A New World View: What the Future Holds
If we as revolutionaries understand that dialectical and historical materialism, that is, the science of how and why things change, is an application to the real world, we see a reflection of how things really are. Thus we get an actual view of history. Dialectics holds that internal contradictions are inherent in all things – that is, negative and positive, past and future, and something dying away and something developing.
Historical materialism goes on to describe the importance of the dialectical method in the study of social life and the history of society.
If the world is in a state of constant movement and development – if the dying away of the old and the growth of the new is a law of development – then we look forward, not backward. What does it mean for the future with what we know of the advanced development of the productive forces?
What is technology? What does it do? These questions appeared in a television commercial showing technology working in many walks of life. We see someone able to walk with a digital leg; we see an artificial hand that can sense feeling and we see someone able to talk via the computer.
The research done years ago by a Georgia Institute of Technology professor has recently become the basis for merging humans with a machine through the invention of Google Glass. This is a wearable computer in the form of eyeglasses. Some of the things Google Glass can do: if the wearer wishes to take a photo, he/she just winks; people can record what they see hands free and stream what they see. One can speak to send a message, upload photos and videos to social media, and access a GPS for directions. The wearer of the eyeglasses can search the web for information, can take phone calls and access emails and calendars.
There is an automobile commercial that shows robots on an assembly line building cars with very few humans working. We also see commercials of automobiles parallel parking without the driver. We can go into the Post Office and buy stamps and/or mail a package via a machine. We use automated kiosks when we shop for groceries or in department stores. Amazon is already planning on developing drones that can pick up orders and deliver them to customers within an hour or less.
On December 24, 1968, three astronauts on Apollo 8 were the first to orbit the moon and take a colored photograph of the earth rising. On December 22, 2013, NASA recreated this moment. Now, for the first time we can see this on You Tube thanks to the data from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.
These commercials and You Tube videos show the impact of technology and science but fail to give a vision of a better future. Technology has definitely changed our lives for the better. We can email our relatives and friends anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. We see the news as it happens either on our televisions, iPhones or iPads, etc. And we can enjoy movies at home via DVD’s.
There is even research being done to create “the Infinity Machine,” a quantum computer which is able to solve multiple problems. Creators of this have visions of being able to discover more effective drugs by analyzing our DNA; help cars drive themselves; forecast weather precisely so that people will be given more time to take cover; and helping cut back on travel time by an analysis of traffic jams.
The basis of capitalism is that the capitalist owns the means of production and the worker sells his/her labor power to buy back the necessaries of life. Profit is realized. Now the electronics revolution comes along and robots replace the worker. Many workers today are temporary or part-time workers who make minimum wage and/or become permanently unemployed. The capitalist relations are being destroyed.
If robots are displacing human labor and eliminating jobs, then how will our needs be met? Technology can provide an abundance of resources if distributed according to need.
If historical and dialectical materialism shows us that the productive forces and thus society are developed from primitive communism, to ancient slavery, to feudalism, to capitalism to advanced communism we can see what the future holds for us. In different countries there were different paths of development.
Capitalism is being destroyed in this era of the electronics revolution and private property needs to be eliminated. A cooperative society must be created with public ownership of these resources, which is necessary for goods and services to be distributed to all. Thus the scientific development of technology makes it possible for us to live in a totally new kind of society where we can have a new world view, which embraces humanity in all its possibilities.
Building Block articles help explain a basic concept of the revolutionary process, challenging readers to explore its meaning for political work in today’s environment.
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011