by system failure
As we enter rapidly the era of hyper-automation, capitalism destroys the human labor force. Multinational cartels have penetrated in key decision centers and lobbyists managed to occupy nearly every key position in governments and institutions. Therefore, one of the key policies promoted, is the systematic elimination of the small-medium businesses (e.g. through TTIP-type agreements), as one of the last barriers against the absolute sovereignty of megabanks and multinationals.
The rapid rise of hyper-automation, is today one of the key factors for unprecedented unemployment rates, even in the most developed countries. Governments struggle to "mask" the real unemployment figures through various tricks. Even when people work only for the half days (or less) of the week, or much less hours than the standard 8-hour/day, they are placed together with the full-time workforce. Government agencies reduce unemployment rates by putting groups of people into the unable-to-work category.
In another world, the less hours for the workers would not mean necessarily reduced wages and benefits. In the worst scenario, wages would be stabilized and workers would have plenty of free time for other activities of their choice, maintaining a relatively high-quality level of life. But in this world, because of one of the most fundamental rules of the obsolete Capitalist system, workers struggle to win the unbeatable enemy of hyper-automated machines in the arena of competitiveness.
Therefore, the continuously upgraded technology and the production of more and more efficient machines, is pushing down, violently, wages and labor rights.
Not very far in the future, the impact on unemployment due to the extermination of the small-medium businesses together with the ongoing hyper-automation, will be more than evident. At this point, many people justifiably wonder: if all the production is automatized and the workers lose their jobs, who will consume the products?
A probable answer to this question would be that there is a huge potential of consumers due to unprecedented human population. Once wages are equalized everywhere, there will be plenty of consumers to buy more products. However, this will be only a transition phase. Once the elites reach the point to control all the resources and the means of production, the model will change from Capitalism to global Feudalism.
But things can become ever more Dystopian. With all the resources and the means of production in their hands of the elites, human population needs could become literally irrelevant. They could be left out of a closed system where robots would become the new consumers. Whether we are talking about humans, machines, viruses, computers, or any other kind of biological entity, or machine, one thing is common to all these: energy consumption.
One should understand the way of thinking, the psycho-synthesis if you like, of these people in power who form the 1%. They don't care about the 99% majority, at all. They have no moral barriers. All they want is unlimited power. They don't care if people will struggle to survive.
In this new "robo-Capitalism", the machines will be the perfect servants, far more efficient than the unpredictable human beings. In this system, all the economy and research will be guided by the need for increasingly efficient machines. But a sub-scenario of this case has been already examined: The super-intelligent machines could probably wipe out every human presence.
But there are plenty of scenarios on how things could evolve beyond the era of hyper-automation. Not all of them are dark and Dystopian. Under certain circumstances, hyper-automation could lead to unprecedented levels of prosperity, not only for a tiny elite, but for the entire human population.