Alvin and Heidi TOFFLER, writers of the Shock and the
Third Wave, analyze, in their third book Revolutionary Wealth published by Koridor Yayınları in 2006, how the revolution of wealth would change our lives. The writers also evaluate the strategies to apply against global poverty on this way to wealth. In this article, I want to share these strategies with you.
During the ongoing discussions on global poverty, we have become more and more uncertain whether the main goal should be to minimize the absolute poverty or to fill the gap between the rich and the poor. Filling the gap without raising the life standards of the poor even to a minimal extent could only be by impoverishing the rich. On the other hand, the industrial revolution had seriously widened this gap but also diminished the poverty. The main goal should be to try to raise everyone above the absolute poverty line, how big is the gap between the rich and the poor. Filling this gap could only be a priority only after each baby is fairly fed, everyone drinks clean water, the average lifetime expectancy is at least seventy in poor countries. What is needed today cant be less than to transform the actual poor rural areas to highly productive and advanced enterprises. Those regions should be no more based on the muscular force of the early decayed parents but on the brain force of the children. To be realistic, this strategy is already being shaped, even though still on the embryonic stage.
Another important obstacle before fighting against the poverty is the inadequate energy supply to rural areas. The poor regions of the world are condemned to their existing conditions unless they access to energy sources that are more powerful than their muscles. In a world where 1.3 billions of people living in rural areas are still deprived of electricity, taking into account the realities of today and the intense poverty, obstinately objecting to energy sources like coal, gas and even nuclear reactors cant be seen as a practical approach, despite all the danger and the environmental costs of such sources. Trying to apply the same solutions to so diverse rural populations is very costly. According to the 2002 report of the Planning Commission of India, Classical grid type connections wouldnt be economic at all Considering the cost and the speed of the project for electrification of the rural areas, expecting to supply electricity to actually non-electrified rural areas would be unrealistic. But the report also states that : The generation of power can only be decentralized and moved from being focused on city centers by the use of renewable energy sources like solar power, small water power and wind power. There are more and more experts believing that the combination of the old and new technologies would create surprising hybrid products.
In the near future, the peasant agriculture and industrial agriculture work will be obsolete and be replaced by a hyper-agriculture that would have much more impacts on the global poverty than the total of aid packages, subventions and special tariffs could. The rural area children of tomorrow will live in a completely different world. Our task should be to accelerate the creation of those days. Emergency aids, debt cancellations, cancellations of the subventions to rich world and other short term measures will obviously continue to be necessary. But these short term measures can help to billions of poor people living in rural areas to come over the property only to the extent of the worldwide aid concerts organized by leading music groups to raise funds. What the world has to understand is that countries like China and India, the rural people of which constitute the core of the global poverty, realize a thing that is much deeper than even their leaders can understand. They accelerate the change and try to break the slowing effect of the peasant life; they restructure their relationship with the time, what is deeply essential. They also shift the axis of the global economic power to the Pacific area: what means that their relationship with the area is changing, what is also deeply essential. Beyond everything, China is aware of how far is the importance of the knowledge for its economy and India is becoming aware of. China, to change its economy, relies more and more on data, information and knowledge it produces on its own, it steals, it purchases but after all, it implements: and this means that their relationship with the information is also changing, what is also one of the deep essentials.
Peasants have lived under a complete isolation for thousand of years; they have been apart from the remaining part of the world or even from the nearest village. Even the more useful information, for example an information that would help to save a child from a disease or death, an information on farming practice, an information on prices etc used to take months and even years to reach them. Refusing, not knowing or not learning this information has placed them, centuries behind the live standards of the people living in cities. But today, thanks to new technologies offering them images, ideas and information and the right to accept or refuse, this silence is breaking up: the time to catch in order to eliminate the poverty is getting shorter and shorter.
These technologies and strategies, beside changing the rural life, can also be used to eliminate the challenging pressure created by peasants that move in rush to cities running away from the unbearable rural life. Furthermore, the changes of today bring a light of hope by opening the minds to new possibilities. Ant this can be the most important and motivating progress.
Everyday and everywhere we are being bombed by the problems of the poor part of the world. The pictures of the babies dying for hunger, protests of the good willing groups, decision of UN Behind the apparently positive official speeches and the calls of NGOs to save individual children, there is in fact a terrible lack of hope and desperation. Poor people dont need to hear the costs of poverty from the others looking from outside. If the external world wants to help, it has to change unsuccessful strategies, accelerate the development of new revolutionary tools, eliminate the existing gloomy pessimism and create a new culture of hope.
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KNOWING THAT YOU HAVE ENOUGH THINGS MEANS THAT YOU ARE RICH