Filmed in front of an illustration from the Japanese manga comic Berserk, the clip sees the artist – with drawings on her face – share her “proposition for the communists”. She says: “Typically, most of the communists I know are not big fans of AI. But, if you think about it, AI is actually the fastest path to communism.”
“If implemented correctly,” Grimes continues, “AI could theoretically solve for abundance. We could totally get to a situation where nobody has to work, everybody is provided for with a comfortable state of being. AI could automate all the farming and weed out systematic corruption, thereby bringing us as close as possible to genuine equality. Basically everything that everybody loves about communism, but without the collective farm. Because let’s be real, enforced farming is really not a vibe.”
Now viral, the video has sparked mass confusion, as well as criticisms of Grimes’ support of communism despite her boyfriend, Elon Musk, being a billionaire. The musician confusingly addressed the latter in a comment under her video, writing: “Haha I am not a communist! This iz (sic) a joke – but maybe the technocrats and communists could get along!”
Despite fans mocking her, as well as Grimes’ bizarre claim that her theory was a joke, it’s actually a very well-established vision of the future, most famously explored by Novara Media co-founder Aaron Bastani in his 2019 book, Fully Automated Luxury Communism.
Although not without its flaws, the theory puts forward the idea that technology can be used to create a post-scarcity economy – in which goods are created with minimal human labour – and therefore bring widespread prosperity.
Some of Grimes’ fans did point out that the theory could work if means of production were controlled by the community as opposed to billionaires “like your lil boyfriend”, as one said, who “will not just give (AI) for free”.