One Friday afternoon someone brought a pair of virtual reality goggles hooked up to a laptop to the shop. Mr. Foster exhaled a cloud that smelled like a Popsicle. He said he had been reading up on the idea, explored in the “Zeitgeist” movie, of a “resource-based economy” — a system in which, he said, “There’s no money and everything is controlled by computers and resources are equally distributed and there’s no ownership or anything like that.”My sons and their friends were watching this video or some other in the same genre a few weeks ago. I watched a bit before deciding that I had heard all of these arguments before: this is just Leninism with the techno-futurism brought up to date.
“The system we have now is going to collapse,” he said. “And technology, the automation process, is going to keep taking over and over.”
That, he said, would free up people to do what they wanted.
People failed by neo-liberal capitalism are intrigued by this language: if money is the root of all evil, get rid of it and just distribute resources in an equitable way. Sadly this elides all important questions, from how things are produced to who decides what "equitable" means. I suppose it is predictable that such ideas will surface when people are frustrated, but let's hope they never escape from the fringe world of vaping shops in dying industrial towns.