Trump Cannot Stop The Advance Of The Machines

Reshoring And The Social Relations Of Globalisation And Technological Innovation

By Dr. Mark Howard (Monash University)

January 15, 2017         Picture: Jim Young/Reuters.


This article is part of The Critique’s January/February 2017 Issue “Stick It To The Man: A Year Of Anglo-American Populist Revolt Against A Changing Culture And An Obtuse Political Establishment.”


Introduction

In the recent U.S presidential campaign, President Elect Donald Trump utilised nationalist rhetoric to spotlight his political stance on trade and industry, promising to “bring home” manufacturing, and with it, production labour and capital. His focus was on the effects of the global economy, in particular “offshore” labour, on American workers. At the same time he overlooked, or understated, the effect of transformative or disruptive technologies on the future of work.[1] “Reshoring” is his intended response to the decaying social relations of production in the U.S. However, the domesticating of industrial labour faces both practical and social dilemmas, some of which I discuss below.

Over the last 30 years, industry has offshored labour in an effort to maximise profits. Beyond the controls of government regulation, U.S companies have established new operations in foreign countries (green field investment) and acquired indigenous firms. The aim is to exploit cheap labour by exerting greater control and authority over an atomised labour force with a large reserve of unemployed workers. However, green field sites are dwindling and foreign workers are becoming better organised, beginning to mobilise for better wage deals and working conditions. Further, foreign companies are undertaking aggressive labour replacement programs, with Apple suppliers Foxconn recently replacing 60,000 factory workers with robots.[2] Consequently, the largest effects of the offshoring of labour on the manufacturing sector may be in the past, as this approach has become less profitable.[3] Arguably, however, the negative social impact of developed economies withdrawing from the communities that have grown up around green field investments may be substantial and sustained.

As the international labour market has changed, so too has the domestic market. The latter changes are manifest in the growth in precarious work.[4] Precarious workers lack job security and their work place rights have been eroded. The outcome is a workforce that is as easily discarded as it is embraced.[5] This social relation of production protects the owners of capital from the withdrawal of labour and other forms of industrial action that have previously held-off the precariousness of employment under the logic of capitalism.

The slowing of green field investment, the technological displacement of labour, and the growth of precarious employment means that planning for the future of work cannot rely on how labour markets have behaved in the past. This may prove difficult for a Mercantilist such as Trump, who finds inspiration in the history of protectionism, which aims to increase state power by building wealth through the restriction of trade and encouraging domestic production.

“Planning for the future of work cannot rely on how labour markets have behaved in the past”.

Alongside Mercantilism, the language of the president elect is indicative of Realism in international relations.[6] This political framework will promote the strategic self-interest of the U.S ahead of any suggestion of moral obligation across national borders. If withdrawing support for offshore labour does not harm the political, economic, and security interests of America, and they can re-establish the necessary infrastructure for reshoring, considerations of human rights and social justice beyond America’s border will not limit their behaviour as a matter of principle. The position of the incoming president is that of national partiality, where giving preference to the benefit of one’s own people overrides any sense of moral duty toward “others”.[7]

Crucially, there is an empirical claim at the foundation of the planned reshoring of manufacturing: namely that, through the creation of jobs, reshoring will directly benefit the communities most disadvantaged by the offshoring of production labour. The “Rust-Belt” that delivered victory to the Republicans is promised a revitalised manufacturing sector, which in turn is expected to create employment and re-employment. However, bringing back jobs is not as simple as has been stated. Delivering the anticipated social benefits of reshoring to the “right” people will require government intervention—an anathema to libertarians—into the rapid technological advances in industry.

Capitalism’s demand for cheap labour has seen the globalisation of industry. Now that it has a new source of workers in the form of robots, it seems fanciful to expect the owners of the means of production to invest in high cost human labour.[8] There is a tension inherent to the key social relation of production—the contract between worker and employer. As Berkman states, the system of profit-making native to this relationship creates competing interests, where maximising profit requires the containment of labour costs.[9] This is evidenced in the U.S, where growth in industry has been strong over the past two decades, but this has not translated into jobs for the simple reason that more work is being performed by machines.[10]

“It seems fanciful to expect the owners of the means of production to invest in high cost human labour.”

Further, the remaining jobs in industry are expected to keep disappearing as new technologies create demand for different skill sets in the labour market. Reshoring is already happening, and in developed countries it is occurring because technological innovation has reduced the demand for cheap human labour. American factory jobs are now being lost to automation more so than to foreign workers, and this would appear to be the new norm as corporations seek to further reduce labour costs and to exert greater control and authority over the domestic labour force.[11]

The technological displacement of work is happening in the U.S, and coercing an accelerated program of reshoring is likely to exaggerate technological adoption. In a recent report in the Business Insider, Bernstein analysts Parker and Moel stated that forcing manual production tasks to be performed in a “high-cost labour market” (such as America) is likely to hasten the uptake of industrial automation.[12] The chance of this outcome is multiplied by the fact that the benefits of technological innovation in industry usually accrue to the owners of technology, and perhaps a small group of technical elite [See Cogley on who benefits from Silicon Valley’s disruption].

If the empirical claim that founds the political reason for reshoring is false, then the subsequent argument for restricting investment in foreign labour is unsound, and likely immoral.[13] This poses another question: If the aim of new industrial and trade policy is to address the decaying social relations of production through targeted employment, should the government regulate the displacement of labour through technical innovation in the same way it plans to contain globalisation? By leveraging Goodin’s agitation,[14] I argue that unless a case for the asymmetry of technological displacement and offshoring is made, we must assume symmetry exists in the normative significance of workplace automation and the use of foreign labour. If the long-term indicators of both is loss of employment and social decay amongst U.S workers, then as social phenomena they appear morally equivalent.

To maintain intellectual consistency in the argument for reshoring, the social relation of production needs to be reimagined in terms of social justice, not simply political and economic metrics. If governments are prepared to prejudicially intervene to take jobs away from foreign workers, ostensibly to benefit local communities, they should be prepared to regulate the disruptive technologies of manufacturing that threaten these same communities.

Randall Collins spotlights that halting the technological displacement of human labour requires the pulling of an extrinsic lever, for instance government regulation, for the current mechanism that is propelling technological innovation—capitalist competition—has no such brake.[15] This regulation could take the form of prohibition or containment, or the more radical idea of the democratising of ownership and wealth redistribution. The ownership of technology rarely comes up in discussions of the social and ethical dimensions of the automation of labour: but the answer is well known. As has been the case throughout the history of industry, the means of production are owned by capitalist property holders.[16] This is significant, for control of the means of production is key to the social outcomes associated with technological innovation and also in determining who will benefit from the capital improvements of Industry 4.0.

 

II. Industry 4.0

In the 1980s, Tessa Morris-Suzuki presciently spoke of a future where “manufacturing systems whir unattended, producing all possible goods and service…”[17] Currently we are witnessing the nascence of the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. This is a technology of replacement founded in “smarter automation” or “smart factories” where cyber-physical arrangements leverage the “Internet of Things” to connect machine to machine and put products in control of their own manufacturing process.[18] Brynjolfsson and McAfee inform us in The Second Machine Age that this revolution in machine labour is different to what has gone before. Dimensions such as machine learning and the Internet of Things, coupled with the social context of neo-liberalism, promotes a rationalisation of labour with the potential to spread throughout blue collar fields but also reach into white collar jobs.[19] In industry 4.0, robots and machines become the constituents of self-organisation and alienate the worker from self-management, resulting in atomisation and an inability to stave of precariousness.

“If governments are prepared to take jobs away from foreign workers, ostensibly to benefit local communities, they should be prepared to regulate the disruptive technologies of manufacturing that threaten these same communities.”

When we realise that those promoting industry 4.0 are focused on the negative aspects of a human workforce, we gain insight into the future direction of manufacturing. Consequently, a recent editorial for Assembly Magazine should cause concern amongst production labourers and those interested in their wellbeing. In the editorial, John Sprovieri identifies key areas where value could be added to manufacturing processes by removing the human element. For example, he notes that “nearly 10 percent of manufacturing personnel spend half their day looking for equipment and products,” and that “85 percent of quality issues are caused by worker errors.”[20] Further, a 2013 report by McKinsey Global Institute on industry 4.0 advises that early uptake of the new technology will be a “key comparative advantage”, and would appear to offer the greatest benefit to global companies by reducing their labour costs and by decentralising production. It would be naïve to think that new industrial technologies will be handled in an ethical and socially responsible manner. As Frey and Osborne observe, “the balance between job conservation and technological progress … reflects the balance of power in society, and how gains from technological progress are being distributed.”[21]

 

III. The future of work

The headline figure in popular media representations of the potential technological displacement of work is that 47% of Americans are at risk of being replaced by machines. This statistic has its origins in an article by Frey and Osborne,[22] who are part of the revival in analysis of automation (in particular robots) and the future of work. The figure came to prominence in a report by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch—Robot Revolution – Global Robots & AI Primer—that claims that 45% of manufacturing tasks will be performed by robots by 2025. Similar figures appear in a study by the Pew Research Center—AI, robotics, and the future of jobs—and a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research dedicated to the European economy.[23] The Pew study underscores the potential for increases in under-employment, in employment in low paid service industry jobs, and in long-term unemployment. Job displacement is already in evidence in the manufacturing sector, and indications are that income and social inequality will be exaggerated by technological adoption if the existing social relations of production are left intact.

The Pew report does, however, consider the potential for automation to redefine our relationship to work in a positive way. Optimistically, it is noted that the capacity for automation to reduce the demand for human labour and to add value to production could promote flourishing at the level of the individual and society through increased leisure and shared wealth. John Maynard Keynes famously predicted something similar in 1930, forecasting increased leisure and a 15 hour working week based on a future of material prosperity.[24] However, this proved to be a utopian interpretation of the law of diminishing marginal utility and its applicability to income.[25] As evidenced by the polarisation of society, the law does not appear to apply to wealth and power as it may to material resources. Facilitated by a system of property ownership that allows unlimited accumulation and individual appropriation, the developed world has become addicted to wealth.[26]

In 2014, Credit Suisse estimated that 48% of the world’s total wealth was possessed by 1% of the population. This schism between wealth and poverty gives lie to Keynes’ prediction and highlights the fiction of Adam Smith’s invisible hand, where paradoxically the pursuit of self-interest under the conditions of capitalism is meant to have unintended social benefits. Under a global economy, polarisation is occurring through various economic mechanisms. As Davis and Stack identify, developing countries have experienced capitalist expansion through the exploitation of their cheap low-skilled labour, while in the first world human labour is being progressively replaced through technological change.[27] Seemingly, if America is serious about confronting the problem of future employment and the decay of the social relations of production in a global economy, it would do well to consider the threat posed by disruptive technologies. It would also do well to attend to this problem from an ethical and social perspective, perhaps one that treats individuals as ends in themselves and where social goods are not an accident of strategic self-interest.

Most strikingly, the oncoming period of social disruption represents an opportunity to rethink the nature of social relations under the contemporary conditions of production.[28] Vitally, we must not excuse ourselves of our moral duty under the conditions of globalisation and technological innovation by deferring to Smith’s fable of the invisible hand or Keynes’ utopianism. Equally, we must not justify anomie by acceding to explanations couched in terms of technological determinism. People are not economically irrelevant, we can make decisions that alter our relations under capitalism.[29] Instead, we should spotlight the ethical choices that confront us, and recognise the moral imperative to avoid the social decay that can accompany technological displacement. If robots can perform certain tasks more efficiently and safely than humans, and the wealth generated by this system can be distributed in a way that benefits the wider community, there is an ethical argument to support the automation of labour. Perhaps, if we democratise the ownership of the robots, they can be our “proxy workers”, whose labour provides what Brynjolfsson and McAfee refer to as a ‘robot dividend’.[30] Automation may be the most ethical response to the current employment crises in manufacturing sectors, but only if we are prepared to restructure the relations of production.

What is required is a sustained exploration of the ethical and social justice issues arising from the technological displacement and polarisation of labour, and an analysis of how the robotisation of the work force may lead to social decay in the absence of political intervention. The fourth industrial revolution, which involves a shift from complimentary to replacement technologies, may fundamentally change the organisation of labour, and exaggerate social inequality. Moreover, the existential risk it presents extends beyond the factory and low-income manual labourers, threatening to reach into ‘knowledge’ based sectors such as finance, administration and management. The use of robotics as replacement labour has implications for the organisation of work and the labour market. Considerations of human rights and social justice can help manage the societal challenges, such as the redistribution of work and wealth, in a political-economic system facing potential hyper-unemployment.

“Perhaps robots can be our “proxy workers”, whose labour provides robot dividend.”

Technology has shaped the social relations of production since the industrial revolution, but there are characteristics of the fourth industrial revolution that indicate we are set for a paradigm shift. This, in part, is attributable to the nature of the technology itself, but it is also influenced by the global environment of work. This is to acknowledge that the problems confronting the industrialised world exist within a globalising economy shaped, in part, by technological innovation. A potential consequence is the displacement and polarisation of labour, creating at one end a deskilled unemployed facing the long-term prospect of poverty, and at the other extreme a technical elite.[31]

Without intervention, the newly created class of hyper-unemployed and under-employed are likely to experience reduced standards of living and the well documented effects of unemployment that increase personal struggle and social decay.[32] Consequently, the challenge is not limited to re-employment; it extends to encompass the need for meaningful employment or activity and an equivalency in the quality of life. Accordingly, there is a need for a progressive re-imagining of the relation of society, technology, work and wealth that identifies the potential risks and benefits of a low-employment society, and envisions new pathways to secure the future prosperity of all persons. This, l believe, involves investigating how worker self-organisation, democratic ownership of technology, and the redistribution of wealth may guarantee that the productivity gains of technological innovation benefit the whole of society.


Footnotes & References

Acemoglu, Daron. “When Does Labor Scarcity Encourage Innovation?”. Journal of Political Economy 118, no. 6 (2010): 1037-78.

Beard, Matthew. “With Robots, Is a Life without Work One We’d Want to Live?”, The Guardian (2016). https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/26/with-robots-is-a-life-without-work-one-wed-want-to-live.

Berkman, Alexander. What Is Communist Anarchism. New York: Dover Publications, 1972.

Bernstein, Amy. “Globalization, Robots, and the Future of Work: An Interview with Jeffrey Joerres.” Harvard Business Review no. October (2016). https://hbr.org/2016/10/globalization-robots-and-the-future-of-work.

Berr, Jonathan. “Google Buys 8 Robotics Companies in 6 Months: Why?”, Money Watch (2013). http://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-buys-8-robotics-companies-in-6-months-why/.

Brynjolfsson, Erik, and Andrew McAfee. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. WW Norton & Company, 2014.

———. “Will Humans Go the Way of Horses?”. Foreign Affairs 94, no. 4 (2015): 8-14.

Collins, Randall. “The End of Middle-Class Work: No More Escapes.” In Does Capitalism Have a Future, edited by Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derleugian and Craig Calhoun, 37-70. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Cottey, Alan. “Technologies, Culture, Work, Basic Income and Maximum Income.” AI & society 29, no. 2 (2014): 249-57.

David, H, and David Dorn. “The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the Us Labor Market.” The American Economic Review 103, no. 5 (2013): 1553-97.

Davis, Jim, and Michael Stack. “The Digital Advantage.” In Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl and Michael Stack. London: Verso, 1997.

Dolphin, Tony, ed. Technology, Globalisation and the Future of Work in Europe: Essays on Employment in a Digitized Economy. London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015.

Fineman, Stephen. Unemployment: Personal and Social Consequences. London: Tavistock, 1987.

Frey, Carl Benedikt, and Michael A Osborne. The Future of Employment. How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation. Oxford Martin School, 2013.

Goodin, Robert. “If People Were Money.” In Free Movement: Ethical Issues in the Transnational Migration of People and of Money, edited by Brian Barry and Robert Goodin, 6-22. University Park: Pennsylvannia State University Press, 1992.

Kates, N, Barrie S Greiff, and Duane Q Hagen. The Psychosocial Impact of Job Loss. Clinical Practice. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1990.

Keynes, John Maynard. “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.” In Essays in Persuasion, 321-32: Springer, 2010.

Lasi, Heiner, Peter Fettke, Hans-Georg Kemper, Thomas Feld, and Michael Hoffmann. “Industry 4.0.” Business & Information Systems Engineering 6, no. 4 (2014): 239.

Lerner, Sally. “How Will North America Work in the Twenty-First Century.” In Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl and Michael Stack, 177-94. London: Verso, 1997.

Morris-Suzuki, Tessa. “Capitalism in the Computer Age.” In Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl and Michael Stack. London: Verso, 1997.

———. “Robots and Capitalism.” In Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, edited by Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl and Michael Stack. London: Verso, 1997.

Naughton, John. “It’s No Joke – the Robots Will Really Take over This Time.” The Guardian (2016). https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/27/no-joke-robots-taking-over-replace-middle-classes-automatons.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard university press, 1971.

Smith, Aaron, and Janna Anderson. “Ai, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs.” Pew Research Center (2014).

Sparrow, Robert. “If People Were Movies? Free Speech and Free Association.” Journal of Political Philosophy 24, no. 2 (2016): 227-44.

Sprovieri, John. “Are You Ready for Industry 4.0?”, Assembly no. January (2015). http://www.assemblymag.com/articles/92583-are-you-ready-for-industry-40.

Standing, Guy. The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

Thompson, Derek. “A World without Work.” The Atlantic, 2015.

Wakefield, Jane. “Foxconn Replaces ‘60,000 Factory Workers with Robots’.” BBC News: Technology (2016). http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966.

Williams-Grut, Oscar. “Bernstein: China’s Insane Spending on Robotics Is Fundamentally Changing Capitalism.” Business Insider Australia (2016). http://www.businessinsider.com.au/bernstein-china-robots-and-the-end-of-adam-smiths-wealth-of-nations-2016-12?r=UK&IR=T.

Williams, Bernard. “A Critique of Utilitarianism.” In Utilitarianism: For and Against, edited by J.J.C Smart and Bernard Williams. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.

—————————————————————

[1] The issue of technological innovation and the future of work has apparently captured the attention of the popular media more so than policy makers. See for example: Derek Thompson, “A World without Work,” The Atlantic 2015; Matthew Beard, “With Robots, Is a Life without Work One We’d Want to Live?,” The Guardian(2016), https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/sep/26/with-robots-is-a-life-without-work-one-wed-want-to-live.

[2] Jane Wakefield, “Foxconn Replaces ‘60,000 Factory Workers with Robots’,” BBC News: Technology(2016), http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966.

[3] Tony Dolphin, ed. Technology, Globalisation and the Future of Work in Europe: Essays on Employment in a Digitized Economy (London: Institute for Public Policy Research, 2015).

[4] Amy Bernstein, “Globalization, Robots, and the Future of Work: An Interview with Jeffrey Joerres,” Harvard Business Review, no. October (2016), https://hbr.org/2016/10/globalization-robots-and-the-future-of-work.

[5] See: Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, 2nd ed. (London: Bloomsbury, 2014); Tessa Morris-Suzuki, “Robots and Capitalism,” in Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, ed. Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl, and Michael Stack (London: Verso, 1997).

[6] Examples include his stated aim of non-interference in Russia, and a belief in the “sovereign right” of the US to build the wall between the US and Mexico.

[7] While establishing the normative significance of national borders is important in this context, as is discussing the difficulty of forming a coherent national image worthy of such partiality, both are beyond the scope of this article. For further discussion of these topics see: Robert Goodin, “If People Were Money,” in Free Movement: Ethical Issues in the Transnational Migration of People and of Money, ed. Brian Barry and Robert Goodin (University Park: Pennsylvannia State University Press, 1992); Robert Sparrow, “If People Were Movies? Free Speech and Free Association,” Journal of Political Philosophy 24, no. 2 (2016).

[8] John Naughton, “It’s No Joke – the Robots Will Really Take over This Time,” The Guardian(2016), https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/27/no-joke-robots-taking-over-replace-middle-classes-automatons.

[9] Alexander Berkman, What Is Communist Anarchism (New York: Dover Publications, 1972), 10-14.

[10] Mark Muro, “Manufacturing Jobs Aren’t Coming Back,” MIT Technology review, no. November (2016), https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602869/manufacturing-jobs-arent-coming-back/.

[11] Morris-Suzuki, “Capitalism in the Computer Age.”

[12] Oscar Williams-Grut, “Bernstein: China’s Insane Spending on Robotics Is Fundamentally Changing Capitalism,” Business Insider Australia(2016), http://www.businessinsider.com.au/bernstein-china-robots-and-the-end-of-adam-smiths-wealth-of-nations-2016-12?r=UK&IR=T. See also Daron Acemoglu, “When Does Labor Scarcity Encourage Innovation?,” Journal of Political Economy 118, no. 6 (2010).

[13] The assumption is that in the absence of national benefit, the social harm caused in other countries should be considered immoral.

[14] Goodin, “If People Were Money.” Goodin argues that there is a symmetry to the movement of capital and people (labour) across national borders.

[15] Randall Collins, “The End of Middle-Class Work: No More Escapes,” in Does Capitalism Have a Future, ed. Immanuel Wallerstein, et al. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

[16] See ibid. Oligopolies now look likely, evidenced by Google’s recent purchase of 8 robotics companies. See Jonathan Berr, “Google Buys 8 Robotics Companies in 6 Months: Why?,” Money Watch(2013), http://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-buys-8-robotics-companies-in-6-months-why/.

[17] Morris-Suzuki, “Robots and Capitalism.”

[18] Heiner Lasi et al., “Industry 4.0,” Business & Information Systems Engineering 6, no. 4 (2014).

[19] Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (WW Norton & Company, 2014).

[20] John Sprovieri, “Are You Ready for Industry 4.0?,” Assembly, no. January (2015), http://www.assemblymag.com/articles/92583-are-you-ready-for-industry-40.

[21] Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A Osborne, The Future of Employment, How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation (Oxford Martin School, 2013), 6.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Aaron Smith and Janna Anderson, “Ai, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs,” Pew Research Center (2014); Dolphin, Technology, Globalisation and the Future of Work in Europe: Essays on Employment in a Digitized Economy.

[24] John Maynard Keynes, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” in Essays in Persuasion (Springer, 2010).

[25] This “law” broadly states that the amount of benefit we gain from acquiring a material resource is related to the amount of that resource we currently have: those of us with more, benefit less and those with less benefit more.

[26] Alan Cottey discusses the logic of this system and the subsequent benefit of setting both a basic universal income and a maximum income: Alan Cottey, “Technologies, Culture, Work, Basic Income and Maximum Income,” AI & society 29, no. 2 (2014).

[27] Jim Davis and Michael Stack, “The Digital Advantage,” in Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, ed. Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl, and Michael Stack (London: Verso, 1997).

[28] Hopefully this rethinking will extend beyond national borders to consider the wellbeing of peoples in countries where the developed world is withdrawing support for manufacturing and human labour. These communities face the same threat of social decay and personal struggle as the unemployed in developed countries.

[29] Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, “Will Humans Go the Way of Horses?,” Foreign Affairs 94, no. 4 (2015).

[30] See for discussion: ibid.

[31] Sally Lerner, “How Will North America Work in the Twenty-First Century,” in Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution, ed. Jim Davis, Thomas Hirschl, and Michael Stack (London: Verso, 1997). Autor and Dorn have discovered evidence of this process of polarisation in the US. See: H David and David Dorn, “The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the Us Labor Market,” The American Economic Review 103, no. 5 (2013).

[32] See for example Stephen Fineman, Unemployment: Personal and Social Consequences (London: Tavistock, 1987); N Kates, Barrie S Greiff, and Duane Q Hagen, The Psychosocial Impact of Job Loss, Clinical Practice (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1990).

Mark Howard
Mark Howard
Mark Howard is an early career researcher precariously employed within the Philosophy Department of Monash University, Australia. His teaching is focused on political philosophy and the ethics of global conflict, while his research concentrates on the intersection of the radical subject and political institutions in western democracies. Mark’s recent publications investigate the epistemic value of the theory and practice of radical communities.

“How many newsworthy issues, which should have been the rightful domain of philosophy, have been usurped in recent years by religion, law, and psychology?”

Lee McIntyre

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