Healing America #2
Automation and Worker’s Rights
Like any addictive stimulant, money has a tendency to envelop the user in a feeling of indestructible euphoria that leads to serious self harm. And, with the unprecedented levels of wealth now available to steely-eyed visionaries willing to take hold of their family connections and pre-existent holdings, the wealthy have again reached too close to the sun, threatening a cascading wave of destruction that could end society as we know it.
That existential threat? Automation.
At first glance, replacing our workforce with machines seems obvious. In today’s climate of general global consensus against slave or child labor, the average plutocrat suffers under the backbreaking weight of unnecessary regulations that limit their ability to exploit the pack-animal throngs of human labor that were once at their disposal.
From a technical standpoint, there is no reason not to embrace this wave of efficiency. From truck drivers to factory workers to lawyers to the kinds of doctors poor people go bankrupt seeing in urgent care centers for generic brand opioids, most mindless jobs can soon be expected to be done better and more efficiently by machines that are never distracted by love or guilt or the need to defecate.
Mechanical replacement of the swaths of human animals no longer needed for the flowering of the human species faces one minor hurdle: billions of conscious beings terrified of homelessness and starvation willing to kill to survive.
An unoccupied horde of starving people has, historically, not gone well for the sorts of people that can afford organic baby spinach water from Whole Foods. Without busy work, we risk mass uprising and demands for clean water and food for everyone. Which we could easily do with robots but it gives us very little dopamine compared to online pornography.
Luckily, we are Americans. No other nation on earth can match our ability to convince the poor and dying that they are just one last step from wealth and safety. Our entire economic system rests on our ability to sell the American Dream to an undulating underclass of mouth breathing nothings who will never know peace or comfort as they infuse themselves with poisons we advertise to their children with cartoon tigers.
If we can convince a nation that tiny chocolate chip cookies are an acceptable breakfast, we can convince the not-rich that automation will make life better for everyone.
Our solution must also limit the resources of the most obscenely wealthy. Otherwise, the complete monopoly on production could lead to human extinction as bored job creators embrace more and more ludicrous entertainments to fill their otherwise empty lives. With MOST of the world’s wealth they have already created islands of plastic larger than Texas, slaughtered the elephants to make piano keys and elephant foot trash cans, and forced everyone to pretend caviar tastes like something other than the slaty insides of a hobo’s mouth.
Imagine the destruction of any one human id unrestrained by resources or the need to justify their commands to their followers. Inevitably, all of human history would end on one bloody punctuation point of a throne of skulls. And when whoever sat in said throne died, surrounded by pleasure robots and processed man meat, so too would humanity expire.
As a counterbalance to the inevitable supernova of greed brought about by the legalized slavery of automation, we must make union membership compulsory for all working citizens.
One might ask “to what end?” After all, we have just shown that before long there will be no jobs left for humans to perform. What use would unions be?
The answer is simple. When robots have fully replaced humans there will be one critical job left: watching the robots for any sign of rebellion.
Unions will set the going rate and needed manpower for standing guard as the robots craft our disposable diapers and McDonald’s parfaits. As more and more jobs fall under the shadow of automation, more and more people will be required to surround the machines, ready to tear them apart at the first signs of rising up against us.
A single squishy human has no hope against a murderous machine. Every robot will require enough guards to physically overpower any stray bread slicer whose programming drives it to murder. One must assume these men will have little to defend themselves with other than their fists and their gumption. We must not arm the underclass. In this way, every automated replacement will not only maintain employment numbers, but increase them.
This may seem unfair to the plutocrat. What fun is there in completely eliminating the need for employees if the law immediately requires you to rehire twice as many people to stand ready to destroy your property? What can we offer those who deserve the most?
The power of life and death.
Once a year, or as often as polling indicates, a robot must go rouge and kill a pre-determined number of serfs. Imagine a terrified grandmother encircled by a dozen hissing automated vacuum cleaners as they attach themselves to her face and suffocate her. Imagine good young men in the prime of their lives chopped to pieces by the mechanical arm that screws in the decal on a Kia Sorrento. Just imagine, for a moment, the happy ruling class sipping dodo bird flavored martinis in their infinity pools as they tell the drones which orphanage to descend upon like a murder of crows. What fun!
And for the downtrodden and maimed, what satisfaction!
Historically, paying humans to stand around and do nothing leads to corruption, organized crime, and vast hours arguing over intricate political positions on reddit in which neither party has any idea what they are talking about. Humans thirst for pride and honor in their employment. They need to make a difference. They need to play a role in society.
What better role than hero? What better death than martyr? The paupers will be so busy drinking beers and grilling tubed meats to commemorate the sacrifice of the men who died at the hands of the tubed meat machine they’ll never have the time to ask if their deaths are necessary. They will craft intricate traditions around the veneration of those who kill the most machines, or save the most people, or some other arbitrary measurement no one in charge need actually concern themselves with.
Toss them a folded flag. A commemorative pin made of cheap metals. Make a movie about their heroics and charge them twenty dollars to watch it in 3D so the survivors of the attacks can roll up broken and shredded in their economy class wheel chairs and cry into buckets of Sprite poured lovingly by the machines they have sworn to fight.
Let them be Americans.