Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Poverty Post

This post is one of many thousands published as part of Blog Action Day, which this year is focusing on poverty.

Newsflash!


Capitalism isn’t working!

Aw naw – this cannot be …

You mean this wonderful system based on greed and exploitation might not be ideal?

It might even *gasp* have to be replaced by one based instead on altruism and co-operation ...?

Surely shome mishtake …

It would mean an end to global markets …

A shift to small communities working together for the good of all …

There would be less air travel, less shipping of products available round the corner, less squandering of precious resources, less damage to the environment …

And less money available to finance wars, which are just terrorism on a bigger budget after all.

We would have to completely re-evaluate the way we live and adapt our expectations accordingly.

No longer would obscene amounts of money be paid to men in suits who produce nothing.

Those with lavish lifestyles justified by vast incomes will be shaken to the very core as the foundations they have built their lives on are fatally undermined by the crisis.

They will become the nouveau pauvre.

In the affluent West, those of us who don’t own property, who have no debts and little or no savings, who are accustomed to living frugally and within our limited means, will find ourselves better equipped to weather the storm.

And those in the developing world, the poorest of the poor, will no longer be forced into using their precious resources to further enrich the already rich by growing mono-crops for export and paying off so-called ‘loans’.

Instead they will use their land and their energy to grow suitable crops that can feed their own communities.

Unthinkable, eh?

Not for me. Bring it on.

It might just save the world from greater disaster …

It’s going to be painful - more so for some than others …

But since the ‘some’ are those more accustomed to inflicting pain on those who have less, it could be argued that they’ve got it coming.

Call me a naïve, utopian, starry-eyed, idealistic fantasist and a hopeless optimist ...

I know it could all go horribly wrong and that the poorer have always been the ones to suffer most ...

I know the reality is that it’s incredibly rare for those at the very top of the pile to end up with nothing ...

but I’m a glass-half-full kinda gal and it’s good to see them sweat.

I suspect that I’ll lose some erstwhile supporters as a result of this post, but hey … it’s Blog Action Day and that’s all about stimulating the debate.

I thought there would be plenty of posts articulating how dire the situation is in so many parts of the world and talking about the hideous injustices that exist in that yawning gap between rich and poor, so I’ve come up with one that feels (to me, anyway!) more positive.



11 comments:

Sharon J said...

Yepp. Bring it on.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Yeah, Debi!

It will be interesting to see if we learn our lessons this time, if the global economic crisis will really promote a fundamental shift in thinking and in values. A certain alien chicken sitting next to me is not holding her breath and refuses to go a pretty shade of blue. Me, I just say, well, time will tell.

Just one word for the "rich" - there are a good many who try to do an inordinate amount of good. It is the wealth of many that funds the aid that goes to the poor - think of the philanthropists of the world. It's all about balance, as ever.

As Marx said, you cannot have communism without first having benefited from capitalism - the one funds the other. It's important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but it is critical that we change our values and our mindsets in order to create a fairer and more equal world which has the chance of a sustainable future.

Minx said...

I've had so much money that I couldn't close my purse and I've also been down to the bones of my ass. Guess what? Happiness lies in my boney ass!

c.s. said...

that's wonderfully positive!

leslie said...

Love your post, Debi.
"...terrorism on a bigger budget...", "...nouveau pauvre."
And you are not the only naïve, utopian, starry-eyed, idealistic fantasist and a hopeless optimist.
Me, too.
It was you that stimulated me to participate in Blog Action Day today.
Thanks.

Debi said...

Sharon - we can dance barefoot on my balcony as we gather in the homegrown. And there will be so many people coming to help you restore your own garden and share in the fruits. Bring it on indeed.

Ab Van - time will indeed tell and it could go either way. We need to ensure the voices of those of us who are committed to the positive scenario are not drowned out. We live in interesting times!

Minx - glad to hear the answer is in your arse. Truth is that in this present system, it IS much harder to be happy if you have little or nothing, even though £££ doesn't automatically = happiness. Under a different and better system, this would no longer be relevant and we would find our happiness lies in how we relate to and help each other. See? Utopian ...

c.s. - thanks. Your own post was very thought-provoking.

Leslie - we need an acronym for naïve, utopian, starry-eyed, idealistic fantasist and a hopeless optimist. We're NUSIFAHOs.

leslie said...

We could shorten that acronym to Hopeless Optimists, and just be HOs.

Jannie Funster said...

You won't lose this erstwhile supporter. And if you did, I wasn't worth it anyway.

Bring it on, is right!


Homegrown, did someone say homegrown? I'm in!

Minx said...

She may not be talking veg, Jannie!

Debi said...

Nice one, Leslie. Or maybe Sweet FA HOs.

Jannie - of course you're in. Sit down. Make yourself comfortable. Have some chocolate cake.

Minx - *twitch* - I'm talking veg as far as my balcony is concerned as you well know. Utopia ain't here yet ...

wordtryst said...

"...wars, which are just terrorism on a bigger budget after all..." - That's the plain truth, Debi, and any sane person would recognize it.

You've gone to the crux of the matter. Last week I watched the US Republican candidate tell his people that, horror! horror! the Democrat candidate wants to redistribute wealth. Have people totally lost their minds? (Yes, they have.)

Thank you for this positive post. Count me in, since I'm a HO to the bone. Leslie, LOL!