The Geopolitical Strategies of Basic Income
When the concept of “basic income” is introduced, it almost always has to do with discussion of a government-backed program. While COINZ is trying a cryptocurrency inspired program as an alternative, there is a discussion that is largely missing from the basic income blogosphere: the wider geopolitical applications of a basic income. I believe that a basic income is not only a useful tool for stabilizing and equalizing a highly-stratified economy, but also a formidable weapon in fourth generation warfare.
Fourth generation warfare (4GW) focuses on strategies used by swarms of weaker individual entities to achieve aims against more powerful opponents. Given the costs (human, political, economic, and otherwise) of conventional military action, I believe that 4GW tactics will be increasingly adopted by the Great Powers. The Cold War and War on Terror merely accelerated this adoption.
For example, one can see the Middle East and Ukraine as proxy-wars that have escalated beyond control. Many of the questionable groups used as proxies often have aims of their own incompatible with their opportunistic sponsors, but geopolitical actors continue such support in the off-chance that their perceived enemy is reeling.
I believe that such Cold War logic yields only mutually harmful escalation, disruption, and increasing threats to all parties involved. That also begs the question: Is it possible for a Great Power (or other geopolitical or economic actor) to achieve their aims in a mutually stabilizing way?
The basic income has such strategic applications. Imagine if one nation or entity were to (overtly or covertly) create a digital currency and peg it to a neighbor’s fiat currency at a fixed rate. Personally, I think a dynamic proof-of-stake currency would be ideal for the job. This would allow the nation that initiated it to gain economic and political leverage over their neighbors. By funding a neighbor’s citizenry, you’d gain a market with demand for your products and services (one favorable to you), the chance of their government obeying your interests, and lastly, the ability to disrupt that stability (but ceasing payments or adjusting the peg) if said government was not to your liking.
Just be sure you do the same to your own citizens before someone else does. Even if it’s not a government, per say, it could be a nonprofit, corporation, or even a standard false front (such as a GONGO).
I can imagine a number of such scenarios that such a program could be advantageous:
-The United States could use such a program to retain stability in key foreign markets, independently of the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency.
-Russia could use this to leverage and create demand for its natural resources by doing this in China or Europe.
-Singapore could do this on neighboring southeast Asian states to ensure it remains a regional financial sector and create new opportunities for its businesses.
The list goes on, but the basic principle is sound. Such investment was previously done with fiat currency to line the pockets of various politicians or warlords/dictators, but regimes can be quite fragile in an era of 4GW. The basic income approach allows you to literally bribe every citizen in the country for something akin to a few thousand dollars on your part (to initialize software and servers). You gain stability and prosperity, and wrap the world economy around your finger.