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Alastair Campbell and John McDonnell on Question Time Watch

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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Excellent post.
    Thanks very much, I really appreciate that. I think one of the major issues is that society has become so complex, it has so many "moving parts", that no one person is capable of understanding it or developing a theory with any predictive quality.

    I think back when we had an agricultural society with patches of mercantile and manufacturing production, society was something that could be understood and conceptualised by someone like Adam Smith and (later one) Karl Marx. I don't think we will ever see a theorist of that sort again (maybe an AI will be able to do so).

    And so we are in a situation where society is changing so fast we don't even have time to be astonished, and it is changing so quickly that any attempt to conceptualise it quickly becomes outdated... that means increasingly we are not able to judge the consequences of various scenarios. This is why I think we need to be extremely cautious; ultimately we know that a strong socialist (rather than social democatic) system, during a time of extreme technological and social change, could provide a degree of safety and economic security. It might not be as "efficient" as a free market in the allocation of capital, goods and services, and the determination of prices, but I would prefer to pay a small amount in efficiency to safeguard, fundamentally, our having a society that does not spin out of control (into some kind of complete, and unchallengeable, corporate oligarchy) so quickly that we don't react quickly enough to stop it. I particularly worry about the consequences if we still have a predominantly market-based system at the point we reach reach the Kurzweilian singularity
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