Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, January 01, 2015
Basic Income Politics Are Not "Beyond Left and Right"
Some advocates of a basic income guarantee declare the proposal "beyond left and right." Certainly, there have been proposals for basic income from people who identify with both the left and with the right (not to mention many libertarians who dis-identify with the right even though they are a part of it). But it is crucial to be clear on this point: Either basic income secures the democratizing scene of consent from which to bargain in private or demand redress in public, or basic income becomes the pretext for the anti-democratizing dismantlement of the provisions of general welfare and public investment. In the first case basic income is a left wing campaign for equity-in-diversity, in the second a right wing deception for incumbent elites. Far from being beyond "left and right," basic income from the left is emancipatory and basic income from the right is reactionary. Unless basic income advocates are very clear about this distinction they are not clear about anything and of little use to anyone.