We are back to the pre world war two mental state. Due to climate pressure, automation, fossil fuel scaricty some are once again talking about how people can remain usefull, and even openly if we should have as much people as we have right now. Yuval Noah Harari, who talks about human cooperation as the cause of its rise from the animal kingdom (a weak talk with several flaws), asks the question in his book “What do we need humans for, or what do we need so many humans for”. In his case the premise of his talk is to justify religion and apparently lead to regurgitation of the century old thoughts that inspired fascism.
There is a good reason to think of usefullness in humans. We come from long lines of farmers, hunters and traders, and not doing anything has always meant a quick exit from the population. Usefullness however can be defined in several ways, one can be usefull to ones self, to others, by keeping them healthy and fit, by providing them with what they want (which may be of no importance to their survival at all).
Today usefullness is almost exclusively defined by economic factors. This means that if you can make money doing something it becomes usefull. Our lives are organized in such a way that we can not easily produce our own food, we can not provide ourselves with shelter (land prices are adopted to involving builders to build a normal house). The flipside of this lack of freedom is that the government (which usually contains some socialist members) tries to control the economy so it offers opportunities to all. It doesn’t because it tends to offer opportunities to those that are easy to control, even if a large portion of those people are kept in jobs by a lot of money.
A well functioning economy would always repair flaws in its own system and continuously does. In some countries like the US this has meant even the election cycle is economically driven. Companies pay for propaganda that makes people support their chosen candidate. There are left oriented socialist companies that will support the left wing candidates, and right wing fossil fuel serving companies that will support the right wing candidates. Obviously the usefullness meme comes from the right, and there is a good reason.
On the left side we find people that try to reason with reality. They try to see what is there and wonder how it can help us survive and thrive. If there is solar energy the left is all for using it. If there are people in need the left will recognize there are ample resources to feed them and do so.
On the right we find people that reason with their ambitions. What they want is most important. They want above all to be clean, not dragged down by trash and filth (easily disgusted people tend strongly to be on the right side of the political spectrum). To the people on the right reality is of no importance, what is important is that they get what they want. They usually exclude filth and poverty from their vision of the world so in extrema they don’t want poor or filthy people to exist. A slight variation of not wanting people to exist is to want them to be usefull. That is the minimal requirement for the right because if you are not usefull you don’t contribute to what anyone wants, and the people on the right don’t bother with people that don’t play a role in what they want.