Sunday, October 16, 2016

Need to Change Our Social Structures

In 2015  the world news reported that in the last 25 years, globalization, a strong violent wind has  blown on the global village. In every facet of the village, we see an embarrassing  polarization which needs to be adjusted. Eighty of the richest individuals possess as much as half of the world's population.

An article in the Catholic Times introduces us to the need to bring about a change in the world. This is not only a difference in material goods but with money you have an entrance into all the benefits and privileges of society. These are also passed on to the future generation in an even stronger way.

Income influences marriages, the lower the income the later the marriage, and fewer children. Obesity is seen more in the poorer;  the rich live longer.  Income will determine the education level of our citizens and give rise to many problems in society.

The polarization of the citizenry is the temporary worker issue. Employment insecurity, lower wages, inhuman treatment, and discrimination, goes to forming the lower strata of society becoming its scapegoats.

Pope Francis in his encyclicals, exhortations, talks has stressed this concern for the poor and asks that we hear their cries.

"Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility." (Joy of the Gospel #58).

Pope Francis makes clear that the unfairness in society is a reason for some of the violence we see in society. "Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape" (Joy of the Gospel# 53).

The structures of society especially the economic system from the very beginning the inequality was  ready to foster violence. Unbridled capitalism, consumerism,and the throwaway culture make the poor poorer, and miserable. The pope's sharp words in criticism of mammonism is a lament in seeing the poor driven from the  mainstream of  society and to an inhumane way of living.

Pope Francis and our recent popes have presented us with the same message same from the beginning: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs.”