DRAFT: The Societal Logic of “Modes of Production” I: From Feudal-Agrarian to Applied-Science Society
My attempt to try out relatively orthodox Second International Marxism—or, rather, Engelsism on all this...
Why, with our enormous productive capabilities, have we humans failed to make a more utopian world? The bulk of our predecessors thought that the biggest problem humanity faced was that humanity could not bake a sufficiently large economic pie for everyone to potentially have enough. They thought that was the really hard problem. We have solved it—or, rather, we have partially solved it, and can see our way clear to completely solving it.
Moreover, the bulk of our predecessors thought that the second problem biggest problem humanity faced—the other cause of most of what had gone wrong with human society—was a feature overlaid on top of the basic societal mode of production that could only prooduce a Malthusian society characterized by population pressure to guarantee scarcity and poverty. It was that if you are in a world of scarcity and poverty, then there are enormous pressures to join a gang: to turn governance and politics into a system of domination by force and fraud, so that you at least can get enough for yourself.
The pressures for that force-and-fraud gang domination-and-exploitation machine should have died away with the coming of a world sufficiently prosperous for everyone to potentially have enough. Force-and-fraud, domination-and-exploitation—those are rather difficult and dangerous things to undertake. Why undertake them if there is no great need, if there is enough? Why not, if everyone has their own vine and fig tree, simply take your ease beneath them, and lead a good life?
And yet, needless to say, that is not the world we have. Right now:
We have armed killer robots stalking the skies above Ukraine and the Middle East.
We have extraordinary, extraordinarily unequal income distribution around the world.
We have a great many countries and a great many people who are not taking anything like full advantage of our magnificent productive technologies.
And we have lots of people very angry because they see others getting more than is "fair".Moreover, we are failing to face worldwide challenges, of which global warming will be perhaps foremost for the next fifty years. The monsoon was three hundred miles off of where it was supposed to be two years ago. Why? Because of global warming. Pakistan, as a result, has $60 billion dollars of flood damage. Who is going to pay that bill, and the other bills that come due? The costs of global warming are falling on poor countries. The rich countries that could pay and that caused the problem are not ponying up.