“The much harder challenge is, how are people going to have meaning?”
The Communist Manifesto (1848) criticizes capitalism on many of its weakest points, among those is alienation, whereby we lose touch with our genuine selves and communities of affinity; we lose ourselves in socioeconomic identification and relationships become more transactional and less transformational, laden with the stresses of power and status differentials. In more communal societies, everyone contributes their best and their productivity is all evenly distributed; sacrifices are made by some to benefit everyone, and that is rewarded with veneration.
If the minimum wage fast food job is the meaning of life, and that is taken away by robots, yet that doesn’t change the economic status of displaced workers, which is the sole reason they began working there, then the meaning of their life improves when robotics takes their job. They can begin to explore what really stokes the fires of their creativity. They can devote themselves to educational advancement to work on more meaningful projects. The insult that the meaning of their life is their job is foisted upon them by rich genius billionaires, yet that is only a job done for a wage.
The meaning of a life is more than the work one does to pay bills and survive.
Purposes, such as Service, are rendered in many different forms; as everything is evermore done by robots, a “democrypto” block-chain based direct-consensus app is a recently explored new option. When the public can directly vote to facilitate and mediate all public investments and settlements, resource transactions, project permitting, justice and rehabilitation, social services, etcetera, then proposals which can’t attain public support won’t have energy and resources allotted to them.
Public proposals for projects may auto-notify voters at relevant scales of impact and/or according to personal notification preferences, so people choose proposals to follow and collaborate for or challenge with alternative proposals, in accord with their personal interests. People may campaign to gain delegated responsibilities, yet terms of their service role, specific actions they can take are determined by direct consensus of all voters who participate.
The option to delegate votes to experts (or whoever) allows the political culture of personality ethics to adapt for service roles in projects developed and directed by delegative-democracy, and that collaborative consensus offers meaning exceeding the narrow directives of profit motive in the fallout zones of capitalism collapsing.
As a proposer of projects, one is eager to utilize robotic productivity, energy, and other resources. Preserving the tradition of prerequisites or adequate experience to complete a project being vetted by tests, one formally presents a proposal and must evince the public-benefit of resource allocations. At this point, everything we can do towards establishing sovereign municipalities, in terms of clean and sustainable energy and resources, and voting for officials to implement direct-voting, is urgent and vital to overpower and out-perform the trickle-down economics of oligarchy.
The crucial investments are clean and sustainable energy and vital finite resources; Musk is making headway there. I hope he ventures in the nano-carbon market and thin-film solar panels. One thermoelectric project could be integrating P/V panels with Peltier electric elements and heat sinks (or efficient cooling systems); athermic tanks, to store cold and heat, can be set into the footprint of buildings and connect to nanocarbon batteries for load balancing, and offer various functions of heating and cooling, in some of which energy is given to the batteries and others vice versa.
I’m glad he made the comment, yet Musk comes off a bit like Kant had to the more streetwise dialectical philosophers and ethicist contemporaries of his time; many proletarian philosophers (such as Marx) had observed and predicted that society evolves an evermore egalitarian ethos as automation and mechanization remove humans from the drudgery and monotony of one industrial sector after another.
The German-English socialist who translated Marx for America was Ernest Untermann; he also wrote the marvelous book Science and Revolution (1905), wherein he makes the case for a proletarian science to debunk the bourgeoisie science, such as “Social Darwinism,” which actually contradicted what Charles Darwin had suggested. Pyotr Kropotkin explores it well in Mutual Aid (1902).