O Penury and the Surplus Affluence (First Part) ⇒ Kirno Sohochari

Penury is unbearable who suffers the heart-aching pain in life. It mirrors doleful pain against lavish livelihood. Penury reflects the ugly side of life, where individual or group suffered by hunger and brutally exploited by wealthy part of the society. Any kind of penury is not covetable to any extent, since, ugly is always ugly. Yes, Penury is ugly; it is rude, inhuman and completely unjust if we consider the aesthetic progress of human life on this planet. Penury omits the minimal comfort that is essential to feel the beauty of life and enjoy its validity as well. It is literally awful to live with penury, grievous to stuck in poverty line, and insulting for the person to see him seized under statistical charts and dissected by the economic forecast.

Penury is humiliation. It is disgraceful to discover the person in a decorated seminar hall; natty experts are busy there to analyze his poverty line with a tasty buffet. They certainly belong far from the penury and dirty poverty line. The deft poverty-analyzer denounces strategic policies taken by the government and so on, and they do it by maintaining a remote distance to the bad smell of economic and social disparity.

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Penniless penury of some society members is essential for the rest who represents opposite. That means yonder residual have humanitarian space in their life to talk and analyze the situation and have a space to criticize the hidden conspiracy lie behind below poverty line. Poverty is a hide-and-seek game of society. Powerful planners controlled the society as a whole by this game; the analysts (such as academician and expert) are also an indirect part of the game. They observe the whole game to a remote distance; observe it in news footage, critically analyzes the game by charts and diagrams, then write heavyweight articles or published colorful books for their readers.

Who is this reader? They are not certainly planners but also a mobile part of the game. Poverty is not colorful, but a sagacious representation of poverty in any medium is always colorful and sedative, because, it is salable. People purchase multicolored poverty from bookstore or paper-stand. They watch it on television, google the poverty line in the web, and peeping in a seminar hall to confuse them more about poverty reduction by yawning. A seminar is also a sold item. Poverty experts vending their skill about the hide-and-seek game; so government and development partners could hire them as a consultant with the high payment.


Surplus wealth is not beauty if it is abortive to reach every human creature. Competency for being wealthy looks ugly if it creates redundancy, where Peter gets little (or nothing) and Paul gets extravagant compare his need.


Penury is the other name of consultancy; a good earning source to be alive in luxury, dignity, and comfort. The funniest thing is that, penury of people never analyzed by them who literally lived on it. They swilled bit-by-bit through the dirty poverty line, despite their serious effort of cross the barrier-line by elevates them above on it. He is a voiceless person who lives in poverty and not an encounter of those people who keep them busy for him without his consent or overture.

Poverty cannot talk itself by its own voice. The poverty-affected man stands alone to the side as a strange observer, he stands there as an alienated adjective and always waits outside as exotic noun. He eagerly waits for the moment when decision-makers will come out for a press conference; so that he can expand his beggar’s hand to get some food and penny.

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Penury is the symbol of Charles Baudelaire’s poem, in where the poor boy waits outside the glass fitted biscuit bakery with his greedy hungry eyes, knows that he is not permitted takes one of this. Poverty is an ugly almsman, greedily depended on for compassionate favor of “others”. Who is this “others”? They are the Wealthy-Self and capable of helping the candidate. In that context we can say, human life combined with twin mirror. The twin looked identical but their reflection is different there. One reflects the deprived poor candidate and another mirrors the wealthy. In where wealthy has more than sufficient compared his need. He is the employer and master of deprived candidate.

Human is the only animal in nature who invents the game of employer and employee, where employer appointed the employee to protect and enhance his wealth. Human is the animal creates division in wealth distribution. Wealth is ecumenical in nature’s world and everybody has right to access and utilize the nature’s property according to the necessity. Nobody can claim self-ownership of property in there, because, it is not salable or purchasable. The only condition to utilize nature’s property is, animals have to fight and resist possess their own position in nature, but it is not like as human does.


Nature is a poverty-free existence, no poverty line belong there. It belongs far to the human concept of wealth utilization, consumption and competence. Nature stated in such margin where poor and affluent makes no difference at all.


Yes, humankind is the only animal convert nature’s property as wealth, occupy its ownership without any consideration of other living beings in nature! Human established an authoritative possession in nature, converts the public property to private under the copyright act, and create the game of division, where a majority of human (and other animals also) is an appointee to protect the wealth of their master. A large number of appointees can be treated as poor in the context of their masters. Masters are few there but powerful than the large number appointees, in where they set the rule of charitable dispensation to gratify their self as custodian of nature’s creation. Who give them the authority to set the rules is obscure there.

Anyway, poverty is the space where exploitation of deprived people and patronize them by the exploiter equally existed. Deprivation exists there for the sake of compensation, for lavishness and humanity, and indeed for the aesthetic progress of civilization. Poverty is misery. It is not beauty itself, but the reason of all beauty that we happily named by progress, enlightenment, and a renaissance of human civilization. Civilization needed penury for its own progress. Miserable penury needed there to keep alive the privileged and affluent class of a society, meanwhile they could wheel the progress and enlightenment so far. Progress is systematically unequal in human society and different to the methodical inequality of nature.

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In human society, wealthy affluent strongly needed the proletarian and that is the reality. An existence of penury needed there because of affluence, so that affluence could represent an advance society that is self-made by human and capable to compete with nature’s rules and hegemony. The design of human competency is intentional there, and the key objective of affluence not designed there to serve the purpose of coexistence and coherence with all natural beings. Instead of human-affluence always tried to subjugate the nature at any cost. That is the reason for separation, where human progress in nature now rotates for its own sake, and where classification, division, categorization considered as the symbol of affluence and progress.


Poverty is a hide-and-seek game of society. Powerful planners controlled the society as a whole by this game; the analysts (such as academician and expert) are also an indirect part of the game. Poverty is not colorful, but sagacious representation of poverty in any medium is always colorful and sedative, because it is salable.


Human intellect first fought with nature for survival, after then it tried to conquest the nature, and now applied affluence-principle to dominate the entire natural beings as master of them. This principle diverted human race from the elementary features of nature and human as well. Nature evolves here for adaptation, for coexistence and coherence with all creatures, but human intellect rarely considers the necessity as prime fact for justice to ensure peace and harmony for all.

This lacking alienated human affluence to nature and within the human race as well, in where separation and division giving birth so-called poverty line that appears now acute disease for progress. Human intellect now set humanity as a conscience to medicate the disease of artificial division between affluent and poor. However, does humanity able to cure the wound? Is it able to erase the anomaly between affluent and poor? The answer perhaps obscured here by a lot of “does” and “is”.

Humanity diversified by a lot of ornamental wording such as conscience and just, generosity and benevolence, charity and compensation and many other synonyms. All are tumid; they hide the crude reality of uneven distribution, consumption and misuses of wealth, includes the systematic exploitation of labor too. Humanity under poverty is the mirror reflection of maxim “To rob Peter, to pay Paul.” There is no way to be rich, to be civilized to be enlightened and to be progressive until you exploit Peter’s wealth to paid Paul.

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Wealth none but mean land or money, it could be anything. Utilization of wealth converts exploitation at any time. Exploitation denotes the robbing of one’s own property, which is treated his wealth as well. Wealth can be his merit, skill, labor, wages, overtime and self-freedom. Yonder person robbed there and lost his wealth to serve the greater prosperity of society. Human civilization is the negative reflection of wealth mechanism and distribution. In human wealth-mechanism, Peter exists to pay Paul and Paul exit there showing his tumid humanity for Peter, so that Peter at least not died before serving Paul’s interest.

The scenario will not change if we yet continuous on interpreting human according to the classification of poverty and solvency. The approach is wrong here, because poverty is relative with affluence and poverty itself. It is not reducible by taken reduction strategy or imposing humanity as conscience. Poverty line existed until we are not able to change our mind-frame about the wording of possession, ownership, authority, superiority, copyright, monopoly, exploitation and lot other bothersome synonyms. This word stands far beyond the meaning once we experienced in nature.


Poverty line existed until we do not able to change our mind-frame about wording of possession, ownership, authority, superiority, copyright, monopoly, exploitation and lot other bothersome synonyms. This division is the root of all misery. Utilization of wealth always converts exploitation in a society that is segmented by pieces, in where each piece serves other just to make wealth for personal use.


Poverty is not natural. It is artificial, an arranged division of human society that is created by human in progress of state machinery. The favorite poverty line of experts is relative and varied according to the pace of wealth exploitation in a society. Poverty line indicates the continual existence of unnatural labor-division among human in a society. This division is the root of all misery. Yes, poverty line varied in a context of superior’s wealth-mechanism strategies and principles, but the line exists everywhere in the different context.

Division and exploitation of labor in a less developed society indeed different to the developed society, but poverty existed in both with its diversity, complicacy, and a possibility of sedition or unrest. The wording such as GDP, NDP, GNP, NNP and the favorite Per Capita simply a tumid-trick to hide the exploitation of human intellects according to artificial division of merit and skill.

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Poverty-free society is just absurd because the motive of civilization is different here. Division of wealth is necessary for a manmade system due to the affluence. Affluence is essential to gear-up the individual’s participation of “surplus wealth mean surplus consumption” game, so let chase behind the surplus by showing your personal competency. Same as competency is vital to move forward for knowledge-oriented technology and modernity.

All essential is relative, paradoxical, dialectical and largely controversial. They are able to make progress but abortive to smash down the poverty line forever. When society builds by the basis of comparison, a complicated division between wealth dissemination is inevitable there. Utilization of wealth always converts exploitation in a society that is segmented into the pieces, in where each piece serves other just to make wealth for personal use.

Affluence is not equal. When a society motivated to be affluent at any cost using personal competency and that for personal interest, it is inevitable that it could not survive for a unification of wealth. Human society tried to interpret itself as associations but it is deeply fragmented by pieces; modern society stayed far from the scene when human race started its routing to the unknown by left behind the African Savannah.


Existence of penury needed there because of affluence, so that affluence could represent an advance society that is self-made by human and capable to compete against nature’s rules and hegemony. Humanity under poverty is the mirror reflection of maxim “To rob Peter, to pay Paul.” There is no way to be rich, to be civilized to be enlightened and to be progressive until you exploit Peter’s wealth to paid Paul.


Modernity is a comparison with pre and post-modernity, albeit the comparison also creates division and conflicts between progress and regress, savage and civilized. Civilization always compares it status under a lot of precondition. Savage treated marginally there (and in that context poor) against the civilized. Even, civilized compare itself own as marginal and poor within the civilized. Civilization is artificial; arranged and diversified by pyramid-division; and completely different to the inborn neutrality of creation.

Civilization denotes compensation for the deprived people. The people get compensation for their contribution to advancing towards the knowledge-oriented human society. This human society gifts us essence of realizing the beauty of liberalism and democracy, makes a better world for human only. Yes, human’s effort to the civilization is only for human, where affluent takes the charge, medicates penniless by using compensation-machinery of a society. Is it natural? The answer might be negative here.

Nature is affluent and penury doesn’t exist there. It is affluent by wealth in a different context. Division exists in nature but in a separate context. Exploitation also existed there but in diverse extent. Inequality and disparity as well exist in nature but in another context.  All these activated in nature not to create the margin between affluent and poor.

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Nature is a poverty-free existence, no poverty line belong there. It belongs far to the human concept of wealth utilization, consumption, and competence. Nature stated in such margin where poor and affluent makes no difference at all. Micro-organic creatures and enormous macros both have their Self-lifeline to utilize the wealth of nature according to necessity. Nature is progressive, enlightened and charitable but in totally a different context. Th manmade concept of utilizing and exchanging wealth is dispensable there, but nature utilizes its wealth better than anything does. 

Natural progress designed and enlightened by strength, tough fight, hard struggle, industrious adaptation and loyalty to the leader of each species. Searching for food, a battle for lovemaking breeding, and prevents enemy’s entrance to own territory happened there by the necessity for the necessity and be the necessity. Nature look surplus to the remote, but nothing is surplus there. Banal pebble to Giant Mountain to an ocean,… all harmonized there according to the necessity, dependency, and utility. This interconnection makes nature precious but prevents to create any margin that is considered as penury.

Human civilization also creates surplus but not able to disseminate surplus according to just and neutrality. It takes the wrong path by creating a division of affluent and poor in wealth utilization and distribution. The human wealth-pyramid, in where wealthy stated at top of the pyramid as master and rest circulated by the pyramid as labor to active the wheel of an exploited society, is needed to be rectification a lot.


Human is the only animal in nature who invents the game of employer and employee, where employer appointed the employee to protect and enhance his wealth. Savage treated marginal there (and in that context poor) against the civilized. Even, civilized compare itself own as marginal and poor within the civilized. Civilization is artificial; arranged and diversified by pyramid-division; and completely different to the inborn neutrality of creation.


Surplus wealth is not beauty if it is abortive to reach every human creature. Competency for being wealthy looks ugly if it creates redundancy, where Peter gets little (or nothing) and Paul gets extravagant compare his need. Human civilization now overflowed by surpluses. Yes, overflowed and loaded by surplus knowledge, surplus technology, surplus life expectancy for surplus consumption of nature and everything existed in the planet. That mean human discovers and utilizes nature with more efficiency but forget to learn from nature. They utilize their competency to create surplus wealth but forget to create the equilibrium between all surpluses.

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In lieu of human intelligence now overloaded by the disparity of wealth distribution. The world is literally bizarre today. It is the world where Paul and Peter equally existed but stayed remote to each other; where Paul is coming out soon with his new artificial intelligence to declare his victory against nature, and Peter just expand his hand for some food, because he is already diverted and unable to back the nature again. Peter expands his hand for some penny to buy food, since, there is no way to back and collect food from nature.

Footnotes: Readers, this is the end of the first part by adding a partial stanza of great rebellious poet Kazi Nazrul Islam‘s poem “O Penury”. I mentioned the great poet of Bengal not for nothing. There is a reason to quote him here and that is, praise or criticize poverty perhaps more easy than the reverse. Maybe time is knocking the door to watch the nature again, find the relation with nature again and feel the naturalism within human soul again; because only nature can rescue us from the inhuman unjust, as the painter SM Sultan once felt the problem and depicted it in his grand canvas, but how? We will watch it in next part of the article.

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O Penury by Kazi Nazrul Islam

“O penury, you make me great
Crowned me Christ’s thorn,
Gave me the ascetic resistance,
Dauntless bravery of openness;
Candid insolent eyes; edgy incisive words
My viol turned to the cursed sword.
Thy the unbearable annealing, O the prideful ascetic
You made my eternal heaven unpleasant
Dried my gleeful heart aforetime
Every time this lean hand wants to
take the beauty’s gifts, O thy ravenous
You swilled it before! Left to see the void desert
In my imagery.”

[Partial translation of Kazi Nazrul Islam‘s poem “O Penury” by me.]

… He is a voiceless person who lives on poverty and not an encounter of those people who keep them busy for him without his consent or overture…

A panhandler begs for money on Fifth Avenue in New York

Photo Credit: az quotes: Nelson_Mandela on povertyglobal economic symposium: tackling inequalitysalon: Why inequality in America is even worse than you thoughtpinterest: pin no 48413764718583450soapboxie: Reasons Why India is So Poordigitaljournal: 317045quote fancy: Babe Ruth on wealthstatus mind: smart quotes 1502steemd: poverty fate or choice of lifewjpnola: poverty;  Cover Source: Toperiodiko: oxfam;
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