This post goes along well with How to Access your Absolute Value – Manifesting Paradise through acknowledging our place in the Universal Community and The ABOLITION of WORK – Modern Economies are nothing but Slave Plantations: Un-Consent from Modern Slavery with this empowering Truth!
The Collective Consciousness is becoming more open to the concept of work as play more and more. This idea is very easy to transition into within your own life; even within the existing ‘job’ you may have now.
For many this proposal of universal income seems very radical and has been shrouded in much controversy due to the projected social implications. Many have postulated that this will provide a massive disincentive for the people, especially those of the younger generation, to work. Swiss business leaders have reacted with dismay, one calling it a “happy land” proposal, the product of a younger generation that has never experienced a major economic recession or widespread unemployment.
Enno Schmidt, the key supporter of Universal Basic Income, comments that the proposed amount for Switzerland, 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800; £1,750) a month is scarcely enough to survive on, and that anyway a society in which people work only because they have to have money is “no better than slavery”.
Instead Schmidt argues that UBI will allow people with the freedom to decide what they REALLY want to do with their lives. “The thought is not that people will work less, the people are free to decide – more, or less,” he says. That argument has found some enthusiastic supporters among young Swiss voters. They have adopted a rather clever campaign technique, borrowing eight million five-centime pieces and displaying them around the country as a symbol that Switzerland can afford to pay its eight million inhabitants a universal income.
The question really does come to this; Will the people work?
There is this ridiculous notion that if people are not forced to work that they will not. This is simply not true. We are ALL working in one direction or another at all times, even if it isn’t the back breaking, sweat inducing slave labor that we’ve grown accustomed to doing to validate our right to live. The most important work that we can do now is knowing ourselves and following our “energetic trail”. Your energetic trail being the calculable vector of your life.
Having a Universal Basic Income is a monumental statement that value is not dictated by ones ability to toil, but rather simply by ones existence, not by how we work when we are forced but how we express ourselves when we CHOOSE to. It is much like what Benjamin Franklin said of the tea tax: “The Colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters, had it not been the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament: which has caused in the Colonies hatred of England, and the Revolutionary War.” Essentially what he is saying is that they would have payed the tax had they had the money to do so. The people will work if they have the CHOICE to and the choice of what to do.
Many would worry, who will do the dirty jobs, who will do the manufacturing, the agricultural labor, the carpentry if people have the choice? What we seem to have forgotten is we always have that choice, the choice of what to occupy our time with. Let’s use a simple associatable example, that of the guitar’s journey into your arms. Let’s start with you, the player, you love nothing more than spending your infinitely valuable time mastering the medium of expression at hand and expressing your love outwardly, enriching the lives of those around you. Next, who makes the guitar? The Luthier, an individual that LOVES nothing more than to create the finest instrument possible for the avid guitarist. If the Luthier has the basic income to support their housing and nourishment needs their time will most reasonably be spent expressing themselves in the socially enriching activity of instrument construction. Who, then, gathers the wood for said instruments? An Arborist, who loves nothing more than to travel the countryside finding the finest woods to construct these beautiful instruments from. Where does this wood come from? The EARTH! This is just a finite example of how a pairing of Universal Base Income and Love could initiate the preliminary stages of a more socially sustainable and even ecologically harmonious world. See: Wolves Of Yellowstone.
The UBI, is as Schmidt would put it, a pittance. The price of living in Switzerland is high, 2,500 Francs will provide enough for housing and food without much else. If the people WANT something, they will have to work for it, but being forced to work in exchange for what you need to live is slavery and completely immoral if you didn’t catch that in the slavery bit.
This transition from a malthusian value system in which one must pay their dues to society in exchange for life into a Morean value system based on creative expression of self and contributionism resounds to me of the Ubuntu philosophy. Ubuntu translates roughly into “human kindness” It is an idea from the Southern African region which means literally “human-ness,” and is often translated as “humanity towards others,” but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”
According to Michael Onyebuchi Eze, the core of ubuntu can best be summarized as follows: “A person is a person through other people strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity. This idealism suggests to us that humanity is not embedded in my person solely as an individual; my humanity is co-substantively bestowed upon the other and me. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance”
The key point in this is the notion of interconnectivity on a wholistic level. We are all a part of a much larger system and we work not as individuals towards a goal but as a group. A Universal Base Income is a monumental step towards this goal of realizing our unity and acting upon it. When housing and nourishment is once again known as a right we have to opportunity as a culture to focus upon the larger picture and realize our role in it as one. The universe is not defined by simply one of it’s components but an amalgam of all facets functioning in harmony.
“Che Wagner is one of the campaigners. He is 25, studying for a master’s degree at Zurich university and working for a pizza delivery company.
“I have a daughter,” he says, “and so of course I am there for my daughter, I look after her.”
“But it is also a struggle – I have to work, so we can live.
“I think with a basic income I would still have to work, but I could… maybe [also] say, ‘OK let’s spend a week with my daughter.'”
And, when Che and his colleagues dumped their eight million coins outside the Swiss parliament, the politicians inside did not dismiss the campaign out of hand.
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“The idea makes sense in a certain way,” says Luzi Stamm, member of parliament for the right-wing Swiss People’s Party.
But Mr Stamm adds, it would be a risky move for Switzerland to take as long as it remains inside Europe’s free movement of people agreement.
“It certainly does not work in a country like Switzerland. In a country which is wealthy, and has open borders it is suicide.”
Meanwhile on the left, economist and former social democrat member of parliament Rudolf Strahm backs a minimum wage but is against a universal income, believing it would undermine the famous Swiss work ethic.
“There will be no incentive for young people to learn a job or study,” he says.
So how much exactly would such a scheme cost?
No-one is offering precise figures, although there is surprisingly little debate about whether Switzerland could afford it – the consensus seems to be that, financially, the scheme would be doable.We need to think more about our work-life balance, say campaigners
Income tax would not necessarily rise, but value added tax – on what people buy rather than what they earn – could rise to 20% or even 30%.
In the long run, supporters say, money might actually be saved because a basic universal income would replace means tested welfare payments.
But the main motivation behind the campaign is not economic but cultural, a bid to make people think more carefully about the nature of life and work.
Mr Wagner points out that the whole debate can make people uncomfortable, presenting them with choices that so far have been unimaginable.
“The idea goes to the personal question – what are you doing in your life, is it actually what you want to do?”