The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78659   Message #1417730
Posted By: Piers
22-Feb-05 - 02:40 PM
Thread Name: BS: Why do we need poverty?
Subject: RE: BS: Why do we need poverty?
Hesperis,
I don't think anyone who wants a moneyless society wants to replace it with a barter. We are questioning the need for trade at all.

I can't quite see what you are actually suggesting we can do to take care of people's basic needs. However, it is irrelevant because however well meaning one is, the idea that you can get rid of poverty without getting rid of the rich is flawed. The problems of people's basic needs not being met is an inherent part of capitalism. Ownership of the means of production is not some abstract question. We are all dependent on the means of production, they are the means of living - producing and distributing food, health, housing and entertainment. In capitalism, ownership of the means of production is vested in a minority and the basis for production is the ability to yield surplus. If the means of production could be brought under social control, that is democratic operation on the basis of meeting needs, then the fruits of our labour can be distributed according to need. In capitalism goods and services are available, as you suggest, for those who can afford it - that is a can't pay, can't have basis. Socialism would do away with the inequality this creates. Without the fetters of 'no profit, no production' we could have enough basics plus not-so basic goods and services for everyone and there would be no need to ration, i.e. trade. This may sound like a wacky idea, but it is a lot more realistic than ending poverty through free trade, fair trade, the welfare state or charity. The counter-productive behaviours of the rich, the tyranny of the rich over the poor, poverty will be with us as long as they control the means of living.