Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ending Poverty

There is a lot of talk about ending poverty...mobilizing the masses to struggle against and eliminate poverty.  And as i think about these conversations and related poverty-elimination efforts, i wonder how can one aspect of a unity (poverty/poor people) be eliminated and not its opposite (wealth/wealthy people)?  Poverty doesn't exist apart from wealth.  Poor people and poverty exists precisely because wealthy people and wealth exists. Perhaps the conversation should be about (and actions directed toward) ending both wealth and poverty; that is, eliminating the existing economic-based hierarchy that systemically and systematically values the lives of those with wealth over those without wealth.

And then the fundamental question to ask is "what next?" So what if poverty is eliminated:  What comes next? If wealth is eliminated, then what? What will society look like? What should it look like? How will people's needs be met? How will societal's resources be distributed...according to what basis? And how will other social contradictions get resolved (contradictions such as racism, cultural imperialism, and gender inequality and mistreatment)?

These questions are important to work out early by those in the movement; otherwise, they will be worked out by someone else.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of that Octavia Butler novel where the aliens said that humans had a genetic defect which was our need for hierarchies. Wealth does not even have to be eliminated but greed does. We need to look at the super-wealthy as the hoarders they are.

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