gonna have post scarcity so let's talk about some of those because I think that's one of the areas of controversy in the book that you envision an economy where it's just as easy to make I suppose a new hamburger or to get to well or to get a lot of a cobalt from an asteroid as it is to create a new a new song on Spotify or to share it but not to make this song but to share this song yeah create a new copy of that song right let's you separate things right zero marginal cost says that the production of the song might cost X is quite a lot but the distribution is the free bit the scale is the marginal cost is it is that yeah so for instance I'll give an example in healthcare synthetic biology or even actually know with with food we can talk about cellular agriculture so say you're a grouch this idea of synthetic meat and so on how are they doing this or even if you're vegetarian synthetic milk how is this possible so you get a variant of yeast you genetically modify it so it can basically scale milk yeah you then feed it sugars you feed it energy ie solar energy warmth often and heat energy and you can literally you can scale milk you can grow milk now in a Kabbalist motor production that's a lot of milk that couldn't be if your mic gates must be really loving it if you produce a lot of milk that easily how can you capture all that value and so if you're going to apply the same thing they did with Napster the patent for the genetically modified yeast will be where the value is and so a catalyst enterprise will say wow you know what if you're you're if you're a venture capitalist you say look I'm gonna give 100 million to the startup and they'll say be what's dragons then right yeah they'll say do you have a patent for this yeah and the point is that's where the valleys going to come from it's going to come from the informational content and what Peter Drucker says in 1994 and post capless societies like a management guru and he's key gets lots of things wrong right but what he says is that information is increasingly becoming this the central factor of production not land not labor and for the last 20 years we've not really known what that meant like well you can't eat information but if you look at say your agriculture that's entirely right the value if you're somebody trying to make money of them in a market economy will come from the information it would come from the edited yeast that can all look a sudden scale the the milk or the impossible burger it's made with vegetable proteins it tastes like meat because they use heat they create this thing called heme which gives a meaty flavor the heme itself comes I think they produce the heme through again a genetically modified yeast and if you're investing in impossible that's because they've got a patent on that process so the future of capitalism given that abundance all of a sudden is about and they increase the increasingly central role of information and in production future capitalism is to isolate that information make sure that's where values coming from and constrain abundance so where else in the economy can we see this this kind of process already happening so I think everyone who's watching this can understand the idea that before we digitized music to create one extra copy of the album it would cost the price it would be to make a CD print the music on it put it in a Kasich cetera et cetera and now you can copy that album so that someone else can listen to it for free zero marginal cost yeah where else in the economy is zero marginal cost currently a reality so you could say Wikipedia is a good example of it so Wikipedia is and there are some examples of that and what I'm talking about so healthcare might be one right of literally zero marginal cost so you would somebody that has they have the Huntington's right or sickle cell anemia comes from a single errant nucleotide of DNA and if gene editing technologies do what we think they can do you would be able to edit that nucleotide and the disease goes and the point is all this all the subsequent copies of that person all their descendants don't have that so that does also apply potential to healthcare whereas exist today Wikipedia Wikipedia is non-excludable and it's non-rival Rus is an economic good and that's quite new historically the idea of a non-excludable non-rival is good a good examples air you can breathe all the air you want it's not stopping me from breathing air right Wikipedia will exclude all means you can't stop anyone consuming it without paying and nonrival means that someone pet someone consuming it doesn't mean there's any less of it for anyone else yeah yeah so for instance the use of a rentier system like Spotify is purely about excludability how come it profit through enforced exclusion and for scarcity Wikipedia is a non exclude or none rival was good and in many ways it builds on those same sort of tendencies of the decline of information to zero now that's not to say it's free because obviously people are putting an unpaid labor but if you think about how much value you get from Wikipedia I know I get a great deal of value for it how much you paid probably not that much so that's a great example of how when living at the moment in a transition where value increasingly isn't being captured through a price and there are forms of abundance out there that are being created which under market orthodoxy shouldn't be the incentive secreting Wikipedia don't exist if you're if you believe in what neoclassical economics says and yet it's there mm-hmm and so if we were to move to so I suppose if this if the state were to take Wikipedia seriously as a model those people do ultimately need to get paid right yet so I mean you'd have some sort of foundation that recognizes that this is doing something of public value and then potentially pays people for editing Wikipedia I mean cuz at the moment anyone who edits Wikipedia it's also relying on on a job in the labor market in the capitalist system to feed them yeah I mean that's the I would say the so I don't say we need a wiki state or something like that right which is what Paul Mason would say in post capitalism because I think those kinds of enterprises you're absolutely right they subsist off a measure of social democracy and I thought this is the first time when I was in Denmark in Copenhagen like 2014 maybe and you had all these food co-ops and communes and there was loads of production going on outside the wage relation there was loads of production going outside of catalyst relations why had free time there was a social surplus that was being generated by social democracy and there's a similar thing with WikiLeaks right wiki it's Wikipedia which leads to with Wikipedia you can't create that kind of thing with your spare time with surplus labor with watch Clay Shirky calls a cognitive surplus unless people you know if people are working 15 hours in a you know in a factory they can't it can't create that kind of stuff but that's not what I'm proposing we do I'm merely saying that clearly already around us we're seeing emerging forms of production at odds with conventional accounts of how humans are meant to behave economically yeah so that's the more and more parts of the economy are going to be characterized by zero marginal cost that means the price mechanism is gonna break down in that area and you're going to end up with with a free product ultimately office wise abundant or like I say if you're a capitalist you have to make things excludable right so if you if you let's say you're Jimmy Jimmy Wales 20 years ago on every source Wikipedia and you say oh I want to make this thing but we're gonna need ten million dollars to start it suddenly my said that's great let's make it you know a paywall or you need some membership thing we're just like Facebook we've shed loads of ads right two dollars a year well precisely yeah so or both and so that's all to me that's the response and you see this already in in gene-editing I've talked about Genoud saying CRISPR casts nine 2017 it's in the book like an example of a guy who's a bio hacker and a dog breeder he breeds donations he contacts the US FDA he says I want to change the genome of my Dalmatian so don't get gout can I do this doesn't hear back a few weeks later the FDA does a press release we're treating edited DNA like patented pharmaceutical drug and that's basically what we need to be vigilant about so it's perfectly possible that despite the abundance created by synthetic biology for the sort of the capitalist social relations intervene and they say well actually we're going to treat this like a paints the drugs and it for us that seems strange well why would you do that but I mean that's the world we already inhabit right about is how drugs work right because they have a very low marginal cost exactly they have very high price because someone's got a legal patent on it so you're saying more and more the economy will function just like that well there's very little labor going into the product is very little cost into other marginal product yeah but the money is going back to whichever capitis was lucky enough by the information or smart enough I suppose to about the impatient is yes about the information it's not about the labor it's not about the land it's about the information so look at say their agriculture study out by Oxford and Amsterdam in 2011 estimates that you know moving to synthetic beef and so on you would see I think in 96 you can google is online basically like between nineteen ninety nine percent reduction in greenhouse gases land labor or water etc so that's a really great example of how information becomes an increasingly central factor reduction in agricultural Wilson you don't need masses of land to make beef right what you need you need that modified whatever it is I think it's generally a yeast to grow various products you would need some modified biological organism but which to scale these things up along with some sugar and some heat energy let's do the luxury bit right I think you you touched on it there with you with your fake meat but so one of the criticisms sort of like your book receives especially from sort like green people online is the idea that you're not telling people they need to consume less ever basically and to get to this point where people can have total luxury mmm-hmm you you need some fixes which to an observer who hasn't yet read your book and seeing all the all the arguments laid out might be outlandish so for example if we are going to be able to consume as much as we want with no limit mmm you think on the one hand that's going to be sorted by start of energy on the other is gonna be sorted by lab-grown meat because obviously me at the moment takes up way too much resources it's also going to involve asteroid mining so can you tell me about that so okay look there's a few things here so first of all we can more than meet the world's needs from the Sun right so global energy demand today is met by solar potential hitting our planet every 90 minutes okay let's say it doubles in the next 35 years which is estimated to do 180 minutes right that's plausible the point is because of climate systems breakdown we need to accelerate that massively right you don't need to be a fully automated lecture communist to think that secondly with the the cellular agriculture stuff people say well look we've already consuming one point six times the Earth's resources and we're gonna have more people and I've seen David that's my make this argument it means we have too many people well actually if we innovate like I'm saying or regards to sell your agriculture and so on we can more than have more than enough to feed people three thousand calories per person more than Earth so you can imagine relative post guess you'll say everything they want clearly we don't want people to eat everything they want we want people to but no one has to change their lifestyle basically everyone can live as a as the most gluttonous person right now lives people theoretically could all live yes I think the average u.s. citizen consumes like 4,000 calories isn't that right you basically yes basically every week of the lifestyle of a wealthy person in the United States today on that on that basis although I wouldn't that's not what I proposed in the book I talk about the emergence of new forms of social consciousness and social they might not want to but they just do it there we don't want people driving around like that I would suggest let's have universal basic services which are forms of communal luxury like buses and trains etc but that we can go into that in a second but we could we could do that but you're absolutely right in terms the asteroid mining stuff because then people say well I can see post scarcity and energy I can see post scarcity and labor but clearly you can't get post scarcity in land that's fair enough we're not going to magically create more land although the economists talked about fully automated luxury communism recent in said well once we start colonizing space its post scarcity in language I've come it's correct it's kind of matter it presumably the guy read my book well that is similar to you right except instead of landis resources yeah so if you look at sarah's is the biggest asteroid and they're in the nea near-earth asteroids it's a planetoid I mean it has quadrillions of tons of iron one estimate says all the resources out in a sort of an amongst near-earth asteroids all the resources there if they were equally divided amongst each person on earth will be worth 200 billion u.s. dollars probably more again it's all sourced in the book goldman sachs did one study saying that an asteroid the size of a football pitch u.s. football pitch could have as much as 1.5 times known planetary reserves of platinum so what i want to say i'm that technology isn't going to come around in the next 10 years right let's fit that we agree on that but what's happening is companies so luxembourg has already set at the legal Romar asteroid mining companies are looking into the technologies to basically land on asteroid and engage it finders keepers so which is to say it would be these asteroids or the this wealth would be subject to private property relations it doesn't matter if they can get it in 50 years or 500 years the point is a tiny elite would benefit and it won't be 500 years because a Hayabusa which is a Japanese lambda this has already happened Hayabusa was sent to a an asteroid it landed and it's come back with deposits from an asteroids this is we've already got the technology to do this the question is scale it sent another one recently the Hayabusa to do the exact same thing would you like to know which country is sending a lander to Sara's the most potentially abundant asteroid of all is it US China China China so clearly prepare enough that no bigger population to share out they put people are engaging with these issues right and so I think it would be remiss of the left to just sell this isn't a thing it's clearly a thing people are creating a framework of private property relations there are active discussions amongst business saying about what should we have it should be Finders Keepers a u.s. senior u.s. press officer common which will maybe it was NASA may have been somewhere else earlier this year said that space is not a global Commons right because right now the Outer Space Treaty kind of says it is Outer Space Treaty of 1967 I believe kind of says it is so there's some kind of legal ambiguity around could you mine in space so you know the left needs to be at those races and I think ultimately it will happen the question is when well what we know for sure is in the next 10 to 20 years the the rights of access and property ownership will certainly be will certainly be laid down I think or I'm going to ask you about political agency in a moment but first of all you're watching tyskie Sauer as you know as I tell you every week this is only possible because of your kind donations so if you were already a subscriber of subscriber to Navaro media thank you very much if not please go to support Navarra media.com and donate the equivalent of one hour's wage a month as ever please like this video please share it on Twitter and Facebook keep your comments coming and make sure you are subscribed to the Navara media YouTube channel it means get updates whenever we go live which is particularly useful for emergency shows of which there will presumably more be more coming up as I mean we do to have a new Prime Minister aren't we I wanna talk about how we get there all right hmm so I mean you've got a vision we're fully automated luxury communism for the first time ever is possible right and that's because we can have basically abundance in all these areas of life society is no longer characterized by scarcity as it has been for all of history beforehand well I'm actually since since the United Revolution 12,000 years ago well there was scarcity before that right but I would say the dialect dialectically eat the actual mental conception of scarcity exist with surplus oh because there wasn't any conflict over it just sometimes if you can find food for six months your community would die yeah I think that how much money you even see this with like so the axial religions Christianity Judaism Islam the idea of heaven is effectively spontaneous abundance if you look at the poetry of Hesiod Homer Hesiod in days and works talks about the golden days when again it's about spontaneous abundance he talks about loaves of bread fighting amongst each other to put themselves in your mouth fish that grill themselves and put themselves on your plate and I would say that is that idea of post scarcity is only possible once you effectively move into a society which is in the hunter gatherer society interest you can conceive of post scarcity only once you have a surplus once you have a surplus because then I suppose that's well that's is that when you only get the consciousness that you can have more yeah anyway how do we get to fully automate luxury communism so for me it correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like there's there's two fundamentally different futures that are possible in in this story so so one is that you have capitalist you've managed to retain power and they've worked out the only way they can continue making profits is by patenting all of this information which is the basis of the economy yeah they can produce basically as much as they want but presumably they'll limit production to some degree to keep prices high yeah and everyone will be renting all of the or not renting but everyone will be buying all the all the necessities of life from people who've paid to the information the other one is that the information is held in common and that means luxury consumption for all so how do we get to the second one luxury consumption for all instead of the first one which is sort like a rentier economy based on information hoarding rich people fundamentally yes a pizza Fraser who I think you've spoken to before James did James did so Pizza Frazee basically talks about this really well in his poor futures book and he has two axes right a right wing axis or socially progressive just axis and a socially regressive access and he has abundance and scarcity so you have a socialist project under conditions of scarcity right perfectly possible when you change people's relationships the means of production but you have scarcity you can have a socialist according to him project on the conditions of post scarcity which should be fully automated luxury communism I think even took some I think you may even use those words in that sequence you can have a regressive project under conditions of abundance which he calls rent ISM which is what you're just outline here or a regressive project under conditions of scarce ISM which I think he calls something like what is he it basically it becomes like a death cult it becomes something like The Handmaid's Tale right and and so I would say clear the goal is a post-scarcity society which is politically just socially just and the means by which we get there is what you might call class will social democracy yep and we can talk about why it's just not conventional social democracy and effectively that is about ensuring that technology and roles in a certain certain fashion that it hears a certain mental conception social relations relations to nature not capitalist ones and that gradually this social surplus is divided up by the whole of society rather than tiny elite and so I talk about universal basic services I talk about municipal socialism and I talk about national investment banks to basically finance all of this yeah and even for a social democrat what i'd want to say is you need to understand the arguments around extreme supply and i say look this I think this could lead or I think it will lead to a new mode of production the question is when a society beyond work and scarcity but what this means even for you is a social democrat in the here and now you might be a Corbin or Bernie Sanders supporter house it's relevant to me well it basically means that universal basic services are more easy to implement with each passing year so if you look at the inputs to a free Universal bus system ups free free buses for everyone all the time what am cost inputs if you want to produce the bus the chassis the wheels etc the costs are going down all the time 3d printing first stage rockets is happening right relativity space rocket labs you can go on YouTube put in relativity space 3d printing you'll see some the biggest three prints in the world hmm so the cost of producing the buses are going down because of declining cost of renewable energy the cost of the energy are going down because of increased use of big data the cost of resource allocation are going down because of automation the cost of labor are going down and we obviously have to be a democratic debate about do we want humans to be driving I think at a certain point it will be safer for nonhumans to be driving hmm so right now 30,000 people die every year in the US because of road accidents if automated driverless cars means 15,000 all of a sudden that's a question for the moral philosophers isn't it you know if you have a relative loved one if your wife dies your husband dies in 2035 and they're killed by a human being I imagine you me quite pissed on this is why I'm we automates them how the hell could we still be letting humans drive these you know half-ton pieces of metal right which is a good argument so all the inputs to universal basic service are free buses a falling year-on-year so even for a Social Democrat that means you have a rejoinder the argument says we can't afford this because extreme supply means actually we can afford it more and more all the time the only thing stopping it is capitalism so in what ways capita so this is I think that's an interesting point because for me one of the things I feel when reading about that the political projects is that many of the proposals are fundamentally social democratic the UBS universal basic services the Preston models for the pres final chapters localism in in councils yeah many things at a part of Corbin ISM plus plus you know well never clear when 0 yeah left Corbin ISM with a few extra ideas and that the autumn a communism part or the luxury communism part seems to be to me a kind of like well we'll wait and see maybe that will have yeah because in the here-and-now if you can adjusted my free bus free buses for all yeah if you say if they are ask you about the cost and you say oh well don't worry about it in the future you're gonna have we're gonna know it's buses be over here renewable so we hate price parity electric vehicles are hitting price parity news country in the early 2020 so it's already happening the question is so that energy being cheaper year-on-year so we want map to go to the dividends of shareholders or outsource bus companies or do we want it to mean we have free buses that's that's going that is happening it so that's about ownership as opposed to the services right so so I suppose if you're saying what's the point what's the advantage I suppose of knowing this now so if one of the things you're doing is kind of futurology in a way so sort of like I don't in this female in the coming decade well because the central chapters of the book I mean that's I made a really sincere effort for it not to be future use I'm talking I don't mean that in a negative manner but I just think you're looking at how the future how in the future technology is gonna develop but it's already it's already it's already here it's just not evenly distributed in many ways right so well we don't yet have the capacity to automate all the butterflies and David issue with the for instance with the gene editing stuff and in regards to you know we already have it we obviously need regulation and we need peer-review research etc but that technology's already here yeah PV cells have been here for 40 years I think my own batteries have been here for decades so we're not I'm not saying there's one technology which may come the technologies generally speaking already here Moore's all has been happening for 55 years or whatever you know say you're a culture you can already get a synthetic Hamburg for about a hundred dollars the first one costs three hundred twenty five thousand dollars in 2011 so the technologies are here so I don't know if it's futurology I'm just so do we need to speed it up then you want us to speed it up for renewables you absolutely needs of course because you want a green new jail and speeding up means the price drops further still and then you create that you create that tipping point much more quickly and so should we socialize it now or should because I suppose there's a there's also a sort of two things going on in your book right which is one is that capitalism has actually been incredibly good at driving these innovations forward it's capitalism that got us to this point I would say that's not true but yeah you would say that's not true no that's not true okay go on I think it's a real it's a real ideological claim and said the captain's got us here so if you look at rocket now first rocket to go into space 1944 not many people know this it was a v2 modified v2 past the common line 1944 the the majority of the u.s. space program the post-war period was basically the v2 rocket Wernher von Braun works on the Saturn 5 the backbone of the Apollo missions 1944 to 2008 anything that gets past the common line I space in space is booked by nation states the first private business failed to do that at the fourth attempt with SpaceX in 2008 right 50 years after the Soviets 50 years dudes about how backward the Soviets were yeah oh they couldn't even put bread in their supermarkets well in that particular technology there were 50 years ahead of any private enterprise now the point is now space is beginning to become profitable good space-based internet potential resource extraction etc and it's the exact same story we see with the banks in the crisis right you socialize the risk you socialize the losses you privatize the gains which is precisely what's happening for instance around space so your question about but lost the innovation the innovation coming from capitalism it's not going on Kapil isn't half of it I mean I'm an example give me a technology that was developed by market forces well not much of it was to develop by market forces alone right but it's within the context the mode of production is capitalism that we live in right and then your taxes are them finding the research yeah you need you need a state who can fund yes primary research which will then be developed into a consumer product yeah usually by pricing firms so look at that look at the iPhone for example we know that many of the technologies that went into it we're from a state they sort of partnered up some extent with businesses who made it into a consumable product yeah that's a social democratic argument right so that's to say it was mixed market economies with capitalists firms and entrepreneurial states to use the words none of it none of the technologies jet engine the internet touchscreens lithium-ion batteries solar cells whatever you the material science that goes into in terms none of that has been developed by capitalism capitalism develops things for profit rightful returns now we've had a mode of CAP we've had a certain genre of capitalism which by the way the elite trying to get rid of which you're absolutely right basically it said the profits the private sector will pay for amongst other things we R&D in sector and that will drive innovation the capitalist class of today no longer even want that no true that's an anti neoliberal oh yeah but the idea that it's been it's been capped ISM that's created those innovations that was what you initially said I was says that's the idea that we can't have innovation without capitalism it's patently incorrect what so for example say for example as a for experiment you're saying about myself creating mescal is a major stage the crating mass consumer technology off the back of it we don't have a counterfactual to say well we don't we haven't lived in a post-capitalist society well that's what's going to give you the counterfactual right because I I assumed reading the book that you didn't think we should have had a communist revolution abolishing capitalism in 1917 everywhere because then we wouldn't have had this development of the productive forces we don't know you might thought you cannot you can envisage a successful revolution in 1919 in Germany very technologically advanced country I mean Soviet Union's a difficult one because of course it was technologically backward etc a huge country very under very weak national institutions so let's say the the revolution in Germany works in 1919 the Vimal Republic never happens but the social mores the progressive attitudes are all there in a socialist republic the technologies that form you know inform the the Nazi project the wound of a firm they've they created towards the end of the Second World War jet engines etc all that technological process of e2 goes into a socialist a socialist project and it's perfectly possible that that socialist country were had the highest standard of living in the world would have been moving towards all that and it's the first to develop photovoltaic energy it's the photovoltaic cells rather it's the first to develop the the transistor the microprocessor the lithium oh that's perfectly possible we don't have that alternative what we do know is to return to your original point the profit mechanism has not created a single important innovation for 50 years was a lot of stuff you talk about photovoltaic yeah was it panels so these are the solar solar panels yes hasn't it yeah they got made pretty cheap through a competition there we're competition in the market so what what normally happens is you get in a university or adjacent to a university you get some state-funded innovation which is a sort of fundamental primary innovation which then gets developed by firms into goods which is why I mean Silicon Valley creates some of the most sort of like okay saying lots of different things here that's why Silicon Valley welcome back to Silicon Valley operates within a capitalist that's one oligopoly I mean less so what you're saying about like there's stuff created by often we agree state agencies right it could be Russians in the 50s it could be bail bail systems in the US whatever and then you're saying it gets cheaper because of competition yeah I would say gets Chief because of the experience curve which I talked about in the book which is the every January speaking for the doubling of production from manufactured good the price of it falls by ten to twenty percent now the experiment and the reasons why are pretty obvious and anybody who's worked in a job knows that right you your first send the job if you're making cups of coffee you're really about it making cups of coffee and then over time you become more efficient at it that's just one reason to the experience curve you know workers learn how to become more efficient now you could say competition I would just say it's the experience curve it's perfectly possible that you would have a socialized financial system which finances worker owned and cooperatively and businesses to do the exact same thing and the experience curve plays out in the exact same way you know so I think again competition there is pretty an ideological claim because we mean as a mechanism that makes sense isn't it look like the mechanism of competition which means that people have to reduce costs I mean if you look we have one example of a communist state and they didn't make particular component make particular compressed mean they probably were producing I mean no we know for instill making increasingly competitive steel for instance in nineteen fifties and sixties deal that's our point primary good yes that's not very good at consumer goods yeah he politely wanted so the my rejoinder would be as information became an increasingly central factor of production the USSR didn't adapt no so whilst the US was investing in the internet and in transistors etc the USS I was like let's make more more tractors yeah but I mean that's just a question of where do you want to allocate resources and we don't get stuck in a debate about the USSR because I think it failed for a number of reasons I don't think it's just because of the politics I think it was the most by far the most backwards European country in 1917 it has a four year civil war between 1917 1921 it has what was a very marginal political party takeover had 5,000 members in march 1917 leads to a highly undemocratic form of government before the bloody civil war kicks in you then have of course Stalinism you have a huge nation you're trying to build all at the same time so you have the Second World War obviously kills tens of millions of people and you know I I just think it's so it's a move you know weak why can't we talk about social democracy in Sweden and talk about the potential where the Meitner plan what might have led you know that's more in keeping with the hypotheses of this book it's not communism though is it well that's why people don't call it comedy and they call it socialism right so that's two things social moxie over the 20th century what was its basis let you say capitalist growth right so if we're now saying that the era of easy growth has got wasn't just capita growth it wasn't just a fund innovation it was working in combination with stage it was new because that element of the basis independence from the state and a degree of competition about helpful basis those goods that people wanted to buy the basis of social democracy is gone the basic thing we need to improve in fully automated luxury communism is the internet because I can't see anyone's comment because I'm not connected to the Internet for so much oh great so I'm gonna I'm gonna tether so my answer is social mock receipt or the argument about social mock Racine's we're thinkin Iran s turi the history books tell us there are four 1970s there were two alternatives for the left one was something like the minder plan something about increasingly subordinating markets to socialize production or something like what Tony Blair does right which is basically we'll make a compact with business it means that the economy has to grow by 2/3 percent and that growth will mean easy credit because you can keep on expanding credit because people can pay the loans because the way to keep on going up is a virtuous cycle and that the high taxes from that will pay for improved public services right that's one aspect of social democracy now why am I saying fully automated luxury communism not fully automated luxury socialism because I'm saying the long-term trajectory of these technologies particularly automation artificial intelligence means that two fundamental features of capitalism or even socialism decline what are they coal Markson captive william 3 says that even socialism is still in the realm of necessity there's to say you still have work you still have scarcity so it's like capitalism what have you changed you've changed the social relations the relationship the means to production that's what changes between capitalism and socialism working working people now own the means of production Danny Finkelstein in a review of the book said you know socialists haven't been able to answer the question under socialism or communism who makes the twix well I'm the socialism I can tell you you find pretty obvious answer you finance to take over of the business so the workers who make the Twix chocolate bars still make the Twix chocolate bars what's change is the relationship to production and ownership right that's socialism Marx says still in capital volume three communism however is an escape into the realm of freedom so it's society beyond scarcity beyond work we're mental and physical work we're cognitive and physical work blend into one another well there's no real distinction between work and play and he gives that great line about being a literary critic a fisherman etc all in the same day right and human beings can investigate their species being because it's communism right you know there's no there's no real division of labor not much of that and it's a similar argument in John Maynard Keynes which I quote in the book the letter on the economic possibilities of our grandchildren I see a hundred years from now yada-yada-yada will need to work a 10-hour week or whatever now the core features of capitalism or socialism that can't exist in communism are they selling your labor for a wage wage labor and production for profit or exchange and I think the long-term trends of the things I'm talking about ultimately will lead to a new mode of production and the handmaid to that is socialism clearly so I'm giving quite an identikit socialist argument about changing our relationship to the means of production and gradually moving to a new mode of production some Latin you an argument but that should be our our horizon I know you don't like that word horizons often means you can just say quite nebulous thing but I'm talking in very specific terms communism means you don't have production for profit communism means you don't sell your labor for a wage with the emergence of general artificial intelligence robotics etc ultimately I think that's a place where almost certain to end up the question is who benefits so what does I mean some of that was quite abstract so I know and I know mark says we're not supposed to do cook shops for the future but what do you think I mean to hazard a guess or to you what what do you want it to look like what does life look like under fully automated luxury communism yes so the book people have said well you know oh we people be consuming like they presently do right which obviously under socialism we wouldn't and we can imagine what that would look like so I talked about the EBS you know Elon Musk recently did this crazy thing right people pre saw this on Twitter the boring company his new venture what did he do he created an underground paved road the London Underground $152 and that shows what's an outgrowth of Elon Musk's psyche is that he can know even with the most powerful technologies on earth he can only imagine really basically the same stuff a similar example Nico Rosberg was in Dubai Formula One driver former for me wander over and they're developing all that they they already have them these air taxis drones right how these drones happening because of like I say the declining cross a cost of lithium-ion batteries stuff which even five years ago is like wacky is like perfectly it's actually here now so I would say in a short term I'm associate project says this is crazy we don't want boobers for the ultra-rich which are flying in the sky let's use the exact same technology cheap lithium-ion batteries etc etc to create a free zero carbon curious public transport infrastructure right so we can imagine what that looks like yeah the next 10 20 30 years however you're talking about communism you're not talking about the socialist bit and this book is about the technological economic base so Marx talks about the base and he talks about the superstructure right and he says that the superstructure mental conceptions ideas of self relations to nature emerge from the base and this book when it talks about communism is only talking about the base I have no idea how a human would want to live their life under the conditions I'm talking about I can only see a trajectory built off the continuation of present tendencies particular on AI and machine learning etc so I don't want to offer that that work needs to be done you probably do want to think about the moral philosophy of post work and machine control etc absolutely but this book isn't making those claims I'm not offering you know a lifestyle guide for that for the new person yeah but you're also not offerings of like a different model of governance and politics right so I suppose one one reason why people are becoming is rightly suspicious of communism or opposed it in the 20th century was because it hadn't well an ambivalence or an animosity to liberal democracy it only engaged with it in an instrumental manner because potentially you could mobilize within Parliament's and in general actions to try and win people over to communism it wasn't because you saw them as inherently legitimate and valuable so I don't know how you you know as a proponent of fully automated luxury communism what's your approach to liberal institutions I think it's well-documented isn't it I mean the word communism has different meaning in each place so the Italian Communist Party the PCI it was very much a party of the establishment by the late 1970s clearly communism in Italy if you took the average Italian older Italian it's going to be something quite different to what it would mean in the former Soviet Union and what we often forget is that communists in germy in Italy were the basis of democracy post-war so post-war social democracy right so because the legacy of communism was Stalin etc well that's one part of it another legacy is the democratic institutions of post-war Germany and post-war Italy and France right the partisan movements were basically communist movements not basically they were members of communist parties and I think that's often sort of forgotten as one of the legacies of European communism is post fascist democracy in really important countries so in terms of my relationship to liberal institutions I would say we need to fight for the program I outline and with UBS with the press and model municipal socialism with socializing finance to help transition the economy to something else now in the responses to the book Danny Finkelstein he makes that question right he says you don't talk about 1917 or you know the failures of communism I'm talking about climate change demographic aging or climate systems breakdown demographic aging automation global unnecessary what are we going to do right and I think from a purely pragmatic point of view I don't see how somebody can want to maintain a market orthodoxy so then the debate goes between like you say premier left social democrat and a social a radical socialist who wants to create another form of social system I'm perfectly happy to have that debate and you have to have that debate nobody has all the answers but the idea that you can somehow maintain the status quo economically and address these issues it's not happening I mean no one no well no one probably watching this wants to maintain the status quo well but love do you maintain liberal institutions and mixed market economy and utilize the information age to make sort of as public owner would you explain what you mean about makes market economy well we're still gonna have barbers we're still mine earth will still robably have you're confusing markets and capitalism you can have you can have so you can have socialist markets Oh what what if you socialized finance yeah so you that's them that's the puffs to plus the argument the Preston models but but most people call that market socialism as opposed I mean the press tomorrow isn't communism so the Preston model is is a form of market socialism potentially potentially could be yeah yeah so I'm all in favor of market socialism I'm banging so you have the barbers they just owned by the workers and they financed their growth of the business through socialized finance market socialism yes gas city there wasn't just an abundance of have you sexes everybody oh you're talking doesn't we just said you know mixed market economy that's that is a mixed market economy what we if some goods and services provided by publicly owned institutions university a sixer versus yeah I would say really a human rights right and other things are almost certainly provided by work run business it's at a mixed market economy it's a mixed mixed market economy historically means publicly owned privately owned well that is but the Barbara's it's privately owned I'm presumably I think you potentially have some businesses which are privately owned in quite large right so you'd have a variety of cooperatives some private ownership and I think yes socialized finance go for it but but I mean but the public-private distinction generally is generally talking about production for profit and production for social value and that's so I think many people but people can still produce for profit in a world with socialized finance who say class the whole point cuz you still got the profit mode which is like why the people who are in favor of market socialism fort you'd have the same innovation that you've got in in capitalist societies but you could have it in a market socialist society which to which no one really called communism right because you still have we've never now we have I mean it would be a bit idiosyncratic to call that communism right but in the I'm sorry I never say that's communism I say that's the transitional stage with the UBS with the Preston model etc and like I say the communism is coming from looking at where does AI machine learning etc end up it attenuates say fundamentally let's define capitalism here some people think capitalism is existed since time immemorial like a fundamental it's in the DNA of human beings it's a socially contingent system has a beginning has an end it began more or less in the early 19th century but its production for profit it's selling your we're a laborer for a wage and the feudalism you don't sell your labor for a wage you have a feudal lord you have to work for him until you die you're effectively as property that those social relations abided in Russia to the 1850s right so what I'm saying is just as those forms of social relation were very determinate and historically contingent they dissolved if we look at some of the things in the future that I talked about in the book they will dissolve as well and the path to that is a form of in your own words mark I think is in the book even classical social democracy classical democratic socialist project final question for me and I'm gonna go to the audience so I mean your the book the middle bit I mean the whole books great I really enjoyed it you should definitely buy it you definitely read it is laying out how in all these different spheres we can achieve abundance so how we can have extreme supply in food extreme supply and energy extreme supply and labor extreme supply and resources etc etc now I don't want to go into the nitty-gritty of of whether each of these arguments is persuasive on its own terms I just want to say hypothetically what if one of these fails so so you've laid out the idea that we could have for example having resources is the most likely to fail right so you've laid out how potentially we could have unlimited resources by mining asteroids but if it turns out that lots of these technologies which you've talked about ultimately fail I mean we know they've been many projects in the past which seem at the brink of fruition but then go nowhere yeah so say asteroid mining goes nowhere and we end up in a situation where we don't have post scarcity in resource what impact does that have on your overall argument so two things so I think one if we if we were to have very high levels of artificial intelligence and automation and very high levels of efficiency with regards to renewables after wood mining is an outgrowth of that so I think the second you can have basically machine which can imitate what a human does the second you can have energy efficiency from renewables that can travel around the solar system asteroid mining kind of becomes inevitable right basically once those two things on so I look at mall as kind of interlinked however let's just presume it doesn't because you're quite right to say renewables seems almost certain just not quickly enough we can look at the sort of revolution in robotics machine learning etc synthetic biology so that's all seems to be happening so let's say at remaining can't happen if we transition to renewable energies I think and we double global energy consumption we just about have enough lithium to use renewables for all of global energy however we would have to constantly recycle all known global lithium reserves right and that may happen but we know from the sort of history tells us that we'll be far more likely as resource wars over lithium right that's far more likely what I would say is that you're under estimating in that account the increasingly central role of information so I'll give you a I'll give you an analogy in the first century AD there's a great anecdote Homer which Roman historian talks about this of a silversmith he gives a plate to a king it looks like silver and he gives it to the king it's incredibly light and the King can't believe how light it is and he beheads the guy and it turns out aluminium right but we didn't really this is before one diamonds produced similar story the the King of Siam is given aluminium place by I think Napoleon the third Michael I'm looking at questions now about let's think the answer I don't know oh right sorry you I wasn't listen to the answer because I was collecting questions at this point you were USB so he's giving me so aluminium was a very precious metal until the mid 19th century then all of a sudden we work at new process by the way bauxite is the third most abundant material on earth and you make Cal iminium from today aluminium goes into that Canyon carrying that was once put on a very precious metal and I would say the increasingly central role for information means that the success of technologies the things like PV cells which will happen right it's the idea that PV cells at the end of the story photovoltaic cells the end of the story they only convert about 30 percent of the energy to electricity right it's perfectly not even possible very likely will produce things far more efficient than that and forms of storage far more efficient than lithium-ion batteries I don't want to get into the thing of what I can't guarantee that can i but if we look at the story of the last several hundred years I mean it seems almost certain prints if you can LED an LED I think is five hundred thousand times more energy efficient per lumen than like just fire so that level of efficiencies is kind of amazing and the question is how far it goes so even if we have abiding conditions of scarcity and let's say technological innovation slows down I think when it comes to pretty much the fundamentals of life and certainly UBS we would still have it wouldn't be a post-scarcity society but then we would ask the question well what is post where where do we have post scarcity and I would say the project then becomes one of pools of scarcity and a post-scarcity and society or pools of abundance which should be subject to common ownership so if I leave my if I leave my pen here or my debit card right I'll leave my debit card here right now it's a means of taking money out it's a means it's like an amazing little gadget and I got home on the train I forgot my card I lost my card I can cancel my card oh well I've got other pens that's not post scarcity of pens right but the thing is it's so easy to access you can just as far as get another one and so increasingly you would want pools of abundance that look like that healthcare for instance with gene editing etc subordinated to project social justice oh you know oh I've got this illness fine you can sort this out or with food you know the cleaning costs of things you wouldn't even think about for instance a Wagyu steak today our wacky of steak cost hundreds of dollars a Wagyu steak under conditions of extreme supply might be 10 P it's not post scarcity but it's it's so cheap you're not really thing looking about it and so I would say that that's the most conservative picture we should have given the technologies we're looking at and surveying and your argument is that the only thing stopping a delicious steak being as well being consumed as flippantly as we consume a lighter or looser lightin is capitalists who are trying to control information and stopping it widely a Wagyu steak will be as accessible as a cheap biro within not very long I would argue for the date on it I mean that the thing is the technologies already know people didn't even know you could create cultured meat synthetic meat the it was actually like written down in 2008 by Gokul mark post and he said I think you can probably create cultured meat by doing this 2008 it's then done for the first time in 2011 the first hamburger like I say is $325,000 today a burger is $100 so this was a technology which we only worked out 11 years ago so 11 years from now you know this is really rapid progress really really really rapid the same with crisper cast 9 you know crisper cast iron and G noticing gene sequencing as well first human genome sequence to think in 2002-2003 at cost of billions and billions of the 3 billion dollars I think today you can get your genome sequence for $1000 now some of you might say well what does that matter why do I care about my genome being sequenced well what's interesting is tumors also have a genome believe it or not like a buck a baby you could ever you could have your blood tested for the genome of a tumor and if the costs of gene sequencing continue to collapse 10-15 years from now cost of sequencing a gene might be the same a genome might be the same as a mars bar right or a might be cheaper maybe I'm flushing a toilet at which point you can have your biology sequence every week and all of a sudden you get to detect cancer at stage zero effectively right before any modern medical tool of observation be able to find it this could and all of a sudden you can find cancer at stage zero which is a remarkable innovation so and that could be 10 years away you know the Wagyu steak being ultra cheap could be 10 years away that's very that's really here electric vehicles on price parity with fossil fuel cars early 2020s we're not talking about 30 40 years in the future all right let's go some questions Michael McCrea what could housing policy look like under Phalke would private 3d printed homes or more communal forms of living be preferable or some combination what could hotels travel accommodation look like it's quite well let's thought that hotels so I think Airbnb is a classic example of the failure of like capitalism and Nik Cernik talks about this in platform capitalism if you're looking at productivity right if you're measuring the amount of output per hour worked Airbnb is massively inefficient compared to a hotel and people because it's slightly cheaper people like Oh Airbnb is great wouldn't you rather stay at like a luxury ultra cheap hotel in middle of town right where there's no noise no mucking about with the this landlord known hateful neighbors and if you think about the inputs that go into it again the experience curve workers who will work in the reproduction of a hotel they get these things we talk about the experience cover right so they get ultra efficient at being able to do all the identical rooms are the same they get ultra efficient that maintain them and keeping them and cleaning them etc so actually it's more efficient in terms of per hour worked to have a hotel than Airbnb IBM is a very inefficient way of using human labor so I would say you want some form of publicly owned leisure infrastructure which would be you know free available very cheap so I think area B is a classic example actually of how the digital revolution is serving some people but really for the rest of us we're getting a really bum deal Airbnb is a terrible product you know wouldn't you rather have Premier Inn but even nice so that's pretty nice to be fair and very very cheap people that's quite a good example that because people will still be working in that hotel I mean it you is the idea that you'll have highly productive cleaners so they get paid a very very decent wage and only work ten hours a week or so the book talks about this it's called more Avex paradox right in the book which is to say we always historically thought the most cognitively demanding tasks like playing chess and so on would be the last be automated it turns out or mathematics it turns out they're the first to be automated we know that computer beat garry kasparov deep blue more than 15 years ago I think but morale experice surprisingly counterintuitive ly that the last things to be automated to be things like fine hand fine motor coordination right so you can create a rope a robot that beats garry kasparov well before you create a robot that can clean the dishes yeah well change your pillowcase that's right exact art yeah there is so what's interesting and this has consequences for labor organizing what's interesting is that many low scale service jobs like cleaner they will be amongst the last fuel tomato they'll be automated long after accountants and lawyers etc or most accounts as most lawyers because it's primarily about fine hand fine hand-eye coordination motor coordination etc so there would be the last to be automated they should be earning great money they should be in unionized jobs and that's it that's a lesson for the labor the labor movement which is say yes much the labor markets gonna be automated away where is it gonna stay where is it going to grow growth sectors of care work because of geriatric change aging populations again the last to be automated maybe automated right you make it like a ex machina style robots which literally look and act just like humans possible and it's not against the laws of physics so essentially but that will be the last wave of automation it probably won't happen in our life who else this is again this isn't a question is my question now I'm gonna go back to them in a second who stands between us and fully automated luxury communism other than elites so in the book it's sort of you've got it seems like there's the mass is the only thing standing in between the masses and this beautiful gorgeous future is a small group of capitalists who want to patent information and stop it being free is there any other social group or rossette is there any other political force which you see as standing in the way and intervening to stop question valve cap who asked that that was my own so in it I'm abusing the position again politics is always contextual II specific right so it depends what country you're in of course but in Britain I mean we can talk about sorry I was looking at the questions getting yeah you're gone no it's context it's actually specifics let's look in Britain yeah so in Britain who would want to stop it who wants to stop this other than the one percent who are in the patents well you've got the British stay you've got various people who have a very vested interest in land ownership in this country etc etc that's going to be very different to Saudi Arabia all to Russia Saudi Arabia probably won't be you know people aren't going to live there in 30 years of climate systems but they're more talking about other cleavages in society so it's all like other Bay embraceable well well anywhere I mean really so so answer what the question is even if we get to this period of relative post abundance or possible post abundance as it were that's not going to dissolve all other conflicts in society and so we could see new bases of conflicts which well which make the future nautically nice so a few things it depends what happens so first of all it's people own the means of production it's people that own assets rentiers etc but let's look into the future climate change right you're going to see massive changes in migration patterns it's it's actually the far right have a ready-made ideology to take off the shelf in terms of the breakdown of globalization reloj closing economies etc etc ready to take off the shelf so in the context of climate breakdown I would say right-wing nativism as well which is why you need an international project but it's not international project which is about no borders I personally think anybody should be able to live where they like but also people have the right to remain in somewhere right so you have the right to remain in the country you lived and if you want to and I think that the former discourse to easily says well give up on sub-saharan Africa give up on California give up on the Middle East and actually no the global North needs to be funding processes whereby we try to mitigate climate change in these places as much as possible just give up on them alright if I haven't answered your question keep asking them and put that rocket on just like Gary told you to if it's got the rocket emoji I'm more likely to see it I love this question from average Joe on a scale from one to ten one being dystopia and ten being utopia where on that scale are we now depends what country you're in here here right now what depends who you are I mean it I tell you what I talk about in the book about Elysium you know the film Elysium and I think Elysium is a film but rights of access who gets to access the healthcare there's the med bays they have relative post-scarcity real housing health throughout these med bays are phenomenal but who gets to access them and okay we're not there yet but that's really a story right now that we're living in Europe so in 2015 December 2015 SpaceX successfully landed the first autonomously piloted first stage rocket right this this rocket landed itself two and a half months earlier Alan Kurdi a three-year-old boy his corpse was washed up on a beach in Bodrum right and they were fleeing Syrian Kurdistan so yes Elysium is a film but we already have a planet where we can sequence the genome of every organism on earth we already have a planet of self piloting first stage rockets but it's the same planet where a three-year-old dies on a beach and they drown to death with their mother and their brother so dystopia is here for many many people it's not here for you and I in terms of my life are pretty over at seven out of ten globally speaking eight out of ten we're obviously the minority and the question is how far will dystopia stretch in the near future and for how many people if climate change as bad as we think if people don't act decisively now the vast majority of the earth will be living in something that is just pretty abject this is from mats andreas nielsen can you lay out your argument against ubi to a universal basic income is that argument one also made against Sonic and Williams vision in inventing the future I mean I'm not I'm not here to dismiss you bi I think there's a great line in a Jacobin article about EBI and I just read it and it says an affordable ubi is an effective and effective ubi is unaffordable and I think that's that's probably true I would prefer I would say let's argue for UBS first why first it's strategically smart it's something that people already recognize like nationalization public ownership secondly we have these great crises aging climate change etc a UBS will be better at mitigating those challenges than a ubi more quickly and then thirdly we just don't know if he bi works you know it needs lots of at least lots of lots of modeling although I imagine the data suggests so you be re more effective in global South countries and Norman trees so that's not said won't work anywhere if you're if you're a small country a very poor small country Oh ubi might be very effective right we're a fuel Malta 300,000 people small economy because you're in Ireland you know generally speaking mostly produced locally but ubi could work could a ubi work necessarily in the United States or in the UK I don't know I think a UBS and these big countries would be far more effective and far more easy to argue as a leftist I mean for me it's in if you're looking at a Western developed country it's just further down the line and I think that's based on how how much how much you think markets are going to be involved in society right so I'd in my radical Social Democratic future I'd have UBS universal basic services yeah and then once you've you know abolished rentiers because you don't want your universal basic income just to go to landlords yeah then that's when you introduce a ubi the people can use to buy consumer goods to go get their hair cut go to the CAF because I think we still will have many value life which are market-based and that's highly possible ubi Z is a reasonable way to provide people that choice to engage in society in that way if Labour took power in this country that should absolutely take undertake pilots for ubi absolutely but I just think first term you would on a DBS first oh it's from Gary will a I replace government will artificial intelligence replace government well this is a question well first of all I mean Paul Masson puts it really well in his present book right we've deferred for 35 years this thing called the market can we do this thing no the market says we can't why well the market says we can't how is that any different to a machine how has any subordinating you know you're saying this protocol is set of rules which is solidified and this institution says no that's no different fundamentally to machine control because it's taking agency away from human beings that's the politicizing the political so in a sense that's already here certainly in sort of the cutting edge of the neoliberal countries we need to have these debates within democratic for urgently because if we don't something quite appalling is going to happen that's not just relevant to AI it's relevant to gene editing it's relevant so your agriculture etc etc and again my worry is you know the Danny Finkelstein still about 1917 we need to be talking about what does AI do to the labor market clearly if you've got access as a worker to some personally I that I don't you'll be able to get jobs that I can never get and it's war even worse with gene editing right yeah what gene editing are I think gene editing and IR that could create massive asymmetries in the labor market and so like a needle mask okay he's an idiot when it comes to building underground maglev trains which tell not just be tunnels but at least he's talking about the moral issues surrounding artificial intelligence in the labor market I mean for him it's just the kind of jokes he's worth twenty billion dollars but it's something we need to be talking about and I'd be very worried about machine control of societies however I'll finish on this however we've been having conversely the state has had Pat it's exercise control over life and death the state itself is a technology which can take life it can murder people or deprive them of their freedom that's not new and so how do we try and deal with that mitigate risk we created a separation of powers we had poly our keys in society where you have different concentrations of power often in tension with one another we stop monopolies etc etc so I think we probably have similar solutions with regards to artificial intelligence you know maybe you'd want a distribution about sufficient size just so many that you couldn't get the rise of an all-powerful one etc etc but these are issues for moral philosophers you know these are issues for I haven't got that training as a moral philosopher but they're very relevant arguments we're not discussing them because we have a ruling class fixated with the past not the future they're not just issues for philosophers either they're issues for political economists in the sense of yeah in the sense of how is power concentrated how is power divided political flowdiehoe how do you stop tyranny either of the market or the machine yeah or all the government in a sort of a liberal society or whatever I mean do you think you've in this transition to Phalke or within Phalke do you think you've dealt with political economy in that respect enough and I think that is one one place where the reason I ask is because I think this is where communist movements and communist theory is often failed it hasn't seen how power can concentrate outside of the market or if you try and have some kind of democracy which is somewhat more radical than liberal democracy I propose another and you've been you know well that's what it's like you're not under I'm not sure what you are proposing on a political level other than social democratic reforms we had the near term stuff I mean ultimately so I could have made it a much longer book you know what's gonna happen over the next thousand years yeah that wasn't my interest because I want to talk about the crises were undergoing and how that's an existential threat to capitalism there's no standing still right it's not fully automated luxury communism all the same things are going to dramatically change very quickly the question is in whose interests I want to say the future is already here and it's unfolding remarkably quickly and as somebody on the Left I want to say okay what do we do next that's what I'm interested in as Marx says you know philosophers have interpreted the world the point is to change it it's the final third of the book is how do we change the world give them what I've just said now clearly you want far more you want other books you want us that a whole other conversation about yes the political philosophy what's legitimate state authority with the under conditions of an all-powerful AI et cetera you know political philosophers and moral philosophers have never been haven't been more relevant for hundreds of years right it's with these new structural problems we need to engage with his societies but that's beyond the remit of the book you know I'm I'm very open honest about what this book is trying to address all right let's do final question this is within the remit of the book but it's also very big I like it daniel eden would FAL cure death and would that be a good thing do you want to live for as long as you like so there is a chapter on gene-editing which does sort of mention the fact that potentially this new technology could cure aging yeah and obviously if we can cure aging we can presumably prevent the onset of death what do you think yeah there's lots of research around aging that's and there are people that are now saying we need to treat age as an illness not as an inevitability and the book talks about the leading causes of death in 1900 worldwide for infection pneumonia influenza etc today the leading causes of death are age-related cancer stroke heart disease dementia and so one argument could be well you can keep health care costs super low if you can stop aging which is true in a sense you probably could actually you could probably probably have 99% health savings between gene editing and stopping aging etc would we want to is one question secondly there's the human brain so even if you could stop aging for the human organ organism as it stands we think that there's a cap really on the human brain of about 120 hundred 30 years Wow which is we can't gene at it away the aging of the brain you may be able to remove stem cells edit the stem cells put them back in there and but fundamentally that's that's the organism that will struggle and there's some there's some work on this you knows crazy guy on into you're all pretty grey you know there's some talk about this and there are some organisms out there that don't age sponge you know sponges sponges don't age but they don't have brains presumably sponges are very different organisms to human beings precisely the lobsters not age I think I do I fought might I thought that was maybe in your book but maybe that's somewhere else I think Beatson you know his is I don't think he involves them not eating where did I see this oh I think this was on a video after I was reading about gene editing in your book I watched a YouTube video about it obviously right and lobsters came up I have to look that up after I mean there are mammals that live a lot longer than we do right turtles and horses and so on do I think that humans could live a lot longer so teleological change probably yeah probably but not forever because you think the brain is gonna have a limit well again it's a moral question you know it's a moral question and again it's beyond the purview of the book or Gary Mac Wiggins saying he told me about the lobsters so credit to Gary if that's true and blame Gary if it's false I think we should call it a day I mean all of these issues are gonna be forming the basis of lots of Navarra content over the coming years over the coming weeks over the coming months over the coming years I mean as they have for the last four years maybe that's that's where I could do the sequel for the book is like poke fully-automated luxury communism – we've gone beyond work we've gone beyond scarcity now we're gonna go beyond death exactly yeah but are we gonna have elections are we gonna have barbers who paid with money yeah we would we would I mean an interim period up would that's the interim period isn't here to rot recipes you know heads right reach to the future but I think the what that word communism has general you know as a genuine mean Ian sands with the arrival of special general artificial intelligence in a way that it really never has had before because if you look at renewable energies you're looking at potentially limitless forms of energy and you're looking at potentially limitless forms of cognitive labor it clearly attenuates key features of the campus motor production and because this is suppose your main argument is this is the first time we as a human society you're gonna have to deal with abundance yeah and that's why what you want is communism yeah I'm alright with it thank you so much Aaron pleasure get the book read the book it is very good very readable and I learned a lot about gene editing a lot about yeah these different meats that we can grow in tanks I'm looking forward to the chickens by a perused yeah and I mean the one thing that worried me was the idea that if you find an asteroid that has there was one particular asteroid that you wanted to mine it by bringing it closer to the earth and I didn't like that idea mmm I felt like I feel like these asteroids maybe leave them far away yeah but that I mean that may be the most efficient way of doing it right so rather than taking things a to be you know yeah just don't bring it to closer closer bring it closer anyway thank you so much for watching as you know this show is only possible because of your kind support so please if you haven't already go to support dot Navarra media.com donate the equivalent of one hour's wage a month like this video share this video keep your comments coming we always enjoy them we'll see you at the same time same place next week you




Comments
  1. I would have thought the existential crisis for capitalism will be used as opportunity for an ever smaller to profit from – while the world burns around them the super rich will probably flee to a nearby planet sooner than we think

  2. There is only way to save this planet. Every nation needs to limit their birth rates to 2 child per family. Get rid of freedom of movement, world trade, air travel, shipping etc.. Close down all the borders. The human population needs to come down and humans need to stop intruding into lands inhabited by animals and nature.

  3. If we don't get solar resource acquisition (asteroid/exo-planet mining, solar lifting etc) if all the other trends continue (General Ai/Full Automation, bio-technology, declining energy costs be that renewable or fusion) and we are somehow limited to Earth found resources we could still get to near post scarcity ' it would just mean a near fully efficient circular economy and that would almost by necessity be close to a communist model, with all matter being part of the commons. Dame Ellen McArthur and her institute are doing interesting work on this type of perpetual goods/services model.

  4. The current projection is that the climate could crash our civilization by 2050. I don't buy that, even if we can't get the green new deal running globally right now, that before then this scifi technology will come around to bring us superabundance and bring this to a halt. The arable land is going to vanish, the cities flooded by rising oceans, the unsealed nuclear plants melting down. The planet is not limitless, the precious metals to build these robots and tech is mined by child slaves in what used to be sacred indigenous lands. And of course indigenous populations that want the earth preserved as-is as opposed to living in star trek aren't mentioned in this paradigm. There are also people who can't live off genetically modified yeast due to health problems but oh I forgot, their genes can just be edited so they can, without any possible side effects or consequences.

  5. Longevity is a false paradise. The only immortality available is via faith. We as humans need death, the same way we need earth gravity and the moon in the sky. Death sets a time limit for doing all the normal things people can get done in their lifetimes, such as having children, which we need as a spur to action, along the lines of YOLO. Without death, much of our activity becomes meaningless. Aging is horrible, and the less of that we have to endure the better, but at a certain point we need to go. Apart from anything else, death is necessary to refresh and turnover the population. Death is the price of birth. It makes space and resources available to new people. It allows new things to happen in the world. Imagine a world where you always have your parents and grandparents in charge over you, where you never get to inherit and never get to become the head of the household. Imagine the world where the worst people in the world, with the most money to be able to make it happen, the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, are able to perpetuate themselves indefinitely, sowing ever more evil and misery. That cannot be allowed, even if it were possible. Imagine a world, as some science fiction films have considered, where to exist within limited planetary resources, most people cannot have children, because with radically increased longevity, there are simply too many fully grown adults in the world already, and all the hollow couples living childlessly or with robotic child substitutes. The life cycle is not just natural, but in a deep seated psychological and spiritual way necessary for human happiness.

  6. You got it wrong, it's Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism!
    (off to listen)
    Very interesting synthesis, thanks for the video!
    =8P-DX

  7. So having given up on change in the present, we project to the future, when additional abundance will surely allow for a communist revolution.

    Let's say, instead, that this abundance never comes, either due to nuclear annihilation or climate destruction, both of which will shrink the amount of livable land and reduce global economic output. Then, we can say, "Oh well, we had a plan, but, you know, oops, our plan requires abundance and so we have to continue capitalism".

    There's a time besides the future in which abundance has been realized – *the present*. We have more than enough food for everyone *now*, more than enough medical resources to treat everyone, but we choose to continue capitalism.

    Abundance is a moving bar. It can always be raised to justify the argument that "we're not there yet, just a little longer". And the bar-mover smiles, knowing that the catastrophes of the future means that he won't have to keep up the charade forever – ecological destruction will take care of that for him.

    You know when Marxists started believing that the end of capitalism was right around the corner? – when Marx began. Is the purpose of Marxists to help communism be realized or to elevate the morale of workers under capitalism?

    It's funny that no matter how many times, in decade after decade after decade, the Optimism of Marxists is proven false, that Optimism continues. One might almost conclude that this eternal optimism of the politically righteous is a kind of Religious Faith, but surely that can't be right.

    No worries, everyone. THIS TIME we have it right. There's no reason to enact socialism in the *present*. Socialism, my friends, is right around the corner, just like it always is.

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