Marx & The Machines
A.I., Automation & Ownership
Welcome back to you first of two patreon-only dispatches this week. I have been meaning to tackle this topic for some time and truthfully I will not be able to fit in all of my thoughts into one newsletter, quite frankly, this will, hopefully, be an ongoing discussion for everyone involved for some time to come, as it has to. Granted, a lot of smart people are talking about A.I., Automation, Capitalism and so forth but so are way too many people invested in the continuation of Capitalism and their noise is deafening.
Deafening, to a point, where I even debated writing this. So much of the accelerated mechanisms of Capitalism appear to be so utterly out of our control, until said class, as per usual, fucks something up whose costs, we, the working class, are made to fix and pay for. That being the usual reality it bears all the more reason to write about this topic and I’ll do my best to stay on-topic. To be clear, I am anything but an A.I. researcher, technician and so forth and this essay will certainly not even attempt to dig into the technical side of the story. Rather, I have a lot of questions, most of which I hope to at least approach here from a Marxist perspective. Whether or not I can provide answers to satisfy everyone including myself I doubt but we’ll see.
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Specifically, I am curious about ownership, the all too popular and too often misunderstood catch phrase “seizing the means of production”, how and if it relates to us, today and tomorrow in the context of A.I. and Automation, how and what impact this new dawn of technology will have and as per usual, ownership and property, Marx, of course, specifically, his work in Grundrisse. As mentioned before, David Harvey has a most incredible and valuable reading & listening companion to this most important work by Marx, that everyone truly needs to dig into below.
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