Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism is a meme – it's a joke, but it's also a dream. It's leftist futurism taken to the extreme. But would you prefer to envision a future of mostly manual labor, poverty, compulsory heterosexuality, and super-late capitalism on boring old Earth? I think not!
Consider this article as a launch pad and a full tank of ideological powdered aluminum to rocket your mind into a radical future – radical in the sense of favoring drastic political, economic, and social reforms, but also radical as in totally flipping sweet.
Come on and slam, and welcome to the jam
"Fully Automated Luxury Communism," (we'll get to the gay space parts in a bit) entered the internet's lexicon thanks to one Aaron Bastani, a British political commentator who discussed the idea with The Guardian in March of 2015. In the article, he joins an ever-increasing group of people worrying about what will happen to society as automation replaces jobs, but proposes a rosy solution: "the only utopian demand can be for the full automation of everything and common ownership of that which is automated... a 10- or 12-hour working week, a guaranteed social wage, universally guaranteed housing, education, healthcare and so on."
Bastani isn't the first to suggest a universal basic income as an answer to automation – this short infographic from Futurism.com explains which countries and industries are predicted to feel the effects of job loss due to automation most acutely, alongside some experiments in universal basic income conducted in 2016 in Kenya, Finland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. And the concept of UBI has been steadily picking up steam in the last couple of years, particularly among the tech elite who are ushering in the age of robots. Even famed champion of workers (sarcasm) Elon Musk publicly voiced his support for universal basic income.
But a period of UBI-enabled socialism is only the gateway to Fully Automated Luxury Communism, because the end result should be a redistribution not only of wealth, but of all the resources of our planet – before we turn to seizing the resources of the rest of the cosmos. This assumes a complete restructuring of society and the economy as we know it under capitalism and the prerequisite of a post-scarcity economy.
In a paper presented to the World Future Society conference in 2009, Stephen Aguilar-Milan, the director of research for the European Futures Observatory, claimed that we could be living in a post-scarcity economy as soon as 2050-2075. Aguilar-Milan and his team posit that the current age of scarcity (the condition of a majority of global citizens not having access to the basic resources required to live, much less thrive), due to the inequalities fundamental to the structure of global capitalism, will reach a point that most other economic theorists call "Peak Oil," but which they term "Peak Just About Everything" between 2015 and 2040. This period of economic turmoil is the catalyst they see being able to upset the entrenched systems of global capitalism and encourage a radical redistribution of resources.
Of course, with the introduction of fracking and other alternative methods of natural resource extraction, peak oil hasn't quite arrived the way we expected it; but the acceleration of the effects of climate change due to these new extraction technologies are positioned to serve as a catalyst just as well.
Way back in 1858, a little guy you may have heard of called Karl Marx also predicted that automation would usher in the post-capitalist era. In a section of the Grundrisse known as the "Fragment on Machines," he lays out that since capitalism relies on the surplus of labor and accelerates technology to accomplish this labor, it will eventually create the conditions of its own undoing: labor time will be reduced to almost nothing, and workers will be free to develop themselves as individuals.
Think of Amazon reinvesting its revenue for the last 20 years and Jeff Bezos now standing at the head of a global empire of algorithmically-directed warehouses chock full of robots. When it's no longer a requirement that Amazon's warehouses require humans to operate under inhumane conditions, and let's say Amazon takes over the world and automates humans out of work for every industry, what will the workers of the world do with all of their time?
Seize the memes of production
Here we are at Fully Automated Luxury Communism, and now the fun stuff can happen (the gay stuff, in space).
One reason the internet loves FALGSC is purely for the aesthetic: Soviet-era images of what communist life in space would look like still tickle the imagination, and the memeification of political ideologies and historial events is relentless. If you don't believe me, consider an offering from College Humor entitled "Seize the Means of Production With These 18 Communist Memes" or this explainer from Broadly about "How Meme Culture Is Getting Teens Into Marxism". And although both articles were published nearly a year ago, the memery at /r/fullcommunism continues unabated, and the real edgelords on the internet now primarily joke about endorsing Posadism.
Ironically professing love of communism for the aesthetic has likely reached its peak in the inevitable wave-postfixed music genre L A B O R W A V E, a spinoff of Vaporwave's slowed-down 80s pop music that overlays Soviet Era propaganda.
Space travel is taken as an inevitable outcome of FALC, but where does the "gay" part come in? All of the thinkers proposing UBI or full communism inevitably have to wonder what people will do if they're no longer subjected to labor, and they come to similar conclusions.
Elon Musk said, "People will have time to do other things and more complex things, more interesting things," and Karl Marx called it, "The free development of individualities." Although some would like to substitute "queer" for "gay" in FALGSC to be more inclusive, it isn't meant to literally mean compulsory homosexuality, but that in a freer futuristic society, categories like gender will become completely meaningless because people will be able to do whatever they want.
And the internet has concluded that means doing more gay stuff in space, which brings a whole new meaning to the illustration from The Jetsons used in the Guardian article that started it all: Jane Jetson and Rosie enjoying an afternoon of watching television while other machines tend to Jane's hair and nails and a drone bearing snacks hovers nearby.
A future without work where you can also have a fulfilling lesbian relationship with your robot maid: Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism today.