Thsi is from Horst :
When we have such pangs of bad conscience ( on my post on water) where do we go from there? The slum that you saw from the hotel window, as close as it appears to be, may as well be on the moon. That is the felt distance between the two realities we are dealing with in our daily lives. One reality has to do with the existence of the haves and the other with the have nots. I have belabored that very subject on your blog many times and have increasingly realized that our societies are terribly flawed in their concept to distribute wealth.
Over the last century the large experiments in establishing an equitable social system by introducing communism have failed, albeit some countries are still in a state of denial. As we can now safely say capitalism, the widely heralded alternative, has not kept its early promise and has rather turned into a sordid tool to promote elitism and to exploit the vast masses of humanity. All the learned and celebrated theorists of the past have failed to include one important calculus in their sophisticated treatises: human greed and the inherent unwillingness to truly share good fortunes with others. The current worldwide economic crisis is considerably more than just a down phase in the endless chain of cyclical undulations. I think it is a worldwide awakening to a reality that can no longer be sustained. There will be an increasing number of Shekhars who are exceedingly unwilling to act as though all is well and to view the misery of billions of people as something so abstract as to be virtually non-existent. The dynasties of wealth will eventually tumble and in the sobering aftermath there will be profound changes to prevent a recurrence of the excesses that have incurred our collective wrath. Conspicuous consumption are becoming dirty words, fabulous riches are no longer viewed with benign envy but rather as a growing irritant. People are increasingly stacking up their own limited lives against the charmed realities of the ones who cannot even fathom the concept of daily survival and who know of no existential fear that too many of us have to live with.
All great upheavals in human history have been fed by the dissatisfaction of the masses and their inability to improve their lives. We may very well be in the early throes of such a moment. I think there is now an incredible opportunity for introspection, for the exchange of thought processes to try to establish a new, more equitable world order in which 80 % of humanity is not just simply ignored but is given a chance to live with dignity rather than in shame that abject poverty engenders. We must afford them the same respect we all expect from each other.
Thsi is from Horst :