Systems Analysis and

the Roots of Poverty

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Presented by David Wasdell

The Carnegie study of poverty in South Africa was brilliantly written up by Francis Wilson and Mamphela Ramphele under the title 'Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge'. In response this paper examines the distribution of wealth as the symptomatic topology of underlying system dynamics. Any attempt to redistribute wealth without engaging in the causal psychodynamic system which produces the symptom is at best impotent and usually counter-productive. Attention and intervention in the long term must be focused not only on the relief of poverty but on the systemic dynamics which split the accumulation of wealth so unjustly between rich and poor. [1990]