Basic Income as a System of Control

“Basic income – in both the north and the south – all depends on how we frame it. Will it be cast as a form of charity by the rich? Or will it be cast as a right for all?”[1]. This quote encapsulates both the promise and potential consequences of a basic income. Much has been made of the radical potential that a universal basic income inculcates in our sclerotic neoliberal societies, supposedly able to end the necessity of work and make wages a tool of social policy rather than simply an economic consequence of the labour market. It is easy to see the potential when labour markets are extremely sticky, with low-pay staying low and wages continuing their decoupling from productivity gains. Technological unemployment presents the dystopia of a world where further productivity that is reaped from machines is controlled by a transnational capitalist class of international investors and corporate megaliths, continuing the monopolisation of the economy and entrenching a precarious form of wage labour relation. Continue reading

The Centralising Axiom

The multiple debates surrounding ideology constantly devolve into simplistic concepts like capitalism and socialism, referring to each other as opposing axiomatic systems that proffer significantly different visions of the world. However, both are fundamentally centralist systems. They understand society, economy and politics as universalisable wholes that need to be integrated into a full structure of production and decision-making. For capitalism, the main axiomatic point is the profit-motive achieved through multiple avenues of capital accumulation. Markets and states are the main entry and exit points through which capital is accumulated and profit is achieved. For socialism, it is the production of value for the meeting of basic needs and necessities, providing a society of equality where political and economic cohesiveness is supposedly developed. Economic planning  and social provisioning through centralised structures (usually the state but forms of global democratic planning have been theorised) are the mechanisms for this accumulation. Continue reading

Why I Am an Anarcho-Pluralist

by Keith Preston

Why I Am an Anarcho-Pluralist

Over the last few days, there’s been an interesting discussion going on over at the blog of left-libertarian philosopher Charles Johnson (also known as “Rad Geek“). I’ve avoided posting there, due to the presence of an individual who has declared themself my mortal enemy (a role I’m happy to assume), but the subject matter of the discussion provides a very good illustration of why any sort of libertarian philosophy that demands a rigid universalism cannot work in practice. Continue reading

Basic Income’s Role in a Traditional Society

The idea of basic income is that work is not the centre of one’s life. While laziness is not meant to be encouraged, there is a tacit recognition that under an unconditional system it may well be, leading to a potential system where the productive are subsidising those who choose to be unproductive. While problematic under most understandings of political philosophy, this precedent is particularly problematic in the concept of a traditional society (that shaped by Burke’s little platoons of local and parochial institutions). Without a work obligation, one is receiving a right without reciprocating with duties. They’re receiving something for nothing. Continue reading

‘Pure’ Capitalism is Pure Fantasy

by Richard Wolff

libcom.org/library/pure-capitalism-pure-fantasy-richard-wolff

As the global economic meltdown drags most of us through its sixth year, one kind of explanation is heard often and from several sides, including the libertarian right. The crisis since 2007, we are told, is not capitalism’s fault or flaw. That is because capitalism is not the system we now have; it is not the systemic problem the world now faces. If only we could ‘get back to’ something like ‘pure’ capitalism, our economic woes would disappear. Proponents envision ‘pure ‘or ‘real’ capitalism as a world of perfect competition among enterprises who are all market price takers (none has the power or size to shape markets), where no advertising enables producers to shape the desires of consumers, where all workers bargain individually for their wages, and so on. It is the capitalism of the introductory economics textbook, the one that seamlessly delivers efficiency, prosperity, and optimal growth. Continue reading

On Being a Little Englander

I think this is relatively intelligent way of viewing international conflicts when ignorant of on-the-ground facts. Taking this position at the very least means moving away from the simplistic good-bad dichotomies that both naive pacificts and stupid neoconservatives hold.


by Chris Dillow

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2016/10/on-being-a-little-englander.html Continue reading

Thoughts on Libertarian-Distributism

by Tormod’s Blog

https://tormodsblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/thoughts-on-libertarian-distributism/

Not long ago, I came across a blog post by Keir Martland that I think deserves careful consideration. The article, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Proletariat,” points out that libertarians tend to have a blind spot when it comes to cultural and social concerns. He urges his fellow libertarians not to forget that issues of this kind exist and that they are not inconsequential. In asserting that some means of addressing such questions within libertarian parameters must be found, he calls our attention to the work of the Catholic Distrubutists, who have much to say on these matters. Martland observes that many of their insights are compatible with libertarianism and advocates that these be incorporated into libertarian discourse. If that were to happen, I believe it would be to the substantial benefit of our cause. Continue reading

“Full Employment” Useful Idiots

The modern economy is stuck in a major rut. Productivity gains have not matched wage inflation, and productivity itself is relatively stagnant, particularly in the UK. Job provision is being increasingly concentrated in low-pay sectors, with temporary work and part-time contracts creating a modern precariat of working class individuals, students and other members of a general lumpenproletariat. Mechanisation and technology gains are captured by capitalist interests through IP rights and state-funding of corporate research, meaning that increasingly people are not just being made precarious, but are simply losing their jobs as well as any state-support. Such an existence is both undesirable and extremely distressing. Rather than markets freeing entrepreneurial spirits and creating a class of Konkinite contractors, free from the vagaries of state-capitalism, they have been wrought by the demands of that system and have created what I’ve described. Continue reading

The Rise of the Radical Right: The Alt-Right Neoreaction and the Trump Campaign

by Jakub Jankowski

THE RISE OF THE RADICAL RIGHT: THE ALT RIGHT NEOREACTION AND THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN

Equality is bullshit. Hierarchy is essential. The races are different. The sexes are different. Morality matters and degeneracy is real. All cultures are not equal and we are not obligated to think they are. Man is a fallen creature and there is more to life than hollow materialism. Finally, the white race matters, and civilisation is precious. This is the Alt-Right.

– Millennial Woes

Hillary Clinton’s newest offensive against Donald Trump’s campaign involves the vilification of a political movement that until recently was reputedly hiding in the ‘far reaches of the internet’ from which ‘dark conspiracy theories’ are allegedly being forged. This denunciation was aimed at an increasingly popular congregation known as the ‘Alternative Right.’ This crowd was recently labelled as ‘Trump’s Shock Troops’ by the BBC in an overt reference to Nazi Germany, and as ‘white supremacists’ as well as ‘a paranoid fringe group’ by Clinton herself, during the speech she gave in Reno, Nevada. How close is Clinton to the truth – is the ‘Alt-Right’ really solely composed of racist, intolerant, neo-Nazis and of other non-kosher superficial labels? Warm, hot, cold! Continue reading

The Role of Commons in a Free Market

by Kevin Carson

c4ss.org/content/30862

The term “market anarchism” may give some people the mistaken impression that market anarchists envision a society organized primarily around the cash nexus. In part this is because one definition of the term “market” itself equates to the market as an institution: The sphere of exchange. It may also reflect the fact that many anarcho-capitalists, who until recently got most of the attention, tend to emphasize business firms operating in the cash nexus as the primary form of social organization.

Continue reading