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Currently, the ‘Harmony of Humanity’, the quest of Chapter 21, is deeply disturbed, most evocatively, by the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States of Donald Trump, a signal of deep concern spreading across the experience of globalization from its negative consequences. Chapter 25 starts with an exploration of the ‘meaning’ of the “Trump Phenomenon” which basically represents an emerging broad-ranging desire to erect boundaries against globalization, and to return to past securities. The most fundamental problem with the ‘return to the past’ in Trump’s philosophies however, is that it is no longer realistic. Productive enterprise, in particular, has moved on, so employment rich industries of the past simply do not compete any more, and the assumption of unlimited resources requiring no need for conservation and care, is demonstrably wrong. This Chapter starts with this analysis and parallel resistance to globalization elsewhere, but moves on to explore what we can expect in terms of our immediate technology-driven and robotic-inspired future. One key finding is that world society is likely to have to make major adjustments to a future of non-work which some describe as a society of ‘unemployment’ rather than ‘employment’. It is not just jobs which are at stake, but the whole social and meaning fabric which is associated. The Chapter finishes with an assessment of new experiments on the role of ‘universal basic income’ in the society of our future.
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- “The Future’s Not What It Used to Be”—Ogden Nash
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