Saturday, 23 January 2016
Wealth And Labor
In Drakon, SM Stirling has formulated a curious variation on this question: what would the consequences if, despite every technological advance, the dominant culture remained one that was based entirely on the subordination of the social majority by an aggressive, territorial minority? In this scenario, technology is used not to free the majority from the necessity of work but to ensure their permanent subordination.
The Final Society is an ecological paradise enjoyed by all its inhabitants but enjoyed more by its ruling elite who have become a distinct species, free, powerful and with an indefinitely extended lifespan whereas their numerous subordinates live (comfortably) for less than a hundred years and have been made incapable of either resentment or resistance.
Which set of problems would you prefer to have? The Savage in Brave New World thought that a return to the old social conflicts and deprivations was preferable to any continuation of a genetically and chemically engineered contentment.