Friday, 21 October 2016

Will jobs exist in 2050?

Sophisticated machines are fast outpacing jobs. What does this mean for the future of work? And if there are no jobs, what we will do with our time?

Robotic hand using a laptop computer.


As we develop artificial intelligence, what will happen to future jobs? Photograph: KTS Design/Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF

By  /The Guardian/Thursday 13 October 2016

Blogger Ref

There’s no question that technology is drastically changing the way we work, but what will the job market look like by 2050? Will 40% of roles have been lost to automation – as predicted by Oxford university economists Dr Carl Frey and Dr Michael Osborne – or will there still be jobs even if the nature of work is exceptionally different from today? To address these issues, the Guardian hosted a roundtable discussion, in association with professional services firm Deloitte, which brought together academics, authors and IT business experts.
The future of work will soon become “the survival of the most adaptable”, says Paul Mason, emerging technologies director for Innovate UK. As new technologies fundamentally change the way we work, the jobs that remain will be multifaceted and changeable.
“Workers of the future will need to be highly adaptable and juggle three or more different roles at a time,” says Anand Chopra-McGowan, head of enterprise new markets for General Assembly. So ongoing education will play a key role in helping people develop new skills.
It may be the case that people need to consistently retrain to keep up-to-date with the latest technological advances, as jobs are increasingly automated and made redundant. The idea of a “job for life” will be well and truly passé. “There will be constant new areas of work people will need to stay on top of. In 2050 people will continually need to update their skills for jobs of the moment, but I have an optimistic view that there will continue to be employment if these skills are honed,” adds Chopra-McGowan.

However, Mark Spelman, co-head of future of the internet interactive, member of the executive committee for the World Economic Forum, says there will be winners and losers in this new world. “The idea of continuous training is optimistic – I imagine there will be one-day training blitzes where people learn new skills quickly, and then are employed for a month while they’re needed.”
This means the workforce is more likely to shift towards more part-time, freelance-based work, says Julia Lindsay, chief executive of iOpener Institute. “Employers won’t think in terms of employees – they’ll think in terms of specialisms. Who do I need? And for how long? Future work may also be focused around making complex decisions – using creativity, leadership and high degrees of self management.”
For businesses, this means keeping on top of the latest technological advances. “It comes back to how we use technology to inform young people about jobs. Data plays an important role – how can we engage children at school in technology, and give them more support early on in their career? It’s important that there is a cycle drive to foster a better digital environment,” says Mervin Chew, digital attraction manager for Deloitte.
The problem with needing highly specialised roles is that it will isolate parts of the population who are unable to continuously adapt and retrain. “We can’t all be knowledge workers,” says Dan Collier, chief executive of Elevate. “So there will be a lot of unemployment – and perhaps no impetus to help these people. There will end up being a division between the few jobs that need humans, and those that can be automated.”
We’re essentially heading towards a two-tier society, agrees Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer for Microsoft UK. This feeling was echoed by all of our panel, who saw a potential divide between high-level, leadership roles and then less highly-specialised jobs that can be automated.
“This is either going to be very good or very bad – and either way there’s not going to be much in the way of work,” says Richard Newton, author of The End of Nice: How to be human in a world run by robots. The defining factor to whether there will be a two-tier society of mass unemployment, or a society of leisure, will be what society places value on. “The social contract of work has been ripped up, and people will be left with nothing for as long as businesses and corporations value productivity,” adds Newton.
The cheapest and most productive thing to do will be to automate the workforce, so if productivity is what shareholders place value on, there will be mass unemployment. “But if you use technology to reduce accidents, produce food for people and save time – that provides a great societal value,” says Spelman. It doesn’t fit with today’s idea of maximising profits, but these are important things we will need from society. “So in future we need to put societal and shareholder value together,” adds Spelman.

The idea of productivity was forged in the industrial revolution, so it’s no surprise that this may soon become an outdated way of viewing work. “There’s no shortage of work in society – there’s loads of jobs like caring, looking after children and volunteer work, for which we do not assign a value,” says Magdalena Bak-Maier, founder and managing director of Make Time Count.
However, we need to move away from this idea of working for a pay packet. “There also needs to be a shift away from the stereotype of men working and women staying at home,” adds Clare Ludlow, director of Timewise Foundation.
Coplin agrees that even if we can automate all the services we need (and thus eliminate most jobs) we will continue to have huge societal problems that need attention. “We are on a burning platform – a key issue of the future will be: how will we feed everyone?” So there’s an idea that as we continue to evolve and find new boundaries, work will be confined to working on the next human step. “First we need to tackle food and healthcare and transport issues, then we need to make the way we treat the earth more sustainably – and finally we will even look at reaching other planets,” Coplin says.

It may seem that some of these conversations are premature, as we are decades away from creating a working artificial intelligence. “There’s a huge potential for robotics, but you must remember that making a robot is hard,” says Dr Sabine Hauert, lecturer in robotics for the University of Bristol. “For example, if you wanted to create a robot and ask it to fetch you some water, that is amazingly complex. First, the robot needs to understand the home environment, then see the glass, and then locate you. These challenges are extremely hard to solve one by one, and at the moment they’re almost impossible to solve altogether.”
However, Hauert warns that we will see robots and algorithms programmed to do highly specific tasks. “Robots can be programmed to do specific tasks, rather than doing everything.”
One thing we need to remember is that the defining factor for what computers will be designed and created to do, is what humans want. “The change will come from what we want to happen. People make the planet work, so new advances will respond to how people want technology to change,” explains Mason.
But we have to be wary of creating things superior to us, warns Mark Eltringham, workplace expert and consultant for Insight Publishing. “The descent of man under machines is something to be wary and fearful of – it has the potential to be damaging in ways we haven’t thought of before.”

In the past we have used technology to replicate old ways of working – as a way to simply make old practices quicker and cheaper, but now we are about to enter a third computational wave where machines can learn and adapt. “This will have a huge economic impact – businesses will think: should I take the saving that automating the workforce will make, and run? Or should I take the saving and then work with it to create new jobs?” says Coplin.
“I used to think that creative skills would provide a ‘safe space’ as a refuge – but as technology continues to develop, I’m not so sure,” adds Newton. Indeed there is evidence that computers will eventually be able to replicate creative tasks, and even learn to create music, art and write novels.
But Newton is optimistic that this won’t devalue human accomplishments. “I think increasingly we will start to value the journey a human has been on, their personal struggle for achieving something great, even if a robot can do it better. For example, with a musician, we will value how long it took him to learn to produce such amazing music. It’s that human journey and struggle which will become important.”
Though the future of work is unclear, the panel agreed that one thing is for certain: “The nature of work is going to change – the jobs of tomorrow won’t be the same as jobs of today.”

Corporations Running the World Used to Be Science Fiction - Now It's a Reality

Corporations Running the World Used to Be Science Fiction - Now It's a Reality
A view of New York City's business skyscrapers Randy Pertiet under a Creative Commons Licence
By Aisha Dodwell /
Imagine a world in which all of the main functions of society are run for-profit by private companies. Schools are run by multinationals. Private security firms have replaced police forces. And most big infrastructure lies in the hands of a tiny plutocratic elite. Justice, such as it is, is meted out by shady corporate tribunals only accessible to the rich, who can easily escape the reach of limited national judicial systems. The poor, on the other hand, have almost no recourse against the mighty will of the remote corporate elite as they are chased off their land and forced into further penury.
This sounds like a piece of dystopian science fiction. But it’s not. It’s very close to the reality in which we live. The power of corporations has reached a level never before seen in human history, often dwarfing the power of states.

Today, of the 100 wealthiest economic entities in the world, 69 are now corporations and only 31 countries.* This is up from 63 to 37 a year ago. At this rate, within a generation we will be living in a world entirely dominated by giant corporations.
As multinationals increasingly dominate areas traditionally considered the primary domain of the state, we should be afraid. While they privatise everything from education and health to border controls and prisons, they stash their profits away in secret offshore accounts. And while they have unrivalled access to decision makers they avoid democratic processes by setting up secret courts enabling them to bypass all judicial systems applicable to people. Meanwhile their raison d’etre of perpetual growth in a finite world is causing environmental destruction and driving climate change. From Sports Direct's slave-like working conditions to BP's oil spill devastating people's homes, stories of corporations violating rights are all too often seen in our daily papers.
Yet the power of corporations is so great within our society that they have undermined the idea that there is any other way to run society. We are all too familiar with hearing about the threat of ‘losing corporate investment’ or companies taking their business somewhere else as if the government's number one task is to attract corporate investment.
It is this corporate agenda that permeates the governing institutions of the global economy, like the World Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund, whose policies and operations have given more importance to the ‘rights’ of big business than the rights and needs of people and the environment.
The problem of unrestrained corporate power is massive, and it requires a massive solution. That is why Global Justice Now is launching a petition to the UK government demanding that it backs the new UN& initiative for a legally binding global treaty on transnational corporations and human rights.
This UN treaty is the result of campaigning by countries from across the global south for international laws to regulate the activities of TNCs. In June 2014 they successfully got a resolution passed in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) establishing the need for such a treaty.
A working group of member states has been set up to take the treaty forward, chaired by Ecuador, they have met once already in 2015, and have the next meeting scheduled for October 2016 to discuss the scope and content of the treaty. Meanwhile, civil society groups from across the world have come together and formed the Treaty Alliance movement which aims to make sure the treaty comes in to being with truly meaningful content.
Although it may sound like a boring technical process, this treaty is something we should be excited about because it provides a huge opportunity in the fight to restrain corporate power. It has massive potential to withdraw the privileges that corporations have gained over recent decades and force them to comply with international human rights law, international labour law and international environmental standards. It would oblige governments to take the power of corporations seriously, and hold them to account for the power they wield. This would standardise how different governments relate to multinationals which means that rather than allowing them to play countries off against one another in a race to the bottom, it would force minimum standards.

But the UK government, well known for its cosy relationship with corporations, has so far refused to take part in this UN treaty. And the UK are not alone, most other EUcountries are also opposed to the treaty.
We need to make sure our government doesn’t pass up on this rare opportunity to provide genuine protection for the victims of human rights abuses committed by multinational corporations and place binding obligations on all governments to hold their corporations to account for their impacts on people and the planet.
That’s why groups across the continent are joining forces to make sure their leaders participate in the Geneva talks this October. The petition launched today, urging governments across Europe to participate in the Geneva talks will be delivered to national and EU leaders on 12 October.
Of course, the battle against corporate power has many fronts and the UN treaty is only one part of it. At the same time, we need to continue to develop alternative ways to produce and distribute the goods and services we need. We need to undermine the notion that only massive corporations can make the economy and society ‘work’. Food sovereignty and energy democracy are just two examples of how it is possible to build an economy without corporations. But as long as corporations do play a role in our economy, we need to find ways to control their activity and prevent abuses. This is why we need to fight for this UN treaty.
The alternative is that we continue to rush towards the dystopian vision of unchallenged corporate power. We cannot allow this to happen. We must fight back.

You can sign the petition on Global Justice Now’s website.
* These figures have been taken from a direct comparison of the annual revenue of corporations and the annual revenue of countries. Sources: CIA World Factbook 2015and Fortune Global 500

Joseph Stiglitz proposes co-op models as an alternative to trickle-down economics


A changing political landscape and economic challenges mean we are witnessing “interesting” but “unsettling” times, warned economist Joseph Stiglitz at the International Summit of Cooperatives in Quebec.
The Nobel Prize laureate was a keynote speaker at the three-day conference, which brings together over 3,000 delegates from across the world to discuss the future of the co-operative economy.
A world-renowned academic, Prof Stiglitz teaches at Columbia University and has written extensively about inequality, trade agreements and the main issues affecting the world economy.
At the Summit he looked at the key challenges facing the global economy and the role of co-ops in addressing them.
He said that alongside changes in the political landscape, such as Brexit and the upcoming elections in the USA, the world faced economic issues which are beyond the control of individuals and even national governments.
“These are problems which the private sector won’t solve – partly because the private sector created these problems,” he said. “Co-ops and the social economy provide a key third pillar. That’s one of the reasons why I was particularly happy to address you this morning.”
Many countries are witnessing growing inequality which was the result of “the laws of men”, he added.
“Growing inequality is a result of how we have structured the market economy – in particular how we have restructured it in the last third of a century,” he said. “Inequality has been a choice.”
Prof Stiglitz gave the example of the USA, where the income share of the richest 1% (not including capital gains) equals that of the bottom 90%. Another aspect revealing inequality is the rise in executive pay, he added, with the salaries of chief executives rising by more than 300 times than that of the average US worker.
“If CEOs are taking a larger share of income then there is less and less for reinvestment in the company,” he warned.
Medium household income in the USA has also stayed relatively constant since 1998, he said. That year, income reached USD $58,301, while in 2015 it amounted to only USD $56,516.
He said inequality also manifested itself as a lack of access to health services, opportunities and justice. A study by economist Angus Deaton from 2015 shows that death rates have risen over the last years for white USA citizens.
This shorter life expectancy, argued Prof Stiglitz, was the result of social diseases, alcoholism, suicide and drugs – and are a sign that trickle-down economics is not working.
Financialisation has also resulted in more inequality and short term thinking, said Prof Stiglitz.
“Financial integration was supposed to lead to faster growth and more stability,” he said. “This, in turn, has economic and political consequences.
“Citizens know that the establishment has either lied to them or been totally incompetent. They feel that the economic system is rigged. They have lost trust in government and in the fairness of the political and economic system.”
What is the role of co-ops in addressing this inequality? Prof Stiglitz thinks they represent a better way of responding to the risks presented by the society.
“There are alternatives to the current system, even if some suggest there are not,” he said. “Some suggest at most we need minor tweaks on the system. But problems are deep and fundamental. Minor tweaks won’t solve it.”
He criticised economist Milton Friedman’s approach, emphasizing the pursuit personal interest which indirectly contributed to the well-being of society. He believes this “selfish” pursuit is what caused the 2008 financial crisis as well as the emissions scandal at Volkswagen.
“We should learn from co-ops,” he said. “If we do, we can reshape our economy, reshape globalisation and who we and our children are.
“These alternatives make a very big difference. I believe we can construct a world where the economy performs better for all, based on solidarity”.
Joining a panel discussion on the future of the global economy, Prof Stiglitz also raised concerns over using GDP as a measure for social well-being.
“Some governments cut down on social security to grow GDP,” he said, “but the really important aspect is well-being. People actually feel better when they co-operate rather than being selfish.”
Prof Stiglitz predicts that the co-operative model will take a larger share of the economy in some countries.
“There is going to be volatility, and co-ops are better able to manage risks than the private sector,” he said, adding that the Democratic US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, was sympathetic to the idea of having more worker voice and participation in enterprises. Prof Stiglitz is an adviser to Ms Clinton.
Another panellist, Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s Minister of Family, Children and Social Development, agreed that co-operatives could help promote inclusiveness and build a stronger democracy. He sees co-ops as particularly important actors in meeting the housing needs of Canadians.
Asked how much co-operatives could achieve while surviving in competitive markets, Prof Stiglitz warned that they “cannot ignore the laws of the economy”.
By not wanting to take advantage of customers, co-ops ran the risk of being at a disadvantage, he said.
“It’s essential to have good government regulation to prevent an un-level playing field,” he added.
Another challenge is that large corporations are often those making legislation and regulations. Large corporations represented in international organisations such as the B20 often argue for particular frameworks, and Prof Stiglitz thinks that giving representation for co-ops on these platforms will address this issue.
“The rules of the game are being set by those who are at the table, for their own interest,” he said, “so it’s very important to have the co-op movement there as a reminder to big corporations about the dangers of excessive selfishness – and to keep the idea that there are alternative forms of organisation that ought to be discussed, that isn’t just the issue of government vs private sector.”
  • For more of our coverage of the International Summit of Co-operatives, visit

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Stephen Hawking on the Future of Capitalism and Inequality

Black & White photo of Hawking at NASA.



Pic Wikipedia

Last Thursday, the acclaimed physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, dropped a truth-bomb about capitalism and the future of inequality. With the rapid technological advancements of the past few decades (e.g. computer technology, robotics), we have seen economic inequalities grow at alarming rates, and a kind of plutocratic class of owners — that is, capitalists — become immensely wealthy. Hawking believes that, if machines do end up replacing human labor and producing all of our commodities, and we continue on the current neoliberal route, we are on our way to becoming a sort of dystopia of a top ownership class, with immeasurable wealth, and a bottom ownerless class — that is, the masses — living in abject poverty. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Hawkins wrote:
“If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”
The replacement of human labor by machines has always been a fear for working class people. Back in the midst of the industrial revolution, it resulted in a worker backlash known as the luddite movement, where in England, textile workers protested layoffs and economic difficulties by destroying industrial equipment and factories. Today, we see this with the elimination of many previously stable manufacturing jobs in cities like Baltimore and Detroit, replaced largely by automation. This kind of technological innovation that we see throughout the history of capitalism is what Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction,” which he describes as a “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Schumpeter called this process “the essential fact about capitalism.”
Creative destruction has always garnered a net positive for society. While innovations eliminate jobs for many, new technologies historically create new industries and new jobs that come with them. This inherent process of capitalism rapidly increases worker productivity and therefore makes once luxurious goods available to a wider spectrum of the population. New technologies help produce significantly more products, which then flushes the supply, and pushes down the price to meet demand.
As I said above, historically, creative destruction ends up producing new jobs after eliminating old ones. But today, it seems we may finally be heading in another direction, and technology has already begun to eliminate more jobs than it creates. Nothing exemplifies this more than the “big three” automakers back in 1990 (GM, Ford, Chrysler) compared to the big three tech companies of today. In 1990, the American automakers brought in $36 billion in revenue altogether, and employed over one million workers, compared to Apple, Facebook, and Google today, which together bring in more than one trillion dollars in revenue, yet employee only 137,000 workers.
And how about American manufacturing compared to the financial industry? Since the 1950’s, the financial industry has gone from enjoying around 10 percent of domestic corporate profits to around 30 percent today(with a high of 40 percent at the start of the century), while manufacturing has dropped from close to 60 percent of corporate profits to around 20 percent. But what is really telling is each industries domestic employment. The financial industry’s employment has remained quite steady over the past sixty years, at under 5 percent, while manufacturing has dropped from 30 percent to under 10 percent. This has a lot to do with the financialization of the American economy, but also the rise of automation. And it’s not about to get any better. According to an Oxford University study from 2013, up to 47% of jobs may be computerized in the next 10 to 20 years.
The middle class has been hit the hardest over the past few decades, and it will continue to be hit hard in the coming decades at this rate. From 1973 to 2013, for example, a typical workers compensation only increased by 9.2 percent, while their productivity increased by about 74.4 percent. Compare this to the post-war period (1948-1973), where productivity rose by 96.7 percent and worker compensation by 91.3 percent. At the same time, the top one percent wage has grown by 138 percent since 1979, while the ownership class has seen their wealth accelerate at a rapid clip. During the late ‘70s, the top 0.1 percent owned just 7.1 percent of household wealth in America, while in 2012 that number had more than tripled to 22 percent, which is about equal to the bottom 90 percents household wealth. Think about that. Just 0.1 percent of a population owns as much wealth as 90 percent.
Now, as Hawking’s said, there seem to be two possibilities. The future may become even more unequal as technology continues to replace labor and leave the masses unemployed and ownerless (currently, this seems more probable), or, if wealth is more evenly distributed, everyone could enjoy “luxurious leisure,” or as Karl Marx famously put it:
“In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.”
The influential economist, John Maynard Keynes, believed that the future of capitalism (as oppose to socialism or communism, as Marx believed) would bring this leisurely existence to human beings. In his 1930 essay, “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren,” he predicted that the growth and technological advancements that capitalism provided would lower the average working week to fifteen hours within a century, making what to do with one’s free time our biggest concern. On money, Keynes provided a hopeful prediction with the singing prose he became known for (barring his exceptionally dry General Theory).
“The love of money as a possession -as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life -will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.”
Keynes made some prophetic predictions in his day, but this was not one of them. Today, it seems Marx’s analysis of capitalism better fits the great economic inequalities and the global mobility of capital.
Still, nothing is set in stone. The rise of Bernie Sanders, for example, reveals a growing movement ready to combat the neoliberal status quo that has come to dominate American (and global) politics. If the economy continues on the road it is on, the question of wealth distribution will no longer be just a moral question of how great a level of inequality we as a society are willing to accept, but a question of political and economic stability. The ownership of capital will ultimately determine this future, but there are other movements and policy ideas with this future in mind, such as a guaranteed basic income, where all citizens, once they reach a certain age, are provided a stipend, which would likely replace traditional safety nets. Switzerland may be the first country to enact this policy, and a vote will likely come in 2016. The proposed plan would provide a guaranteed monthly income of $2,600, or $31,200 annually; in other words, enough for everyone to survive and pursue work that they actually enjoy. For those on the right getting ready to scream the S-word, it should be noted that many conservatives and even libertarians, such as F.A. Hayek, have endorsed this idea. It has a surprising history of bi-partisan support, and would, at the very least, prevent extreme poverty in the future, as robots and computer technology continue to take human jobs.
The growing inequality around the world can no longer be ignored, and addressing this and the other problems of capitalism, such as environmental degradation, is not only the morally right thing to do, but the pragmatic thing to do.


Conor Lynch is a writer and journalist living in New York City. His work has appeared on Salon, Alternet, The Hill, and CounterPunch. 

Einstein supported a one-world government and was a Socialist

from Braincrave Second Life staff
Aug 23, 2011
Click here to start Second Life Intellectual Discussion Group via IRC - no membership requiredBlogger Ref

...........Albert Einstein supported a one-world government and was a Socialist.
Einstein's passionate commitment to the cause of global peace led him to support the creation of a single, unified world government. Einstein thought that patriotic zeal often became an excuse for violence: "As a citizen of Germany," he wrote in 1947, "I saw how excessive nationalism Zoom in on document can spread like a disease, bringing tragedy to millions." To combat this "disease," Einstein wanted to eliminate nationalistic sentiments-first by erasing the political borders between countries and then by instituting an international government with sovereignty over individual states. During World War I, Einstein supported the formation of the "United States of Europe." He later endorsed the League of Nations and its successor, the United Nations. But Einstein worried that the United Nations did not have enough authority to ensure world peace...

Einstein saw world government as the only way to ensure lasting world peace. But he was skeptical that an organization like the United Nations-which answered to the national governments of its member states-could prevent future wars. In Einstein's view, world peace would be guaranteed only when the leaders of individual nations answered to a single, supranational government.

Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is...

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor-not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules...

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense...

Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?  Video link on above subject