- Published on Saturday, 18 April 2015 10:49
Land enclosures denied indigenous peoples access to the means to life. Access to land meant you could house, clothe and feed yourself through your own labour.
The industrial revolution drove displaced people into factories in which their labour was exploited, denying them dignity and independence. Class struggles over centuries improved conditions and by the mid 20th century, in the post-war consensus, a measure of dignity and prosperity was afforded to working class people.
But then, increasing automation and financialisation began to erode the need for labour and, in a world where profits rank higher than people, the flaws in the political economy became more obvious. Early signs were rising unemployment and stockmarket shocks such as in 1987 when markets globally plunged by up to 50%. These warnings went unheeded and the significance of computerisation ignored.The latest crisis in 2008 was the late wake up call to the lunacy of our political economy.
The advent of technology means that we no longer need to labour 40+ hours a week and that all jobs are under threat.
Our economic system is premised on everyone having a job to provide sufficient income to live in comfort and dignity. Clearly this is impossible as evidenced by employment subsidies and the creation of faux jobs; jobs are evaporating along with the necessary income to sustain life.
An Unconditional Citizens Dividend is the third essential principle of economic reform if we are to avoid the collapse of our civilisation.