Universal Basic Income – no tool for liberation

Angry Workers of the World

pocket-money-uk-standard-webpicwm.pngWe wrote the following as a contribution for discussion at a recent event on UBI in London…

Can’t buy me love – UBI ain’t working for workers’ liberation

Parts of the radical left see the Universal Basic Income (UBI) demand as a potential vehicle to a) ‘make people think’ about productive potentials and wealth distribution in capitalism; and b) unify a (fragmented and atomised) working class through a common demand. We think that the demand ain’t helpful for the following reasons:

  • The demand takes a problematic starting point. In capitalism individual income disguises the fact that in order to live we depend on each other. The wage in particular disguises exploitative relations as a ‘fair deal’. Capital and the state seem to be the productive social forces which hand out an individual income to us – although it is the social work of all of us which makes us survive…

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