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Conference 'Economics of Non-violence...' - Report [2.03] - Dr. Leo Rebello

Published: 18.05.2006
Updated: 30.07.2015
Second Plenary Session: Globalization versus Poverty

Dr. Leo Rebello

Dr. Leo Rebello, World Peace Envoy, referred to the 1999 WTO meeting which got disrupted by a massive crowd in Seattle, USA. It was then that the anti-globalization mission became globalised. Poverty is a world problem and unbridled globalization is further going to exacerbate this problem, unless we check transnational corporations. Some of them can buy even sovereign nations.

If we accept the Darwinian Theory, the human race evolved from monkeys, though our ancestors would not have indulged in half the crimes that we commit against our own people. It was aptly illustrated by the poem he narrated.

Dr. Rebello gave an exhaustive list of the causes of poverty. They are as follows:

  1. Nuclear weapons, spread of nuclear capability, threat of nuclear war, and of nuclear winter which could result from the explosion of 20 to 30 bombs (Leadership Poverty)
  2. Other weapons of mass death and destruction and countries like USA and UK trying to take these weapons into space in order to establish their supremacy to the detriment of others. (Political Poverty)
  3. How to safely dismantle nuclear weapons and obsolete nuclear power plants, because half-lives of some radioactive elements are thousands of years . (Scientific Poverty)
  4. Trillions of dollars spent annually on war preparations, dominating civilian priorities, wasting money and resources, and subverting the world's scientific talents, instead of sharing knowledge and resources. (Management poverty)
  5. Imminent collapse of global financial infrastructure because of third world debt and distorted growth and deliberate sabotage of sustainable development. (Economic Poverty)
  6. Rapid increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may result in cataclysmic climatic changes .(Planning Poverty)
  7. The universal haze, transnational air pollution, water pollution, acid rain and snow and disasters like Tsunamis, Katrina, unprecedented floods in Mumbai-it is predicted that Mumbai may sink shortly and floods were the warning sign. (Foresight Poverty)
  8. Maldistribution of world food supply, resulting in widespread malnutrition, amounting to widespread mental malfunction, endangering the human civilization itself. (Moral Poverty)
  9. Worldwide use of harmful pesticides, which enter into food chain messing up with our lives and making pests more virulent. (Judgment Poverty)
  10. Disposal of great quantities of toxic wastes on the earth, in the water and in the air. (Intellectual poverty)
  11. Rapidity of technological changes resulting into unemployment, social and community instabilities, unforeseen adverse ecological impacts. (Planning Poverty)
  12. Regulation of MNCs which destroy governments, their economies and play havoc with people's lives by dumping, price wars and creating unnecessary demands and supply of spurious goods, corruption etc. (Leadership Poverty)
  13. Restrictive trade practices, inflated tariffs, trade barriers, biopiracies, vast disparities in wage levels, inequitable access to resources and markets, movement of industries to exploit people and facilities or to avoid restrictions, indiscriminate globalization benefiting few to the detriment of the multitude. (Social and Spiritual Poverty)
  14. Deliberate spread of diseases like AIDS, SRS, Bird Flu, Cancers through PSYOPS, lethal vaccinations. (Political Poverty)
  15. Communalism, casteism, corruption, criminalisation of politics; ethnic, religious, racial and political intolerance and human rights violations on large scale in spite of civilized norm and protocols in place. (Cultural Poverty)
  16. Half of the countries of the world are not free. The remaining so-called democratic countries also do not adhere to the democratic norms. Example, USA using veto indiscriminately, attacking Iraq in spite of world opinion against it and continuing its illegal occupation of another country, destroying their historical, cultural, civilizational basis etc. by imposing its decadent cultural and selfish agenda on others. (Mental Poverty)
  17. Terrorism engineered by a few countries to keep its arms and drugs industries going.
  18. Difficulties for leaders of national governments to conceive the kind of global political structures, which are required to solve the world problems peacefully. For example, preventing Turkey from joining European Union because it is a predominantly Muslim country.
  19. Language barriers, world communication blocks, America trying to capture and control free internet medium after capturing print and electronic media.
  20. General lack of well informed and well motivated people with humane and global outlook to cope adequately with inter-related problems of living peacefully on earth. (Educational Poverty)

All these problems emanate from - Spiritual Poverty, Mental Poverty, Intellectual Poverty, Leadership Poverty, Economic and Social Poverty as enumerated above. We have degenerated from the lofty ideals to crass commercialization, from Vedic teachings of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam to Life Boat Ethics and oil politics.

We need to recycle our thoughts. Animal and plant life has been repeatedly abused without regard to the future of life on the planet. All life forms are interdependent and therefore we call for the creation of progressive laws that protect the diverse web of life that supports our own life.

Materials that are not recyclable must be banned from production. Energy standards for acceptable recycling must be established. If it takes more energy to recycle or the product cannot be recycled, then the product should be banned.

Recently, it has been discovered that over decades a significant percentage of fossil gases have been absorbed by the world's oceans. This has delayed global warming but has led to acidic oceans destroying coral reefs and marine life. According to one theory, the roots of terrorism can be traced to the robbery of world's resources by the dominant nations.

Jain religion has given two important principles,

  • Aparigraha, that is, use less and waste less. Use only when you really need, then use in a way that there is less or no wastage.
  • Utsarg Samiti implying that one should dispose of waste in such a manner that it does not cause inconvenience to others by becoming a source of nuisance, insanitation or contamination.

The crux is that a sustainable economy is intimately related with possession and waste management.


Ashok Bapna, Director, JIILM Jaipur, Honorary Visiting Professor, CTI, CMS, HCM RIPA, Jaipur & SID Country Coordinator - India, Mobile: +91-93145-09414


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