attacking poverty on a full stomach October 11, 2005 11:37 PM
It is easy for many people to help the poor. they make valiant efforts to reach out and demand justice and simple human rights for the poor. They are that rare breed that are not selfish, greedy, or egocentric. But what about the poor who want to help the poor? It is the poor who know the most about what it is like to be poor.
If I am hungry, I only care about changing that hunger. It makes a world of difference what I can do after I have eaten properly. Not many people can help others if they themselves are suffering. We need to be en masse. This can best be achieved by helping our neighbours. I have repeated this several times, yet I feel compelled to repeat it again. No hungry kid in Asia or Africa is going to get my attention more than a neighbour who lives on food stamps and can't guarantee his child will have a meal on any given day. This saddens me. It is sad that I give less importance to the far-away poor. But we can't just ignore what is happening in our own communities.
It is the job of this group to eradicate the problem at home and away. If you have read some of my essays, you will have noticed that I mention several ways that this can be done. The first is to join a few groups on care2 that directly or indirectly deal with the problem. Some of these are: Homeless Civil Liberties, Money...., Anarchy and the All-Pervasive Eye, End Americanism Now, Boycott, Circle of Simplicity. These are not the only ones. They can be found by going into my profile and clicking on them.
Capitalism needs poverty. It is the poor who run the machinery. So there must be an end to capitalism. The best way to do this is to stop supporting corporations. We have to think more small business and more local production, especially of clothing and food.
Empowerment is making people know what is going on. An informed population is a dangerous one for the bourgeoisie. It is the ultimate cog breaker in the enormous capitalist chain.
Bartering and other money-alternate activities are also very essential, as is living a simple and sane lifestyle.
After people are able to alleviate poverty in their own communities, they will be so much more useful in global poverty eradication.
Perhaps some of my thoughts and terminology are very political for a group like this you may think, but if you look at several threads, you will find that it is in fact politics that creates this poverty.
I thank you all for reading and wish you well on our continuing battle. I would like to thank my co-hosts on their great insight. Seems they are more informed about the global part of this than I am. I am an emotional and sensitive person and react more to what I see. that is why all perspectives are welcomed.
If you are hungry & poverty stricken you become what people refer to and which bothers me NEEDY (I prefer IN NEED). The people who have survived on empty stomachs are the ones that with FULL STOMACHS, can help, perhaps even more, not only themselves but others.
If you are hungry and no food, then that is priority to supply it for yourself and your family. You will find that on a large grassroots level it is the poor and lower income families helping each other, even during times of disaster. So if their stomachs are full and on a on-going basis then they can concentrate on more improvement in other areas for themselves and to a point that they in turn can help others.
couldn't resist. Got confused and thought this was posted on Care2 F&S, lol.
the same can be put for for those that are homeless or in poor health, until those bascs are taken care of, they can't do much for themselves let alone others "and contribute to society" as THEY PUT IT.
BURP ... gosh that was good ... February 13, 2006 7:07 AM
Just swallowed a few of your posts, Ted, and I am inspired by all of your good ENERGY and the good ENERGY of so many others in this fine adventure ... it is hard to know sometimes where to begin. But here we are ... at a ... um ... BEGINNING! I was wondering, not having had time this morning but to read a few posts, if anybody here is or has been into Buckminster Fuller ... "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth" ... "Critical Path" ... etcetera? I will start a TOPIC ... we should have Bucky at the forefront of some of our thinking and education here, I believe. Sometime, maybe back in the 1960s or 70s -- remember the 1900s, weren't they just GRAND though -- Buckminster Fuller and his team of "Design Scientists" did a study of some sort that showed that, approximately, we had the ability here on Planet Earth to solve all of the problems of FOOD, CLOTHING & SHELTER for ALL OF HUMANKIND, if only, utilizing the resources that we have GLOBALLY, MEN ... MEN ... Men between the ages of about 20 & 45 would only have to work about 4-hours per year ... PROVIDING ALL! Think about that. Let us get down on this and research it again and bring it to the forefront. Ted, your ideas and essays are very good and, as an Elder, I commend you for the Great Good Work that you now do. I am grateful that there are so many younger people in this world [shown to me for example, throughout Care2] that CARE TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE. We that CARE, as always ... usually the MOMS and the Women ... have always made a difference. Now we have to make it a NUMBERS GAMES! MAKE NON-CARING HISTORY! Peace, Love, Harmony, Kindliness & Health, =sapan=
I don't think it's "easy" for people to really help - it's easy to pretend to be helping and create an image of charitable person.
I also disagree with you in that it's easy to "make valiant efforts to reach out and demand justice and simple human rights for the poor". If it was, more people were doing it.
They are indeed rare who are not selfish, greedy or egocentric. And the selfish, greedy and egocentric are not limited to "bourgeoisie"...
I agree with you in that it is the poor who know best what it is to be poor and WHAT IT IS ONE NEEDS MOST.
I have been hungry, and if there is no food, I repress the hunger. I haven't noticed much difference between full and empty stomach... but I suppose it's all in the upbringing...
I was taught that I am privileged and therefore has to share what I have. I was brought up with Farmer Paavo of Saarijarvi - a poem by J.L.Runeberg, where a farmer tried to get a living, and each year the crop failed - and he told his wife to add bark to the bread. Then, finally, the crop succeeded, but Paavo told his wife to add bark to the bread, because his neighbors' crop failed, and he shared the crop with them. I was brought up thinking that the humanity is equal though rich in variations. We all share the needs... and we all have something to give.
In my mind if we concentrate on the material issues, we miss all the non-material gifts people have to give, and thus ignore the fact, that if I feed you, who have no food or money, you "feed" me with something in return, perhaps ideas, perhaps know-how, perhaps something else... beauty, laughter...? In stead of charity, it becomes exchange.
The hungry kid in Asia or Africa is just as much my neighbor as the hungry kid in Europe or North America. Of cause I can't feed ALL, but if I feed this child, you can feed that child. And together we can feed a lot more children than alone. On this I agree with you full-heartedly, Ted.
I disagree with your assessment that Capitalism needs poverty. Capitalism happens in a society where THINGS are valuated. Not necessarily on the expense of people, or ethical values, and it's not necessarily even the primary value. In my mind there will be capitalism as long as people want to own things and as long as people give value to things...
Food is "thing". Hunger is need. Everyone's needs need to be fulfilled. Some people abuse this by demanding more than necessary for the food they provide - hunters can ask almost anything they want for a piece of meat, and if one is old and sick, one doesn't have much to give what a hunter appreciates... I doubt he would appreciate the wisdom of the one who has experienced much, and that might be all the old one has...
Making the Capitalism the Monster is ignoring the roots of the problem.
In my mind IGNORING the corporations and the people who try to tell you that it is MONEY that runs the world, is the answer. I was told some 20 years ago about "green money" (bartering) - a society where people exchanged services and products, and where money was allowed as one of the means of exchange, as some things still needs to be paid for with money - like taxes (for the unnecessary joys like tobacco and alcohol).
So - if we appreciate people by what they have or what they don't have - "rich people are automatically evil and egoistic and should be thrown out"" "poor people are automatically evil and lazy and should be frozen out" - then we have fallen into the pit, and it's really hard to get out of it, while trying to kill everyone else in the pit... Bourgeoisie are people too, not some faceless demon enemy. You have to be able to give answers that doesn't demand your audience is (or becomes) Socialist, Communist, Marxist or Leninist. Feeding people with the Socialist propaganda is just going to keep them in ignorance. True information is politically free.
I don't think your thoughts and terminology are too political for a group like this. You're a politician and as such you speak as such, and politicians are people too In every group of people there are politics, how ever small and "undeveloped" the group. Just try to remember that and that people - even non-politicians - are not stupid. After all, the political speech is what you have to try to make the people vote for you - simple, ordinary, common people like the members of ANY group.
Social Justice is Economic Justice - for all. June 29, 2007 4:42 AM
When I read your post, Ted, I am reminded of the concept of Tzedakah - just distribution of societal resources to all. The simple and functioning base for Marxism.
Look at Grameen bank - it works. Indian women are slowly erdicating not just their own poverty, but others' too - and why?
Because someone came up with the brilliant idea to accept the risk of loosing money by lending money without security. And for what? To start businesses that will make them both self-supporting and the producers of goods that is needed in their local community, as well as the inspiration for other to make similar ventures.
According to the Concept of Tzedakah, the highest level of Tzedakah is making someone self-supporting.
It strikes me that most large corporations today started out in someone's garage with money from someone wealthy, that believed in the principle of Tzedakah.
What Grameen Bank does is believing in their customers' ability to make something of the money they lend them, not their ability to pay those money back.
Same thing with Microsoft and the UN and the green computers for Africa - Knowledge is power, by educating teachers, so they can educate in Schools and providing functioning cheap computers they are empowering people.
This wouldn't work if it hadn't been for capitalism. It wouldn't have worked if some had had their money seized in an attempt to erradicate capitalism.
It is far better to make people self-supportive and let them decide for themselves that passing that gift on to others will in the end create a society where we have not only financial, but also social justice - for all, also the capitalists.
To me this is all about ethics, about building a chain of "passing it forward". Don't thank me - pass it forward.
And this goes not only for monitary matters - it goes for everything. Each individual has something that is valuable to someone else, that is needed in the greater scheme of things. Even those that seemingly "take" are contributing something to the greater picture. Seeing that is all about ethics and the idea that we are all equals.
Some people don't like my ideas about Tzedakah, because they believe that they are based in Judaic tradition - well they are, but they could just aswell have been taken from Secular Humanism or Ethical Atheism.
Now they happen to be the very basis of Marxism, which should make them "kosher" also in this group
Ok. I just joined this group and was going through old threads to get a grip, but to furter the discussion, I'll add a few thoughts.
Capitalism.... yeah... Anybody got a bottle of red wine? We'll probably need it
The capitalist and the socialist economic systems are interesting. We are taught that capitalism and a free market are the same thing and that socialist economy is a centrally guided mechanism that has died. And yet, it looks as if its the other way around.
Out of the 100 biggest entities in ”the free economy” more than 50% are major corporations. The rest are countries. A corporation isn’t run according to capitalist, free market rules. It’s run by central planning and "five year plans". In the former socialist countries where the centrally guided economies thrived officially, the black market was enormous. A truly ”free market” unrivalled by any in the ”free world”.
So, it would seem, that one system furthered the other in a weird way. Now, when capitalism ”has won” we see how black markets begin to grow, even in the ”free” countries. Why, if the economy is free already? There are things that most of us don’t understand about money, power and elephants... ’scuse me, drugs.
Money in ”the free world” don’t exist without debt. All money created has put somebody in debt. This game is a huge pyramid game. The only difference between it and the economy at large, is that a pyramid game is so small that the inequalities and injustices are very noticable very quickly.
In the west, about 10% of the populations gain from the capitalist interest system. The second decile goes even, while the 80% poorest pays for the most wealthy 20%. Is it possible to eradicate poverty within this system? I think not.
The 350 richest people on Earth own as much as the poorest 50% of the human race together. Bill Gates controlls as much wealth as 40% of the poorest Usonians combined. And the gaps are growing, not shrinking, in this ”the bestest systems of them all”. For me the only way to stop poverty is to stop the accumulation of wealth. For every bit of money, there is a debit counterpart. It’s not the rich who will have to strive to pay their dues, to work their asses off in a mill to cover the essentials, to be enslaved to be used as cattle in this deadly game. Capitalism is said to kill at least 11 million people every year. Poor people who are put on the streets, who are too poor to buy food and medicine. When we know there is a surplus on this planet.
We are taught that the money is supplied by our governments, but there are no central bank - the issuers of money - that is under public control. They are private. Nearly all of them. I know only of one central bank that isn’t - the Riksbank of Sweden. But its board is totally immune against political interference; they are explicitly forbidden to take orders from the representatives of the people, so we don’t have any means to control them in reality.
End poverty. Yes. By ending extreme wealth, I'd say.
,, Buckminster Fuller's plan to end poverty in 10 years June 07, 2008 12:41 AM
Does anybody know where I can obtain a copy of the plan? He goes on to say in tv interviews that resources are such that in 10 years everyone on earth can be a billionaire living in a geodesic dome if all metal used by the military is instead used for living purposes such as the dome homes(he prefers carbon fiber because it is much stronger than steel, 50 or 500 times stronger). He is all wet back in the 70s about protein coating of viruses, and whitewashes Henry Ford for his crimes against humanity, whom he states he is only interested in the welfare of.
This post was modified from its original form on 07 Jun, 0:43
[ send green star]