Gail's Blog

Requiem for the Working Class

Way back in 1995, 18 years ago, Jeremy Rifkin, the futurist and brilliant social scientist, wrote a great book called “The End of Work”.  Almost to the day, he has been able to paint the scenario that is being played out now in our lives.  The global phenomena of people being replaced by technological advances and machines in the production of goods and services.  This is not just an American problem.  Across the world you will

Soon to be extinct!

Soon to be extinct!

see more and more industries removing the human element from production.

You will also see  the service industries changed.  He anticipates nearly a fully automated service sector by the middle of the century.  Hundreds of millions of workers will be permanently idled by both globalization and automation.  The good, of course, is that the labor of millions will be freed from the “economic process and the pull of the marketplace”.  What to do with all of these idle workers?

This is a huge permanent trend that is not being addressed by governments or society.  Workers are trying to retrain but even jobs they are training for will become automated.  Alternates for full time work must be created.  Rifkin cites that “if the talent, energy and resourcefulness of hundreds of millions of men and women are not redirected to constructive ends, civilization will probably continue to disintegrate into a state of increasing destitution and lawlessness from which there may be no easy return.  Governments and society must prepare for a “post-market” era.  More to follow on this important trend………..

 

 


3 Responses to “Requiem for the Working Class”

  1. carole ulnick says:

    What about Reid, Pelosi and the President

  2. carole ulnick says:

    What about Reid Pelosi and the President?

  3. khelly says:

    Technical systems need an intact electrical grid. I learned that lesson from Sarajevo which presented us with
    a beautiful winter Olympics only to be shot to H*^l in the “revolution.” Cell phones, computers,
    water pumps, fuel pumps, cash registers, commerce in general, communications are inert without
    the electrical grid. Until that factor is addressed we are better off keeping our land lines, manual
    equipment and SKILLS. Realized how worthless a medical setting is without power. We will need
    to remember the manual skills for now.

    Just think what it would be like for the West Coast to have no power. Frightening thought. All we have to do is look at Katrina, Storm Sandy, Colorado to see the writing on the wall. It is a good idea to keep up to date on the Fox Fire books and Boy Scout Manual.

    I remember an interview with a Midwest farmer on a burned out cruise ship. He was astounded that a city boy passenger didn’t know how to open a pocket knife in order to help him construct tents. He sought out former
    farm people and boy scouts to help him handle life support systems on the disabled ship.
    We need our manual skills.

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