Jack Saturday

Monday, February 27, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom, Quotations Of The Week 780-782

The established rationality becomes irrational when in the course of its internal development the potentialities of the system have outgrown its institutions.
Herbert Marcuse

I was thinking about these things on Sunday, as I participated in a conference on basic income. Basic income is income decoupled from work or wealth: everybody has a right to it, just for existing. I am no expert, but I understood it is framed as a measure targeted at establishing the dignity of the individuals, making them more safe and harder to intimidate. All of this makes a lot of sense; still, I can’t help thinking that basic income could also be seen as an instrument of innovation policy: free from immediate need, (mostly young) citizens would be enabled to take some extra risks and try out more new ideas. Most would fail, as is always the case, but failures would be effectively too cheap to even meter, while successes could have large impacts, easily able to pay off the whole operation. I suspect the social cost of basic income would be near zero: people are surviving anyway, so the whole thing amounts to a reallocation of purchasing power from the wealthy and employed to the poor and unemployed.
Beyond the “three Fs”: basic income as innovation policy
Contributed by: Alberto Cottica on February 16, 2012.

From this point of view — that of drift and dream; of looking out for interest; of following this or that because it seems alive — Ritalin and other forms of enforcement and psychological policing are the contemporary equivalent of the old practice of tying up children’s hands in bed, so they won’t touch their genitals. The parent stupefies the child for the parent’s good. There is more to this than keeping out the interesting: there is the fantasy and terror that someone here will become pleasure’s victim, disappearing into a spiral of enjoyment from which he or she will not return.
The Art of Distraction

New York Times
Published: February 18, 2012


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