Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Izabella Kaminska — Redefining labour

This is the third installment in FT Alphaville’s “Beyond Scarcity” series, a somewhat radical look at the impact of technological progress and efficiency on the volume of goods and services being produced by the system, asking whether “abundance” could now be a key determinant of deflationary forces in the western world.
On top of this, we have considered the role played by “artificial scarcity”, whether imposed wittingly or unwittingly by industry participants as a counterweight to such deflation, and to what degree such measures could now be running into scalability issues. In short, whether there is a limit to how much artificial scarcity private organisations can impose to counteract deflationary forces of abundance, without experiencing diminishing returns.
Read it at The Financial Times | FT Alphaville
Redefining labour
Posted by Izabella Kaminska
(h/t Andy Blatchford and Kevin Fathi via email)


Leverage said...

Excellent topic.

Anarcho-communism has been emerging on the Internet since its foundation.

Off course "infinite" duplicability capability helps a lot. But we all are anarcho-communisms now. It has been so disruptive that it's basically shattering capitalist corporate structure, it can't be stopped and corporations have been adapting to it.

It has been discussed how this trend has been hard to replicate and extend into the physical goods. Limited resources, limited technology, social trends, power games and vested interests, etc. etc. etc.

There is indeed a strong deflationary trend in developed nations nowadays, we had to invent a series of bubbles to keep employment and inflation high. It's technology and demographics. The structural issues are not being faced because they scare the shit out of the status quo, they are clueless though as these trends are unstoppable.

As I said the other day the solution is not to increase the rate of profits of traditional industries compared to FIRE, but let FIRE shrink and share the damn wealth already. Falling rates of profits, and by extension incomes compared to financial costs (interests), are just the logical endgame of capitalism and then capital accumulation becomes a problem.

When real productivity is high the end of 'wroking for a living' is unavoidable. I don't this can and shouldn't be stopped with a JG, we can engineer social jobs programs, but we have to accept at some point there are so many humans with limited time to consume a given basket of goods (no one is going to consume more food, or shouldn't need to consume more than X goods just for the sake of the consumption machine and system).

It's coming close to the point where you even the system dynamic of consumption growth and work can offset productivity.

Tom Hickey said...

@ leverage

Right. The problem now is more one of collective consciousness being slow to shift toward a new potential reality, as well as it's active obstruction by vested interests in the status quo. This was essentially my conclusion in a master's thesis finished back in 1972. Bucky Fuller was saying it decades before that.

People aren't so stupid that they don't know something is radically wrong, but they are not intelligent enough as a whole to see what it is, or flexible enough to coordinate to fix it.

Moreover, attempts to coordinate are blocked by vested interests, which also sew FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to keep collective consciousness low. As a result a privileged few can keep the masses in tow.