There was an (inadvertently) entertaining article in the Guardian the other week from a woke bloke in a UK university complaining about how poverty stats are manipulated and misinterpreted. There were lots of sloping graphs to grab our attention but it was these paragraphs I was struck by:
"What [the] numbers actually reveal is that the world went from a situation where most of humanity had no need of money at all to one where today most of humanity struggles to survive on extremely small amounts of money. The graph casts this as a decline in poverty, but in reality what was going on was a process of dispossession that bulldozed people into the capitalist labour system, during the enclosure movements in Europe and the colonisation of the global south.
Prior to colonisation, most people lived in subsistence economies where they enjoyed access to abundant commons – land, water, forests, livestock and robust systems of sharing and reciprocity. They had little if any money, but then they didn’t need it in order to live well – so it makes little sense to claim that they were poor. This way of life was violently destroyed by colonisers who forced people off the land and into European-owned mines, factories and plantations, where they were paid paltry wages for work they never wanted to do in the first place.
In other words, [the] graph illustrates a story of coerced proletarianisation. It is not at all clear that this represents an improvement in people’s lives, as in most cases we know that the new income people earned from wages didn’t come anywhere close to compensating for their loss of land and resources, which were of course gobbled up by colonisers."
and so on ... . This is such ********.
Happily no one's going to vote for a party advocating subsistence (the reason why in the prefix). This serves to remind us that back in the good old days when relative poverty was forced on people by a rich and violent elite no one voted for, no one was able to vote for anything.
There's more to say on this nonsense, but I can't be bothered. Meanwhile, let's hear it for sanitation, contraception, vaccination, analgesics, anaesthetics and antibiotics.