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ANSWERED on Wed 10 May 2017 - 3:43 am UTC by JD Umiat

Question: Find out exact quote and who said it

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juliansegal 

Customer

 9 May 2017 11:39 UTCTue 9 May 2017 - 11:39 am UTC 

I remember when I studied for my MBA in the 90's I came across a quote dating back more than a hundred years, saying something like 'the king of England will run/do everything in the country by automaton/machine'. It must have been some social philosopher or politician raising against automation stealing jobs from workers

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 9 May 2017 12:29 UTCTue 9 May 2017 - 12:29 pm UTC 

juliansegal,

Hello, and thanks for bringing your question to Uclue. It's a tough one (pretty interesting, though) since there is so much historical sentiment -- pro and con -- about the rise of the machines.

Etienne Cabet, a French philosopher (1788-1856), wrote:

"Innumerable machines will be invented, and everything will be done by machines; and man, emulator and rival of the Creator, will reduce his role to that of inventor and commander of machines."


Are you absolutely sure the quote you're after referenced England, and more specifically, the King of England?

The more clues we have as to timing, origin, sentiment, wording, etc. the more likely we are to be able to track it down for you.

Let us know if you can provide any additional details.

Thanks,

David

 

juliansegal 

Customer

 9 May 2017 12:43 UTCTue 9 May 2017 - 12:43 pm UTC 

Thanks David, but this is not the quote I was after. It was certainly English, and it referred to 'by automata'

 

JD Umiat 

Researcher

 9 May 2017 15:09 UTCTue 9 May 2017 - 3:09 pm UTC 

Hello juliansegal!

Could you be referring to this quote by Jean Charles Leonard de Sismondi in 1819?

 "In truth then, there is nothing more to wish for than that the king, remaining alone on the island, by constantly turning a crank, might produce, through automata, all the output of England."

https://books.google.com/books?id=wh8JJAYBfJcC&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=Sismondi+quote+England+automata&source=bl&ots=JYGj1nhJhC&sig=2iRe2hBKPA_70tkkm_kXzqy1Cis&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiKlL6Hi-PTAhVn2oMKHS7WAWEQ6AEIOzAD#v=onepage&q=Sismondi%20quote%20England%20automata&f=false

===

https://weeklysift.com/2017/03/06/jobs-income-and-the-future/

So if the problem of technological unemployment is not exactly ancient, it’s still been around for centuries. As far back as 1819, the economist Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi was wondering how far this process might go. With tongue in cheek he postulated one “ideal” future:

    "In truth then, there is nothing more to wish for than that the king, remaining alone on the island, by constantly turning a crank, might produce, through automata, all the output of England."

This possibility raises an obvious question: What, then, could the English people offer the king (or whichever oligarchy ended up owning the automata) in exchange for their livelihoods?


==


 Please let me know if this helps to answer your question!


JD

 

juliansegal 

Customer

 10 May 2017 02:42 UTCWed 10 May 2017 - 2:42 am UTC 

Yes! That's the one I was after. You're a genius. Thanks, Julian.

P.S. I'm a first time user. I assume you'll get payment automatically?

 

JD Umiat 

Answer

 10 May 2017 03:43 UTCWed 10 May 2017 - 3:43 am UTC 

I so glad I found the right quote for you, Julian. By posting in the answer box, the payment will automatically go through.

Thank you for visiting Uclue!

---

"In truth then, there is nothing more to wish for than that the king, remaining alone on the island, by constantly turning a crank, might produce, through automata, all the output of England."

https://books.google.com/books?id=wh8JJAYBfJcC&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=Sismondi+quote+England+automata&source=bl&ots=JYGj1nhJhC&sig=2iRe2hBKPA_70tkkm_kXzqy1Cis&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiKlL6Hi-PTAhVn2oMKHS7WAWEQ6AEIOzAD#v=onepage&q=Sismondi%20quote%20England%20automata&f=false

===

https://weeklysift.com/2017/03/06/jobs-income-and-the-future/

So if the problem of technological unemployment is not exactly ancient, it’s still been around for centuries. As far back as 1819, the economist Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi was wondering how far this process might go. With tongue in cheek he postulated one “ideal” future:

    "In truth then, there is nothing more to wish for than that the king, remaining alone on the island, by constantly turning a crank, might produce, through automata, all the output of England."

This possibility raises an obvious question: What, then, could the English people offer the king (or whichever oligarchy ended up owning the automata) in exchange for their livelihoods?

--

JD

 

myoarin 

User

 10 May 2017 16:14 UTCWed 10 May 2017 - 4:14 pm UTC 

Being a cynic and sophist - and indefatigable "common tatter" (Probo) - I venture to point out that the quotation obviates JD's final question; the king is "remaining alone on the island".   
Since that seems very unlikely, there is the undocumented remark that the British are "a nation of shopkeepers": 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_shopkeepers

Pax,  Myoarin

 

juliansegal 

Customer

 10 May 2017 21:11 UTCWed 10 May 2017 - 9:11 pm UTC 

 

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