Hardly anyone knows that there is a UBI party in Austria. It is a small association in Carinthia that is trying very hard to run in an election in order to bring the unconditional basic income into parliament and to directly campaign for its implementation there. In the course of my commitment to this party, I was invited one day in Vienna by two elderly ladies for cake and tea.
Both ladies are die-hard fans of the unconditional basic income and would love it if it were possible to introduce it while they themselves are still on “earth” – as one of the ladies literally told me.
Both are so enthusiastic about this wonderful idea that they financially support several associations and organisations that deal with the topic, as they consider this work of educating and spreading the idea to be very important.
During our conversation I learned about many experiences that both ladies had – already in the 1980s – when they took part in discussions about basic income in various pubs.
They were often looked at askance and smiled at.
However, they never let it get them down and have remained true to the idea of an unconditional basic income to this day.
Yes, at that time people were particularly sceptical and mostly found the idea absurd and couldn’t really do anything with it. In the course of time and the major political and economic crises, attitudes towards basic income changed noticeably. Today, both are firmly convinced that it will not take too much longer to implement it, as people are increasingly reaching their limits and can no longer participate in many things.
Many people already need a basic income like a morsel of bread, I was told so clearly over homemade cake and tea. One of the ladies had found me via Twitter, where she then found my website and came across my person. And so I got this invitation just at the time of the start of the “UBI! Now” movement. This conversation gave me a lot of strength and momentum in what I was doing, because I was pretty quickly sure that there are people out there in all age groups who are just waiting for the unconditional basic income to finally start.
They talked to me for a while about various small political parties in Austria and Germany that were already in favour of a basic income at the time and often brought it into the discussion. But unfortunately this fizzled out again very quickly and was forgotten far too quickly. Perhaps it was simply the wrong time to implement such an important idea.
At the end of the cake and tea, I was given a wonderful gift, a turtle, as a symbol of down-to-earthness, wisdom, basic trust and longevity. In the spiritual meaning, it is about constancy and thoughtful action.
I was very touched by how well these two ladies recognised my nature and how well we understood each other during the whole meeting, as if we had known each other forever.
I also say many heartfelt thanks via this article for this wonderful afternoon.
written by Alexander Zirkelbach