Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and Some Tangentially Related Thoughts on Basic Income

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Sarah Jaffe did a really great interview with Naomi Klein on her new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.

In the interview she mentions basic income, which to me really reinforced my thoughts that basic income is intimately connected with the shift to sustainability.

In one sense it is a little disappointing because it is a reminder that basic income isn’t an easy solution to all our problems. And also a reminder that there probably isn’t going to be a shift to basic income without an accompanying shift in consciousness and social and economic organization.

I haven’t read Klein’s book yet but in the interview she talks about a whole range of issues from climate change, a type consciousness she calls “extractivism” (which she actually defines in very Kantian terms), patriarchy, and basic income. And they are all connected!

In theory we could institute a basic income and do nothing else. And then work on other social or environmental issues separately. In theory I wouldn’t be opposed to that, if it were possible. But I don’t think it will happen that way.

Basic income is about a radical transformation in social organization and that radical transformation in social organization is connected to a radical transformation in consciousness which is connected to a radical transformation in the way we related to our environment.

The subtitle of her book is “Capitalism vs. The Climate” but it could’ve been “Capitalism vs. The Climate, The Elimination of Poverty, The End of War, and The Progress of Humanity.”

(Check out the interview for an interesting take on liberal vs. radical.)


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