1 January 2016

Transhumanists welcome basic income

The Blog

Britain's first Transhumanist Party has embraced an official study by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) that is in line with the Transhumanists' futuristic, far-seeing value system.

The RSA study, titled "Creative  citizen, creative state: the principled and pragmatic case for a Universal Basic Income", is based on a full year's research and gives solid and realistic proposals of how to implement "basic income" in Britain.

Although many could easily see basic income as merely another type of unemployment benefit, it is far from this. Basic income is the idea that not only unemployed people but all citizens, including workers, should receive a sum of money from the state merely for being citizens. This sum, given unconditionally for all citizens to live on, would be used on its own or could be added to an earned income stream.

Abiding by its own principles informed by Social Futurism, the Transhumanist Party in Britain (TPUK being one of the abbreviations) expressed its support of the study and described the idea of basic income as being consistent with its own value-system. The Transhumanist Party advocates "All citizens shall have a right to sustenance, clothing, shelter, energy, healthcare,  transport, education, and access to information resources."

Head of the UK's Transhumanists, Amon Twyman, offered the following commentary as published in a recent party press release:
“A new social contract is needed, involving strong educational and economic support for  those who are left with no viable option of ‘earning a living’ due to rapid technological  change. A UBI would provide an important part of this new social contract. The RSA’s  advocacy of a UBI will help the task of the Transhumanist Party to bring about new  political thinking in the UK that champions individual and social creativity.”
Basic income, as the Transhumanists argue, will free up people to pursue more enriching activities rather than devoting all their time to a job they don't like but feel compelled to attend to raise a meager income. While it is historically factual that most work was once necessary to keep society running, increases in automation are projected to put most people out of work.

Rather than waiting for "social inequality,  disruption and alienation" to build up while we are celebrating the increases in automation and overall disappearance of semi-skilled work due to new computers and robots, the Transhumanist Party advocates reconstructing the individual and society now.

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