Can Wealth exist without poverty ?

Oct 2013
1,267
Monza, Italy
#31
That seldom happens because the seriously rich are also seriously greedy. They use their wealth to maintain the status quo. In most modern democracies there is also a powerful, sophisticated and corrupt lobbying system.
As for the lobbying system, I think Mosca and Pareto's theories prove that it's natural to all societies to have a dominant and ruling class (example, nomenklatura in Soviet Union); the problem is, how does this class rules? Any serious marxist would agree with the fact that the Keynes's consensus was a way to prevent any revolutionary tendence in Western and industrialized nations, the target of mantaining status quo is at the core of both speding-cut as awell as social-democratic measures, both promoted by the ruling elite since 1945.
 
Likes: Ichon
Oct 2018
655
Adelaide south Australia
#32
As for the lobbying system, I think Mosca and Pareto's theories prove that it's natural to all societies to have a dominant and ruling class (example, nomenklatura in Soviet Union); the problem is, how does this class rules?

As with most generalisations, not demonstrably true of all societies. I refer or to tribal and anarchic societies., which do not have a formalised class system. There are always people 'in charge'.In tribal societies, leaders tend to be elected, often for a specific period or task such as war. Anarchic societies, such as Australian Aboriginal society, is egalitarian, No permanent leaders, but leaders chosen by consensus for specific things. However, Australian Aboriginal society is a gerontocracy, with elders exercising authority in some areas, such as teaching the young about the Dreamtime, and initiating the young males. Women are taught by women.. Elder men have 'first pick' of wives. Marriage is at puberty, so it was common for a muddle aged man to have at least one very young wife. Still happens in some remote communities, as far as I know..

In asking how the ruling class rules ,you're asking about the nature of power, authority and influence. Some argue three different things.

There are two broad theories of power: Consensus and Conflict:

. Consensus theory argues that men are essentially rational beings who maintain order in society and solve problems by compromise and consensus

Conflict Theory: Mao Tze Dung . wrote that "power grows from the barrel of a gun" . The theory argues that . in society, all power is based on [at least] an implied threat of violence.

I think the reality is probably a mixture, with conflict the dominating aspect of power.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,534
#33
As for the lobbying system, I think Mosca and Pareto's theories prove that it's natural to all societies to have a dominant and ruling class (example, nomenklatura in Soviet Union); the problem is, how does this class rules?

As with most generalisations, not demonstrably true of all societies. I refer or to tribal and anarchic societies., which do not have a formalised class system. There are always people 'in charge'.In tribal societies, leaders tend to be elected, often for a specific period or task such as war. Anarchic societies, such as Australian Aboriginal society, is egalitarian, No permanent leaders, but leaders chosen by consensus for specific things. However, Australian Aboriginal society is a gerontocracy, with elders exercising authority in some areas, such as teaching the young about the Dreamtime, and initiating the young males. Women are taught by women.. Elder men have 'first pick' of wives. Marriage is at puberty, so it was common for a muddle aged man to have at least one very young wife. Still happens in some remote communities, as far as I know..

In asking how the ruling class rules ,you're asking about the nature of power, authority and influence. Some argue three different things.

There are two broad theories of power: Consensus and Conflict:

. Consensus theory argues that men are essentially rational beings who maintain order in society and solve problems by compromise and consensus

Conflict Theory: Mao Tze Dung . wrote that "power grows from the barrel of a gun" . The theory argues that . in society, all power is based on [at least] an implied threat of violence.

I think the reality is probably a mixture, with conflict the dominating aspect of power.
In tribal societies , would not temptation be great for any guy that is the strongest in the village (imagine Mike Tyson in a tribe) to simply grab power by intimitading (or beating up ) any other candidates or rulers ? as is clearly the case in many animal groups..... Plus such bullies always have a following, so he would not really be acting alone but with the support of his buddies in crime
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,142
Sydney
#35
In some primitive societies , in papua and western Canada , there was the ceremony of the potlash
Potlatch - Wikipedia
a great feast would be set by a wealthy family and a great amount of goods would be distributed or destroyed
this was a display of prestige , generosity and power

there is a parallel in renaissance family building at their cost , churches , public building or giving to the poor
In ancient Rome holding great game or great public feasts was a political ploy to gather support
 
Likes: Ichon
Oct 2018
655
Adelaide south Australia
#36
In tribal societies , would not temptation be great for any guy that is the strongest in the village (imagine Mike Tyson in a tribe) to simply grab power by intimitading (or beating up ) any other candidates or rulers ? as is clearly the case in many animal groups..... Plus such bullies always have a following, so he would not really be acting alone but with the support of his buddies in crime
Yes, there are always bullies. The type of societies to which I referred have built0in measures to protect the group, In Aboriginal l society, the bully would be put in his place by the elders. If he didn't pull his head in, he would be punished.That punishment would vary in severity, up to spearing ,usually in the thigh, so as not to kill. A person would be speared to death for capital offence such as murder or breaking a powerful taboo. Banishment was also an option. Not sure about shunning, but it's found in many societies.

@sparky
I've read a bit about the Potlatch among the Kwakiutl people.

Franz Boas wrote extensively about the Kwakiuitl of Vancouver Island. I liked his stuff, as he used an approach I think is basic in Anthropology; cultural

Missionaries, in their normal understanding and deeply compassionate way, ,managed to pretty much ban the potlatch The Canadian treatment of its First Nation people is about on par with We Australians and our indigenous people. Australia may be worse; the last record of whites hunting (and killing) aboriginals for sport comes from the 1920's...

UBC in Victoria has, I think, the best exhibits on the Kwakiutl. I visited UBC with an alumnus, and was allowed to see a whole lot of stuff not on display. It was great

I've read a bit about New Guinea big men, I'm not sure there isa parallel, although both practices may be described as 'agents of social control';,. .
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,142
Sydney
#37
The point I was making is that ostentatious display of generosity are popular and politically positive
while avaricious and grasping behavior are condemned as anti social

IE ... the richs are seen as having a duty to make the wealth flow downward , else the people might just as well get rid of them
dictators most popular move has always been to confiscate the wealth of the very rich and chopping them
that's why when a democracy fail ( as they always do ) due to the governance getting too grasping ,
the people shout for an authoritarian ruler to make them disgorge their wealth
.....pay back on the bastards feel right
 
Oct 2018
655
Adelaide south Australia
#38
"The rich are seen as having a duty to make the wealth flow downward" ,

A moral value which tends to be ignored and with which I do not agree. The wealthy as a class are an effect, not a cause.. A force of nature if you will; they will exploit individuals and entire societies because they can. Society has the responsibility of making the kind of society they want. In a democracy, so called, the people lack the interest and the wit to do anything about the status quo, which more often than not, they think is just F-----g dandy..

. Instead, pious humbugs talk about the so called 'trickle down effect notion of the distribution of wealth.


"The people' are cattle. They may be blunt instrument of revolution, butt they do not foment revolution and are at the bottom of the pile in benefiting from revolution.

A last thought on the subject; I think it was Marx who claimed that people contribute to their own exploitation: Public education teaches about the system as it is. People are taught, and accept that a 'fairly regulated ' capitalist system, with a fiat economy is in their best interest. Basic principles simply do not occur to them: Eg the view that it's perfectly reasonable for a boss/company to profit from their labour. They accept the notion that an object can have an intrinsic value, rather than say valuing an object based on use. Such a system was used by the Egyptians until Alexander turned up in the 4th century bce.

The capitalist system happens to be the one most common today. It is artificial, and fragile. The market ,and the entire consumer culture is based on credit ,which in turn is based on trust. When that trust breaks down, the economy collapses, as it did in the US in 2007.

All systems of human organisation evolve or die. The capitalist system has some serious flaws. A major flaw is its need to grow to infinity. A problem when a system is built on the exploitation of finite resources. Perhaps not soon, but eventually.
 
Likes: Ichon
Aug 2018
341
london
#39
Yes wealth can exist without poverty. But wealth can't exist without work, and the threat of poverty is a way that people are incentivised to work.
 
Oct 2018
655
Adelaide south Australia
#40
Yes wealth can exist without poverty. But wealth can't exist without work, and the threat of poverty is a way that people are incentivised to work.
.

John Maynard Keynes, the great economist said if you want an affluent society, you need three things: (1) Full employment, the ideal being a 3% rate of unemployment (2) High wages (3) High
taxation.

A supervisor and middle manager for many years,I was acutely aware that people differ a great deal in what motivates them.I was never able to find a magic formula , such as motivation by fear, which worked for everyone.

Human Resource Management 101 : Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs to explain what actually motivates people .There are several other models, .All are flawed because they make assumptions about people en masse. I found Maslow's approach to be the most useful.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.


From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.










Deficiency needs vs. growth needs



This five-stage model can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referred to as deficiency needs (D-needs), and the top level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs).


Full article on link.

https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Basically, that the stick is rarely the best way to motivate human beings.


Part 2:

" But wealth can't exist without work, "

Ever heard of inherited wealth? The incumbent US President is a classic example of inherited wealth.

Ever heard of 19th and early 20th century industrialists referred to as "robber barons"?. I refer to people such as JP Morgan, Henry Ford, and John D Rockefeller. it was said of Rockefeller's house, that it was the kind of house God would build, if he only had the money. These guys were utterly ruthless .By 'ruthless I mean a being prepared to actually have men killed. There were certainly deaths of strikers and Trade Unionists at least indirectly caused by these ruthless men.

There is also a saying "that behind every great fortune there is a great crime" (anon)

OF COURSE there are 'self made, driven men, such as Bill Gates and Steve jobs. There are also nasty little toe rags, such as Mark Zuckerberg, who were in the right place at the right time.

Wealth can most certainly exist without working for it, through accident of birth, amoral ruthlessness, or dumb luck, such as a mining strike, or winning a major lottery.
 

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