I founded Human Act with the vision of ending extreme poverty.
For me poverty is not simply about capital and wealth. It is about creating a world where everyone lives a dignified life with access to clean water, sufficient food, health care and education.
The end of extreme poverty will facilitate a world with less violence, enhances sustainability, fewer refuges and less modern slavery. It will create a fairer, safer and more balanced world – for all of us.
A world we all can be proud of, and in which we all get our dignity back, simultaneously helping millions of people.
We have nothing to lose by trying to make a change – we can only win, there are no losers.
As one of the world’s most inspiring persons Nelson Mandela has said: “It always seems impossible, until it is done”.
Aspiration and values
Our vision and values are inspired by my philosophy of life, grounded on several influential political thinkers and leaders.
Influenced by Tolstoy’s philosophy of non-violence and love, where change is accomplished using non-violent methods of action, Ghandi practised non-violence; first in his striving to end apartheid in South Africa, and later in leading his native India to independence. When leading their movements and protests, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King also rejected the use of violence. They instead employed non-violent strategies and modes of action in their fight for social and political change.
In the spirit of Tolstoy, Gandhi, Mandela and Luther King, we will start an absolutely non-violent movement and spread awareness on the extreme inequality in our world and the causes thereof.
We will use the same technique as Gandhi’s passive non-cooperation, rallying large numbers of world citizens in non-violent gatherings against the current inequality. Peace, Love, courage and determination are all strong weapons and prevails over all other.
The mentioned leaders succeed in mobilizing large numbers of people all over the world. That was possible as the public understood their message, and believed that the leaders could make a valuable change.
Without the public support, we will never achieve our vision to end extreme poverty.
Therefore, I hope with all my heart that you will support this movement.
The fairness of wealth tax
I have enjoyed financial success, and for that I am blessed. Yet, I do not believe in today’s world system.
The current economic model has shown to facilitate a high level of inequality. Credit Suisse has documented that the richest 1% have more wealth than the remaining 99% of the world population (Credit Suisse 2015). Likewise, Oxfam revealed that 8 individuals now own more than 3,6 billion of the poorest people in the world (Oxfam 2017)
How can we passively accept that the richest now have so much, while a huge number live in extreme poverty?
The media has focused on questioning the validation of the calculation, and forgotten that the main issue is that we cannot accept extreme inequality as it is today. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the uncertainty of wealth data must never distract our attention from the main issu of extreme inequality.
Today, extreme inequality is booming in our world news. Political leaders, IMF, OECD, UN and even the Pope, have all commented on the increasing problem, and agree that action must be taken.
With only a fraction of the wealth of the richest, we have the possibility to end extreme poverty. Now we only need our politicians and world leaders to commit to making this change.
There is plenty of wealth in our world and it makes no economic or moral sense that resources are so unevenly distributed.
We believe that we can make the world a fairer and more equal place to live. A place where the interest of the majority comes first – where there are no tax havens – and where the richest contribute their fair share to support a society that benefits all of us.
Are we prepared to build a fair society in which wealth, services and power – including political power – are evenly distributed? Are we ready to resist the myth that poverty is a natural phenomenon – something that will always be there – no matter what we do? Has the time not come to realize that poverty is manmade and systemic, and that it can be eradicated through a change in beliefs and practices and through new forms of governance?
These are the most important questions of our time. Together we must fight economic disparity, structural violence, discrimination and exclusion, environmental destruction, and despotic ideology, so that the future of our world looks brighter for all of us.
Unfortunately, our current economic system has not been developed in the interest of the majority. Rather it is a result of deliberate political lobbying by the richest who, because of their economic influence, also possess much political power.
The accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few has turned democracy upside down. It is time to make a change from the bottom of the society, and develop a system equal for all – reducing the gap between the extreme wealthy and the extreme poor.
A movement with a goal
We have an essential decision to make. Do we accept the gap between extreme wealth and extreme poverty – or – do we fight for a more equal world? We believe that we all share the moral responsibility of providing education and infrastructure to the world’s poorest, and together help them break the vicious circle of extreme poverty.
We believe that we are ready to build a fair society in which wealth, services and power – including political power – are evenly distributed, and where those who are privileged give back to the world that they share with us all.
It is time to realize that poverty is manmade and can be eradicated through a change in beliefs and practices, and by new forms of governance.
Join us in our global movement “Move Humanity” against inequality and let us make a future we can believe in. Together we can convince our global leaders that with a annual tax on the world’s richest, we can make a world without extreme poverty.
From one human being to all human beings.
My best regards, Djaffar Shalchi