Tag Archives: SOCIALISM

Global Leaders Must Tackle Inequality!


According to a recently published report by Oxfam, 85 of the world’s richest people own as much wealth as almost half the world’s population.

The same report which details a widening wealth gap around the world also states that the richest 1% of Irish people own at least 10.5% of the wealth in Ireland. Although this figure for Ireland is extremely high it is nonetheless down 2.1% from a record high of 12.6% back in 2006.

However according to the Oxfam report and a graph recently published in The Irish Times, Ireland is still second on the list of “how much is owned by the 1%”, second only to Singapore.  This news should not come as a surprise as it follows Ireland’s eleven year reign as one of the top three nations with the most wealth concentrated in the hands of the 1%.

With this news in hand The Eagle contacted Oxfam Ireland to ask what can be done to tackle such inequality and whether it not it is justified in a world where extreme poverty still reigns.

Oxfam told the Eagle “It’s a travesty that just 85 people now own the same wealth as half the world’s population. This is unsustainable and a recipe for social and economic disaster.”

In regards of whether there should be a cap on personal wealth as a way to tackle such inequality Oxfam the BCFE Eagle “Tackling inequality means that everyone pays their fair share. We are not advocating for a cap on personal wealth – instead we want a fairer, stronger and more transparent tax system that ensures the wealthy are not paying less than the poor” Oxfam continued “Also, inequality isn’t just about money. It’s about opportunity and power and decision-making too. It’s this “big picture” inequality that cements privilege and disadvantage down the generations and across countries,,,,, We acknowledge that some economic inequality is essential to drive growth and progress, rewarding those with talent, hard earned skills and ambition, but the extreme levels of wealth concentration occurring today threaten to exclude hundreds of millions of people from realising the benefits of their hard work.”. .

Oxfam continued to tell out reporter that more initiatives must be taken to tackle the widening wealth gap because, as of now, the government and governments around the world have failed to tackle the issue “Those with the most money often use that money to influence policy makers – this can be done either through illegal activities such as bribes or legal activities such as funding politicians or organisations that campaign for policies that benefit the wealthiest. This can undermine political institutions and means that governments serve the interest of the richest, at the expense of ordinary people. When rules are bent in favour of the rich, such as unfair global tax rules that allow wealthy people to hide their money in tax havens instead of paying the taxes they should, it is harmful to the rest of society”. When it comes to tackling wealth divisions Oxfam stated rules must be put in place to tackle tax evasion and they gave a conservative figure of 120 billion lost each year by governments around the world, on the topic of Irelands tax evasion problem Oxfam stated “On Ireland, our research last year showed that as much as €707 billion owned by wealthy individuals from overseas may be shielded from tax authorities around the world in Irish financial institutions”

Oxfam added that although cuts in Ireland effect the poorest in society to an unfair degree in poor continents like Africa the problem of wealth inequality is amplified At the same time cuts to public services and support disproportionately harm the poorest people, This problem is amplified in poor countries, especially those in Africa that are rich in natural resources. Global extractive companies (e.g. big corporations mining oil, gas or minerals) are able to use their influence to get generous subsidies and avoid paying taxes and royalties”.

When asked if such inequalities can be justified in a world where extreme poverty still plights the life of so many, Oxfam stated “Oxfam is concerned by global income inequality because it is hampering, if not exacerbating global poverty. Think of the money being lost by African countries because big multinational corporations are not paying their dues. In countries where children die needlessly from easily curable diseases this money would make a real difference to improve health and education systems. Some countries are actually losing more money in lost taxes than they receive in international aid. Evidence from across the world shows the price of inequality harms not just those at the bottom, but everyone in society. A highly unequal health system ultimately affects everyone’s health. Dismal education opportunities among a large section of the population harm the entire economy”

Although the report is from Oxfam they are not the only ones fighting against inequality as the stated “it’s not just Oxfam that is concerned. Last November the World Economic Forum ranked widening income disparities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the coming year to 18 months (after conflict in the Middle East), while the IMF echoed these concerns in recent days. US President Barack Obama this week pledged to tackle economic inequality in his annual State of the Union address. Also public opinion is increasingly on our side on this one. A survey in six countries (Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the UK and the US) showed that a majority of people believe that laws are skewed in favour of the rich – in Spain eight out of 10 people agreed”.

When asked what can be done in their opinion to tackle such inequalities Oxfam finished by stating “Global leaders must pledge to tackle inequality and to stimulate growth and economic progress for the many, not just the elite few. This means no more tax dodging and fairer taxation – the wealthy must never pay less than the poor. Governments can tackle inequality by cracking down on financial secrecy and tax dodging, investing in universal education and healthcare, and agreeing a global goal to end extreme inequality as part of the post-2015 negotiations on a new development framework. We want concrete steps to support progressive taxation on wealth and income so everyone pays their fair share. As billionaire Warren Buffet said, ‘I should not pay less tax than the office cleaner”.

(NOTE: First published in the Ballyfermot College student newspaper, March 2014)


How Centralized Power Obstructs Human Freedom

I will start of by stating clear that I am a passionate Believer in anarchist political philosophy so this post will unashamedly be from an anti-stateist biased perspective!

For centuries the existence of state democracy and the centralization of power to the hands of a small few has completely obliterated the independence of people and their rights, proponents of stateism will argue that central democracy has civilized society and advanced human rights so if we abolish the state then society will crumble, In fact if you look at the reality of stateist politics what you find is that since the western worlds transition around a couple of thousand years ago from a primitive anarchist society to a society of the centralization of power you will see that the individual freedom of humans and society has being destroyed, the human rights that where once the norm back then are now outlawed, or have only recently being made legal , gay relations and individual freedoms being an example something practiced openly in ancient primitive anarchist societies but which under the centralization of political and religious power became outlawed for over centuries and freedoms like full independence over yourself have being completely long forgotten in the passively brainwashed societies of the western state democracy.

“Anarchism…stands for direct action, the open defiance of, and resistance to, all laws and restrictions, economic, social, and moral”Emma Goldman

Central government has a long history of obstructing the rights of it’s populations mostly these days due to political games and voters views, for example most “democratic” societies support the legalization of marijuana but because the centralization of power and to keep getting the votes from a minority of people (generally religious conservatives) the central government refuses to abide by the majority will of society and unnaturally obstructs the legalization of a natural plant like marijuana,  so once again obstructs the individuals right as a human to be fully free mentally and physically to do what they want as long as it only affects him and no other person except a willing partner. (anarchism believes the individual is the only authority to himself and himself only)

“The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual”- Mikhail Bakunin

Another example of the state obstruction in Human Rights is Same-sex marriage the majority of western societies support the legalization of same-sex marriage and equal rights for gay people but once again this is outlawed because of the game called central politics in which you denounce the rights of others in order to stay in power.

We are still at an incredible point, where in the 21st century and the “freest civilization ever” a minority of people are denied their human rights because they are simply a minority! so why would you support them when there is a majority who will support you for denouncing the minority ? In this case gays but in the 1900s it was Africans and Jews and so on.

See centralized government results in divide and rule! The government trough systems of education, housing, labeling, unequal rights and so on divided the populations up into categories like gays, catholic, Protestant, Jewish, African and so on and they just then simply support the views of the majority group to stay in power, they will throw in a few views that favor the rest just to get their votes but when government has to choose between the groups it will always choose the majority group, in most western societies that happens to be white Christian conservative (who are not the majority but once government divided society into groups they become majority).

Not only in politics but The centralization of power in the workplace and economics has resulted in a system of wage slavery and corporate dictatorship! Workers are simply forced to work for an all mighty all powerful boss that if they disagree with they can simply be fired by the corporate dictator, this wage slave system also has to affect of denying the right of the person to make full profit of his labor, so let’s say for example a salesperson for a big multinational oil company, he alone could be making the company a million or more a year profit but because of the system of wage slavery he only gets a tiny percentage of that profit let’s say $50,000 a year while the boss is making $50 million a year.
In an anarchist system like anarcho-syndicalism he would make full profit or at least the same as every other employee/owner in the company, A-S calls for the dismantling of privately singularly owned companys and instead proposes the ownership and running of the companys would be put in the hands of the workers through a democratic workers council of a sort, (they would own company by owning equal shares in it)

“The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live” –Leo Tolstoy

The system of stateist centralized politics has diminished human freedom physically and mentally it continues this day to obstruct the human rights of certain groups and the individual freedom of societies as a whole, it has placed the power over society into the hands of a tiny élite only interested in keeping their own place at the table of power, it cares not for what society thinks or wants(that is of course till they want your vote),
It has resulted in a small amount of people being knee-deep in trillions of dollars while most of the worlds populations are left to starve or be killed by one of the wars launched by this élite power group for their own egotistic and financial reasons.

That is why I believe centralized power obstructs human rights not advances them, there is a lot more reason to why I believe it. just read about anarchism to know more.

Author-Darren M