Over at Truth-Out, an interview with Henry A. Giroux on the future of the Left vis-a-vis Authoritarianism went live today. (Yes, go read it, with filters up and running; it's worth your time.) What he emphasizes in that interview is that we're increasingly noticing that the current world state of politics and economics creates a paradigm wherein the super-majority of the population, world-wide, is utterly fucking disposable.
What many reading that article will find a big deal is that, surprise-surprise, the major institutions of our global culture (and their lesser component parts)--held by Thralls of Empire--are being turned to serve Empire through reshaping the cultures of these entities into ones that mold an individual passing through into being a drone serving Empire's interests. A combination of debt, brain-washing/indoctrination, and restriction of allowed range of action/thought will serve to ensure that individual efforts which could threaten to undermine Empire's desires are eliminated; this includes automating skilled labor out of existence, automating unskilled labor out of existence, gutting all forms of higher education into nothing more than glorified training into management and office drones for most and leaving a servile professional class (for now; they too will be automated out of existence) left for the time being.
In short, the article obliquely acknowledges that Technological Unemployement is being used to render increasingly larger sections of the population utterly disposable because they cannot provide ANY value to the corporate meta-state that Empire wants to impose via its Thralls. What, therefore, do you do with bothersome useless trash? You get rid of it; you dispose of it; you destroy it. That's what is coming, and no one--not even Giroux--want to call it what it is: the preparation for a genocide the likes of which we've never before seen.
The Thralls do not need us anymore, and as soon as we're no longer needed even as the most mindless of fodder or lubrication for their machines (literal or otherwise), we go from asset to liabilty and therefore must be expunged--deleted, EXTERMINATED--as we are naught but pests.
The Thralls, in their usual oblique manner, have told us their intentions for two generations now; this is what all of the culture industry is about- using popular media to disseminate intended actions before they do it, as a form of trial balloon, with what the reaction to those trails are being the gauge for when certain plans are implemented in forms we see. This is "predictive programming", and there's plenty of video presentations on YouTube that get into it; go watch them to get up to speed.
The increasing militarization, use of surveilence, "anti-terror" measures, and other means to violently quash dissent that can't be discredited in the media point to a future where most of us are living like common people do in Elysium when they're not outright hunted by Expert AI drones in areas designated as "free fire zones". (That's the Terminator element; we live like the Resistance, and they live like the orbitals do, until we're wiped out or they're brought to heel.) Once the drone AI is sorted out, excuses will be used to arm them and deploy them everywhere, and soon thereafter it's a matter of time before massive swaths are outright slaughtered as part of a larger depopulation scheme; deprivation, overwork, denial of resources, and other "soft" measures will all those who are not killed by state agents (and, of course, armed drones).
That's the aim. I don't think it will go that smoothly.
First, the big fight over the Internet will not end in Empire's favor. It will remain free, and increasingly be seen as vital to functioning in Civilization so access will become dirt-cheap and then free at point of use; not everyone in technology is a total shitheel who thinks that people are crap, and the same Technological Unemployment that threatens to turn most of us into fodder for Soylent Green is also what allows us to stop wasting time doing shit we don't want to do to get paper to stay alive and put that time into doing what we want to do instead- and some of us are incorrigable tinkers who cannot help but to fix and improve stuff. That, spread through the Internet, is what will allow rapid dissemination of useful ideas to the population.
Second, the material issue is about to become quite easily managed through the dissemination of new and improved technologies of recycling, manufacturing, and education thereof; decentralization of formerly-centralized economic activities is possible now, and it is in our interests to foster this decentralization in every way possible. Most notable, for me, is the "Earthhouse" movement whereby people--on their own--are repurposing otherwise-trashed items like tired and bottles to build houses that have all the amenities we're used to on a fraction of the budget as well as a fraction of the footprint. (Think of a combination of hobbit holes and retro-sci-fi architecture.) Disentangling ourselves from Empire's economic system is paramount to making it fall.
Third, Empire can't stop repeating its mistakes. As soon as it becomes clear to a critical mass of the population what's going on, the persistent pattern will manifest and the wisest amongst us will exploit it and use it to defeat the Terminator/Elysium scheme. On YouTube, in the blogosphere, and elsewhere the seeds of defeat are already sown--and redundantly so, many times over--so that, despite initial success, the final fall of Empire will inevitably occur. The escalation in scope and scale has reached its limit; there is no recovering from this defeat, because the destruction required is so total that nothing left will be there after its over. There won't even be a memetic corpse; everyone that's alive when it comes will be so overwhelmed with how toxic Empire is that its memetic presence will be purged from Mankind's psyche thereafter- future generations will be immune, forever.
Let the machines come. We already know that this is going to end badly for them, so fear not and carry on. Empire will fall.