Basic Income and Post-Capitalist Imaginaries: From Surplus Humanity to Humanity’s Surplus
Not for the first time in human history we find ourselves at the crossroads. The first crucial, but not at all obvious decision to be taken is to recognize that more than one way leads from here into the future, and that sometimes pursuing the future–any future–may require sharp turns. Twenty years on, it would seem that the US has taken this path and proceeded far along it–a path where continued economic growth is punctuated with crisis and recession followed by jobless recoveries, automation, outsourcing, austerity, rising inequality, poverty, precarity, contempt for the poor, and resentment of the disenfranchised. The story he recounts that has led to the fork in the road is a familiar one: that of the evolution of capitalism, beginning at Christendom, passing through the Enlightenment and industrialisation, where the poor were pressed into factories, and then to the formation of the welfare state and on into a liminal present.