Basic Income and Post-Capitalist Imaginaries

Stephen Healy

This paper, forthcoming in Arena reflects on the late Zygmunt Bauman's essay on the work ethic published in Arena in 1996.  I began this paper the day after Zygmunt died, and took up with his question of what happens to the poor in a world where work disappears.  His essay seemed to presage many of the current debates about postcapitalism, new forms of automation, the future of work and the role that basic income may play in a world with less work in the formal economy.  In the current moment a life beyond capitalism seems more discernible, either as a po