People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols. Nation, $26.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-56858-521-5
In a stirring call to arms, McChesney (Blowing the Roof off the Twenty-First Century) and Nichols (The S Word) argue that although the digital revolution has been world-shaking and ruthlessly efficient, it has fallen short of ushering in the utopia some have predicted, because the ability to determine the future has been concentrated among just a few powerful people. Global automation and dislocation—the result of which is that a tiny fraction of the workforce once needed can now complete the same amount of work—will soon lead to unemployment of a startling magnitude. No one has a plan to resolve this looming so-called jobless economy, not even the big tech companies that helped create the situation. Moreover, the authors find that historically, the U.S. government does not take action until faced with catastrophe. McChesney and Nichols warn of a “citizen- less democracy,” in which politicians pander only to the needs of a few wealthy donors, leaving the majority in the dust and excluding them from the process of worldbuilding. This necessary if unsettling read is not an attack on tech, but on dangerous, unchecked capitalism. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
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