They toll not, neither do they spin

By Robert Ireland in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-20 10:48
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As human beings, we need to produce value to feel a sense of worth. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In the future, you won't need to own land - you'll have a guaranteed minimum income. The guaranteed income is already being discussed, in the US, France, Canada, and Brazil. In 1967, US civil rights leader, Martin Luther King wrote: "The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income." Do you know when the guaranteed income originated? Back in the seventh century, Abu Bakr, the first Muslim Caliph, bestowed a basic income for every man, woman and child in the caliphate.

What happens when there's no work "for anybody"? The post capitalist, post-work era is a big worry. Money is big enough - but people also identify with what they do - what they have accomplished and how they fit in to the broad social scheme.

"It's not a technological problem. It's more of a social problem," says Tomas Laurenzo, assistant professor in the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. He says it's up to governments to ensure the future of work. "What we are seeing is this new version of capitalism that we can call a cognitive capitalism."

Cognitive cultural capitalism is an idea that establishes values - not for material things but ideas, knowledge, creativity, and even people skills. In other words what value does a person bring to a community - not what he buys or sells.

The cognitive skills exist in today's cultural industries, the media, personal services and high-tech - anything that demands high levels of cognitive skills and "people skills".

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