The New ‘Wealth Gap’: This one ‘Beyond Excuse’!!
We all know about the Wealth Inequality issue, and depending on whether you are strongly capitalist or not, you may see this as a sign of success of ideology or not? Here is what two ‘Icons of Wealth’ have to say:
Warren Buffet and a New York Times quote from a few years back: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Bill Gates in another recent quote said: “I very much agree that High levels of inequality are a problem—messing up economic incentives, tilting democracies in favour of powerful interests, and undercutting the ideal that all people are created equal.”
We all know that the ever widening Wealth Gap is a fact and the cause of ever increasing conflict within the societies of the world today. This ‘Result’ is all to be expected and inherent in the design of capitalism encased in a Western ideology. (Western ideology being “a rationally orientated culture based on reason, and represented in several core ideals and values, which include Individualism, Happiness, Rights, Capitalism, Science and Technology.” )
Some may even justify this ‘Result’ saying that “This is also how Nature works”: Survival of the Fittest, and Natural Selection of the Fittest! Where in this Western Ideology, ‘Fittest’ equals Wealthy, and ‘Natural Selection’ is based on Anthropocentric Power, where Power is derived from Wealth of Capitalist ‘Success’.
In the past, without the concrete knowledge of our 1970 fractured relationship with Nature, maybe the ‘Western Success’ with its ever widening ‘Wealth Gap’ was almost defensible: Maybe without legitimate moral or ethical flaw!
As Warren Buffet laid out above: This was a ‘war game’ designed by humans, and only for humans: “A class war”! One void of any transcendental or Spiritual context: ‘Success’, with the rules of the game clear and known to all it seemed fair. In voluntarily participating in the game one accepted there could be winners, losers, and maybe some in ‘between-ers’, and each chose to play the game at the level they deemed fit! The winners were free to enjoy their ‘well deserved’ victory spoils. Losers had no choice but to accept defeat graciously.
Sounds all plausible, but unfortunately the Western Ideology’s anthropocentric orientation and Spiritual void, has created another ‘Inequality Gap’: One that is non-defensible as it defies that very same Nature and its fundamental ‘Law of The Planet’!
This is the ‘One Point Zero Inequality Gap’.
The wealthy 10% consume 59%
The facts are beyond doubt, almost without exception, whether at a National, Community or Individual level, the more ‘Western Success’ one achieves, the further away from One Point Zero one moves. The further away from One Point Zero one moves, the more of a ‘Net-Taker’ of Nature one becomes. In the context of our 1970 fractured relationship with Nature, surely this is tantamount to a moral / ethical crime against humanity. If all of us was a Diamond Medallion Frequent Flyer in the USA we would need more than 15 planets just to deal with the footprint of the flying ‘required’ to keep our Diamond status! They clearly turned their back on any hope of stepping up to meet Nature’s condition for a flourishing relationship again!
To Fly or Not to Fly??
So rather than being in sync with Nature’s Rules, this ‘War Success’ is actually in direct breach of the Law of Nature. The One Point Zero Law that says there is a limit to Nature’s ability to Support Human Life, and us using beyond that, the relationship with Nature is fractured and Humanity’s survival is doomed.
The ‘Successful’ Nations are almost without exception the ones with the ‘multi Planet’ demands on Nature’s bio capacity. Within those nations it’s the ‘Real Successful’, the ‘classes’ that form the elite ceilings of the Wealth Gap, who have ecological footprints that are way out of line with the ‘less successful’ classes. At a ‘class level’, in many cases this ‘One Point Zero Gap’ is an order of 40, or more, ie. some people in these nations and communities have life styles that demand more than ‘forty Planet Earths’, when the good, simply living, salt of the community citizens may only demand a ‘fraction of The Planet’.
If you want to see what your ‘One Point Zero footprint’ is try this calculator from Global Footprint Network (More on Footprint Calculators in the next blogs. I’m working on a more appropriate way of doing this, versus the ones online that I have seen)
This ‘One Point Zero Gap’ is much more serious than the ‘Wealth Gap’ as it is surely not morally or ethically defensible?: This ‘One Point Zero Gap’ is about taking a very scarce resource from others without their engagement or consent. Further without the low ecological footprint ‘subsidy’ of the ‘simple living’ citizens, these ‘Successful’ people would be part of an even more serious ‘Ecological crime’: They desperately need this credit, and the simply livers to live ‘even more simply’, to recycle more, to reduce consumption more, so that they can carry on using more of their Ecological Footprint credit!
The huge ‘One Point Zero Gap’ in directly tracking the ‘Wealth Gap’, now makes the Wealth Gap also morally indefensible in today’s Socio-economic landscape. I have no doubt that the obvious linkage of the ‘Two Gaps’, as the One Point Zero Gap becomes apparent will result in a significantly increased revolutionary energy! I cannot see how this could be opposed as a Revolution without deep moral and ethical conviction? If one believes this, then positioning oneself as things unravel, can provide some personal challenges that bring on some turmoil! Spiritual turmoil and ‘relationship turmoil’. To be selfish when ‘everyone else is’, or to be humanitarian, to be class loyal, to be a more lonely revolutionary? Then the whole question about one’s ‘Environmental Identity’: Our personal relationship with Nature, and the non-human that I discussed two blogs ago…???
I know this ‘turmoil’ all too well, because I have been personally dealing with this within my own context for a while now?
We are all at different points along the “Class” / “Success” continuum, different chronological points in our lives. ‘All’ in our own struggles for ‘merely’ our own Success as we have defined it, and this all may challenge one’s soul? We each have to work out what stance we will take for these issues and make a decision on whether the revolution will take off? My only guiding light for me is what fits right with my soul, and then I have to take care of the details flowing out from that… Some of these details aren’t just small ‘dot’ bullet points, but huge ‘planet size’, ‘Life Meaning’ ones!