The poverty of the people, the wealth of the nations


“Perfect democracy is where there are neither too poor, nor too wealthy citizens”.
Thales of Miletus 643 – 548 B.C., ancient Greek philosopher

“The most efficient way of rendering the poor harmless is to teach them to want to imitate the rich”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 1964 – , Spanish novelist


We watched the film Lion by Garth Davis. The ten-year old Telemachus was shocked to see how people live in India.

“Is India a very poor nation?” he asked me.
“India is one of the most powerful nations of the Earth” I told him. “It has a space program, nuclear weapons, vast resources, it is about one-third the size of Europe and it is the world’s second most populous country after China”.
“It is portrayed as poor here!”
“The best part of the people is. The nation is rich”.
“How can it be?”


Really, how can it be?

A recent research showed that the poor (the uninsured, the homeless ones) in the United States, the world’s most powerful nation in the last 100 years, outnumber (proportionally) those in Norway or New Zealand.

The same goes for China, only things are even worse there.

In the United Europe the powerful countries rely on the impoverishment of the weak countries in order to compete with the other strong economies.

It seems to be divine, a law of the gods: to build a strong economy, economic inequalities are a prerequisite.

And the aftermath: The poorer the majority of the people get, the more the riches of the few increase.

The above is obvious in what the media call “economic crisis”, while they try to convince us that it is something temporary which happens randomly.

The last years, the property of the magnates (be it Greeks, or Americans or Indians or Chinese or Germans – wealth knows no borders) was multiplied.

Where did they get the money from? From the masses. The middle class, the underprivileged, the non-existent.


To build strong empires-economies, many people should pay the price (as well as animals, forests, seas).

The people, us, is the fuel of the “Great Civilizations”, be it Hollywood or Bollywood.

It is forbidden to distribute the wealth to all. This would debilitate the FREE MARKET (in capital letters, the ultimate divine law of our time).

The neoliberal dogma (which is the religion of the 21th century) pronounces that each is paid according to their skills. The worthy get rich and those who are not stay poor.

Consequently, men like the five-year-old Indian who are raised in sordid conditions cannot become magnates because they are not good enough.

The initial circumstances play no role according to neoliberalism which is as scientific as astrology.


How are the people (the majority of them) convinced to serve the dogma that wants them nonexistent?

First and foremost, they are forced to do so.

If you are on the verge of the poverty line, you’ll do anything it takes to make a living. All that you think is to make it through the day, you and you children (just what the prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps did).

When it comes to absolute poverty, there is no education or birth control, there is nothing to dream of except to survive.

Why don’t the poor rise up? Because they have other fish to fry: to survive.


What about the countries of the western civilization like the USA, France, or Greece? Why don’t the poor there, the middle-classed, the majority rise up?

Those who dare to do it face prison time – or even death some times. Plus, as long as revolution is a matter of a hundred or a thousand people then it is not a revolution, but mere incidents.


So, how are the rest convinced to suffer this?

At first, they believe that is a natural thing. Poverty is not god-given (as it is believed by the castes of Indians), but it is the nature that decides.

Some are born worthy and some unworthy (of wealth).

But (and this is the most important part of the tale) everyone can become rich, famous and successful.

The myth of moving up the ladder still has legs, mainly thanks to the media that are very keen on keeping it going.


The black guy who grew up in the ghetto but became a basketball player and now is famous – and rich.

The unemployed who was on the verge of suicide but she wrote Harry Potter and now is richer than the queen.

The student who dropped college and founded a social media and he became billionaire.

The unknown girl that went to a talent show and the audience was charmed by her and became famous (=rich)

The ugly singer who was laughed at when he was a boy but he became an idol (and rich).

The woman that was feeling inferior when she was in high school but in the end she became a model (and rich).

The five-year old boy that was living in the streets and was adopted by a rich family from Australia and went to college, wrote a book and became all the more richer.


But for every black guy in the ghetto that finally made it, there are millions who didn’t.

For every unemployed that her book became best seller, there are millions of others who killed themselves.

For every student that dropped college and became Zuckerberg, there are millions of others who never went to college and they are working at McDonald’s.

For every girl that became a model, for every singer that became an idol, there are millions of others that never made it.

For every street kid that escaped poverty, there are billions of others who are starving.


Give it some thought! Even the stories that have to do with someone rich stockbroker etc. that left everything behind to find himself, they end up with him being an artist, etc. and be, once again, rich and successful.

In essence, the same idea is rehashed: If someone is worthy, they will become famous and rich, no matter what.

Therefore: a) It is your fault if you are not famous-rich b) you never know, you could make it – or, at least, your children.

But it’s you, you and you alone, who can do it, success has no room for another, aside yourself.

Save yourselves!


Levi Strauss used to say that if you want to comprehend the way a society works, you’ve got to look into its myths. The modern mythology is visualized on the screen.

The modern international myth has it that only money matters (god is dead, Gandhi is dead, Castro is dead, every ideology is dead).

The modern international myth has it that those who are worthy will finally get rich (the other way around goes, too: those who got rich were worthy).

The modern international myth has it that everyone (but on their own) can become rich.

The modern international myth omits to tell us that only a handful will become rich. The rest will simply survive – and that’s questionable, too.


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Translated by Alexandros Mantas