The Revolution Will Not Be Funded
Pretty self-evident, I think. But in case it’s not:
1. Wealth is not evenly distributed in the world we live in, either within nations or among them.
I take it as given that this is a bad thing.
Specifically, the poverty created by this imbalance of wealth is inherently unjust. Injustices include worse nutrition and lack of health care, having one’s neighborhood being a dumping ground for pollutants that wealthier people won’t allow in their neighborhoods (or countries), a criminal justice system that is biased against people who can’t afford lawyers or lobbyists, predatory lending … this is not meant to be an inclusive list, just what I could think of off the top of my head. By injustices, I mean that while part of the suffering of poverty is only in contrast to people who have more, part of the suffering of poverty has to do with wealthier people reaping the benefits of technological progress, imperialism, and the unprecedentedly rapid consumption of natural resources, while poor people pay the costs. Poverty is not simply an absence of wealth.
2. People who have more wealth often have different interests than people with fewer resources; in particular, people who have more wealth will often act to protect that wealth.
3. This has nothing to do with charity; charity ameliorates some of the immediate suffering of hunger, poverty, etc, but does nothing to change the underlying structure that creates hunger, poverty, etc. Getting wealthy and middle-class people to give to charity is relatively easy; getting wealthy and middle-class people to even the system out is much harder.
4. The ability to create change, or to prevent change, is tied to the amount of resources, especially financial resources, that a group of people have access to.
5. Problem in summary: Any attempt to increase the wellbeing of those in poverty at the expense of those with wealth is always going to be handicapped. Likewise, any attempt to increase the imbalance of wealth will be aided by the simple fact that the people who want that to happen have more power to make it happen, and the people who don’t want it to happen have less power to prevent it.
6. Solutions: The only ways to get people with more resources to help people with fewer are if the wealthier believe that a more equal society is in their best interest, or if they think that while it’s not in their personal best interest it is a greater good that is worth sacrificing some of their comfort for.
7. Or find ways of creating change that don’t rest on having money.