Lack of Solidarity is a main culprit of Poverty. Our self-centeredness and key elements in the Economy, in particular the Money as Debt system, have made us individualistic and uncooperative.
This is an attitude enrooted in our hearts favoring behaviors ranging from passivity and indolence vis-à-vis other people’s problems to extreme selfishness and greed.
In fact, our current civilization is built upon individualism: We primarily look after our own interests and are not going beyond. Such attitude goes opposite to the quest for Common Good, which is precisely the foundation of Solidarity.
In front of the bare necessities of life every human being should be equal. That should be a fundamental right. Yet, due to lack of solidarity, people do not claim for others what they claim for themselves.
For instance, there are laws against animal ill-treatment. That is great. Yet why aren’t there laws protecting people from going hungry every night or leaving under miserable conditions.
Such individualism is a denial of a true fact: Civilization survival is only possible through active cooperation and solidarity among people, and through the will to subordinate our own interests to the common good.
There is in particular a core issue favoring Lack of Solidarity: The current economic practice is Money & Profit-driven rather than People-driven.
In fact, Economy, especially in the last 100 years is revolving around theories that are not people-centered. For instance, economic activity runs around “creatures” Economy itself has given birth, such as ‘the Market’, ‘the Almighty Profit’ and ‘Money at Interest’ among others.
Current values give priority to the hoarding of wealth while Economy is first and foremost focused on delivering products and services, without necessarily promoting a better way of life.
What is the result of this reversal of values?
It is war of all against all, where one group of people has to win while others have to lose.
At the personal level we see that lack of solidarity prevails over the 'care for the other'.
On a fundamental humanitarian issue such as hunger in the world, there is a quote from Prophet Muhammad that is completely relevant: 'He who sleeps on a full stomach while his neighbor goes hungry is not one of the members of humanity'.
What we see in many countries is the exploitation of man by man: unfair wages, unhealthy working conditions and so on.
Actually, it is not that difficult to notice the implications of such prevailing win-loss system: See for example the competition (shouldn´t it be better called ‘war’?) for “the Market” among the different players in all sectors of economy.
We have been told that such “war” is by all means a “healthy” one since it ‘increases Creativity’, ‘pushes the boundaries of entrepreneurialism’, ‘raises the bar of human imagination’, is an ‘expression of human freedom’ and so on.
Yet what do we see in the practice?
With globalization, stronger economies are literally swallowing weaker ones. With the pretext of ‘free markets’, economies that were not fully prepared to compete are suffering the consequences of impoverishment.
On the other hand, Lack of Solidarity manifests as a worshiping to ‘Almighty Profit’.
For the sake of Profit, people, corporations, countries, economic zones alike fight each other. Human well-being is second to ‘Profit’. We hear arguments such as ‘Business is Business’ or ‘this is not a charity’.
The environment is second to ‘Profit’ as well. We have to have the “economic machine” running at full steam. The most important thing is to produce; it is less important what is being produced and how it is produced.
Consumerism is one of the natural consequences of this mandate. Following the same pattern, ecological considerations are second to ‘Profit’. Exploitation of soil and natural resources are part of the picture. There are for example mining projects that, if not kept under strict surveillance, spoil the soil and water sources up to their exhaustion, ravaging entire populations.
What is at the basis of the ‘Will of the Market’ and ‘Almighty Profit’ mentality?
The Money as Debt system is at the basis; it is the predominant force that explains our individualism as society. Such system goes against all models of Solidarity.
The way money is created as a debt, imposes a burden to people, corporations and nations alike, right from day one of its creation. It is a ‘yoke’ from which nobody can escape. The fact that money is assimilated to wealth and bears interest (and compound interest!) imposes a model of scarce resource for which all of us have to fight.
Let’s mention now, another way Lack of solidarity manifests itself:
How many times have we remained passive while witnessing injustice, abuse, dishonesty or unethical practices; how many times have we remained silent and have done nothing about it? How many times, have we favored impunity?!
We have forgotten that Lack of Solidarity has an immediate impact on us all:
We have lost perspective that we live in a world that is interdependent in all respects. Everything that we do has an impact on people and environment alike. Our personal well-being cannot be disconnected from the collective well-being.
Nobody can say that he/she doesn’t need ‘the other’. The good we do onto others directly or indirectly contributes to our wellness.
Let’s not forget that our present well-being has been built upon previous generations’ efforts. There is an implicit solidarity that we most of time don’t even recognize or are aware of.
In the same way we need to care for the future generations’ well-being.
It is a human paradox though, that most of the time we human-beings need to suffer pain in order to be aware of other people’s pain!
On the other hand, it is relieving to see that there are human groups that are aware of other people’s suffering and fight in one way or another against our lack of solidarity: Civic, philanthropic, disaster relief, volunteer, humanitarian, nonprofit organizations, or community or charity groups, or co-operatives among others.
In summary, the economic system goes against Solidarity. Instead, it favors an unacceptable inequality by sponsoring an uneven wealth distribution and economic discrimination.
The existence of the so-called 'social classes' and all kinds of differentiation among people based on economic grounds is aberrant.
By no means, we are encouraging here to go back to the time of Communism, or of totalitarian regimes. NO, far from that! It is purely and simply a thought on how we human beings have not yet been able to establish economic systems that promote fairness and well-being for all: i.e. what I want for me, I want for others as well.
We cannot talk about true ‘Human Progress’ if such ‘Progress’ is limited to a certain group of people; i.e. people ‘entitled’ to more privileges than the others. Discrimination must finish: Humankind has to put an end to the existence of ‘first-class’ people versus ‘second, third …, ‘sixth-class’ people!!!
On the other hand, we live in an economic system that has favored Lack of Solidarity under another form: Lack of care, indifference towards the other.
A key consequence of this state of affairs is increased Poverty. We human beings must stop it once and for all!