Since the party convention/general assembly on 24-25 November 2012 in Bochum, the Pirate Party Germany has a basic party program of economic policy. For the first time texts were inserted into the program under the heading economic policy. And more will follow in the future.
The adopted program clause “Work and Human” I find especially forward-looking:
“For us, work is not just a commodity, but also always the personal effort of an individual. Therefore, it is an imperative of human dignity that every human is free to decide what career they want to pursue and what work they want to accept, but also, that this effort is appreciated correspondingly.
The technological development allows that not every monotone, little meaningful or even dangerous task must be done by human hands. We see this as a great step forward that we welcome and want to advance further. Therefore, we consider the pursuit of absolute full employment as neither timely nor socially desirable. Instead, we want to commit ourselves to ensuring that all humans receive a just part of the overall prosperity and will for this purpose examine the introduction of a unconditional basic income guarantee.”
Additionally, the context is formed by the already longer adopted sections “right to secure existence and social participation” (also basic party program) and “unconditional basic income guarantee and minimum wage” (election party program for the parliamentary elections for the German Bundestag 2013).
This is the opposite of the old dogma: “That which creates jobs, is social“, a position all the old established parties share (CDU/CSU/SPD/Green/FDP/Left).
We, the Pirate Party, say:
- Full employment is not a sensible goal of policy.
- Work is not to be seen as something positive as an end in itself.
- Completely independent of work, to each and every human is unconditionally guaranteed: participation in wealth, society, and democracy, as well as a secure existence.
Why is this so important?
- The dogma “work” leads to dependency, domination, Hartz IV, precarity.
- The political dogma of having to create jobs/full employment makes politics susceptible to blackmail by employers, particularly by global companies that threaten the abolition/relocation of jobs.
- The political dogma of having to create jobs/full employment means the wrong priorities in politics. E.g. evaluating economic factors higher than happiness, self-determination and innovation.
- The legal dogma of having to work forces humans into dependent exploitation. This means for example the misanthropic system of Hartz IV laws in Germany.
- The social dogma of having to work forces humans into dependent exploitation. This means for example the social exclusion of and the intolerance towards humans with no (paid) work.
What are better alternatives?
By the right to secure existence and social participation, and by the introduction of an unconditional basic income guarantee (also in Europe/worldwide), humans have the opportunity to continue to do the important work which makes life easier and possible for many humans and which they do happily and with great commitment. And to receive appropriate additional pay for that. However, it eliminates the agonizing existential fear (Existenz-Angst), the social pressures and the legal dictates which make humans involuntarily accept and carry out works which are perhaps even harmful to one’s health. Outside the constraints that are inherent in (short-term as well as long-term) (labor) markets and pure profit seeking, there will be more room for innovation, lifelong learning, education and creativity. Important tasks, yet often done unpaid on a voluntary basis, like upringing/raising/parenting and care and attention, and social and political engagement, will finally be made possible under equal status. “Unpleasant jobs that nobody wants to do” — the “dirty work” of the current system — will be abolished, finally and rightly. To date, these jobs are done by modern labor slaves, which are compelled in a reprehensible manner by economic and social pressure and by laws. In the future, inhuman or hazardous activities will either be not done anymore at all, or the payment (and additionally the respect) for them will be increased higher and higher until these works will be done entirely voluntarily, willingly and happily.
The departure from the dogma “work” is an important step towards an emancipatory world that liberates and frees humans from all systems of domination and oppression, and makes human dignity, human rights, enlightenment and democracy more possible.
See also my blog posting from October 2012: “For a left-liberal and visionary Pirate Party economic program.“
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