The Basic Income launch …
The Citizen Collective in action …
Ear worm chants:vote vote vote
That ear worm keeps chanting over and over … vote vote vote …
So I go looking for some good reason to vote.
I find this interesting paper by T.M. Scanlon in which he writes:
“… citizens have an important interest in being able to take part in politics not only in order to exercise their developed capacities but also in order to have an influence on their society, to protect themselves against unjust outcomes, and to advance their particular aims.”
So if by voting I am able to advance any particular aim, what might I wish to advance? I guess my wish would be the elimination of poverty. The knowledge that some people possess abundant wealth while others live in desperate poverty tells me that there is inequality in our world. So in order to eliminate poverty we need to establish equality. But then, doesn’t Mr. Scanlon go on to suggest that there needs to be equality in order to have equality? What can we possibly do with such a … Hmmm is that what some people call a conundrum … And good grief I am not sure what to say about a word I am not even sure I know how to spell.
“These interests support requirements of formal equality. They require substantive equality as well, since these interests cannot be advanced if one has formal political rights but lacks the means to exercise them effectively. These means include not only education but also the means to engage in effective political expression, to support political candidates one favors and so on.”
Preceeding this paragraph , Scanlon also wrote, in this same paper:
” The purpose of political institutions will not be fulfilled unless citizens not only have equal formal rights but also the education necessary to fulfill their role as citizens, and the means required to take part in political discussion, run for office, or support others who do. The form of substantive equality that is required in these matters will flow from, and depend on, the relevant conception of what it is for “the will of the people” to be expressed. For example, not everyone is going to run for office, and perhaps not everyone need have the means to do so. But if only the rich can mount effective political campaigns, then the “voice” that is registered will be skewed.”
So who is T.M. Scanlon? I have no idea but I like his writing.
Also, he must be someone important, consequently, someone whose opinion matters in our world.
“1 This paper was originally written for presentation at a conference on equality at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in April 2004. Subsequent versions were given in Berlin at the Kulturforum der Sozialdemokratie, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as the Wei-Lun Lecture, and at Nanjing Normal University, at a faculty discussion sponsored by the Harvard Program in Justice, Welfare, and Economics, and at legal theory workshops at USC and UCLA. I am grateful to all of these audiences for helpful comments and discussion. I am also grateful to Charles Beitz and Tommie Shelby for helpful comments and suggestions. “
BI MIGHT BE THE ANSWER!
I feel that providing a basic income for each person might be the answer to some of the problems that face our world. That way people can look after their own basic needs such as food and shelter. I think the idea of the Basic Income movement has great potential but only if we are able each to have our own voice and receive our own “dignity cheque”.
Why do we need to lobby politicians? The politicians should already know about the choice that basic income offers. If they don’t know then what are they doing there? Who are they representing?
Contrary to what we are led to believe, the politicians we are given to vote for are not chosen by the people. Candidates are selected by whatever group happens to make up the nominating committee of each political party. And yes, at each party nominating convention the final party candidate will be chosen because he is seen as being a winner. While there is some notion that nominations may arise from the floor, in all seriousness, does this ever happen? Who in their right mind would ever dare to challenge the nominating committee or stare down the stern looks cast by party executives?
It is doubtful that any homeless person has ever been on one of these nomination committees let alone been chosen as a candidate. Homeless people are not exactly seen as winners, are they?
Party members themselves are a particular breed of followers who are expected to comply and once their winner gets in, the party members are expected to support him unconditionally. I say he because women are not usually favoured under this system.
Anyone who has had to deal with civil servants or politicians or other agents soon discovers that the individual person matters very little. What matters is where some rulebook places you on whatever bell curve the agent is using during that budget period. If you happen to be favoured with a job or an education or nice housing or a lucrative contract or a good career are you going to dare speak up and endanger your own chance in order to speak up for those who are not so fortunate?
We all know what happens to the individual who does not quietly go along with mob-rule of any movement that claims to act in their best interest. This mob may be run by families or governments or religions or powerful corporations or CEOs or NGOs or other groups we might not even know about. It really doesn’t matter. Mob is still mob. I think of it as the Godfather Clause. It is some group taking advantage of some system for the benefit of its own members. This is what now happens all over our world.
If we think it should be the people then it is to the people we need to appeal, not to politicians. Going to politicians for support is yet another top-down way of operating and not the grass roots I believe we need.
My one real concern is that, like any movement, this will turn into yet another cash cow to provide power and position to those who are able to grab what they can. Will people be forced to choose once more between blindly joining in or risk being left behind jobless, powerless, voiceless and destitute?
Yes, George, shudder. Why? Politics George. You know I don’t do politics.
Wonder what the first woman Cabinet Minister of Canada would have said about my aversion to politics.
Is that fair? Don’t men deserve an honourable mention?
Well there is one senator … A man … The first native man appointed.
Possibly would not have thought too highly of this Granny who doesn’t even belong to a reputable … Well actually Granny belongs to no party …shame shame Granny … No loyalty … No wonder Granny never gets any nice tweaks or twitters.
She simply is not smart enough to talk politics. But knowing nothing about something! … that never stopped Granny talking before.
Besides … in this case … Continue reading
The Good Old Days?
Do you really belive in that George? Hmmmm well in the late part of the last century … Was that before The New World Order George? No, I cannot recall exactly. Well before the year 2000 … Actually before 1999 … Ahhh now that was an interesting year. Yes George there was. Canada in 1999. Who was in charge? No idea George. Sounds too much like politics.
Talk politics? No George absolutely not. What do I know? Not much … But here you go …
… About bible study and mental illness … Do they mate well do you think? … Ok George … Forget it … Yes yes I heard you … And yes I do recall being taught something about avoiding certain topics … Like religion, sex and politics …
But George wasn’t that old rule thrown out along with those silly old books … You know … with odd, old-fashioned notions … Well? … Such as etiquette … Morals … Errr ethics probably … Then there was this foolishness called protocol … Remember … When people were forced to have respect for their flag.
Nowadays George if you are drawn to any of these things …
Ethics George … Mostly ethics is what I am talking about …
Well … You really can’t blame people if they consider you sub-normal?
Is that what you really think?
Errr … When did ethics get pushed to that netherworld beyond the norm? … Well George … Regarded as Abnormal in plain-speak …
Do you really wish for me to be blunt? Nowadays people who bring up such topic as ethics …. They are considered to be … Well cough cough …
Embarrassed? Why would I be embarrassed to say it George?
Mentally ill George … Yes the illness with a thousand faces. Almost everyone these days can be diagnosed with some sort of mental illness … Hmmm it’s what they call the new norm George.
Even better than laws against petty crime … As for more serious sins … Really relieves stress on the court system … No need for trials or expensive lawyers … Just lock the sinners up.
Everybody has something to confess … Some little quirk of originality … I know the schools and teachers are working hard George … Doing their best to train the kids to group think.
The mental health system? I’m glad you asked George.
As the typical radio interview might express … it’s good for the economy … What can I tell you … Go to your doctor … Get certified as mentally ill and you have a nice little pension check coming in on a regular basis … Imagine George … all that money going into the economy.
I am trying my best to be polite George … Sarcasm? Who me? you ask me to be frank with you? Well … I guess I could try … But I warn you George … You might not like what I have to say …
Despite all the outside-the-boxness reality shifts of the last decade or so … Originality and independant thought is really not acceptable. You can be as bizarre as you wish as long as you are not a social activist trying to do something foolish like trying to save the world … After all look what happened to John Lennon …
That was a warning George … No I really am not into conspiracy George … Has nothing to do with conspiracy … Has to do with pointing out a prime example of someone who dared to be original and paid the ultimate price.
Well try as I might … I simply cannot resist one last little crack at it …
You’ve surely come across the one about the chicken and the egg … You know where someone asks what comes first … The chicken or the egg …
And we can talk on this all night … Night after night … Our whole lifetime … No George I am not off on another subject … Not at all.
Back to what I was saying … Well before you shut me up George …
I wished only to ask if you have ever thought about applying this chicken-egg idea to bible study and mental illness. What comes first do you suppose?