Recent advances in automation are stripping out all manner of jobs: not just those of clerks, typists and warehouse workers. Almost any job involving a programmable process is vulnerable. Should we rejoice, and anticipate their emancipation from labour; or should we be very afraid for the basis of our society? Chris Bratcher thinks the latter. He believes the fall-out from the Industrial Revolution will seem trivial by comparison, and that the imbalance of power between capital (which reaps the benefits of automation) and labour is leading to permanent, but insupportable, levels of unemployment.
It is behind the stagnation of the West, and, he suspects, the insurrections against the powers that be in the Middle East. And will China be able to keep a lid on the consequences for its population? Maybe the Marxist Armageddon based on an artificial labour theory of value will be actually brought about by a collapse in the collective purchasing power of the jobless. Come and hear the evidence, and have your say.