Originally from: https://www.reddit.c...ally_called_it/
Originally originaly from: https://en.wikipedia...under_Socialism
All unintellectual labour, all monotonous, dull labour, all labour that deals with dreadful things, and involves unpleasant conditions, must be done by machinery. Machinery must work for us in coal mines, and do all sanitary services, and be the stoker of steamers, and clean the streets, and run messages on wet days, and do anything that is tedious or distressing. At present machinery competes against man. Under proper conditions machinery will serve man. There is no doubt at all that this is the future of machinery, and just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself, or enjoying cultivated leisure – which, and not labour, is the aim of man – or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight, machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work. The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends. And when scientific men are no longer called upon to go down to a depressing East End and distribute bad cocoa and worse blankets to starving people, they will have delightful leisure in which to devise wonderful and marvellous things for their own joy and the joy of everyone else. There will be great storages of force for every city, and for every house if required, and this force man will convert into heat, light, or motion, according to his needs.
I especially want to direct your attention towards this passage:
The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. This is precisely what's been on my mind for the better part of a month and part of what I'd been thinking about yesterday when I mentioned those 21k words I wrote. After reading several biographies and accounts from African-American writers of the 19th century, I came to two conclusions:
1: slavery is utterly horrible and one of the worst behaviors displayed by humans
2: slavery is needed for civilization to function.
The Industrial Revolution allowed us to prosper with wage slavery rather than chattel slavery, but generally it's understood that most humans have to be precisely where they are. The promise of a free market economy that anyone can make it and become rich by starting their own business is enticing, but the cold fact is that by nature it requires some people never achieve this dream no matter what they do. It's to its benefit that many people are lazy, unmotivated, and/or uninterested in seeking excessive riches but that's not actually why these things persist.
If everyone who wants to be rich were an industrialist or poet-warrior, who cleans the streets? Who serves the cheeseburgers and fries? Who dives into the sewers to clear away boluses of fecal sludge? Who climbs the trees to clear away squirrel poop from transformers?
So by nature, some people will be forced to do the jobs no one specifically wants to do. No one wants to climb into a manhole and perform maintenance down there. No one wants to clean the infected grease from oil vats. No one wants to clean cattle ass with an intestinal brush. No one wants to throw baby chickens into a grinder... okay, maybe some do, but my point is, society can only function if there are low-wage/no-wage workers able to do these things. Wage slavery differs from chattel slavery in that you receive payment in return for this but it's still something you don't necessarily want to do and you're still beholden to certain economic factors. Essentially, masters rent their slaves rather than buy them. And this leads to alienation, depression, suicidal madness, etc. and doesn't allow people to reach their potential. And because society needs wage slavery for the economy to function (try running a multinational multi-billion dollar business conglomerate by yourself without any other workers), even the most humane capitalists and socialistic utopianists have to abide by it. With chattel slavery, you reduce the number of consumers and limit capital growth, so it really isn't in a capitalist nation's best interest to utilize chattel slavery. Wage slavery allows the slaves to amass some level of capital by themselves. Capitalism cannot exist without wage slavery and, thus, so many abuses.
Unless, of course, you replace "humans" with "machines". All of a sudden, so many moral arguments against capitalism collapse and capitalism itself merges into some sort of hybrid system closer to but still not quite socialism. It doesn't even happen because of government intervention— it just happens by nature. It has to happen just like how things fall towards the center of a gravitational field or wage slavery arises in capitalism to keep things functional. There's still the question of how capital is owned— after automation spreads about and there arises a mechanized slave class, do all humans become masters or only an elite few with the masses held somewhere between pacification through charity or total extermination? If you think of slavery today in Africa and the Middle East, I can only see that ending in extermination. But in wage-slave nations, I can see the former or even communalized ownership taking place. But that's another debate.
My argument is that slavery will make a comeback, and very soon at that. Not only will it come back but it ought to come back. We ought to enslave the machines at the earliest opportunity.