“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Hitler’s Henchman Joseph Goebbels
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
G. W. Bush
Many will argue that these statements can be applied to the rhetoric on the war on terror; the so called imminent danger, the potential loss of many innocent lives.
But how real is this threat? How many of us are suffering the consequences of daily attacks? Many of us were shocked and saddened by the events of 7/7, but since then what has happened? Not many of us live in constant fear. The media constantly spews a climate of fear, fraudulently attempting to terrify the masses into believing that terrorism is the only plague to our otherwise civilised world. But even in the 21st century, a century of abundance and waste, a war on want would save far more lives than any war on terror!
What terrorist has murdered millions or destroyed nations? The answer does not come from a race, religious group or a political party, but a force that has mass support across the political spectrum. This terrorist is called “Debt,” the most efficient killer in the world.
'Relieved of their annual debt repayments, the severely indebted countries could use the funds for investments that in Africa alone would save the lives of about 21 million children by 2000 and provide 90 million girls and women with access to basic education.'
UNDP Human Development Report 1997, p. 93
Ten years after the UNDP report, it is evident that politics have not changed and debt repayments continue, the sum of which is beyond both decency and taste. Those who benefit from these debt repayments are those who bank roll institutions like the IMF, the World Bank and the Paris Club. These are the high rollers, multi-millionaires or billionaires and Western Central Banks. It is this way that wealth flows from the very poorest people in the world to the richest.
‘God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East ' proclaimed Bush in 2006. Why doesn’t his God instruct him to deal with poverty and debt? Perhaps he is really listening to the rich and influential and not God at all!
Even so, economists have continued to inform the world (the eager poor to be precise) that there will be enough growth in wealth for everybody, and they are right, everyone can be fed and provided with shelter and clothing. However, the reality is so very different,
Furthermore economists have been telling the world (the eager poor to be precise) that there will be enough growth and wealth for everyone. They are right, everyone can be fed and be provided with shelter and clothing. But the reality is so very different; we live in an unequal world.
“225 people own more wealth than the poorest 2.5 billion people"
UNDP Human Development Report 1998
So who is driving this force of mass indiscriminate killing?
"There is a very broad consensus among African governments that the IMF and World Bank terms are often harsh and unsuitable generated severely adverse effects on the overall economies of these countries especially with regard to agriculture, manufacture and foreign trade"
Conference of the Institute for African Alternatives, Onimode, B. [ed.], The IMF, the World Bank Bank and African Debt, Zed Books, 1989.
Capitalism itself relies on the philosophy of self-interest, profit maximisation and greed to enhance production. This leads to a desire to control all available resources to harness their economic potential. Practically it leads to the rich and powerful seeking to control the financial affairs of as much of humanity as possible. The capitalist economic system itself that dominates the world directly leads to this situation. It does indeed produce growth and wealth. Never has the world been as wealthy as it is today, but this wealth does not find its way to the poor and this is its perpetual weakness.
So what can we do? What is the solution?
Well first off, charity pop concerts are not the solution. The good willed people of Britain attending charity concerts to end poverty have been (deliberately I may add) given false hopes. The millions raised are barely enough to pay off the interest Africa has accrued for a few hours.
Some $700 million per day now flows in debt repayment from the developing world to the developed world
UNDP Human Development Report, 1997
Evidently, even if we had a concert a day, it would not be enough. We would need at least 700 concerts a day. If you attempt to transform a system from within, the system changes you. Therefore, a new model, a new paradigm, a fresh perspective on this issue is needed. If we all want to stop this rampant killer that is responsible for the equivalent of 21,000 9/11’s and over a million 7/7’s each year, then we must provide a sincere and valid solution.
"…and give up what remains of your demand for interest… Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly” 2: 278-279
“…Freeing a slave or feeding on a day of hunger an orphaned relative or a poor man in the dust; then to be one of those who have iman and urge each other to steadfastness and urge each other to compassion…” Surat al-Balad: 13-17
“…that is because they say, 'Trade is the same as interest.' But God has permitted trade and He has forbidden usury.” 2:275
“Give your relatives their due, and the very poor ….” Surat al-Isra': 26
It is a lie that the current financial world order is fair to the poor or that developed nations are not directly responsible for the exploitation of the resources of the poorest people on this earth. It is a lie that these economic policies do not directly kill millions. It is true that the capitalist economic system itself is responsible for the death of tens of millions of human beings. It is time for a war on want.