Causes Of Poverty Quotes

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If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
Charles Darwin (Voyage of the Beagle)
When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: "Don't think, don't politicize, forget about the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!
Slavoj Žižek
To seek "causes" of poverty in this way is to enter an intellectual dead end because poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes.
Jane Jacobs
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. ... A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.
Martin Luther King Jr.
True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the "rejects of life," to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands--whether of individuals or entire peoples--need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
Eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
Wisdom isn’t about accumulating more facts; it’s about understanding big truths in a deeper way. Year by year, with the support and insights of friends and partners and people who have gone before me, I see more clearly that the primary causes of poverty and illness are the cultural, financial, and legal restrictions that block what women can do—and think they can do—for themselves and their children.
Melinda Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
Laziness can be a value on its own for those who want to show supremacy through contempt for work and wish to be free individuals by fighting the enslavement to labor. While they don’t want to become dependent on ‘wage slavery’ and their livelihood only hinges on salaries, they feel confined to a social stratification, causing a collective stigma that results in poverty and underfeeding. (The daily job)
Erik Pevernagie
One ought not to encourage beggars, and yes, you are right, it is far better to donate to charities that address the causes of poverty rather than to him, a creature who is merely its symptom.
Mohsin Hamid
Saving the world requires saving democracy. That requires well-informed citizens. Conservation, environment, poverty, community, education, family, health, economy- these combine to make one quest: liberty and justice for all. Whether one's special emphasis is global warming or child welfare, the cause is the same cause. And justice comes from the same place being human comes from: compassion.
Carl Safina (The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World)
The deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the poorer we become - the more we realize that everything in life is a gift. The tenor of our lives becomes one of humble and joyful thanksgiving. Awareness of our poverty and ineptitude causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of darkness into wondrous light and translated into the kingdom of God's beloved Son.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
God has no needs. Human love, as Plato teaches us, is the child of Poverty – of want or lack; it is caused by a real or supposed goal in its beloved which the lover needs and desires. But God's love, far from being caused by goodness in the object, causes all the goodness which the object has, loving it first into existence, and then into real, though derivative, lovability. God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense , His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give, and nothing to receive.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
The real cause of hunger is the powerlessness of the poor to gain access to the resources they need to feed themselves.
Frances Moore Lappé
Depression is not caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and it is not cured by medication. Depression may not even be an illness at all. Often, it can be a normal reaction to abnormal situations. Poverty, unemployment, and the loss of loved ones can make people depressed, and these social and situational causes of depression cannot be changed by drugs.
Irving Kirsch (The Emperor's New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Poverty was not created by God. It is we who have caused it, you and I through our egotism.
Mother Teresa
You still waste time with those things, Lenu? We are flying over a ball of fire. The part that has cooled floats on the lava. On that part we construct the buildings, the bridges, and the streets, and every so often the lava comes out of Vesuvius or causes an earthquake that destroys everything. There are microbes everywhere that make us sick and die. There are wars. There is a poverty that makes us all cruel. Every second something might happen that will cause you such suffering that you'll never have enough tears. And what are you doing? A theology course in which you struggle to understand what the Holy Spirit is? Forget it, it was the Devil who invented the world, not the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Do you want to see the string of pearls that Stefano gave me?
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (L'amica geniale #1))
All of society’s problems which could be solved by money, were caused by money.
Heather Marsh (Binding Chaos: Mass Collaboration on a Global Scale)
The theories that drunkenness, laziness or inefficiency are the causes of poverty are so many devices invented and fostered by those who are selfishly interested in maintaining the present states of affairs, for the purpose of preventing us from discovering the real causes of our present condition.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
If you look on wealth as a thing to be valued your imaginary poverty will cause you torment.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
That which constitutes the cause of the economic poverty of our age is what the English call over-production (which means that a mass of things are made which are of no use to anybody, and with which nothing can be done).
Leo Tolstoy (On the Significance of Science and Art by Leo Tolstoy, Philosophy)
Poverty, we have said elsewhere, was the primary cause of wealth. It was poverty that created the first capitalist; because, before accumulating "surplus value," of which we hear so much, men had to be sufficiently destitute to consent to sell their labour, so as not to die of hunger. It was poverty that made capitalists.
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread)
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
What Corrigan wanted was a fully believable God, one you could find in the grime of the everyday. The comfort he got from the hard, cold truth--the filth, the war, the poverty--was that life could be capable of small beauties. He wasn't interested in a honey-soaked heaven. To him that was a dressing room for hell. Rather he consoled himself with the fact that, in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of a light, damaged and bruised, but a little light all the same. He wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in the habit of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
...poverty is the cause of many compromises.
Jean Rhys (Quartet)
Opium and heroin had not caused our poverty and hopelessness. Rather, poverty and hopelessness had brought about an unquenchable desire to forget. After
Lisa See (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)
MAMA: You must not dislike people ’cause they well off, honey. BENEATHA: Why not? It makes just as much sense as disliking people ’cause they are poor, and lots of people do that.
Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun)
If we're all led to believe that poverty is just a matter of laziness or stupidity or whatever other justifications we can come up with, then we're not likely to be in a real position to do much about it when it comes to attacking the root cause of the problem. Instead of demanding a more equitable system for the distribution of social and economic goods, we blame the victim. This is insidious, because ideology is something we carry around with us in our heads; it forms the basis of our day-to-day understanding of the world.
Bob Torres (Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights)
What about the lame, the sick and the destitute?” Is an often-voiced question. Most other countries in the world have attempted to use the power of government to meet this need. Yet, in every case, the improvement has been marginal at best and has resulted in the long run creating more misery, more poverty, and certainly less freedom than when government first stepped in. Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of man kind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own… The harm dome by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooder,’ who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others—with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”(The Proper Role of Government, Ezra T. Benson)
Ezra Taft Benson
When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun,' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Over the course of my years, I have met thousands of people. I have dined with the prosperous as well as the poverty-stricken. I have conversed with the mighty and with the meek. I have walked with the famous and the feeble. I have run with outstanding athletes and those who are not athletically inclined. One thing I can tell you with certainty is this: You cannot predict happiness by the amount of money, fame, or power a person has. External conditions do not necessarily make a person happy… The fact is that the external things so valued by the world are often the cause of a great deal of misery in the world. Those who live in thanksgiving daily, however, are usually among the world’s happiest people. And they make others happy as well.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Racism is both overt and covert. It takes two, closely related forms: individual whites acting against individual blacks, and acts by the total white community against the black community. We call these individual racism and institutional racism. The first consists of overt acts by individuals, which cause death, injury or the violent destruction of property. This type can be recorded by television cameras; it can frequently be observed in the process of commission. The second type is less overt, far more subtle, less identifiable in terms of specific individuals committing the acts. But it is no less destructive of human life. The second type originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than the first type. When white terrorists bomb a black church and kill five black children, that is an act of individual racism, widely deplored by most segments of the society. But when in that same city - Birmingham, Alabama - five hundred black babies die each year because of the lack of proper food, shelter and medical facilities, and thousands more are destroyed and maimed physically, emotionally and intellectually because of conditions of poverty and discrimination in the black community, that is a function of institutional racism. When a black family moves into a home in a white neighborhood and is stoned, burned or routed out, they are victims of an overt act of individual racism which many people will condemn - at least in words. But it is institutional racism that keeps black people locked in dilapidated slum tenements, subject to the daily prey of exploitative slumlords, merchants, loan sharks and discriminatory real estate agents. The society either pretends it does not know of this latter situation, or is in fact incapable of doing anything meaningful about it.
Stokely Carmichael (Black Power: The Politics of Liberation)
The folly of men not their hard heartedness was the great cause of the world s poverty.
Edward Bellamy (Looking Backward: 2000-1887)
The biggest cause of environmental destruction is poverty. Starving people can’t worry about pollution. They worry about food. Half
Michael Crichton (State of Fear)
Hours are long. Wages are pitiful. But sweatshops are the symptom, not the cause, of shocking global poverty. Workers go there voluntarily, which means—hard as it is to believe—that whatever their alternatives are, they are worse. They stay there, too; turnover rates of multinational-owned factories are low, because conditions and pay, while bad, are better than those in factories run by local firms. And even a local company is likely to pay better than trying to earn money without a job: running an illegal street stall, working as a prostitute, or combing reeking landfills in cities like Manila to find recyclable goods.
Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist)
There are no causes of poverty. It is the rest state, that which happens when you don't do anything. If you want to experience poverty, just do nothing, and it will come…. We should ask what are the causes of wealth and try to recreate and reproduce them.
Madsen Pirie
The great cause of inequality in the distribution of wealth is inequality in the ownership of land. The ownership of land is the great fundamental fact which ultimately determines the social, the political, and consequently the intellectual and moral condition of a people.
Henry George (Progress and Poverty)
Still another and all-sufficient answer to the argument that the use of spirituous liquors tends to poverty, is that, as a general rule, it puts the effect before the cause. It assumes that it is the use of the liquors that causes the poverty, instead of its being the poverty that causes the use of the liquors.
Lysander Spooner (Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication)
There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian)
In the past 20 years alone, it adds up to more death than were caused by all the civil and international wars adn government repression of the entire twentieth century, the century of Hitler and Stalin. How much would we give to prevent those horrors? Yet how little are we doing to prevent today's even larger toll and all the misery that it involves? I believe that if you read this book to the end, and look honestly and carefully at our situation, assessing both the facts and the ethical arguments, you will agree that we must act.
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty)
Gender bias does worldwide damage. It’s a cause of low productivity on farms. It’s a source of poverty and disease. It’s at the core of social customs that keep women down.
Melinda Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
is there something that we are meant to be, or is a life spent playing computer games and eating pizza as valid as one spent fighting poverty or serving the cause of justice?
Andy Bannister (The Atheist Who Didn't Exist: Or the dreadful consequences of bad arguments)
Analyses of the causes of poverty focus largely on why some countries are poor rather than on why certain segments of the population live below the poverty line.
Muhammad Yunus (Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty)
The message from history is so blatantly obvious – that free trade causes mutual prosperity while protectionism causes poverty – that it seems incredible that anybody ever thinks otherwise.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist (P.S.))
Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys. Yet the obvious fact that virtually all the rampage school shooters were middle-class white boys barely broke a ripple in the torrent of public discussion. This uniformity cut across all other differences among the shooters: some came from intact families, others from single-parent homes; some boys had acted violently in the past, and others were quiet and unassuming; some boys also expressed rage at their parents (two killed their parents the same morning), and others seemed to live in happy families.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
It is only after we begin to see a street as our street, a public park as our park, a school as our school, that we can become engaged citizens, dedicating our time and resources for worthwhile causes: joining the Neighborhood Watch, volunteering to beautify a playground, or running for school board.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
They say that higher wages will cause the mines to close down. Then what is it worth, this mining industry? And why should it be kept alive, if it is only our poverty that keeps it alive? They say it makes the country rich, but what do we see of these riches? Is it we that must be kept poor so that others may stay rich?
Alan Paton (Cry, the Beloved Country)
Along with instability, eviction also causes loss. Families lose not only their home, school, and neighborhood but also their possessions: furniture, clothes, books. It takes a good amount of money and time to establish a home. Eviction can erase all that.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
There seem to be two causes of the deterioration of the arts. What are they? Wealth, I said, and poverty. How do they act? The process is as follows: When a potter becomes rich, will he, think you, any longer take the same pains with his art? Certainly not. He will grow more and more indolent and careless? Very true. And the result will be that he becomes a worse potter? Yes; he greatly deteriorates.
Plato (The Republic)
History proves beyond any possibility of doubt that no religion has ever given a stimulus to scientific progress comparable to that of Islam. The encouragement which learning and scientific research received from Islamic theology resulted in the splendid cultural achievements in the days of the Umayyads and Abbasids and the Arab rule in Sicily and Spain. I do not mention this in order that we might boast of those glorious memories at a time when the Islamic world has forsaken its own traditions and reverted to spiritual blindness and intellectual poverty. We have no right, in our present misery, to boast of past glories. But we must realize that it was the negligence of the Muslims and not any deficiency in the teachings of Islam that caused our present decay. Islam has never been a barrier to progress and science. It appreciates the intellectual activities of man to such a degree as to place him above the angels. No other religion ever went so far in asserting the dominance of reason and, consequently, of learning, above all other manifestations of human life.
Muhammad Asad (Islam at the Crossroads)
Negro poverty is not white poverty. Many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. But there are differences - deep, corrosive, obstinate differences - radiating painful roots into the community and into the family, and the nature of the individual. These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Fear is one of the persistent hounds of hell that dog the footsteps of the poor, the dispossessed, the disinherited. There is nothing new or recent about fear—it is doubtless as old as the life of man on the planet. Fears are of many kinds—fear of objects, fear of people, fear of the future, fear of nature, fear of the unknown, fear of old age, fear of disease, and fear of life itself. Then there is fear which has to do with aspects of experience and detailed states of mind. Our homes, institutions, prisons, churches, are crowded with people who are hounded by day and harrowed by night because of some fear that lurks ready to spring into action as soon as one is alone, or as soon as the lights go out, or as soon as one’s social defenses are temporarily removed. The ever-present fear that besets the vast poor, the economically and socially insecure, is a fear of still a different breed. It is a climate closing in; it is like the fog in San Francisco or in London. It is nowhere in particular yet everywhere. It is a mood which one carries around with himself, distilled from the acrid conflict with which his days are surrounded. It has its roots deep in the heart of the relations between the weak and the strong, between the controllers of environment and those who are controlled by it. When the basis of such fear is analyzed, it is clear that it arises out of the sense of isolation and helplessness in the face of the varied dimensions of violence to which the underprivileged are exposed. Violence, precipitate and stark, is the sire of the fear of such people. It is spawned by the perpetual threat of violence everywhere. Of course, physical violence is the most obvious cause. But here, it is important to point out, a particular kind of physical violence or its counterpart is evidenced; it is violence that is devoid of the element of contest. It is what is feared by the rabbit that cannot ultimately escape the hounds.
Howard Thurman
I used to cry to the stars in the sky and begged them to have mercy on me cause I longed for the moment when the amount of pain I felt would be unbearable and I would simply go numb. Numb. The very taste of that word was a sweet symphony to me. A relief. An alleviation in my unendurable existence. A cure. I ached because of more reasons than I could contain. My mother's cancer, my unrequited love, my worn body. The absence of my dignity and innocence. The utter feeling of abandonment. My yearning for love and family. My beloved father who left me. My freakiness and lack of belonging somewhere. My bisexuality and faith deprivation. My poverty, being insolvent most of my life, having no money to my name since forever. My shack of a house, cold and loathed from the very first days. My sorrow and grief caused by my weaknesses and deficiencies...
Magdalena Ganowska
You are no use to any family, community, cause or movement unless you are first able to manage, maintain and operate the machinery of your own life. These are the means of production that one must first seize before meaningful change can occur. This doesn't mean resistance has to stop.
Darren McGarvey (Poverty Safari)
Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to be boldly sung. We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion. It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth is better than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actual cases. Elsewhere the desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption. There are thousands of conjunctures in which a wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty has no terrors becomes a freeman. Think of the strength which personal indifference to poverty would give us if we were devoted to unpopular causes. We need no longer hold our tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary or reformatory ticket. Our stocks might fall, our hopes of promotion vanish, our salaries stop, our club doors close in our faces; yet, while we lived, we would imperturbably bear witness to the spirit, and our example would help to set free our generation. The cause would need its funds, but we its servants would be potent in proportion as we personally were contented with our poverty. I recommend this matter to your serious pondering, for it is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
Hands If I could tell the world just one thing It would be that we're all ok And not to worry 'cause worry is wasteful and useless in times like these I won't be made useless I won't be idled with despair I'll gather myself around my faith for light does the darkness most fear My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own but they're not yours, they are my own and I am never broken Poverty stole your golden shoes but it didn't steal your laughter And heartache came to visit me but i knew it wasn't ever after We will fight, not out of spite for someone must stand up for what's right 'cause where there's a man who has no voice there ours shall go singing My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours, they are my own but they're not yours, they are my own and I am never broken In the end only kindness matters In the end only kindness matters I will get down on my knees, and I will pray I will get down on my knees, and I will pray I will get down on my knees, and I will pray My hands are small, I know, but they're not yours they are my own but they're not yours they are my own and I am never broken My hands are small, i know, but they're not yours they are my own but they're not yours they are my own and I am never broken We are never broken We are God's eyes God's hands God's mind We are God's eyes God's hands God's heart We are God's eyes We are God's hands We are God's eyes
Borders are the single biggest cause of discrimination in all of world history. Inequality gaps between people living in the same country are nothing in comparison to those between separated global citizenries. Today, the richest 8% earn half of all the world’s income,24 and the richest 1% own more than half of all wealth.25 The poorest billion people account for just 1% of all consumption; the richest billion, 72%.26 From an international perspective, the inhabitants of the Land of Plenty aren’t merely rich, but filthy rich. A person living at the poverty line in the U.S. belongs to the richest 14% of the world population; someone earning a median wage belongs to the richest 4%.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There)
The technocratic illusion is that poverty results from a shortage of expertise, whereas poverty is really about a shortage of rights. The emphasis on the problem of expertise makes the problem of rights worse. The technical problems of the poor (and the absence of technical solutions for those problems) are a symptom of poverty, not a cause of poverty. This book argues that the cause of poverty is the absence of political and economic rights, the absence of a free political and economic system that would find the technical solutions to the poor’s problems. The dictator whom the experts expect will accomplish the technical fixes to technical problems is not the solution; he is the problem.
William Easterly (The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor)
What makes us “a whole lot like Jesus” is when we address the causes and not just the effects of systemic sin in our world, like poverty or violence, when we embrace community rather than succumb to the temptation to care only for ourselves, and when we actively choose weakness and humility rather than defending our desire for control, power, and security.
Daniel P. Horan (God Is Not Fair, and Other Reasons for Gratitude)
Doing unnecessary things waste time. Buying unnecessary things waste money. Doing both cause Poverty.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
I would rather hide in desolation and poverty, whether it be in the Baseborn Quarters or the Tenantless, than be the cause of thousands of deaths in all the five kingdoms.
Anna Banks (Nemesis (Nemesis #1))
The real cause of poverty today – now that it is avoidable – is the unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights, says William Easterly.
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
The first remedy or prevention is to remove, by all means possible, that material cause of sedition whereof we spake; which is, want and poverty in the estate.
Francis Bacon (The Essays)
You understand that the feeling which makes them work is not a feeling of pettiness, ambition, forgetfulness, which you have yourself experienced, but a different sentiment, one more powerful, and one which has made of them men who live with their ordinary composure under the fire of cannon, amid hundreds of chances of death, instead of the one to which all men are subject who live under these conditions amid incessant labor, poverty, and dirt. Men will not accept these frightful conditions for the sake of a cross or a title, nor because of threats ; there must be another lofty incentive as a cause, and this cause is the feeling which rarely appears, of which a Russian is ashamed, that which lies at the bottom of each man's soul — love for his country.
Leo Tolstoy (The Sebastopol Sketches)
The bigger story was competition causing more productive business enterprises to replace less productive ones...However, it provides even more reason to worry about all the people living in economies where protection and distortion of competition allow unproductive enterprises to persist and cause these people to fall further behind, but even more importantly, to remain in poverty.
William W. Lewis (The Power of Productivity: Wealth, Poverty, and the Threat to Global Stability)
We cannot expect a miserable, oppressed populace to exercise much care for anything outside its immediate survival and security. While the poor are kept in a state of survival anxiety through sheer deprivation, the rich suffer poverty of another kind: lack of community, connection, meaning, and intimacy, which can cause severe psychological stress even in conditions of material plenty.
Charles Eisenstein (Climate: A New Story)
the fact that crime and poverty are correlated is automatically taken to mean that poverty causes crime, not that similar attitudes or behavior patterns may contribute to both poverty and crime.
Thomas Sowell (The Vision of the Anointed: Self-congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy)
The trick to running a successful humanitarian operation is to appear to be constantly alleviating poverty without solving any of its underlying causes and ensuring that no one else does either.
Eli K.P. William (The Naked World (Jubilee Cycle, #2))
On all levels and in every aspect of our society, the poor are rejected, mistreated, and forced more deeply into their poverty. Christianity should have taken up the cause of the poor; better yet, it should have identified with the poor. Instead, during almost the entire course of its history, the Church has served as a prop of the powerful and has been on the side of exploiters and states
Frank Schaeffer (Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace)
The Obama administration has a strange theory. Terrorism is a response of uneducated human beings who have been disenfranchised politically and economically. If we can solve the ‘root grievances’ of the poor and oppressed around the world, there will be no more terrorists, and Americans will be safe. This view is of course absurd. If poverty, lack of education, and political disenfranchisement were the causes of terrorism, then much of India and most of China would be populated by terrorists. But they are not. And this is because terrorism is the violent expression of ideology, not objective conditions—what has famously been called ‘propaganda of the deed.’ The terrorist’s ideology may be secular and political—communist or fascist, for example—or it may be religious—Christian, Islamic, or even Hindu.
Sebastian Gorka (Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War)
Poverty is created by barriers; we have to get around or break down those barriers to deliver solutions. But that’s not all. The more I saw our work in the field, the more I realized that delivery needs to shape strategy. The challenge of delivery reveals the causes of poverty. You learn why people are poor. You don’t have to guess what the barriers are. As soon as you try to deliver help, you run into them.
Melinda Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
At least ten times as many people died from preventable, poverty-related diseases on September 11, 2001, as died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that black day. The terrorist attacks led to trillions of dollars being spent on the ‘war on terrorism’ and on security measures that have inconvenienced every air traveller since then. The deaths caused by poverty were ignored. So whereas very few people have died from terrorism since September 11, 2001, approximately 30,000 people died from poverty-related causes on September 12, 2001, and on every day between then and now, and will die tomorrow.
Singer Sewing Company (Practical Ethics)
Earning money from, and supporting, a system that keeps these people in poverty in the first place and then gives them some of the profits in the form of "strings-attached" aid or World Bank and IMF loans is no more ridiculous than Shell or Esso giving Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth £10,000 to help clear up the destruction that they inevitably cause. Would it not be better not to cause the destruction in the first place?
Mark Boyle (The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living)
The goodness of the land favored the enrichment of particular individuals, and thus created faction which proved a fertile source of ruin. It also invited invasion. [5] Accordingly Attica,5a from the poverty of its soil enjoying from a very remote period freedom from faction, [6] never changed its inhabitants. And here is no minor example of my assertion that the migrations were the cause of there being no correspondent growth in other parts.
Thucydides (The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War)
f white Americans were to leave the country tomorrow, in ten years -America would be a ghetto. You can see the truth of this when you look at many of our major cities that are run by black mayors, black-dominated city councils, and black police chiefs. These cities are usually horrible places to live. Yet blacks who live in black-ruled cities can't see the truth: their own immorality is the cause of black poverty, crime, and family destruction!
Jesse Lee Peterson (Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America)
As described by sociologist Katherine Beckett, “The (alleged) misbehaviors of the poor were transformed from adaptations to poverty that had the unfortunate effect of reproducing it into character failings that accounted for poverty in the first place.”56 The “social pathologies” of the poor, particularly street crime, illegal drug use, and delinquency, were redefined by conservatives as having their cause in overly generous relief arrangements.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Although it is common to think of poverty and joblessness as leading to crime and imprisonment, this research suggests that the War on Drugs is a major cause of poverty, chronic unemployment, broken families, and crime today. Todd
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
The liberal theory of the causes of crime—that it was born of racism, segregation, oppression, poverty, and disinvestment—painted a picture of the problem that required a set of solutions far above what the local beat cops could provide.
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
Ministry is not about helping these kids be better Christians; it is about helping them be what God created them to be-human. And it is the degradation of their humanity, brought about by broken and abusive families, violent neighborhoods, failing schools and poverty, that caused them to lash out so forcefully. Ministry is about suffering with them in their dehumanization, celebrating their human endeavors and in all things pointing to the true human, Jesus Christ our Lord. Having
Andrew Root (Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation)
These were neither the first nor the last times when statistical disparities led people to jump to conclusions about villainy being the cause. False assumptions as to causation are more than intellectual errors, and their consequences go far beyond economic losses.
Thomas Sowell (Wealth, Poverty and Politics)
Of course, there has been a lot of speculation over the last couple of years that our wives must have married us bearded ugly ducklings because of our fame and fortune. The fact is that none of us had much at all when we met our wives, and our long, full beards came after we married them. Our crazy uncle Si likes to joke that our gift of gab--or “hot air,” as he puts it--is what helped woo our wives. Actually, our relationships were built on spiritual principles such as faith, hope, and love. Through our poverty, rugged appearances, and, at times, musty aromas, I learned that true joy doesn’t come from what you have or how you look but from what kind of man you are on the inside. On my second date with Missy, I explained to her my love for hunting and fishing, which often causes me to be gone for several days and sometimes weeks at a time. I figured my admission would rule out a third date, but I was surprised when she replied, “Okay.” I knew right then that Missy was a keeper, and she has become my spiritual soul mate and a wonderful mother to our three beautiful children.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
Your Holiness, we are more than prepared to concede that overpopulation alone is not the sole cause of poverty and misery,” Giuliani began. “Fatuous oligarchies,” Gelasius suggested. “Ethnic paranoia. Whimsical economic systems. An enduring habit of treating women like dogs …
Mary Doria Russell (Children of God (The Sparrow, #2))
...[A] lot of them, without even understanding the cause, just give up. They take what they can-mostly in pleasure,and they make the grand gesture, the wild gesture, because what have they got to lose if they do die in a car wreck or a knife fight or something else equally stupid.
John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me)
The ordinary writer has an unmistakable preference for this style, because it causes the reader to spend time and trouble in understanding that which he would have understood in a moment without it; and this makes it look as though the writer had more depth and intelligence than the reader. This is, indeed, one of those artifices referred to above, by means of which mediocre authors unconsciously, and as it were by instinct, strive to conceal their poverty of thought and give an appearance of the opposite. their ingenuity in this respect is really astounding.
Arthur Schopenhauer
To feel safe, you need to control what the people around you are going to say and do. This is not achieved by going after the root causes of violence. This is not even achieved by working to slowly improve social conditions. It is achieved through silence and disappearance, by moving the offending object or person out of sight. . . . [However] [d]o we want to live in a world that is safe? Do we want to push the homeless out of our cities and call that a victory over poverty? . . . Or do we want to do the very hard work of recognizing and addressing the actual causes of harm to women? Safety is a short-term goal and it is unsustainable. Eventually, the unaddressed causes will find new ways of manifesting themselves as problems. Pull up the dandelions all you want, but unless you dig up that whole goddamn root it's just going to keep showing back up.
Jessa Crispin (Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto)
One of the causes, by the way, of the apparent lack, at the present time, of great men lies in the poverty of the contemporary male coiffure. Rich in whiskers, beards, and leonine manes, the great Victorians never failed to look the part, nowadays it is impossible to know a great man when you see one.
Aldous Huxley (Complete Essays, Vol. I: 1920-1925)
When a human in happy time, he/she doesn’t understand the reality! He/she doesn’t realize it until he/she is touched by sadness, pain, poverty, refusal, betrayal, hate, abuse and so many things. Until then he/she doesn’t know what the reality is. Cause the reality is very harsh and very hard to accept.
Salman Aziz (6th September: A Very Unknown Mysterious Story)
Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class, and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys.
Michael S. Kimmel (Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era)
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil. For the first side of this equation, I need no sources. As a conservative, I can confidently attest that whatever else my colleagues might disagree about—Bosnia, John McCain, precisely how many orphans we’re prepared to throw into the snow so the rich can have their tax cuts—we all agree that liberals are stupid. We mean this, of course, in the nicest way. Liberals tend to be nice, and they believe—here is where they go stupid—that most everybody else is nice too. Deep down, that is. Sure, you’ve got your multiple felon and your occasional war criminal, but they’re undoubtedly depraved ’cause they’re deprived. If only we could get social conditions right—eliminate poverty, teach anger management, restore the ozone, arrest John Ashcroft—everyone would be holding hands smiley-faced, rocking back and forth to “We Shall Overcome.” Liberals believe that human nature is fundamentally good. The fact that this is contradicted by, oh, 4,000 years of human history simply tells them how urgent is the need for their next seven-point program for the social reform of everything.
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics)
We have all read about poverty and starvation around the world, but I never imagined I would be witnessing it firsthand. On one hand I wish I did not have to see this, but on the other I hope it causes me to never again take anything for granted. I hope this makes me appreciate every last thing I have been blessed with in life.
Bryan A. Wood (Unspoken Abandonment: Sometimes the hardest part of going to war is coming home)
A very distinct pattern has emerged repeatedly when policies favored by the anointed turn out to fail. This pattern typically has four stages: STAGE 1. THE “CRISIS”: Some situation exists, whose negative aspects the anointed propose to eliminate. Such a situation is routinely characterized as a “crisis,” even though all human situations have negative aspects, and even though evidence is seldom asked or given to show how the situation at hand is either uniquely bad or threatening to get worse. Sometimes the situation described as a “crisis” has in fact already been getting better for years. STAGE 2. THE “SOLUTION”: Policies to end the “crisis” are advocated by the anointed, who say that these policies will lead to beneficial result A. Critics say that these policies will lead to detrimental result Z. The anointed dismiss these latter claims as absurd and “simplistic,” if not dishonest. STAGE 3. THE RESULTS: The policies are instituted and lead to detrimental result Z. STAGE 4. THE RESPONSE: Those who attribute detrimental result Z to the policies instituted are dismissed as “simplistic” for ignoring the “complexities” involved, as “many factors” went into determining the outcome. The burden of proof is put on the critics to demonstrate to a certainty that these policies alone were the only possible cause of the worsening that occurred. No burden of proof whatever is put on those who had so confidently predicted improvement. Indeed, it is often asserted that things would have been even worse, were it not for the wonderful programs that mitigated the inevitable damage from other factors. Examples of this pattern are all too abundant. Three will be considered here. The first and most general involves the set of social welfare policies called “the war on poverty” during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, but continuing under other labels since then. Next is the policy of introducing “sex education” into the public schools, as a means of reducing teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases. The third example will be policies designed to reduce crime by adopting a less punitive approach, being more concerned with preventive social policies beforehand and rehabilitation afterwards, as well as showing more concern with the legal rights of defendants in criminal cases.
Thomas Sowell (The Thomas Sowell Reader)
So while police intervention can importantly separate violent adults from their victims or each other after violence has begun, this job of “stopping violence” has shifted from stopping the causes of violence to reacting punitively to the expressions of those unaddressed causes. What was even more distracting and confusing was that the job of punishing the expressions of patriarchy, racism, and poverty was assigned to the police, who also cause violence. This responsibility, in some cases, produced additional acts of violence on the part of the government, like “stop and frisk,” and racial profiling that committed violence in the name of claiming to fight violence. These laws also produced more access for the state into the homes and families of the poor, and more incarceration of Black and other poor men. Instead of empowering women and the poor, the fate of the traumatized was increasingly in the hands of the power of the police acting as a group to represent oppressive systems. Now,
Sarah Schulman (Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair)
It's very painful... I see a lot of poverty. I see a lot of spiritual poverty. This is a nation that has been deceived and abused. And you can't be a happy people when your reality is based on deception... we're causing incredible harm to countries like Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan... but the other side of the sword is cutting us.
Christopher Lee Bollyn
REVIEW: Like a master artisan, Weisberger weaves together threads of anthropology, botany, ecology and psychology in an inspiring tapestry of ideas sure to keep discerning readers warm and hopeful in these cold and desolate times.Unlike other texts, which ordinarily prescribe structural (ie. social, political, economic) solutions to the global crisis of environmental destruction, Rainforest Medicine hones in on the root cause of Western schizophrenia: spiritual poverty, and the resultant alienation of the individual from his environment. This incisive perception is married to a message of hope: that the keys to the door leading to promising new human vistas are held in the humblest of hands; those of the spiritual masters of the Amazon and the traditional cultures from which they hail. By illumining the ancient practices of authentic indigenous Amazonian shamanism, Weisberger supplies us with a manual for conservation of both the rainforest and the soul. And frankly, it could not have arrived at a better time.
Jonathon Miller Weisberger (Rainforest Medicine: Preserving Indigenous Science and Biodiversity in the Upper Amazon)
the economist John Bell Condliffe, saw what was happening, and warned presciently in 1938: ‘We face a new and more formidable superstition than the world has ever known: the myth of the nation-state, whose priests are as intolerant as those of the Inquisition.’ Condliffe saw autocratic power as the cause of, not the solution to, poverty. Much
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
I (John Stone) have never had any great desire to abolish poverty or save fallen women; I am, and always have been, deeply suspicious of those who wish to do these things. They normally cause more harm than good and, in my experience, their desire for power, to control others, is very much greater than that of any businessman. p 455 Stone's Fall
Iain Pears
You still waste time with those things, Lenù? We are flying over a ball of fire. The part that has cooled floats on lava. On that part we construct buildings, the bridges, and the streets, and every so often the lava comes out of Vesuvius or causes an earthquake that destroys everything. There are microbes everywhere that make us sick and die. There are wars. There is a poverty that makes us cruel. Every second something might happen that will cause you such suffering that you'll never have enough tears. And what are you doing? A theology course in which you struggle to understand what the Holy Spirit is? Forget it, it was the Devil who invented the world, not the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (L'amica geniale #1))
Among these miseries was pollution, which caused disease. The Heavens saved us from war by means of disease, which blessed not one generation but hundreds. Where there was overcrowding, now there is space. Where there was competition, now there is cooperation. Where there was pollution, now there is a clean world. Where there was poverty, now there is wealth.
Sue Burke (Semiosis (Semiosis Duology, #1))
One of the worst enemies that sets the platform for developing a poverty mindset is your background. Where you come from, the mindset of the people you deal with, what you know, and your experiences can set the tone that can cause you to believe that you are born to be poor. You can only get out of that dungeon of a mindset by revolutionizing the way you think.
Oscar Bimpong
Having learnt from experiment and argument that a stone falls downwards, a man indubitably believes this, and always expects the law he has learnt to be fulfilled. But learning just as certainly that his will is subject to laws, he does not and cannot believe it. However often experiment and reasoning may show a man that under the same conditions and with the same character he will do the same thing as before, yet when, under the same conditions and with the same character, he approaches for the thousandth time the action that always ends in the same way, he feels as certainly convinced as before the experiment that he can act as he pleases. Every man, savage or sage, however incontestably reason and experiment may prove to him that it is impossible to imagine two different courses of action in precisely the same conditions, feels that without this irrational conception (which constitutes the essence of freedom) he cannot imagine life. He feels that, however impossible it may be, it is so, for without this conceptions of freedom not only would he be unable to understand life, but he would be unable to live for a single moment. He could not live, because all man's efforts, all his impulses to life, are only efforts to increase freedom. Wealth and poverty, fame and obscurity, power and subordination, strength and weakness, health and disease, culture and ignorance, work and leisure, repletion and hunger, virtue and vice, are only greater or lesser degrees of freedom. A man having no freedom cannot be conceived of except as deprived of life. If the conception of freedom appears to reason a senseless contradiction, like the possibility of performing two actions at one and the same instant of time, or of an effect without a cause, that only proves that consciousness is not subject to reason.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
We must realize that we don’t live in a vacuum; the consequences of our actions ripple throughout the world. Would you still run the water while you brush your teeth, if it meant someone else would suffer from thirst? Would you still drive a gas guzzler, if you knew a world oil shortage would bring poverty and chaos? Would you still build an oversized house, if you witnessed first-hand the effects of deforestation? If we understood how our lifestyles impact other people, perhaps we would live a little more lightly. Our choices as consumers have an environmental toll. Every item we buy, from food to books to televisions to cars, uses up some of the earth’s bounty. Not only does its production and distribution require energy and natural resources; its disposal is also cause for concern. Do we really want our grandchildren to live among giant landfills? The less we need to get by, the better off everyone (and our planet) will be. Therefore, we should reduce our consumption as much as possible, and favor products and packaging made from minimal, biodegradable, or recyclable materials.
Francine Jay (The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life)
What I had come to understand was that the root cause of poor performance in schools is not 'bad schools' or 'bad teachers' but poverty. Closing schools and firing their teachers and principals does not help students. If anything, it introduces damaging instability into their lives. The privatizers hail disruption and call it 'creative,' but it is neither creative nor beneficial.
Diane Ravitch (Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America's Public Schools)
I must say that I recognized at once that we had never understood the meaning of these words, so common and yet so sacred: Justice, equity, liberty; that concerning each of these principles our ideas have been utterly obscure; and, in fact, that this ignorance was the sole cause, both of the poverty that devours us, and of all the calamities that have ever afflicted the human race.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (What Is Property?)
In liberation theology, Marxism is never treated as a subject on its own but always from and in relation to the poor. Placing themselves firmly on the side of the poor, liberation theologians ask Marx: 'What can you tell us about the situation of poverty and ways of overcoming it?' Here Marxists are submitted to the judgment of the poor and their cause, and not the other way around.
Leonardo Boff and Clodovis Boff
We have, it seems, shut the poor out of our minds and driven them from the mainstream of our society. We have allowed the poor to become invisible, and we have become angry when they make their presence felt. But just as nonviolence has exposed the ugliness of racial injustice, we must now find ways to expose and heal the sickness of poverty—not just its symptoms, but its basic causes.
Martin Luther King Jr. (The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Slowly, God is opening my eyes to needs all around me. In Scripture, God revisits this issue of caring for the poor- an echo that repeats itself from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible acknowledges that the poor will always be part of society, but God takes on their cause. The Mosaic law of the Old Testament is filled with regulations to prevent and eliminate poverty. The poor were given the right to glean- to take produce from the unharvested edges of the fields, a portion of the tithes, and a daily wage. The law prevented permanent slavery by releasing Jewish bondsmen and women on the sabbatical and Jubilee year and forbade charging interest on loans. In one of his most tender acts, God made sure that the poor- the aliens, widows, and orphans- were all invited to the feasts.
Margaret Feinberg (The Sacred Echo: Hearing God's Voice in Every Area of Your Life)
A professor once asked his class to answer the question, “What causes mental illness?” The students wrote the kinds of answers you might expect: trauma, abuse, neglect, poverty. “No,” he replied. “Everyday interactions cause mental illness.” Even the smallest interactions, when repeated hundreds or thousands of times throughout a person’s life, can have tremendous influence on that person’s mental health.
Mark Ettensohn (Unmasking Narcissism: A Guide to Understanding the Narcissist in Your Life)
the causes of poverty as put forth in the Bible are remarkably balanced. The Bible gives us a matrix of causes. One factor is oppression, which includes a judicial system weighted in favor of the powerful (Leviticus 19:15), or loans with excessive interest (Exodus 22:25-27), or unjustly low wages (Jeremiah 22:13; James 5:1-6). Ultimately, however, the prophets blame the rich when extremes of wealth and poverty in society appear (Amos 5:11-12; Ezekiel 22:29; Micah 2:2; Isaiah 5:8). As we have seen, a great deal of the Mosaic legislation was designed to keep the ordinary disparities between the wealthy and the poor from becoming aggravated and extreme. Therefore, whenever great disparities arose, the prophets assumed that to some degree it was the result of selfish individualism rather than concern with the common good.
Timothy J. Keller (Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just)
My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression, and injustice had finally revealed something to me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn't just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish and heartbreak, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can't effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it. We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. The ways in which I have been hurt - and have hurt others - are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I'd always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we're fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we're shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We've become so fearful and vengeful that we've thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak - not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we've pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we've legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we've allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We've submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken - walking away from them or hiding them from sight - only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity. I frequently had difficult conversations with clients who were struggling and despairing over their situations - over the things they'd done, or had been done to them, that had led them to painful moments. Whenever things got really bad, and they were questioning the value of their lives, I would remind them that each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. I told them that if someone tells a lie, that person is not just a liar. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, you are not just a thief. Even if you kill someone, you're not just a killer. I told myself that evening what I had been telling my clients for years. I am more than broken. In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things that you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu's view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, "How about the tortoise?" the Indian said, "Suppose we change the subject." The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian)
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Martin Luther King Jr.
My honey child, them housing projects Cannot contain her multitudes A sunbeam, hard upon her Just a fly strugglin’ through her braid loops Watch me prove to ‘em I’m more than nothin’ But a ragamuffin with homesick eyes Yes, when it gets to be the same old thing Shorty you ought to come and see about me My love, she is a drummer Than industrial steel, her backbone tougher The eloping night and the honey moon that trails Just dirt ‘neath her finger nails I’ll be down on them crossroads ‘Til daybreak winks a bright eye And if it gets to be the same old thing Shorty you ought to come and see about me She’s heard all the right things And they did not persuade her She has no use for your words What she wants is your labor ‘Cause when gringos speak of minorities They tend to keep their voices low Ah, but when that gets to be the same old thing Shorty you ought to come and see about me
Valentine Xavier
Nowadays, our leaders prefer to search for the causes of crime and poverty in the actions or inaction of those at the very bottom of society. The obscene transfers of wealth over the past forty years from that bottom to a privileged few at the top--and from much of the Third World to financial elites in the West--are all excused as the natural evolution of the Market, when, in fact, they are products of unparalleled greed by those who shape and direct that Market.
Juan González (Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America)
There is a paradox about tribulation in Christianity. Blessed are the poor, but by judgement (i.e., social justice) and alms we are to remove poverty wherever possible. Blessed are we when persecuted, but we may avoid persecution by flying city to city, and may pray to be spared it as. Our Lord prayed in Gethsemane. But if suffering is good, ought it not to be pursued rather than avoided? I answer that suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads. In the fallen and partially redeemed universe, we may distinguish (1) the simple good descending from God, (2) the simple evil produced by rebellious creatures, and (3) the exploitation of that evil by God for His redemptive purpose, which produces (4) the complex good out of simple evil does not excuse - though by mercy it may save -- those who do simple evil. And this distinction is central. Offences must come, but woe to those whom they come; sins do cause grace to abound, but we must not make that excuse for continuing to sin. The crucifixion itself is the best, as well as the worst, of all historical events, but the role of Judas remains simply evil... For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
At least ten times as many people died from preventable, poverty-related diseases on September 11, 2011, as died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that black day. The terrorist attacks led to trillions of dollars being spent on the ‘war on terrorism’ and on security measures that have inconvenienced every air traveller since then. The deaths caused by poverty were ignored. So whereas very few people have died from terrorism since September 11, 2001, approximately 30,000 people died from poverty-related causes on September 12, 2001, and on every day between then and now, and will die tomorrow. Even when we consider larger events like the Asian tsunami of 2004, which killed approximately 230,000 people, or the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed up to 200,000, we are still talking about numbers that represent just one week’s toll for preventable, poverty-related deaths — and that happens fifty-two weeks in every year.
Peter Singer (Practical Ethics)
long-standing debate in the political arena concerns the extent to which people are materially poor due to their personal failures or to the effects of broken systems on their lives. Political conservatives tend to stress the former, while political liberals tend to emphasize the latter. Which view is correct? Many of us learned as children in Sunday school that Adam and Eve’s sin messed up absolutely everything, implying that both individuals and systems are broken. Hence, Christians should be open to the idea that individuals and/or systems could be the problem as we try to diagnose the causes of poverty in any particular context. This much we learned in Sunday school. Unfortunately, what few of us seem to have learned in Sunday school is that Jesus’ redemption is cosmic in scope, bringing reconciliation to both individuals and systems. And as ministers of reconciliation, His people need to be concerned with both as well, the subject to which we now turn.
Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself)
so St Francis, on the first founding of his Order, chose twelve companions, all lovers of poverty. And even as one of the twelve Apostles, being reproved by Christ, hanged himself by the neck, so among the twelve companions of St Francis was one, called Brother John della Capella, who apostatised, and finally hanged himself by the neck. This should be for the elect a great example and cause of humility and fear, when they consider how no one is certain of persevering in the grace of God to the end.
Francis of Assisi (The Little Flowers Of Saint Francis Of Assisi: Extended Annotated Edition)
Let any one who is acquainted with what multitudes of people get their daily bread in this city by their labour, whether artificers or meer workmen—I say, let any man consider what must be the miserable condition of this town if, on a sudden, they should all be turned out of employment, that labour should cease, and wages for work be no more.  This was the case with us at that time; and had not the sums of money contributed in charity by well-disposed people of every kind, as well as abroad as at home, been prodigiously great, it had not been in the power of the Lord Mayor and sheriffs to have kept the publick peace. Nor were they without apprehensions, as it was, that desperation should push the people upon tumults and cause them to rifle the houses of rich men and plunder the markets of provisions; in which case the country people, who brought provisions very freely and boldly to town, would have been terrified from coming any more, and the town would have sunk under an unavoidable famine.
Daniel Defoe (A Journal of the Plague Year)
Poverty when coupled with creativeness is usually free of frustration. This is true of the poor artisan skilled in his trade and of the poor writer, artist and scientist in the full possession of creative powers. Nothing so bolsters our self-confidence and reconciles us with ourselves as the continuous ability to create; to see things grow and develop under our hand, day in, day out. The decline of handicrafts in modern times is perhaps one of the causes for the rise of frustration and the increased susceptibility of the individual to mass movements. It
Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements)
If the cause of the violent crime is the Black body, if Black people are violent demons, then the violent-crime levels would be relatively the same no matter where Black people live. But Black upper-income and middle-income neighborhoods tend to have less violent crime than Black low-income neighborhoods—as is the case in non-Black communities. But that does not mean low-income Black people are more violent than high-income Black people. That means low-income neighborhoods struggle with unemployment and poverty—and their typical byproduct, violent crime.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
It was the ghetto. I had seen them before from the high altitude of one who could look down and pity. Now I belonged here and the view was different. A first glance told it all. Here it was pennies and clutter and spittle on the curb... Here was the indefinable stink of despair. Here modesty was the luxury. People struggled for it... Here sensuality was escape, proof of manhood for people who could prove it no other way... Here hips drew the eye and flirted with the eye and caused the eye to lust or laugh. It was better to look at hips than at the ghetto.
John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me)
I’m hoping that you will look at the larger picture and think about what it takes to live ethically in a world in which 18 million people are dying unnecessarily each year. That’s a higher annual death rate than in World War II. In the past twenty years alone, it adds up to more deaths than were caused by all the civil and international wars and government repression of the entire twentieth century, the century of Hitler and Stalin. How much would we give to prevent those horrors? Yet how little are we doing to prevent today’s even larger toll, and all the misery that it involves?
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: How to play your part in ending world poverty)
In a world dominated by violent and passive-aggressive men, and by male institutions dispensing violence, it is extraordinary to note how often women are represented as the perpetrators of violence, most of all when we are simply fighting in self-defense or for our children, or when we collectively attempt to change the institutions that are making war on us and on our children. In reality, the feminist movement could be said to be trying to visualize and make way for a world in which abortion would not be necessary; a world free from poverty and rape, in which young girls would grow up with intelligent regard for and knowledge of their bodies and respect for their minds, in which the socialization of women into heterosexual romance and marriage would no longer be the primary lesson of culture; in which single women could raise children with a less crushing cost to themselves, in which female creativity might or might not choose to express itself in motherhood. Yet, when radical feminists and lesbian/feminists begin to speak of such a world, when we begin to sketch the conditions of a life we have collectively envisioned, the first charge we are likely to hear is a charge of violence: that we are “man-haters.” We hear that the women’s movement is provoking men to rape; that it has caused an increase in violent crimes by women; and when we demand the right to rear our children in circumstances where they have a chance for more than mere physical survival, we are called fetus-killers. The beating of women in homes across this country, the rape of daughters by fathers and brothers, the fear of rape that keeps old—as well as young—women off the streets, the casual male violence that can use a car to run two jogging women off a country road, the sadistic exploitation of women’s bodies to furnish a multibillion-dollar empire of pornography, the decision taken by powerful white males that one-quarter of the world’s women shall be sterilized or that certain selected women—poor and Third World—shall be used as subjects for psychosurgery and contraceptive experiments—these ordinary, everyday events inevitably must lead us to ask: who indeed hates whom, who is killing whom, whose interest is served, and whose fantasies expressed, by representing abortion as the selfish, willful, morally contagious expression of woman’s predilection for violence?
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978)
Order and good government, and along with them the liberty and security of individuals, were in this manner established in cities, at a time when the occupiers of land in the country, were exposed to every sort of violence. But men in this defenceless state naturally content themselves with their necessary subsistence; because, to acquire more, might only tempt the injustice of their oppressors. On the contrary, when they are secure of enjoying the fruits of their industry, they naturally exert it to better their condition, and to acquire not only the necessaries, but the conveniencies and elegancies of life.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations)
What are these conventions? Although there are many, and much of this book is devoted to refuting them, there is one central doctrine on which they all depend: Whites are responsible for the problems blacks face. Black crime, black poverty, black illegitimacy, black difficulties of all kinds can be traced to a heritage of slavery and to inveterate white racism. In other words, it is the malevolence of whites that causes blacks to fail. Although the doctrine is not often stated as sweepingly or as bluntly as this, it underlies virtually every public pronouncement on race relations and virtually every public program designed to improve them.
Jared Taylor (Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America)
To be sure, we can buy art, but we sense that if it is mere commodity, we pay too much; and if it is true art, we pay infinitely too little. Similarly, we can buy sex but not love; we can buy calories but not real nourishment. Today we suffer a poverty of immesurable things, priceless things; a poverty of the things that money cannot buy and a surfeit of the things it can (though this surfeit is so unequally distributed that many suffer a poverty of those things, too). Just as money homogenizes the things it touches, so also does it homogenize and depersonalize its users: "It facilitates the kind of commercial exchange that is disembedded from all other relations." In other words, people become mere parties to a transaction. In contrast to the diverse motivations that characterize the giving and receiving of gifts, in a pure financial transaction we are all identical: we all want to get the best deal. The homegeneity among human beings that is an effect of money is assumed by economics to be a cause. The whole story of money's evolution from barter assumes that it is fundamental human nature to want to maximize self-interest. In this, human beings are assumed to be identical. When there is no standard of value, different humans want different things. When money is exchangeable for any thing, then all people want the same thing: money.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
What does hanging on a cross for twenty-four hours mean to a man who has no children,' I said, 'especially when he knows he's dying for a good cause -- indeed, that he's saving the whole world and then going straight into the best place in Heaven? What's that compared to the suffering I've had to put up with for months and years with the house full of children, when for many whole nights I've shrieked with pain unceasingly and without relief, and I'll soon be dead, and that without having anything to die for; and there'll be no heavenly Kingdom for me, for I know the children will go on crying when I'm dead, and swearing and quarrelling, and begging for milk they can't get.
Halldór Laxness (Salka Valka)
Back of this formula is a law of nature which no man has yet been able to explain. The name by which one calls this law is of little importance. The important fact about it is—it WORKS for the glory and success of mankind, IF it is used constructively. On the other hand, if used destructively, it will destroy just as readily. In this statement may be found a very significant truth, namely, that those who go down in defeat, and end their lives in poverty, misery, and distress, do so because of negative application of the principle of autosuggestion. The cause may be found in the fact that all impulses of thought have a tendency to clothe themselves in their physical equivalent.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
Neglect is usually better classified as child maltreatment defined by poverty rather than maltreatment caused by poverty. The main reason child protection services deal primarily with poor families is because of the way child maltreatment is defined. The child welfare system is designed to detect and punish neglect on the part of poor parents and to ignore most middle-class and wealthy parents’ failings. Although the meaning of child maltreatment shifted from a social to a medical model, it retained its focus on poor families. The system continues to concentrate on the effects of childhood poverty, but it treats the damage as a symptom of parental rather than societal deficits.
Dorothy Roberts (Shattered Bonds: The Color Of Child Welfare)
It is important to note that the Great Reversal preceded the rise of the welfare state in America. Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty did not occur until the 1960s, and even FDR’s relatively modest New Deal policies were not launched until the 1930s. In short, the evangelical church’s retreat from poverty alleviation was fundamentally due to shifts in theology and not—as many have asserted—to government programs that drove the church away from ministry to the poor. While the rise of government programs may have exacerbated the church’s retreat, they were not the primary cause. Theology matters, and the church needs to rediscover a Christ-centered, fully orbed perspective of the kingdom.
Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself)
I am a center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, truth and action. My affairs are divinely guided and guarded into right action, into correct results. Everything I do, say or think, is stimulated by the Truth. There is power in this word that I speak, because it is of the Truth and it is the Truth. There is perfect and continuous right action in my life and my affairs. All belief in wrong action is dispelled and made negative. Right action alone has power and right action is power, and Power is God... the Living Spirit Almighty. This Spirit animates everything that I do, say or think. Ideas come to me daily and these ideas are divine ideas. They direct me and sustain me without effort. I am continuously directed. I am compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course at all times. “All suggestion of age, poverty, limitation or unhappiness is uprooted from my mind and cannot gain entrance to my thought. I am happy, well and filled with perfect Life. I live in the Spirit of Truth and am conscious that the Spirit of Truth lives in me. My word is the law unto its own manifestation, and will bring to me or cause me to be brought to its fulfillment. There is no unbelief, no doubt, no uncertainty. I know and I know that I know. Let every thought of doubt vanish from my mind that I may know the Truth and the Truth may make me free.
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (The Science of Mind: The Definitive Edition)
The Shakers’ “communism,” which caused immediate suspicion among their neighbors, was actually based on the very first Christian church, sometimes called the Primitive Church, as articulated in Acts 2:44–45: “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” While I grew up in the Baptist Church, which I was compelled to attend at least twice a week, I never heard a preacher quote this passage. As Americans, we greatly prefer a version of Christianity that, while it might “care” for the poor, advocates no structural economic changes that might actually decrease levels of poverty in the United States. And
Erik Reece (Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America's Most Radical Idea)
The Chinese people have only family and clan solidarity; they do not have national spirit...they are just a heap of loose sand...Other men are the carving knife and serving dish; we are the fish and the meat. China is now suffering from poverty, not from unequal distribution of wealth. Where there are inequalities of wealth, the methods of Marx can, of course, be used; a class war can be advocated to destroy the inequalities. But in China, where industry is not yet developed, Marx's class war and dictatorship of the proletariat are impracticable. Class war is not the cause of social progress; it is a disease developed in the course of social progress. The cause of the disease is the inability to subsist, and the result of the disease is war. Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-Sen
Will “trigger warnings” simply be a way of establishing a new secular index, a cautionary list of books and other works dangerous not for religious reasons but because they may offend or upset certain groups or individuals or that contain material which can be viewed as insensitive or inappropriate? Would Grapes of Wrath be upsetting to someone with bad memories of rural poverty? Will the near future necessitate warning labels in front of all published material? Will future editions of The Best American Essays, for example, include a trigger warning in front of each selection so readers can avoid material that might upset them? And will trigger warnings in themselves eventually cause upsetting reactions, just the words and images sufficing to evoke unpleasant memories or anxious responses?
John Jeremiah Sullivan (The Best American Essays 2014)
The Word must be taken into our heart or it is lost by all the circumstances. Those who hear the Word and do not follow Jesus’ prescription to establish it in their heart will let it slip from them. They hear amiss! The result is they will spend the rest of their life getting more of what they have. Whatever they have… more is given, i.e. more poverty or more prosperity, more sickness or more health, more happiness or more sorrow. When it says “more will be given,” that word means, “to cause to happen;” for example, the sky gives the rain.7 But this doesn’t mean God is giving and taking the rain. The Scriptures reflect this giving and taking to be the product of the beliefs of our heart. After all, in the parable it was all about how the heart that receives the seed determines the harvest.
Jim Richards
The matter of sedition is of two kinds: much poverty and much discontentment....The causes and motives of sedition are, innovation in religion; taxes; alteration of laws and customs; breaking of privileges; general oppression; advancement of unworthy persons, strangers; dearths; disbanded soldiers; factions grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending people joineth them in a common cause.' The cue of every leader, of course, is to divide his enemies and to unite his friends. 'Generally, the dividing and breaking of all factions...that are adverse to the state, and setting them at a distance, or at least distrust, among themselves, is not one of the worst remedies; for it is a desperate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are against it be entire and united.' A better recipe for the avoidance of revolutions is an equitable distribution of wealth: 'Money is like muck, not good unless it be spread.' But this does not mean socialism, or even democracy; Bacon distrusts the people, who were in his day quite without access to education; 'the lowest of all flatteries is the flattery of the common people;' and 'Phocion took it right, who, being applauded by the multitude, asked, What had he done amiss?' What Bacon wants is first a yeomanry of owning farmers; then an aristocracy for administration; and above all a philosopher-king. 'It is almost without instance that any government was unprosperous under learned governors.' He mentions Seneca, Antonius Pius and Aurelius; it was his hope that to their names posterity would add his own.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
Some scholars believe we have long since passed a tipping point where the declining marginal return on imprisonment has dipped below zero. Imprisonment, they say, now creates far more crime than it prevents, by ripping apart fragile social networks, destroying families, and creating a permanent class of unemployables.28 Although it is common to think of poverty and joblessness as leading to crime and imprisonment, this research suggests that the War on Drugs is a major cause of poverty, chronic unemployment, broken families, and crime today. Todd R. Clear’s book Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Communities Worse powerfully demonstrates that imprisonment has reached such extreme levels in many urban communities that a prison sentence and/or a felon label poses a much greater threat to urban families than crime itself.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Right now in this world, a child is dying from an ailment because its family cannot afford to buy charcoal for boiling water. Right now in this world, a girl is striving to find firewood from trees that no more exist, and water from sources that are poisonous. Right now in this world, a boy is out fishing in a lake rich with inedible species. Right now in this world, a mother is drowning in heavy rainfall, to save her belongings. Right now in this world, a man has lost his dignity because all his eff orts to save have been wiped away to poverty by unforeseen calamities. Right now in this world, a family is starving because drought has invaded their once fertile land. Right now in this world, a nation is planning for refugee status due to adverse climate conditions. Right now in this world, you have a choice to help alleviate environmental problems caused by humankind.
Gloria D. Gonsalves (The Wisdom Huntress: Anthology of Thoughts and Narrations)
In seeking to establish the causes of poverty and other social problems among black Americans, for example, sociologist William Julius Wilson pointed to factors such as “the enduring effects of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, public school segregation, legalized discrimination, residential segregation, the FHA’s redlining of black neighborhoods in the 1940s and ’50s, the construction of public housing projects in poor black neighborhoods, employer discrimination, and other racial acts and processes.”1 These various facts might be summarized as examples of racism, so the causal question is whether racism is either the cause, or one of the major causes, of poverty and other social problems among black Americans today. Many might consider the obvious answer to be “yes.” Yet some incontrovertible facts undermine that conclusion. For example, despite the high poverty rate among black Americans in general, the poverty rate among black married couples has been less than 10 percent every year since 1994.2 The poverty rate of married blacks is not only lower than that of blacks as a whole, but in some years has also been lower than that of whites as a whole.3 In 2016, for example, the poverty rate for blacks was 22 percent, for whites was 11 percent, and for black married couples was 7.5 percent.4 Do racists care whether someone black is married or unmarried? If not, then why do married blacks escape poverty so much more often than other blacks, if racism is the main reason for black poverty? If the continuing effects of past evils such as slavery play a major causal role today, were the ancestors of today’s black married couples exempt from slavery and other injustices? As far back as 1969, young black males whose homes included newspapers, magazines, and library cards, and who also had the same education as young white males, had similar incomes as their white counterparts.5 Do racists care whether blacks have reading material and library cards?
Thomas Sowell (Discrimination and Disparities)
The benefits of good nutrition may be particularly strong for two sets of people who do not decide what they eat: unborn babies and young children. In fact, there may well be an S-shaped relationship between their parent’s income and the eventual income of these children, caused by childhood nutrition. That is because a child who got the proper nutrients in utero or during early childhood will earn more money every year of his or her life: This adds up to large benefits over a lifetime. For example, the study of the long-term effect of deworming children in Kenya, mentioned above, concluded that being dewormed for two years instead of one (and hence being better nourished for two years instead of one) would lead to a lifetime income gain of $3,269 USD PPP. Small differences in investments in childhood nutrition (in Kenya, deworming costs $1.36 USD PPP per year; in India, a packet of iodized salt sells for $0.62 USD PPP; in Indonesia, fortified fish sauce costs $7 USD PPP per year) make a huge difference later on.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty)
On undetached people who are full of self-will.4 People say: ‘O Lord, I wish that I stood as well with God and that I had as much devotion and peace with God as other people, and that I could be like them or could be as poor as they are.’ Or they say: ‘It never works for me unless I am in this or that particular place and do this or that particular thing. I must go to somewhere remote or live in a hermitage or a monastery.’ Truly, it is you who are the cause of this yourself, and nothing else. It is your own self-will, even if you don’t know it or this doesn’t seem to you to be the case. The lack of peace that you feel can only come from your own self-will, whether you are aware of this or not. Whatever we think – that we should avoid certain things and seek out others, whether these be places or people, particular forms of devotion, this group of people or this kind of activity – these are not to blame for the fact that you are held back by devotional practices and by things; rather it is you as you exist in these things who hold yourself back, for you do not stand in the proper relation to them. Start with yourself therefore and take leave of yourself. Truly, if you do not depart from yourself, then wherever you take refuge, you will find obstacles and unrest, wherever it may be. Those who seek peace in external things, whether in places or devotional practices, people or works, in withdrawal from the world or poverty or self-abasement: however great these things may be or whatever their character, they are still nothing at all and cannot be the source of peace. Those who seek in this way, seek wrongly, and the farther they range, the less they find what they are looking for. They proceed like someone who has lost their way: the farther they go, the more lost they become. But what then should they do? First of all, they should renounce themselves, and then they will have renounced all things. Truly, if someone were to renounce a kingdom or the whole world while still holding on to themselves, then they would have renounced nothing at all. And indeed, if someone renounces themselves, then whatever they might keep, whether it be a kingdom or honour or whatever it may be, they will still have renounced all things. St Peter said, ‘See, Lord, we have left everything’ (Matt. 19:27), when he had left nothing more than a mere net and his little boat, and a saint5 comments that whoever willingly renounces what is small, renounces not only this but also everything which worldly people can possess or indeed even desire. Whoever renounces their own will and their own self, renounces all things as surely as if all things were in that person’s possession to do with as they pleased, for what you do not wish to desire, you have given over and given up to God. Therefore our Lord said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ (Matt. 5:3), which is to say those who are poor in will. Let no one be in any doubt about this: if there were a better way, then our Lord would have told us, who said, ‘If anyone would follow me, he must first deny himself’ (Matt 16:24). This is the point which counts. Examine yourself, and wherever you find yourself, then take leave of yourself. This is the best way of all.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
Under the influence of ignorance and custom, the day's pay of a country labourer will remain for a long time at a franc, while the saleable price of all the articles of consumption around him will be rising. He will sink into destitution without being able to discover the cause. In short, since you wish me to finish, I must beg you, before we separate, to fix your whole attention upon this essential point:--When once false money (under whatever form it may take) is put into circulation, depreciation will ensue, and manifest itself by the universal rise of every thing which is capable of being sold. But this rise in prices is not instantaneous and equal for all things. Sharp men, brokers, and men of business, will not suffer by it; for it is their trade to watch the fluctuations of prices, to observe the cause, and even to speculate upon it. But little tradesmen, countrymen, and workmen, will bear the whole weight of it. The rich man is not any the richer for it, but the poor man becomes poorer by it. Therefore, expedients of this kind have the effect of increasing the distance which separates wealth from poverty,
Frédéric Bastiat (Essays on Political Economy)
From the subtle afflictions caused by love of status is seeking after and aspiring positions of authority – this is something whose reality is hidden and obscure. It is not understood except by those who have knowledge of Allah, those who love Him and who are at enmity with those ignorant ones from His creation who desire to compete with Him with regard to His Lordship and Divinity and right to worship, despite their despicability and the contemptible position they have before Allah and in the eyes of His chosen servants who have knowledge of Him. Know that love of status attained by having one’s orders and prohibitions obeyed and enacted, and by merely the attainment of a position above the people and to have importance over them, and that it be seen that the people are in need of him and seek their needs from him – then the soul of this person is seeking to compete with Allah in His Lordship and His Divinity and right to worship. Some such people may even seek to put the people into such a condition of need that they are compelled to request their needs from them, and to display their poverty before them and their need of them. Then he is inflated with pride and self-importance because of that, whereas this befits none except Allah alone.
Ibn Rajab The Evil of Craving for Wealth and Status
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble
Robert Tressell
And God himself will have his servants, and his graces, tried and exercised by difficulties. He never intended us the reward for sitting still; nor the crown of victory, without a fight; nor a fight, without an enemy and opposition. Innocent Adam was unfit for his state of confirmation and reward, till he had been tried by temptation. therefore the martyrs have the most glorious crown, as having undergone the greatest trial. and shall we presume to murmur at the method of God? And Satan, having liberty to tempt and try us, will quickly raise up storms and waves before us, as soon as we are set to sea: which make young beginners often fear, that they shall never live to reach the haven. He will show thee the greatness of thy former sins, to persuade thee that they shall not be pardoned. he will show thee the strength of thy passions and corruption, to make thee think they will never be overcome. he will show thee the greatness of the opposition and suffering which thou art like to undergo, to make thee think thou shall never persevere. He will do his worst to poverty, losses , crosses, injuries, vexations, and cruelties, yea , and unkind dearest friends, as he did by Job, to ill of God, or of His service. If he can , he will make them thy enemies that are of thine own household. He will stir up thy own father, or mother, or husband, or wife, or brother, or sister, or children, against thee, to persuade or persecute thee from Christ: therefore Christ tells us, that if we hate not all these that is cannot forsake them, and use them as men do hated things; when they would turn us from him, we cannot be his disciples". Look for the worst that the devil can do against thee, if thou hast once lifted thyself against him, in the army of Christ, and resolvest, whatever it cost thee, to be saved. Read heb.xi. But How little cause you have to be discouraged, though earth and hell should do their worst , you may perceive by these few considerations. God is on your side, who hath all your enemies in his hand, and can rebuke them, or destroy them in a moment. O what is the breath or fury of dust or devils, against the Lord Almighty? "If God be for us, who can be against us?" read often that chapter, Rom. viii. In the day when thou didst enter into covenant with God, and he with thee, thou didst enter into the most impregnable rock and fortress, and house thyself in that castle of defense, where thought mayst (modestly)defy all adverse powers of earth or hell. If God cannot save thee, he is not God. And if he will not save thee, he must break his covenant. Indeed, he may resolve to save thee, not from affliction and persecution, but in it, and by it. But in all these sufferings you will "be more than conquerors, through Christ that loveth you;" that is, it is far more desirable and excellent, to conquer by patience, in suffering for Christ, than to conquer our persecutors in the field, by force arms. O think on the saints triumphant boastings in their God:" God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble: therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea". when his " enemies were many" and "wrested his words daily," and "fought against him, and all their thoughts were against him, " yet he saith, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. in God I will praise his word; in God I have put my trust: I will not fear what flesh can do unto me". Remember Christ's charge, " Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you , Fear him" if all the world were on they side, thou might yet have cause to fear; but to have God on thy side, is infinitely more. Practical works of Richard Baxter,Ch 2 Directions to Weak Christians for Their Establishment and Growth, page 43.
Richard Baxter
the following prayer by Dr. Jane Goodall, who was named a UN Messenger of Peace for her continued world efforts, she seems to touch on most aspects of world conflict as we know them today and as they pertain to all living things. Prayer for World Peace We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being. We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within,knowing the power of each individual to change the world. We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery—hungry, sick, and utterly without hope. We pray for the children who are starving,who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family. We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind. We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment. We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more. We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms. We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving; that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life; that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts; that we may learn to rejoice in our being. We pray for these things with humility; We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit; We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God. We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world. I love this beautiful and magnanimous prayer. Each request is spelled out clearly and specifically, and it asks that love, peace, and kindness be shown to all of earth’s creatures, not just its human occupants.
Joe Vitale (The Secret Prayer: The Three-Step Formula for Attracting Miracles)
We have a crisis in this nation, and it has nothing to do with regulatory reform or marginal tax rates. This book is not going to be about politics. (Sorry to disappoint.) It’s about something deeper and more meaningful. Something a little harder to quantify but a lot more personal. Despite the astonishing medical advances and technological leaps of recent years, average life span is in decline in America for the third year in a row. This is the first time our nation has had even a two-year drop in life expectancy since 1962—when the cause was an influenza epidemic. Normally, declines in life expectancy are due to something big like that—a war, or the return of a dormant disease. But what’s the “big thing” going on in America now? What’s killing all these people? The 2016 data point to three culprits: Alzheimer’s, suicides, and unintentional injuries—a category that includes drug and alcohol–related deaths. Two years ago, 63,632 people died of overdoses. That’s 11,000 more than the previous year, and it’s more than the number of Americans killed during the entire twenty-year Vietnam War. It’s almost twice the number killed in automobile accidents annually, which had been the leading American killer for decades. In 2016, there were 45,000 suicides, a thirty-year high—and the sobering climb shows no signs of abating: the percentage of young people hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and actions has doubled over the past decade.1 We’re killing ourselves, both on purpose and accidentally. These aren’t deaths from famine, or poverty, or war. We’re literally dying of despair.
Ben Sasse (Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal)
An extensive biomedical literature has established that individuals are more likely to activate a stress response and are more at risk for a stress-sensitive disease if they (a) feel as if they have minimal control over stressors, (b) feel as if they have no predictive information about the duration and intensity of the stressor, (c) have few outlets for the frustration caused by the stressor, (d) interpret the stressor as evidence of circumstances worsening, and (e) lack social support-for the duress caused by the stressors. Psychosocial stressors are not evenly distributed across society. Just as the poor have a disproportionate share of physical stressors (hunger, manual labor, chronic sleep deprivation with a second job, the bad mattress that can't be replaced), they have a disproportionate share of psychosocial ones. Numbing assembly-line work and an occupational lifetime spent taking orders erode workers' sense of control. Unreliable cars that may not start in the morning and paychecks that may not last the month inflict unpredictability. Poverty rarely allows stress-relieving options such as health club memberships, costly but relaxing hobbies, or sabbaticals for rethinking one's priorities. And despite the heartwarming stereotype of the "poor but loving community," the working poor typically have less social support than the middle and upper classes, thanks to the extra jobs, the long commutes on public transit, and other burdens. Marmot has shown that regardless of SES, the less autonomy one has at work, the worse one's cardiovascular health. Furthermore, low control in the workplace accounts for about half the SES gradient in cardiovascular disease in his Whitehall population.
NO MATTER WHAT PART OF THE WORLD we come from, fundamentally we are all the same human beings. We all seek happiness and want to avoid suffering. We all have essentially the same needs and similar concerns. As human beings, we all want to be free, to have the right to decide our own destiny as individuals as well as the destiny of our people. That is human nature. The problems that confront us today are created by man, whether they are violent conflicts, destruction of the environment, poverty, or hunger. These problems can be resolved thanks to human efforts, by understanding that we are brothers and sisters and by developing this sense of fraternity. We must cultivate a universal responsibility toward each other and extend it to the planet that we have to share. I feel optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are reaffirming themselves today, preparing the way for a better, happier twenty-first century. I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, so that together we can succeed in building a better world through mutual understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.3 On December 10, 1989, the Dalai Lama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, quoted in part above, was broadcast throughout the world. The cause of Tibet had become international. But it was not as the leader of a government in exile, or as a Tibetan, that the Dalai Lama accepted the Nobel Prize. He shared this distinction as a human being with all those who recognize each other’s basic human values. By claiming his humanity in the universal language of the heart, which goes beyond ideological rifts and notions of cultural identity, the Dalai Lama gave us back our humanity. In Oslo on December 10, 1989, we all received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Dalai Lama XIV (My Spiritual Journey)
As a girl, it had been firmly set down that one ought never speak until one was spoken to, and when one did, one ought not speak of anything that might provoke or worry. One referred to the limb of the table, not the leg, the white meat on the chicken, not the breast. Good manners were the foundations of civilization. One knew precisely with whom one sat in a room based entirely on how well they behaved, and in what manner. Forks and knives were placed at the ten-twenty on one's plate when one was finished eating, One ought to walk straight and keep one's hands to oneself when one s poke, least one be taken for an Italian or Jew. A woman was meant to tend a child, a garden, or a conversation. A woman ought to know how to mind the temperature in a room, adding a little heat in a well-timed question, or cool a warm temper with the suggestion of another drink, a bowl of nuts, and a smile. What Kitty had learned at Miss Porter's School---handed down from Sarah Porter through the spinsters teaching there, themselves the sisters of Yale men who handed down the great words, Truth. Verity. Honor--was that your brothers and your husbands and your sons will lead, and you will tend., You will watch and suggest, guide and protect. You will carry the torch forward, and all to the good. There was the world. And one fixed an eye keenly on it. One learned its history; one understood the causes of its wars. One debated and, gradually, a picture emerged of mankind over the centuries; on understood the difference between what was good and what was right. On understood that men could be led to evil, against the judgment of their better selves. Debauchery. Poverty of spirit. This was the explanation for so many unfortunate ills--slavery, for instance. The was the reason. Men, individual men, were not at fault. They had to be taught. Led. Shown by example what was best. Unfairness, unkindness could be addressed. Queitly. Patiently.. Without a lot of noisy attention. Noise was for the poorly bred. If one worried, if one were afraid, if one doubted--one kept it to oneself. One looked for the good, and one found it. The woman found it, the woman pointed it out, and the man tucked it in his pocket, heartened. These were the rules.
Sarah Blake (The Guest Book)
The central figure of Buddhism is not a god but a human being, Siddhartha Gautama. According to Buddhist tradition, Gautama was heir to a small Himalayan kingdom, sometime around 500 BC. The young prince was deeply affected by the suffering evident all around him. He saw that men and women, children and old people, all suffer not just from occasional calamities such as war and plague, but also from anxiety, frustration and discontent, all of which seem to be an inseparable part of the human condition. People pursue wealth and power, acquire knowledge and possessions, beget sons and daughters, and build houses and palaces. Yet no matter what they achieve, they are never content. Those who live in poverty dream of riches. Those who have a million want two million. Those who have two million want 10 million. Even the rich and famous are rarely satisfied. They too are haunted by ceaseless cares and worries, until sickness, old age and death put a bitter end to them. Everything that one has accumulated vanishes like smoke. Life is a pointless rat race. But how to escape it? At the age of twenty-nine Gautama slipped away from his palace in the middle of the night, leaving behind his family and possessions. He travelled as a homeless vagabond throughout northern India, searching for a way out of suffering. He visited ashrams and sat at the feet of gurus but nothing liberated him entirely – some dissatisfaction always remained. He did not despair. He resolved to investigate suffering on his own until he found a method for complete liberation. He spent six years meditating on the essence, causes and cures for human anguish. In the end he came to the realisation that suffering is not caused by ill fortune, by social injustice, or by divine whims. Rather, suffering is caused by the behaviour patterns of one’s own mind. Gautama’s insight was that no matter what the mind experiences, it usually reacts with craving, and craving always involves dissatisfaction. When the mind experiences something distasteful it craves to be rid of the irritation. When the mind experiences something pleasant, it craves that the pleasure will remain and will intensify. Therefore, the mind is always dissatisfied and restless. This is very clear when we experience unpleasant things, such as pain. As long as the pain continues, we are dissatisfied and do all we can to avoid it. Yet even when we experience pleasant things we are never content. We either fear that the pleasure might disappear, or we hope that it will intensify. People dream for years about finding love but are rarely satisfied when they find it. Some become anxious that their partner will leave; others feel that they have settled cheaply, and could have found someone better. And we all know people who manage to do both.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
To every one Jesus has left a work to do, there is no one who can plead that he is excused. Every Christian is to be a worker with Christ; but those to whom he has intrusted large means and abilities have the greater responsibilities. … The Master has given directions, “Occupy till I come.” He is the great proprietor, and has a right to investigate every transaction, and approve or condemn; he has a right to rebuke, to encourage, to counsel, or to expel. The Lord’s work requires careful thought and the highest intellect. He will not inquire how successful you have been in gathering means to hoard, or that you may excel your neighbors in property, and gather attention to yourself while excluding God from your hearts and homes. He will inquire, What have you done to advance my cause with the talents I lent you? What have you done for me in the person of the poor, the afflicted, the orphan, and the fatherless? I was sick, poor, hungry, and destitute of clothing; what did you do for me with my intrusted means? How was the time I lent you employed? How did you use your pen, your voice, your money, your influence? I made you the depositary of a precious trust by opening before you the thrilling truths heralding my second coming. What have you done with the light and knowledge I gave you to make men wise unto salvation? Our Lord has gone away to receive his kingdom; but he will prepare mansions for us, and then will come to take us to himself. In his absence he has given us the privilege of being co-laborers with him in the work of preparing souls to enter those mansions of light and glory. It was not that we might lead a life of worldly pleasure and extravagance that he left the royal courts of Heaven, clothing his divinity with humanity, and becoming poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. He did this that we might follow his example of self-denial for others. Each one of us is building upon the true foundation, wood, hay, and stubble, to be consumed in the last great conflagration, and our life-work be lost, or we are building upon that foundation, gold, silver, and precious stones, which will never perish, but shine the brighter amid the devouring elements that will try every man’s work. Any unfaithfulness in spiritual and eternal things here will result in loss throughout endless ages. Those who lead a Christless life, who exclude Jesus from heart, home, and business, who leave him out of their counsels, and trust to their own heart, and rely on their own judgment, are unfaithful servants, and will receive the reward which their works have merited. At his coming the Master will call his servants, and reckon with them. The parable certainly teaches that good works will be rewarded according to the motive that prompted them; that skill and intellect used in the service of God will prove a success, and will be rewarded according to the fidelity of the worker. Those who have had an eye single to the glory of God will have the richest reward. -ST 11-20-84
Ellen G. White (Sabbath School Lesson Comments By Ellen G. White - 2nd Quarter 2015 (April, May, June 2015 Book 32))
This brings me to an objection to integrated information theory by the quantum physicist Scott Aaronson. His argument has given rise to an instructive online debate that accentuates the counterintuitive nature of some IIT's predictions. Aaronson estimates phi.max for networks called expander graphs, characterized by being both sparsely yet widely connected. Their integrated information will grow indefinitely as the number of elements in these reticulated lattices increases. This is true even of a regular grid of XOR logic gates. IIT predicts that such a structure will have high phi.max. This implies that two-dimensional arrays of logic gates, easy enough to build using silicon circuit technology, have intrinsic causal powers and will feel like something. This is baffling and defies commonsense intuition. Aaronson therefor concludes that any theory with such a bizarre conclusion must be wrong. Tononi counters with a three-pronged argument that doubles down and strengthens the theory's claim. Consider a blank featureless wall. From the extrinsic perspective, it is easily described as empty. Yet the intrinsic point of view of an observer perceiving the wall seethes with an immense number of relations. It has many, many locations and neighbourhood regions surrounding these. These are positioned relative to other points and regions - to the left or right, above or below. Some regions are nearby, while others are far away. There are triangular interactions, and so on. All such relations are immediately present: they do not have to be inferred. Collectively, they constitute an opulent experience, whether it is seen space, heard space, or felt space. All share s similar phenomenology. The extrinsic poverty of empty space hides vast intrinsic wealth. This abundance must be supported by a physical mechanism that determines this phenomenology through its intrinsic causal powers. Enter the grid, such a network of million integrate-or-fire or logic units arrayed on a 1,000 by 1,000 lattice, somewhat comparable to the output of an eye. Each grid elements specifies which of its neighbours were likely ON in the immediate past and which ones will be ON in the immediate future. Collectively, that's one million first-order distinctions. But this is just the beginning, as any two nearby elements sharing inputs and outputs can specify a second-order distinction if their joint cause-effect repertoire cannot be reduced to that of the individual elements. In essence, such a second-order distinction links the probability of past and future states of the element's neighbours. By contrast, no second-order distinction is specified by elements without shared inputs and outputs, since their joint cause-effect repertoire is reducible to that of the individual elements. Potentially, there are a million times a million second-order distinctions. Similarly, subsets of three elements, as long as they share input and output, will specify third-order distinctions linking more of their neighbours together. And on and on. This quickly balloons to staggering numbers of irreducibly higher-order distinctions. The maximally irreducible cause-effect structure associated with such a grid is not so much representing space (for to whom is space presented again, for that is the meaning of re-presentation?) as creating experienced space from an intrinsic perspective.
Christof Koch (The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread But Can't Be Computed)
The results of the Great Society experiments started coming in and began showing that, for all its good intentions, the War on Poverty was causing irreparable damage to the very communities it was designed to help.
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics)
In the vast library of socialist theory, and in all of Marx’s compendious works, there is not a chapter devoted to the creation of wealth—to what will cause human beings to work and innovate, or to what will make their efforts efficient. Socialism is strictly a plan of morally-sanctioned theft. It is about dividing up what others have created. Consequently, socialist economies create poverty instead of wealth.
David Horowitz (The Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings)
If we’re all led to believe that poverty is just a matter of laziness or stupidity or whatever other justifications we come up with, then we’re not likely to be in a real position to do much about it when it comes to attacking the root causes of the problem. Instead of demanding a more equitable system for the distribution of social and economic goods, we blame the victim.
Bob Torres (Making A Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights)
Research has linked such feelings of powerlessness to the kinds of health problems plaguing Bayview and many other communities around the world. This research shows that members of poor communities do not merely experience higher levels of violence; they are also more likely to have high blood pressure and frequent periods of increased heart rate, which contribute to a higher mortality rate. What’s more, similar health problems have been shown to afflict the least powerful members of nonhuman primate species. Taken together, these and other findings suggest that the psychology of powerlessness can wreak havoc on people who sit low on the totem pole of any social structure. “Poverty, and the poor health of the poor, is about much more than simply not having enough money,” says Robert M. Sapolsky, professor of neurology at Stanford University. “It’s about the stressors caused by a society that tolerates leaving so many of its members so far behind.
Jeremy A. Smith (Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology)
Humi lity, poverty, chastity are his (the p h i los­ opher' s) way of being a grand vivant, of making a temple o f hi s own body, for a cause that is a l l too proud, a l l too r i ch, all too sensual. So that by attacking the phi losopher, people know the shame of attacking a modest, poor, and chaste appearance, whi ch i n creases their impotent rage tenfold; and the phi los­ opher offers no purchase, a lthough he takes every b low
The ‘population problem’ has been seen as something that happens in the Indian countryside or a Nairobi slum. It is cited as the cause of hunger and poverty, yet Europe’s population explosion reshaped world economic structures to the permanent disadvantage of the now poor countries and of the environment.
Gabrielle Palmer (The Politics of Breastfeeding)
Several premises shaped the Marshall Plan: that the gravest threat to western interests in Europe was not the prospect of Soviet military intervention, but rather the risk that hunger, poverty, and despair might cause Europeans to vote their own communists into office, who would then obediently serve Moscow’s wishes; that American economic assistance would produce immediate psychological benefits and later material ones that would reverse this trend; that the Soviet Union would not itself accept such aid or allow its satellites to, thereby straining its relationship with them; and that the United States could then seize both the geopolitical and the moral initiative in the emerging Cold War.
John Lewis Gaddis (The Cold War: A New History)
Since the garden, we live in a world filled with suffering, disease, poverty, racism, natural disasters, war, aging, and death — and it all stems from the wrath and curse of God on the world. The world is out of joint, and we need to be rescued. But the root of our problem is not these “horizontal” relationships, though they are often the most obvious; it is our “vertical” relationship with God. All human problems are ultimately symptoms, and our separation from God is the cause.
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
The spirit of poverty always causes a person to do two things: blame their circumstance for their lack, and feel entitled.
Kynan Bridges (Supernatural Favor: Living in God's Abundant Supply)
Improved health and life expectancy were not the cause of England’s economic success but one of the fruits of its previous political and economic changes.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
The great inequality of the modern world that emerged in the nineteenth century was caused by the uneven dissemination of industrial technologies and manufacturing production. It was not caused by divergence in agricultural performance.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
Native women and Black women experience poverty at a higher rate than any other race-gender group. Black and Latinx women still earn the least, while White and Asian men earn the most. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than are White women. A Black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a White woman with less than an eighth-grade education. Black women remain twice as likely to be incarcerated as White women.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
I HAVE READ THAT the period of upheaval that journalists have begun to refer to as “the Apocalypse” or more commonly, more bitterly, “the Pox” lasted from 2015 through 2030—a decade and a half of chaos. This is untrue. The Pox has been a much longer torment. It began well before 2015, perhaps even before the turn of the millennium. It has not ended. I have also read that the Pox was caused by accidentally coinciding climatic, economic, and sociological crises. It would be more honest to say that the Pox was caused by our own refusal to deal with obvious problems in those areas. We caused the problems: then we sat and watched as they grew into crises. I have heard people deny this, but I was born in 1970. I have seen enough to know that it is true. I have watched education become more a privilege of the rich than the basic necessity that it must be if civilized society is to survive. I have watched as convenience, profit, and inertia excused greater and more dangerous environmental degradation. I have watched poverty, hunger, and disease become inevitable for more and more people.
Octavia E. Butler (Parable of the Talents (Earthseed, #2))
The global refugee crisis is indeed global. It isn’t a question of whether we should respond here (in the West) or there (at the crises’ points of origin), nor if we should address immediate needs or root causes. We can and must do all of the above.
Stephan Bauman (Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis)
Nor was this disaffected spirit confined to those who were actually concerned in the conspiracy; for the whole of the common people, from a desire of change, favored the projects of Catiline. This they seemed to do in accordance with their general character; for, in every state, they that are poor envy those of a better class, and endeavor to exalt the factious; they dislike the established condition of things, and long for something new; they are discontented with their own circumstances, and desire a general alteration; they can support themselves amid tumult and sedition, without anxiety, since poverty does not easily suffer loss. As for the populace of the city, they had become disaffected from various causes. In the first place, such as every where took the lead in crime and profligacy, with others who had squandered their fortunes in dissipation, and, in a word, all whom vice and villainy had driven from their homes, had flocked to Rome as a general receptacle of impurity. In the next place, many, who thought of the success of Sylla, when they had seen some raised from common soldiers into senators, and others so enriched as to live in regal luxury and pomp, hoped, each for himself, similar results from victory, if they should once take up arms. In addition to this, the youth, who, in the country, had earned a scanty livelihood by manual labor, tempted by public and private largesses, had preferred idleness in the city to unwelcome toil in the field. To these, and all others of similar character, public disorders would furnish subsistence. It is not at all surprising, therefore, that men in distress, of dissolute principles and extravagant expectations, should have consulted the interest of the state no further than as it was subservient to their own. Besides, those whose parents, by the victory of Sylla, had been proscribed, whose property had been confiscated, and whose civil rights had been curtailed, looked forward to the event of a war with precisely the same feelings. All those, too, who were of any party opposed to that of the senate, were desirous rather that the state should be embroiled, than that they themselves should be out of power. This was an evil, which, after many years, had returned upon the community to the extent to which it now prevailed.
Sallust (The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline)
Happiness by Selfishness” is easy— just have no others but yourself to worry. Being the shortest route to happy life, many chose this poverty-causing type. “Happiness by Selflessness” is but tough— even one’s whole lifetime is not enough. Being the hardest route to happy life, few chose this poverty-redeeming type.
Rodolfo Martin Vitangcol
Christ makes clear that Christianity is not a path to more comforts, higher status, or greater ease in this world..Here are the days when holding fasting to the gospel, actually believing the Bible, and putting it into practice will mean risking your reputation, sacrificing your social status, disagreeing with your closest family and friends, jeopardizing your economic security and earthly stability, giving away your possessions, leaving behind the accolades of the world, and..potentially losing your is not possible to love the poor and live in unabated luxury..authentic tolerance doesn't mask truth but magnifies it, showing us how to love and serve one another in view of our differences..we spend the majority of our time sitting as spectators in services that cater to our comforts. Even in our giving to the church, we spend the majority of our money on places for us to meet, professionals to do the ministry, and programs designed around us and our kids..Jesus' main point is not that going to a funeral is wrong, but that his Kingdom will not take second place to anyone or anything else..Even more important than honoring the dead was proclaiming the Kingdom to those who were dying..Jesus knew that as great as people's earthly needs were, their eternal need was far greater..the ultimate priority of his coming was not to relieve suffering..his ultimate priority in coming to the world was to sever the root of suffering: sin itself..He came not just to give the poor drinking water for their bodies but to give people living water for their souls. He came not just to give orphans and widows a family now but to give them a family forever. He came not just to free girls from slavery to sex but to free them from slavery to sin. He came not just to make equality possible on earth but to make eternity possible in heaven..If all we do is meet people's physical needs while ignoring their spiritual need, we miss the entire point..We testify with our lips what we attest with our a cup of water to the poor is not contingent upon that person's confession of faith in is in addressing eternal suffering that we are most effective in alleviating earthly suffering..This commission is not just a general command to make disciples among as many people as possible. Instead, it is a specific command to make disciples among every people group in the world..Jesus has not given us a commission to consider; he has given us a command to seems that Jesus knows as soon as this man returns to his family, the lure to stay will be strong..It is not uncommon for the lure of family love to lead to faithless living..Following Jesus doesn't just entail sacrificial abandonment of our lives; it requires supreme affection from our hearts..I can slowly let indecision become inaction..delayed obedience becomes disobedience..If I'm walking by a lake and see a child drowning, I don't stop and ponder what I should do. Nor do I just stand there praying about what action to take. I do something..My purpose in putting these realities before us is not to cause us to collapse under their weight. To be certain, God alone is able to bear these global burdens..proclaim the gospel not under a utopian illusion that you or I or anyone or everyone together can rid this world of pain and suffering. That responsibility belongs to the resurrected Christ.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian)
I am not an optimist painting the world in pink. I don’t get calm by looking away from problems. The five that concern me most are the risks of global pandemic, financial collapse, world war, climate change, and extreme poverty. Why is it these problems that cause me most concern? Because they are quite likely to happen: the first three have all happened before and the other two are happening now;
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
But the most enduring legacy is the threat of recurrence. Unlike classic cholera, the seventh pandemic has already lasted for more than half a century and, showing no signs of abatement, is capable of causing outbreaks wherever poverty, insecure water supplies, and unsanitary conditions persist. Indeed, in 2018 WHO reported that “every year there are roughly 1.3 to 4.0 million cases, and 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide.
Frank M. Snowden III (Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present)
the most important thing was to strike a balance: poverty and riches each in their own way caused unhappiness. With money, the way to be happy was to continue to have almost enough.
Winston Graham (The Stranger from the Sea: A Novel of Cornwall 1810-1811 (Poldark Book 8))
You can be so much more. “Cease your complaining and fretting; none of these things which you blame are the cause of your [problems]; the cause is within yourself, and where the cause is, there is the remedy.” – James Allen, From Poverty to Power
Charles D'Angelo (Think and Grow Thin)
There is often much good in the type of boss, especially common in big cities, who fulfills towards the people of his district in rough and ready fashion the position of friend and protector. He uses his influence to get jobs for young men who need them. He goes into court for a wild young fellow who has gotten into trouble. He helps out with cash or credit the widow who is in straits, or the breadwinner who is crippled or for some other cause temporarily out of work. He organizes clambakes and chowder parties and picnics, and is consulted by the local labor leaders when a cut in wages is threatened. For some of his constituents he does proper favors, and for others wholly improper favors; but he preserves human relations with all. He may be a very bad and very corrupt man, a man whose action in blackmailing and protecting vice is of far-reaching damage to his constituents. But these constituents are for the most part men and women who struggle hard against poverty and with whom the problem of living is very real and very close. They would prefer clean and honest government, if this clean and honest government is accompanied by human sympathy, human understanding. But an appeal made to them for virtue in the abstract, an appeal made by good men who do not really understand their needs, will often pass quite unheeded, if on the other side stands the boss, the friend and benefactor, who may have been guilty of much wrong-doing in things that they are hardly aware concern them, but who appeals to them, not only for the sake of favors to come, but in the name of gratitude and loyalty, and above all of understanding and fellow-feeling.
Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography)
A libertarian approach to poverty would instead attack the underlying causes of poverty, including structural barriers to economic success.
Aaron Ross Powell (Visions of Liberty)
Well! Being born into this world there are, I suppose, many aims which we may strive to attain. The Imperial Throne of the Mikado inspires us with the greatest awe; even the uttermost leaf of the Imperial Family Tree is worthy of honour and very different from the rest of mankind. As to the position of a certain august personage (i.e. the Mikado's regent) there can be no question, and those whose rank entitles them to a Palace Guard are very magnificent also - their sons and grandsons, even if they fall into poverty, are still gentlefolk. But when those who are of lower degree chance to rise in the world and assume an aspect of arrogance, though they may think themselves grand, it is very regrettable. Now there is no life so undesirable as that of a priest. Truly indeed did Sei Shô-nagon write, 'People think of them as if they were only chips of wood.' Their savage violence and loud shouting does not show them to advantage, and I feel sure that, as the sage Zôga said, their desire for notoriety is not in accordance with the sacred precepts of Buddha. To retire from the world in real earnest, on the contrary, is indeed praiseworthy, and some I hope there may be who are willing to do so. A man should preferably have pleasing features and a good style; one never tires of meeting those who can engage in some little pleasant conversation and who have an attractive manner, but who are not too talkative. It is a great pity, however, if a man's true character does not come up to his prepossessing appearance. One's features are fixed by nature; but, if we wish to, may we not change our hearts from good to better? For, if a man though handsome and good-natured has no real ability, his position will suffer, and in association with men of a less engaging aspect his deficiency will cause him to be thrown into the background, which is indeed a pity. The thing to aim at, therefore, is the path of true literature, the study of prose, poetry, and music; to be an accepted authority for others on ancient customs and ceremonies is also praiseworthy. One who is quick and clever at writing and sketching, who has a pleasant voice, who can beat time to music, and who does not refuse a little wine, even though he cannot drink much, is a good man.
Yoshida Kenkō (Essays in Idleness: The Tsurezuregusa of Kenkō)
The Black Death is a vivid example of a critical juncture, a major event or confluence of factors disrupting the existing economic or political balance in society. A critical juncture is a double-edged sword that can cause a sharp turn in the trajectory of a nation. On the one hand it can open the way for breaking the cycle of extractive institutions and enable more inclusive ones to emerge, as in England. Or it can intensify the emergence of extractive institutions, as was the case with the Second Serfdom in Eastern Europe. Understanding how history and critical junctures shape the path of economic and political institutions enables us to have a more complete theory of the origins of differences in poverty and prosperity. In addition, it enables us to account for the lay of the land today and why some nations make the transition to inclusive economic and political institutions while others do not. T
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
This “disorganized family life” in Black neighborhoods was caused by racial discrimination, poverty, cultural pathology, and the introduction of the matriarchal Black family during slavery.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Paul Robin aimed at a higher ideal than merely modern ideas in education. He wanted to demonstrate by actual facts that the bourgeois conception of heredity is but a mere pretext to exempt society from its terrible crimes against the young. The contention that the child must suffer for the sins of the fathers, that it must continue in poverty and filth, that it must grow up a drunkard or criminal, just because its parents left it no other legacy, was too preposterous to the beautiful spirit of Paul Robin. He believed that whatever part heredity may play, there are other factors equally great, if not greater, that may and will eradicate or minimize the so-called first cause. Proper economic and social environment, the breath and freedom of nature, healthy exercise, love and sympathy, and, above all, a deep understanding for the needs of the child—these would destroy the cruel, unjust, and criminal stigma imposed on the innocent young.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
People were selling pyramids of oranges from wooden carts. Powdered milk and sacks of grain sat on the shelves of the little stores we passed, the very food that little girl had needed to eat. It didn’t seem to make any sense, but famines are caused by shocks to the food distribution system, not necessarily by poverty per se. There was still plenty of food in Somalia; it was just relatively expensive because of the drought and the rise in global food prices.
Jeffrey Gettleman (Love, Africa: A Memoir of Romance, War, and Survival)
Fear, by definition, is the feeling caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or pose a threat.
Terence Lester (I See You: How Love Opens Our Eyes to Invisible People)
How shall I hope to express myself to each man's humour and conceit, or to give satisfaction to all? Some understand too little, some too much, qui similiter in legendos libros, atque in salutandos homines irruunt, non cogitantes quales, sed quibus vestibus induti sint [they pay their respoects to books on the same principle as to people, judging not by the character but by the outer garb], as Austin observes, not regarding what, but who write, orexin habet auctoris celebritas [the author's name creates a demand], not valuing the metal, but the stamp that is upon it, cantharum aspiciunt, non quid in eo [they look only at the jar, not at its contents]. If he be not rich, in great place, polite and brave, a great doctor, or full-fraught with grand titles, though never so well qualified, he is a dunce; but, as Baronius hath it of Cardinal Caraffa's works, he is a mere hog that rejects any man for his poverty.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy Of Melancholy: What It Is, With All The Kinds, Causes, Symptoms, Prognostics And Several Cures Of It)
Men Against Death followed the one-man campaign of writer Paul De Kruif against disease, hunger, and poverty. De Kruif burst on the scene with Microbe Hunters, which became a worldwide bestseller upon its publication in 1926. Other titles were Hunger Fighters, Why Keep Them Alive?, The Fight for Life, and Men Against Death. Though the latter book gave the series its name, the WPA writers selected liberally from all of De Kruif’s books, which the author donated without royalty to the cause. The lives of scientific trailblazers (Lister, Pasteur, etc.) were dramatized; an introductory broadcast June 30, 1938, was followed by the first drama on July
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
Poverty can be done away with, not by increasing the number of well to do people who think about poverty, but by increasing the number of poor people who purpose with faith to get rich. The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery. If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich; prove it by getting rich yourself.
Wallace D. Wattles (The Science of Getting Rich (Original Classic Edition))
Between 1934 and 1962 the U.S government handed out billions of dollars in home loans. But those weren't available to anyone black, a system eventually referred to as redlining, which would ensure that only whites could get out of poverty and find ways to wealth. In the U.S., that's what caused the development of ghettos. People of colour were not able to invest in housing that could then be passed on down through generations, forming the sort of wealth that many white people have.
Anita Arvast (What Killed Jane Creba: Rap, Race, and the Invention of a Gang War)
the yetzer hatov also must be reined in. Much of the evil of the twentieth century was caused by ideologies that appealed to the yetzer hatov. Communism—in its insistence on “equality” and that the state should own all the means of production and use that ownership to eliminate poverty—is the best example. It resulted in about 100 million dead innocents (non-combatants) and more than a billion people deprived of elementary human rights. (The other great twentieth-century evil, Nazism, was rooted in racism, and therefore primarily appealed to the yetzer harah.)
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Genesis)
Gender bias does worldwide damage. It’s a cause of low productivity on farms. It’s a source of poverty and disease.
Melinda Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
Youths are such a danger, I find. You must watch them carefully: if unemployment or the poverty rate ticks up too high among a nation’s youths, that’s when the trouble starts. Young people congregate too much, feel too much, and know so little of life, so they don’t know what they have to lose. It’s wisest to distract them, keep them engaged with something else, until they grow old and lose that wild fire in their hearts. Or use them, if you can. The young are eager to find a cause, and nobly die for it—it’s just a matter of finding the cause that works in your favor.
Robert Jackson Bennett (The Divine Cities Trilogy)
Every novelist of serious pretensions adopts an ironic attitude towards his upper-class characters. Indeed when a novelist has to put a definitely upper-class person--a duke or a baronet or whatnot--into one of his stories he guys him more or less instinctively. There is an important subsidiary cause of this in the poverty of the modern upper-class dialect. The speech of 'educated' people is now so lifeless and characterless that a novelist can do nothing with it. By far the easiest way of making it amusing is to burlesque it, which means pretending that every upper-class person is an ineffectual ass. The trick is imitated from novelist to novelist, and in the end becomes almost a reflex action.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
The evil of the present system is therefore not that the “surplus-value” of production goes to the capitalist, as Rodbertus and Marx said, thus narrowing the Socialist conception and the general view of the capitalist system; the surplus-value itself is but a consequence of deeper causes. The evil lies in the possibility of a surplus-value existing, instead of a simple surplus not consumed by each generation; for, that a surplus-value should exist, means that men, women, and children are compelled by hunger to sell their labour for a small part of what this labour produces, and, above all, of what their labour is capable of producing. But this evil will last as long as the instruments of production belong to a few. As long as men are compelled to pay tribute to property holders for the right of cultivating land or putting machinery into action, and the property holder is free to produce what bids fair to bring him in the greatest profits, rather than the greatest amount of useful commodities — well-being can only be temporarily guaranteed to a very few, and is only to be bought by the poverty of a section of society. It is not sufficient to distribute the profits realized by a trade in equal parts, if at the same time thousands of other workers are exploited. It is a case of PRODUCING THE GREATEST AMOUNT OF GOODS NECESSARY TO THE WELL-BEING OF ALL, WITH THE LEAST POSSIBLE WASTE OF HUMAN ENERGY. This cannot be the aim of a private owner; and this is why society as a whole, taking this view of production as its ideal, will be compelled to expropriate all that enhances well-being while producing wealth. It will have to take possession of land, factories, mines, means of communication, etc., and besides, it will have to study what products will promote general well-being, as well as the ways and means of production.
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread (The Kropotkin Collection Book 1))
It is beginning to dawn on the world of compassion that the root causes of poverty can be addressed effectively only through development, not through one-way giving.
Robert D. Lupton (Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results)
Just as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's statement "Property is theft" is usually misunderstood, so it is easy to misunderstand Benjamin Tucker's claim that individualist anarchism was part of "socialism." Yet before Marxists monopolized the term, socialism was a broad concept, as indeed Marx's critique of the "unscientific" varieties of socialism in the Communist Manifesto indicated. Thus, when Tucker claimed that the individualist anarchism advocated in the pages of Liberty was socialist, he was not engaged in obfuscation or rhetorical bravado. He (and most of his writers and readers) understood socialism to mean a set of theories and demands that proposed to solve the "labor problem" through radical changes in the capitalist economy. Descriptions of the problem varied (e.g., poverty, exploitation, lack of opportunity), as did explanations of its causes (e.g., wage employment, monopolies, lack of access to land or credit), and, consequently, so did the proposed solutions (e.g., abolition of private property, regulation, abolition, or state ownership of monopolies, producer cooperation, etc.). Of course, this led to a variety of strategies as well: forming socialist or labor parties, fomenting revolution, building unions or cooperatives, establishing communes or colonies, etc. This dazzling variety led to considerable public confusion about socialism, and even considerable fuzziness among its advocates and promoters.
Frank H Brooks (The Individualist Anarchists: Anthology of Liberty, 1881-1908)
The Wall Street Journal (The Wall Street Journal) - Clip This Article on Location 1055 | Added on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 5:10:24 PM OPINION Baltimore Is Not About Race Government-induced dependency is the problem—and it’s one with a long history. By William McGurn | 801 words For those who see the rioting in Baltimore as primarily about race, two broad reactions dominate. One group sees rampaging young men fouling their own neighborhoods and concludes nothing can be done because the social pathologies are so overwhelming. In some cities, this view manifests itself in the unspoken but cynical policing that effectively cedes whole neighborhoods to the thugs. The other group tut-tuts about root causes. Take your pick: inequality, poverty, injustice. Or, as President Obama intimated in an ugly aside on the rioting, a Republican Congress that will never agree to the “massive investments” (in other words, billions more in federal spending) required “if we are serious about solving this problem.” There is another view. In this view, the disaster of inner cities isn’t primarily about race at all. It’s about the consequences of 50 years of progressive misrule—which on race has proved an equal-opportunity failure. Baltimore is but the latest liberal-blue city where government has failed to do the one thing it ought—i.e., put the cops on the side of the vulnerable and law-abiding—while pursuing “solutions” that in practice enfeeble families and social institutions and local economies. These supposed solutions do this by substituting federal transfers for fathers and families. They do it by favoring community organizing and government projects over private investment. And they do it by propping up failing public-school systems that operate as jobs programs for the teachers unions instead of centers of learning. If our inner-city African-American communities suffer disproportionately from crippling social pathologies that make upward mobility difficult—and they do—it is in large part because they have disproportionately been on the receiving end of this five-decade-long progressive experiment in government beneficence. How do we know? Because when we look at a slice of white America that was showered with the same Great Society good intentions—Appalachia—we find the same dysfunctions: greater dependency, more single-parent families and the absence of the good, private-sector jobs that only a growing economy can create. Remember, in the mid-1960s when President Johnson put a face on America’s “war on poverty,” he didn’t do it from an urban ghetto. He did it from the front porch of a shack in eastern Kentucky’s Martin County, where a white family of 10 eked out a subsistence living on an income of $400 a year. In many ways, rural Martin County and urban Baltimore could not be more different. Martin County is 92% white while Baltimore is two-thirds black. Each has seen important sources of good-paying jobs dry up—Martin County in coal mining, Baltimore in manufacturing. In the last presidential election, Martin Country voted 6 to 1 for Mitt Romney while Baltimore went 9 to 1 for Barack Obama. Yet the Great Society’s legacy has been depressingly similar. In a remarkable dispatch two years ago, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s John Cheves noted that the war on poverty sent $2.1 billion to Martin County alone (pop. 12,537) through programs including “welfare, food stamps, jobless benefits, disability compensation, school subsidies, affordable housing, worker training, economic development incentives, Head Start for poor children and expanded Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” The result? “The problem facing Appalachia today isn’t Third World poverty,” writes Mr. Cheves. “It’s dependence on government assistance.” Just one example: When Congress imposed work requirements and lifetime caps for welfare during the Clinton administration, claims of disability jumped. Mr. Cheves quotes
As a church culture we don’t tend to stumble obviously. This is what we chastise and shake our heads at. No, we only sin in public when it is acceptable to those who stare at us. We sin when it seems, well, sensible. When our greed to have the biggest church building in town overtakes any thought of the poverty-stricken in our community. When our yearning for bigger book sales causes us to skew more seeker-friendly than the message we know we are called to share. When our gifts shine and our ear is ever so slightly turned toward those who urge to us that we “have earned more” and “deserve better.” When our anecdotes from the pulpit cease to be interesting enough—so we invent better ones.
Mark Steele (Christianish: What If We're Not Really Following Jesus at All?)
Fair or unfair, however, globalization has not been kind to Confucius. The Western ideas that have seeped into East Asian society over the past two hundred years have caused many in the region to rethink the value of their Confucian heritage. Western political and social philosophies brought in very different concepts of family and gender relationships, systems of government and education, and methods of corporate governance. Democracy has taken hold, as have American notions of gender equality, personal freedoms, and the rule of law. East Asian nations are being profoundly altered by these new ideas. Democracy movements have toppled authoritarian regimes across East Asia. Women are increasingly fighting for their proper place in politics and the corporate world. For much of the past two centuries, East Asians have equated progress with westernization, striving to copy its economic, political, and social systems. Capitalism and industrialization became the tools to end poverty and gain clout on the world stage, electoral politics the ideal for choosing leaders and navigating divisions in society. The route to success no longer passed through Confucian academies, but through Harvard and Yale. Being westernized, in language, dress, and social life, has been the mark of being modern and competitive. Politicians and reformers across East Asia have sought to uproot Confucian influence, at times violently, in their quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many East Asians no longer wished to be Confucius, as they had for centuries on end. They wished to forget him.
Michael A. Schuman (Confucius: And the World He Created)
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Pecuniary embarrassment, he thought, was the cause of all evil to the blacks, "for poverty kept them ignorant and their lack of enlightenment kept them degraded.
Carter G. Woodson (The Mis-Education of the Negro)