News, information, issues, discussions, solutions. News, information, issues, discussions, solutions. poverty science technology



Six million kids die every year, because of hunger. That makes 17,000 every day. If you give a careful look to the wealth distribution around the world, you will take no time to realize that the distribution of wealth is extremely uneven. Over a billion people, in this world of ours, live on less than a dollar a day. In many parts of the world, access to clean water and 2200 calories a day is still a far fetched dream. In any scientific analysis, laziness and lack of competitiveness, can hardly be cited as the causes of this ultra-poverty. The real causes are far more extensive and complicated, and mostly out of the control of an average poverty ridden person. Who and what we are, is mostly the result of where we are born and raised and where we end up living. The factors, circumstances and barriers to opportunities like corrupt and incompetent governments, feudal influence and power, poor healthcare and educational systems, Bad transport and communication systems, absence of advanced technologies, play a huge role in the social and economic backwardness of these unfortunate people. Bad politics has made us overwhelmingly confused about terminologies. The stress on terminologies is so intensive that many intellectuals are scared to even talk about certain things. For example, in our society distribution of wealth is synonymous with socialism, a supposedly really bad thing. So, if you even talk about the term, distribution of wealth, you automatically become a socialist or a bad person, obviously, as per the common perception. Artificial distribution of wealth is bad thing. Accepted. In long run it doesn’t work and results into social and economic consequences that may be undesirable. True. But, how unequal the natural and so called free market distribution of wealth could be? Up to what extent it is acceptable? or there is no limit on it? After all the ultimate reason behind building and the accepting an economic system is the economic welfare of world and whole humanity, and not of certain selected people. How much inequality under any given system can be allowed or accepted? If any system is generating billions for some and not even a dollar a day for others, than can this system be accepted as a system for all humanity or it is fair to say that it is good for certain people only. The previous systems like feudal system, cast system, socialism, communism and even fascism were not bad for everyone, either. The problem with those systems was that they ultimately generated a class that was perpetually wealthy, while most others were perpetually poor.  Take another view of this picture. What was really responsible for the creation of large and well off middle class in West. Was it democracy? Capitalism? or Science and technology? or all of the above? If we look back at the historical evolution, industrial revolution preceded the other two. It was the revolutionary invention of steam engine, that started the great change. Steam engine made it possible to produce in massive quantities and quickly distribute and sell it to large populations. It made it possible to print, distribute and sell newspapers in large numbers to far off places. This was the beginning of mass production, leading to Capitalism and mass communication leading to information revolution and hence Democracy. With further advancements in this technology like the invention of diesel and gasoline engines, electric trains, aircrafts and shipping industry, the world rapidly shrank, and mass production and mass communication, were extended on even much more massive scale. Same was the case with unbeatable advancements in print and electronic media. Newspapers, magazines, scientific and arts publications and journals and books, could be printed, advertised, marketed, distributed and sold in millions, around the world. Electronics media like radio, television, movies, audio and video cassettes and discs, could generate billions in revenues, in least amount of time. Latest were computers and Internet, which brought the information and communication revolution to it’s peak. Internet is turning out to be the information democracy, and breaking down the feudal monopolies in information and communication systems and technologies. That is why the information and communication lords are so scared of it and are trying to hijack it with the help of their pimps in politics and media.  This revolution that was started and run by scientific inventions and discoveries, was strengthened and accelerated by Democracy. The biggest contribution of democracy was that it helped tearing down the grip of feudal lords and elites. In democratic societies, economies became relatively free from the control of elite and feudal lords. Capitalism is at the far end of this rope. It helped reaping the fruits of revolutionary technologies and opportunities created by Democracies, by properly channeling the capital into efficient production, distribution and selling. This of course ultimately ruined the environment and lots of precious moral and ethical values, but, economic, financial and material benefits of it are unmatched in human history.  Unfortunately, under the influence corporate financed, run and owned politics and media, this historical sequence in modern economic revolution is reversed. Instead of science and technology, Capitalism gets the most credit, democracy maintains it’s middle position and science and technology, the biggest contributors, are given the least credit. The matter of the fact is that if we loose this technological edge and leadership in science, we are doomed. In other words it is the investment in science, technology, education and research, that can guarantee us the maintenance of leadership position. The biggest difference between developed and under developed societies is the difference in scientific and technological advancement.  A real Democracy, that is government of the people, by the people and for the people, is the next most important thing. I want to make it clear that I am not talking about the government of corporation, by the corporations and for the corporations. To me they are nothing but the modern equivalents of feudal lords, who are much more wealthy, powerful and influential (global) than the traditional lords. In a growing and progressive society the real power must still remain in the hands of people, and the rich, powerful and famous, must not be allowed to hijack it.  In my preference list, third and last is Capitalism. Businesses must be allowed to grow and compete, and monopolies and cartels should be prevented. Markets must remain open and free, with limited and only necessary regulation from the government. Most importantly, corporation should be allowed to run the business only and their influence on politics and information flow must be restricted.  This sequence of Industrial revolution followed by Democracy followed by Capitalism is proved subsequently in Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and other newly developed countries, and is being proved in China and India. The countries that tried to change this sequence, socialist countries for example, have failed. Other middle eastern countries and Muslim countries that are trying democracy and / or Capitalism before industrial revolution are failing, too. Unfortunately, the developed countries and rich corporations have not been very generous in providing the easy and affordable access to scientific discoveries and developments for the people who are left behind. Democracy, free markets, charities, aid and loans are important, but what under developed countries need the most are their own industrial revolutions.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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