Oh, the irony. I step out of the machine only to bring the machine with me, an unwanted habit I am forced to maintain. Work has rather piled up of late, and since I ply new trade with new software to learn alongside its skills, I have had time for nothing but earning money--almost. As a newbie freelance translater, I have decided to make hay while the sun shines, and am doing well at it for the moment. This explains the paucity of posting in recent weeks. I still plan to cover how a guaranteed income might be financed, and will look at three alternatives as soon as I can.
On Friday evening (27th April), I made time to attend a meeting of the Citizens' Initiative Guaranteed Income Group, a ragtag bunch of hopefuls struggling against the steady current of stodgy and ignorant mainstream opinion. As a ragtag hopeful myself, I felt quite at home among them, though the intricacies of holding meetings in strict accordance with the German state's multifaceted requirements left me cold. They have a wierd voting procedure with arcane German terminology I have yet to learn.
Anyway, Ralph Boes was there informing his troops on the latest. He is still receiving Hartz IV income, still contravening all Hartz IV laws, still asking to be sanctioned, still full of fire and passion. His letter demanding to know why he has not been sanctioned remains unanswered. The group's next move on the Hartz IV front will be to set up a website listing sanctioned Hartz IV people who have died from the ravages of life on the streets. There are dead. In a real sense, being booted out of society because you can't find work (900,000 "customers" were sanctioned in 2011) is a slow genocide. As I pointed out in earlier posts on this topic, all applicants (defined as "customers" because the employment bureaus are in fact limited companies, they are not government agencies) are forced to sign an incorporation agreement before all else. If they do not, they are sanctioned. If you have children to feed, you sign away your rights, rather tear your family apart.
This model is attracting attention across Europe. It is a scandal, and I greatly admire Ralph Boes for his courage and determination. His reason for demanding sanctioning is so that he can starve in public. I was deeply moved to think this most humane of humans would put himself through that agony for others. He would starve in as public a way as possible, weighing himself every day on a scales in the street, communicate as often as possible with whichever newpaper expressed interest (interest is definitely growing), and thus draw attention to this hideous situation. It is utterly immoral to punish people, threaten them with death, kill them, simply because our economic power and other creativity has rendered the majority of human labour redundant. Murderers and paedophiles are treated better; at least they get home and board.
So watch out, fellow humans! This model is coming to a nation near you soon, and it takes people of Ralph Boes' courage and humanity to even begin to fight it. The state is a system born of an ethic which no longer applies. But it is a system with enormous self-sustaining momentum; it will grind all before it to dust and never think it is doing anything wrong. It is a machine evolved for growth and uniformity; inlexible, class- and welath-based hierarchies; anonymous violence and stubborn intolerance. And yes, the so-called Market is an embdeed part of its whirring machinery.
I hope to have more time for blogging after mid-May. Until then...
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