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Erradicating Poverty

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 29, 2007

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. Ted Kouretas in a discussion on Erradicating Poverty

My Reply to him:

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 as well have been taken from Secular Humanism or Ethical Atheism.

Economic Justice, Tzedakah, Marx and where Marxism fails.

The Concept of Tzedakah

“Capitalism needs the poverty”.

No. Capitalism in it’s purest and most unbridled form needs consumers – consumers come from both the rich and poor sections of Society. Without a continuum in the chain of supply and demand Capitalism would be pointless. If there is no demand, Capitalism must either create such a demand or lower the price on the supply of whatever product it is wishes to capitalize on in order to survive.

It is therefore up to us, the consumers, regardless of our economic status, to inform Capitalism what direction we want it to take in it’s production. We make the choices.

Refusing to buy products that have been produced in countries and areas where work and wages do not meet the needs of the workers or violate their human rights is the ethical choice.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said it this way: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.” this should go for any nation and any corporation/business, not just the US and large corporations.

If a corporation cannot safe-guard the quality of the environment for it’s workers and pay them wages they can live and prosper from, because to do so would mean bankruptcy, that corporation has forfeited it’s right to stay in business.

“The best way to do this is to stop supporting corporations.”

No. The best way to do this is to make sure that corporations that do not follow ethical guidelines along the lines of what is Human Rights, Living Wages and Workers Rights are forced out of business and to reward those corporations that do produce their goods from an ethical stand-point.

An example of this is ecological farming vs non ecological farming. If ecological farming is rewarded through subsidies, so it can produce at a lower cost, and non ecological farming is penalized through taxation and limitations, non ecological farmers will switch to ecological farming.

“Empowerment is making people know what is going on.”

No. You empower people by giving them choices and information so they can make informed choices – knowledge is worthless if you cannot put it to use in your own life. Forcing people to see things your way is only going to make them resentful.

“After people are able to alleviate poverty in their own communities, they will be so much more useful in global poverty eradication.”

True, but only if they are allowed to choose for themselves how and what. People without choices – also to own their land and get an income from that land – are no more powerful or happy than a slave.

2 Responses to “Erradicating Poverty”

  1. Anti Theist said

    You Jews, who read the Torah and Talmud daily, should know better that the real cause and source of all poverty is your dear Yahweh.

    You should know that what the Torah calls “water” is in fact the fluid of life which already exists and cannot be created nor destroyed.

    The fact that Yahweh owns it all and we own none could be the best explanation as to why there is poverty in this world.

    I propose that we cross Jeremiah 5:22, invade the God’s domain, climb Jaccob’s ladder, kick that God down the ladder and redistribute his water to all living entities and leave him with nothing but sand.

    The problem of poverty is not from the dust (reality, material, physical, money) but of the water (divine life substance). Every living thing, rich or poor, on this planet is poor in “water”. Your God should either keep it all for himself and stop bothering us with life or genuinely give it to his creatures so they can too be their own source of existence. Your God, like all tyrants, is more concerned by his own power than the well being of his dependents.

    The very fact that Ecclesiastes said that we have a “silver” cord means that God keeps a claim on that water, otherwise it would be golden, therefore life is a zero sum game as per God’s own laws, a game where God always wins and this warrants total revolt and war against God.

    You want to eradicate poverty ? Then behead God the Kosher way and redistribute all the water to every living entity, except Yahweh who should be left to dessicate like sand.


  2. Anti Theist said

    “No. Capitalism in it’s purest and most unbridled form needs consumers – consumers come from both the rich and poor sections of Society.”

    Wrong, who will work for the capitalists if not the poor. Once people win the lottery, the first thing they do is quit their job. If nobody is poor enough to need to work for the capitalists, then nobody would be available to work for them and they would have to work for themselves.

    Does your YHVH need to work to live ? Then why should we ?


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