The new society will need a smooth transition to automatic manufacture and robotics that complies with Axiom One – conferring equal benefits to all of the community, rather than the advantages mainly going to a few wealthy corporations. This will not happen by itself, but will require a considerable planning effort, some compulsive legislation and sustained pressure from communities. But it must happen if a large and negative Luddite reaction is to be avoided.

It has taken humanity many centuries to design and shape the amenities and machines that are lifting the individual out of a life that was largely brute labour to one of relative ease and independence from the tyranny of physical things. We are now in ...

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