Techno(Crato)Socialism: a Critical Look at the Ideas of B. King and R. Petty

a Critical Look at the Ideas of B. King and R. Petty

Davydov D.A.

Cand. Sci. (Polit.), Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of RAS, Yekaterinburg, Russia

ID of the Article: 9774

For citation:

Davydov D.A. Techno(Crato)Socialism: a Critical Look at the Ideas of B. King and R. Petty. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 9. P. 117-129


The article deals with the concept of technosocialism by B. King and R. Petty. The author shows that this concept was a result of a synthesis of many intellectual trends of recent years: belief in technological progress and technologically driven abundance, discourses of automation and ideas of the advent of the era of artificial intelligence dominance, as well as various concepts of post-capitalism, based on the ideas of post-labor society, the “capitalist road to communism”, unconditional basic income, etc. According to King and Petty, socialism can be achieved not through political revolutions or radical socio-political transformations, but with the help of the latest technologies, robots and artificial intelligence. All that needs to be done is to redirect the flow of “gifts of automation” from the exceptionally wealthy to everyone else through a series of cosmetic changes, such as taxation of robots and unconditional basic income. The article reveals the vulnerable sides of King and Petty position. The author shows that their concept represents a technocratic class position, their views on the coming technologically driven abundance are naive and based on shaky empirical grounds. The technosocialism of King and Petty turns out to be techno(crato)socialism when viewed closely, since their version of post-capitalist society is characterized not so much by the true realization of the personal potential of everyone, but by radical social stratification. It is also characterized by degraded and unskilled labor, “optimization” of such important areas of activity as education and medicine, as well as the redirection of material resources from the field of social policy to the field of consumption (basic income).

technosocialism; post-capitalism; socialism; communism; technocracy; basic income; Marxism; post-Marxism; automation; robotization


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