ARRANGØR: Borgerlønn BIEN Norge
What would you do if your income was taken care of?
BIEN Norway and The Norwegian Student Society will be hosting the next annual Nordic Basic Income Conference UBI-Nordic 2019 “Visions for a Brighter Future” at Chateau Neuf in Oslo, April 5-7.
As part of the conference we are happy to screen the 2017 German documentary film Free Lunch Society directed by the Austrian economist Christian Tod at Chateau Neuf Thursday April 4. After the screening there will be a debate about basic income by some of the conference speakers.
You are welcome!
The film Free Lunch Society is a concerning an investigation into the concept of a universal basic income. It provides background information about this idea and searches for explanations, possibilities and experiences regarding its implementation.
Comprised of talking head interviews with notable economists, entrepreneurs, political scientists and politicians, archive footage and voice-over, the film explores both contemporary thinking on, and historical precedent for, the idea of basic income as a fundamental human right.
An unconditional basic income means money for everyone – as a human right without service in return. But is this concept a visionary reform project, neoliberal axe to the roots of the social state or socially romantic left-wing utopia?
Depending on the type and scope, a basic income demonstrates very different ideological visions. Which side of the coin one sees depends on one’s own idea of humankind: inactivity as sweet poison that seduces people into laziness, or freedom from material pressures as a chance for oneself and for the community.
Do we actually need the whip of existential fear to avoid a lazy, depraved life in front of the TV set? Or does gainful employment give our lives meaning and social footing simply because we haven’t known anything else for centuries?
The film takes as it’s thesis the idea that an unconditional basic income might be considered as a fundamental human right. Free Lunch Society then investigates various ideological interpretations of this thesis, configuring it as variously a ‘visionary reform project’, a ‘neo-liberal axe at the roots of the welfare state’, and a ‘romantic leftist social utopia’.
Just a few years ago, an unconditional basic income was considered a pipe dream. Today, this utopia is more imaginable than ever before – intense discussions are taking place in all political and scientific camps. The film attempts to demonstrate the differing effects an unconditional basic income would have on different economic environments.
According to the filmmaker Christian Tod the subject of the film has it’s basis in lines of dialogue from the episode ‘The Neutral Zone’ of Star Trek – Next Generation – included in the films opening – wherein a cryogenically frozen banker from the 21st Century wakes up to discover that by the 24th Century money no longer exists.
It was from this premise that Tod was able to synthesise his interests in Science, Science-Fiction and Economics, into the eventual basis for Free Lunch Society.
Interview with Christian Tod: The filmmaking champion of basic income
“Visions for a Brighter Future”
The conference program will consist of plenary sessions, workshops and debates on different aspects of UBI, featuring both national and international speakers, as well as cultural contributions. We will have a reception in Oslo City Hall.
The conference is open to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge on our welfare systems, their development and basic income as an alternative to many of the current support systems.