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Piers Every 3 seconds...a child dies...Live 8 (85* d) RE: Every 3 seconds...a child dies...Live 8 27 Jun 05


Hi Lizzie, I don't think we are quite saying the same thing.

Oxfam is saying that people can be in control of their lives and stand on their own two feet by becoming small business people or what have you. I think this is wrong. It fails to take into account that in capitalism wealth tends to migrate into the hands of a few as it is in the developed world - huge inequality. In the UK one of the most adavnced capitalist countries, almost two thirds of all wealth is owned by 5% of the population. This wealth is constituted of the means of producing things that we need to live: food, shelter, transport, computers etc.

You cannot be in control of your life if someone else is in control of the things you need to live. I'm not suggesting a return to small scale production or hunting/gathering, I'm suggesting using that the productive resources that exist should be controlled directly through democratic decision making. We have the productive facilities for there to be enough for everyone on the planet. Developing regions do not need to go through the slow development process they could have the resources now but the market, i.e. the capital owners need for profit, says they cannot.

This is the material base that the political system is built on. Politicians merely regulate the different sectors of capital. Unless we can get MPs that are mandated by those they represent then MPs will go on acting for those who fund their parties (the rich) and fund the state (the rich). Government can only exist for

Make Poverty History, Live 8 and Oxfam want Africa to become an developed capitalist society. This has the support of rich popstars and capitalist politicians because it leaves their privilege unscathed. This is the society we are in now, we don't have the extent of abject poverty that Africa has, but they are talking halving (absolute) poverty in tens of years when it could happen in a year or two with an immediate increase in agricultural production and healthcare (it can't happen, it is not profitable - millions are condemned to death by capitalism), but we have immense relative poverty, war, environmental destruction, waste, unfulfilling jobs that produce nothing to do with real human needs but are simply about making money (for the rich). In abolishing capitalism and having a society based on common ownership of resources, democratic control of those resources and as a result free access to the goods and services produced, poverty will be abolished for good.


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