First Nations Poverty
Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:06
Originally written: 04 July 2005
Phil Fontaine, leader of the Assembly of First Nations, in Canada, has challenged the federal and provincial governments to commit to ending poverty among First Nations within ten years. Fontaine says that Canada ranks 8th on the United Nations human development index, but First Nations rank 63rd.
That difference indicates that First Nations people are, on average, poorer than the rest of Canadians. Levels of poverty can be changed, and who is poorest can be changed, but poverty cannot be eliminated under capitalism. It is very unlikely that the governments will come up with a plan acceptable to the Assembly of First Nations. So it is unlikely that much will change. But there is something here which is very important to understand.
Poverty is relative.
So, being less poor than First Nations people does not mean that one is not poor. Being more poor than the rich does mean that one is poor. That is something that the apologists for capitalism do not want you to believe, even though it is true.
If people recognize their poverty, at whatever level of poverty they live, then people might start to question the social structure which makes us poor. Instead of trying to end poverty under a system in which poverty is necessary, people might decide to build a social system in which poverty will not exist.
That possibility has generated propaganda which makes the solution to poverty seem ridiculous. During more than a century and a half, that propaganda has insinuated itself into “common sense.” So when socialists ask people to consider a better alternative to capitalism, most people think we lack “common sense.” So, most people refuse to listen. Capitalism wins, and poverty remains.
You should be angry that you are being psychologically manipulated to keep you poor, and the capitalists, rich. You should turn their upside down “common sense,” right side up.