Erik Olin Wright on Unconditional Basic Income: Progressive Potentials and Neoliberal Traps

A recording of US professor Erik Olin Wright, speaking in Sidney Australia recently, about unconditional basic income and its anti-capitalist potential. This is not least for the support it would give to co-operative businesses and community-based care organisations. He makes the case for eroding capitalism by forming and expanding non-capitalist spaces within it. While the right-wing versions which get rid of every other aspect of the welfare state need to be guarded against, a left unconditional basic income is a necessary step to facilitate non-capitalist forms of production. See here for all our Basic Income content.

From the original notes to the podcast:

Within Envisioning Real Utopias, Erik Olin Wright argues that a social economy could be promoted if the state, through its capacity to tax, provided funding for socially organised non-market production and that the institution of an unconditional basic income could be one such policy. By partially delinking income from employment earnings, an unconditional basic income would enable voluntary associations of all sorts to create new forms of meaningful and productive work in the social economy. The result would be economic democracy by creating conditions of social power, organised through civil society to establish social empowerment.

In his return to the Department of Political Economy and the University of Sydney, as an Honorary Professor, Erik Olin Wright revisits and further develops these arguments with crucial import for economic policy and envisioning anti-capitalism in and beyond Australia.

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