Other Names: Temporal discrimination
Degrading people's time orientation
Narrow time span of the poor
Nature: In every society the poor and the powerless have a narrowly circumscribed sense of time, oriented towards the immediate challenges of daily living. Such people are not free or empowered to plan ahead to secure a better future for themselves. Temporal deprivation is thus built into the time frame of every advanced society with the poor in industrial cultures being both temporarily poor as well as materially poor. To those in lower economic classes the future is less predictable and much less apparent in comparison with the problems of immediate economic security. Those who are obliged in this way to focus on the present are led into a future that others have envisaged for them. Temporal discrimination segregates the unskilled and semi-skilled, who require little past knowledge and even less predictive or planning skills, from the professional who requires both. Such higher economic classes are conditioned by their upbringing to delay immediate gratification in expectation of greater rewards at some future time.
Claim: Extreme-present orientedness, not lack of income or wealth, is the principal cause of poverty. Temporal ghettos are no less scandalous than physical ghettos. Monopoly of power in every society begins with the separation of people from control over their own future, effectively making them prisoners of the present. Since they are unable to gain access to the future, they then become pawns in the hands of those on top of the temporal pyramid who are able to control the human time frame. The labourer remains stuck in a present-oriented temporal ghetto from which he is unable to reach out and claim some measure of control over his future. The elites have used temporal skills of reflection and anticipation, hindsight and foresight, as tile traps to ensnare and exploit the rhythms of the life world and to subdue and enslave their fellow human beings.
Problem Type: F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update 09.02.1997 – 00:00 CET