There is a presupposition that, as a white cishet male (all the words!) trying to acknowledge his privileges, I must be utterly miserable and emasculated by the experience. Full of self-hate and constantly apolizing; digging myself deeper, groveling before the relevant opressed demographic. Castigating myself and my ‘fellow people’ before the altar of the false god of political correctness.1 This is simply not true in my experience, which I’ll try to explain here.
The corona crisis that is sweeping the planet has been going on for almost four months; Belgium has been in ‘lockdown’ for around a month. What are some (small) things I have learned and observed by now? A few notes and a dose of optimism…
These last few years we see the idea of a (universal) basic income mentioned. It’s not all over the news, but it’s certainly something you’ve probably heard mentioning somewhere or read in passing. Not daily, but once in a while. In a think piece somewhere probably, and probably by someone progressive. But it has been defended by lots of great thinkers, including nobelprize winning economists, civil rights leaders like M.L. King, philosophers like Bertrand Russell, and many others. It’s a fascinating idea that makes you think. Some people are revolted by it, others think it’s a panacea to all society’s problems. It’s a lot more nuanced of course, but it’s worth delving into.
Back in 2015 I wrote my master’s thesis on the subject of distributive justice, basic income and libertarianism. Ever since I’ve wanted to translate and maybe expand a little on the work I did, and share it with the world. This post is based on the first chapter.
In this blog post I will try to define and describe what a basic income could (and maybe should) be. What is and isn’t a basic income, what some of the intended effects would be and some basic criticisms leveled against it. In a later blog post I’d like to go deeper into the history of the idea.