What a libertarian Social Darwinist paradise would look like.
I’ve written often before about how much of the war between the American left and right is essentially the building of sand castles in the face of the oncoming tide of globalization, deskilling and mechanization of the workforce accompanied by catastrophic climate change. Much of what constitutes public policy battles in this country are fought between the one-percenters simply trying to loot what’s left before it all crashes and burns, and neoliberals desperately trying to pump up asset prices and force everyone into engineering programs to disguise the destruction the of the regular wage economy. The far right and progressive left, meanwhile, are each trying to bring back the social and economic norms of the 1950s and late 1960s, respectively, in efforts of utter futility.
It’s rare to find columnists who are asking themselves the right questions. It’s rarer still to find ones who have the right answers. But it’s when conservatives and libertarians ask the right questions and come up with their honest responses that we see the crippling danger of allowing them anywhere near the levers of power. Consider the example of Tyler Cowen, conservative/libertarian economist and pundit, writing in POLITICO Magazine, celebrating a future in which a few technically skilled “economic winners” in cities will lord it over a mass of rubes left behind in an era of mass mechanization:
Less acknowledged, perhaps, is what all this technological change portends: nothing short of a new political order. The productivity gains, the medical advances, the workplace reorganizations and the myriad other upheavals that will define the coming automation age will create new economic winners and losers; it will reorient our demographics; and undoubtedly, it will transform what we demand from our government.
The rise of the machines builds on deeper economic trends that are already roiling American society, including stagnant growth since 2001 and a greater openness to trade and foreign outsourcing. More…