How to cheat the people
How to cheat the people

The reasons with which the basic income is sold become more and more insane. And the left doesn’t notice that they are systematically taken to the cleaners by the neo-liberals on this very ie

Last week I was interviewed by the Hessischer Rundfunk about the basic income (only one sentence of a long interview remained after the editing, here). The occasion was, of course, Schleswig-Holstein, where a coalition led by the CDU (!) wants to make an attempt with the basic income, whatever that may mean.

The main argument, which was brought forward in the interview, was – as in recent times almost always – that without a basic income one will not be able to cope with the consequences of digitalization and automation. Even top managers like Joe Kaeser of Siemens had spoken out in favor of the basic income for the same reason.

No one seems to realize that this is an argument that has now been quickly added to the debate about basic income, but no one also seems to understand that digitization is the stupidest argument of all in this context. But this is exactly where it is easy to see what our "top managers" The stupid people must be shut down quickly, so that they do not demand an appropriate share of the costs of digitization. With the fear of digitalization, which is being voiced from many sides, this can be wonderfully managed.

I don’t want to go into the consequences of automation again, we have done that on Makroskop early and in all exportability (here last). What does the basic income have to do with the consequences of automation, if it exists one day?. Answer: Nothing, unless you want to prevent the workers from demanding what is absolutely necessary to prevent the negative consequences of automation on the labor market, namely higher wages.

Those who want to prevent this self-evident participation of employees will first speak loudly and clearly about the "terrible consequences" talk about digitalization in the form of mass unemployment and then offer the so frightened workers that they can cushion all this with a basic income, so that it won’t be quite so bad.

Is renunciation ecologically valuable?

Exactly at this point the top manager meets with a green-left scene, for which the downfall of mankind is near and which therefore would like to see nothing better than a renunciation of wage increases and of consumption. Exactly in this sense, a reader wrote after my piece about Precht and his crazy digital visions that the solution to the problem proposed by me via rising incomes and more consumption was probably also a double-edged affair.

But exactly at this point, the top manager and his neoliberal colleagues are driving a huge wedge into the left very skillfully and with great success, so that what comes out is what must not come out: more production and less consumption – and three guesses who hopes to be the main beneficiary of this constellation.

Unfortunately, I have to repeat what I have said time and again in connection with climate protection or environmental protection in general: If you want to save the world, you have to stop producing and make sure that political provisions are made for this to happen. Consumption will then automatically come to an end, because where there is nothing, nothing can be consumed.

But those who, like large parts of the left, want to stop production by making the mass of workers do without and restricting consumption, are undoubtedly on a dangerous neoliberal path. Those who today limit themselves, renounce wage increases and want to live ecologically consciously, fail to recognize the power dynamics of our economic system.

This will lead to a situation in which production will continue, come hell or high water, even if the people in Germany are content with what they have. Only extremely naive contemporaries believe that politics slows down the economy when it comes to production.