You are on page 1of 3

IN A DEMOCRACY, THE POOR ARE BOTH THE VICTIMS AND THE AGGRESSORS OF THEIR OWN POVERTY.

An assay of Dario Palhares. 2007 Pediatrician. MSci and PhD in Botany dariompm@unb.br

The democratic voting system of Brazil seems structurally excellent: voting is secret, universal, free and counted by modern computers that present fast and precise results. However, like a software virus, this machinery elects and re-elects corrupts and criminals of all sorts, that perpetuate and enhance the social inequality and give rise to social tensions. In the next elections in 2006, 60% of the electors have less than eight years of schooling. Thus, the gross majority is, as clearly expected, made up of poor people.

At a first glimpse, this poor majority elects and tolerates corrupts because of a blindness cultivated by years of non-scholarity and the intrinsic ability of the poor in being easily handled and deceived. Abstract crimes for uninformed brains, like the misappropriation of money, money-laundering, the overpricing of public biddings would, thus, seem as being too fictitious to be promptly refuted. However, the corruption of the electors is not restricted to that. They elect murderers, drug traffickers, land invaders, enslavers, politicians with no civic spirit. The vote allows and shows a collective self-projection over leaders who, since feeling free to even kill people, will obviously feel even more free to kick against collective human life in an indirect and diffuse manner.

On the one hand, it is intrinsic of the human behaviour to run after riches. It would be much better if the riches could appear in the fastest way. However, a social group organized only in this spirit would be very unstable and of a very short existence, with the desire for fast and immediate gains leading to endless bloody fights and wars. On the other hand, if human societies were only guided rationally, they would find a way where everybody would gain something, even if everybody gained just a little wealth, for the simple reason that is much safer to win somethingthan to run the risk of losing too much.

Certainly, also, when a few people win very muchwithout any social destabilisation, then many lose only a littlewithout revolting against their losses. As an example, a lottery winner of one million dollars means one million of people that each lost perhaps only one dollar.

Poverty is degrading, oppressive and, more than that, totally unnecessary in times of abundance. If the poor were free of concrete and obvious oppressors, they would immediately make exigencies for the elimination of their poverty. In a democracy the poor can choose their political leaders, and they would choose those who would help supply their necessities.

However, poverty is not purely a material state. Rather, it is an irreversible situation with mental, spiritual and behavioural dimensions. The poor are incapable of thinking collectively for the reason that collectivity is an abstract feeling. If the human being

doesn’t learn how to abstract when a child, it will never do so when an adult. The babies are born as poor (which is the simplest and natural tendency of humanity). If the child doesn’t receive adequate care, instruction, cultivation and education it will, in an irreversible manner, turn into a poor adult. As with roses, which if not adequately protected and nourished since seedlings will never produce high quality flowers, even if in the adult phase of flowering they start receiving proper handling.

In this way, the poor, when choosing democratically, make spurious choices. They don’t ask for a better minimum salary for all, but instead vote for the politician that offers the greatest governmental scholarships. Likewise, they don’t ask for urban planning but vote for popular houses. As for schools it is a joke. The school is largely composed of arrogant and annoying teachers who humiliate the children because of their ignorance and laziness on doing the set homework. Also, the environment is viewed as just some trees full of mosquitoes that have more economical value when burned or the land turned into concrete jungles.

The electoral money for the poor, thus, is guided by a crude and unscrupulous individualism. The politician will thus be free to steal and even kill, due to this “gimme” mentality.

Which means, collectively, that poverty is not something that improves itself, but is instead a being that auto-replicates, even in a democratic administrative system of free choices for the reason that, collectively, the poor choose exactly those who will maintain and even further not only their social situation of poverty, but also the third- world situation of the country. Even worse, since the birth-rate is higher given the poorer one is in a society, the number of poor tends to grow by a large scale, along with the massive rise of little corrupts without any perspective for growing, but by the continuous and intense cultivation of the wild and willing to obtain wealth at any price, where destroying the common wealth or the others´ happiness doesn’t mean a direct loss to themselves, but the illusory possibility of achieving a superior level of life.

Poverty, thus, is the crude, instinctive and wild stage into which all human beings are born. Wealth doesn’t appear suddenly but is rather the fruit of continuous care, cultivation, investment, instruction, work, discipline and organization. Wealth is however unstable and a collective of adults living in wealth may then descend into poverty as a consequence of wars, catastrophes, epidemics, etc. However, a group of adults living in poverty will never ascend into wealth. Neither is all the money in the world capable of eliminating poverty in a society. Wealth, fragile as powder, either starts in childhood or never starts at all. See for example some poor cities in the interior of Brazil: the installation of siderurgies, oil extraction, mining, great industries, great tourist complexes enhances the profits of the local governors and beautifies the cities but always however with a poor belt associated. Even if the internal product per capita of these cities has become superior to that of many rich countries.

Thus, it is concluded that the democratic system, although very advanced in relation to providing individual freedom, is not by itself a guarantee for the reduction of poverty. The poor collectively are doomed to not advance from their own state of poverty. Worse, however, is not to ask for the obvious and extensively discussed politics shown to be effective for the reduction of poverty which, due to its irreversible characteristics in the adults, can only be reduced in the long term.