ETHICS: The Marginalization of Humans

Arjen Kamphuis (
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 16:40:42 +0100 (CET)

At 20:30 5-03-98 -0500, DOUG.BAILEY@EY.COM wrote:
>I believe this issue will (and perhaps has already) arise in the future
>as the utility of a large portion of the human population will be
>marginalized to virtually zero.
>What happens when large metaorganisms (governments) no
>longer need large portions of their populace to function? What happens when
>these metaorganisms determine they can function more competitively if it did
>not have to allocate (waste) resources on this surplus and useless human
>baggage? Of course, the metaorganism will act through its instutitions
>(legal, social, military, political) its society to explore ways to deal
>with these problems. The significant question becomes: What happens when
>the "lives" of metaorganisms come in direct conflict with the lives of
>large portions of the human population?
>I would appreciate people's insights into these issues and into faults
>in my extrapolations.

IMHO there is one fault in this extrapolation (I hope).
Governements, at least democratic ones, are not
relation-with-the-populace-other-as-a-resource. They are representing their
electorate in creation and excuting of policies. If their policies are
undesirable for the populace these will get themselves a new set of
representatives (I think this is how it works).

Besides that there are certain safeguards like a constitition (most western
countries have one) that guarantees certain basic rights (such as not to be
killed and such). As long as a democratic, consitution abiding governement
is in place and there is a general consesnsus that people should not be
left to rot on the streets (even if they are ecnomically marginalised) I
believe we'll be OK more or less.

The proces of marginalization is already going of course, in the future
more and more work will be done by machines, economic growth does not help
here because the new products and services will also be created in an
automated fashion. I know of no democratic country where unemployed people
are killed or something, it seems to be working out ok so far. IMHO it is a
question of reallocation of a growing amount of resources in a manner that
ensures a minimum existance for every one (I realize that resource
re-allocation is not a popular subject here). If anyone has better
solutions, or finds faults in my reasoning....


Arjen Kamphuis | "Here Be Dragons", read the ancient maps | in all the white spots that seemed large
enough to hold the fabled creatures.

let's go dragon hunting.

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