Green Republicanism and the Shift To Post-Productivism: A Defence of an Unconditional Basic Income – Res Publica – article

Green Republicanism and the Shift To Post-Productivism: A Defence of an Unconditional Basic Income

Jorge Pinto | Res Publica

2019-11-03

Green republicanism can be described as a subset of republican political theory that aims at promoting human flourishing by ensuring a non-dominating and ecologically sustainable republic. An essential aspect of green republicanism is the promotion of post-productivism while preserving or expanding republican freedom as non-domination. Post-productivism implies the promotion of personal autonomy rather than the pursuit of permanent economic growth and the promotion of labour as an intrinsically positive human activity, which for green republicans will have three positive aspects: reduced ecological impact, more time available for civic participation, and the extension of democratic decision-making and norms to the sphere of production. An important aspect in the definition of a post-productivist society is the way welfare schemes are designed. In this article, I will thus compare the existing welfare regimes with a (green) participation income and with an unconditional basic income, and analyse how they promote green republican goals. I conclude that the current systems are one of the elements of the productivist society and that would not answer the green republican conditions. A green participation income could have a positive ecological impact and contribute to a shift to post-productivism but would face serious challenges from a republican perspective, namely in terms of the non-arbitrariness of its attribution. Finally, I conclude that depending on how it is defined, an unconditional basic income could contribute to post-productivism while being non-arbitrary thus obeying the green republican conditions.

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