The powerful documentary begins with a striking, and upsetting statement, “In a world where there is so much wealth, with modern cities and plentiful resources, how can we have so much poverty?” It then explains that the capitalistic system we have now is an economic failure, it’s seed being colonization. In 1492, when America was discovered by the Eastern world, any and all economy established in the Native American societies was destroyed by the pillaging of tools, jewels, and most importantly, land. In other countries around this time, the upper European class took communal land brutally from the indigenous peoples sharing it—this sense of community was a strong factor in their economies. The European conquistadors and colonizers brought with them a value of individualization, both fiscally and mentally.
As capitalism cannot operate without free labor, these indigenous people were forced into slavery and given false promises of wealth for their work. This slavery still exists today, with a noted 60-80 million people worldwide still enslaved. One sociologist remarks that debt is passed down from generation to generation. Unlike the slave owners of the past, today’s slave owners have little to no concern for the wellbeing of their slaves, and they don’t provide food, water, or shelter in many cases, forcing thes...
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...es to borrow money, furthering their debt. They then have to spend their tax dollars on debt and interest instead of health care or, more importantly, education. Low wage jobs are provided by the core, but the profits always go back to the core, and are never reinvested in periphery.
Given all of the information given in the documentary, and taking into account the social conflict theory and works of Marx and Wallerstien, I believe that global poverty is the principle product of a capitalistic system, implemented in the era of colonization and exploited up until today. I do not believe that this problem will be solved until the periphery class is given the same opportunity for health care and education as the semiperiphery and core classes. I also believe that in order of this widespread issue would benefit from an equilibrium of the population to consumption level.
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