Whereas social entrepreneurs may have the good intention of lifting people from their disadvantaged position, it is difficult to ignore that they are still operating as capitalist ventures, which extract cheap labor and raw materials from the poor in order to accumulate profit.
According to Sapir and Whorf, language is the lens by which we see the world. Language is enriched as we define and redefine everyday realities, and new articulations, through an agreement on the meanings of letter combinations, emerge. Over the years, what is oral – words we would hear only in informal conversations among certain social groups – start to seep into mainstream culture and even become part of the lexicon. And as shown in the picture, this has also allowed us to perceive everyday realities in more colorful ways.
In denying that a culture of poverty exists or in saying that we should just respect the values of the poor and not impose our own middle or upper class ones, we might be inadvertently supporting structures too.
Our economy is growing dramatically but poverty rates are not dropping substantially. Where have we gone wrong? To begin with, faulty paradigms about the poor.
Upon squinting our eyes to the sun, we feel our skin wrapped with sunlight that provokes feelings for the summer season, causing us to quiver lightly, always ambiguous at its memory and attracted to its significance.
Capitalist development driven by a maximisation of profit for the owners and shareholders makes it prone to practices that are environmentally unsustainable, that promote a kind of individualism that disregards the fortunes and efforts of others, and that disrupts social mores. They often obstruct flows that meet basic needs, endanger livelihoods of those dependent on natural capital, and furthermore accelerate inequality and disrupt social cohesion within the community.
The movie Fifty Shades has drawn much interest, concern, and criticism from different people around the world. People have shown different and conflicting attitudes toward the film with some commending the film and some bashing the film extensively. The film, based on the book written by British author E.L. James, was about the love story between a literature major Anastacia Steele and the young and wealthy entrepreneur, Christian Grey.
While I am not a fan of Tony Meloto’s ideas about social entrepreneurship – a business will never be “social” unless the poor are made partners and equals in management and decision-making – one cannot argue with 1.25 million people housed with his (and Gawad Kalinga’s) goal of instilling discipline and putting an end to a culture of poverty in GK communities.
The Pope’s declarations regarding [scandalous] inequality and call to reject all forms of corruption could further engender a commitment to demand transparency, and hold institutions of power accountable for their actions. (Image from pixgood.com)
Don’t let Pope Francis leave the Philippines because it seems that we need him to actually mobilize resources and inculcate changes in the country. What does it take for us to act on these short-term improvements and actually build on them in the long run? (Image from World Now)