Chapter 10: The Dignity of the Poor?
But today, these popes cannot be forgiven at all because science has provided all the technology that can destroy poverty as quickly as you can imagine. If it is not being destroyed, the reason is the vested interests of the past don’t want it to be destroyed. They live on it, they are parasites. They are exploiting people and their suffering, so they still go on repeating the same mantras, chanting the same mantras.
Hindus go on saying, Buddhists and Jainas go on saying, “Poverty is because of your past bad karmas.” And Mohammedans, Christians and Jews go on thinking it is because Adam and Eve committed a crime - so you are suffering. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and because you are just part of the same continuum you have to suffer for it.
Today this whole thing is just rubbish. Neither your past lives have anything to do with your poverty, nor has Adam and Eve’s disobedience anything to do with your poverty. Your poverty is there because of our own stupidity now; it has nothing to do with the past. That excuse is escapist and if it has something to do with the past, then naturally you have to hope for the future. Present is the only reality. Between the past and the future you will be crushed and destroyed - and that has been the case up to now.
These are the people who are trying to save the dignity of the poor and at the same time they go on helping more and more people to be born on the earth. The pope, on the one hand, is against the use of contraceptives, against the very idea of abortion, against birth control methods. Now this is how poverty is created. Remember, rich people don’t produce many children. Have you ever pondered over the fact, why? Why are rich countries concerned that their population is decreasing? France is concerned because its population is decreasing; Sweden is concerned, too much concerned - its population is decreasing. A great fear that if rich countries go on decreasing in their population, and the poor countries go on increasing in population, sooner or later they will overrun the whole world. Just the sheer fact of their numbers will be enough to overpower, to possess all the rich countries.
Now a very strange world: the rich countries are concerned how to increase their population, and the poor countries are worried how to decrease their population. Are we living in the same time, or in different worlds, in different centuries? We are not contemporaries; our problems are totally different.
Why do poor people produce more children? The simple reason is - very simple - and sometimes the simple and the obvious is always overlooked - the rich person has many other things for his entertainment, and the poor man has only sex, nothing else for his entertainment, because everything else costs something. You go to the movie, the poor man earns so little that just going to the movie and all his earnings of the day will be gone. Then how is he going to manage himself and his family? He cannot drink alcohol, he cannot become a Rotarian, a Lion, he cannot afford all these new entertainments. He cannot even have a radio or a TV, he cannot sit before the idiot box, glued to the chair for six hours, otherwise who is going to earn the bread and butter?