Basic Income and Productivity in Cognitive Capitalism


Andrea Fumagalli, Stefano Lucarelli

In this article, basic income (BI) will not be considered as a measure to raise living standards and social well-being. Rather, it will be presented as an indispensable structural policy for achieving a healthier social order governed by a more equitable compromise between capital and labor. Embracing the French Regulation School approach, we maintain that such a compromise is founded on the redistribution of productivity gains. Describing the dynamics of productivity enables a better understanding of the main features and development of contemporary capitalism. In advancing our argument, we focus on the socioeconomic transformation that has overtaken the Fordist paradigm within Western countries and propose the term ‘‘cognitive capitalism” to describe the new economic system. We argue that BI can be seen as a viable economic policy able to contrast the instability generated by the present form(s) of accumulation, as it increases productivity through network and learning processes. Keywords: basic income, productivity, cognitive capitalism, crisis, Regulation School, post-Fordism, knowledge.

Tratto da Review of Social Economy

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