Persons grouped around a fire or candle for warmth or light are less able to pursue independent thoughts, or even tasks, than people supplied with electric light. In the same way, the social and educational patterns latent in automation are those of self-employment and artistic autonomy.
Automation and technology would be a great boon if it were creative, if there were more leisure, more opportunity to engage in raising a family, providing guidance to the young, all the stuff we say we need. America will work if we're all in it together. It'll work when there's a shared sense of destiny. It can be done!
If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people increase their pay, I would be all for it, but it isn't. If you raise the minimum wage, you're going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that's replacing jobs and people is only going to be accelerated.
From the point of view of the employer, it is in any case simply an item of cost, to be reduced to a minimum if it cannot be eliminated altogether, say, by automation. From the point of view of the workman, it is a "disutility"; to work is to make a sacrifice of one's leisure and comfort, and wages are a kind of compensation for the sacrifice.
Because of social pressure, individualism is rejected by most people in favor of conformity. Thus the individual relies mainly upon the actions of others and neglects the meaning of his own personal life. Hence he sees his own life as meaningless and falls into the “existential vacuum” feeling inner void. Progressive automation causes increasing alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, and suicide.
It is a society of laborers which is about to be liberated from the ferrets of labor, and this society does no longer know of those other higher and more meaningful activities for the sake of which this freedom would deserve to be won.
And a revolution of automation finds machines replacing men in the mines and mills of America, without replacing their incomes or their training or their needs to pay the family doctor, grocer and landlord.
As a technologist, I see the trends, and I see that automation inevitably is going to mean fewer and fewer jobs. And if we do not find a way to provide a basic income for people who have no work, or no meaningful work, we’re going to have social unrest that could get people killed. When we have increasing production - year after year after year - some of that needs to be reinvested in society.
U.S. labor leaders will realize that automation can multiply man's wealth far more rapidly than it is multiplying at present and that automation will leave all men free to search and research... Realizing the direct competition with foreign industry on a straight labor basis will mean swiftly decreasing wages per hour and longer hours and decreasing buying power of the public.
Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation, and destroy the male sex.