Oscar Wilde was, among other things, a big fan of automation. In “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” he predicted that machines would eliminate the need for human workers to sweep roads, stoke engines or do other monotonous manual labor. Instead of living lives of pointless drudgery, people would be free to improve their minds, create works of art or simply wander around smelling the roses.
“Just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself … machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work,” he forecast.
Things haven’t quite worked