Poverty’s Death Throes?Posted: March 27, 2013
Some of the poorest people in the world are becoming significantly less poor, according to a groundbreaking academic study which has taken a new approach to measuring deprivation. The report, by Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative, predicts that countries among the most impoverished in the world could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates.
I’m on an optimism high; humour me. I’d like to add some thoughts from a recent conversation I had with a fellow blogger: he rightly pointed out the progress that has been made in the last century is quite astonishing, if we note that “charities” under imperialism were rarely anything more than petty aid from missionaries. The emergence of secular charity shows how readily the once religiously-centre void was filled – a cheery merit to humanism. Poverty today is, for most, on a far less bleak scale to that which former aid workers faced.
But it’s excellent, I think, that although in another century things will almost certainly be improved we’ll still be trying to make them better. Generations do not judge conditions by the past but by inequalities within the present day, between fellow nation states and their collective class systems; and so the tendency, which I should probably emphasise with a little more caution than I am, is towards constant improvement. (Until a perfectly equal socialist utopia? Maybe not… but, still, progress!)
I reckon this news gives substance to that – hurrah!