The abundant Earth and the violence of poverty and greed

13_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,177

Thursday 13 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Imagine an Earth which did not and could not provide enough of all that is required to produce life. It could have land masses, seas, a complex weather system, rocks, minerals and chemical mixes and reactions, enough to form a primordial soup, but just not quite enough to produce life. It’s not difficult, just look out at the solar system and there are billions of such places.

Imagine our Earth if it could produce life in some form, but was incapable of providing enough for that life to grow and evolve beyond the complex reactions that had produced it. It would be stuck, locked down by lack, living and dying in scarcity, unable to go any further than mere emergence.

But our Earth isn’t like that, it is a planet on which life flourishes, a planet that is so abundant, so full of resources, that millions of forms of life have evolved, such that it positively seethes with life and on which one life form has emerged that can use and manipulate the Earths abundance and shape it to give rise to even greater abundance to suit our needs, wants and desires beyond our wildest dreams.

So abundant is this planet that it doesn’t require every person to labour to produce the absolute necessities of life, we have endless groups of people who do not have to till the land or build, weave or craft the stuff of life, but can enjoy a life free of such essential labour bountifully provided by others and do other things. Politicians, estate agents, artists, musicians, teachers, nurses and doctors, writers, hair dressers, technologists, pen pushers, jobsworths, bureaucrats, artisans, the idle and the indolent. The more you think about it, the longer that list gets and such is the abundance of the Earth that even those less fortunate, who by birth or misfortune could not survive without the care and help of others can not just survive but be enabled to live as fulfilling a life as they are capable of.

Such is the reality and the abundant capability of the real world in which we live, but there are a few snags, like greed, selfishness, hatred, self centred arrogance, those who want all the abundance for themselves and to hell with everyone else and those they exploit along the way. There are people who have managed to extract, through exploitation of people and resources, more than they could ever possibly need in a dozen lifetimes or more and yet who want even more and denigrate, humiliate, despise and deride those who have less. Like Gina Rinehart, who is fantastically rich (to a degree that is unimaginable for the vast majority of humanity) through inheritance and the ongoing labour of thousands, yet against whom she called for a lowering of the minimum wage, a wage that is already less than the minimum required to actually live on. She doesn’t even pay a living wage to those who produce such plenty.

And in Britain we have the Tories, tax breaks and handouts for the rich and austerity for everyone else, for whom social justice means sanctioning the means of survival of disabled people more than any other social group, who tax the poor who have a spare room and yet hand out grace and favour homes, like Dorneywood and its 21 rooms and 215 acre estate for George Osborne’s private use, at public expense. Such is the world today and it’s not good enough Mr Cameron, not good enough by a long, long way.

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