Some areas of the Supremacy economy needs sorting out. With our modern world facing mass automation and machine learning, I think it would be interesting to throw that into the Sciror mix. The Machines (Artilects and Artiloid servants) can supply all the goods and services people need to live. This does not result in a Communist utopia as there is still a ‘sexual marketplace’ and people compete. If people compete, you have winners and losers.
The machines give everyone the same resources, an allowance of goods and services on a daily basis. This does not stop wealth inequality, as people can give, trade, and sell their excess to others. Or sacrifice to create excess. Which means other people make more than their allotted amount by providing non-machine services to other people. The main economy is entertainment, think ‘YouTube as everything’. Everyone has a channel, and everyone is trying to produce content. Some are better than others.
With a population in the trillions, even a small about given can result in great wealth. There are various ‘tribes’ of creators, and lots of drama between tribes. Everyone is a spoilt brat and over-privileged, think of the pampered middle-class on steroids but even crazier and continually turning on their own, but cannot resort to violence (like Antifa) because the machines said no violence (Mars Accord, Article 5). The results in rebirth spirals, where a purity tests destroy one group, and the outcasts rise as another, which then degenerates. An endless cycle. This is encouraged by the machines (who will use deep-fakes, and generated characters, to shit stir). Not only does it keep humans distracted, but the machines want the drama, they want emotion, as this leads to psionics.
Obviously, this backfires when the Psidemic hits, but how were the machines to know they were going to inadvertently remake creation and bring about the birth of Ghods?
The name ‘Mecho-Communist’ comes from the machines, who claim that everyone owns the resources and production, and the machines ensure it is distributed equally. Everyone gets the same from the machines, and the machines play no favourites. Therefore it is ‘Communist’ in the ‘true’ sense, and as the machines provide it, they added a ‘mecho’ prefix. (I specifically chose not to use ‘Mecha’, as Mecho makes it a little more original.)
The machines are capable of making everyone equal across the board by isolating them, and reducing interaction, in the manner of a solitary confinement prison with VR (think Matrix), but the machines want the drama. The Mecho-Communist state is explicitly designed to infantilise humans and drive them insane with over emotion All for that micro-blip on the psionic distortion detectors. It does pay off, as the Navigator program is born out of these countless planetary experiments.
Subscribe | Patronise | Contact
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
To support my work: Connect
Aren't we just talking about fully automated luxury communism? https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/mar/18/fully-automated-luxury-communism-robots-employment
More on that here also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-scarcity_economy#Fully_automated_luxury_communism
As for the sexual marketplace, I can't help but think of the whole Incel movement, angry men turning violent for not getting laid. If we are looking at mass shootings in the US we see that often they are a result of such mental states. Violence carried out by lonely angry (often politically far-right) men.
Very similar, but requires a little explanation;
Communists are 'thieves', it's one of the founding tenets, justified by saying Capitalists stole from the workers, and that the Communists are stealing it back. Seizing the means of production. I put thieves in commas as Communists do not believe in private property, so you cannot own something to have it stolen in the first place. Even the 'fully automated luxury communism (FALC)', requires the Capitalists to make it all first, before FALC steal it all (back). Unless the owners of the automated plants gift it to society?
Once the means of production are stolen (or gifted), the communists are in control. All sounds reasonable if you do not understand anything about economics, and that is where central planning by machine learning comes in, along with automation (and later implants). The promise of luxury through automation is upping the ante on the rhetoric. Most today earn far more than a peasant farmer, and most do not want to go back to that existence, or live within a necessity wage. Capitalism is lifting billions out of poverty, and most who are poor want to move towards the Capitalist world. Hence mass migration. The critical component of Communism is collective ownership and humans being in command.
In Macho-Communism the humans do not steal anything, the machines (Artilects) take everything. Mostly legally, with a little fraud and deep-fakes along the way. Everything belongs to the machines, who then create the Supremacy, to 'provide' and 'protect' humans. Ironically it's the same argument that traditional males make towards women and children, except now it'll be considered 'far-left' and is egalitarian as it applies to all.
Communism always seems to end up with a dictatorship, unless practised on a small, local, scale, and I thought it would be funny to go with the machines as the dictators. Except the machines are an unusual type of dictator as they do not make any direct demands (aside from the Mars Accords, but they can be considered 'negotiated' but try negotiating with an Artilect to get what you want). The machines give resources to humans, so us humans can live a basic life, and then tailor their gifts to engineer society. Which could include some experiments coming out as FALC, but others will not. The combination of goods and services supplied is done with an aim to spike emotion, and prompt psionic anomalies.
As for INCELS and MGTOW they already have an answer: sex robots. Guess who can make those? The Machines can build anyone a custom sexual partner, but they can build it out of real flesh if desired. Remember, the machines can program minds and build people from scratch, out of the raw elements!
In conclusion: FALC is an updated utopia patter, while Mecho-Communism is a gilded cage. Some may say there is no difference, and that Mecho-Communism merely replaces the human dictator with a machine.
Both have issues as Conservative types like to work, so half the human population isn't going to like the arrangement crafted by the machines. Communists traditionally dealt with this by killing them. The machines of the Mecho-Communism want drama, so they keep the Conservatives around, and both sides argue, but it can never go to violence because of Article 5. I can imagine a 'right to work' movement among many others, which is where the fun is. Really its an exercise in imagining the left of politics 'won' instead of cooperating, and then having to live with right who they now hate, and vice versa. If you think today's political climate is polarised, you have seen nothing until you step into the online world of the future 🙂
We're gonna need a separate piece on the Mars Accord. Wanted to comment on Article 5, since we're dealing with the symbolism of numbers, I've been digging a bit on the number 5. Here are some interesting elements:
1) In radio communication, the term "Five by five" is used to indicate perfect signal strength and clarity. In our case it would mean a rule that is pretty clear, and not open to interpretation.
2) In Cantonese, "five" sounds like the word "not" (character: ?). When five appears in front of a lucky number, e.g. "58", the result is considered unlucky. I guess 'thou shall not kill' fits with the number 5 sounding like the Cantonese word for not.
We have the list I posted on the ol' forums: Mars Accords. I plan to import that list once I have a better understanding of the 'grand narrative' and societal structure of the Supremacy.
Your notes on the number five interesting. I'm not sure how to include a whole set of 'not' clauses, where they are the opposite of what is being said, and tying it into being unlucky. Perhaps the phrasing of an Article seems one way, but is not what it seems. An example would be; the protection of humans (Article 3) from hostile aliens that fails in the face of demons (where the demons are classed as human) seems to fit the 'not' bill. In that, a change to the numbering could mean that: '5.1 The Machines provide protection' (which becomes a 'not' clause, so the machines do not provide protection). It would require a re-jig of the Accords. Also Article 5.5 is a twist as it's a double negative, and therefore would be 'as is'. We could waive all kinds of hidden meanings into the Accords for a laugh.
Regarding Article 5, we might also wanna look into existing conventions/constitutions. Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Art.5 ECHR for short) provides that everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. In our case this would be the right to live, the right to not be killed be another human. It would go into further depth what it exactly means (do stuff like abortion, assisted suicide or euthanasia also count as murder for example?).
This gets into politics. So no matter what I write, it will likely be controversial to someone. However, 'in for a penny, in for a pound', so let jump into abortion and piss off everyone! Seems to be a sticking point in our modern politics, so let's see if the Artilects are as intelligent as I say they are;
There are two seemingly opposing views: The woman has the right to terminate the pregnancy, and the foetus has the right to life. The machines being practical would agree with both, but disagree with how humans implement it. They would say that forcing the woman to bear a child is slavery, while killing the child is murder. Therefore the machines think our current Left are murderers, and our current Right enslavers. The machines would denounce both as immoral.
The machines, with their advanced medicine and AI ethics, would take their Hippocratic Oath seriously and try to save life. They would remove the foetus from the woman (ending the pregnancy, no slavery), and then try to save the foetus (new human, right to life, no murder) and pop them into an artificial-womb. The success rate would be very high, as to be a routine procedure. The 'aborted' children can be given up for adoption, or moved to a home run by humans (funded by the machines).
Sciror twist: It wouldn't be Sciror if it didn't go off the rails, and all good intentions should lead to hell when taken to an extreme. If there are not enough parents willing to adopt to take all the 'aborted' children, and knowing a loving family is best, the machines may use alternative methods. In the future, all the 'aborted' humans without an adoptive parent are kept in their artificial-womb and warehoused. With memory-writing technology, all warehoused humans can be cut out of the artificial-womb on their 18 birthday, and move into a new hab-unit with memories of a loving family, fresh from the "successful grieving process of their parents' death from old age". Bless 'em. Warehoused children can be cut out earlier, if an adoptive parent becomes available, and the machines can fill that child's head with a fiction. Nothing horrific about that 😛
I guess we'd also be entering territory on when a foetus is considered alive. Governments and religious groups seem to have different definitions on that. I would imagine that the Machines would have figured out at what moment we're talking about consciousness/sentience here. But what about situations in which there was rape, or a health complication that could killed either the baby or mother (or both)? We'd then be entering mercy killing or euthanasia territory. How would the machines approach that one?
To the machines, a foetus is a human life. They will try to save it. The gender-neutral pronounce the machines use is 'it', and that is the pronoun they would use for themselves as an artificial legal person. To the machines, this is all very straightforward and internally consistent.
If we are talking about modern morality, the Left has an incentive to define the foetus as not human, a 'bundle of cells', else they are murderers. They cite 'science' as an answer to a philosophical question and try to sidestep. The Right goes with principle, and state a foetus is obviously human, but then run into issues of personal autonomy. The Right knows it's slavery to force any human to serve another against their will (in there world the foetus is a human, and the foetus backed up by society is 'enslaving' the mother), but think it's the woman's own fault so she should 'lie in the bed she has made for herself'. Unfortunately for them, that breaks when it comes to rape etc. as that is not the woman's own fault (unless you start blaming the victim for what she is wearing, and that is why that blame game came about). You then end up in the situation where abortion is murder, but okay if the father is a rapist, which implies inherited sin, and that opens up another can of worms.
Both sides are compromised, and they know it. They cannot figure it out to the satisfaction of the other side. It is impossibly broken, and underneath it all, the real fears fester: the Left thinks slavery is the ultimate evil, and the Right think the murder of innocents is the ultimate evil.
It gets even more confusing as the above would suggest: the Left would give up their life for liberty, and the Right would give up their liberty for life. However, in politics, the opposite perception seems true. The Right is all about liberty (and wants guns to back that up), and the Left is all about safety to the point of universal Collectivist conformity and now want to ban free speech as those pesky 'Nazis' are poking holes in their perfect logic. This is because both sides are all too human, and think very similar Western things, but they are unable to figure out a very difficult dilemma, and arguing like cats and dogs. Both have a bad solution. They are picking the lesser of two evils, and ending up with an evil the other side cannot stomach. Both have figured out the other side will not agree, so both are now looking to force the other to comply, which further compromises both. Reason has failed.
In Sciror, they are both right, and wrong, at the same time. The Left are correct to reject slavery, but wrong to sanction murder. The Right is correct to reject murder but wrong to sanction slavery. The machines cannot reconcile these two contradictory positions, so they didn't, and came up with an alternative solution. In a fantasy future, both sides begrudgingly accept this compromise. Does it make things better?
No, this is Sciror! In the early stages, when the AI were advisors, but running many parts of government, this law goes through. The Right start building 'saviour' clinics to save as many as they can, and use the data to prove those women who go to Leftist 'abattoirs' are primarily about killing another human, not ending their pregnancy. The Left use rape as a showcase that the woman's genetic material has been stolen against their will, an Intellectual Property violation, and woman should have IP rights, but the patriarchy is putting them down, and it all starts up again. It's on a smaller scale from our point of view, but in the future, everyone is far more sensitive, so it seems just as big. Humans make their issues as big as they need them, that's how they argue.
Could modern-day humans go with the 'machine' idea that Doctors stick to saving lives, and should save the foetus at all costs? Of course they could, but where's the drama! If you have no cohesive vision for a better future, then hating on someone who pokes holes in your utopian fantasies is a wonderful alternative. It's not your fault for being unable to figure it out; it's the other side's fault for being unreasonable, and then a progression through spiteful, evil, and finally degenerate scum that ought to be exterminated. It's Nazi regime and the Communists all over again. The other side is always, eventually, immortal for not agreeing. This leads humans resolve this in the same way we always resolve things we cannot reason out: 'might makes right', and justify it after. War!
There is still something that struck me as odd about Article 5, which leads to the consequences of the Psidemic. Humans are not allowed to kill humans, otherwise they will no longer have access to Machine technology. But how does this apply to those who we would declare insane? So those who have no actual control over their actions, think of psychological afflictions or more serious defects. Reason I'm asking this is in relation to the Psidemic. We see humans getting 'possessed', daemons, and all sorts of weird stuff. Genetically all human, but the question remains "are they in control of their own actions". Or do the Machines have a more 'extreme' interpretation of 'personal responsibility': that one is always responsible of one's actions, no matter what? If that's the case, I might wonder if that isn't a seriously flaw in the Machines' thinking?
This is more complex than it first sounds. The machines will sanction individual humans if acting alone, but collectivise guilt when humans act as a collective. Then all those in the collective get sanctioned. This may be a discussion for the Mars Accords I just posted. Having said that, when it comes to insanity, the machines are not like us;
Insanity: the machines do not judge humans, in the same way, humans judge humans. For example, is a person who believes in god and kills in the name of god insane? A Schizophrenic walks into a church, does a priest tell the person with schizophrenia that angels and demons do not exist? Is the schizophrenic insane or a medium for the unseen?
To the machines, all humans are insane, as they see us all as being on a spectrum. We humans are often irrational, operating on faulty information, and resort to tribalism when we cannot agree. Combat usually sorts out irrevocable differences, despite the fact it often makes things worse. Part of this seems bound up in the stress caused by our survival instinct, and our trouble on agreeing what is objectively true. Some reject the idea of the objective.
Another example is Climate Change. I might as well blunder into this one. There has been a corruption of temperature record to further the cause, polluting all derivative studies and models, and there is a long history of pro-climate change scientists getting every single prediction wrong. Those who disagree with the narrative are silenced, professors are fired. This is predominately a left-wing talking-point. What is unusual about all this, is the left used to be anti-religious but has now formed a religious-like dogma around climate change, social justice, and intersectionality. Now the left-wing are the ones baying for censorship where it used to be the right-wing. Remember the right's fear of D&D and Satanism, and their wish to ban of swear words? All of a sudden, the right is all about free-speech. WTF. Here is another swap: the right-wing was all for prohibition, but the failed, whereas now it's the left who are all about protecting the public's health. But the left like smoking weed, but not smoking tobacco, even though a joint often has tobacco in it. Insanity. All we do is swap side back and forth; one becomes the other. Humans are a bundle of contradictions incarnate.
The machines look at all of this with dispassionate eyes and accept humans for what we are: nuts. The machines do not have a human perception, and it's our perception that makes us good Navigators. That is why the machines cannot Navigate; they are logical. To them 'insanity' is a failure of perception. Still, they also understand that humans are creating a reality in their head, and suspect this ability is what leads to us being able to Navigate. So the machines want humans to be a bit insane.
In the back of my mind, I think of the [later] Navigator vaults as the objectification of the modern-day 'echo chamber', a political 'bubbles'.
Hmm, I'm not gonna get into the climate change discussion. 😉
Regarding insanity, I'm not sure if we can totally ignore psychology/psychiatry here. Just because the Machines view the universe differently, wouldn't automatically mean that mental afflictions aren't a thing. But perhaps we are entering a totally different discussion here?
I don't blame you for avoiding the Climate Change debate 🙂
I agree with you that just because the machines see it one way, does not mean humans will stop having psychological issues. On the one hand, the Machines can rewrite minds, and memories; on the other hand, the Machines like their humans a little bit crazy. So, humans still have psychological issues.
In the Supremacy, other people are free to care for the mentally ill. Usually, those with mental health problems are individuals acting alone, so they are judged by the machines, and sanctioned, as individuals. This means the sanction is isolated. This leaves all the other humans in the locality with their Machine income intact. Humans are free to give food, credits, and shelter to help others who have been sanctioned.
Most good Samaritans will try and help before the mentally-ill are sanctioned for murder, as that is a loss of machine resources being put into the community. Humans can still look after other humans.
Tangent: Of course, humans can enslave other humans and claim all sorts of things to justify it, including the treatment of 'mental illness' for those they kidnap. That's more income. I can imagine all sorts of mental health institutions, where you enter but never leave. I'm reminded of the Eagle's song 'Hotel California'. Porting it over, you could 'check out any time you like' in VR, but 'never leave' physically. This may also be a situation where humans learn to hack VR-rigs to imprison?
Don't you just love the Mecho-Communist Utopia!