Art Imitating Life – Was ‘Thanos’ Right?

Go Lean Commentary

The supposition is simple; if a society suffers from famine and poverty, then eliminate half of the population and there will be plenty of resources for all the remaining people.

But this is a fallacy, devoid of logic! This is not how economic systems work. The truth is: the more people, the better!

Consider the facts: the landmass of the United States has not changed since 1959; Alaska became the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959 and Hawaii received statehood on August 21, 1959. The US population in 1960 was 179,323,175; today the estimated US population is 325,719,178. Yet the 1960 poverty rate (19%) was atrocious; conditions are better today; though some poverty/hunger persists; due more to individual abuses; listen to the AUDIO-PODCAST in Appendix A below.

Why … was poverty alleviated? It’s the community education, science and technology, not the size of the population. “These ones” won the ‘War on Poverty’; see the formal details of the US Government’s War on Poverty in Appendix B.

This truly is logical!

Imagine the increased yields from “factory farms” and industrialized agriculture. The plains on the American continent are now considered the “bread basket” of the world.

Yet, believe it or not, that fallacious logic – also practiced by the Supervillain Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – is common thinking in the Caribbean.

Wait, who?

Thanos is the fictitious character in Marvel Comic books and related movies. He is a Supervillain in that he has ultimate abilities:

  • Superhuman strength, agility, durability, and longevity
  • Superhuman physiology of Eternals
  • Plasma energy projection

Thanos is all the rage right now in 2018. The current Number 1 movie at the box office is Avengers: Infinity War; this movie was the fastest film to ever reach $ 1 Billion in gross receipts. Wow!

Though the heroes of the film are the Avengers, the plotline of this movie really belongs to Thanos. The verbiage on the movie poster reveals:

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

The main character Thanos is portrayed by the actor Josh Brolin. In the film, according to one summary, he seeks the six notorious Infinity Stones because he believes the Universe is overpopulated and wants to cull it by half so that those who remain may have a better quality of life.

The fallacy of Thanos’s reasoning is obvious, if a community loses half of the population – through death or abandonment – we lose the producers and consumers, so that means the nation builders, professional classes would be diminished as well.

This is not just a question for this movie, but for Caribbean life as well.

Through their words and actions (policies & procedures) the stakeholders of the Caribbean are behaving as if the countries in the region would be “better off” if there were less people; i.e. Puerto Rico is already at 50 percent of baseline numbers.

Could our society do a better job feeding (and other provisions) ourselves with only half of the population?

So the supposition in the Caribbean is that more and more people need to leave the islands so that there would finally be  just enough resources to provide for the remaining people; think fish stock. This is wrong thinking.

So sad! This commentary asserts that the answer to this supposition is: No!

A trusted source – The Bible – declares in Matthew 26:11 of the English Standard Version: “For you always have the poor with you …”. So poverty abounded in the past, now, and will most assuredly continue in the future.

The problem is not any excessive population, but rather the failure to embrace the art and science of sustenance. In fact, the quest of the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean, is to urge the increase of the Caribbean population, not the decline. A better practice to balance the supply-demand  equation is to smartly grow the industrial landscape, to elevate the economic engines in the region. This will alleviate hunger; see this theme conveyed in these previous blog-commentaries: Industrial Reboot – Frozen Foods 101 Science of Sustenance – Temperate Foods Forging Change: ‘Food’ for Thought Managing Climate Change Effect on the Food Supply

Though the US performs far better with hunger abatement among its population now than it did when the population was half, some degree of poverty and hunger still exists. The solution cannot be the numbers; it is the methods, the systems of sustenance. This is the theme in the reference article in Appendix B.

Yet still, so many in the Caribbean reflect the theme of Thanos. It seems that they would rather lose half of their population – with policies that encourage abandonment – than try to adopt the best practices for food acquisition and distribution. This commentary have consistently detailed the “push and pull” factors that lead to the human flight in this region. Consider this sample of previous blog-commentaries: Disaster Vulnerability: ‘Rinse and Repeat’ Allowing the ‘Strong to Abuse the Weak’ – Lesson from Hammurabi The Lack of Systems to Sustain Caribbean Living Bad Habit of Rent-seeking Caribbean Orthodoxy Pushing Good People Away Gender Inequities lead to Brain Drain Blatant Human Rights Violations Excessive Energy Costs – The Need To Go ‘Green

Though there may be no malicious intent, the absence of malice does not excuse the societal incompetence!

We must do better in our Caribbean homeland.

The political leaders in the Caribbean would rather have their Diaspora “dead to them” rather than invite their participation in the outworking of the Caribbean member-states. In proof, they do not allow their Diaspora to vote or participate in the democratic process.

While Thanos is not real … his persona is a work of art! His model can help us. So this is art imitating life.

The edict of “life imitating art and art imitating life” provides a lot of teaching moments for the world in general and the Caribbean in particular. There is a lot of influence to be gathered from the Avengers: Infinity War movie; this movie is successful and fulfilling. See here for the effect on the box office in the related VIDEO here:

VIDEO – Weekend Box Office May 11 – 13, 2018 –

There are so many points of consideration from this movie. This demonstrates the power of this art form. In a previous blog/commentary regarding Caribbean Diaspora member and Hollywood great, Sidney Poitier, it was declared that …

“Movies are an amazing business model. People give money to spend a couple of hours watching someone else’s creation and then leave the theater with nothing to show for the investment; except perhaps a different perspective”.

The quest of the Go Lean roadmap is to elevate the societal engines so that Caribbean people can prosper where planted here in the Caribbean. The fact that people are abandoning their Caribbean homeland is proof-positive that little prospering happens here – one report list 70 percent of the professional classes are gone.

Another lesson we glean from the fiction of Thanos, is that we need heroes. There is the need to impact our Caribbean society with new empowerments. We do not need a brand of Super Heroes, just people in the homeland, who would work together, like the Avengers. This level of commitment will help us to accomplish our goals.

The Go Lean movement seeks to engage Caribbean heroes; the book serves as a roadmap to introduce the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate the region’s societal engines – economics, homeland security and governance – of the 30 Caribbean member-states. In fact, the prime directives of the roadmap includes the following 3 statements:

  • Optimize the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establish a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book makes the point of the need for heroics early in a Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) that claims:

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens … of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

Let’s defeat the “Thanos” in our communities. (They are out there!)

Having fewer mouths to feed is not the strategy for the Caribbean success. In fact, having fewer mouths to feed is actually bad for the economy. People do more than just eat; they also work, build up their communities and help with nation-building. A lot of economic activity can be created just by living and being; this is true with all aspects of food provisioning; think agriculture and fisheries. Imagine a family garden, what is the practice with excess vegetables? Sell, trade, barter or gift them, right?! All these activities would be beneficial for society.

The Go Lean book provides 370 pages of details on the economic principles and community ethos to adopt, plus the executions of strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to better secure the Caribbean homeland. Just “how” can the Caribbean reboot, reform and transform their societal engines to help alleviate poverty. This is the actual title of one advocacy in the Go Lean book. Consider the specific plans, excerpts and headlines here from Page 222, entitled:

10 Battles in the War on Poverty

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market and Economy
This regional re-boot will allow for the unification of the region into one market, thereby creating a single economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people and a GDP of over $800 Billion. Following the model of the European Union, the CU will seek to streamline economic engines so as to increase jobs, standards of living and opportunities – increasing GDP. The CU will work to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play for all socio-economic classes.
2 Minimize Political Bureaucracy
3 Welfare versus “Work-fare”
Many economists have argued that the US “War Against Poverty” – Welfare first – policies, actually had a negative impact on the economy because of their interventionist nature. This school of thought is that the best way to fight poverty is not through government spending but through economic growth, thus “Work-fare” is a better solution. In 1996 the US implemented a Welfare-to-Work program that had almost immediate results – welfare and poverty rates both declined during the late-1990s, leading many commentators to declare that the legislation was a success. The CU takes a similar stance: lead with jobs!
4 Entrepreneurial Values
Job creators would be valued, promoted and heralded under the CU economic schemes. Venture Capitalists, small business loans and access to capital markets are measures designed to spur growth and attitudes in entrepreneurship.
5 Repatriation of Time, Talent and Treasuries
The CU will incentivize the Diaspora to repatriate to the Caribbean region, and protect them from victimization upon return. Where a physical return is not possible, other avenues of support will be promoted for an economic leap from this remote population: vacation homes, labor certification priority, and ease of funds transfer.
6 Family Planning
Third World countries usually have higher birth rates than Developed countries. While not discouraging individual rights, the CU will facilitate better education, women’s health resources and access to prenatal healthcare.
7 Education Goals in Balance
Education is considered a panacea to raise standard of living, but tertiary education in the CU region has resulted in a higher emigration pattern than should be tolerated. The CU will facilitate e-Learning solutions to retain the talent.
8 Proactive about Healthcare Realities
9 Aging Population

The CU will facilitate for the Caribbean Region to be the world’s best address for senior citizens. This will send the invitation to retirees (Caribbean Diaspora and foreign) to welcome their participation and contributions to CU society. The increase in the pool of participants and beneficiaries will extend added benefits to domestic seniors.

10 Raise Retirement Age

Abandoning wrong thinking about poverty in society and engaging a more positive approach may be considered heroic.

The Caribbean needs heroes, to make this difference. The Go Lean book describes the need for the Caribbean to appoint “new guards” to effect the necessary empowerments in the Caribbean. We need the “new guards” or a regional security pact to engage to better protect our homeland from threats and risks, foreign and domestic. So the purpose of the published strategies, tactics and implementations of this security pact is to ensure public safety as a comprehensive endeavor, encapsulating the needs of all Caribbean stakeholders: residents and institutions alike.

The edict of “life imitating art and art imitating life” can be applied in our everyday Caribbean life. Let’s lean-in for our own heroic cause. Yes, we can … collectively if not individually, be heroes and defeat the “Thanos” villainy in our midst. Let’s start by leaning-in for the empowerments described here in the book Go Lean…Caribbean.

Let’s do it! This plan, to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play is conceivable, believable and achievable. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A AUDIO-PODCASTCity Limits: Why Reducing Poverty is Such an Elusive Goal –

Real Estate Investment

Posted December 13, 2017 – The statistics regarding the poverty rate in [the American city of] Syracuse are staggering. But what is poverty? And what can be done about it? [Public Radio station] WAER’s Chris Bolt talks with some of those living in poverty, to tackle these questions.


Appendix B – War on Poverty

The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.

As a part of the Great Society, Johnson believed in expanding the federal government’s roles in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies.[1]


The legacy of the War on Poverty policy initiative remains in the continued existence of such federal programs as Head StartVolunteers in Service to America (VISTA), TRiO, and Job Corps.

The popularity of a war on poverty waned after the 1960s. Deregulation, growing criticism of the welfare state, and an ideological shift to reducing federal aid to impoverished people in the 1980s and 1990s culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, which President Bill Clinton claimed, “ended welfare as we know it.”

Major Initiatives

Source: Retrieved May 15, 2018 from:


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  • Todd Britt says:

    I love the Malthusian questions posed by Thanos in the Avengers: Infinity War movie. However, I think your economic assessment, while correct, was not the point Thanos was arguing. You are quite right to point out that a capitalist economy is driven by increased growth and numbers, which feed economic dynamism. However, Thanos’ remarks about famine, poverty, and war were about another feature that we do see replicated on the globe today: infinite expansion of populations with very finite natural resources. Also coupled with this is the profligate, near-monopolistic use of such resources by the most developed nations, themselves a small share of the planet’s population. This conflict feeds the poverty and famine Thanos objected to.

  • Go Lean Caribbean says:

    I do not agree with judgement of Thanos. He wanted to eliminate 50 percent of all life, randomly.
    That is a fallacy!
    Culling 50 percent would mean getting rid of consumers yes, but producers too. Getting rid of the “Have’s” and the “Have-Nots” may be just, but it is not logical.
    All in all, we need more people contributing to the economy, not less.

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