The dark possibilities incipient with Universal Basic Income

This is such an interesting argument from Corbynism: A Critical Approach by Frederick Harry Pitts and Matt Bolton, loc 2987. I think it’s slightly hyperbolic, understating individualised domination within the corporation and overstating individualised domination by the state, but it’s an important case which needs to be answered, particularly concerning the economic pressures which corporations and states would still be subject to post-UBI:

the unified sociotechnical state of accelerationist dreams may not be the harbinger of universal freedom. In such a scenario, where the state becomes the wage payer by means of a basic income, the whole of an individual’s existence, political, social and economic, is now directly dependent on their relation to a technocratic state responsible for both the production and distribution of the means of subsistence. The recourse to collective bargaining and formalised class struggle for better pay and conditions notionally possible between employees and employers is here prematurely liquidated and replaced by a direct relationship of domination between individual and state. And, moreover, as demonstrated in Labour’s recent announcement that a basic income pilot will feature in the next manifesto, these totalising solitions tend to stand in for any more targeted response to the complex challenges confronting the contemporary welfare state. The basic income is a convenient stopgap to fill Labour’s lack of any real alternative to the impasses of the Universal Credit and the crisis of social reproduction it conceals. In these abstractly utopian schemas, the contradictory and crisis-ridden workings of capitalist society are –falsely − presumed to be resolved. Yet its abstract social forms are not abolished but merely made the responsibility of the accelerationist state, whose sole priority is to ensure that automated production keeps up with the spiralling demands of the law of value, whatever the human cost.

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