According to recent studies the population of the world’s slums is set to burgeon by more than 500 million within 25 years, By 2030 the number of city dwellers is likely to mushroom from the current 3 billion to more than 4.1 billion. However the appalling consequences of this is that more than half that number will be crammed into ghettoes and shanty towns unless plans for urban renewal are radically altered. Of course you and I know this is capitalism and that the plans to avoid this cruel, brutal event will never be carried out, in fact it is because of capitalism that this is happening.
The World Watch Institute in Washington states that at present urban areas cover 0.4 per cent of the Earth’s surface and generate the bulk of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, and of the 33 cities projected to have 8 million or more residents by 2015, at least 21 are coastal and will have to contend with rising seas caused by global warming. However the capitalist system continues on its way driving people from rural areas into the cities. More than 60 million people – about the population of Britain – move into cities each year, mostly in developing countries.
Dr Carolyn Stephens, a lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “Cities are the Brave New World, with a minority living long lives in over-consuming affluence, and where most die young in inescapable poverty.”
David Satterthwaite, of the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development, said “— cities become among the most polluted and dangerous places, where one in four children dies before the age of five,”
We can’t say that the corporate world is unaware of these facts, they cause the problem and the information is freely available, it’s just that it can’t prevent them as its only aim, come what may, is to increase profits to the greedy shareholders, who no doubt will never live anywhere near the ghettoes or shanty towns.
If this problem is to be tackled it can only be done by destroying the corporate greed machine and its bed companion, the state apparatus that paves its way. The capitalist system has for centuries continued to widen the gap between rich and poor and to do this it has to rape and plunder the planet, the state system legislates to see that it has a free hand and all the military support it needs. Do you want to be, or your grandchildren to be among the future dwellers of the ghettoes or shanty towns? If not, then it is now we have to act, the slum future for millions of ordinary people is racing towards us. It is already here for millions, no city will be exempt.