How To End Poverty: Making Poverty History And The History Of Poverty

Posted on Monday, September 24 at 15:15 by siljan
In "Staying Alive, I had referred to book entitled "Poverty: the Wealth of the People" in which an African writer draws a distinction between poverty as subsistence, and misery as deprivation. It is useful to separate a cultural conception of simple, sustainable living as poverty from the material experience of poverty that is a result of dispossession and deprivation. Culturally perceived poverty need not be real material poverty: sustenance economies, which satisfy basic needs through self-provisioning, are not poor in the sense of being deprived. Yet the ideology of development declares them so because they do not participate overwhelmingly in the market economy, and do not consume commodities produced for and distributed through the market even though they might be satisfying those needs through self-provisioning mechanisms. People are perceived as poor if they eat millets (grown by women) rather than commercially produced and distributed processed junk foods sold by global agri-business. They are seen as poor if they live in self-built housing made form ecologically adapted natural material like bamboo and mud rather than in cement houses. They are seen as poor if they wear handmade garments of natural fibre rather than synthetics. Sustenance, as culturally perceived poverty, does not necessarily imply a low physical quality of life. On the contrary, because sustenance economies contribute to the growth of nature's economy and the social economy, they ensure a high quality of life measure in terms of right to food and water, sustainability of livelihoods, and robust social and cultural identity and meaning. http://www.zmag.org/Sustainers/Content/2005-05/11shiva.cfm [Proofreader’s note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on September 25, 2007]

Note: http://www.zmag.org/Sus...

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