FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Obama On Technology: Prometheus Had It Coming
These changes didn’t just affect blue-collar workers. If you were a bank teller or a phone operator or a travel agent, you saw many in your profession replaced by ATMs or the internet.
– President Barack Obama (HT: RealClearPolitics)
They obviously don’t dispense wisdom and knowledge at Harvard or Columbia like they used to. Here we have a man who prior to being elected President of The United States, obtained a law degree from Harvard. Along his winding journey to the pinnacles of American achievement, he also collected a noxious gallimaufry of profoundly mistaken notions of how technology effects the world around him.
Yes, over time, technology replaces outmoded and inefficient processes with more automated and effective alternatives. It must be a terrible existential punch in the gut to be told that a machine or algorithm does whatever you do for a living more advantageously. Count me as one who personally empathizes with the beleaguered travel agents, but who doesn’t buy Barack Obama’s Neo-Marxian velleities of the intellect at the expense of logic and truth.
President Obama decries the fate of the travel agents with no reference to what these people would be doing for a living absent the technological progress made by Hughes, Lockheed or the Boeing Brothers. Yes, the supermarket made the milkman obsolete. But, your local Kroger’s could sure use a man with a strong back to help stock its dairy section.
The fundamental truth athwart our President’s epistemological bong smoke is that with very few exceptions* technology is at worst a wash and at best an economic benefit. The bank tellers replaced by ATMs would never have been paid to handle currency absent the rise of the first modern banking houses during The Florentine Renaissance. Both the travel agents and the bank tellers owed the existence of their current livelihoods to the very demon technology that Barack Obama decries in his populist oratory.
Barack Obama ridicules the very idea that “the market will take care of everything.” Of course he does. Barack Obama believes capitalism is a failure. When you examine life from the perspective of the statist, capitalism is the very epitome of failure. Once I’m out there reaping the benefits and eating the negatives from my own volitional decisions, the power of the statist will assuredly wither.
Barack Obama, like most intellectuals, political leaders and major industrialists, hates capitalism at his very core. Capitalism recognizes and rewards inequalities. Believing in capitalism is like living your life as if you actually believed in Darwin. Survival comes from fitness. Fitness comes from adaptability. If any part of your being doubts your own adaptability or fitness, capitalism requires a leap of faith that would make Soren Kierkegaard’s breath catch in the back of his throat.
The sad truth of our current economy is that our most powerful citizens use their wealth to insulate themselves from Capitalism; not promote it. Thus, it takes a Yeoman’s Effort to dissuade the ultra-rich from supporting politicians just like Barack Obama.
What Barack Obama believes in is guarantees and predictability. Capitalism offers variability and opportunity instead. Barack Obama believes in equality and fairness. Everybody gets what they want (provided they’re on SantObama’s nice list). In capitalism, you get precisely what you earn. Sometimes you get that cold, hard and right up your rectum. Capitalism is, in itself, an innovation that could make unnecessary people obsolete. It could make people of Barack Obama’s worldview as obsolete as Odoacer or Charlemagne.
For a brief moment at the beginning of his vituperative discourse against the things that make progress possible, Grima Wormtongue appeared lost and befuddled. Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz he had this feeling that he wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
I understand and forgive the man his lapsus lingua. I went to realclearpoltics and watched a YouTube of my President spewing hatred towards the very values and attributes that made my country the foremost nation in the modern world. Sometimes, when I hear this President speak, I have a feeling that I am not in America anymore. In 2012, no matter who the GOP nominates, all of us who still care need to fight like perdition to change that.
* – The technology used to bomb somebody back into The Stone Age or to censor their rights and liberties could be seen as an exception if the person in question deserved better than The Stone Age or incarceration.