imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

NGO of the Week: Basic Income Network

by Gunter Solken Monday, Nov. 20, 2006 at 1:25 PM

The internationally practiced social cuts sold as combating unemployment have terrible social and economic effects. A grave psychic depression has already seized society. Since the world economy becomes ever more efficient, what will become of 80% w/o work?


Interview with Gunter Solken

[A year after the founding of the network, the nearly unknown idea of introducing a basic income is discussed in the media and political organizations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Its first German-language congress recently took place in Vienna. The GLOCALIST interviewed Gunter Solken (GS), one of the spokespersons of the German Basic Income Network. This interview is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, ]

GLOCALIST: Mr. Solken, how do you explain the enormous popularity for the idea of introducing a basic income?

Gunter Solken: People feel the economy and society are enmeshed in a powerful upheaval. The increasing mass unemployment afflicting all population sectors is an indicator of that upheaval. They sense the governments in Germany, the EU and the G8 all have no direction. Most parties represented in the parliaments only pursue a policy of the “status quo” garnished with the demand to tighten one’s belt. This policy does not have any “Good News” for people, cannot be communicated credibly and only solves the symptoms of problems. The internationally practiced social cuts sold as combating unemployment have terrible social and economic consequences. A grave psychic depression that has already seized society and not only individuals goes along with an obvious human incapacitation. No one can be sure any more of still having a job tomorrow and not being socially marginalized as receivers of alms and petitioners. That hardly anyone still believes in an improvement of the situation through politics is characteristic for the whole situation.

GLOCALIST: Do you think the idea of basic income is “Good News?

GS: Absolutely! The increasing mass unemployment ultimately reflects the breath-taking advances in productivity and the repression of human labor power. Machinery works for us today where we have to grind in the past. This is already Good News, the liberation from classical paid work that is very possible today. The progressive technological advances make possible a measure of freedom that earlier generations could not dare to dream.

GLOCALIST: Can it be assumed that mass unemployment is not a temporary phenomenon?

GS: If nothing new occurs to us, unemployment will accompany us in the long run on account of the rationalization dynamic. There are serious prognoses that the world economy to the end of this century will be constantly more efficient and manage with a paid worker share of only 20 percent. This would be an 80/20 society. Then we must ask firstly what will become of the 80 percent without paid work and secondly who will then act as buyers or customers on this market. The 20 percent will not be enough and the 80 percent will have no money if present policy continues. A totally new thinking will be necessary. As we see it, a radical reduction of working hours alone will not help, only a bundle of measures centering on the introduction of a basic income supporting existence and participation.

GLOCALIST: What is an unconditional basic income?

GS: A tax-financed monthly income to which everyone has a right, women and men, children and seniors, working persons and non-working persons, even millionaires – individual, ensuring existence, without need tests and without work coercion. It is the demand for a legal social dividend for all who are permanently displaced in an economy that becomes richer and richer measured by the gross domestic product. We don’t want the gap between rich and poor to become even greater. As in the present alms policy toward those who have fallen out of the paid work process, the current development detracts from human dignity and leads to a gradual loss of individual freedoms and free spaces. An individual, unconditional basic income would remove distress and open up very new freedoms, for example the freedom of a self-determined decision about organizing one’s life. Then we could decide whether to pursue a well-paid paid work or be satisfied with less, that is the basic income, engaging in other activities in social, cultural or political areas or perhaps establishing one’s own business with products and services that are really needed.

GLOCALIST: Many will say this sounds like socialism or even communism.

GS: I admit this may be the most radical idea of the last 150 years. Unlike the Communist Manifesto, it does not shake property relations but massively reorganizes existing conditions. I can only invite everyone to use his or her own fantasy and imagine how a basic income – perhaps 1000 Euro monthly – would change his or her life and the possibilities in this life. The next step would be envisioning a whole society with basic income.

GLOCALIST: Fantasy sounds like a dream or at best a vision.

GS: The vision will remain a dream if we do not clear away the existing hesitations and convince opponents. First of all, we have the plan of infecting society with this idea. The incubation time is damn long and resistance against new ideas is rather strong. Finally, deeply rooted social norms must be overcome. Think only of the saying in effect since biblical times: “Whoever does not work should not eat.”

GLOCALIST: How do you oppose this saying?

GS: This saying has no right in a world economy that almost relies more on machines than on persons. Machines do not eat. Unfortunately the readiness to invest in machines is great and increases. Investments in so-called human capital – beginning with education expenditures – decrease more and more. We cannot afford this masochism any longer. Introducing a basic income would signify a partial re-direction of investments to education, family promotion, integration, social engagement and culture. This change of course is urgently necessary for political and economic reasons. We owe this change of course to the coming generations.

GLOCALIST: How can you win followers?

GS: Within a short year, we managed to make the nearly unknown demand into a theme: for individuals, in families, in initiatives, with the media and finally sporadically in parties. There is great approval and some “Yes, but” opinions with doubts as to feasibility. I think we have gained the rank of a serious alternative to the mainstream. There are opposing opinions from politics, unions and business. But would it have been better if the idea had been simply ignored? We have received support and encouragement from the parties, unions and businesses. The discussion is underway and opposing opinions and reservations are part of the democratic dialogue. They are steps on the way to realizing this idea.

GLOCALIST: when you say “we,” who is that? Who or what is the Basic Income Network?.

GS: At its founding on July 9, 2004, the network only consisted of a handful of scholars and representatives of social and political initiatives. Today we are around 200 individual members and seven organizations reflecting a broad social spectrum from income support initiatives to the Catholic Workers movement. In the past, our work was one on the net. On our homepage, we have an archive of nearly all the scholarly articles and press reports on basic income that can be downloaded. A debate organizer facilitates a very spirited discussion and edits a newsletter every two months. With a speakers’ pool, we participate in discussion events of different organizations, initiatives and parties. Together with the Austrian network and Attac-Austria and Germany, we recently hosted the first German language congress on the unconditional basic income that was very successful and was even reported in the media. All members, even the six person speakers’ circle with a balance of women and men, work voluntarily.

GLOCALIST: Who and how can one collaborate in the network?

GS: Membership is vital. The only prerequisite is agreement with the four criteria for a basic income: the amount must be at a subsistence level, individual, without need tests and without work coercion. All persons and social organizations can become members but not parties. No member fee is charged. Our weak spots are deficient financial resources without which we cannot really manage – despite the voluntary engagement of many members. The next member meeting in Berlin will be on November 26 and 27. I’d like to take this opportunity to refer to our donor bank account on our website, With others, the basic income network opens up the chance to cooperate in realizing one of the most exciting ideas of our epoch: introducing the unconditional basic income.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
open discussion on Utopia Sheepdog Monday, Nov. 20, 2006 at 2:46 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy