- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More philosophically, less sarcastically

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on April 14, 1999 at 10:55:15:

In Reply to: My life of HELL at the hands of capitalists posted by deg on April 13, 1999 at 11:14:11:

Since the rise of settled societies some eight to ten thousand years ago the majority of the world's population have lived in conditions of grinding poverty. They have had few possessions, suffered from miserable living conditions and have been forced to spend most of their limited resources on obtaining enough food to stay alive. Although in all societies the elite have lived at a higher standard than the overwhelming mass of the population, they too only had access to a very limited range of goods and services for most of human history. However in the last two hundred years a sizeable minority of the world's population has achieved a material standard of living that would have been unimaginable for previous generations. But this relatively sudden and recent improvement has been obtained at a significant price -- a vast increase in the consumption of the world's limited energy resources and raw materials, widespread pollution from the industrial processes involved and a variety of social problems. In addition, it has raised major questions of equity about the distribution of wealth within individual countries and about the comparative standards of living in the industrialized world and the Third World.

Clive Ponting, from A GREEN HISTORY OF THE WORLD (New York: Penguin, 1991).

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