Money and power, social hierarchy

The fundamental task of the Money Research Institute is to analyse the economic mechanisms of money development and transformation in the field of psi-culture in the context of the work of mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth and power. The work aims to explore alternative ways of developing the monetary sphere and social relations, which are key factors in social hierarchy. The search for solutions of political-social, economic issues of interaction of power, society and monetary system in all its diversity.

Unconditional basic income

Unconditional Basic Income (CBI) is a socio-economic idea that assumes that the state regularly pays all of its citizens a certain amount of money without any conditions. The concept has a long history and many proponents and critics.

TBD is not just social assistance for the poor or unemployed. It is a universal and unconditional benefit that everyone receives, regardless of income, age, marital status or employment.

SBD does not require any obligation on the recipients (to find a job, to participate in educational or social programmes, to prove their need). HDB also does not decrease as income from other sources increases, i.e. it is not taxable.

There are different options for DBH in terms of size, frequency and method of funding. Some propose to pay TBB at or above the poverty line to ensure a decent standard of living for all. Such a TBB is called a full TBB. Others propose to pay TBB below the poverty line to supplement other income and encourage work activity. This is called partial TBB.

A LBB can be financed through different taxes (e.g. income tax, income tax, consumption tax, pollution tax), and income from the sale or lease of public resources (e.g. land, oil, gas). Some supporters of the FDB have also suggested that some of the money from cuts in other social programs or administrative costs should be used to finance it.

Proponents of the FDB make many arguments in favour of this concept. Here are some of them:

– HDB raises living standards and reduces poverty. NBB guarantees all people a basic income that enables them to meet their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter and health care. NBB also reduces the gap between the rich and the poor and reduces social inequality.

– HDB respects a person’s freedom and dignity. RBB does not impose any conditions or restrictions on people, but allows them to decide for themselves how to manage their time and money. FÁS does not make people dependent on the state or employers, but recognises their right to choose their own way in life.

– HDB stimulates creativity and innovation. TBB frees people from having to work in jobs that they don’t like or are poorly paid in order to survive. TBB gives people the opportunity to work in a field of work that they are interested in. TBB also encourages people to learn, self-develop and be entrepreneurial.

– TBB improves health and promotes well-being. It reduces stress and anxiety related to lack of money, unemployment or low wages. HDB also enables people to take more care of their health, nutrition and recreation. Promotes higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction.

– SBD simplifies and strengthens social policy. Replaces many complex and costly social programmes that require bureaucracy, controls and inspections. SDS reduces the risk of abuse, fraud and corruption in the social sphere. SBB also improves efficiency and fairness in the distribution of social resources.

Critics of SBB have many objections to the concept. Here are some of them:

– SBB is unrealistic and economically inefficient. FDS requires huge financial resources, which can only be obtained by raising taxes or increasing public debt. It can also lead to inflation, a decrease in competitiveness and an increase in unemployment.

– BDS destroys the work ethic and motivation to work. It creates an incentive for laziness and idleness, as people can live off the state by not working or working little. BDS also reduces incentives to improve skills, find a better job or set up their own business.

– BDS undermines social solidarity and responsibility. It blurs the link between the rights and obligations of citizens, between income and work, consumption and production.

On the practice of introducing unconditional basic income

In recent years, a growing number of countries and regions have been experimenting with unconditional basic income (UCI), a form of social assistance in which each person is paid a certain amount of money regularly without any conditions or obligations.

The aim of such experiments is to study the impact of RBI on various aspects of people’s lives: well-being, health, education, labour activity, entrepreneurship, etc.

One of the most famous and large-scale experiments with BBB took place in Finland in 2017-2018. It involved 2,000 randomly selected unemployed citizens aged between 25 and 58 who were paid €560 a month for two years.

The experiment was organised by the Finnish government in order to test whether DBE would increase employment and reduce dependence on social benefits. The results of the study showed that SBD does not affect employment, but improves the citizens’ psychological well-being, self-confidence, health and financial stability.

Another interesting example is the GiveDirectly project in Kenya, which is one of the largest and longest running experiments with BDS in the world.

Since 2016, this non-profit project has been providing unconditional cash transfers to poor families living in rural Kenya via mobile phones.

Participants in the project receive a monthly transfer of $22 (for 12 years). The project aims to measure the long-term effects of cash transfers on poverty, education, health, gender equality and other indicators. According to GiveDirectly, TBB leads to an increase in consumption, savings, investment, income and well-being of participants.

Another example is the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) pilot project in the US, which started in 2019 in Stockton, California.

In this project, 125 low-income city residents received $500 a month for 18 months without any restrictions on the use of these funds. The project was funded by private donations. The aim was to study the impact of HDB on the economic and social situation of the participants. It was found that HDB helps people to cope with financial difficulties, improves health and emotional well-being, and increases work activity and learning motivation.

These and other experiments with SBB show that this form of social assistance has a number of positive effects on people’s lives, especially in conditions of poverty, instability and uncertainty.

However, SBB also faces criticism and a number of concerns about its funding, efficiency, fairness and ethics. The question of whether it is worth introducing TBB on a societal scale remains open and requires further research.

Transformation of money in the field of psi-culture

Psi-culture is often associated with spiritual and esoteric practices, ideas and teachings that may include notions of transformation and energy.

One possible aspect of ‘money transformation’ in psi culture could be the idea of using money to fund or support various spiritual practices.

People might invest money in the creation and distribution of literature, music, films or other forms of art related to psi culture. They may also fund events including seminars, conferences, retreats or rituals that relate to psi-cultural practices.

“Transforming money” can mean changing attitudes to money and material goods in the context of psi-culture. Perhaps psi culture places more importance on the spiritual or energetic aspects of life, and views money as a medium of exchange or energy flow rather than a goal in itself.

People may seek harmony and balance between the spiritual and material aspects of their lives, and the use of money becomes one of the tools in this process.

However, it should be remembered that psi culture is a very broad and multifaceted concept, and different practices and communities may have different approaches to money and its use. It is important to remain aware and think critically in order to make decisions that are consistent with your own values and beliefs.

Money and power in the market space of psi-culture

Psi-culture is a field related to mental health, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and other forms of psychological help and self-discovery.

Psi-culture is not only a scientific discipline but also a market segment where there is competition for resources, clients, recognition and authority. Money and power are the two main factors that determine the conditions and direction of psi-culture in modern society.

Money is not only a medium of exchange, but also a measure of value, status and influence. Money determines the availability and quality of psychological services, stimulates or inhibits innovation and research in psychology, and shapes supply and demand in the market of psychological help.

Power is not only the ability to control the behaviour of others, but also the ability to set rules, standards and norms in the field of psychology. Power determines the legitimacy and effectiveness of various approaches and methods of psychotherapy, creates or destroys the reputation and authority of psychologists and psychoanalysts, and influences public opinion and political decisions on mental health issues.

Money and power are interrelated and interact with each other in the development of psi-culture. On the one hand, money can be an instrument of power when certain groups or individuals use their financial resources to promote their interests, ideas or products in the psychology market. On the other hand, power can be a source of money when certain groups or individuals benefit financially from their position, status or influence in the field of psychology.

Examples of money-power mechanisms in the field of psi-culture:

– The pharmaceutical industry. Uses its money to fund clinical research, advertise and lobby for its products, and to influence medical and psychological standards, guidelines and treatment protocols for mental disorders.

– Academic environment. Uses its power to define the criteria and methods of scientific knowledge, to evaluate and certify psychologists and psychotherapists, and to shape educational programmes and courses in psychology.

– Professional associations. Uses money and power to protect their members from competition, regulate the quality and ethics of psychological care, and participate in the public dialogue and political process on mental health issues.

– Mass media. Use money and power to disseminate information, opinions and images relating to psychology, and to create demand for psychological services, products and events.

All of these mechanisms have both positive and negative implications for the development of psi-culture. On the one hand, they contribute to the integration, diversification and democratisation of knowledge and activities in psychology. On the other hand, they generate conflicts, imbalances and distortions in the field of psychology.

Money and power are not neutral or unambiguous factors in the development of psi-culture. They depend on the values, interests and goals of those who possess and control them. It is important to recognise and analyse the mechanisms of money and power in the field of psychology and to engage in critical and constructive dialogue on this topic.

About GiveDirectly in Kenya

GiveDirectly is a non-profit organisation that helps poor families in East Africa by providing unconditional cash transfers via mobile phone.

It has been operating in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda since 2012 and has been experimenting with basic income in Kenya and the US since 2017.

GiveDirectly uses a simple and transparent process to distribute remittances to poor families in Kenya. It selects low-income villages using publicly available census data and then registers the recipients, checking their condition and absence of bribes. She then transfers money to them through M-Pesa, a mobile payment system that is widespread in the country.

The average remittance is about $1,000 per family, which is equivalent to about a year’s per capita income in Kenya. Recipients can spend the money as they wish, without any conditions or restrictions from GiveDirectly.

In 2016, GiveDirectly launched the largest and longest running basic income experiment in the world. It chose 295 villages in western Kenya, where more than 26,000 people live, and divided them into four groups:

– Long-term group: receives a monthly basic income of $22 per person for 12 years.

– Short-term group: receives a monthly basic income of $22 per person for two years.

– One-Time Transfer Group: receives a one-time transfer of $500 per person.

– Control group: does not receive any transfers.

The aim of the experiment is to measure the impact of basic income on different aspects of people’s lives, such as health, education, employment, well-being and social relationships. The experiment is supported by independent researchers from the Universities of Princeton and California and from MIT.

Thus, remittances have a positive impact on people’s lives in Kenya. They improve their livelihoods by enabling them to buy basic goods and services (food, clothing, medicine, education and housing).

These remittances also boost the local economy by stimulating entrepreneurship, employment and consumption. In addition, they improve the psychological well-being of the recipients by reducing stress, anxiety and depression, as well as boosting self-esteem, optimism and confidence in the future.

Remittances also influence people’s social relations by promoting family harmony, cooperation in the community and respect for women’s rights.

Ways of developing the monetary sphere and social relations

Money in the modern world plays an important role in regulating economic and social processes. However, the existing monetary system faces a number of problems (instability, inequality, corruption and environmental crisis).

This necessitates the search for alternative ways of developing the monetary sphere and social relations that would contribute to a more equitable and sustainable society.

Let us consider some of these alternatives:

– Complementary currencies. This is money that complements the official national currency and is used to pay for certain goods and services in local or specialised communities. Examples of complementary currencies are labour hours, social credits, local exchange systems, etc.

Complementary currencies promote local economies, social solidarity and environmental responsibility.

– Cryptocurrencies. This is money that is created and transmitted using cryptographic technologies such as blockchain. Examples of cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, etherium, dogecoin, etc.

Cryptocurrencies provide a high level of security, anonymity and decentralisation of transactions and allow participation in innovative projects and social movements.

– Democratic money management. This is a concept which suggests that money should not be created and distributed by private banks or public bodies, but by society as a whole on the basis of democratic principles and goals.

Examples of democratic money management are the civic budget, the financial transaction tax, basic income, etc.

Democratic money management contributes to reducing inequality, increasing social welfare and strengthening civil society.

Thus, alternative ways of developing money and social relations are not utopian or unrealistic. On the contrary, they already exist and are functioning in various parts of the world, demonstrating their viability and effectiveness.