Anti-Human, Pro-Robot: The Crossroads of History
How Henry Ford Really Blew It
By Fox News
Henry Ford. His picture hung in Hitler's office. He accepted the highest medal the Nazis could give to foreigners, taking ranks with Mussolini. He created working conditions so bad that he had to double wages to stave off a monthly turnover rate of nearly 60%. His company's paper re-published the forged "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," and he spent millions funding the research and publication of "The International Jew, the World's Foremost Problem."
And that's millions in a time when his newly doubled wages of $5 a day were revolutionary.
But Henry Ford is remembered not for his virulent anti-immigrant, anti-labor, anti-liquor, and anti-Semetic beliefs, but for "revolutionizing" modern industry. What did he do? He destroyed the quality of employment in his factories to maximize production. He advocated in word a quiet agrarian life where men used their hands to build a better life and received the fruits of their labor, while ruthlessly assaulting it in action. The Ford Model T was produced in unprecedented numbers, leading to an age of labor exploitation known as 'Fordism'. And when his profits spun out of control, he was hailed as a hero when he could afford to pay a higher wage than any of his rivals - a wage that, even without labor unions, was required to keep people from fleeing his factories in droves.
How did he do it? Robots.
Oh, they weren't the robots Japan uses in their factories today. It was the beginnings of automation. When Ford said the best way to make cars was to "automate" the process, he meant that it was to take jobs out of the hands of good, hard-working Americans and put them in the hands of mindless machines. Those workers that were still needed for Ford's factories were subjected to repetitive and dangerous working conditions where human innovation and development was suppressed in the name of Ford's dollar.
And what about today's robots? Just look at Japan, where automation is perhaps the most widespread. They use unemployment formulas that rapidly force people out of the workforce and consider a one-hour odd job to be employment. If the formulas used by the American government were placed in Japan, their unemployment would approach 10%. Today, unemployment in Japan is near record highs because of a hemorrhage of jobs in manufacturing and construction, just like America. Outsourcing?
Anyone would be outraged if their job was shipped overseas, to be given to someone who would accept little more than pennies on the dollar for their job. But what if their job was taken away, not by a poor worker in Asia desperate for a job, but by a mass of machinery and metal that worked longer, harder, and better for no wages and no benefits? Factory robots today do the jobs of millions of unemployed people.
Manufacturing itself in America, and in Japan, are not suffering. Output remains high. It's the jobs that are suffering. It's the people who are suffering, not the industrialists. They're bringing in machines and robots and throwing the people out. They don't need to pay you wages. They don't need you to have a job. The people are useless.
Robots today are smarter, stronger, and more reliable than ever before. Tomorrow, the trend will continue. As computers advance exponentially, the intelligence of robots continues to rise in tandem. As better robots are used in industry, they become able to build even better robots. Last year, robot builders engaged in an experiment to see if robots could evolve and learn on their own, to become better at their tasks than the humans who programmed them through their own intelligence and experiences.
All while humans grow fatter and weaker.
But can robots exceed the limitations of their programming? Yes, they can, if we program them to do so. If we teach robots to learn, and to reprogram themselves, and to create new ideas, we have in effect attempted to create a new species, as if we were 'gods'.
But we are not 'gods'. We are not all-powerful. Yet we try to create machines that we hope to be better than those of the true God's creations. We try to create machines that we hope to be better than ourselves. And what then? What will we do when they are not ruled by the fear of their own 'gods'?
In Terminator III, a robot is given too much power and triggers a nuclear holocaust to destroy humanity.
When Hitler was a baby, he couldn't think for himself. He couldn't even tell someone else from himself. Nevertheless, over decades, he came to grow into a full and intelligent person. When he gave the okay to the Final Solution, was it sitting in his office under his picture of Henry Ford?
Once, we followed Henry Ford into the holocaust, when the anti-Semitism he helped to flame reached its peak at the hands of the Nazis. Now, we follow him into an age where people are useless to the economy, and millions worldwide are cast from their jobs, or reduced to working in demeaning and dangerous conditions maintaining giant robots. Tomorrow, will we follow him into a second age of massacre, when our 'children' rise up against us?