I was, in a self-catering flat just round the corner from the Spa complex. What could be more natural?
I didn’t of course. But I do need some light relief after recent experiences. I have been appealing to readers for advice on what I am serious about. Silence. I have wondered about a hunger strike. I am accused of an ego-trip.
My strategy was dismantled at conference. Do a Thunberg outside Parliament? Nobody would notice (So why did Greta’s work?). Same thing in Stockholm? Greta’s inner circle are not responding to my appeal for dialogue, and my wish to add my bit to her message.
I did get some useful advice though. Don’t go on hunger strike in a British prison. If I must, Swedish prisons are preferable anyway. Add Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand Prime Minister) to my list.
My demand is quite modest: that my view of the basic income gets mainstream publicity, possibly by someone well known promoting a book, already planned in this weblog. My worryingly unique approach (hence the ego accusation, as well as my psychotic self-diagnosis) is that some way of guaranteeing security is needed so that all the practical ways to downsize, available ever since Limits to Growth in 1972 stop being out of the question. The spirit which motivates XR and the school strikes could have started then.
So many prominent people, as terrified as I am of the coming ecological breakdown not seeing the basic income as relevant, let alone crucial. My psychosis prevents me from seeing the flaw in this narrative:
In 1972 the MIT flagged up the abuse of ecological limits as a potentially serious problem.
Therefore there must be a planned (world) recession instead of perpetual growth.
This is impossible for two reasons (which I shall not repeat here for the umpteenth time)
But these reasons are still blocking the more obvious answers, available in 1972.
Something is still needed which will allow whole populations of individuals to feel secure, making possible the necessary mind set change from growth to preserving the ecosphere..
The unconditional basic income (UBI) unlocks this door.
But the UBI has become dangerous. It could, no will boost economic growth, the worst possible effect. It must be firmly tied to ecological realities.
I have two delusions. One is how humanity could have transitioned peacefully from growth to ecological sustainability. It could have been relatively painless, but I doubt that at this late stage. In his first book Poverty and Progress (Methuen, 1972) Richard Wilkinson (who co-wrote Spirit Level) cites the Siane, a tribe in New Guinea, who ensured that everyone had “an identity of interest when dealing with ecological limits”. Necessities were shared unconditionally. Anything else determined status – a moneyless UBI.
The other delusion? Our close relatives the bonobos enjoy lots of innocent sex without having too many babies, or harming their environment. Is a problem solved by apes and primitive tribes beyond modern, global humankind?
Moral: sex can be more fun, and better for the ecosphere than consumerism.