June 11, 2019

AKA, STAR TREK:The World Is a Mess. We Need Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” screams a headline at the New York Times. (Link safe; goes to US edition of the London Spectator):

This time, our maximum leader is Aaron Bastani. Instead of Marxist-Leninism or Mao Zedong Thought, it’s what Bastani calls ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism’.

‘Asteroid mining. Gene editing. Synthetic meat,’ Chairman Bastani writes. ‘We could provide for the needs of everyone, in style. It just takes some imagination.’

Cockburn, unlike the Times, can take a political joke. He often sits down of an evening with a half-bottle of whiskey, a family bag of Doritos and a volume of Karl Marx. Bastani is selling an updated version of Marx’s sales pitch that communism is a better way of managing the technology and output of capitalism. Aaron has asteroids, and Karl had hemorrhoids, but both promise the workers that automation and centralized redistribution will give a life of comfort for all.

I’m so old, I can remember when other New York-area fully automated luxury communists wrote manifestos telling the world it needed to ban airplanes, let alone asteroid mining.

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