Thursday, January 12, 2017

Let's Talk (2): Poverty

“Under the existing system of society but a very few people no matter how well off they may be, can be certain that they or their children will not eventually come to want; and even those who think they are secure themselves, find their happiness diminished by the knowledge of the poverty and misery that surrounds them on every side.” (Extract from: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. By Robert Tressel (1869-1911))

 Shit will continue to happen while good people take the wrong steps to stop it. And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

 Homo sapiens evolved 100,000 years ago. If we skip forward to 2017 we find there are seven billion of us. What I think we need to do is metaphorically sit down together and figure out a system of society that works in our best interest. We need to work out away to arrange the affairs of mankind in such away that we all have free and equal access to the means to live.

 If we go on without killing ourselves in another world war; without being taken out by a giant space rock; without getting wiped out by a virus; without fucking up the atmosphere; then without abolishing capitalism we will go on suffering the misery of poverty.

 Poverty is inevitable in a capitalist world. It looks to me like poverty is Man-made, and so Man can make it so there is no poverty. Man, we can work it out. My seven billion brothers and sisters, we need to start thinking smarter than we have ever done before. Are we just gonna except that poverty will always be a part of life; unstoppable like the rain?

 If we are not all to be killed in a nuclear war then we have to understand the real cause of poverty, war and crime. Politicians make “great speeches” full of cunning phrases intended to hoodwink the voters. Phoney conversions on poverty; on its cause. The world's governments, be them democratic or otherwise, are masters at misdirecting the workers from seeing where the cause of their problems truly lie.

 The advocates of capitalism believe the system is working because the standard of living is better now for most people in the developed countries and to a lesser extent the undeveloped countries than it was 60 years ago.

 And they believe it will go on working, that's to say, go on  improving the standard of living, until such a time as everyone enjoys a good life. They believe that the system is not working as well as it could, not because there is any thing inherently wrong with capitalism, but because some people are not willing to do their fair share. And because politicians are great persuaders they have managed to convince; to a greater or lesser extent most of the people on the planet; what they say is true. The persuading politicians have many tools in their work-box with which to dupe the public, not least of which is the media.

 The duped public read the Daily Bog Roll of their choice and watch the capitalist news channels and are persuaded that the reason they are hungry or homeless or suffering any one of a thousand privations is not because one percent of the people on the planet own the means to life but is instead because some people are to lazy to get of their arse and get a job. Or its because the government are letting to many foreigners into the country. Or its because the party in power are incompetent or and corrupt. Or its because of drugs or stupidity.

 The advocates of capitalism do not believe there's a fundamental flaw in the system that makes people selfish or lazy or drug dependent or stupid. And the duped public not only quietly submit (for the most part) to the existing state of things, but defend it, and oppose and ridicule any suggestion to alter it. The advocates of capitalism are either piss-takers, or they genuinely believe the system is the best. They have persuaded themselves that capitalism is the best system that human wisdom can devise.

 The advocates of capitalism credit the system with all but eradicating dire poverty in developed countries. It seems to me that advances in technology, is the reason why material poverty in the form of people having enough to eat and clean water to drink, has seen dire poverty largely eradicated in developed countries. Progress despite capitalism; not because of.

 The aim of capitalism isn't to see everyone on Earth living good lives, or even to see just one person living a good life. The aim of the capitalist system is to make a profit. Which invariably sees a small number of people enjoying immense wealth and the rest living in relative poverty or dire poverty.

 Tinkering with capitalism; tweaking capitalism; reforms within the capitalist system, ultimately will not bring about the kind of world people want. Any reform which is good for the workers, is never safe from being reversed.

 Up to twelve billion people can be fed, watered and happy. If up to that number are not enjoying good lives its because there's something wrong with the system. Its not because there are not enough resources or people ready, willing and able to turn raw materials into commodities, that prevents everyone from enjoying the means to a happy life.

 Capitalism sees a few live in luxury, while the rest live in abject poverty or relative poverty. A system that doesn't work in the best interest of the workers has had different names and different structures down throughout the centuries. One thing has remained the same; a small minority have lived in luxury off the backs of the majority. They take the fruits of the workers labour in exchange for a wage. A wage that will only last them a week and so forces them onto a merry go round of dependence.

 For over a hundred years we have had the ability to provide everyone with the means to a good life. Yet millions of people have starved to death and mankind have suffered the misery of two world wars. What a waste.


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