by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright March 2017
What will be the common social classes in those communities which have reached the Total Entitlement State (TES) environment in the 2050's?
These are the communities which have automation and artificial intelligence providing most of the material goods, services and transportation the community requires, and this is happening in a stable way -- it can go on for decades without the community running out of money. The community is not on any kind of populist-fueled Slippery Slope which will ultimately crash and burn.
That is the topic of this essay. I will outline the various classes I envision for the world of 2050. These classes will be common in the many forms of TES communities that the world of 2050 will be supporting.
Keep in mind that I also envision money of the 2050's dividing into three distinct forms: necessity money, luxury money and investing money. These will not interchange easily. (covered in this essay)
The Necessity Class will be the largest in population in TES communities. These are the people who are relying on the government, or some equivalent institution, to provide them with their basic necessities in life -- food, shelter, transportation, health care, dignity and enfranchisement.
These people can be sedentary -- as in, game players who live in parent's basement -- or busy. When they are busy what they are busy at is not a job, it is not providing their necessities. They are being dilettantes who are pursuing activities that they are passionate about. These will mostly be Top Forty Jobs. Being an entertainer who gets out for gigs at public places would be one example of being busy in a dilettante way. Being an urban farmer producing specialty vegetables for gourmet restaurants and consumers would be another.
Vacationing for these people will be to large, popular places comparable to the Disneylands of the 2010's. The destinations will be well-known, well-populated, and they will support lots of line waiting for the various attractions offered.
Ambitious class people are people who are coordinating with automation and artificial intelligence to come up with new and better ways of manufacturing, servicing and transporting people. They are changing the world by coming up with new world-shaking innovations that are increasing the efficiency, effectiveness and prosperity of their community and the whole world. An engineer working with cyber designers to develop more efficient cargo ships would be an example of this. Another would be improving the design of the vat systems that are growing the meats commonly used for the foods people are consuming.
Given how different automated systems are going to be in 2050 it is hard to foresee and describe what these ambitious class workers will be doing. So I don't know what most ambitious class jobs are going to be in the 2050's. Predicting this is like predicting in 1900 that delivery people using wagons are going to have to transition from knowing how to handle horses to knowing how to handle motorized vehicles in 1940.
Vacationing for these people will be to places comparable to country clubs in the 2010's and more remote and exotic places such as off-the-beaten-track resort communities around the world. Being some place few other people have been will have a lot of appeal.
The TES communities of 2050 are going to be diverse. This means that other classes are going to be supported as well -- some I foresee, many are going to be surprises.
Cyber is going to be handling material prosperity issues. Making decisions in this arena is going to steadily require less human intervention as we get into the 2050's. This is going to steadily reduce the impact of government and humans in government.
But giving advice is a powerful human instinct. There are still going to be plenty of people that want to give advice, and want to be listened to and respected when they do. This will be the prescriptive class.
The main tool for enforcing advice will be social shaming. This has been the tool for as long as there have been human social circles. How it is expressed changes with the technologies, but social shaming is part of instinctive thinking. It isn't going away.
One that I foresee is the nomad class. These are the 2050's version of 2010's homeless people. They are going to be street beggars and many will move from place-to-place. Many will be supporting a cause, a personally defined cause that will change from time-to-time. They will be street entertaining and begging for their cause. They will be supported by those in the community around them who have an instinct to give when they see beggars. But wherever they are they won't have to sleep on the streets unless they choose to do so. There will be plenty of beds and personal support systems in nomad shelters available in any community supporting humans. (There will also be communities composed mostly of cyber beings. These will have few human amenities.)
Many of these people will be railing against "The Man" (whatever he is called in the 2050's) and this feeling will support obnoxious social behavior. One 2010's example is using public bathrooms as long-stay break rooms. What forms this will take in the 2050's is something these people will be diligently researching.
Most people will be living in urban settings, and many of these urban settings will be high-rise apartments. This is something I experienced in prosperous settings in Korea in the 2000's. What people will be doing in these settings will be quite diverse. But even with all the diversity being supported there will be some people who choose to be somewhere else.
Various groups with various causes will choose to forego these dense-pack urban settings and choose to live in distant rural settings instead. The reasons to get away from the crowd will be diverse, one common one is likely to be breakaway religious causes. An enduring example in the 2010's is the Amish people. These people will be practicing alternative lifestyles of various sorts.
The size of these groups will be small compared to the size of groups that stay in the urban settings, and they will not be as prosperous.
Space colonies are going to be the iconic distinct class of the 2050's. In the 2010's there are lots of people wishing and hoping they could travel to and live in space colonies. In the 2050's some of these are going to materialize. Some small ones will be science research-based colonies, but because cyber will be much better adapted to doing research in the various space environments, the human-filled ones will be few and far between. The most populous space colonies will be founded to support space tourism. They will be located on the Moon and feel much like high-class resorts do on Earth.
The technologies of the 2050's are going to be quite different from the technologies of the 2010's. This means that how people live and what they think about are also going to be quite different. In particular what people take for granted is going to be very different.
The result is that the communities of the 2050's are going to feel very different from those of the 2010's. The way people organize, their classes, are going to be very different.
Some of these differences are foreseeable, but there are going to be many surprises as well.