Before someone gets an aneurism, I am talking about 'utopian' communism and not socialism here. You know, actually what Marx talked about and not what individuals like Lenin or the Paris Commune made out of it. What I am thinking about in particular, is this part of communism: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" >>In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!<< It's an interesting idea, at the very least. One that was never as close to becoming a reality, than today. I am thinking here for the most part about two technological evolutions that we can see on the horizon, namely digitalisation and automatition. In the 1920s certain economists claimed that we would have today a 20 hour work week, based on how producivity has increased just in their life time and how mass production and the modern industry made it possible to pretty much manufacture every day goods and products at a very cheap and affordable price. Going from this, some thought that in the distant future, with better technology and productivty, pretty much everyone would have everything they need for almost nothing and pretty much everyone will only work a few hours at most per day. It didn't make sense for them, to produce more, than you really needed. Well, what's the reality today? Most people have 40-50 hour jobs and we're living in a society of abundance, yet the inequality has never been greater in human history as it is today. So what happend? It seems like the development of wages was at some point not in relation with productivty anymore, while productivity has gone up, wages havn't. The wages in totall have incresed, but in relation to productivity. The reason is relatively simple, most of the profit that is earned, is not shared among those that actually generate it. Our current generation is facing a serious issue of wealth distribution. I am not bitching about 'The Rich' here, as they are just a part of a larger global economic system that's simply rewarding the accumulation of wealth trough interests for example, effect of compound interest in particular as it has an accelerating impact. More products have to be sold in a shorter time frame for smaller costs, to generate the profit in order to cover the increasing interests. And this, effects everyone, even if you're not working for a large company, but you're still feeling the increase in living expenses for example. However, I believe that we're right now on the verge of a 4th industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution, was kick started by the steam engine and the following development, a society that created an entirely new class, the labouring class. The second revolution, was about mass production and the petrochemical industries, which found its peak in the gruesome trenches of the first world war. The third revolution, was the electronical age, which gave birth to computers, semi-conductors and complex machinery. All those revolutions had, sometimes more sometimess less, severe impacts on our societies. But in the end, even trough all the troubles that might have been caused, it meant an improvement in the long run. Now, the 4th revolution which is happening right now, has the same potential to really shake up our societies, the digitalisation and new wave of automatition. Not only does it seem to increase productivity again, but it might also mean that human labour will become needless in many areas, areas where automatition was deemed impossible and we can actually see this already happening today. There are whole computer progams developed by high tech companies like IBM, with the intention to replace lawyers, doctors and the like. But some programms are already in use today, programms that write articles, songs and more. Pretty much every work that can be replaced by some kind of algorithm, is very likey to be effected by this evolution. The difference this time however seems to be, that we're not experiencing the creation of new markets, not in the same way as it happend with the first industrial revoltion for example. The whole point of this revolution, is to replace human labour, when ever possible. Particularly in blue collour jobs, and those industries, where labour is very expensive and expendable. In some industries, labour makes up between 30 and 40% of the costs. The middle class, could be hit the hardest from this, as their wages are high enough to actually make their replacement a real goal. So what does this mean for society? It might forces us to actually tackle the issue of wealth, how it's generated and how it's distributed within our societies. We might actually see the end of the meritocracy, as society might have to re-define the idea of labour, labour as a need to cover your expenses. Maybe there will be a need to revaluate cases where people do not work, work in the sense where they peform a job, that's yielding an income. There are many positions in our society that have no salary or wage. Beeing a mother, caring for your siblings, for sick family members, doing charity work, or simply following your hobbies. People will have to find new ways to define themself, that is not tied to a job. I am not saying this has to lead to a communist society, but I wouldn't be surprised if it actually was really the closest it could come to. In terms of labour at least, governance is a whole different topic!