The idea of universal basic income (UBI) has taken on new life as people experience greater inequality and greater exploitation than ever before—combined with the recurrence of the historically-cyclical fear of mass unemployment driven by rapid advancements in automation technologies. But the idea of providing every person with a certain amount of money, regardless of their socioeconomic status or (in)ability to or (dis)interest in working, is far from universally-accepted by socialists. This essay offers replies to three common socialist criticisms of various basic income proposals, in an effort to defend the radical potential of UBI; a potential that is consonant with the fundamental goal of the socialist project—achieving a democratic, non-exploitative world beyond capitalism.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.