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After visiting the fledgling Soviet Union in 1919, the left-wing journalist Lincoln Steffens remarked, “I have seen the future and it works.” In that time, many socialists had a deeply-felt, even utopian faith in the power of new technologies to eliminate poverty and useless work. More recently, Silicon Valley tech capitalists have elevated technology’s ability to “disrupt” into what is essentially a secular religion. As new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting workforces into precarity, if not obsolesce, we should ask: how should socialists understand the social function of technology? Far from a smooth, inevitable process, the development of technology is a site of struggle between workers and capitalists. Join Philly DSA as we survey struggles over technology, from the rise of “scientific management” in the Gilded Age to the Green Revolution in agriculture and the ubiquity of Google and Facebook.
The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.
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