Are poverty, austerity and economic inequality connected? Does their combination lead to tyranny? To fascism? Gandhi said that poverty “is the worst form of violence.” Well, fascism is a violent system too. Is there a cause and effect relationship? Are they connected? Do those who wield power know this and use poverty as a weapon to control us?
Whoa! Are you posting wacky conspiracy theories on your WordPress blog? For shame!
Oh no. No wacky conspiracy theories. Just theories. And questions that need answers.
We know that World War II began during the Great Depression, a time when people in countries around the world lived in poverty or near-poverty. Yet even during that dark period of history, some people remained rich. Not everyone was poor and struggling, even during the Great Depression. In fact, not everyone living in the third world is poor. Rich people survive there too. In fact, one of the richest men in the world is a man named Carlos Slim, who happens to be from Mexico. Yet nearly half of Mexico’s population lives in poverty.
Why is that? Are rich people superior, as some would like us to believe? Do they hold special secrets? Were they working harder, smarter, better? Are they specially-blessed by God? Possibly they used “the Secret” or the “Law of Attraction” to make the “universe” give them what they want?
Or… could it be that the qualities that help people become rich are not qualities most of us want to have—greed, selfishness, ruthlessness, lack of concern for others, extreme narcissism? Could it be that the real secret of success during difficult times is to become a bad person?
Since we all want to be successful, I’m sure, this is something that we don’t want to hear. We’d like to believe that the best people succeed, that the cream rises to the top, right? That is the story that motivates us, gets us out of bed every morning and keeps us smiling at the end of a rough day.
But what if we were wrong all along? What if we have a system in this country that rewards people for being sociopathic, selfish and stingy but penalizes those who practice giving, compassion and kindness? What if financial success is achieved by only a few, most of whom were born with money in the first place? What if our society is actually filled with talented, highly-intelligent, motivated people who can’t succeed because they lack money, connections, or perhaps weren’t born into the “right” class, race or gender?
I think that despite the evidence that points in that direction, most Americans just can’t handle the truth. It’s too depressing.