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This article was penned by a member of the Danish Parliament to promote discussion about just where we are headed.

To some, it’s a utopian goal … the desired endpoint of our current big tech, big government, Marxist cooperative. To others, it’s a totalitarian hell to be avoided at all costs. But it was published by the World Economic Forum, proponents of the “Great Reset.”

Is this where they really think we could end up? It seems amazingly economically naive for something put out by an economics organization. Free clean energy? Free telecommunications? Free … everything? Without some analog to the Philosopher’s Stone, scarcity will be with us always. And with it, nothing is free. Some method must exist to ration scarce goods. Prices, determined by the free choices of free people, seem to be the best way we know to do this. But it’s not the only way. All the others depend on varying degrees of authoritarian fiat. Surely the WEF knows this. So why pretend that there is a “free stuff” possible future? They certainly seem to know there is a downside to the “free stuff” future…

Once in a while, I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy. Nowhere I can go and not be registered. I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.

The downside is very real. But the “free stuff” future is a physical impossibility. Yet they dangle it out there as if it were a real choice. It would seem to be an attempt to get the gullible to trade their liberty for a chimera that can’t be delivered. Fortunately for them, the ranks of the gullible are large and growing. Unfortunate for us.

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  1. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Ekosj: Free clean energy? Free telecommunications?Free … everything?Without some analogue to the Philosopher’s Stone, scarcity will be with us always.And with it, nothing is free.Some method must exist to ration scarce goods. Prices, determined by the free choices of free people, seem to be the best way we know to do this.But it’s not the only way. All the others depend on varying degrees of authoritarian fiat.

    Absolutely brilliant passage.

    • #1
    • November 19, 2020, at 4:14 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Ekosj: Free clean energy? Free telecommunications?Free … everything?Without some analogue to the Philosopher’s Stone, scarcity will be with us always.And with it, nothing is free.Some method must exist to ration scarce goods. Prices, determined by the free choices of free people, seem to be the best way we know to do this.But it’s not the only way. All the others depend on varying degrees of authoritarian fiat.

    Absolutely brilliant passage.

    Thanks. Even this blind squirrel comes up with a nut every now and then.

    • #2
    • November 19, 2020, at 4:21 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Ekosj: Is this where they really think we could end up? It seems amazingly economically naive for something put out by an economics organization. Free clean energy? Free telecommunications? Free … everything? Without some analogue to the Philosopher’s Stone, scarcity will be with us always. And with it, nothing is free. Some method must exist to ration scarce goods. Prices, determined by the free choices of free people, seem to be the best way we know to do this. But it’s not the only way. All the others depend on varying degrees of authoritarian fiat.

    One of the things that made the first couple of seasons of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” annoying was Gene Roddenberry’s growing demand that utopian socialism guide the mission statement of the Federation, which was centered on the concept of the replicators giving people everything they need, by creating food and goods out of atoms in the air, so things like money and avarice were no longer problems in the future.

    That’s the same sort of utopian vision you’re seeing here, but with the replicators just being assumed. Marx’s belief was that in the final stages of his planned utopian future, the only crimes left would be crimes of passion, because there would no longer be any reason for crimes of need, based on the ‘from each according to his abilities…‘ mantra. But that assumes an altruism on the part of both the givers and takers, and human nature has shown if you give Persons A, B and C free stuff while demanding that Persons D through Z be the providers of that free stuff, you end up with A, B and C continually demanding more something-for-nothing, while D though Z’s productivity levels fall through the floor, since they resent having to do the work of the freeloaders.

    Once you get there, the only way to maintain the system is via government coercion, and it’s not Persons A, B or C who end up as the ones being coerced, usually at the point of a gun.

    • #3
    • November 19, 2020, at 4:53 AM PST
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  4. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge

    I think the future was described in 1944.

     

    The-Road-to-Serfdom-First-Edition1.jpg

    • #4
    • November 19, 2020, at 4:54 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Marx’s believe was that in the final stages of his planned future, the only crimes left would be crimes of passion, because there would no longer be any reason for crimes of need, based on the ‘from each according to his abilities…‘ mantra. But that assumes an altruism on the part of both the givers and takers, and human nature

    At first blush, it seems that economics is the study of scarcity. But over time, I’ve started to wonder if it’s really just the study of human behavior. Sort of macro-applied-psychology or something.

    Regardless, Marx has always struck me as someone who has never met a human being before. He has no idea what makes them tick. Aristotle would’ve kicked that idiot out of class halfway through the first day.

    • #5
    • November 19, 2020, at 4:56 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  6. thelonious Member

    If we were all Scandinavian it might work. But alas…

    • #6
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:04 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Dr. Bastiat Member

    thelonious (View Comment):

    If we were all Scandinavian it might work. But alas…

    It didn’t even work there.

    Heck, it didn’t even work in Jamestown.

    It doesn’t work. Because it doesn’t take human nature into account.

    • #7
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:05 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  8. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I love thinking about the future, and am a fan of science fiction. Let’s dig into this future, which reminds me of the concepts of fully automated luxury communism or post-scarcity.

    Let’s we have a massive increase in the use of nuclear energy. I mean, more massive than even most pro-nuclear advocates imagine. Let’s also assume there’s a breakthrough in solar energy cell production and another breakthrough in battery technology so that they can be made with more common materials. While electric vehicles could become much cheaper and in much more common use, they are not going to displace fossil fuel vehicles in ten years. Fossil fuel vehicles have worldwide infrastructure and presence. Energy in general will be massively cheaper, which would be wonderful for the economy and human life, but it certainly would not be free. I could imagine a future where electricity is as cheap as water is in the midwest, with lots of people who rent never seeing a power bill and open power outlets being common like drinking fountains, but it would not be completely free.

    First of all, robotics are not that powerful. They need to get much, much, much more advanced before we could rely on them to completely manufacture items. Furthermore, the automation required to have driverless cars / delivery drones / etc. is insane. Literally being able to request delivery of anything you want is at least 40 years out at best. That’s aside from automating cleanup of houses and workspaces.

    Now, we come to the meat of the piece – Owning Nothing.

    You aim to tell me that people don’t to put their personal touches on a space they work or live in? That is not even remotely what I’ve observed, even since I was a kid. Kids would doodle in their rented textbooks or on bathroom stalls. People like claiming something as theirs. What about intellectual property? Could I just repost his article under my own name? If people have literally nothing to claim as theirs, why do anything at all? You have no actual ability to have a legacy, and no true ability to change things. If the service decides not to deliver to you, you are screwed.

    This streams into the most nightmarish part – No Privacy

    You mean to tell me you want your most tender moments with your beloved or your family recorded by strangers? Even using the bathroom would be documented. All of your speech and writing must conform to what people expect. It’s like having a perpetual stalker.

    Then you combine this with relying on services, and the discussion of everything being a service, and the nightmare begins to appear. All of those choices they have? Meaningless – if you do the wrong thing, you lose access. Making the wrong choice could kill your service and cost you a nice place to stay. It’s like being a child again, only your parent does not love you whatsoever. Do these people not consider what could happen if a person they dislike gets in charge? Do they want Trump or someone like him deciding for them?

    This vision is one part college dorm, and one part prison.

    • #8
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:08 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  9. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Marx’s believe was that in the final stages of his planned future, the only crimes left would be crimes of passion, because there would no longer be any reason for crimes of need, based on the ‘from each according to his abilities…‘ mantra. But that assumes an altruism on the part of both the givers and takers, and human nature

    At first blush, it seems that economics is the study of scarcity. But over time, I’ve started to wonder if it’s really just the study of human behavior. Sort of macro-applied-psychology or something.

    Regardless, Marx has always struck me as someone who has never met a human being before. He has no idea what makes them tick. Aristotle would’ve kicked that idiot out of class halfway through the first day.

    At the very least Marx never observed the differences in the behavior of toddlers, where personality traits start to show at a time where (as Jonah Goldberg has noted) they’re smothered in the socialism of the family, in that that abilities of the parents provide for the needs of the child. But you still end up with some extremely spoiled kids out there within all socioeconomic levels, to where nothing is ever enough for those kids, and the idea of subjugating your needs to those of others in an alien concept.

    Marx assumes greed and selfishness are learned behaviors from the capitalist system and not things that are inherent personality traits that have to be combated in many (his early stage socialism assumed you’d get what you worked for, but only until the evil personality traits caused by capitalism could be flushed from the system). The essay here runs along the same lines, in that eventually, people will only take what they need from the system, and those with more abilities will be willing to work more to provide for the less able in society. This might work on Roddenberry’s totally logical Planet Vulcan, but it denies the essential flaws of human nature.

    • #9
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:10 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Stina Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    Marx has always struck me as someone who has never met a human being before. He has no idea what makes them tick.

    He had some things more right than some capitalists.

    He knew the nuclear family was a prime example of socialism that works. He knew capitalism would create amongst itself people dissatisfied with their position in the world if the familial safeguard was broken down. He knew that religious faith in God was a safeguard.

    These are things fiscal conservatives wrecked or saw no value in safeguarding.

    So I don’t think Marx lacked prescience. More like he knew how to brainwash his target.

    • #10
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:30 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. Goldgeller Member

    I didn’t read the article but I gather I’ve seen similar arguments before. I guess… to be a contrarian, let’s think about owning nothing: I think its an overstatement, and it isn’t clear that it’s a good thing socially or even from an aesthetic point of view, but generally we (the US, on average) own very little right? Many of us, but not all, lease but don’t buy our cars, rent apartment, or have a mortgage on a house. If you play video-games and it is digital, or use spotify, you own the right to play the game as long as Steam servers or the developers allow you to (I think about P.T. getting pulled from the PSN store). 

    So we own a couple of things. I mean, credit card debt aside (let’s just assume we pay that off) you have a computer, some clothes, some food, a phone. But what else? And I think it is important to ask how that informs policy going forward. If we are moving towards a low attachment society– how do you make policy? Ex: A lot of people probably increasingly feel like they are “world citizens” because they really basically only own some clothes and a laptop. Their main source of connection is to a multinational corporation. How do you make policy and enforce norms in that world? It’s a tough question I think. 

    • #11
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:31 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Dr. Bastiat Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    This vision is one part college dorm, and one part prison.

    I would say one part college dorm, and maybe 6 or 7 parts prison.

    The pipe dreams of socialists sound like nightmares to the rest of us…

    • #12
    • November 19, 2020, at 5:51 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Mark Camp Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    At first blush, it seems that economics is the study of scarcity. But over time, I’ve started to wonder if it’s really just the study of human behavior. Sort of macro-applied-psychology or something.

    That is a good rough description of the economic theory of Mises, which he called “praxeology”.

    You would like his book, “Human Action”. It starts in the first chapter explaining just this single, simple starting point. In the rest of the book he builds it out into a systematic theory, using nothing but logic and common sense.

    • #13
    • November 19, 2020, at 6:19 AM PST
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    At first blush, it seems that economics is the study of scarcity. But over time, I’ve started to wonder if it’s really just the study of human behavior. Sort of macro-applied-psychology or something.

    That is a good rough description of the economic theory of Mises, which he called “praxeology”.

    You would like his book, “Human Action”. It starts in the first chapter explaining just this single, simple starting point. In the rest of the book he builds it out into a systematic theory, using nothing but logic and common sense.

     

     

    Thanks! I’ll check it out.

    • #14
    • November 19, 2020, at 6:30 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s funny how these elite snobs always think that with “the end of work” nobody will have to fix or repair a damned thing. Then again, he probably doesn’t even know that plumbers would still exist, and wouldn’t figure it out until the [crap] backed up into his townhouse… that he doesn’t own.

    These distopian hellscapes only ever envision life for the elites, not for the proles who have to keep the damned illusion going for them.

    • #15
    • November 19, 2020, at 6:31 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  16. Bob Thompson Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    Marx has always struck me as someone who has never met a human being before. He has no idea what makes them tick.

    He had some things more right than some capitalists.

    He knew the nuclear family was a prime example of socialism that works. He knew capitalism would create amongst itself people dissatisfied with their position in the world if the familial safeguard was broken down. He knew that religious faith in God was a safeguard.

    These are things fiscal conservatives wrecked or saw no value in safeguarding.

    So I don’t think Marx lacked prescience. More like he knew how to brainwash his target.

    Wait. We can’t be trying to make the case that all human beings tick to the same clock? Hayek and Marx each knew some human beings. Together they probably did not account for all types. There is more, some is obvious and simple and some is obscured and complex.

    • #16
    • November 19, 2020, at 6:33 AM PST
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj

    I have to stick up for poor old Marx here …

    Marx saw himself engaged in a rigorous, scientific study of history, and had identified economics as the central engine of then current societal change. He was not given to speculation. He believed that his analysis pointed to a proletarian revolution as the logical resolution of what he believed were the contradictions of capitalism. Given everything he wrote, he spent very little time talking about what would come after. As a scientist, he thought he could see as far as that revolution and no farther. In very few instances does he allow himself to speculate about what might come later. He’s still wrong. But I’m not going to hang him out to dry over what he admits is raw speculation. I’ll happily hang him out to dry for the rest of the analysis which is also wrong. But Marx as a futurist? I’ll cut him some slack. He didn’t purport that his crystal ball was clearer than anyone else’s.

    • #17
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:07 AM PST
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  18. Stina Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Wait. We can’t be trying to make the case that all human beings tick to the same clock? Hayek and Marx each knew some human beings. Together they probably did not account for all types. There is more, some is obvious and simple and some is obscured and complex.

    Did Hayek think there would be no economic consequence to breaking down the family? Did he think choosing policies wrt debt, financialization, and education that grew an indebted and unemployable class would lead to a population more persuasive to socialism?

    Marx’s arguments concerning human nature largely amounted to how to create a people that not only want socialism, but demand it. Considering we have a growing group of that in our country after getting rid of the things Marx said were safeguards, I’m going with he was more right.

    • #18
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:07 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Spin Coolidge
    SpinJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It is worth noting: 

    Author’s note: Some people have read this blog as my utopia or dream of the future. It is not. It is a scenario showing where we could be heading – for better and for worse.

    It became clear to me the author wasn’t arguing for this future, but predicting it. He may be right. Of course, “those who live outside the city…” means The Districts. May the odds be ever in your favor.

    • #19
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:11 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  20. Stina Member

    Hayek et al may be right that capitalism is more in tune to human nature to lift more people out of poverty, but some people do get left behind and charity or curbing some of our worst appetites (like debt) could help in this.

    Capitalism doesn’t address how to handle this part of it. Which is why Marx argued capitalism leads to socialism. The people left behind, once gaining a sizable segment of the population, agitate for socialism. Capitalism has no answer to that.

    Personally, I think we should look into old Testament debt law. I think it adds another safeguard that comports to human greed AND the dissatisfaction that accumulates in a detached populace.

    • #20
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:14 AM PST
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. Spin Coolidge
    SpinJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    It’s funny how these elite snobs always think that with “the end of work” nobody will have to fix or repair a damned thing. Then again, he probably doesn’t even know that plumbers would still exist, and wouldn’t figure it out until the [crap] backed up into his townhouse… that he doesn’t own.

    These distopian hellscapes only ever envision life for the elites, not for the proles who have to keep the damned illusion going for them.

    The real future is depicted in The Expanse. 

    • #21
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:16 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I have to stick up for poor old Marx here …

    Marx saw himself engaged in a rigorous, scientific study of history, and had identified economics as the central engine of then current societal change. He was not given to speculation. He believed that his analysis pointed to a proliterean revolution as the logical resolution of what he believed were the contradictions of capitalism. Given everything he wrote, he spent very little time talking about what would come after. As a scientist, he thought he could see as far as that revolution and no farther. In very few instances does he allow himself to speculate about what might come later. He’s still wrong. But I’m not going to hang him out to dry over what he admits is raw speculation. I’ll happily hang him out to dry for the rest of the analysis which is also wrong. But Marx as a futurist? I’ll cut him some slack. He didn’t purport that his crystal ball was clearer than anyone else’s.

    Marx putting in no set timeline for the arrival of the final stage of socialism gave his supposed adherents a huge out, though — the Dictatorship of the Proletariat simply turned into the Perpetuation of the Dictatorship, and while the Soviets had tons of Five-Year Plans, they never had to specify a date where the masses could finally be trusted with pure Communism. 

    So the leadership could maintain the current conditions — which as long as they were able to oppress the proletariat, was a pretty sweet deal for them — without ever having to tell anyone when their masterwork would be completed (and since one of the things Marx failed to account for in human behavior was nepotism among those guiding the masses to final-stage socialism, you ended up with things like the Royal Communist Party of North Korea, where family control is now in its third generation, or something like Venezuela, where ‘From Each According to Their Needs‘ has made Hugo Chavez’s daughter one of the richest women in the world.

    • #22
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:17 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Full Size Tabby Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    It’s funny how these elite snobs always think that with “the end of work” nobody will have to fix or repair a damned thing. Then again, he probably doesn’t even know that plumbers would still exist, and wouldn’t figure it out until the [crap] backed up into his townhouse… that he doesn’t own.

    These distopian hellscapes only ever envision life for the elites, not for the proles who have to keep the damned illusion going for them.

    I did read the article. It’s short, easy to read, and the author acknowledges that readers may not agree that the end result is as good as he presents it. He does talk of the wonders of public transportation eliminating the need for private vehicles (except for the occasional recreational trip on a bicycle), but clearly he isn’t thinking about anyone with need to get tools or supplies to a job site to build or to repair something. His assumption is that the public transportation is so ubiquitous that he can go wherever and whenever he wants. Won’t that cause congestion all on its own?

    I may be reading too much into a brief article, but the author seems to be envisioning a life adrift. A life of endless pleasures but without purpose or challenge.

    • #23
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:17 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Bob Thompson Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Wait. We can’t be trying to make the case that all human beings tick to the same clock? Hayek and Marx each knew some human beings. Together they probably did not account for all types. There is more, some is obvious and simple and some is obscured and complex.

    Did Hayek think there would be no economic consequence to breaking down the family? Did he think choosing policies wrt debt, financialization, and education that grew an indebted and unemployable class would lead to a population more persuasive to socialism?

    Marx’s arguments concerning human nature largely amounted to how to create a people that not only want socialism, but demand it. Considering we have a growing group of that in our country after getting rid of the things Marx said were safeguards, I’m going with he was more right.

    There is a big difference in terms of what is required to move human beings in the direction of Marxism versus that touted by Hayek. I tend to think most of the advantage lies with Marx and opponents play mostly defense. The progress of time with technological improvements and more people pushes all toward expansion of the small unit socialism characterized by the nuclear family. 

    • #24
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:21 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    It’s funny how these elite snobs always think that with “the end of work” nobody will have to fix or repair a damned thing. Then again, he probably doesn’t even know that plumbers would still exist, and wouldn’t figure it out until the [crap] backed up into his townhouse… that he doesn’t own.

    These distopian hellscapes only ever envision life for the elites, not for the proles who have to keep the damned illusion going for them.

    I did read the article. It’s short, easy to read, and the author acknowledges that readers may not agree that the end result is as good as he presents it. He does talk of the wonders of public transportation eliminating the need for private vehicles (except for the occasional recreational trip on a bicycle), but clearly he isn’t thinking about anyone with need to get tools or supplies to a job site to build or to repair something. His assumption is that the public transportation is so ubiquitous that he can go wherever and whenever he wants. Won’t that cause congestion all on its own?

    I may be reading too much into a brief article, but the author seems to be envisioning a life adrift. A life of endless pleasures but without purpose or challenge.

    As the current COVID-related shutdowns have shown, if people don’t have something to do, they will find something to do, and in most cases, not the high-minded things their intellectual betters think they should be doing (go back to the late 1950s/early 60s and see how disappointed and angry the elites were that the masses hadn’t embraced television in the proper high-minded way). That why Aldous Huxley came up with Soma for his Brave New World, because a utopian society with no needs has to drug the vast majority of the public to keep them from creating needs, due to a lack of purpose in life.

    The problem for Auken’s idolized society would be the people.

    • #25
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  26. Full Size Tabby Member

    One of the purposes of a price-based economic system is to determine how much to produce, and thus to allocate time, energy, and material to those things and services that people value.

    Should we produce more steak or more chicken? More pork? More tofu? Should we produce more heavy duty clothes or more elegant clothes? Elegant living quarters or sparse living quarters? More public living spaces like restaurants, bars, libraries, and entertainment venues or more private apartments and houses? More books or more videos? Repair old stuff or replace it with new stuff?

    If we can’t tell producers that via a pricing system, someone else is going to be telling the producers what to produce.

    My point is the same as your scarcity point, but in 21st century America I think too many people have trouble with the idea that anything might be scarce. I think they might more easily identify the vision of a warehouse full of unwanted men’s business suits and a shortage of work jeans, or a supermarket shelf full of unwanted hamburger and devoid of their desired chicken. 

    • #26
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:48 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    These distopian hellscapes only ever envision life for the elites, not for the proles who have to keep the damned illusion going for them.

    This GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

    • #27
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:51 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    His assumption is that the public transportation is so ubiquitous that he can go wherever and whenever he wants.

    I want to go to Clam Lake at 2 in the morning.

    I’m guessing public transportation isn’t going to get me there.

    Our elitists really dislike freedom of movement for the proles. They’d prefer to keep us bottled up in cities where we’re easier to control.

    • #28
    • November 19, 2020, at 7:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  29. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSulJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    It’s funny how these elite snobs always think that with “the end of work” nobody will have to fix or repair a damned thing. Then again, he probably doesn’t even know that plumbers would still exist, and wouldn’t figure it out until the [crap] backed up into his townhouse… that he doesn’t own.

    These distopian hellscapes only ever envision life for the elites, not for the proles who have to keep the damned illusion going for them.

    I did read the article. It’s short, easy to read, and the author acknowledges that readers may not agree that the end result is as good as he presents it. He does talk of the wonders of public transportation eliminating the need for private vehicles (except for the occasional recreational trip on a bicycle), but clearly he isn’t thinking about anyone with need to get tools or supplies to a job site to build or to repair something. His assumption is that the public transportation is so ubiquitous that he can go wherever and whenever he wants. Won’t that cause congestion all on its own?

    I may be reading too much into a brief article, but the author seems to be envisioning a life adrift. A life of endless pleasures but without purpose or challenge.

    And a life, too, with invisible guardrails everywhere. You don’t own anything, which means you also don’t get to modify or change or improve anything – “you git what you git, and you don’ throw a fit”. Someone else owns it all, and you are merely one more transient, bounded and hemmed in all around by the invisible caprices and regulations of the algorithms and overlords.

    • #29
    • November 19, 2020, at 8:08 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    Marx’s believe was that in the final stages of his planned future, the only crimes left would be crimes of passion, because there would no longer be any reason for crimes of need, based on the ‘from each according to his abilities…‘ mantra. But that assumes an altruism on the part of both the givers and takers, and human nature

    At first blush, it seems that economics is the study of scarcity. But over time, I’ve started to wonder if it’s really just the study of human behavior. Sort of macro-applied-psychology or something.

    Regardless, Marx has always struck me as someone who has never met a human being before. He has no idea what makes them tick. Aristotle would’ve kicked that idiot out of class halfway through the first day.

    The Acton Institute agrees with you. Economics is inextricably linked to human anthropology. Free enterprise is the only system that comports with human dignity. 

    • #30
    • November 19, 2020, at 9:20 AM PST
    • 3 likes