So a while ago I came across this line while browsing the web without any real goals or plans, just cruising around the one dimensional sphere we call Internet. ”It was once the case that every human on earth lived in poverty–were they all therefore victims of force?” and I just want to give my ten cents on what I find problematic with this kind of statement.
Poverty is a term that has no real meaning outside the growth economy. I would argue there was a time when no human being ever lived in poverty. A time when housing
had no economic cost. Water had no economic cost. Food had no economic cost. These are things that are essential for the very foundation of human life.
This is not to say that living could never be hard. But poverty is systematically placed onto human beings by human created economic systems. Not a force of natural
Poverty is deeply tied to economic exploitation. Another thing I find problematic with this way of looking at poverty is that poverty becomes a measurement that stems from the view of the wealthy material assimilated person living within the boundaries of the white cultural centric industrial lifestyle. That richness is embodied as to how much ‘stuff’ you have accumulated and hence any other way of living is ‘bad’.
On another note we are even seeing now under the current stages of capitalism that we are moving away more and more from a class system to a caste system by which it means
that people born in poverty more likely will live and die in poverty than ever before, that we are becoming severely economically locked into these castes of the capitalist
To say that every human being once lived in poverty, before capitalism was introduced and/or any other stage of an infinite growth economy, is a false statement.