In this capitalist created world of burgeoning poverty, a tiny portion of the world’s population lives in unimaginable wealth and prosperity. The ever widening gap between rich and poor is difficult to grasp in its immensity and its cruelty, sometimes figures can help us see the reality of this situation. For example, unbelievable as it seems, today the world’s 50 richest people have a combined income that is greater than the combined income of the poorest 416 million. As the 20th century came to a close figures revealed that the world’s 225 richest people had combined assets of over one trillion dollars, equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the world’s population, a staggering 2.5 billion people, while the three richest people in the world had assets that exceeded the combined GDP of the 48 least developed countries in the world. If it was just a difference in wealth we could perhaps shrug our shoulders but it is a difference between excessive luxury based on exploitation and a slow death from malnutrition and preventable diseases, diseases caused by dirty drinking water and no sanitation. Recent figures estimate that it would cost only 40 billion dollars a year to provide universal access to basic education, health care, reproductive health care, adequate food, clean water, and safe sewers, which is less than 4% of the combined wealth of the 225 richest people in the world. It won’t happen, this is capitalism.
These figures make it obvious that the capitalist system is not merely unjust but is detrimental to the health and well being of the vast majority of the world’s population. It creates this human disaster while plundering and destroying the world’s resources for the benefit of that minute minority that live in obscene and unearned wealth.
There is an alternative, we have the resources to create a world of justice for all, a decent standard of living for everybody, a world based on free association, voluntary co-operation, mutual aid and sustainability. First we must destroy the cancer that is the capitalist system with its profit motive feeding the greed of shareholders, while removing its body guard, the state apparatus, and start to build our society on a federation of communities, communities that see to the needs of our people on the basis of those anarchist principles already stated, free association, voluntary co-operation, mutual aid and sustainability. Only then will we have a world that we would want to leave to our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Failure to do so means that we bequeath our offspring a world of deprivation, disease, exploitation and the violence that goes with such a world.