Posted by Kirsten Gibbs Last updated 12th March 2021 reading time
Slaves and servants enable the translation of my desires into someone else’s action. I don’t have to actually do the work, but I can reap the benefit from it. It always involves coercion of some kind – beatings, death, imprisonment, the threat of starvation.
Machines and software enable the translation of my desires into something else’s action. I don’t have to actually do the work, and I can amplify the benefit from it. This appears benign, but somewhere (often far away) coercion remains involved – for the people who make the machines or the software, or the machines behind the software, and the people who do the physical jobs hidden behind it, or controlled by it.
Teams, collaborations, co-operatives, movements – these enable translation of our shared desires into our shared action. We do have to do the work, and there’s no reason we couldn’t build our own machines or software to amplify it because together, we share the benefits of it.
The only thing we have a right to from others, is the ability to ask for their help. It’s up to us to put in the kind of effort that moves them to say ‘yes’.