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Pirate Party’s Path to Victory: 2024 Belgium Elections

The Pirate Party’s Goals

The Pirate Party, a political organization born out of the Swedish Pirate Bay movement, has made waves in Europe over the past decade. Their platform centers on digital rights, privacy, transparency, and decentralization. In Belgium, the Pirate Party has been steadily gaining ground since its foundation in 2009. As the country gears up for federal elections in 2024, the Pirate Party is poised to make a significant impact on the political landscape. In this article, we will examine the Pirate Party’s goals, the Belgian political landscape, the rise of the Pirate Party in Belgium, their platform, electoral strategy, key challenges, and path to victory in 2024. We will also look at strategies for increasing voter turnout, building coalitions, and the role of technology in the Pirate Party’s campaign.

Understanding the Belgian Political Landscape

Belgium is a federal parliamentary democracy with a complex political landscape. The country is divided into three regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels. Each region has its own parliament and government, with varying degrees of autonomy. The federal government is responsible for justice, defense, foreign affairs, and social security. Belgium has a proportional representation system, which means that parties are allocated seats in proportion to the number of votes they receive.

There are several political parties in Belgium, ranging from mainstream to more niche parties. The biggest parties are the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) and the Socialist Party (PS). Other parties include the Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V), the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD), the Green party (Ecolo), and the far-right Vlaams Belang. The Pirate Party has been gaining ground in recent years, particularly among younger voters.

The Rise of the Pirate Party in Belgium

The Pirate Party was founded in Belgium in 2009, with the aim of promoting digital rights and freedoms. The party’s popularity has grown steadily over the years, with the party winning seats in municipal and provincial elections. The party’s success has been driven by its strong stance on digital rights and privacy, which resonates with younger voters. The Pirate Party has also been active in promoting transparency and accountability in government.

Examining the Pirate Party’s Platform

The Pirate Party’s platform centers on digital rights, privacy, transparency, and decentralization. The party advocates for the free flow of information, the protection of privacy, and the promotion of transparency in government. They also support open source software and oppose software patents. The party is critical of copyright laws, which they believe stifle innovation and creativity. They propose a more decentralized approach to governance, with decision-making power given to citizens.

Analyzing the Pirate Party’s Electoral Strategy

The Pirate Party’s electoral strategy is centered on grassroots organizing and social media. The party has a strong online presence, with active social media accounts and a website that allows members to participate in decision-making. The party also organizes events, such as hackathons and workshops, to engage with voters. The Pirate Party focuses on issues that resonate with younger voters, such as digital rights and privacy.

Key Challenges Facing the Pirate Party Ahead of 2024

The Pirate Party faces several key challenges ahead of the 2024 elections. One of the biggest challenges is increasing their visibility and gaining more mainstream support. The party is often dismissed as a single-issue party, which may limit their appeal to voters. The party also faces financial constraints, as they do not have the same level of funding as more established parties. Finally, the party needs to build a strong enough coalition to win seats in parliament.

The Pirate Party’s Path to Victory in 2024

The Pirate Party’s path to victory in 2024 will depend on several factors. First, the party needs to increase their visibility and broaden their appeal beyond young voters. The party will also need to build a strong coalition with other parties that share their values. The party will need to focus on key issues, such as digital rights and privacy, while also addressing other issues important to voters. Finally, the party will need to mobilize their base and increase voter turnout.

Strategies for Increasing Voter Turnout

To increase voter turnout, the Pirate Party will need to focus on grassroots organizing and social media. The party will need to engage with young voters, who are often less likely to vote. The party can also leverage technology to make voting more accessible, such as online voting or mobile voting. Finally, the party can focus on issues that resonate with voters, such as healthcare or climate change.

Building Coalitions: Potential Allies for the Pirate Party

The Pirate Party can build coalitions with other parties that share their values. The party can work with other progressive parties, such as the Greens or the Socialists, to promote issues such as digital rights and privacy. The party can also work with regional parties, such as the New Flemish Alliance or the Socialist Party, to promote regional autonomy and decentralization.

The Role of Technology in the Pirate Party’s Campaign

Technology will play a crucial role in the Pirate Party’s campaign. The party can leverage social media to reach more voters and engage with their base. The party can also use technology to make voting more accessible, such as implementing mobile voting or online voting. The party can also use blockchain technology to increase transparency and accountability in government.

Can the Pirate Party Win in 2024?

The Pirate Party faces several challenges ahead of the 2024 elections, but they also have a strong platform and a dedicated base of supporters. If the party can increase their visibility, build a strong coalition, and mobilize their base, they have a chance of winning seats in parliament. A Pirate Party victory would represent a significant shift in Belgian politics, and could have implications for Europe as a whole. The party’s focus on digital rights, privacy, transparency, and decentralization is increasingly relevant in a world where technology is rapidly changing the way we live and work.

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Pirate Parties: Grassroots Democracy and Self-Organization

The rise of Pirate Parties

In recent years, a new type of political movement has emerged, challenging traditional party structures and advocating for digital rights, civil liberties, and direct democracy. These are the Pirate Parties, a grassroots movement that originated in Sweden in 2006 and has since spread to over 40 countries worldwide.

Pirate Parties are characterized by their commitment to open government, transparency, and citizen participation. They stand for the reform of copyright and patent laws, the protection of privacy and freedom of expression online, and the promotion of a more decentralized and collaborative society.

This article explores the core principles and strategies of Pirate Parties, their global reach and impact, as well as the challenges and opportunities they face in the current political landscape.

Grassroots democracy: The core principle

At the heart of the Pirate Party ideology is the concept of grassroots democracy, which seeks to empower citizens to participate directly in decision-making processes and challenge the power of established elites.

Pirate Parties believe that representative democracy, as it currently exists, is insufficient to address the complex challenges of the 21st century, and that a more inclusive and transparent system is needed. They advocate for tools such as liquid democracy, which allows voters to delegate their votes to trusted representatives on specific issues, and for the use of digital platforms to enhance citizen engagement and feedback.

Moreover, Pirate Parties place a strong emphasis on transparency and accountability, both in government and in the private sector. They seek to expose corruption and corporate influence, and to promote ethical and sustainable practices.

Self-organization: The key to success

Pirate Parties are decentralized and self-organized, relying on the collective intelligence and creativity of their members to achieve their goals. They reject hierarchical structures and top-down leadership, preferring to operate through horizontal networks and consensus-based decision-making.

This model of self-organization allows Pirate Parties to be more agile and responsive than traditional parties, and to adapt to changing circumstances and local contexts. It also fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among members, who feel empowered to take action and contribute to the party’s success.

However, self-organization also poses challenges, especially in terms of coordination and communication. Pirate Parties need to find ways to balance local autonomy with global coherence, and to ensure that their message and actions are consistent across different regions and contexts.

The Pirate Party ideology: What it entails

The Pirate Party ideology is based on a set of core values and principles, which include:

  • Freedom of information and expression
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Civil liberties and human rights
  • Direct democracy and citizen participation
  • Social justice and equality
  • Environmental sustainability and innovation

These values are reflected in the Pirate Party’s policies and proposals, which seek to challenge the status quo and promote alternative solutions to social and political issues. For example, Pirate Parties have advocated for the legalization of file-sharing and the abolition of patents on essential medicines, as well as for the regulation of surveillance and the protection of whistleblowers.

The Pirate Party’s global reach

Since its inception in Sweden, the Pirate Party movement has spread to over 40 countries worldwide, with varying degrees of success. Some countries, such as Germany and Iceland, have established Pirate Parties with significant parliamentary representation, while others have struggled to gain traction and visibility.

Despite the diversity of contexts and challenges faced by different Pirate Parties, they share a common vision and mission, and often collaborate and exchange ideas and resources. This global network allows Pirate Parties to learn from each other’s experiences, and to amplify their message and impact on a global scale.

The Pirate Party in Europe: The pioneers

Europe has been at the forefront of the Pirate Party movement, with several countries establishing successful parties and gaining parliamentary representation. Germany has been the most successful, with the Pirate Party winning seats in several state parliaments and the European Parliament. Other European countries with active Pirate Parties include Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Austria.

The success of Pirate Parties in Europe can be attributed to a combination of factors, including a favorable political and cultural context, a strong tradition of direct democracy and citizen participation, and a vibrant civil society and digital rights movement.

The Pirate Party in the US: A late bloomer

Unlike Europe, the Pirate Party movement in the US has been slower to develop, due to a more hostile political environment and a lack of established political traditions and structures. However, in recent years, several Pirate Parties have emerged at the state and local level, with a focus on issues such as net neutrality, police reform, and electoral reform.

The US Pirate Party faces significant challenges, including limited resources and visibility, and a political system that favors established parties and candidates. However, it also has the potential to tap into a growing dissatisfaction with the two-party system and a desire for more direct and participatory democracy.

The Pirate Party in Latin America: A growing movement

In Latin America, the Pirate Party movement is still in its early stages, but has shown signs of growth and potential. Countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Brazil have established Pirate Parties with a focus on digital rights, free culture, and social justice.

The Pirate Party in Latin America faces challenges such as political instability, lack of resources, and limited access to digital infrastructure. However, it also has the opportunity to tap into a growing activism and social movements, and to forge alliances with other progressive parties and organizations.

The Pirate Party in Asia: A promising future

In Asia, the Pirate Party movement is still nascent, but has the potential to become a significant force for change. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have established Pirate Parties with a focus on digital rights, civil liberties, and direct democracy.

The Pirate Party in Asia faces challenges such as censorship, surveillance, and repression, as well as a lack of established political traditions and structures. However, it also has the opportunity to tap into a growing digital culture and activism, and to forge alliances with other progressive parties and movements.

Challenges faced by Pirate Parties

Despite their successes and potential, Pirate Parties face significant challenges and obstacles in their quest for political and social change. These challenges include:

  • Limited resources and funding
  • Lack of visibility and media coverage
  • Hostile political and legal environments
  • Coordination and communication issues
  • Internal divisions and conflicts
  • Difficulty in translating digital activism into offline action

To overcome these challenges, Pirate Parties need to develop effective strategies and tactics, build alliances with other progressive movements and parties, and create sustainable and inclusive structures for decision-making and action.

Conclusion: The future of Pirate Parties

The Pirate Party movement represents a new and innovative approach to politics and democracy, challenging traditional structures and advocating for digital rights, civil liberties, and direct democracy. While facing significant challenges and obstacles, Pirate Parties have shown their potential to achieve significant impact and change, both locally and globally.

The future of Pirate Parties depends on their ability to adapt to changing contexts and challenges, to build networks and alliances, and to create sustainable and inclusive structures for participation and action. The Pirate Party movement offers a vision of a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative democracy, and has the potential to inspire and mobilize citizens worldwide.

References: Sources to learn more

  • Pirate Parties International:
  • The Pirate Book:
  • Liquid Democracy:
  • The Pirate Party of Belgium:
  • The Pirate Party of Germany:
  • The Pirate Party of the United States:
  • The Pirate Party of Argentina:
  • The Pirate Party of Japan:
  • The Pirate Party of Taiwan:
  • The Pirate Party of Brazil:
  • The Pirate Party of South Korea:
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The Need for Belgium’s Pirate Party: Protecting Freedoms

The Importance of the Pirate Party

In today’s world, the internet and its freedoms are increasingly threatened. Governments around the world are limiting access to information and stifling free speech. Belgium is no exception. As these threats grow, the need for a political party that will fight to protect individual liberties becomes more pressing. This is where the Pirate Party comes in. In Belgium, the Pirate Party is dedicated to defending privacy rights, promoting freedom of speech, and ensuring transparency in government.

A Brief History of the Pirate Party in Belgium

The Belgian Pirate Party was founded in 2009, drawing inspiration from the Swedish Pirate Party that emerged in 2006. The party is a member of the Pirate Party International, a global movement that advocates for internet freedom, digital civil rights, and government transparency. Since its inception, the party has been at the forefront of the fight for individual liberties in Belgium.

The Threat to Freedoms in Belgium: Why We Need the Pirate Party

In recent years, Belgium has seen an erosion of individual liberties. The government has been cracking down on free speech and limiting access to information. The Pirate Party is needed to counteract these threats and protect individual liberties. By ensuring transparency in government, promoting privacy rights, and defending freedom of speech, the Pirate Party is working to safeguard the rights of all citizens.

Protecting Freedom of Speech: A Core Tenet of the Pirate Party

The Pirate Party believes in the fundamental right to freedom of speech. This right is essential for democracy and must be protected at all costs. The party is committed to challenging censorship and ensuring that all voices are heard. By promoting free speech, the Pirate Party aims to create a society where citizens are free to express themselves without fear of retribution.

Privacy Rights and the Pirate Party

The Pirate Party is dedicated to protecting privacy rights. The party believes that citizens should have the right to control their personal information and data. With the increasing amount of data collected by governments and corporations, the Pirate Party aims to ensure that privacy is protected. The party advocates for strong privacy laws and works to raise awareness about the importance of privacy rights.

Intellectual Property and Copyright: The Pirate Party’s Stance

The Pirate Party is opposed to strict intellectual property laws and supports more flexible copyright laws. The party believes that current copyright laws are overly restrictive and harm creativity and innovation. The Pirate Party supports a model that allows for free sharing of ideas and information while still ensuring that creators are compensated for their work.

The Need for Transparency in Government: An Ideal of the Pirate Party

The Pirate Party believes in transparency in government. The party aims to increase access to information and promote open government. By ensuring that citizens have access to information, the Pirate Party believes that it will be possible to hold government officials accountable for their actions. Through transparency, the party hopes to create a more just and equitable society.

Giving a Voice to the People: The Pirate Party’s Democratic Values

The Pirate Party is committed to democracy and believes that citizens should have a say in how their government operates. The party supports direct democracy and is committed to ensuring that citizens are able to participate in the decision-making process. By giving a voice to the people, the Pirate Party aims to create a more democratic and participatory society.

The Pirate Party’s Position on Net Neutrality

The Pirate Party supports net neutrality. The party believes that all internet traffic should be treated equally, without discrimination or censorship. The party is committed to fighting against internet service providers that attempt to control or limit access to certain content. The Pirate Party believes that a free and open internet is essential for democracy and innovation.

The Role of the Pirate Party in the Global Fight for Internet Freedom

The Pirate Party is part of a global movement dedicated to internet freedom. The party is committed to working with other groups and individuals around the world to create a more just and equitable society. By collaborating with others, the Pirate Party hopes to create a world where individual liberties are protected and democracy is upheld.

Collaboration with Other Parties: The Pirate Party’s Approach

The Pirate Party is open to collaboration with other political parties. The party believes that by working together, it will be possible to create a more just and equitable society. The Pirate Party is committed to finding common ground with other parties while still remaining true to its core values.

The Importance of Supporting the Pirate Party in Belgium

The Pirate Party is an essential force in the fight for individual liberties in Belgium. By promoting transparency in government, defending privacy rights, and advocating for freedom of speech, the Pirate Party is working to create a more just and equitable society. With the increasing threats to individual liberties, the need for the Pirate Party has never been greater. By supporting the party, citizens can help to ensure that their rights are protected and that democracy remains strong.

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Belgium Pirate Party: Poised for Political Resurrection?

The Rise and Fall of the Belgium Pirate Party

The Belgium Pirate Party, like its counterparts in other European countries, was founded on the principles of internet freedom, copyright reform, and digital privacy. Its early success in the 2012 municipal elections in Ghent and Brussels raised hopes that it would become a major political force in the country. However, internal conflicts, leadership changes, and shifting political winds led to its decline in subsequent years. Nevertheless, the party is showing signs of a revival as it prepares for the upcoming local and regional elections.

The Belgian Political System: An Overview

Belgium is a federal parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch as head of state. The federal government consists of a prime minister and several ministers who are responsible to the parliament. The parliament is composed of two chambers: the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate. The Chamber of Representatives has 150 members who are elected for a term of five years through proportional representation. The Senate has 60 members who are appointed by the regional parliaments and co-opted by the other senators.

The Pirate Party’s Platform and Agenda

The Pirate Party’s platform is based on the principles of copyright reform, digital privacy, and internet freedom. It advocates for the abolition of intellectual property laws, the protection of whistleblowers, and the promotion of open access to information. It also supports the establishment of a basic income for all citizens, the legalization of drugs, and the recognition of non-traditional forms of relationships.

The Party’s Early Successes and Challenges

The Pirate Party’s early successes in the 2012 municipal elections in Ghent and Brussels were due to its grassroots campaign and its appeal to young, tech-savvy voters. However, the party faced several challenges, including internal divisions over strategy and leadership, a lack of financial resources, and a hostile media environment. It also struggled to gain a foothold in the national elections due to the dominance of mainstream parties.

The Decline of the Pirate Party in Belgium

The decline of the Pirate Party in Belgium was marked by a series of setbacks, including the resignation of its first leader, the loss of its seats in the municipal councils, and the departure of some of its prominent members. The party also suffered from a lack of visibility and relevance in the national political arena, which was dominated by debates over immigration, security, and economic policy.

The Revival of the Pirate Party: Signs of New Life

Despite its setbacks, the Pirate Party is showing signs of a revival in recent years. It has established new branches in several cities, including Antwerp, Leuven, and Liège, and has rebranded itself as the “Pirate Party Belgium”. It has also allied itself with other progressive, grassroots movements, such as the climate justice movement and the anti-austerity movement.

The Party’s Current Leadership and Strategy

y. The party’s strategy is to build a broad-based coalition of progressive forces, including trade unions, student organizations, and civil society groups, and to focus on issues that resonate with young voters, such as climate change, inequality, and digital rights.

The Party’s Prospects in the Upcoming Elections

The Pirate Party is running candidates in the local and regional elections in 2021, with a focus on the cities of Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels. Its goal is to win at least one seat in each of these cities and to establish a presence in the regional parliaments. However, it faces strong competition from established parties and the challenge of mobilizing a diverse and fragmented electorate.

The Party’s Relationship with Other European Pirate Parties

The Pirate Party Belgium is part of a wider network of European Pirate Parties that share its vision of a free and open society. It cooperates with other parties on issues of common interest, such as copyright reform, data protection, and digital democracy. It also participates in the Pirate Parties International organization, which coordinates the activities of Pirate Parties around the world.

The Party’s Stance on Key Issues: Copyright, Privacy, and Freedom of Information

The Pirate Party’s stance on copyright, privacy, and freedom of information is at the core of its political agenda. It advocates for the abolition of copyright and patent laws, the protection of personal data, and the promotion of open access to information. It also opposes censorship, surveillance, and any form of government control over the internet.

The Party’s Critics and Supporters: A Review of Perspectives

The Pirate Party has both critics and supporters, who have different views on its political program and its prospects for success. Critics argue that the party is too focused on digital rights and lacks a coherent vision on other issues, such as social justice and foreign policy. Supporters, on the other hand, see the party as a fresh and innovative force that can bring new ideas and perspectives to the political mainstream.

What the Future Holds for the Belgium Pirate Party

The future of the Pirate Party in Belgium is uncertain, but its recent revival and its participation in the upcoming elections suggest that it is not ready to give up on its political ambitions. The party’s success or failure will depend on its ability to mobilize a broad-based coalition of progressive forces, to articulate a clear and compelling vision for the future, and to overcome the many obstacles that stand in its way. Whatever happens, the Pirate Party will continue to be a voice for digital rights and internet freedom in an increasingly complex and challenging political landscape.

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Waarom iedereen recht heeft op een onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen

dinsdag 30 maart 2021 09:55

Publieke welvaart wordt opgebouwd overheen generaties. En elk van ons weet, of zou de nederigheid moeten hebben om te weten, dat individueel inkomen en vermogen, in veel grotere mate afhankelijk is van de inspanningen van voorgaande generaties; veel meer dan van eender wat we zelf doen. Als je private overerving toelaat, zou je ook publieke overerving moeten toelaten – en zou iedereen recht moeten hebben op een ‘sociaal dividend’, een onvoorwaardelijk (basis)inkomen dat voorkomt uit onze collectieve rijkdom (dixit econoom Guy Standing).

Dat wist ook revolutionair Thomas Paine die in 1797 in zijn werk ‘Agrarian Justice’ een vurig pleidooi hield voor (de introductie van) een universeel basisinkomen (sommigen lezen het ook als ‘basiskapitaal’) met de geniale tagline “It is not charity but a right, not bounty but justice, that I am pleading for.” Ook liberaal denker en econoom Henry George (vooral bekend om zijn kritiek op particuliere grondeigendom) vertrekt van de veronderstelling dat de aarde gemeengoed is, en iedereen zodoende recht heeft om te delen in de rijkdom die wordt voortgebracht via een zogenaamd ‘sociaal dividend’. Eigenlijk zouden écht liberale denkers steeds kritisch moeten zijn voor (private) eigendomsrechten, die tenslotte een menselijk verzinsel zijn. ‘Particulier eigendom’ is een fictie of zoals Verlichtingsdenker Jean-Jacques Rousseau het in de 18de eeuw scherp omschreef: “De eerste man die een stuk land omheinde en zei ‘dit is van mij’, en mensen vond die naïef genoeg waren om hem te geloven, deze man was de stichter van de burgermaatschappij. […] Alle vruchten der aarde zijn van iedereen en de aarde van niemand.”  

Een universeel basisinkomen zou geen aalmoes zijn, geen liefdadigheid, maar rechtvaardigheid. We hebben er allen recht op, en we zullen het stilaan moeten beginnen eisen bij onze machthebbers.

Een veel naar voor gebrachte kritiek betreft de universaliteit van een basisinkomen, ie. dat iedere burger er recht op zou hebben – ongeacht inkomen of vermogen. Dus zowel rijk als arm ontvangt het ‘sociaal dividend’. Hier wordt steeds tegen ingebracht dat dit onrechtvaardig zou zijn omwille van het feit dat de steun niet ‘gericht’ is naar degenen die deze hulp het meest nodig hebben (mensen in relatieve armoede). Maar een basisinkomen is geen hulp, het is een (basis)recht – en de kracht zit hem net in de universaliteit ervan. Universele rechten kunnen namelijk moeilijk aangetast worden. 

Neem het recht op kinderbijslag – eigenaardig dat de tegenstanders van een basisinkomen dit niet aanvechten; sommige gezinnen hebben deze bijslag immers niet nodig. We aanvaarden echter dat iedereen deze bijdrage krijgt, en dit vergroot net de solidariteit met betrekking tot dergelijke ‘uitkeringen’. Het feit dat mijn buur kinderbijslag krijgt, wekt geen afgunst op. Kinderbijslag ontvangen is niet stigmatiserend, want het is een recht (uiteraard op voorwaarde dat je nakomelingen hebt). 

Werkloosheidsuitkeringen zijn dat wel, want onderworpen aan allerhande voorwaarden (middelentoets, gedragstoetsen, onvrijwillige oorzaken) – waardoor je bovendien een duur bureaucratisch (en vaak paternalistisch) overheidsapparaat nodig hebt om deze ‘sociale zekerheid’ in stand te houden. Zo ontstaat een middenklasse die zich (misschien soms terecht) afvraagt: “Wat heb ik hier nog aan?”, en ondergraaft men het draagvlak voor solidariteit.

Kortom: een universele uitkering, die vervolgens wordt wegbelast bij degenen die het niet nodig hebben, is vaak veel meer aanvaardbaar dan gerichte bijstand. De eerste biedt zekerheid, terwijl er voor gerichte steun nood is aan onderwerping t.o.v. vaak onvolkomen procedures en een bureaucraat met machtsfunctie die gaat bepalen waarop men al dan niet recht heeft (en dus onzekerheid teweegbrengt). Lees: ik pleit hier voor een overheid die groot is in termen van herverdeling (belastingdiensten), maar klein is in termen van betutteling (diensten voor arbeidsbemiddeling, etc.)

Naast de verwerving van juridische en politieke basisrechten (bv. algemeen enkelvoudig stemrecht) in vorige eeuwen, lijkt de (verdere) opbouw van economische basisrechten in deze eeuw onvermijdelijk voor de verdere emancipatie van de mens. Een onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen – om ten minste te voorzien in de basisbehoeften voor levensonderhoud – zou de hoeksteen moeten vormen van een (nieuw) systeem van inkomensverdeling; één dat geschikt is voor de 21ste eeuw.

Benoît Dutordoir