My inquiry question this cycle was “How will radical automation affect the societies and economics of the future?”. I mainly talked about concepts and ideas like Project Cybersyn and post scarcity; using them to create a model for an Automation based state. I will be comparing my inquiry question and research to Jackline Nyaga’s topic.
Jackline talked about “National Integration”, a form of Civic Nationalism that wants to promote unity and culture bonds. She outlined a few key aspects that she felt was stopping the development of Kenya. Tribalism, corruption and racism were the main issues she wanted to tackle. Through the means of National Integration, she would like to integrate everyone into the country, giving full recognition to the government. Some things that can be done include national holidays, the nationalization of media, games/sports/events.
Building off her idea with the context of automation, I feel that the acknowledgement and correction of the government is something that that automation can solve. Starting with corruption, an automation based economy would eliminate the unofficial circulation of money. Under the consideration that there is no money to circulate and most goods are subsidized by the government, all officials will receive their fair share without stealing anyone else’s. This way, corrupt politicians are not able to trade anything of value for favors.
Subsidized government goods is also a good way for tribal groups to have some sort of relation with the government. Goods and necessities can be provided to them for free, making them have a greater connection and relationship with the government. The goal is not to make these tribes dependent on the government. Goods are only delivered because like any other member of the nation (no matter how secular), they have the right to basic provisions. Some tribes may reject the idea of subsidized state goods, but negotiations and friendly relations through integration will help with this issue.
The issue of inequality can be solved with post scarcity automation. Since everyone is economically equal (due to the computerized distribution of goods), money and wealth may not play as big of a factor. Everyone has the tools and time necessary to dispute inequalities now, because of post-work. There might be issues on social discrimination, but this can also be sorted out with the tailoring of culture to suit multiculturalism.
In summation, the platform of an Automation state is great to solve the issues Jackline presented. Economic equality seems like the solution to many of the problems in a socially unstable area. When everyone shares the same grounds, the government can takes measures to insure the nation and its citizens can coexist without exploitation, discrimination, or any other negative effect. Unity and culture can develop under a level playing field. With a little bit of social engineering, the perfect society can be achieved.
In this cycle’s Broaden Your Thinking, I realized how important it to have a nation of abiding citizens. I have heard about the concept of a failed state before, but reading Jackline’s piece on National Integration magnified my understanding of it. It made me wonder about how nations got people to listen to them in the first place, as it seems difficult to take control of a group in a stable and reasonable way. Also, trying to stop a failing state seems like another big political matter. A group leaning towards anarchy would be hard to control, making state control nearly impossible. Would it even be possible to regain control at a point like this? I also came to the realization that failed states might also lead to new political entities. If a group of people reject the government and make a new one, a new state (or proto-state) would have been made from the old one. A lot of the questions I came up with are not completely relevant to my inquiry question, but they still are good things to consider when looking at the development and progression of a society; something that I explored in this cycle. Whatever my next cycle may be, I’ll keep the concepts I learned in mind (as they seems to be multidisciplinary).