Begging, Dignity and Respect

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A Beggar in China Bows to the Ground to Eat

When China suffered under imperialist rule, 90% of its people were illiterate and lived in abject poverty. Today, and since the Communist Revolution of 1949, this figure has been reversed, with literacy rates and wealth distribution directly benefiting 90% of the population. Begging still occurs in Communist China, but a compassionate Socialist State exists to help the individuals concerned to change their lives for the better. The over-riding reality if that life in Communist China today, is much better than prior to 1949.

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This article contains a series of photographs about begging in the US from a Chinese language article discussing the agency of ‘respect’ and the differences between the capitalist West and Communist China. The upshot of it all is that in China the Socialist State does everything possible to relieve poverty and guide people toward resources with a compassionate attitude. Many Chinese beggars act with the utmost respect and dignity and do not ‘demand’ or ‘presume’ (acting very much like selfless itinerant Buddhist monks). Chinese beggars keep themselves clean and tidy and tend to bless everyone. The Socialist States has dramatically reduced begging in China because their is now ample resources for ALL Chinese people to live with dignity.

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However, although the capitalist West controls immense wealth, it is all focused into the hands of a privileged few. Poverty in the West is (falsely) presented as the ‘fault’ of those who are poor – rather than being a natural consequence of a highly unjust and unequal system. The capitalist system only begrudgingly helps those in need in an undignified manner and provides them with the barest of resources to fend off hunger and death. Within Communist China – people are treated wit respect and ‘gently’ guided toward settling down. Where mental illness or disability is involved, the Socialist State takes immediate control – providing housing, income, clothing and food.

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Human labour has the potential to change the world – this id true – but conditions are not always conducive for continuous or effective labour to be carried-out, particularly in capitalist countries where workers are oppressed and exploited as the norm. Although many Westerners suffer terribly under this system, the weak and the vulnerable are pushed aside by those who misuse the agency of begging for purely selfish and frivolous reasons. Chinese beggars respectfully ask for food, water and soap, whilst high-profile Western beggars use their intelligence not to ‘work’ – but rather to ‘entertain’ their way to generating income. In the meantime, starving Westerners die of hunger quietly in their homes or behind dumpsters, or of medical neglect. When the Western State does act – it tends to be in an oppressive manner – with ordinary people’s rights being violated. Unlike in Communist China – where we all have rights without having to’pay’ to prove it  – in the capitalist West, the people only have the rights they can ‘afford’ to prove they possess. As poor people have no money in the capitalist West, they have no access to the bourgeois legal system – and subsequently rich people exercise all their legal rights (usually against the defenceless poor). Even begging in the West has a bourgeois element to it!

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Chinese Language Source Article:

http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_8065f7eb0102wiem.html

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