Basic Income BI: Progressive Dreams Meet Neoliberal Realities

Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 1350, by John Clarke, Jan 2, 2017.

Up until now, the concept of Basic Income BI has enjoyed a greater history of being proposed than of being implemented. We may well be approaching a period, however, when this changes. The Ontario Government is holding consultations on setting up a BI pilot project. The Legislature in another Canadian Province, Prince Edward Island, has agreed to test out a version of BI. Pilot projects are also impending in Finland, the Netherlands and Scotland … //

… Neoliberal Version: … //
… Progressive Dreams: … //
… British Labour Party and BI: … //

… The struggle to expand and improve public services would have to, of course, be linked to workers’ struggles for living wages, workplace rights and real compensation for injured workers. Beyond this, let’s challenge as much as we can the ‘business decisions’ that deplete resources, pollute and threaten us with ecological disaster.

I am suggesting that our movements need to challenge, rather than come to terms with, the neoliberal order and the capitalist system that has produced it. For all its claims to be a sweeping measure, the notion of progressive BI is a futile attempt to make peace with that system. In reality, even that compromise is not available. The model of BI that governments are working on in their social policy laboratories will not ‘end the tyranny of the labour market’ but render it more dreadful. The agenda of austerity and privatization requires a system of income support that renders people as powerless and desperate as possible in the face of exploitation and that won’t change if it is relabelled as Basic Income.

(full text, related reading).

(John Clarke is an organizer with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty OCAP).


Brexit and Populism in Britain, on Global, by Dr. Binoy Kampmark, Jan 5, 2017: about Sir Ivan Roger’s Resignation;

Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project, on Global, by Norbert Haering, Jan 3, 2017 … a well-kept open secret;

Finanzterroristen und Zinsknechtschaft – Dirk Müller und Co, 37.17 min, von Geri Savini am 19. Dez 2016;

TEDxSpotlights Design for Global Health, 3.07 min, uploaded by TEDx Talks, … Dec 13, 2016 …;

Crowded cosmos: Universe contains 2 trillion galaxies, 10x more than previously thought – study, on RT, Oct 14, 2016;

Remember: What I learnt about inequality after spending time with some of the richest people in the world, on The Independent, by JACQUES PERETTI, Feb 1, 2015: Wealth has dehumanised them, and there’s nothing they can do about it;

… and this:

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