Will the Next Big Revolution Create a Worthless Class of Humans?

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, joined Glenn on radio for an enlightening discussion about his latest book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, an equally compelling and provocative book about humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods with technology.

"This promises to be a fascinating conversation," Glenn said prior to introducing Dr. Harari.

He also read an excerpt from Homo Deus that should make the average human squirm:

The main products of the 21st century will not be textiles, vehicles, and weapons, but bodies, brains, and minds. While the Industrial Revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the worthless class. The way humans have treated animals is a good indicator of how upgraded humans will treat us.

"I disagree with this guy on some major fundamental issues, but this book is so important because it tells you what is coming. Are you going to be able to avoid this? Absolutely not. Technology is on the march --- and it's a good thing --- but what does it actually mean to you?" Glenn said.

He also gave a warning.

"There are lots of things in it that are agonizing, especially to people of faith. He's not a guy who believes in God, and that's fine, but get through that. Pass by some of the stuff that you disagree with because the point of this book is what is coming. We don't have to agree on the facts of what to do about it, but this is what is coming --- and you really need to understand that.

In this first segment, Glenn and Dr. Harari touched on the following topics:

• The real threat to jobs is algorithms and computers and robots

• A certain class of people will become worthless by an economic and military viewpoint

• Technology is subject to humans and their ethical, philosophical and political views

• The models created in the 20th century to understand and manage society and politics can't work anymore

PART 2: What Kids Learn in School Today Will be Irrelevant in 20 to 30 Years

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

GLENN: The main products of the 21st century will not be textiles, vehicles, and weapons, but bodies, brains, and minds.

In the book, Homo Deus, while the Industrial Revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the worthless class.

The way humans have treated animals is a good indicator of how upgraded humans will treat us. Democracy and the free market will collapse once Google and Facebook know us better than we know ourselves, and authority will shift from individual humans to network algorithms.

Humans won't fight machines or AI. They will merge with them. We are headed toward a marriage, rather than a war.

This promises to be a fascinating conversation. Yuval Harari. Author of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Welcome to the program, sir. How are you?

YUVAL: Hello. It's a pleasure to be here.

GLENN: You're over at -- you teach history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. You have a PhD in the subject from Oxford. And your book has now been translated into 40 different languages. You're on a whirlwind here.

YUVAL: Yes. I mean, it's quite surprising, even for me. I mean, ten years ago, I was a specialist in medieval history, writing about the crusade and things like that. And now I'm mostly talking about cyborgs and artificial intelligence and genetic engineering and things like that.

GLENN: So, Yuval, I'm fascinated by your book and your perspective and point of view. And we disagree on an awful lot of things. But I don't disagree what you say is coming. And I don't believe that the average American -- or the average citizen in Europe or Russia or wherever, understands what's coming in the next ten to 20 years.

They have -- they have no clue how -- how entire -- how life itself is going to be transformed.

YUVAL: Yeah. I think part of the danger -- we can discuss and disagree about the potential solutions, but first, we need to agree about the problem. It's real. It's there. And I am very concerned there's very little public discussion of these issues.

GLENN: Yeah.

YUVAL: For example, if you looked at the presidential election in the US, there was a lot of talk about job loss to Mexico, to China, and so forth. But almost no talk at all about job loss due to automation.

GLENN: Yes.

YUVAL: And the replacement of more and more people by algorithms and computers and robots in the job market.

GLENN: So, Yuval, I have been saying this now for a while, and I don't think people have their arms around it. You know, when a president or a candidate or anybody anywhere around the world, a prime minister says, "We're going to get your jobs back," they're not coming back. They are being taken by progress. And the great minds of the world right now are not looking on how we can get a lower unemployment number. They're looking at a world that the unemployment number should be at 100 percent. Not 4 percent.

YUVAL: Maybe not 100, but, yes. I mean, in the next ten, 20, 30 years, we'll see, for example, self-driving cars and vehicles replacing taxi drivers and bus drivers and truck drivers and so forth. And robots replacing textile workers. But it's not just manual labor. Similarly, many doctors are likely to be replaced by artificial intelligence, that can diagnosis disease, better than any human being because it can simply go over immense amounts of biological data about you and your entire medical history in a way that no human being has any chance of doing. So you're talking not just about manual labor, but even doctors and teachers and lawyers, some of their jobs are also at risk.

GLENN: Tell me what you mean by, "While the Industrial Revolution created the working class, the next big revolution will create the worthless class."

YUVAL: Well, the danger is, as more and more jobs are being automated, people will be pushed out of the job market. And they'll not just be unemployed, they will be unemployable. Of course, some new jobs are likely to -- to be created, but it's not clear whether, say, a 50-year-old unemployed taxi driver or truck driver will be able to reinvent himself or herself as let's say a software engineer. In the past, when automation took away jobs in agriculture and then in industry, new jobs were always created to fill the gap. But people could make the transition. I mean, if you lost your job as -- on a farm and you moved to, say, Detroit or Dearborn and started working in a car factory, this was possible.

Similarly, if you lost your job in the factory and then you moved to working in -- as a cashier in Walmart, this was also possible because you moved from one low-skill job to another low-skill job. But now, if the low-skill jobs are disappearing and you have new jobs, let's say in Silicon Valley designing virtual worlds, you're not going to be able to make the transition because you don't have the necessary training.

And then we might see hundreds of millions of people being pushed out of the job market, and the creation of a completely new class of economically worthless people. I mean worthless of course not from the viewpoint of their mother or husband or children. Worthless from the viewpoint of the economic system and of the military system.

If you look at --

GLENN: Go ahead.

YUVAL: If you look at the military, you see that there, it's already happening. In the 20th century, the best armies in the world relied on recruiting millions of the millions of ordinary soldiers. But today, the best armies in the world rely on relatively small numbers of highly professional soldiers that need a lot of training. And they increasingly rely on sophisticated and autonomous technology, like drones and cyber warfare. So militarily, most humans today are already useless. If there is a war, there is nothing to do with most humans.

The same thing may happen also in the civilian economy.

GLENN: So this is where -- you know, my father died a few years ago. And he was in his -- he was in his 90s. And he -- he was born in 1926. And he said to me right before he died, he said -- he said, "Son, look at philosophy. Where has philosophy really grown? Are we different as people? People, ourselves, are we different than we were, you know, 2,000 years ago?" We still are kind of fighting exactly the same things. You know, it starts over with every generation, where you have to, you know, find yourself. And, yes, we're not cavemen. But we're still the same people on the verge of going bad. And he said, "Then look at technology, when I was born, we didn't even consider that we could go to the moon. Technology is -- is moving way past us, and we have to have deeper philosophical questions being asked and answered by ourselves and as a -- as a world, because it's -- it's -- the questions are becoming too big.

And what happens is, when man usually gets behind technology and you have people up at the top that think that they are God and you have a bunch of worthless people, things like genocide happen. How do we guard against worthless people?

YUVAL: Well, first of all, we need to realize that technology is not destiny. And technology is never deterministic. Some of the people who are very enthusiastic about technology, they tend to depict the future as kind of, this is the only thing that can happen. But it's never true. Every technology can be used in many ways. You cannot just stop all research in artificial intelligence or in genetics. But you can certainly influence what we will do with it.

To take a similar example, in the 20th century, we had a lot of new technology, like trains, electricity and radio and television and cars. You could use this technology to create a communist dictatorship or a Nazi regime of a liberal democracy. The trains and the radio didn't tell you what to do with them. This was really up to -- to humans and to their ethical and philosophical and political views.

And it's the same with artificial intelligence and genetics and so forth. We still have choices to make about it. And --

GLENN: I --

YUVAL: And I agree with you, that philosophy now is probably more important than ever before.

GLENN: Than ever, yeah.

YUVAL: Because we are becoming more powerful than ever before, and we need to answer some very deep philosophical questions in order to know what to do with that power.

GLENN: I use this term lightly, but I'm a friend of Ray Kurzweil. I've talked to him several times. And I have said to him -- and didn't mean this as, you know -- he took it in the spirit in which it was intended: Ray, the way you answer questions about, well, don't worry, it will only be used for the good and, you know, there is no death, and we're all going to be fine, and everybody is going to want to have this technology, and the worthless people, if you will, they'll want to get the upgrade. And there's nobody that's not going to want to buy into this system -- I said, "What makes you different than some of the really good Nazi do-gooders that were really in there saying, 'I really -- we're going to change the world with this,' but it went awry? You know, you're blind. You're blind to this."

And it's gravely concerning to me that there doesn't seem a lot of -- there doesn't seem to be a lot of, "Should we do these things? What are the ramifications of doing these things?" It's man just saying, "Oh, my gosh, we can do these things. Let's do it." I want to get your thoughts on that when we come back.

[break]

GLENN: So, Yuval, let me just restate that question that I asked you before we went into the break and state it this way: Where is the balance between a catastrophist and a -- and a utopian? Where is the correct place to fall on this. I'm -- I so love the technology that is coming, but I also have a pretty healthy fear of what it can mean.

YUVAL: I think it comes together. I mean, we want reality to be simple, that we have like bad technology and good technology. It just doesn't work like that. Every technology, as I said, can be used both for good and for bad. Take radio, because we're now on the radio. So you could use radio as Goebbels and Hitler and the communists did in the 1920s and '30s, to brainwash millions of people.

GLENN: Right.

YUVAL: And you could use radio to enlighten them and to help create a healthy democracy, in which people are well informed about what's happening and in which people can view and air their opinions.

So radio itself, it is a great invention, or it's a terrible invention. It's neither. It depends what we do with it. And I think this should be the attitude towards the new inventions of our century.

GLENN: Okay. So, Yuval, we have about 90 seconds here. Then we have to take another quick break. Then we have more time on the other side.

YUVAL: Oh, okay.

GLENN: The -- the problem is, is we're in -- and I think people think this is a political left, right tension that we're feeling right now. It's a political war. I think everything is at its breaking point. It doesn't work anymore. Life doesn't work at this speed with the old structure. And so the whole thing -- it's like the Industrial Revolution. It's just about to flip. And that's the underlying tension that we're feeling. But those people who are in power right now, they're going to do everything they can to grab this technology and drag us back into dusty old concepts of control that are -- are nightmarish. Do you agree or disagree?

YUVAL: I think the old model just won't work. This is the one thing we can be certain about. None of the models we created in the 20th century to understand society and politics and to manage society and politics, they can't work anymore. We need something new. Yes, people will still try to grab control, but it will be a completely different kind of control. It could be far more scary.

Especially if, indeed, more and more control will shift away from humans to algorithms.

GLENN: Okay.

YUVAL: And more and more decisions will be taken, not by any dictator, but by a computer.

GLENN: Okay. So let's go there. Take a quick three-minute break, and then we'll come back there to -- what was it he said? No, it could be much, much more scary. Okay. I hadn't thought of that possibility yet. Homo Deus is the name of this book. A Brief History of Tomorrow. This is the book that every elite is reading.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.