Elite articulations of the fourth industrial revolution: Pseudoscience that needs to be challenged
That unregulated globalization processes have produced large-scale global inequalities in the distribution of resources and opportunities is empirically documented.
These inequalities are so dramatic and the disaffection produced by them are so widely registered that elites and their mouthpiece pundits can no longer ignore the level of inequalities.
Having acknowledged the inequalities though, particularly in the backdrop of the financial crisis, elites fall back upon propaganda to justify and perpetuate the neoliberal status quo.
Rather than look at the inequalities as the product of unmitigated globalization processes that privilege those with power, experts offer theories that render as natural the state of inequalities.
One such elite explanation suggests that the large-scale inequalities we are witnessing today are the product of the "fourth technological revolution."
Without any data to back up their claims, these elites therefore prescribe smart strategies of adaptation to the status quo rather than fundamentally interrogating the status quo or questioning the overarching logics of trickle-down flow that constitute the status quo. Wearable technologies, driverless cars, automated workplaces are paradoxically offered as solutions to global inequalities.
In the face of the data that point toward the large scale job loss in the realm of automation or introduced by innovations that replace workers, these technological fixes to problems of unemployment and inequality paradoxically are the problems rather than the solutions they are pitched to be.
However, to offer a technological solution to a structural problem retains the structural configuration while at the same time continuing to co-opt the participation of disaffected workers in technologically embodied narratives of adaptation and skills improvement.
Rather than interrogating the political-economic formations that constitute the current state of global inequalities, these elite articulations prescribe new technologies and innovations to solve the problems of inequality and poverty that were generated on the first place by techno-deterministic policy formations.
The pronouncements made by elites at global forums are neatly packaged as scientifically derived.
Close examination of such elite claims however depict the absence of data or evidence to back up the new age imaginations of the fourth technological revolution.
The pseudoscience of "trickle-down economics" continues reinforcing itself, generating investments and venture capital funding for the next technological fix to global inequality that would simultaneously generate profits for social enterprises and transnational capital.