1. Demand Full Automation
2. Demand Universal Basic Income
3. Demand a shorter work week
4. Destroy the Work Ethic
Believe it or not, this manifesto is nothing to do with New Escapologist. It comes from Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, the academics behind a new book called Inventing the Future.
They gave a talk at a university building not 300 meters from my Glasgow flat last week so I went along to hear them speak.
I’m glad I went. It was good to see that someone is taking this philosophy seriously and with the establishment force of academia behind them, rather than exhibiting it as an art project or a wry comment somewhere. It feels as though the cartridge is loaded.
The general attitude of Alex and Nick was “what’s all this work for if we’re never getting the freedom it was supposed to buy?” and “why can’t we organise systems that will cater for this?” Sounds familiar, I know, but this is happening inside the machine now, and not just with people like you and me on the ragged fringe.
The book looks good. Here’s the blurb:
Neoliberalism isn’t working. Austerity is forcing millions into poverty and many more into precarious work, while the left remains trapped in stagnant political practices that offer no respite.
Inventing the Future is a bold new manifesto for life after capitalism. Against the confused understanding of our high-tech world by both the right and the left, this book claims that the emancipatory and future-oriented possibilities of our society can be reclaimed. Instead of running from a complex future, Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams demand a postcapitalist economy capable of advancing standards, liberating humanity from work and developing technologies that expand our freedoms.