See also: • Educating Children • Education or Indoctrination?
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Poverty is a serious injustice.

Nelson Mandela said:
"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."

Somehow people get around to thinking it is inevitable, it's always been with humanity, it is inescapable and there is nothing they can do about it.  In fact it's not natural, it's not necessary and it's not desirable.

In Britain during the Victorian era the general attitude of self reliance and the work ethic tended to foster a view that people who were worse off were simply lazy or bad.  Somehow they were not as "good" as other people and the focus was on "bettering" oneself to climb the ladder.  This attitude was narrow minded and simply deserted the needs of the poor and supported the greed of the rich.  Many of the wealthy people wallowed in self righteousness and arrogance.  The laws were draconian and oppressive.

However it was at the end of this era that things began to change.  There are many things that probably contributed to this.  One may have been the increase in communication.  Another the increase in education due to the demands of the industrial age.  But whatever the underlying influences the fact remains that more and more was done to reduce the punitive attitude to poverty and to afford rights and opportunities to everybody.  By the beginning of the 20th century poverty was significantly in decline.  Throughout the 1900s various improvements were made including providing free school meals and introducing sickness benefits.  By the late 1900s extreme poverty in Britain was almost eradicated.  Behind all of this improvement lies the changing attitude and behaviour of society at large.  This changing attitude brought about changes in law to remove injustice and to increase real justice.

Whilst the basic requirements to live are available it is quite wrong that some people live in opulence whilst others live in poverty and watch their children die of disease and starvation.  It is perhaps reasonable that there are fluctuating dynamics in the distribution of wealth but only within certain obvious limits.  It is not reasonable for some people to be so disproportionately wealthy that they can and do impose oppression and injustice on other people and it is not reasonable or acceptable that some people can be so poor that they cannot survive.  It only takes understanding this to change things.

Poverty around the world needs eradicating.  It is a necessary requirement and it can be done.  First of all understanding it helps.  After that doing something about it helps.  Eventually, if the underlying causes of poverty are removed then poverty will shrink around the globe.


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