There is no guessing where the oligarchs stand. “All power and wealth to the oligarchy” is their motto. Those existing in the lower ranks of poverty are of no concern to the upper class, exploiting other members of society are what they do best. The tory we find at the other end of the scale. In tory society tradition rules; taking the group’s well being rather than the individual is primary. Somewhere in the middle we have the liberals (some bleeding hearts, some not so much).
Reason, rationality, logic, and thought are the theoretical source of legitimacy of the liberal. They believe that logic and intellect are infallible guides to action. Individualism is fundamental to the culture. Individual self-interest is assumed to be the motivation of all actions. They feel that competition brings out the best in people and that this competition is necessary for the survival of society.
The hierarchy of a liberal is one of merit. He believes that merit will be rewarded with wealth. Anyone in a liberal culture who is not rich is considered to be without merit. The poor deserve to be poor, liberals feel, since all individuals are free to achieve then those who don’t must have something wrong with them. The liberal would like the whole world to be middle class and feel sure that if the poor would only accept the cultural attributes and attitudes of the middle class their problems would be over.
For if the poor had middle-class attitudes, they would soon have middle class incomes and poof! all their problems would be gone.
Despite the liberal’s competitiveness, they do have what one might refer to as a soft sport for children of the poor. They don’t believe these children should be made to suffer due to their parent’s ineptitude. They feel that every individual should start out equally well equipped to compete. Therefore, liberals do invest in welfare to aid the children of the poor. Since the adult poor cannot be trusted or expected to implement these programs, extensive governmental organizations staffed by good liberals are necessary to correctly carry them out. They manage to give some help to the poor but succeed in not hurting or changing the way of living of the rich.
This parallels quite closely with the relationship between international lending institutions and third world countries. Agencies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund provide billions in loans to third world countries for development projects such as building dams and power plants, paving roads, and investing in large scale agriculture. These projects are supposedly designed to assist in economic development, but which have often been associated with monumental environmental devastation and social dislocation.
Once these countries build up large external debts they cannot get credit or cash anywhere else and are forced to go to these institutions and accept whatever conditions are demanded of them. The poorest countries of the world owe more money to these two institutions than they do any other private or government institutions because most of these loans were so poorly designed that the borrowing countries have not reaped enough income to pay them back. Loan repayments are sucking crucial resources out of poor country budgets, and into the coffers of the rich world.
Just as the liberals believed the poor just needed to adjust their attitudes toward a middle class way of thinking to enable them to succeed, so these agencies believed the superiority of western economic systems and cultures alone could save these poverty stricken countries. The lending institutions know these countries debts are so immense that repayment is impossible. The only sure result of their continuance of loaning is profit for themselves.
In their struggle to make repayment countries have been forced to do anything that will lead to immediate profits. Unfortunately, this is often at the cost of long-term damage to the environment, i.e. clear-cutting entire forests, single-cropping farmland, and strip mining without restoring the topsoil. The liberals do not see this as a problem as their emphasis on
immediate and short-term individual profit dictates the exploitation of resources rather than their development. So long as the liberals need not live in the areas affected there is no reason