Basic Income as All-inclusive Democratic Subsidy: Securing the Social Freedom and Economic Power for All People
Written by:Katja Kipping
[A long translators note: Katja Kipping is chair of the Left Party (Linkspartei) in Germany and a member of the national parliament. She has served as spokesperson for Germanys Basic Income Network (Netzwerk Grundeinkommen). Within the Left Party, she organized the Emancipatory Left faction and writes for the libertarian socialist magazine Prague Spring (Prager Frhling).
Kipping presented this lecture Grundeinkommen als Demokratiepauschale at the Basic Income Earth Network Congress in Seoul, Korea, July 19th. She has frequently argued for basic income throughout Germany and has helped organize a Basic Income faction that includes most political parties in parliament.
I have translated this with the hope that left organizations worldwide will pay attention to her vision of basic income as a core component for the democratic left. Basic income would provide a clear sign that the left has learned from problems wrought in the past by bureaucracy, technocracy, and authoritarianism. Kipping draws from a constitutional republican tradition of investigating institutions that promote robust citizenship and deliberation. See Casassas and De Wispelaere 2012 and 2015. She also links her hopes with that of the degrowth movement. I see basic income, as Kipping presents it here, as an antidote to alienation and right-populism. Social analysis shows basic income to be part of the design of truly public institutions.
Any lapses in quality or argumentation should be attributed to me.
Please note that Kipping also presented in Dublin at the 12th Basic Income Earth Network Congress in 2008. Moving to Basic Income (BI) A left-wing political perspective can be found at BIENs website.
You can a video of Kipping presenting the original German speech at http://bien2016.org/en/video-basic-income-and-politics-of-democracy/.
The text of her speech can be found at: http://www.katja-kipping.de/de/article/1112.grundeinkommen-als-demokratiepauschale.html. ]
Basic Income as All-inclusive Democratic Subsidy
Securing the Social Freedom and Economic Power for All People
1. Social Freedom and Democracy radical democratic approaches to basic income.
Radical democratic approaches to basic income pay close attention to the connections between people and to their mutual dependencies within a community. The community is here understood as something public and political. It is oriented towards the well-being of all and should be shaped by all. From this it follows that freedom should not be understood as a mere absence of intervention or interference. On the contrary, freedom should be understand as independence over against any arbitrary authority [Fremdherrschaft]. Freedom, in this sense, implies no arbitrary interventions or interference on the part of state institutions and also no possibility of such interventions and interference. Intervention is arbitrary if an intervention comes whenever the intervener wills it.
Freedom, on the other hand, is fulfilled primarily through self-governance. Self-governance is formed by social and individual organization and also by monitoring these potential interventions and the institutions capable of them. Individual freedom, viewed in such an intersubjective political context, is also social freedom. The highest value is active participation of all in the res publica a collective deliberative democratic self-determination. This naturally implies social equality and the securing of social freedom, which implies preventing any economically grounded dominance and dependency. Laws and institutions also need to reflect, promote, and enable the common good and self-governance. (See Socialist Party South Korea 2009, Patry 2010, Cassasas/De Wispelaere 2012, Cassasas/De Wispelaere 2015).
The following six theses on the establishment of a basic income as an all-inclusive democratic subsidy can be derived from these basic principles of radical democracy and social freedom.
Whoever does not have enough material resources is first of all excluded from political participation and, secondly, doesnt have enough negotiating power within political processes. This means that basic income, like all vital services, needs to be provided long-term. As I see it, this is not a problem in a time of high productivity and surplus. At most, it is a problem for those who do not want to give up economic privileges and political power. There is enough for allworldwide!
It is clear that a person, who must make him or herself a stigmatized petitioner at the social office has a significantly harder time taking an upright path towards the political formation of the community. As Zygmunt Bauman formulated it: The decisive argument in favor of the basic income is that it is the conditio sine qua non of a republic, as it can only exist in the union of people with self-confidence, of people without existential anxiety. A basic income which actually secures existence and allows social participation would establish a principle of citizens rights, rights that are not subject to a divisive and disqualifying access test by need tests. (Bauman 1999). [Note: this is a translation of the Bauman quote as found in Kippings speech. JBM]
Therefore 5 holds: All citizens only have their rights fully recognized reciprocally through a sufficient basic income. This also means that more affluent citizens are comparatively more likely to contribute to the financing of the basic income than the less well-off citizens. This poses the question of the redistribution of economic resources and economic power.
I would like to end this section with a quote from a German supporter of basic income who is also a politician. It is farcical that MEPs [Members of the European Parliament] claim to maintain their substantial independence through relatively high salaries in order to make themselves non-extortionable but most of these deputies do not consider it necessary to ensure such independence and non-blackmail for the sovereign, the people (Spehr 2003, 105). Basic incomes individual guarantee of a secure existence and participation is, alongside other forms of universal security for people (such as free access to public goods, social infrastructure, and social services), an indispensable prerequisite for social freedom, democratic and political engagement and the negotiating power for all people. It is an all-inclusive democratic subsidy!
2. Economic power for all basic income and democratic institutions
Whoever says A must also say B. Who calls for basic income so that people can enter the public sphere with negotiating power must also call for the public shaping of our political foundations, economy, and everyday life (see Casassas and De Wispelaere 2012 and 2015). We need this to secure a basic income and other sorts of public services. Arbitrary interferences in human affairs through economic power, by endangering survival, health, and natural resources is not acceptable. An economy that is deprived of public organization, an economy that is privatized, is unacceptable. That also means that an economy and a financial sector that is immune to democratic control and influence is likewise unacceptable.
An imbalance in power through the deprivation of the public (privatization) in one form or another reaches deeply into real political and social power relations and removes the political and therefore citizens from the formation and control of public affairs. On the one hand, this includes power that arises from economic distributionincome, assets, and investment opportunities. This certainly also includes power in the realm of shaping and administering the economy and the financial sector. Who actually determines the use of natural resources, production resources, investment and the way in which economic activities are taxed? Who is exercising an alienated domination over the people today with real, unequally distributed, forms of design and control, and who subjects society and the economy to the will of a minority?
In addition to basic income and other forms of life and of participation for all people, social freedom requires the self-government of the citizens: by means of joint and individual control and appropriate intervention possibilities, which are secured by appropriately democratic institutions. These institutions must give all people the opportunity to shape social and economic life individually and collectively (see Cassasas / De Wispelaere 2015).
Economic power for all means basic income, including other unconditional support for existence. It also means the safeguarding of the economy and society for all and the institutionally secured public and political shaping of the economy and the society by all. This makes a democratic social transformation all the more necessary and urgent. Tomorrow, I am speaking at another conference about the challenge that this entails for the European left.
3. Concluding Remarks on Socio-Ecological Transformation
Poverty and exclusion, power over the many by the few, and destruction of the natural foundations of human life that is the situation.
The international degrowth movement, which is committed to a world with significantly less natural resource consumption and to a rollback of ecological destruction and damage to our planet, therefore argues for the cohesion of ecology, democracy and social security of all people, and thus for the convergence of the various social movements and political actors (see Blaschke 2016).
It seems to me that only with this complex point of view and a committed relationship between social movements can the challenges of the 21st century be countered. Basic income, which in fact assures material existence and enables social participation, is an important component of a social-ecological transformation, which seeks to also be a democratic transformation!
Bauman, Zygmunt (1999), In Search of Politics. Cambridge. Polity Press.
Blaschke, Ronald (2016), Grundeinkommen und Degrowth Wie passt das zusammen? http://www.degrowth.de/de/2016/02/grundeinkommen-und-degrowth-wie-passt-das-zusammen/
Casassas, David / De Wispelaere, Jurgen (2012), The Alaska Model: A Republican Perspective. In: Karl Widerquist / Michael W. Howard (Ed.): Alaskas Permanent Fund Dividend. Examining his Suitability as a Model, New York, 169-188.
Casassas, David / De Wispelaere, Jurgen (2015), Republicanism and the political economy of democracy. European Journal of Social Theory, September, 1-18.
Kipping, Katja (2009), Ausverkauf der Politik. Fr einen demokratischen Aufbruch, Berlin.
Patry, Eric (2010), Das bedingungslose Grundeinkommen in der Schweiz. Eine republikanische Perspektive, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien.
Socialist Party South Korea, Unconditional Basic Income and General Social Care, Party Program, Supplement No. 1, 2009 (Translation of Socialist Party of South Korea, Basic Income for All und Universal Welfare, translation by Min Geum, https://www.grundeinkommen.de/ Content / uploads / 2010/08 / 10-05-22-bge-program-socialist-party-korea-endrb.pdf
Spehr, Christoph (2003), Gleicher als andere. Eine Grundlegung der freien Kooperation, in: Christoph Spehr (Hg.), Gleicher als andere. Eine Grundlegung der freien Kooperation, Berlin, S. 19-115.
Spehr, Christoph (2003), Gleicher als andere. Eine Grundlegung der freien Kooperation, in: Christoph Spehr (Hg.), Gleicher als andere. Eine Grundlegung der freien Kooperation, Berlin, S. 19-115.
Translated by Jason Burke Murphy, Elms College
has written 3 articles.
See the original post here:
- Common Arguments Against Basic Income Don't apply to the Emergency BI - Basic Income News - March 31st, 2020
- How a Basic Income And Jobs Guarantee Can Save The Economy From Coronavirus - The National Interest - March 31st, 2020
- I've lived through plenty of social shocks this time we must learn the lessons - The Guardian - March 31st, 2020
- Coronavirus: Iain Duncan Smith says dont bring in universal basic income during pandemic as it would be disincentive to work - The Independent - March 26th, 2020
- Solidarity Economicsfor the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond - The American Prospect - March 26th, 2020
- We face a war against coronavirus and must mobilise accordingly | Free to read - Financial Times - March 26th, 2020
- Lockdown to fight coronavirus is going to hit most Indian workers very hard - Livemint - March 26th, 2020
- Beware of a lopsided lockdown - The Hindu - March 26th, 2020
- Life, Liberty, and Basic Income | Opinion - Harvard Crimson - February 29th, 2020
- Find ways to improve the revenue of farmers: Congress - The Hindu - January 30th, 2020
- Eliminating Child Poverty With a Government Check - The New York Times - January 30th, 2020
- Andrew Yang Expects 'Many' of His Supporters to Back Sanders in Iowa: We 'Have a Lot of Overlap' - Newsweek - January 30th, 2020
- Trump to let states overhaul Medicaid for the poor, seeking to change Obamacare without legislation - Washington Examiner - January 30th, 2020
- P.E.I. groups say basic Income should not replace addictions, other supports - The Journal Pioneer - January 27th, 2020
- 5 Psychological Forces That Turn People into Political Hacks | Aaron Pomerantz - Foundation for Economic Education - January 13th, 2020
- WAYNE YOUNG: Island voices must be heard - The Guardian - December 15th, 2019
- The Guardian view on Finlands new PM: a different type of leadership - The Guardian - December 15th, 2019
- Basic Income as 40 Acres and a Mule - Basic Income News - October 16th, 2019
- 'Most Americans Don't Want To Work for the Federal Government' Says Andrew Yang, Trashing Federal Jobs Guarantee - Reason - October 16th, 2019
- Democratic debate highlights: best and most substantive answers of the night - Vox.com - October 16th, 2019
- Sanders: 'Damn right we will' have a job for every American | TheHill - The Hill - October 16th, 2019
- Assembly Elections 2019: Why is the Congress evasive about NYAY scheme this poll season? - Moneycontrol.com - October 16th, 2019
- Letter to the Editor: Universal basic income is inevitable as we head toward a fully automated society - The Post - October 16th, 2019
- Democrats focus on some Midwestern issues at Westerville debate, a departure from past three forums - cleveland.com - October 16th, 2019
- New book reviews the Namibian Basic Income pilot - Basic Income News - October 1st, 2019
- Quick notes from Basic Income Guarantee Panel - falicon.com - January 28th, 2019
- 'Hartz reforms': how a benefits shakeup changed Germany ... - January 28th, 2019
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - January 3rd, 2019
- Basic Income Canada Network - November 17th, 2018
- Basic Income Guarantee - Your Right to Economic Security ... - November 8th, 2018
- The Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee ... - September 18th, 2018
- Is a Basic Income Guarantee the Right Choice for Ontario? - June 27th, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - March 17th, 2018
- 'Me too' and the basic income guarantee | Basic Income News - February 6th, 2018
- Food shopping at dollar stores | Brantford Expositor - Brantford Expositor - August 24th, 2017
- How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net - CityLab - August 24th, 2017
- After lifting minimum wage, NDP government prepares to consult public about reducing poverty - Straight.com - August 16th, 2017
- Universal Basic Infrastructure to help decrease India's poverty - Economic Times - August 14th, 2017
- New Zealand Fabians host Basic Income panel - Basic Income News - August 13th, 2017
- Hashtag Trending Battery-free phone, Apple's China backlash - IT World Canada - August 10th, 2017
- Universal basic income proponent to speak in Boise - Idaho Press-Tribune - August 7th, 2017
- Let's talk about a supplemental income - The Hindu - August 7th, 2017
- Is a Well-Paying Job the next Entitlement Program? - Big Think (blog) - August 5th, 2017
- DON PRIDMORE: Be careful what you wish for... - The Guardian - August 1st, 2017
- EDITORIAL: Island needs dollars, not data, to cope with poverty - The Guardian - July 29th, 2017
- Renfrew County dietitian recognized by board of health for provincial award - www.insideottawavalley.com/ - July 27th, 2017
- More Calgarians struggle to feed their families over the summer months - CBC.ca - July 26th, 2017
- NEW ORLEANS, LA, US: Local basic income group begins to hold monthly meetings - Basic Income News - July 25th, 2017
- Value in using tax system for basic income: Report - The Sudbury Star - July 21st, 2017
- Does Basic Income Solve Anything? Grasp the Arguments for and ... - Futurism - July 21st, 2017
- NDP leadership candidate visits Guelph (8 photos) - GuelphToday - July 18th, 2017
- UBI is just a bedtime story Elon Musk tells himself to help the super-wealthy sleep - Quartz - July 14th, 2017
- Basic Income Guarantee program moving forward for 2000 Lindsay residents - Kawartha Media Group - July 8th, 2017
- Net incomes under a Basic Income system - Basic Income News - July 1st, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - KHOU - June 24th, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - 9NEWS.com - June 21st, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - KPNX 12 News TV - June 21st, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - First Coast News - June 20th, 2017
- Study of Iran's basic income shows it did not harm employment - Basic Income News - June 7th, 2017
- Basic income plan doable: Northern study - The Sudbury Star - June 6th, 2017
- About That Universal Basic Income Idea - FITSNews - June 6th, 2017
- Universal basic income: guarantee pay as way to improve quality of life - WatertownDailyTimes.com - June 6th, 2017
- Letters: Guaranteed income guarantees sloth - The Province - June 6th, 2017
- Basic-income guarantee is way to end poverty - Times Colonist - March 11th, 2017
- Basic Income in Argentine News - Basic Income News - March 10th, 2017
- Industry body bats for universal basic income for women - Times of India - March 8th, 2017
- A guaranteed income isn't the solution to widespread unemployment - Acton Institute (blog) - March 1st, 2017
- Australia Needs A Universal Basic Income, And We Should Start ... - Huffington Post Australia - February 24th, 2017
- VIDEO: Basic Income presentation at Meeting of the Minds Summit - Basic Income News - February 22nd, 2017
- Ben Wray: Why both the right to work and the right not to work can set us free - CommonSpace - February 20th, 2017
- Expert: We Can Have Universal Basic Income and Jobs - Futurism - Futurism - February 18th, 2017
- World Economic Forum blog: Canada's basic income experiment will it work? - Basic Income News - February 16th, 2017
- Guaranteed basic income proposed. - Bayshore Broadcasting News Centre - February 15th, 2017
- Left-Wing America Steps Up Calls For Free Money, Jobs Guarantee - Daily Caller - February 10th, 2017
- OPINION: Human rights, basic needs - The Guardian - February 10th, 2017
- Ebay founder backs universal basic income test with $500000 pledge - Mashable - February 9th, 2017
- A response to 'The dangers of a basic income' - Basic Income News - February 7th, 2017
- CANADA: Over 10000 people have signed to support Basic Income - Basic Income News - February 7th, 2017
- Basic income is superior to the job guarantee - Basic Income News - February 7th, 2017
- Income inequality in the United States - Wikipedia - January 5th, 2017