Poverty And Inequality
"The gears of poverty, ignorance, hopelessness and low self-esteem interact to create a kind of perpetual failure machine that grinds down dreams from generation to generation. We all bear the cost of keeping it running." ~ Carl Sagan
Poverty and inequality: Two of the most socially paralysing inherent flaws within the current socio-economic paradigm. In the words of Gandhi, "Poverty is the worst form of violence." This quote is not to be taken lightly. It is far more than a mere ethical philosophy.
A large portion of the most wealthy and hence most powerful - and often most corrupt--people in this world (system) are those who operate within the 'corporatocracy': corporate governing bodies, elitists, so-called "super traders", world banks and institutions such as the federal reserve (which is neither federal nor a reserve), powerful dynasties such as The Rothchilds, The Bilderberg group and the globally dominating polluters, OPEC.
We also see that many of our politicians, prime ministers and presidents are millionaires. Many would not be in the positions they hold if this were not the case, for many simply buy their positions of power. The few 'choices' we have are pre-selected beforehand. We have no say as to who is at the forefront of political parties. Nor do we have a say regarding how much money certain individuals and parties have for their campaigns. This results in an inherent inequality and lack of true democracy within the monetary market economy. If you or I were to run for office, we would likely lose. Even if we were more qualified than our current inherently-elitist millionaire British Prime minister, or Obama, or whoever has the most power/money at the time.
We see certain so-called ‘celebrities’ who "earn" a sickening amount of money for contributing nothing tangible to society other than providing escapism through movies and the like. George Clooney, for example, recently threw a $40,000-a-plate "party" for President Obama ... how jolly!
But so far as the entertainment industry goes, it's those behind the camera who earn the really big cheques. For example, Steven Spielberg donated $100,000 to Obama's re-election bid. Entertainment tycoon Haim Saban and his wife have given over $10 million to political campaigns over the last decade, including $10,000 recently donated to Obama's campaign. Not only does this show the massive amount of inequality within the political system, it also says a lot about the inherent income gap in general.
However, all that said, it’s important to note at this point that while all of these individuals and groups are major symptoms of this distorted socio-economic structure, they are not the initial direct cause of it.
So then, onto those of whom ‘they’/we allow to remain in poverty...
I have personally spent time working with homeless people. I still do bits of work for the homeless charity Shelter on occasion. But I'm finding it more and more difficult to do so nowadays. It's heart wrenching to see the suffering these people face on a daily basis, whilst bearing the knowledge that this is no longer necessary - knowing that there is absolutely no genuine reason for these peoples suffering. There is only reason within this metaphysical, primitive structure we're all locked into. And that structure can be changed.
The scarcity we see today is not real. It's not just as many denote: "sad, but just the way it has to be." That’s not the natural environment we live in right now. We have been given a great gift, and we continue to squander it.
I have met many intelligent, decent and kind hearted "homeless" people out there, many of whom had previously been very hard-working citizens; some even used to run businesses, had wives, lived 'normal' lives. Most had either been victims of crime, abuse, suffered traumatic experiences, or lost loved ones and became deeply depressed and unable to cope. A large portion of these people sadly had no support system whatsoever to help them deal with these unfortunate events.
At the time, most of them think it will just be a glitch - that things will eventually pick up for them and they'll get their lives together again. And while some do, most fall afoul of the environmental influences inherent to living on the streets, and thus their former selves begin to get lost in somewhat of a distant haze.
Next thing they know, they're the drunken, bearded chap with matted hair slumped in a doorway - being moved on by the police for "loitering" and making the place look untidy - whilst trying to remember the man/women they once were ... wondering how on earth they became "one of them" ... one of "those people" whom they used to see slumped in doorways on their way to work every morning.
Then there are those who were born into poverty and hence, in many cases, lacked a decent education and upbringing. Many had been around drugs, violence and the most sickening sexual abuse you could imagine (or rather wouldn't want to imagine) for as long as they can remember, and so for various pre-disposed reasons they ended up on the streets with no real direction in life. And thus they were of no more use to ‘society’ (the economy) in the eyes of this sick, distorted game we still play, for if you have no job, no money - if you don't pay your 'Earth rent' - you are considered a burden by many, often assumed to be a "lazy bum" or "insane" by the ignorant masses:
"Why don't they just get a job!" - "No I won’t give them money! They just spend it on drink and drugs. I would never get into that situation even if times were tough, so what makes them any different?!" Needless to say, people with that kind of ignorant blind-sided view upset me somewhat, to say the least. What they seem to lack is basic empathy and understanding, something that is of great importance at this time.
While we can help individuals to a degree (depending on the available resources), what causes me so much dismay about this whole situation is that all the good work we do to help the impoverished - even homeless charities - in the long term are merely part of the inherent attempted patchwork of this system. For every homeless person we feed or acquire shelter for, many more replace them. We are fighting a battle that simply can't be won, unless gradual transitionary, yet radical ®evolutionary changes are made.
As denoted from extensive studies done by Professor Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, not only does poverty affect the individuals suffering the most, it has spin-off effects onto entire societies, and indeed entire nations - and yes, the world state. It effects exponential population growth for example or, if eliminated; it aligns demographic transition. That is why helping other countries to become self-sufficient is not only elementary human decency, but is also in the interest of those richer nations able to help.
While poverty has long been recognized as an indicator for such social ills as crime, obesity and teen pregnancy, various studies have demonstrated that societal well-being bears no relation to per-capita income. Studies have found that the symptoms of inequality trouble all levels of society. Across the board, mental health, levels of violence and addiction, even life expectancy are affected by the psycho-social stress caused by income gaps and status anxiety.
Poverty (as we know and see it today), both here in the U.K, the U.S and all across the ‘undeveloped world’ is an invented and unnecessary fragment of reality, based on ancient Malthusian-Darwinian theory. Poverty is only a problem so long as the false belief that ‘we must work to earn our place in life’ is still seen as a necessary structure within our current socio-economic paradigm. We now create jobs just for the sake of creating jobs, yet there are still not enough to go around, and never will be, due to technological advancements and hence higher levels of ‘technological unemployment’ than we have ever seen before.
Clinging onto these old beliefs and primitive notions means that poverty will continue to grow more and more out of control as we edge closer to the inevitable Gaussian curve.
Food, shelter, clean water, clean air, clothing ... and yes, education - these are the basic human requirements if we're to become a truly civilized species. And right now those needs are simply not being met, not even in the richest countries in the world. Every day people are struggling to buy enough food for their families, and these continuous rises in food prices will not cease to escalate ... eventually it will affect us all, even the rich and wealthy who are all so comfortable right now.
The time has come to stop catering to complacent acceptance and blind faith in a sick system with no genuine attempts from world leaders to move forward in any scientific, tangible way whatsoever (unless they can find profit in specific smaller projects). It's time to move on from this 18th-century way of thinking. It's time to release the dark ages into the past once and for all. Poverty and inequality is only a problem if 'we' allow it to be.
In a world where hundreds, thousands of people can come together to build bombs and war machines – to fit oil pipe lines across the world - there is no reason why we can’t come together and use human ingenuity to accomplish incredible social achievements for the betterment of humanity. The time has come to take responsibility for each other and ourselves. We must now develop an overriding loyalty to humankind as a whole, and accept that this outdated system is no longer relevant, and is in fact counterproductive to our healthy evolutionary progress. We have the creativity, knowledge, means and initiative to devise an entirely new socio-economic paradigm that would create a world in which we can all flourish and live in harmony with natural law.
In the words of Jiddu Krishnamurti: The real revolution is the ®evolution of consciousness.
"Poverty is not created by the poor, but by the institutions and policies that we, the better off, have established. We can solve the problem not by means of the old concepts but by adopting radically new ones." ~ Muhammad Yunus