Chapter 10: The Dignity of the Poor?
The first question:
The latest from the pope: “Defending the human dignity of the poor and their hope for a human future is not a luxury for the church, nor is it a strategy of opportunism, nor a means for currying favor with the masses. It is her duty.”
Anything to say about this most recent statement from the bejeweled and bedecked pontiff?
All the religions have been saying that for centuries - “service to the poor” - yet the poverty goes on increasing. The poverty has not disappeared, the so-called golden future has not arrived, and they have been talking about it for at least ten thousand years. There must be something fundamentally wrong - they don’t really want the poor to disappear from the earth.
They talk about the dignity of the poor, but what dignity can there be in poverty? Poverty is the most humiliating experience in life. It is the root cause of all crimes. It reduces human beings to a state of animality or even worse. It takes away their humanity and makes them commodities in the marketplace, purchasable, saleable. But beautiful words: “dignity of the poor.” Nobody is going to argue against it except a crazy man like me.
We have heard enough of this nonsense. In the name of “dignity of the poor,” the poverty has to be saved, the poverty has to be protected. Whenever you want to protect something ugly you have to give it a beautiful name. And people live by words: People are so stupid that they become too much concerned about words rather than the reality that is hidden behind.
There is a cow in the Himalayas, a wild cow. It is called “the blue cow.” In nineteen fifty-two the number of blue cows became so high that they started destroying the crops. It became a problem, and it had to be solved immediately. The Indian Parliament discussed the matter. They wanted to shoot the blue cows, to kill, because that was the only way. But to kill a cow in India will create bigger problems than it will solve. The cow is the holy mother to the Indians; you cannot kill a cow. So they did a small trick: they didn’t call it a “blue cow,” they called it a “blue horse”! They killed thousands of blue cows - but they were not killing cows, they were killing blue horses. Of course it was the blue cow which was killed, but on the papers it was blue horses. Nobody bothered about the blue cows at all. There was no protest from the Hindus, who are always ready, who are waiting for such opportunities.