Headquarters for Experimentalism

Unconditional Basic Interview with Nicholas J. Greenfield

Born in England and shipped off to Australia at 17, Nicholas John Greenfield has spent half his life exploring the world and trying to capture as much of it as he can on paper. After living in a tiny box apartment in Paris and braving life in Mexico’s chaotic capital, Nicholas resides now in Germany, where he distills his experiences into his works, a process that is due to bring us “Love, Lies and Los Zetas”, a travel thriller based in Mexico, and “The Parisian Mirror”, a story of crossed paths in the City of Lights, Paris.


DA
How would you explain to a rainbow, usually not the smartest fellow around, what exactly Unconditional Basic Income (from here on referred to as “Bam”) is and how it works?

NJG
I’d perhaps explain that it is like finding that strange little green fellow with the red beard who is always lurking around your end, and then reducing him to poverty while making football hooligans able to buy more beer.

DA
Given today’s socio-economic structures, Bam is rather experimental in nature. To put it differently: Why is it considered normal to have to do something (“work”) in order to survive?

NJG
I say the same to my kidneys quite often but thankfully they never listen.

DA
Do you think we should try to achieve Bam by gradually reducing the weekly workload to 30, 20, 10 hours?

NJG
I think my workload should be inversed, so that others have to work 30, even 40 hours in order to generate me an income. Put that on that table and we can talk.

DA
But what about primates, dolphins or elbows?

NJG
What about the leprechauns? No one ever thinks about them. There is a cereal in the US where people ingest symbols of these people’s culture, surely that is not kosher?

DA
Making a living vs. royal dynasties – what are your associations regarding this diptych?

NJG
Where are the roundheads when you need them, huh?

DA
What about all the shitty jobs out there that are not only boring or degrading, but also poorly paid? Shouldn’t they be paying much more? And who is going to do them once the Age of Bam has arrived?

NJG
With all these leprechauns deprived of their basic income (aka a pot of gold), they will no doubt be desperate to earn some kind of income.

DA
How realistic is the implementation of Bam in the next 10(0000) years?

NJG
How realistic is a piece of string?

DA
What is, in your opinion, the secret of human consciousness?

NJG
Sorry, I switched off for a minute there. Can you repeat the question?

DA
The idea of having freedom and free time (“Frem”) at one’s disposal will surely make more than one tormented soul shed tears of joy – are the necessary desalination plants ready for some desalinaction?

NJG
We can also use them to boost salt levels in sub-Saharan guinea pigs.

DA
There are several hundred people in the world who can’t afford wasting their time with lame, dull bullshit only to avoid starvation or ending up in a trash compactor (naked). The cultural and social paradigm shift triggered by Bam would be unprecedented. The world depressiveness would decline rapidly, for money is one of the main engines of mental as well as emotional blockage and annihilation. Somehow we have to get decontaminated from that unfortunate monetary air. What other monumental social experiments are possible?

NJG
I tried to encourage my students to teach themselves English while I sit in the corner and play PlayStation. So far the idea has encountered some resistance, but such things are common in monumental moments of irreversible change.

DA
What do you think would be the far-reaching consequences of such a utopiary transformation?

NJG
Well, I’d spend a lot more time in the pub downcrying the terrible autocracy of a country that thinks it can buy me off with free money, all while being bought off with said money.


Foto: © NJG

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