A Universal Basic Income Can Enable Economic Freedom and Social Justice

by Vishal Wilde
April 20th, 2017

Given increasingly prominent calls for a Universal Basic Income (UBI), it is worth considering the extent to which such proposals accord with the principles of freedom and justice. UBI divides opinions and elicits controversy from across the political spectrum because it seems to be both idealistic and fatally flawed. This author was once a staunch opponent of UBI, but has since grown to believe that it is compatible with economic, social and political freedom.

Freedom from the Labour Market


Austerity & Debt: An interview with Kim from Critisticuffs

Austerity is something we are constantly hearing about. It is discussed by everyone from Tories and right-wingers through to those on the Left. We were lucky enough to catch up with Kim from Critisticuffs to find out more about their insightful analysis and critique of common thinking about austerity. ---- Could you tell us something about some of the groups and projects you are involved in? ---- I'm a member of the London-based group Critisticuffs. Some of us in Critisticuffs are also involved in the Kittens journal, together with some people from 'Gruppen gegen Kapital und Nation' (groups against capital and nation). Our project is to explain and criticise capitalism, the nation and the wrong ideas that people have about them and each other, such as racism, sexism, antisemitism. For this, we mainly do workshops, seminars, reading groups and produce texts.


The deepening capitalist crisis: From blood and dirt to much worse

by Shawn Hattingh

It was long ago stated that capitalism came into the world dripping in blood and dirt, from every pore, from head to toe. While it has demonstrated that it won’t simply collapse under its own weight, the recent goings-on around the current capitalist crisis have shown that with age it has become even more hideous. Capitalism is now rank with massive state intervention required to simply keep its rotting body moving: through states propping up the financial sector and deepening the colossal attack on the working class.

Fallout from Chinese stock markets

The goings-on that have once again highlighted capitalism’s depravity, is the turmoil - starting in China - that has occurred over the last few weeks on stock markets; including the underlying causes that led to it, and the actions that the ruling classes have taken since then to try and end it or at least alleviate it.


The true value of money

by Adbusters

Economics needs a revolution.

This sentiment has been expressed by people from the physicist turned hedge-fund manager Jean-Philippe Bouchaud (in a 2008 paper), to the Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane (in a 2014 foreword for Manchester’s student-run Post-Crash Economics), to activist groups such as Kick It Over. So what would such a revolution look like?

Perhaps the archetypal model for a scientific revolution is the quantum revolution that shocked the world at the turn of the last century. In the space of a few short years, almost everything that was known about the nature of matter was overturned. The Newtonian view of the world as a predictable machine crumbled with it.

Except, that is, in economics – which continues to base its models on quasi-Newtonian economic laws.


“Don’t Owe. Won’t Pay.” Everything You’ve Been Told About Debt Is Wrong

Charles Eisenstein
Yes magazine
Aug 20, 2015

The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. Everybody at one time or another owed something to someone else. Repayment of debt was inseparable from the meeting of social obligations; it resonated with the principles of fairness and gratitude.


Solidarity economy: finding a new way out of poverty

Camila Nobrega
The Guardian
9 October 2013

Brazil is experiencing great changes and is being hailed as an international model of social and economic development, mainly because of its significant progress in poverty reduction.

Locally, though, the country continues to fight against social equalities and faces the challenge to make economic growth more socially inclusive. But through solidarity economy model, an attempt to combine social change with environmental awareness, it is exploring new ways of reducing inequality.

The model is not well known but awareness is growing among researchers and some UN agencies, and Brazil is emerging as a leader of this new movement. The country now has 20,000 enterprises operating within this model, according to a government survey. It shows that 1.8 million people work in the solidarity economy system.


Student Debt: A Penalty the Poor Pay for Not Being Wealthy

by Carl Gibson

Student Debt is a Trap

Student debt is no longer just about education – it’s become a trap used to keep poor people from becoming wealthy. And if prolonged, it will lead to massive social and economic instability.

Even though President Obama has hinted that student debt from private lenders may be forgiven, he conveniently left out that 90 percent of student loans are owed to the federal government, which will make approximately $127 billion in profit from student loans over the next decade.

People who aren’t born into bottomless wealth have two options in life: struggle to stay afloat, or move up the class ladder. Those who choose the latter are told that the best way to ensure class mobility is to get a good-paying job, save money, and make smart investments.


Neoliberal Co-optation of Leading Co-op Organizations, and a Socialist Counter-Politics of Cooperation

by Carl Ratner
Monthly Review
2015, Volume 66, Number 9 (February)

Many people think of cooperatives as small, locally owned businesses, such as groceries, cafes, or bicycle shops, where people can work in an equal and participatory non-capitalist organization. In reality, the U.S. co-op movement is tied to federal agencies whose agenda is promoting neoliberalism, both domestically and abroad, and the co-op movement itself has neoliberal leaders. Many co-ops in name are profit-driven capitalist corporations in practice. And even in the abstract, the co-op principles of smaller co-ops enable neoliberal cooperative politics. All of this, however, raises the question of what a co-op based on socialist values would be, and China’s Nanjie village provides a living example of that.

The U.S. Co-op Movement’s Structure

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