Technocentrism, for starters, is our belief at DMSG that technology and the ability to produce it determines a great deal of a society’s wealth, which in turn enables people to enjoy higher standards of living and develop themselves to a greater extent. In this article, we will be articulating why technological development matters so much and why, at the end of the day, society should reallocate resources from non-productive sectors into continual investment in newer technologies. When you look at past articles on this website, it becomes clear that DMSG prioritizes the collective over the individual, seeing what’s done in society’s best interests as being what’s best for its people. Examples of this, from our views on abortion to our views on the majority of profits going towards R&D and industrial reinvestment, are tailored around ensuring that society always benefits and advances, even if it is at the expense of principles and sentiments. While part of society’s welfare hinges on the ability of people to live meaningful and socio-economically comfortable lives, another factor in ensuring that our society continues to thrive is found in how we approach and develop new technologies. While we champion hard work in the West, we do little to recognize the productivity-enhancing potential of machinery that allow us to live as comfortably as we do, with inventions like cranes and tractors effortlessly doing the work of dozens – if not hundreds – of men. While sentiments and principles are lovely, if they hinder your ability to put food on your family’s table or cure a child’s cancer, then as materialists, we say that these beliefs take a backseat to whatever solutions we have available. In America, as well as across the rest of the world, we are dealing with several crises that are challenging our society’s’ abilities to maintain cohesion, ensure material needs are met, and sustain industrial infrastructure. In this article, we’re going to look at when life should end in a world wracked by scarcity, where the non-productive portions of the population have grown so numerous that the subsidy programs that they depend on strip society of its ability to not only develop itself but even sustain itself. Adding onto that last sentence, I am 100% getting cancelled for writing any of the following.
The first challenge with ensuring technological development is ensuring that there’s a vibrant labor supply equipped with affordable educational opportunities, in order for people to become specialized and contribute to fields that would otherwise be too sophisticated for generalists to contribute in. The problem that comes with rapidly aging societies, where the elderly outnumbers the youth, is that the safety nets in place for these unproductive citizens strip the government of its ability to invest in other parts of the economy, while the voting base’s interests become increasingly aligned against the interests of both the youth and the working population. When we look at the elderly’s opinions on fiscal policy, it is nuanced and mainly based on reducing their tax loads, while ensuring that entitlement programs like Medicaid and Social Security continue to survive. From a dialectical materialist perspective, the elderly in becoming dependents on the state become a socioeconomic class of their own, where their investments in the stock market, any overvalued properties they bought for pennies on the dollar, and their state guarantees take priority over the rest of the nation’s issues. From the extraction of wealth out of the stock market to the reliance on income from rental properties to their dependence on state subsidies, retirees exist primarily as a parasitic class in modern society, with the entirety of their existence being sustained by the work of others. In previous decades, this was sustained by workers outnumbering retirees and ensuring that whatever labor surpluses the elderly lived off of weren’t such large pieces of the pie that others couldn’t have food themselves. This problem, in regards to the worker-retiree ratio, is best evidenced by the graph below:
In cultures that arose in extreme scarcity, such as the Inuit, this problem was addressed in tribes and family units by leaving their unproductive elderly stranded on ice floats; an indirect killing that was necessitated by the Inuit’s emotional challenges with killing those they loved, while also being unable to support them any longer. Similar to how the Inuit had to worry about providing enough food for their families to survive, Americans in the future will have to worry about providing enough money for their families to survive if this trend in the worker-retiree ratio continues. As the elderly’s entitlements increasingly sap resources away from the working populations and the institutions that keep society afloat, while the retirees vote as part of an unofficial voting bloc in order to protect their guarantees, American workers have to think about how far they’re willing to go to protect their families’ future. While it seems extremely distasteful to talk about, the fact of the matter is that this graph below does not change simply because you ignore it:
While these numbers are bad and the probable outcomes are honestly worse than we can imagine, we have to remember that this worker-retiree ratio crisis occurs within the same decade that MIT’s “Limits to Growth” predicts industrial output, agricultural production, and population levels to collapse. Saying that federal entitlements in the future would be unsustainable is a huge understatement, when the reality is that they’d most likely be apocalyptic for industrial civilization in the long run if we continue on our current trajectory. Even while what I say here is extremely distasteful, its true and proven by the numbers. At this point in time, industrial civilization has exhausted the vast majority of its easily accessible energy resources and has damaged the environment to the point that we rely largely on synthetic products in order to survive, so for all intensive purposes, as a species we are as reliant on the continued existence of industrial civilization as the elderly are reliant on the working population. Just as the Inuits had to make hard choices in order to survive in their ultra-scarce conditions, so too will the rest of the world in time as the surplus doled out to each worker after taxes dips to the point that survival and reproduction become endangered.
The problem with the continually decreasing worker-retiree ratio is that, in more and more people belonging to this parasitic class that lives off of the fruits of our labor, there will be more and more voters motivated by the same class interests throughout the developed world that want to avoid losing their entitlements. There is no democratic political solution for this problem that I can conceive of, as things like Social Security and Medicaid have always been untouchable subjects in American politics even prior to this great upcoming surge in retirees. This problem, looking at it through the usual legislative processes by which our countries change, could continue to compound in time until it destroys our civilizations. As people dependent on sophisticated infrastructure, who’s skill bases are largely tied up in interacting with specialized machines, American workers and countless others across the globe cannot afford to risk industrial civilization. Just as machines depend on humans for the continual production of parts and the providing of maintenance to function, so too do humans depend on machines for our continued survival at this point in time. Eight billion humans cannot coexist harmoniously with nature as hunter-gatherers, in a degrading environment that has seen 3/4s of its animal population wiped out in the last fifty years. As the graph shows below, whether we like it or not, our existence is entirely dependent on the continued existence of technology to survive at this point:
The reason why I bring up the deserved primacy of technocentrism in our society, as well as the worker-retiree ratio in society, is to illustrate here that we need to do tough things in order to survive. While utopians like to imagine post-scarcity is right around the corner and that we will live in an era of limitless wealth, the fact of the matter is that none of this has yet to appear and over the decades, as the means of production have gotten more and more advanced, we’ve only gotten more and more poor. While there are underlying factors that contribute to this ongoing impoverishment of the working class, the point is that we should never believe in the inevitability of success and happiness and that these things, just like anything else in the universe that requires resources and technology to make possible, have opportunity costs. As a species at this point in time, that has vastly outgrown the planet’s capabilities to sustain us, let alone itself, we can either accept these ethical and social costs in order to continue to develop our society and realize our full potential as a species or we can eventually perish, becoming as forgettable as a gust of wind that blew over the sea a billion years ago in time. While we like to think that the present is the only thing that matters in a society so hooked on short-term thinking, the truth of the matter is that the only things that matter are the things that persist. While we put back together dinosaur bones in our museums, the fact of the matter is that without us to discover these ancient relics, they don’t matter at all. In a universe with no evidence of life beyond this earth, where nothing besides ourselves can even begin to understand anything about reality, human beings are the most important things this universe has possibly ever had. Just as technology has enhanced our thinking and transformed our consciousnesses over time, it has let us enjoy luxuries and discover things that our ancestors could never have conceived of, and should we continue to not only sustain but advance this industrial civilization, the fruits of our hard work will eventually know no bounds. I advocate for technocentrism at any costs because the momentary prices to pay are nothing in comparison to the eternal glory we can achieve as a species if we continue to grow and develop our technology base. While some would like to believe sentiments and emotions make us human, I like to think that technology can eventually make us gods.
Editor’s note: the views below have been gathered to express the different solutions to the worker-retiree ratio crisis.
Linelad’s views on worker-retiree ratios, while unelaborated in the above paragraphs, represent a minority view in DMSG. Linelad believes that social security should be awarded based on how many productive children someone has and how much their children produce for society, with adults in their fertility years being incentivized to not only produce capable children but guide them onwards to prosperity. While Linelad disagrees completely with the nepotism that could arise out of such an arrangement and thinks its benefactors should be sent to labor camps, Linelad believes that parents should be as incentivized to produce children as instill work ethics into them. This would be similar to how agrarian families were economically incentivized to produce and rear children in the past and would allow for the system to support itself in time. Those that did not meet these requirements would be given the option of euthanasia.
Farmhander’s views on worker-retiree ratios promote the idea that full-time retirement should never be granted to people, with the elderly working in functions better suited to them like teaching later on in life, with their required hours being reduced as they age. The vast amount of career experience that the elderly have, in both the trades and professions, are lost with each retiree that leaves the workforce, so Farmhander advocates for these elderly workers taking on more comfortable and less-stressful roles that allow them to pass on their knowledge. This would have the added benefit of dismantling traditional academia and lowering tuition costs, by substituting professors, teachers, and instructors in many fields with volunteers that have hands-on experience. In addition to this, these semi-retirees would work on help-lines to help out current workers in their fields, giving advice when the current workers encountered problems that they didn’t know the solutions for. Farmhander believes that society should be reorganized so as to allow for young people to work in jobs more suited to their strengths, while allowing for those who would otherwise be retired to take on roles that could allow for teaching and other more elderly-friendly duties.