The displacement of human labor by technological automation is the single biggest cause for unemployment. The trend is accelerating, it is expanding into virtually every industry, it is permanent, and in true human fashion, barely anyone is talking about it.
In my article entitled 3D Printing & Automation Will Collapse the Economy & Create True Independence, I pointed out the following:
In 2013, 3D printing was deemed the 6th fastest growing industry worldwide. Its implications are global and it promises to leave no industry untouched. From fully-3D printed cars, to fabric clothing, to food, nearly everything is flagged for impact even in the technology’s infancy. Yet, much of society ignores this new kid on the block which is silently becoming the greatest technological revolution since the dawn of internet.
Concurrently, technological automation is not just steadily replacing human labor company by company; it is exponentially obsolescing entire industries of work. Conservative estimates predict that unemployment by automation will impact 65% of American jobs by 2035.
The following are some action steps for personal security and independence as the house of cards collapses. Below that is a new perspective to consider regarding the economy and our relationship with it.
Grow Your Own Food & Learn How to Forage
The “prepper movement” is fantastic in so many ways. Aside from a fearful belief in doomsday which Dauntless Dialogue does not endorse, preppers are spot on with their understanding of basic survivalism. It is far from an existentialist lifestyle, but the skills they pick up along the way are invaluable. If you are passivley growing your own food and medicine, that alleviates money that you can now allocate to other priorities.
Plug Into Your Community
By connecting with your community, you set up a safety net of fallback options, resources, and defenses that can come in hand if or when you lose your job. Networking opens opportunities and you can begin to take advantage of things like barter systems which we will look at next.
Utilize Alternative Currencies
Time banks, barter systems, local currencies, and decentralized digital currencies are much safer for hedging against inflation and theft by “Too Big to Prosecute” banks. Bitcoin looks poised to replace the US dollar in the next decade. Find an alternative currency in your area and begin networking with people who are finding solutions outside of the current system.
Get Off Grid
Individuals used to claim they were unable to use renewable energy at home for reasons like their house didn’t get any sunlight. Now, with all of the innovations and a multitude of different renewable power options out there, there is no excuse for not going sustainable. The price has come down dramatically and in some cases solar power is a cheaper option right off the bat. Working together, cities should look to go renewable, too. There is a lot of exciting news on this subject emerging all of the time. For instance, the world’s first grid-connected wave power station was just switched on last week. By getting off the grid, you are taking a big step towards independence and you will be shafting the petrofascist monopolistic energy companies. Plus, you will be unphased by power outages!
Downsize Wherever Possible
As a member of the tiny house community, I fully realize the power of downsizing. Not only is it more financially sensible to downsize, there is a liberating feeling when you get rid of things you do not need or use. Donating them to others who do need them is the most fulfilling feeling. By downsizing, you can potentially obviate or minimize debt, property taxes, superfluous bills like heating and cooling, and other responsibilities. The minimalistic lifestyle allows you to focus on what truly matters most.
The Economy is an Extension of Human Thought
What is the economy? It is often presented to us as an abstract idea, like numbers on a screen, employers writing paychecks, bank tellers depositing money, and consumers spending money. We are often detached from this intangible idea, even though we engage with it every single day.
Think of the economy as nothing more than an extension of human thought. It is comprised of human labor, human creativity, human transactions, human suffering, human needs, human consumption, and ultimately it is human belief that upholds the entire system. The economy is the manifestation of dependence on others and the attempt at maintaining a balance of energy in human interactions. Of course, the system has been hijacked by megalomaniacs and sociopaths so the idea of balance is out the window.
When an old paradigm is phased out and a better one is ushered in, this is due to an expansion of consciousness. Therefore, the collapse we are witnessing of this broken economy is the death of an outmoded form of human thought.
Nothing is Perfect or Corrupt Forever
Once man establishes a new system, its state of perfection never lasts long. Evil finds a way to corrupt it and the catabolic cycle will teach new Lessons. Adversity is like a bully who knocks down your sand castle at the beach every time you finish building it. This endless cycle is nothing to despair over because we improve ourselves each time our system fails. Like a programmer whose system is exploited by hackers looking for a weakness, we design better foolproofs into our systems because we have an increasing understanding of the way Evil thinks and behaves. Adversity is the lantern we wield as we traverse our unconscious.
The ‘Four Givens’
Existential psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom contributed much to the world of psychotherapy and emotive healing. He has authored five psychological books and many more fiction novels, all of which explore inner conflicts and man’s confrontation with existence. He propounds there are “four givens,” or concerns, with which man is eternally wrestling with. These concerns are Death, Freedom, Isolation, and Meaninglessness.
In Death, Freedom, Isolation, and Meaninglessness and the Existential Psychotherapy of Irvin D. Yalom, Steve Berry introduces Yalom and his work.
Yalom is acknowledged and respected globally for his contributions to contemporary psychotherapy; both for his theoretical understanding and his stance for practice which posits that a genuine, transparent, human connection in the therapeutic encounter is one that provides the most beneficial environment for emotional healing. His theory and approach to practice is grounded in the understanding that all human beings face four ultimate existential concerns – death, freedom, isolation and meaningless. Furthermore, he is of the profound belief that all psychopathologies are derivatives of the anxieties generated from awareness of the four concerns, and that a vital task of human development is to confront, and come to terms with the realities that each concern presents.
Yalom asserts that authenticity, or “genuineness,” is the beginning of man’s integration into psychological wholeness.
Wikipedia extrapolates on Yalom’s influence on existential therapy,
In the British School of Existential Therapy (Cooper, 2003), these givens are seen as predictable tensions and paradoxes of the four dimensions of human existence, the physical, social, personal and spiritual realms (Umwelt, Mitwelt, Eigenwelt and Überwelt).
Meaning is the treasure that we seek. Loneliness is the journey. Freedom is the ability to seek the treasure and choose our own journey – to explore. Mortality means more than just physical death; it represents the transience of all things. Everything has an end. Change is the only constant. Even a great and powerful love will inevitably die and that frightens us. We conflict with these matters not just because they cause fear in us, but because we do not have solid answers to any of them. They are interpretive, emergent understandings subject to disagreement and change. Man attempts a life of avoidance to delay facing his own soul. Man is weary of contemplating these recondite matters because he knows it is a rabbit hole with no bottom and one question will lead to another. Releasing expectation and grasping unknowingness allows man to ponder these quandaries sanely. Man is ultimately refining his relationship with himself, and the answers he seeks to his internal questions will never be satisfied by external prowling.