Thought Provokers

Posted on June 6, 2020

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Thought may be the first step to change. However our hopes may also be buried, if we fail to take the necessary step from thought to action. Hopefully the info of this blog will help us to move from thought to action.

Similar to the thought-provoking cartoon of Zapiro, here you will find the links of “food for thought” videos and webinars. They inform and discuss issues and questions related to a Univeral Basic Income (UBI) and its financing. The main topic may not be UBI, but UBI is embedded as part of the presentation and discussion. Enjoy!

Can Cash Cure Conflict? | Patrick Brown
This talk considers whether giving people money in the form of Universal Basic Income (UBI), an unconditional payment of around £1000GBP a month which would be given to every person, would help resolve violent conflict. This is explored through the example of the Northern Ireland peace process and makes the connection between inequality, crime, deprivation and living in a divided society. It suggests that poverty is the root cause of much of Northern Ireland’s continuing post-conflict division and that by wiping out material poverty a UBI could also transform our society and achieve lasting peace. The same approach applies to most conflict areas of our planet.
The Authoritarian Responses to Corona: Poland and Hungary
 Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE) presents Poland and Hungary. UBIE discusses with experts from both countries, how – beyond the well-publicised anti-democratic and xenophobic responses from both far-right governments – these authoritarian states reacted to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the lockdown measures.
Basic Income Explained: an explainer video (11 minutes) put out by Share ideas and scripted by expert Malcolm Torry.
Video (34 minutes) Produced and Published by Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE):
Philippe Van Parijs on how the Corona-crisis has influenced the public discussion about Basic Income in Europe and the political opportunities for its introduction. In the second half of this video he answers questions from the audience.
In his keynote speech at the UBIE General Assembly on 23 May, 2020, Philippe discussed two types of temporary basic income proposals: 1. Introduction of some type of “emergency UBI” for the duration of the lockdown, to ensure that every person has enough to live on during this time. 2. “Quantitative easing for the people” (a.k.a. “helicopter money”), i.e. direct payments distributed from the ECB to boost demand – but to individuals rather than banks or companies as in previous QE programmes. Then he shared his thoughts how these proposals can lead to further support to a permanent introduction of UBI, but also what political obstacles might arise in post-lockdown political debates and what might be the best discursive strategy to counter those. In his closing remarks, he explained his assessment of the recently released final report of the Finnish basic income experiment and highlighted what role the upcoming European Citizens’ Initiative “Start Unconditional Basic Incomes throughout Europe” could contribute to bring the basic income debate to the political agenda in Brussels and European capitals.
Philippe Van Parijs is a Belgian political philosopher and political economist. He is professor at the Faculty of Economic, Social and Political Sciences of the University of Louvain, where he directs the Hoover Chair of Economic and Social Ethics since its creation in 1991. Philippe is also Co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) and of Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE).
The Q&A part is moderated by Dániel Fehér, Vice-Chair of Unconditional Basic Income Europe.”
Equinomics: Placing Equality at the Centre of our Post-Virus Economy – John McDonnell MP (4 June 2020)
What now for Green Politics? (24 April 2020)

What would a serious Green political movement now be doing in face of the climate emergency? With Rupert Read and John Foster
Following the disaster of last year’s Tory general election win, how should the Green movement now respond to the ever more pressing climate emergency? Especially in the context of the ‘test-run’ presented by the sudden, terrible Covid-19 emergency? In this webinar, Rupert Read of the University of East Anglia and XR suggested a shift in focus from mitigation to deep adaptation and a move beyond electoral politics to non-violent direct action. John Foster of Green House think tank argued that the movement should stay political, but reconceive its role as that of an explicitly revolutionary vanguard. The discussion was moderated by Anne Chapman, co-Chair of Green House’.
An edited version of the ‘chat’ from this debate, with questions and comments from participants as well as links to several publications, can be downloaded here.