In principle, something like basic income is a minimum demand of communists. People’s ability to live a healthy and comfortable life should not be limited by their ability to sell their labour to capitalists. In a socialist society, establishing a guaranteed minimum income would be — I think most communists would agree — more or less a first-day task.
In terms of the practical effects: in Canada, there was an experiment with basic income in the town of Dauphin, Manitoba in the 1970s. Contrary to right-wing fears, everybody didn’t suddenly decide to stop going to work. The only demographic sectors that saw a major decrease in work hours were new mothers (who, with fewer economic obligations, opted on average to spend more time with their newborns) and teenagers (who, without having to worry about supplementing the family’s income, tended to focus more on education). At the same time, there were increases in graduation rates and in adults pursuing further education, meanwhile “hospital visits dropped 8.5 percent, with fewer incidences of work-related injuries, and fewer emergency room visits from car accidents and domestic abuse. Additionally, the period saw a reduction in rates of psychiatric hospitalization, and in the number of mental illness-related consultations with health professionals.”
People continue to work when a minimum income is guaranteed for a number of reasons. First, it has to be pointed out that, in Dauphin as well as in the early stages of the Marxist conception of socialism (and I include here the USSR and the PRC in its socialist stage), despite the existence a minimum income, doing more work still did result in receiving more material compensation. However, even without this material reward (and a society transitioning to communism would seek to abolish it eventually), people still do have motivations to work. When you investigate how systems of motivation, value. and reward function within the brain, you find that through a variety of mechanisms, the basic reward value that the necessities of life (e.g., food) have, can be attained by other things, such that these other things come to be just as strong a motivating factor as e.g., access to food would be. To elaborate on this would be the domain of a psychology paper (which, if you give me a few weeks to trawl through my undergrad notes, I might be willing to write), but for now, I think it suffices to point to the numerous present-day examples of people doing hard and not necessarily enjoyable work in situations in which there is no direct material reward, from the gamer who spends a thousand hours grinding professions in World of Warcraft, to the groups of volunteers who get together to pick up trash in a park.
The other main question I think people might ask w/r/t basic income is “if we’re able to provide a good enough basic income to workers under capitalism, is there really a need to overthrow it?” First of all, I need to point out that this right now is a purely academic question, because, even if it is possible to support a universal basic income in say Canada, (where there is a movement for it), while still having an economy dictated by capitalist logic and the capitalist law of value — which I doubt — it’s still very unlikely that such a measure would pass through a bourgeois parliament beholden to bourgeois business interests. Assuming it is possible though, then this becomes the age-old question of whether we really need a socialist revolution at all, or whether it really is possible to reform capitalism to such an extent that socialism is no longer necessary. Reluctantly, I have to say that this is not possible (although I think my life would be a hell of a lot easier if it was). There are a lot of reasons for this, which have been written about for more than a century (the section of Lenin’s Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism where he refutes Kautsky’s ideas about “ultra-imperialism”, and Rosa Luxembourg’s essential Reform or Revolution are both classic examples in the literature); to briefly summarize some key points though:
- with the rich still holding a disproportionate amount of property and power, all the problems of a capitalist-run government would still persist. Even with extensive social welfare, capitalism means a dictatorship by the rich. Government posts are occupied typically by rich people, who attain their positions typically because of their ability to appease the interests of groups of other rich people. Beyond the basic problem of a lack of democratic representation — which even left-liberals these days recognize — this also means foreign policy being profit-driven (which includes the possibility of profit-motivated military endeavours), environmental policy being a joke, and the likelihood that social welfare programs, including basic income, will eventually be cut, because:
- social welfare programs are temporary concessions to the working class, made when the bourgeoisie finds that the decreased chance of revolt makes up for the costs of the program. These concessions are repealed, or at least minimized when the trade-off is no longer worthwhile for the ruling class. We see this effect when an economic crisis occurs and the media and government begin clamouring for spending cuts and “fiscal responsibility” (keep in mind that despite the disastrous effects they have for the lower classes, economic crises in the modern West don’t actually mean there is a shortage of essential goods, merely that it has become less profitable for capitalists to sell them — the cure for the crisis is to take back some of the wealth invested in the social safety net and through lower taxes and/or subsidies, allow that wealth to make its way back to the bourgeoisie). In the first world, most of our social safety net has its roots in the era immediately after World War Two, when socialism was at its zenith and there was a very real threat to capitalism’s global dominance; it was very worthwhile for the ruling classes and their governments to buy off their working populations with social reform (in the case of the Marshall Plan, it was worthwhile for the ruling class of the USA to attempt to buy off an entire continent). Since the late 1970s however, and especially since 2008, these trends have begun to reverse, and there has been a steady dismantling of these reforms, as well as a steady decline in real wages for the working class (that is, how much our wages can actually buy, not just their dollar value). For a concise overview of this process, I very much recommend David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Now, even if it were possible to hold on to these reforms indefinitely, the issue remains that
- social welfare in the capitalist first world is made possible by the exploitation of the third world. The main way that capitalists can afford to make the concessions mentioned above while still preserving healthy profit margins is through the extraction of value from other countries. This is done through paying very low wages to workers in the exploited countries and then selling their products in the West for super-profits, as well as through extracting natural resources from the countries and taking the profits abroad (some states, like the Philippines and Colombia, have governments that more or less go along with this exploitation; some, like Iraq and Libya, have clauses allowing it written into their new constitutions immediately after their governments are toppled by Western intervention). This process, which we refer to as imperialism, results in a flow of wealth from the third world to the first, and it is with this wealth that capitalists in the imperialist countries are able to buy off their workers. When people laud the happy, healthcare-having welfare states in Scandinavia or even Canada and wonder what more a socialist could ever ask for, they often neglect to mention the brutal international exploitation and poverty upon which these welfare states are built. Any basic income scheme enacted within the context of capitalism and imperialism would be founded upon this same exploitation. The only way to end this system and allow for a fair and acceptable standard of living worldwide is to dismantle imperialism and excise the parasitic capitalist class from the body of society — doing so demands the establishment of socialism on a global scale.
So um, tl;dr: basic income is a good demand, but capitalism still has to go.
I would really like to know how this is funded, though. How does minimum income work with the tax system?
There’s no way I can increase the font on this,
just know I am saying:
in like, size 196 pt font.
We LOVE IT.
out of curiosity, can you explain why? i mean, what’s the appeal? is it the visual manifestation of pleasure?
You know 85% of guys. We’re visual. Goal oriented to a fault. Squirting looks like we hit it so hard/good (because most guys correlate the two) broke you. Like we hit the jackpot. Like we did the ultimate thing.
For a guy who actually appreciates the female orgasm, who lives and dies by it in the bedroom, for a guy who wants nothing more than to be a servant to his woman when he’s in a relationship, for a guy who’s primary objective when we have sex is to surgically, systematically remove your soul out of your body and relieve you of any pressure, stress and everyday frustration…for a guy who wants to look you in your eyes as you roll them back in your head, arch your back and shake until your tense muscles ache and you become lightheaded from hyperventilating and cumming all night…for a guy who likes to lick his lips, surrounding area and fingers clean when he’s done, for guys like me…squirting is a prerequisite to good love. Feel me? ^_^
from now on we gotta fuck niggas who believe like this no exceptions
Systematically remove my soul? I need me one like that, like yesterday
Lmao! My boyfriend actually said that exact phrase the other day about this subject.
The two of y’all need to start teaching classes.
The thing is though, while it’s very possible it takes work to achieve this. A lot cats watch porn and thing if they just ram rod the vag for as long as possible the sheets will flood.
This is just not the case.
Like did you make sure your mate was relaxed? Did you initiate any kind of fore play beyond hitting the typical spots that are pleasing to you? We can only take so many neck, breast kisses before all that get’s raw. You have a whole body to work with, dont’ get hung up and just eating it and sucking breasts.
Oh…and one more thing, it’s not always going to be a gushing water show like you see on TV. It can dribble leading to wet spot that grows larger over time. It can stream…
For both of you to be sure, make sure the person with the vagina pee’s first. That way when that feeling hits, they will know for sure.
since this seems to be an educational post let me also add. Fact woman do not only have that one screaming pulling of the hair orgasm, Most of us (if a nigga doing right) have multiple orgasms , yes we strive for the octane out of this world feel like your spine is about to pop and your stomach is in knots orgasm , but those small short electric ones are the ones that keep us wet. Those are the ones that let our bodies know this man is hitting the spot right. Also foreplay is everything, we have alot of those so called special spots the also keep us flowing with liquid gold. Eating is not the only thing you guys have to do it keep us flowing like the river damn.
Bottom line, women weren’t built for us. We were built for you. I tell everyone one of my guy friends, older or younger, if you’re going to engage in intercourse with your partner, you don’t engage in intercourse. You are engaging in the entanglement of each other’s energies, each other’s emotions AND bodies. You have to wear the walls down slow…metaphorically and literally. Women need to be warmed up for optimal love-making/sex/fucking (because the three are VERY different). I don’t even do quickies because I feel like I’m disrespecting the magnificent body of my partner if I don’t get to treat it with the caressing, licking, sucking and biting it deserves. And honestly, guys always be concerned with cumming too fast…well maybe if you 1) ate right, 2) exercised, 3) did your damn kegals, 4) understood the power of GRINDING, HOLDING IT IN, KISSING WHILE INSIDE, OR CHANGING YA DAMN STROKE (angle, speed, depth, force, motion, etc,) and the importance of switching positions based on what you feel/how wet your girl is instead of for your visual pleasure, maybe, just maybe, you’ll get to that hallowed goal.
I am SO GLAD I FOLLOWED YOU.
Just followed whoever I wasn’t following from this magnificent post
“You are engaging in the entanglement of each other’s energies, each other’s emotions ”
At the minimum, close your eyes and feel/follow her energy as it flows throughout her body and spirit. You are the Orchestra Conductor and you need to be able to pay attention and learn how to direct her flow of energy. Know where it is concentrated at all times. If you arent there to experience her and have her experience you then why are you there at all. Every Sexual Occasion should feel like a completely new experience.