Re: extropians-digest V2 #381

Lewis (
Mon, 26 Jan 1998 12:03:29 -0400

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 13:27:01 +0000
From: "Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin" <>
Subject: Re: Gov't loves Gov't

From: "James Wm. Lewis" <>

> Hey Charlie,
> Perhaps we should all realize that capitalism will soon become an
> absurdity and cease to exist.

The fundamental capital is human capital; therefore the alternative
- -- the ONLY alternative -- to capitalism, is slavery. I for one will
be quite upset if capitalism ceases to exist.


To: "Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin"

What you fail to see is that BOTH capitalism AND communism, are ways
of FORCING humans to produce and buy goods and services, OR STARVE TO

Therefore, it is not logical to say that the ONLY ALTERNATIVE to
capitalism is slavery for humans.

In a Robotopia, only the robots, which may soon provide humans a bounty
of whatever we desire absolutely free, could be considered slaves.

This raises another question: If the robots are smart enough to supply
all the goods and services humans could demand, why would they?

I have spent the last thirty years as an accountant in private practice
advising clients on how to cut costs and optimize production. I have
discussed this notion at length in my Robotopia article.

I, too, will miss capitalism if it is replaced by Robotopia.

I have had fun rough housing in boardrooms and bankers' parties. From
an early age, capitalism has been in my blood.

I am also a realist. After thirty years in accounting, watching some
business prosper while others collapsed into insolvancy, I can see where
my advice and that of other accountants is leading. But I can't stop
the flow toward better, more efficient technologies. Business,
listening to their accountants, will continue competing, continue
cutting costs, continue to upgrade equipment, until the last cent of
cost is sqeezed to zero and machines are doing all the work without
human assistance. Any business which refuses to cut cost, will be put
out of business that much sooner by those which do.

Look at transitors:

Bardeen, Shockley and Brattain invented the transitor in Bell Labs in
1948. Bell Labs offered to license the chip technology for $25,000
against future royalties. Sony was the only taker.

Those first transitors sold for $45 each. Today, transitors sell at
.00001cent each when combined by the millions in computer chips that are
smaller than the original transitor. In accordance with Moore's law,
these trends continue today actually accellerating with each new
generation of chip design. The power of a computer costing millions in
1960 can now be bought for under a thousand dollars.

Next, look at what is happening in the browser wars.

Microsoft has been giving away its browser, Internet Explorer (often
bundled, of course).

Netscape then sees its market share dwindle from 90% to 80% to 70% etc.

Last week, Netscape anounced it will also give away its browser, plus
make the source code for Version 5 available free to world on its web

Good old capitalist competition is at work again, driving costs for
browser users to zero. . .absolutely FREE. . .

Look at the web itself. From the users point of view, there are
tremendous amounts of goods and services that are already absolutely

Look around the fast changing, high tech world we all share. It is not
much of a stretch to say:

" Perhaps we should all realize that capitalism will soon become an
absurdity and cease to exist. . ."

Please take a second look at my Robotopia article.

James Wm. Lewis
Cambridge, MA 02141-1145

Send me email at:

View my website at: