To the untrained eye it might seem like NEETpride is the latest iteration of communism. UBI is notorious for having a similar PR problem. In both cases that perception couldn’t be more wrong.
NEETdom is only *possible* in a capitalist society. It requires capitalists to automate industry so NEETs can live comfortably without needing to work. It requires the elimination of the worker. Capitalism incentivizes that. Under a centrally planned economy, all citizens working is part of the social order. Keeping all those workers in line is what keeps the communist economy chugging along. Of course as we all know, consumption drives the capitalist economy. Those NEETs need to be buying stuff in order for capitalists to be incentivized to continue automation. Otherwise it all falls apart. That’s where UBI comes in.
Conversely, communism/socialism/whatever you call the economic and societal philosophy that’s diametrically opposed to capitalism hates NEETdom. Even right now in capitalist society NEETpride is socially acceptable so long as you’re rich. Not so under communism. Even those with enough social clout to not work still had to pretend they did. Communism glorifies work and the worker. That’s why you saw labor camps under communism. That’s why it was consumed with seizing the means of production. That’s why the main symbol of communism is a sickle and hammer. It’s “from each according to their ability”, not “from each according to whatever they feel like giving.”
That’s not to say capitalism is perfect. The very fact that we need economic band-aids like quantitative easing and basic income is proof of that. Nevertheless, a cornerstone of capitalist philosophy is that work should be voluntary. You give some of your time in exchange for some money. In practice it certainly doesn’t work like that. You’re going to have a hard time obtaining things that are human rights according to the UN, such as housing and internet access. It goes without saying that there is implicit coercion under capitalism. But it’s not explicit, and that is an improvement over the explicit coercion of communism.
Many proponents of capitalism conflate the communist lack of productivity with communists being given the freedom to not work. In reality communists were less productive because they were forced to do things they didn’t want to for the good of the state. That is not a sufficient incentive for most people. Because work was incentivized over productivity, they never got to the point where NEETdom was even possible, let alone socially acceptable. When money itself is glorified and not work, capitalists have the incentive to create systems that allow the rest of society to function without labor.
Basic income is “everybody gets a reward because not everybody can or needs to work.” Communism is “everybody is forced to work so everybody gets a reward.” At face value this might seem fair but it quickly leads to made-work junk-food jobs, which hurts not just individuals, but the economy itself. The fastest route to a fair and healthy society is allowing every single individual to pursue what they were interested in before someone else told them they had to slave away at some drudgery for the mere privilege of existing. NEETpride is the first step on the road to that world.