Traditionum Ex Machina

Pax vobiscum Amici mei,

For many, there is an overwhelming terror of automation. We oughtn’t fear because there are solutions available to the supposed problem.  Let us first acknowledge that the West[1], is experiencing a demographic winter. Populations are predicted to drop drastically, even with the migrant crisis in Europe, the simple fact is that the population is not witnessing growth in high enough quantities for population stabilization, this is not to mention the ethnic/cultural chaos occurring in Europe. This demographic winter, which for some, namely Western Europe, has already hit, may be our unintentional savior. The primary fear of automation is that it will make working citizens obsolete and lead to mass unemployment. This is sometimes referred to as the Automation Crisis. For us in the West though, we needn’t worry about this crisis as our population is declining (in number), preventing us from having mass unemployment due to automation. Economically there will always be jobs more efficient for people to do than for robots, though many of these jobs are not currently in existence (If you have never considered hiring someone to go shopping for you or to drive you somewhere, then you may see what I mean[2]). With all this in account, you may ask “how can automation be helpful to us?”. For us, whom I assume are largely traditionalists, perhaps concerned with the ethnic/cultural chaos of the West, the prospect of automation may sound disconcerting. I will be honest; automation sounds terrifying from a traditionalist perspective. However, I will explain how automation may be the key to drawing traditionalism to the forefront of societal politics.

First, let me explain where I am coming from. Automation, mechanized, or digital, is already here. Let me reiterate that, Automation is already in each of our daily lives, it may not be obvious, but it is present. Take note of your dishwasher or washing machine that is a form of automation (from the point of view of hand washing). Take note your car, a form of severe automation (from the point of view of walking or your hypothetical horse). Take note of any utility in your house from the basic plumbing which automates the process of waste disposal, to your printer automating your writing. But this seems trivial and not at all what you imagine when the phrase “Mass Automation” is thrown around, but I want you to take note despite this. Realize that 100 years ago almost none of those devices of automation I mentioned would exist. Sure, indoor plumbing existed (although you may not have had it), and If you were on the wealthier end of life you owned a car (although by 1918 cars were significantly cheaper), but I believe you understand my point. The things that automated your life made it easier and gave you more time in your day to devote to other ventures, be they entertainment, or work.

But what about the “Mass Automation” world? I come to bring you good news. Automation may have taken hold of manufacturing, so much so that you will be hard-pressed to find an assembly-line job in any modernized country, however, automation is limited by two things: Hardware, and Software. Hardware is the components part, the costs, the maintenance, the affordability, and the ability to make something to do the task; this is where the first major hurdle to Mass Automation stems from. Such automation must have specialized robots for each task in order to be efficient, and such customization is not a simple task. There is also the Software component from which the “automation” part stems. This is where the second major hurdle to Mass Automation lies. “How do we make an AI that won’t mess up?” or more specifically, “How do we make an AI that will do its job better than a human.” Robots are cheaper, long-term, than people if they mess up less, this seems to hold true for all fields. The issue with Mass Automation is applying this hurdle to every possible job. Automated driving has served to be something of interest to society, but what about automated babysitting? Automated cashiers were a popular a while back, but it’s been found that people still like interacting with other people. The possibility that automation could take every job falls apart when you start investigating the service industry because statistically, people will choose to interact with a person, over a robot for the same cost. In reality, Automation will only take jobs that it is economical for it to take (assuming we don’t legislate ourselves into (or out of) ubiquitous automation).

How, though, can automation help us? If you are aware of the 2006 cult classic Idiocracy, you probably don’t have high hopes of a world dominated by automation, but I ask that you suspend that concern and look at it from a macro point of view. Societies are made up of people. People have children who then make up the next generation of that society. If people have children, their children will be part of that society, and people who do not have children will not have children in that society. People also die eventually, usually after two generations (although this may extend as far as four generations in extreme circumstances). We Traditionalists (tend to) focus on large families. Modernists are often more interested in small families (“my dog and me” sizes). It logically follows that within the course of 2-4 generations that Traditionalist descendants will outnumber (vastly) modernist descendants. This being said we may likely not be the majority at any given point in time (unless we can force a cultural shift). However, we do not have to worry about a modernist world. Statistically, highly religious families tend to have more children, (an increase of over 3 children over the societal average). Atheistic families tend to have less children (although this statistic is not particularly well defined). It follows that within the course of 2-4 generations that society will shift to become more religious as well (what religion, that depends). Why do I bring this basic knowledge up (other than it being a useful reminder that we won’t always be a minority in ideology)? Automation provides citizens with more free time for the same amount of economic value produced. Hypothetically, if we discredit inflation and hold everything constant except for economic value and working hours if you increase automation you should be able to make more economic value with less working hours. This results in one of two options: more wealth, or more time. If the former, you can spend that in the economy or save it for your future (because social security won’t last), if the latter, you can spend more time engaging in cultural activities, and with your family. This means that with more interest in culture and family (which would be an implied outcome of having more free time), the core Traditionalist values of “Sanguis et Gens” (“Blood and Folk” or “Blut und Volk”), are fulfilled passively.

In short, we may be able to allow Traditionalism to flourish with the assistance of automation, not counter to it. Summed up: Traditionum Ex Machina.

[1] European Nations, The United States, and Commonwealth Nations,

[2] I am assuming the reader is not a multibillionaire. If you are, I apologize and would graciously ask to be employed as your personal shopper, starting wage of $30/hr of course.

Alderon Tyran

An American man, and Catholic-Orthodox, traditionalist with a lifelong interest in history, culture, theology, politics, and the sciences.

Recent Posts
Recent Comments