Magazine August 29, 2016, Issue

Robot Envy

(Roman Genn)
How automation is finally threatening the elites

Karl Marx would have welcomed the advent of our new robot overlords as a trigger for revolution, though one more upscale than he’d hoped for: A rising not of, or for, the working class, but by the well educated and ambitious, furious at being denied what they see as their fair share of the pie. The meek will never inherit the earth; clever people with a grudge just might.

To understand why “robots” — sexy, sinister shorthand for the increasing automation of work — might drive them to try, “elite overproduction” (a phrase coined by the University of Connecticut’s Peter Turchin)

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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

God’s Plenty

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” ...


Politics & Policy


The Disability Trap David French’s article on the VA’s overmedication of veterans (“Casualties of the VA,” July 11) was most insightful; your candor is especially noteworthy. You failed to mention what ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ If only the State Department were as focused on its mission as the Clinton Foundation. ‐ Hillary Rodham Clinton does not like to do press conferences, but she may change ...
Politics & Policy


A PAINTING IN THE NATIONAL GALLERY Flowers and weeds together spill, Careless and drizzly, down the hill In a long back garden that’s anywhere Outside London. I am living there Beside the window, no longer ...


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