Poverty is a wrong definition
The international humanitarian institutions of all sorts make a fundamental mistake when they propose various projects to fight poverty on a global scale. Their initiatives always tackle just a material aspect of poverty. It means a trivial lack of goods and services that all can be assessed with money. So, the only way out they propose in general comes to finding a sufficient source of funds capable of covering the needs of those who suffer from poverty.
Such a vulgar approach seems rational at first sight only. If people lack things due to their inability to pay for them, the problem implies some specific settings of the system where the people live in. To put it in hydrodynamic terms, any society is a complex of communicating vessels. Some of them are large and full, the other ones are small and empty. All vessels are interconnected with pipes and valves that control the fluid level in each vessel. The fluid inside the vessels is wealth which the entire society shares in various proportions.
An ideal and, therefore, an unreachable solution would come to the opening of all valves to let the law of communicating vessels make the level of wealth converge in all vessels. It’s not just about ignoring the interests of those who control the valves. This is about both socio-cultural void and philosophical insolvency staying behind the contemporary anti-poverty movements.
They suppose a pure thought experiment can be applied to a real world. They are calling to those who have enough resources to share their wealth with the poor. Their flag is social equality. They are seemingly fighting for an ideal world where all individuals can have what they need with no regard to their inherent capabilities. If we accept their naive aspirations as a fact, we will have to admit that all those humanitarian funds are headed and managed by merely dysfunctional idiots incapable of grasping quite primitive logical connections between basic natural phenomena.
The whole history of humankind proves that equality is impossible for any type of society. Inequality, at the same time, does not contradict the very diversity of species created by mother Nature. As long as humans remain a link (even the upper one) in a universal food chain, no equality is achievable on this planet. Neither humans nor other species created the basic law of survival “eat up or be eaten”. We all have to consume various forms of the heavily converted Sun energy.
This is an indirect and, obviously, cruel way of living which implies inequality at its very core. Even herbals that consume the Sun energy directly always compete due to their great diversity. An octopus will never invite an eagle, a wolf will never share a meal with sheep, a virus will never put itself in the shoes of those who are infected with the virus. Why the heck should humans do the opposite of what the nature has established as a law?
It is highly unlikely the top managers of humanitarian institutions all are dummies who seriously believe in the equality of people. Most probably they have to follow a primitive human-rights discourse for a purpose. In a current social pyramid, they occupy a specific niche somewhere between corporate managers and transnational bureaucrats. Needless to say that both neighbouring groups are heavily corrupt. All of them use the same camouflaging vocabulary for achieving two parallel purposes: to mess up minds of okhlos and to exchange messages with elitists.
The general public will never be informed about the actual reasons why one or another corporation, bank, or fund donates a particular sum to starving kids in Africa. Once sharks never trouble themselves with the fate of small fish, logic suggests that someone mighty (either a group of the other sharks or a larger predator) pushes them to do that. Poverty fighters act as just a public voice and a middleman in the deal. Everyone’s happy.
Every mediation entity must have an efficient infrastructure to work well. At least, we all accept this for granted. Each humanitarian fund hires professional managers, rents facilities, establishes PR groups in social networks, and arranges everything necessary to run its activity. It requires money and, oftentimes, big money. But it is hardly reasonable to reveal the exact amount of operating costs to a wide audience. Since humanitarian funds belong mostly to transnational organizations exempt from taxation, no public revisions are applied to their accounts. Now, try to catch a hint about a business model working there. No production, no competition, no taxation, no public control. That’s a wet dream of any capitalist, right?
Who are those lucky guys occupying such a privileged position in a fiercely competing business environment nowadays? Obviously, they should be extraordinary informed persons having unprecedented communicating capabilities along with extensive links with both transnational corporate structures and national governments. Such features cannot be achieved through any sort of education including the most expensive and elite ones. Those capabilities cannot be purchased for any money. The features can belong to only a very specific stratum whose very origin makes the capabilities inherent literally at a genetic level. We mean nobody but a hereditary aristocracy, of course.
Crown princess and princesses, good earls and countesses, as well as many other representatives of blue blood are not the ones who need to work for a living. By the way, twelve stars on a blue field we can see at the EU flag do not symbolize the European Countries. Twelve countries never constituted the European Union, in fact. Initially, there were six basic countries there, now they count in dozens. So, twelve stars are nothing but the holy grail in the form of twelve knights of the round table of King Arthur.
The blue field of the flag just emphasizes blue blood. Europe belongs to nobles, like it or leave it. Anyhow, a specific lifestyle of the modern aristocracy requires quite significant money on an ongoing basis. What other than humanitarian funds can be more appropriate in such a case? Their business model can kill two birds with one stone: to make fat cats share their wealth with indolent nobles and to support a worldwide myth about the struggle against poverty.
A myth in such a context is maybe not a very precise term applicable to the process. A tiny grain of truth presents there — the poor get some basic necessities from the funds in front of cameras of various news media. It is always represented as a gift of goodwill, as a gesture of charity. Trucks loaded with tons of the so-called humanitarian aid that the International Red Cross delivers regularly to Ukrainians suffering from the war in Donbas are aimed at squirting out tears of happiness from the world community.
The aid can change nothing in the existing situation. Increasing agony is what should be recognized as a hidden rationale of the process, actually. The International Red Cross along with all the other humanitarian organizations working in Donbas are vitally interested in the civil war in Ukraine since any war is a bottomless pit through which enormous funds can be safely laundered. Has anybody heard anything about any effort of humanitarian institutions to stop the war?
If we make a step back from the extrema situations such as ongoing warfare in Ukraine or in Syria, a conventional method of fighting poverty comes to just a handout. In most cases, when systemic poverty is implied, any “gift” or “charity” means the same as a free dose offered to a drug addict. It is always arranged to perpetuate the existing state of affairs, never to change the situation. Any charity always follows consequences while prerequisites are left untouched.
This is how a vicious cycle is supported by those who supposedly seek to break it. A real solution on poverty, however, is as primitive as well-known: stop giving fish to starving people, instead teach them how to make a fishing rod and show the way to a river. But after that, you will lose them as a target for your charity.
The approach is dangerous as we see it in the case of China. The Western World in its whiteman’s arrogance missed the moment when the real knowledge of how to achieve material abundance appeared in the hands of clever guys from the Chinese Communist Party in the late 20th century.
Now, a flagship of Western civilization — the US has to ignite the so-called trading wars to stop the Chinese economic invasion over the globe. However, the Chinese lesson was comprehended well in the case of the former USSR. The raw-material adjunct into which the once-mighty industrial economy was transformed showed that corruption and poverty instead of technologies could work as an efficient limiter of progress for any state.
So, what is the fundamental mistake the humanitarian institutions make when they provide anti-poverty projects in the usual way? In our humble opinion, they underestimate the extent to which information starts spreading across the globe. At the same time, they overestimate their ability to control the growing informational flows. Of course, the threshold beyond which the global data flux becomes potentially uncontrollable has not been crossed yet.
But it does not mean the threshold can be crossed quite shortly. After that critical moment, the obsolete ideology of humanitarian movements managed by the aristocracy and based on a primitive progress limiter of blatant handouts will collapse like a house of cards. Besides, the impute milking of fat cats is possible only in a current paradigm where money flows can move through a highly centralized and totally corrupt global banking system.
The existing paradigm of financial bubble-economics is loudly crumbling. In the upcoming era of the decentralized crypto economy, all humanitarian funds will have to play by utterly different and much more transparent rules when disembowelling of rich enterprises for fake donations is unlikely enforceable.
What is the alternative to the existing system of humanitarian aid? How can blue blood retain their super lucrative anti-poverty projects in the post-industrial future? The solution comes to creating a new ideology reinforced by powerful propaganda that is still under control of elites. The core idea of such a new vision has already emerged, actually. Moreover, it is gaining momentum among many progressive thinkers. This is “minimalism” that becomes so popular among the Gen Z youth and digital nomads.
To put it in brief, everything you own should fit into a 25-liter backpack. No real estate, no car, no large property at all. A change of clothes, personal hygiene items, and a laptop constitute what the future global citizen should have as personal belongings.
What do anti-poverty movements have to do with it? It’s simple: if you have more than your backpack can hold, donate everything extra to the poor. It is so glorious, humane, and eco-friendly to hand over your house and car to a humanitarian institution capable of monetizing your property for a further distribution between the needy.
Poverty as a definition of lack should change its negative connotation for a pure virtue. A mass consciousness should be infiltrated with an idea to be a “friend of the planet” and even a “friend of life”. The ownership of material possessions should become a disgraceful necessity, a necessary evil unless we leave this solid reality for a disembodied existence in virtual worlds of our omni-digital future.
The less you own and consume, the more you donate to the beautiful life around you. The more you donate, the higher your position is in a social hierarchy. The biggest public appreciation should be brought back to non-profit do-gooders, to anorexic monk-like hermits having just a poor box and a loincloth. Life in extreme poverty should be accepted by masses as an ultimate achievement available for super responsible individuals of the new age.
Once achieving such a level of socio-humanitarian responsibility is hard as it is for ordinary people, the critically transformed humanitarian institutions should be at any possible help for global citizens to spare them from their excessive property. The major objective of the updated humanitarian funds should evolve from the struggle against poverty to a quest for the universal holy poverty. Ultimate minimalism should become a global trend. Nothing should be more virtuous than getting rid of any sort of unnecessary belongings.
Can such a transformation make humanitarian institutions more immoral and cynic than they are today? It is highly unlikely since water can never be made wetter. On the contrary, the new pro-poverty ideology will allow blue blood to get out of the well-worn conspiracy theories to a wide stage of public attention. The new-age nobles will be able to represent their activity as hard and thankless labour in favour of a new global conscience which denounces consumerism and material possessions as the darkest sin and crime against the future generations.
Namely, representatives of aristocracy at the head of the redesigned humanitarian funds can cope up with the utilization and redistribution of the obsolete material heritage of humankind. Just their extensive relationships, power, and influence can help free people up from the vulgar wealth collected over generations.
Of course, the process will require decades to be completed. So, having a new pro-poverty mission ahead the humanitarian institutions can provide themselves with a socially valuable work for years and years. The minimalism has already kick-started the process. It is time to upgrade our philosophy to make poverty honourable.