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Follow-up: capitalism and anti-capitalism

A capitalist future

The following video was recommended by Kiah. It represents a future economy where labor is increasingly performed by machines rather than people. In a capitalist economy, where most people are required to rely on income from employment to satisfy their material needs and wants for food, clothing, shelter, etc. such a transition would pose a number of problems and challenges regarding the meeting of those basic needs and wants.

What do you think? Is this future, as the narrator asserts, "inevitable"? Who is likely to benefit from this future? Who is likely to lose out? In what ways might automation threaten the continued viability of capitalist economies? What would be needed to maintain a capitalist economy when and where very few people actually have jobs or jobs that pay well enough for people to keep consuming? Contrary to the narrator, do you think that there are options for transgressing or resisting automated capitalism? Is it possible that automation might influence people to develop different kinds of economies as alternatives to capitalism? 


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Geremiah Maxie

I feel like in that situation no one benefits from technology taking the job of a human. I do think whatever job it is technology could be faster and more efficient, but who would consume that product if people don’t work to earn money to consume?


I agree with Geremiah. I think that having machines might seem like a good idea in the beginning but in the long run it could lead to a very inefficient economy. Sure, some technology is very useful in making jobs get done faster, but humans need jobs. Not only for money, but to keep themselves productive during the day, give them something to do, makes people feel accomplished and that they are helping the world.

 McKenzie Brown

I was going to post similarly to Kaylee and Geremiah. The efficiency and profitability of machines are tempting to those in power in the capitalist economy, but when the average consumer, also the working class, is out of a job due to those machines, nobody will be consuming the product in the long-term.

Mack Little

What is the point of a "successful"work life is this happens. A lot of people view a successful life as a life where you go to college, get a degree, and get a well paying job. If robots take all the jobs, who is going to want to go to school anymore because the robots are taking the jobs anyway. I think that if robots take over the jobs, people are going to stop going to school because they will not need a job.

Jeanette Betancourt

It is amazing how much technology has grown over the years but the thought of how robots can take people's job is something to worry about. Years ago I am sure no one would of imagined something like this to happen but it is something actually happening. People work hard for minimum paying jobs and now machines taking over is not surprising becomes it would probably be cheaper for the companies to have machines then to hire people working. And I agree with Mack it would be sad to see people not going to school anymore because of robots taking over the jobs and they would feel like they can't work anywhere.

Kamalei P.

I also think that no one benefits from this situation. Although I am not sure if it could be inevitable or not, I would hope it is something we could stop. This economy would only fall or drop in funds, because I think the government would be spending more money on machines, and it is not fair for the people who lost their jobs to have to lose out and our economy will also lose out in the long run. If fewer people have jobs, many will fall into poverty, which would threaten a capitalist economy, because no one will be making money and hopefully our future capitalists will see that before it is too late.

Yifan Lu

I agree with Geremiah. I think no one can benefit from technology take the job of a human as well. People are working for money to live a better life. And if labor is increasingly performed by machines, people will lose their job and become poverty. People will not be able to pay for their living expenses, which may have some bad influence on economy. So automation may affect the development of different types of economic development as a substitute for capitalism.

Matt Herbert

It is evident that technology has been and will continue to replace human jobs. It is difficult to weigh the value of technology against the disadvantages of unemployment. Technology allows for new medical advancements that save lives, makes information readily available that helps with education, increases the efficiency of agricultural processes that increases food production, among many other benefits. Unemployment creates situations in which people are not able to purchase food, shelter, medicine, and other basic needs. Since technology is not going to go away (unless there is a natural disaster, nuclear warfare, etc..) it might be helpful to look at how technology might free up humans to focus on other things. For example, there are many countries with significant amounts of poverty and high percentages of death from lack of basic needs. What if there were new jobs created that allowed unemployed people to seek employment to help these struggling people? What if technology changed the structure of our capitalist economy that allowed food to be cheaper and basic needs to be more accessible? It seems that so many other factors come into play when thinking about our economy than just technology (housing market, etc..) It is clear that our current structure of capitalism is leaving some people in poverty. Without a change to this structure, technology might prove to help financially stable/wealthy people and worsen the conditions of people in poverty.

Casey Nakamura

I agree with what every one has said so far, but I also feel like relying on machines and technology is how we have gotten to where we are now. As a society we must find that balance between technology and reality. Humans will continue to better technology, and like everyone has said, it is now to the point where computers and machines are taking the place of humans. If we can't find the perfect balance between reality and technology, computers may become smarter than humans.

Moe Tobiyama

I often felt that automatic products brought us really convenient life, but I noticed that those can also lead threat for our life through watching this video. I could image that the machines are used in traffic job or factory, but I was so surprised that automatic products create arts like music. I think people have to expand kinds of jobs in order not to be taken over our society by automation.

Ming Ng

As technology has progressed so has the competition. Competition could be between companies and the people who own them, or competition between people and machines. There is no doubt that technology will advance and may put people out of jobs, though there are still things that technology cant do necessarily. This is what humans need to figure out to beat out the competition.

Yazmin Hernandez

I agree that we are heading into a path were we will highly depend on robots/machines. It is crazy to think that machines have advanced so much in such a short time. May people would be affected by these changes, especially those who work out in manual labor. Machines can easily take over their jobs. This means that we as humans will have to become more educated and out smart machines. Machines wont be able to do everything that a human can. In this capitalistic society machines would be awesome for the people in charge of the big corporations but they also have to take into account that if machines take over humans won't consume. This advancement in neither a win nor a loose for humans.

Christian Hammerich

I feel that there will always be a need for humans in the workplace. I do not think that machines doing a humans job are necessarily good. Even at the self checkout line at grocery stores there is a worker there watching everything making sure the machines don't break, or helping someone if they are confused on how to work it. I also agree with what casey said, that we must find that balance between technology and reality.


This day technology is a big thing, I imagine the future being only machines at work places because even now many people is getting fired because of technology. We live in a society where having more is always better and this is affecting us. Big companies of course are saving money by having machines that they can replace with less money that having many workers. Machines are doing the job humans are supposed to do, why because many companies require people to have a education which is hard to get for older people. Technology is a great resource to have but we can't forget about human labor.


Technology has a huge impact on the planet, and we are constantly trying to figure out ways to make it an even more of a nessasity in our culture. People are always pushing for the next revolutionary invention that will make Americans lives so much easier, as if they aren’t easy enough. I believe technology takes a huge toll on world, not only on marking our lives easier/ lazier but in takes it’s toll on the planet. This is seen through in global warming, and toxic air many people have to breathe on a daily basis.

Madison Overholser

I believe that if we let greed completely take over and all the companies move to using machines and computers it will tank our economy and unemployment will sky rocket. This would especially effect the lower class since they are often the ones doing manual labor or "blue collar" labor. Would there be a way to create and bring new jobs into that economy? These are all things we should consider as technology develops and progresses.

Kaylee Mok

I think that we rely so heavily on technology because it is necessary for growth in terms of the world we live in now. But with power of technology does come greed and people who use technology for the benefit of themselves. I can definitely see the pros and cons that technology and the improvement of technology.

Jonathon Watt

I agree with what a lot of people on this thread have said about how we rely on technology I think we have already let it be the downfall of our society already. wer have relied to much on the technology advances we have had, that inturned have split our country during the last election season.


As the professor said I really enjoy this video and am really interested in seeing everyone’s replies! I do think that eventually most jobs will be taken through automation. Although I dont think all will go this way I believe it will cause a large enough unemployment rate for us to make some real changes. One of the things that have been discussed in many parts of the world is a basic universal income. Everyone would be given enough to live off of, however not enough to live the life some of us have grown accustomed too. In a world with basic universal income, you dont HAVE to work, so when you do its going to (hopefully) be doing something that interestes you. I think that if this happens however, our capitalist society will have to change. I don’t believe that it will become vastly different from capitalism but not the same either. There has actually already been a country, in the Netherlands I believe, to begin discussions about having universal basic income for all of their citizens.

Maria Regalado

i definitely agree how technoly has been increasing crazy and keeps developing more day by day. i think companies and businesses like this because they dont have to be paying hourly wages and it will potentially be cheaper and sometimes it be more reliable than even human labor. on the other hand, this is bad because unemployment rate will definitely increase, which is bad.

Sam Combs

I agree. I think that we rely heavily on technology. For example, most of this class is technology based. Personally, I think that it is both good and bad for us as a society. I like to think that we are advanced and educated, however I also think that it might be our downfall.

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