The following letter to the editor was published in Indian Country Today Media Network, the world's largest Indian news source.

Disparity feeds injustice

by Thomas Dahlheimer

Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death. 16,000 children die daily due to hunger. 800 million-plus people go to bed hungry, including 300 million children. 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day; more than 1 billion survive on less than $1 per day; 162 million people subsist on less than 50 cents daily. The developing world spends $13 in debt service for every $1 it received in grants. The world's richest 1 percent owns 32 percent of its wealth. In Latin America, the richest 1 percent receives over 400 times as much income as the poorest 1 percent. The greater the disparity in wealth, the more violent societies are.

How did this massive injustice and inequality come about? It began with globalization's beginnings in 1492. When Columbus sailed the ocean ... not blue, but red, with blood spilled by the Christian empire-building mission of Pope Nicholas V. According to a United Nations World Conference Against Racism document, his Papal Bull [Romanus Pontifex] "declared war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioned and promoted the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories."

Pope Nicholas V's war mongering, Christian world domination mission is what the wealth of Europe was based on.

The Europe the explorers left was essentially economically, physically, and spiritually bankrupt. It was the exploitation of all the Third World's resources that allowed Europe to exist at all. Our predominately Euro-American nation was built at the expense of indigenous people, and to a great extent, by slave labor imported from Africa. Before European Christian colonization began there was no massive starvation as we see it today. The breakup of kinship tribalism and tribal economic systems, that came to an end with the establishment of the Industrial Revolution, radically degraded family values and created an economic system that will lead to the almost complete destruction of human life on earth, if not radically changed in the near future.

Why should we care about Third World penury? Given declining U.S. living standards, unemployment, evictions, and Moore's contention in his popular documentary film "Capitalism" that 1 percent of Americans own as much wealth as the bottom 95 percent. Everywhere, it's the same thing. The poor pay for the system. They pay to put more and more money every year into the pockets of the corporate elite.

We need a new system, of agrarian reform, redistribution of wealth, and sharing of resources to put an end to world poverty. In "Capitalism," Michael Moore calls this new system "democracy"; others, like the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, calls it "21st century socialism." I believe in "21st century socialism" and neotribalism, the ideology that human beings have evolved to live in a tribal, as opposed to a mass, modern society, and thus cannot achieve genuine happiness until some semblance of tribal lifestyles has been re-created or re-embraced.

Prior to 2000 A.D., Pope John Paul II, New Age/New World Order planners, the Christian leaders of the Manifestation of the Sons of God Movement and Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network all called for the worldwide redistribution of wealth and cancellation of debt in 2000 A.D. The World Conference of Churches is also working to greatly eliminate the gap between the rich and the poor throughout the world. There is hope that it and other groups will be influential in developing a new paradigm, or new global economic system, that will spread the global wealth around to the poor, and in doing so, eradicate world poverty.


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