Random Thoughts

The Poverty of Nations

In my increasing accumulation and attempts at accumulation of wealth, which are all in the guise of improving my conditions of survival, and smoothing out the irregularities of excessive poverty which strike occasionally, I begin to wonder about the forces which can array themselves against the wealthy, or even, as they are in America, the middle class, the property holding "bourgeois".

It occurs to me that historically the reason the "haves" are overthrown and disinherited by the "have-nots" is that the class of the "have-nots" are in the following positions:

One, they become a credible majority to themselves, in other words access the internal strength for revolution, whether led from within or without, whether for the nobler cause of equality, freedom, and dignity, or for the nefarious causes of professional revolutionaries seeking to subjugate the dissatisfaction of the masses to their own ascendancy to power.

Two, they have no ability to join the middle classes.

Three, they feel no enabling process towards changing the current order through peaceful, franchised means.

Were the hobbled segments of our population, the deep stricken ghetto occupants, the second and third generation welfare recipients - and those in the working class who can never get "ahead" - who often lack any example or comprehension of what it is they might do to break their shackles and enter upon that pursuit of happiness so delicately risked forth by those revolutionaries who built upon the work of their forefathers in framing the critical documents which spawned modern republican democracy in these western nations - were they clearly enjoined upon to succeed, by means which reach deep enough into whatever human nature might be so as to naturally encourage itself, we would all be richer - and also provided with the security any increase in wealth makes us long for.

Will the unwashed masses rise in their disenfranchised anger - as national elected officials are swamped by the entrenched bureaucracy and ignore the mandated decrees of the people and those axiomatic acts of rebellion, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as the problems which suck the defenseless deeper into the mire of not just neighborhoods but counties, even states of repression and poverty, will they lash out at the perceived cause of all this inequity - white suburban middle class America?

What can any American above the poverty line do to ensure his continued ability to improve his lot through hard work, honesty and thrift? I think it might be to work as hard as possible to create opportunity among the desperate sores of our cities, to provide new hope through action, not taxation, to grow a stronger, more flexible economy through enfranchisement and acceptance rather than by sapping it with entitlements and affirmative actions which only serve to dissatisfy and demotivate. A genuine concern for the rhetoric about hard work being rewarded embedded in the system would do a lot for this country and for the world.

The system in the U.S. has responded to these pressures by an unconscious and unplanned balancing of the forces of people who manage to penetrate the middle classes far enough in order to have something to lose in a revolution with the forces of those who have yet to enjoy any fruits of our collective labors.


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© Huw Powell

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