Among the Homeless - Charles DiBella, Hopi Information Network

Tom Boland (
Sun, 9 May 1999 17:08:07 -0700 (PDT)

FWD   Sun, 2 May 1999
From: "AnotheR BytE Inc." <>


                 Among the Homeless
                 by Charles DiBella

        Charles DiBella has been living and
       learning among the homeless in America
         for the past five years, and is the
        founder of AnotheR BytE, the developer
           of the Hopi Information Network,
              and the co-founder of the
                 Himalayan Community.

    Americans as Consumers

    Often Americans are labeled consumers, and
    rightly so.  All humans consume to some
    extent, but undoubtedly, Americans

    Americans comprise less than 5 percent of the
    world's population, yet consume over 50
    percent of the world's resources.  In the
    Global village, we consume more than our
    fair share.

    Through capitalism, we have come to believe
    that we have achieved one of the highest
    standards of living in the world.  Yet around
    the world, people of all nations feel there
    is something seriously askew.

    While the majority of the world population is
    lacking some basic essential, Americans have
    gone beyond concern for essentials, and are
    overly concerned with acquiring luxuries and
    non-essential goods.

    Despite all our abundance, our youth are
    becoming increasingly violent or despondent.

    Far too many kids end up as adults with
    addictions and emotional disorders, and
    millions spend their time on the streets,
    in gangs, or in jail.

    Our solution to crime and addiction is to
    blame parents, provide counseling and
    pharmaceuticals, build more prisons, hire
    more police, and enact more laws.

    Most of our citizenry is in denial about the
    true nature of our problem, focusing on
    symptoms rather than root causes.

    Politicians and the media use polls and
    statistics to justify any popular viewpoint
    or solution.

    Rarely does anyone attack our material and
    capitalist way of life, nor do they have the
    courage to bite the hand that feeds them.

    Through each passing year, our political,
    judicial, educational, and social welfare
    systems reveal their inadequacies in
    bigger ways.

    When a tradegy or catastrophe occurs, we
    have a need to place blame, litigate, and
    investigate who or what was at fault.

    It is reasoned that if we can identify the
    cause or prosecute the perpetrator, we can
    prevent such an occurrance from happening

    Such reasoning may hold some merit, but all
    too often we fail to look deep enough.

    Many will agree that nations will prosper if
    they promote and engage in capitalism, or
    free enterprise.

    It seems logical that competition between
    firms will best satisify the needs and
    desires of the consumer.

    It is argued that those firms which can best
    meet the demands of the consumer with the
    highest quality and the lowest cost will
    succeed over those who do not, and in the
    long run everyone will prosper.

    Once the basic needs of a nation have been
    met through the efficient production and
    distribution of essential goods, such
    production and distribution becomes standard
    fare, and the role of competition is greatly

    In such a case, competition is only necessary
    to the degree where it will prevent stagnation
    and corruption.

    The main problem in our society is that our
    form of capitalistic competition has gone out
    of control to the point where we are not only
    a detriment to ourselves, but also the world.

    The primary reward for the capitalist is to
    attain greater and greater levels of personal
    wealth, not only for himself, but also for
    his associates.

    Such a concern is selfish, often insatiable,
    and in the long run, not in the best
    interests of this planet or any of it's

    For the most part, through the multi-national
    corporation, capitalism is engaged in a
    worldwide battle to produce and distribute
    non-essential goods.

    Essential goods can be defined as adequate
    food, clothing, and shelter, whereas
    non-essential goods can be defined as
    anything other than these.

    This race to produce and distribute an
    endless stream of non-essential goods is the
    primary reason our earth is being ravaged
    and destroyed.

    It is argued that as long as capitalism
    succeeds, the wealth of those at the top will
    trickle down and provide for those at the

    This argument fails to recognize that there
    are not enough renewable resources on earth
    to provide for the insatiable greed of those
    at the top who live off the exploits of the
    earth and those beneath them.

    Instead of improving distribution methods for
    essential goods, and instead of seeing to it
    that everyone on earth is fed and clothed,
    the proponents of capitalism have found
    greater profits in supplying non-essential
    goods to those who demand them.

    If the demand for non-essential goods ever
    wanes, then such is easily fortified through
    professional advertising and marketing
    techniques.  When the popularity of one
    non-essential good diminishes, another is
    surely to be found.

    Certainly, capitalism is not about providing
    everyone the world over with the minimum
    necessities of life, or to satisfy the
    essential needs of all people equally,
    rather it is focused upon satisfying the
    non-essential desires of the economically

    The Cult of the Econically Elect

    Capitalism today is a philosophy held and
    practiced by a select group which provides
    for their own essential and non-essential

    The waste and abundance that is created in
    this process of self-satisfaction and
    resource explotation trickles down to appease
    the not-so-fortunate masses.

    In nearly all countries of the world today,
    there is an increasing gap between the haves
    and have-nots.

    Among the poor, as long as there exists hope
    that something, someday will trickle down to
    them, they will remain appeased.

    But an increasing group of people are
    beginning to see the injustice and futile
    nature of this carrot-on-a-stick game.

    Ultimately, the masquerade will end as the
    root and cause of economic disparity reveals
    itself to more and more of the earth's
    oppressed peoples.

    As this happens, greater discontent and
    dissention will rise to culminate into school
    shootings, gang warfare, neighborhood
    uprisings, social revolutions, terrorism,
    and world war.

    Few are willing to admit it, but our way of
    doing business is our philosophy, our way of
    life, and it will never bring world peace
    and equality.

              Commentaries welcomed


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