July 18 2019 — Tri-Continental
There is a geography to human suffering; one that subordinates the well-being of the majority of the world’s people to the interests of a small handful of billionaires. In this world, the powerful not only control social wealth; they also control the public policy discussion — and what counts as intellectually correct. In this world, solutions to prevent human death and suffering are forgone in order to invest in developments that further the wealth and comfort of the few. Over the past few decades, pressure from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as well as from commercial banks has narrowed the scope for State intervention against poverty. The general theory is to hope that poverty can be made history through philanthropy and charity. All eyes turn to the billionaires, hoping that they will donate their wealth to eradicate the imbalances in the world. But these donations are meagre, their impact inconsequential. Above all, this theory fails to ask why people are poor, precisely because it is the poverty of the masses that generates the wealth of a handful of billionaires.