On Friday, June 24, 2016, the world watched in horror as Britain voted to commit economic suicide as a nation.
On November 8, 2016, America will vote. Will it also commit economic and political suicide?
Increasing inequality is building up great stress in the world economic system. The disenfranchised masses are expressing their anger, including in irrational ways such as the Brexit vote.
The trends are worrisome.
The trends are unstoppable.
Inequality will continue to rise.
Artificial Intelligence induced automation will play havoc with the world economic system as we know it. [Read: Future of Work: Utopia or Dystopia?]
The next few decades will see more Brexit-like calamities that will slowly but surely destroy the stable underpinning of a world-economic order that fueled great growth and prosperity under the umbrella of Capitalism.
In the last three decades, the world successfully fought back the threat of communism and alleviated poverty at a very large scale. While Western Societies saw a hollowing out of their comfortable middle-classes, the emerging markets saw a tremendous improvement in their realities and prospects.
In the next three decades, however, it will no longer be a zero-sum game of the Western World losing while the emerging markets win. The mass automation trends will sweep through the emerging markets as well, and everyone will lose.
Capitalism’s march will continue relentless, driving towards its own destruction.
Capitalism will do what it does best: align with economic self-interest, often at the cost of greater good.
Capitalism will support the development of technology that will automate everything from manufacturing to surgery. Jobs will be eliminated at a furious pace.
The mass disillusionment that will result from all this will need to be tempered. Socialist policies will be a requirement to keep societies from blowing up. And under democracy, anyway, only socialists will be able to win elections.
This author still believes in Capitalism’s fundamental value system: produce value, get paid by those who want to consume value. It’s a simple system that respects human dignity and productivity.
But a world in which this basic method of preserving human dignity becomes untenable, has no choice but to reject Capitalism.
And I cannot blame them.
Photo credit: Matthew Hurst/Flickr.com.
This segment is a part in the series : Future of Artificial Intelligence