In the News (from scmp.com): “Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
“A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 per cent to only about 200…
“Robots are set to take over in many factories in the Pearl River Delta, the area of southern China known as the ‘world’s workshop’ because of the huge export manufacturing industry there, as labour shortages bite and local authorities face the need to spur innovation to counter the economic slowdown.
“Since September, a total of 505 factories across Dongguan have invested 4.2 billion yuan in robots, aiming to replace more than 30,000 workers, according to the Dongguan Economy and Information Technology Bureau.
“By 2016, up to 1,500 of the city’s industrial enterprises will began replacing humans with robots.
“The provincial authorities of Guangdong said early this year they would spend 943 billion yuan on replacing human labour with robots within the next three years. …
“The provincial capital, Guangzhou, has set a goal of fostering a robot-manufacturing industry with an output value of more than 100 billion yuan by 2020, as well as automating more than 80 per cent of the city’s manufacturing production.”
My Comment: The development of robotic technologies should lead to a reduction in the number of laborers and a reduction in the work week. But this isn’t happening because the ruling class recognizes that people with free time are dangerous: They begin to demand change in the social structure.
Society prefers us to work more instead of increasing our free time so we can increase our (superfluous) consumption, meaning that we will be involved in the creation of useless things and carrying out meaningless activities just to be busy. Workplaces are intentionally created to employ us. Every year more and more people are forced to engage in meaningless work, but endless economic growth on Earth is limited; it is impossible. We will have to return to an equivalent exchange market and produce only essential goods.