Scott Santens published another excellent article a few days ago on basic income titled “True Freedom Comes With Basic Income.” As the title already gives away, the article is about how a basic income can help to give people more freedom in their daily lives. Santens argues very convincingly, with real world examples, that having an unconditional basic income will give people more freedom to refuse to make choices that they don’t want to make:
Consider that word: “choice.” What is choice, really? When it comes to any real choice in life, what it all boils down to is the ability to simply say “No.” Without that ability, nothing is truly voluntary. All work isn’t voluntary. All relationships aren’t voluntary. All market exchanges aren’t voluntary. The choices we make that we think are choices aren’t truly voluntary whenever the option to say “No” is off the table. Therein lies the full potential of the idea of a universal basic income and it lays bare the lack of power many of us are under the illusion of having. Having a basic income creates the ability to look someone in the eye who holds more power than you, and firmly say, “No. Not today. Not until things change. These are my terms. Take them or leave them.”
That power only arises with unconditional access to the means of survival, which is what a basic income essentially is. As long as we are refused access to the resources required to live, we will make choices we would not otherwise make.
It’s true that being able to unconditionally cover one’s basic needs gives every individual a lot of power and freedom. But every time I read articles on basic income the writers fail to address one of the biggest threats to every individual that exists today worldwide, namely governments and the anti-social system that they’re a part of, better known as “Statism.”
Like I mentioned before, I do agree with the fact that we need to structure our societies in such a way where every human being on this planet can at the very least have access to the basic human needs for their entire life. However, if we’re going to try to achieve this via governments in the current anti-social system, we’re setting ourselves up for major problems and ultimately failure in the long term.
To understand why, you need to read my post “Statism: A System for your Enslavement” and study the material referenced there in order to get a good grasp of the current anti-social system that we live in. Once you truly understand this system, you’ll realize that no amount of free money will be able to sustainably improve life for individuals in society.
That’s because this system was designed from the ground up around inequality, and it was designed that way on purpose. Introducing improvements or fixes inside this system will never work in the long term because the fundamental problem — the system itself — isn’t being addressed:
Like Albert Einstein said, “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We have to get rid of the current system of enslavement entirely if we want to solve the problems it creates for us for the long term. Trying to achieve equality and fairness in a system that was fundamentally designed around inequality is a futile undertaking.
The system will just find new ways to work around any improvements that you try to make that go against its fundamental purpose of inequality and enslavement.
For instance, having a basic income may solve some issues in the short term, but if that basic income is decided and controlled by the government, along with other rules (“laws”) that infringe upon our universal right to life on a daily basis, it won’t do much good in the long run. If every individual’s universal right to life isn’t respected (in the broadest sense possible) then no amount of free money will be able to save them from abuse.
In fact, introducing a basic income in the current anti-social system can even be VERY DANGEROUS when the government decides on that income — making the individual even more dependent on the government for their basic human needs.
The freedom of a human being is lacking if his or her needs are controlled by others, for need may lead to the enslavement of one person by another. […] Whoever possesses […] the income on which you live, possesses your freedom, or part of it. […] Whoever possesses the means of fulﬁlling your needs controls or exploits you, and may enslave you despite any legislation to the contrary. Muammar al-Qaddaﬁ in The Green Book
Once most individuals in society get comfortable receiving a basic income from the government and get to heavily rely on it for their survival, they’ll be even easier to control and manipulate by the government and the financial elite who control the money supply in society.
For example, the government can easily introduce more/higher taxes effectively taking back most of your basic income. Or, the financial elite can easily engineer economic depressions and cause inflations — as they’ve done many times in the past and are still doing today — that can also make your basic income lose a lot of its value. In both these cases freedom is taken away from you, and you’ll soon find yourself making choices you wouldn’t normally make. In this way individuals in society can easily be manipulated and their thoughts and behavior can easily be controlled. Just look at how difficult it is for most people who work for governments worldwide to speak up against their governments, afraid of the repercussions and of losing their jobs/income.
Like Joseph Charlier said: “Only the man whose material needs are guaranteed is independent. He who is dependent on others for his absolute needs, is a slave.” And that includes being dependent on government for a basic income — it makes you a slave of the government.
Keep in mind that slaves working on the plantations hundreds of years ago also received a “basic income” from their owners in the form of food, clothes, housing and transportation. Did that fundamentally change their reality of enslavement? No, it didn’t. And neither will a basic income in the form of money fundamentally and sustainably improve life in the current system of enslavement that we live in.
Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal; there is no human relation between master and slave. Leo Tolstoy
Just like the slaves from hundreds of years ago couldn’t say ‘no’ to their owners, so too can the slaves of today not say ‘no’ to the government without being punished and ultimately ending up locked up in a cage. Slavery is still present worldwide; the only thing that’s changed is the way in which we’re all enslaved, mainly through the money as the financial elite themselves have admitted in the past (see my post on Statism for evidence).
A basic income will not allow people to say ‘no’ to the government, especially not when they’re dependent on the government for that basic income. A basic income has the potential to solve some problems (the symptoms) in the short term, but our main priority should be to completely eliminate the current anti-social system of enslavement that we live in (the root cause), and replace it with a system that fundamentally respects the universal right to life of every individual in society.