graeber and jacobson on bi

50 min video (dec 2013) of david graeber (@davidgraeber)and barb jacobson (@cityeyrie) on unconditional basic income – (via tweet from simona ferlini):

David Graeber & Barbara Jacobson on: Unconditional Basic Income#BasicIncome su YouTube

Original Tweet:

notes/quotes from video (w/grassroots takeover Grassroots Takeover is a radical podcast and militant media platform. The show is hosted by activism addicts Alison Playford and Mark Weaver):

1 min – b: explaining her role in ubi.. trying to collect million signatures throughout europe by jan 14..

2 min – a: blindingly simple in a way.. doesn’t seem possible.. (ubi) basically means that everybody in the country gets a certain amount of money.. and that’s it.. it’s a flat rate.. it’s as simple as that.. if you work money you get from work is over and above your ubi.. and what are the other advantages would you say of that kind of system

what we really need is to try/code money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence

w/ubi as temp placebo.. so that legit needs met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring

b: well what we’re hoping for is that it will free people’s creativity.. so they will have time.. there’s a whole generation of musicians/actors in this country who benefited after national service was abolished between 60-90’s when dole (unemployment benefits in uk) was just means tested.. weren’t all these other conditions.. would also enable particularly women to do the sort of things that need to get done like childcare and looking after other people which basically the market doesn’t pay for.. somehow this kind of work goes on volunteering.. all these things people do which are actually contributing to society and keeping us all together somehow is something the market says.. we’re not interested in that .. you’ve got to do that on your own time.. and people are making huge sacrifices.. esp when we’re talking about all these older people that need to be looked after.. who would do that..

caring labor.. interpretive labor.. commoning care (pdf)

let’s do this first: free art\ists (aka: all of us – has to be all of us to work/dance)

4 min – b: bi goes back even to thomas moore.. in time of enclosures.. people thrown off land needed some kind of income.. the big one on this one was thomas paine as he talked about younger/older people given a stipend.. mill, b russell (in praise of idleness), e fromm, and b fuller.. he was very adamant that this idea of waged work was absolute nonsense..

bertrand russell, erich fromm, buckminster fuller, earn a living ness

5 min – a: one reason i’m excited.. capability assessment.. mental health, disability, what is assessment.. the whole basis is disgusting.. and this sweeps away all those questions.. it’s not right that somebody pries into your life to find out how many hours you can sit on a chair for a day t.. and stuff like that.. that’s not conducive to your human dignity

marsh label law.. dis\order ness.. and *inspectors of inspectors ness.. et al

6 min – d: and the basic principle is really reversed.. because what they try to tell us over and over again are that people are basically lazy.. people will be free riders.. people don’t want to contribute to society.. therefore if you leave them to their own devices they’ll just be parasites.. but in reality everything we know.. that’s really not true.. *most people when left to own devices don’t want to do nothing.. t.. in fact a lot of people would like to contribute in creative ways but they simply can’t doing to the econ system that indebts/dispossess them that doesn’t give them the means to realize.. there’s enormous potential out there of people who want to be able to do something.. have a better idea **than we could possibly have of what they’re capable of .. t

*rather all people.. has to be all or we just keep perpetuating myth of tragedy and lord

**we all have no idea what legit free people are like.. only what whales in sea world are like.. need hari rat park law et al

graeber min\max law.. et al

none of this works though (for the entire planet) unless we do legit unconditional ness..

and we can’t do legit unconditional ness.. unless we org around legit needs.. and trust that..

7 min – d: and i think there’s a philosophical thing behind it too that i find very moving.. which is about the nature of value.. who is to say what is more valuable.. and the market is obviously not an indicator of the social utility of work.. in fact there’s an inverse principle.. the more obviously social benefit comes from your work the less they pay you.. ie: mothers vs corp lawyers et al.. and nobody wants to set up a B and decide for us what the real value of work is.. why don’t we all decide for ourselves.. you know.. there is no absolute measure.. give everybody the same and *let everybody decide for themselves.. what they want to do ..t

*even deeper.. need detox (most of us don’t currently legit know our fittingness et al).. so we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature.. to get at the itch-in-8b-souls everyday anew.. ie: imagine if we

graeber values law

bullshit jobs – dg

8 min – a: this all sounds great but i’m afraid guys what you’ve forgotten is that we’re in the middle of this terrible austerity crisis and we have no money.. we can’t pay for the welfare.. we can’t afford to not let the children go hungry..

d: where does the money come from

a: even forgetting the question of where does the money come from.. if you look where we’re spending it.. on all these wars.. where does all that money come from

d: yeah.. when it comes time to bail out all our bs there’s infinite.. then there’s more you give to people going to spend it.. rather than the rich.. it stimulates the econ

9 min – b: and then tax.. there’s a group here called citizen’s income trust who’ve been working about 30 yrs on the question.. and they are very much keen to stay in the current tax base.. and they’ve worked out that using the tax allowance.. you could give everybody about 10 000 lbs a year

this is all whalespeak/math-talk.. wasted-energy.. we need to get away from all the figuring out amounts.. we need to get away from any form of m\a\p.. or we’ll never see those potentials of all the peoples.. we’ll never address our legit needs.. and so we’ll always being playing in scarcity/tragedy of the non common mode

10 min – d: which might be a start .. obviously not enough

even if we did measure/dole out amounts.. that would always be the focus.. ie: money as our mediator/means to fittingness.. it will never work.. it keeps people too preoccupied with the measuring things

b: taxes at the moment are about punishing people who are doing the work

11 min – b: one thing we’ve been talking about a lot in bi movement is immigration.. if everyone were paid globally then people who wanted to stay in country and do stuff would be able to.. and you also wouldn’t have this brain drain of people from the educated people from diff countries coming out because us, europe benefit from the elite coming here

oi to that.. david on tenure not tenure et al.. intellect ness et al..

if benefitting.. how/where are we seeing it ?

12 min – b: ie: got women here who are looking after other people’s kids so they can support their kids in another country.. which is obscene.. this obscene waste of people moving around the world.. just for money.. t

d: that’s interesting to connect .. because i always said in the past that people talk about the intractable problems of global ineq that cause immigration.. these things could be solved really easily.. let’s imagine we eliminated all border restrictions and anybody could live any place in the world they wanted to.. do you think the people in rich countries.. like in uk and us.. wouldn’t immediately decide it was their priority to figure out ways that people in the philippines or nigeria wanted to stay there .. you think they wouldn’t come up with something .. of course they would.. we’d have a global basic income in no time.. the problems will take care of each other

siddiqi border law et al..

13 min – d: why aren’t there any amazing new bands anywhere.. people said.. ‘they got rid of the dole.. it’s the work req’s..’ every single one of those bands was on relief they were all in the dole.. some were named after the dole.. and living in the squats.. so eliminate the squats and the dole means there’s no more new bands.. and think about the waste in human resources.. i mean we probably have people out there who could have been ie: john lennon .. who are now doing some stupid menial job because a moralist doesn’t want to give them money.. who’s actually benefitting from this..? nobody

zinn energy law et al

14 min – b: it’s all the *problems to sort out as well.. think of all the minds at the moment in the city who are thinking about ie: derivative contracts.. and half of those people **trained as physicists

even deeper..

1\ like david said earlier.. (though he said it in regard to money for all).. if every has enough (aka: we org around legit needs) .. everything will take care of itself.. and most *problems we think we need to solve.. will become irrelevant s

2\ and more along the lines of what david was ie-ing.. we need to let go of any kind of **train ing ness.. any kind of supposed to’s of school/work.. any assumptions of what people should be doing (like solving problems) or we’ll never see legit energy.. energy that is insatiable to being alive.. and needs no incentives (like money) et al..

15 min – d: and that’s why we don’t have flying cars.. think of all the inventions we could have

b: you think.. with the tech now.. what people could be doing.. to sort out some of the problems we face.. it’s phenomenal

actually.. if we used tech as it could be.. again.. those problems would become irrelevant s

d: one of the signs of the health of a society is that they have some use they can put to their sort of impractical/oddball/eccentric/creative people..

yeah.. but let go of even the need to be useful..

crazywise (doc)

d: in the 19th cent there wasn’t a dole.. but most of the patents.. inventions.. almost all of those were like eccentric vickers or people found some way to give them a job to support them.. and probably 2/3 of them were crazy but 1/3 came up w something.. and we’re essentially doing this on a mass scale.. that’s what made great britain the industrial powerhouse that it was in the 19th cent oddly enough.. you know there’s a way to commit social suicide.. is to take *all those people who could be the great musicians/scientists.. and enslave them until a society has nothing to do w its odd/impractical people.. it’s essentially strangling/destroying itself.. which is what our society is doing today.. this would be a way of opening it up.. it would **unleash things that we could probably not possible imagine

*we have to assume this is all of us.. or it will never work.. we will never dance

**indeed.. we have no idea what legit free people are like

graeber min\max law

18 min – b: it challenges the whole work ethic really.. the labour party is very invested in that.. you have to do it

the work ethic.. earn a living ness et al

d: that’s one key element of labor that they still have

b: there’s a lot of lip service toward caring work.. they don’t really talk about how the market doesn’t pay for it.. so we’ve got to figure out something else.. i think the problem in this country is that we have been doing anti cut stuff for like 30 yrs.. it’s like a habit.. to be fair to people.. it’s difficult when you’ve been in that kind of stance for that long to then think.. oh.. i can relax.. and i can think about something else

like forever long.. sea world .. always sea world

graeber make it diff law.. graeber rethink law.. et al

19 min – d: the instinct becomes.. if we change anything.. the right will turn it into something .. they’ll use it.. it’s true that milton friedman was into bi too because he thought it was a way to destroy social progress.. it is significant that the only politician i know right now who’s openly supportive of bi is skadolsky but he’s a tory

scott santens.. andrew yang.. et al

20 min – b: after ww2 there was a tory lady.. she had an alt to bevens (contribute to it for 30 yrs then get money back).. her main focus was to get rid of poverty and she suggested a bi at that time.. and there are a lot of.. the green party has it in their manifesto although they won’t talk about it very often.. adam smith institute came out an article a few weeks ago about how fantastic it is

21 min – d: yeah i think there’s potential there.. the left has sort of abandoned the institutional left.. abandoned the idea of any visionary politics.. they’re afraid of vision.. they think vision will go out of control

b: yeah.. it’s somehow unrealistic.. there’s been this whole kind of meme since blair that we have to be realistic.. but i feel like the system we’ve got at the moment is extremely unrealistic and suicidal

the system we’ve had forever is suicidal..

d: the system is obviously unviable.. if you talk to members of the elite.. those of them .. probably 5-10% of them who actually do care about the viability of the system.. they’re terrified.. then know this isn’t working.. and they’re willing to listen to almost anybody.. so there’s a sense out there that *if you make a plausible case for something radically diff.. i’ve had people in very high places talk to me seriously about debt cancellation.. and essentially it meant that it’s going to happen.. **the question is how

*oi.. graeber min\max law.. graeber model law.. et al

**money (any form of measuring/accounting) as the planned obsolescence w/ubi as temp placebo.. where legit needs are met w/o money.. till people forget about measuring

23 min – d: what the left doesn’t understand is that it’s the side that’s putting out crazy stuff that wins.. always.. you know who’s winning because they’re the ones putting out even more extreme/unrealistic versions of their ideals..

b: to be fair to the wagers.. they always had this thing of we’ll ask for everything and we’ll get some of it.. and i think certainly w bi that’s my personal strategy.. we ask for everything.. *we want it unconditional.. we want it **enough for people to live on..

*this is huge.. we’ll just keep on with the same song if we don’t let go enough to be unconditional

which means **enough ness has to be about legit needs.. and not about some amount of money.. money/measure/accounting has to disappear.. or it won’t work

b: i mean you’re talking about doing something about democracy.. one of the things that really enlivens the people in the european movement is the whole question of democracy and the fact that it’s impossible to really participate in society unless you have enough to do so.. enough time, money..

whalespeak.. any form of democratic admin is also killing us.. it doesn’t enliven us

24 min – d: and also security.. you can’t really participate in democratically in your community unless you have some idea that you’re going to be in the same place.. that you’re going to have a very stable situation

oh my.. that’s a huge red flag right there that any form of democratic admin is unmooring us.. graeber unpredictability/surprise law et al.. we need to let go of that hard won order..

security ness.. huang job security law

25 min – d: if there’s a way to turn this neolib worm around i think that’s a way we can reverse it.. because movement away from free ed has been a completely failed experiment.. a disaster.. has destroyed the quality of ed.. economically it’s been worse.. failing on all account

m: you described it as a war against the imagination

d: yes.. i did say that.. and that’s why they went after the unis.. because unis are the kind of place which fosters the imagination.. it’s the sort of place where alts are going to come out of

oi.. we need to quit squelching it (imagination) at 5 yrs ish.. or before.. because the imagination we think we are fostering at uni level is more like whalespeak.. it’s creative imaginings of how to improve/fix/be in sea world et al

so.. not legit alts

26 min – d: it didn’t work.. we have an opp to start things moving in the other direction.. and i think free ed should be an immediate demand.. but the bi should be a real horizon.. it’s not unrealistic.. it can be done.. the econ is there

m: on citizen’s income.. and how to define a citizen.. will provoke racist use

b: yeah .. we’re definitely going for bi as a human right.. if you’re a person you get bi

nationality: human ness.. et al

28 min – b: having even a small amount of money which is regular is huge.. just to be able to plan.. almost impossible for people to plan if it’s on that level

graeber unpredictability/surprise law.. i think we’re missing this big time.. i think we think we need some because we’re intoxicated/enclosed/brainwashed in sea world.. i don’t think legit free people would even think about planning ness..

29 min – d: we need to think about the amount it’s going to liberate people’s time.. being poor/broke is actually a full time job.. paperwork.. going from office to office proving things.. if all that would be eliminated and time would be liberated and socially productive.. even people who don’t do .. they’re not going to be doing less than when they were running from office to office all day.. we can’t imagine what they would do

david on science of people ness

b: the amount of time i used to spend dealing with food.. finding cheapest places.. there’s a B aspect.. also just the aspect of how to survive being poor or not enough money

30 min – (g: repeats 29 min)

31 min – a: also impact on homeless .. we would basically have no homeless people.. that’s a revolution.. best thing ever

d: not just the homeless people but all the people who live in fear of it..

a: and child poverty

b: i know people who lived on child benefit money

32 min – d: another thing really important.. restores the essential concept of the dignity of humanity .. i mean.. are there children who deserve to not have a home/food.. none of us would agree in the abstract that they don’t.. yet somehow we’ve developed a system that tells them they don’t.. t

any form of m\a\p does that.. need to go deeper than ubi.. ie: ubi as temp placebo.. till people forget about measuring things

d: a way of re establishing a sense of who we are as people.. all of us.. has been lost.. hasn’t been lost.. it’s been attacked and systematically destroyed.. people’s very sense of themselves as human beings has been under assault for 30-40 yrs.. and this would start to turn it the other way.. establishing on no uncertain terms that if you are a human you cannot be entirely undeserving

30-40 yrs? we’ve always been killing ourselves.. i don’t see any time in history we have been perpetuating some cancer.. (aka: any form of m\a\p)

*whoa.. why that word .. there.. ?

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh

33 min – b: and that’s the thing.. they always talk about empowering people.. this is a way of really empowering people.. that they can actually start making their own decisions about their lives and start participating in things that they may not have been able to before

oi.. decision making is unmooring us.. esp if we still remain in sea world.. where we’re asked to participate in things.. et al..

what we need is to focus on.. to listen to.. curiosity over decision making

ie: imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people

d: yeah.. money is power/freedom.. freedom to get on a train and visit your relatives.. to decide to work on a project.. essentially we are distributing freedom to human beings directly

but not legit freedom.. if we’re still measuring things.. which we are if there’s still money.. if there’s still any form of m\a\p

a: and the kind of stress reduction that could cause in a way that reduce abuse

yeah.. but just medicating us.. not getting to the root

b: actually that’s what we haven’t spoken about.. there’ve been quite a few pilot studies.. and in india.. and in namibia.. brazil slowly trying to intro

yeah.. we keep looking at study after study of part\ial ness.. of band aid solutions.. that’s why we’re still in this state

m: so what are we seeing

34 min – d: on namibia.. had effect of immediately increasing grassroots democracy

huge red flag it’s just part\ial ness.. if legit root solution.. if people legit free.. i don’t think we’d being talking about democracy in any form.. i don’t think we’d be speculating.. conversing about these things ..

we have no idea what legit free people are like.. so us talking about these results as ‘progress’ just perpetuates whalespeak/sea world.. it’s zapping our energy.. and distracting us..

we do have an incredible opp to legit make it diff.. and we’re missing it

d: what communities did is they had everyone take 1/2 money and put in pool.. then they’d have mtgs on how to advocate it for projects of general benefit.. so kept 1/2 to support selves and other 1/2 spontaneously became a mode of creating/deepening grassroots democracy

yeah .. see.. i wouldn’t call obligatorally using/measuring money and then having a meeting about it (public consensus always oppresses someone(s)) spontaneous..

b: they did something the aide agencies never thought of.. they built a post office.. they needed a post office.. but the aide agencies because they’re focused on

d: who’d of ever thought of that.. yeah..

b: the other thing studies found is that people actually set up more of their own enterprises.. selling stuff.. they were actually more *traditionally economically active than they were before

so glad you included *this word.. but still this mindset is killing us.. 10-day-care-center\ness et al.. we have to let go.. we need a legit re\set

35 min – b: a\ people would be spending more b\ they would have more to fall back on


b: another demographic that keeps showing up are women who are just under retirement age and they’ve lost their business.. they’ve gone under for whatever reason.. and they lose everything.. houses, fam, business.. and now in a hostile after years and years of working and trying to build something up

36 min – m: imagine a future society where you walk down the street and there’s actually a diversity of business.. selling things that aren’t the absolute guaranteed selling product (starbucks et al)..

oh my.. in our future vision .. we’re still buying/selling.. what a waste of energy..

d: take a risk

b: that’s the thing.. people would be able to take a risk w ideas and they’d be able to try stuff out w/o thinking what if this fails and i’m back to square one

g: it’s in the nature of experiments that sometimes they don’t work

b: yes.. and some of the best/most-useful experiments are the ones that don’t work

37 min – m: when i mention bi.. people bring up pit falls.. racism, econ difficulties, .. but i suspect what they’re really worried about are the premises it challenges.. the work ethic, how we define a person, what’s socially useful work.. all that kind of thing.. and to have an objective that just face front rams up against all those things.. to me.. is the exact reason to pursue it rather than to think.. let’s go for the smaller option that we maybe fit into narrative..

d: that’s the basic problem in the left and work.. we’ve got to face up with .. over course of 20th cent.. work seen as value in itself.. because it was socially productive .. and all value comes from work.. but there’s been a gradual attack in that idea of work as being the source of all value that sort of destroyed that in people’s heads.. but they kept up the idea that work is a value in itself.. which is why you have all these people working jobs that don’t do anything.. but they still feel they have to keep working more and more because working makes you..

38 min – b: yeah .. w charities.. better of if you’re working no matter what you’re doing

d: yeah.. and there’s jobs not worth doing and you’d be better off doing nothing at all

bullshit jobs – dg

kierkegaard busy ness law

39 min – m: ironic.. slap in face seems to be.. get a job

d: yeah.. come back for that.. not very snappy.. but.. why don’t you get a job that actually does some good for somebody

m: we’re assuming that’s not a nurse who says this

d: it never is.. that’s the interesting thing .. never the pastry chef, the street sweeper, that says that.. it’s always the guy in the suit who turns out is a financial consultant or a human resources advisor or a telemarketing research administrator.. somebody who basically doesn’t do anything

41 min – d: like the people who say .. i paid off all my loans.. everyone else should.. that’s like saying.. i got mugged.. everyone else should.. nonetheless it works on some people.. but it’s partly because of the idea that suffering makes you a better person.. that if you don’t submit yourself to some kind of imposed work/discipline.. if you’re not doing something you don’t actually enjoy.. then you’re somehow a decent human being.. that’s somehow necessary to go thru to become a moral person.. and i think that’s one of the things you really have to fight.. one of the reason i wrote the book on debt was because the idea that if you don’t repay your loans are you a fundamentally bad person.. people do buy that.. that’s one of the major ideological forces working to prop up the system.. and the idea people who don’t do some work that they don’t like.. under some sort of imposed discipline.. are bad/undeserving people.. is the other one.. those are the two main (?) of the system..

42 min – d: i think what we need to do is start talking about work not in terms of the value of just working itself but what that *work produces.. there’s a lot of people who work really hard and produce negative social value.. the world would actually be much better off if they weren’t doing that..

i think the world would be better off if we quit looking at.. obsessing with .. work and production..

d: there’s other people that don’t get paid at all and they’re producing an army (?) of social value.. the amount you get paid has nothing to do with the degree to which you’re actually benefitting other people

work for pay .. anything for pay.. anything done via any form of m\a\p is killing us..

we’re fooling ourselves if we can let that big issue float off into the mist

d: one thing i found over and over again about people who supported us in occupy in america .. was that feeling of injustice.. of people ‘i don’t want to do a job that doesn’t benefit people.. i want be a teacher, i want to be in ed, in health.. i want to be in something that actually provides a social benefit to other human beings

oi.. supposed to’s of school/work.. suffocating us

so.. this is all whalespeak.. of people deeply in need of detox

43 min – d: but when you do that you get paid so little and you end up so much in debt you can’t even take care of your own family.. and the fundamental injustice of that.. the people who are determined to provide value.. it’s as if being allowed to do something that benefits others is a kind of reward.. *you have to get rich and then you can do charity.. or if you’re in a job where you’re being nice to people.. that should be enough in itself.. what you want a house and benefits too? that’s ridiculous.. and that attitude is the very thing we need to (?)

*sam bankman-fried et al


and i think bi is way to do that.. to say that.. left to their own devices.. people will do things to help others and they should be rewarded directly for that.. and *we’re not going to measure it.. because we can’t .. but **we trust you to measure it for yourself..

*but you already have measured it (inspectors of inspectors et al).. if you have a system with money, rewards, .. any form of m\a\p, you’re measuring things.. and that’s killing us.. that’s keeping us from the dance

**and this is still you measuring.. it’s people telling other people what to do.. like telling people to measure it themselves..

we all need to let go of measuring things.. oi

44 min – m: on barb’s petition

b: on how best to do emancipatory welfare.. bi was spoken about in lat 70s.. so the 3 day work week.. bi.. this whole thing of what david was saying about the attack on the imagination is really true.. and we’re hoping .. not even hoping.. we know we have started the debate off again.. and we’re very happy about that

graeber model law

47 min – a: this is something that’s gonna come.. let’s just do it

d: let’s lead the world again

m: we’ll call it the revenge of the imagination

b: welfare state stopped people from helping/working with each other.. now having to hire people to look after them

48 min – d: swedish anarchists: said almost all the institutions of swedish welfare state were not created by govt.. but thru labour/social movements.. essentially the welfare state is a kind of social truce in the class war.. and it’s seen explicitly as such.. the anarchists are always accused of violating the social peace.. the idea is like.. yes .. there is a war between the govt and the people.. we’ve declared a truce in hostilities for the last 50-60 yrs by giving you this deal.. saying ok.. you can have all these institutions you created.. but you can’t run them.. we’re going to run them.. but the thing is.. what the govt runs it can also take away .. and that’s precisely what’s started to happen.. but it is a truce.. a truce in a war.. and they’re the ones who broke the pact.. we’re at war again and we need to start thinking of it that way

or.. come up with a legit other way that 8b people (including govt/B people.. has to be all the people) already crave.. let’s go that deep..

fighting wars is killing us all – none of us are free