I’m often at a loss to describe my politics. I used to refer to myself as a Social Democrat and a Capitalist, but that was just a way to make my views more palatable and ensure they went down easy in a crowd — I was a Socialist and afraid to admit it. Since then, my views on capitalism and currency have grown more complex. The term “Socialist” doesn’t fit the bill because there’s a technological and predictive dimension to my politics. I don’t hate capitalism — I just see it as a failed social technology; or, at least, tech that is rapidly outliving its usefulness.
A friend of mine suggested “Futurist” for this viewpoint, but a) that word has come to mean something entirely different, re: a hobby or occupation, and b) it sounds pretty douchey. It all sounds douchey, to be honest — far flung speculation about what the future might look like when real people are suffering in the present. If there’s a paramount rule of science-fiction, it’s that humans are terrible at predicting what the future is going to look like and science-fiction writers more terrible than most.
But we’re good at telling you what we’re afraid of — and the things we’re afraid of can’t help but shape our politics.
Mine have mostly to do with post-scarcity and automation. I think the gradual dissolution of capitalism is the goal. I think a suite of social programs are needed to combat the rise of a robotic labor force: free healthcare, free housing, Universal Basic Income (or some equivalent workaround). I think post-scarcity is closer than we think and maybe it’s already here. (To a Victorian, we’re already post-scarcity with our abundant food and efficient distribution networks.) I think ignoring these ideas will ensure the destruction of our social institutions and way of life.
What the hell do you call that… ? Pre-post scarcity-ism?