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In the Fuhrerbunker, Hitler Confronts the Post-Scarcity Economy

photo of Kevin Carson

Kevin Carson
13th October 2012


An old Downfall parody by Paul Fernhout, in which Hitler reacts to news of a post-scarcity economy. Any similarities to the current policies of the United States government are purely coincidental, of course.

“It looks like there are now local digital fabrication facilities here, here, and here.”
“But we still have the rockets we need to take them out?”
“The rockets have all been used to launch seed automated machine shops for  self-replicating space habitats for more living space in space.”
“What about the nuclear bombs?”
“All turned into battery-style nuclear power plants for island cities in the oceans.”
“What about the tanks?”
“The diesel engines have been remade to run biodiesel and are powering the internet hubs supplying technical education to the rest of the world.”
“I can’t believe this. What about the weaponized plagues?”
“The gene engineers turned them into antidotes for most major diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, and river blindness.”
“Well, send in the Daleks.”
“The Daleks have been re-outfitted to terraform Mars. There all gone with the rockets.”
“Well, use the 3D printers to print out some more grenades.”
“We tried that, but they only are printing toys, food, clothes, shelters, solar panels, and more 3D printers, for some reason.”
“But what about the Samsung automated machine guns?”
“They were all reprogrammed into automated bird watching platforms. The guns were taken out and melted down into parts for agricultural robots.”
“I just can’t believe this. We’ve developed the most amazing technology the world has ever known in order to create artificial scarcity so we could rule the world through managing scarcity. Where is the scarcity?”
“Gone, Mein Fuhrer, all gone. All the technologies we developed for weapons to enforce scarcity have all been used to make abundance.”
“How can we rule without scarcity? Where did it all go so wrong? … Everyone with an engineering degree leave the room … now!”
[Cue long tirade on the general incompetence of engineers. :-) Then cue long tirade on how could engineers seriously wanted to help the German workers to not have to work so hard when the whole Nazi party platform was based on providing full employment using fiat dollars. Then cue long tirade on how could engineers have taken the socialism part seriously and shared the wealth of nature and technology with everyone globally.]
“So how are the common people paying for all this?”
“Much is free, and there is a basic income given to everyone for the rest. There is so much to go around with the robots and 3D printers and solar panels and so on, that most of the old work no longer needs to be done.”
“You mean people get money without working at jobs? But nobody would work?”
“Everyone does what they love. And they are producing so much just as gifts.”
“Oh, so you mean people are producing so much for free that the economic system has failed?”
“Yes, the old pyramid scheme one, anyway. There is a new post-scarcity economy, where between automation and a a gift economy the income-through-jobs link is almost completely broken. Everyone also gets income as a right of citizenship as a share of all our resources for the few things that still need to be rationed. Even you.”
“Really? How much is this basic income?”
“Two thousand a month.”
“Two thousand a month? Just for being me?”
“Yes.”
“Well, with a basic income like that, maybe I can finally have the time and resources to get back to my painting…”

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