Will humankind allways have poverty?
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07-12-2012, 01:56 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
It has never been a question of technology or energy.
People were counted rich or poor in the context of their time; relative to their own society. Poverty is not caused by natural scarcity: if nobody has any, all are wanting, but none are poor relative to one another. That's usually a temporary situation anyway: the tribe moves on to better habitat, or the drought ends, or they die.

Poverty is a social phenomenon. It's caused by some people taking out more than the system can compensate for. If North Americans take everything out of Africa in order to feed their own discontent, all of Africa will be poor compared to America, Americans will be rich compared to Africans, though a few Africans will be immeasurably rich compared to their compatriots - yet many Americans will still be poor compared to other Americans. Worse - the rich, through their wealth, have access to power and more wealth, while the poor, because they are poor, are deprived of the means to alleviate their poverty: the system thus dis-balanced not only is prevented from righting itself but tends toward ever-increasing unbalance. This pattern holds true in stone age, steel age or electronic age. It's not a question of what and how much there is, but of who controls it and how it's deployed.

As the planet is stripped and disabled, there will be actual scarcity of resources, food, water, energy and habitable land surface, such as there has not been since the ice age. If those humans who are privileged now retain control of those necessities, there will be poverty on a scale that will make only 10,000 a day starving to death look like "the good old days". At some point, this pattern must break - perhaps the only things that will end poverty is mass extinction.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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07-12-2012, 02:09 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
Im guessing that if things dont change then as we expand throughout the universe then I think what planet you live on could affect your "class" status.

If we start terraforming mars to go and live there then it will only be the richest who go their first (unless you have a skill, but I doubt they will be handpicking out of people in the poverty line) Resources from earth would be sent to the new planet... when in the future I imagine future supplies will be scarce unless alternatives are discovered.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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09-12-2012, 06:06 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
Money means poverty. (Ian Banks) With the existence of money, we need some very large and inefficient compensatory and re-distributive mechanisms, like welfare state, to do something about their inherent properties. Money also have inherently corrupting influence on personal nature and the whole fabric of society. (I recently wrote a paper on that)

Money just flow in the way of the least resistance and tend to concentrate as large pools in few hands, causing poverty.
One of the greatest scam of capitalism is the wage. Workers are like bees. The beekeeper takes all the honey and gives them just as much sugar as they need, not more. So it is with wage, as long as workers receive wage and not a fair portion of the company's revenue, they'll spend it on necessities of life and be poor again. The company bails itself out cheaply out of social responsibility to the workers, who then ultimately are a burden on the state. Employment is the last desperate attempt to get money and hardly ever works permanently.

Many of you are right, advances in technology will not do anything about poverty on their own. It's how the technology is used. Ask yourself, is our technology used for the military, entertainment and profit, or is it used for securing basic needs for everyone, public health and preserving the environmental wealth? Are our basic needs met, or are we required to work to earn a basic living and then work again?

As for the people like homeless, who are poor and don't want to work... They are just a sign of the fabric of society coming apart. Money break the social bonds and replace them. And then they often run out and there is no connection for that person to the rest of the society. If there'd be an emotional, social two-way connection with others instead of a monetary one, there would be no bums. For example, never in my life I've seen a Vietnamese homeless or unemployed person. They take care for each other, they exchange care, not money.

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09-12-2012, 09:11 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
Hey.

To paraphrase Quinn, poverty isn't a problem of our system, it's a feature.

We currently operate a system that demands poverty and homelessness. That system is the hierarchical, class-based, power-maximising structure known as civilisation. These problems stretch back to the dawn of civilisation. They've been with us for thousands of years. Not decades. Not hundreds of years. Thousands. Does anyone really think that some nifty new innovation will solve a problem that endemic?

But the question is, will humankind always have poverty?

But the question itself misses something important. "Humankind" doesn't have poverty. Our culture does. Our culture, the one addicted to civilisation, does.

-Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this.
-Well... don't do that.

Poverty can only be eliminated if the system that causes it is eliminated, or rather, is replaced by a system that does not make poverty an inevitability; that doesn't require poverty in order to function.

Unfortunately, that task makes Hercules feel like he's on vacation.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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10-12-2012, 02:43 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
(09-12-2012 09:11 PM)Ghost Wrote:  To paraphrase Quinn, poverty isn't a problem of our system, it's a feature.

We currently operate a system that demands poverty and homelessness. That system is the hierarchical, class-based, power-maximising structure known as civilisation. These problems stretch back to the dawn of civilisation. They've been with us for thousands of years. Not decades. Not hundreds of years. Thousands. Does anyone really think that some nifty new innovation will solve a problem that endemic?
Yep. The system was the same for thousands of years. Only now we expanded to the limits of Earth's capacity, that's what happened. Now the logical, right thing is to stop expanding, stop pushing the poor masses into the bygone frontiers and to consolidate, to equalize, to even out, to distribute, to provide a collective material security. The old game is over.

This is why I get seriously annoyed with people who don't see this and are content with the status quo. How can they be?! Well, either they don't see beyond the tip of their nose, don't see the global problems. Or they're not aware of global solutions either, they think there is a scarcity of food, not that there is more food than ever, only it is badly distributed. At worst, they've invested a lot into the status quo and profit on it.


I'd say we can get two of the three on our side by educating and encouraging them. The basic mechanism would be to educate the general public and to tell them to demand some kind of direct democracy from the politicians. Then use this direct democracy to take down the politicians who don't go along with the people's will. Anyway, this process will start first in poorer countries, I suppose. We'll be probably the last to change anything. My bet is some large movement starting in Brazil.

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10-12-2012, 02:59 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
(07-12-2012 02:09 PM)bemore Wrote:  Im guessing that if things dont change then as we expand throughout the universe then I think what planet you live on could affect your "class" status.

If we start terraforming mars to go and live there then it will only be the richest who go their first (unless you have a skill, but I doubt they will be handpicking out of people in the poverty line) Resources from earth would be sent to the new planet... when in the future I imagine future supplies will be scarce unless alternatives are discovered.
How is the space exploration/ terraforming going to happen?
Who finances the research and invests in the infrastructure? (Let me guess - government, all the while enduring a raven-chorus of "Wasteful! Wasteful!" from the very people who vie for the big contracts.)
Who gets the licenses to mine and transport and supply new colonies? (Let me guess - corporations, all the while bitching that they're taxed too much.)

Actually, i don't think it will happen at all. Oil run out; big storms come; everybody too busy covering own head.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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25-12-2012, 07:01 PM
RE: Will humankind allways have poverty?
Whilst it's good to be kind, and care for others socially, life isn't fair.

To presume an equal outcome is thus foolhardy.

I'm not saying there will always be poor people, but the issue at hand is more complex than saying "rich people are evil!!!!!"
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