There is a segment of the population that has what I consider an unreasonable, almost Luddite fear, that robots are going to take everyone’s jobs away.
I think a large part of this is actually just another excuse to push Universal Basic Income which is the latest fad and the current incarnation of communism. If you haven’t heard if UBI it’s simple, everyone gets a certain amount of cash each month from “the government”. The so called benefits are presented differently depending on who the salesman is but the most common is that the person can work fewer hours a week leaving them more time to do the things they want to do. For some reason the most popular thing they seem to come up with is being an artist. I suppose the left sees that as the highest thing a person can aspire to. And since most artists are actually unexceptional and can’t make money from their art the left wants to help out.
Think of Meryl Streep’s recent Golden Globes comments where she recently embarrassed herself by saying we’re at risk of losing all the artists until, as she put it, “we’ll have only football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.” See how witty she is, she took the word “arts” from martial arts and tied it into “the arts” Oh, we’ve got to have UBI now! They try to convince us that the only way an artist can survive is with the government’s help but then tell us they are artists and we know they get paid millions.
What about the Robots?
Amazon,who the story linked below is about, is well known as one of the biggest users of robots in their warehouses. The robots can pick the orders which is a job humans had been doing. One can easily look at Amazon and think perhaps the Luddites-Robot-Haters are right. Terminator is coming for your job! But the article isn’t about Amazon laying people off due to the robot take over but rather Amazon hiring 100,000 people. That’s a number of employees larger than the population of most cities.
The robots, the arts, or whatever they come up with tomorrow, it’s all just an excuse, a bit of propaganda. But it’s nothing new, it’s all the same idea in a new package. YOU AREN’T SMART ENOUGH TO DO IT ON YOUR OWN! Make no mistake, that’s what they are saying. You need help you poor little human and they are just the masterminds to tell you how to live your life.
The Journal of David Q. Little
This is a book written in 1967 and which never became very popular. As far as I can find out it only has had two printings, the original and another in 2012. This despite the fact that it was Ronald Reagan’s favorite book. Just before he was elected president he sent a copy to Margaret Thatcher. If you read the book, and I recommend you do, you will find many familiar themes. Those I will talk about more in the Library, but for this article there is one particular part I want to highlight.
“I have wanted nothing more in life than to help people save themselves from themselves, by curing social injustices and by helping them to understand the role that is theirs to play…if they would but play it! And I think I have learned a great deal.”
The character in the book named Larry goes on, “people can become beautiful things if they are helped…guided…and kept from their awful weakness. They are as children, right enough, and must not be allowed to stray…lest they hurt themselves. They need only an understanding climate to lift them to a …a glorious nobility. This is society’s destiny, and I must help mankind to meet it…”
Though this book is fiction I think we can agree that the language used here by Larry is language we have heard used by Hillary, Bernie, Obama, and many other politicians. It should ring very real, and quite contemporary. The book goes on (here I mix multiple characters for ease of reading).
“People must be motivated in the right direction. Controlled. This is not easy but it is necessary, because the human tendency is to resist any kind of control. So he must be motivated, channeled in the right direction and the trick is to let him think he thought of him himself. The more childish the person the more you must resort to stratagems of good parenthood.”
And of course the book goes on with these themes and follows them to their inevitable conclusions. The current push for universal basic income is no different than the push of the past for communism and socialism or monarchy for that matter. It is control in the guise of salvation a salvation that people neither need nor are really helped by.
The Lens of Liberty
Every rule, and every law, should be examined by each of us under the lens of liberty. If it can stand the scrutiny of close examination by this lens then we can consider it a just law. However, if it cannot and there is revealed within it an element of control or unrighteous dominion then we must reject it.
We must come to an understanding within ourselves, and have the self-confidence to believe, that we can manage our own lives. This is not to say that we cannot ask for help, or that we cannot offer help; though of course many will pretend that this is what we are meaning. We are just saying that we should be free to choose when to ask for help, who to ask for help, and to decide just how much help we need and not have that decided on our behalf through force.
We do not need a mastermind, we do not need a loving government, but for some reason that’s exactly what people keep trying to push upon us. Perhaps they have convinced themselves like the character in the book that it is a noble and worthwhile pursuit to force people into proper behavior but none of us should accept that delusion! But rather we should see their meddling for the desire for power and glory and pride that it really is.
UBI is just communism with a dress on and its hair done.