Poverty is the state of human survival in which one finds one's self incapable of fully contributing to the process of production or earn enough to cover the cost of a healthy living in a dignified way. A person in poverty in not only without a healthy productive living standard at present but is also incapable of making good use of any evolving opportunity in future due to lack of adequate resources. Thus, even the next generation of those in poverty is destined to live on subsistence incomes. Poverty not only gives an undignified living in present but also makes a person bereft of any hope of progress in the future without external support. Talking of poverty in countries, it is the fate of the third world, which is denied and restricted from just and rightful trade, fair loans with out riders of sanctions and conditionalities. Poverty as an issue has been addressed most notably by philosopher Karl Marx from whose ideas grew the entire tree of thought that gave us the Soviet and Chinese Communism as well as the West European Socialism. Marx said the power of government was not necessarily repressive and that it could be used to lessen the pressure of poverty on the citizens of a state. There are some that disagree with the extremely radical ideas of Marx and instead propose to improve destiny of the poor without taking anything from anybody and without changing the social order. But the expenses of providing for the poor must necessarily be borne by some in the affluent class. The choice between poverty and a better living provided by a benefactor involves the choice between freedom and reliance. Only the free can make this choice. The best anti-poverty venture, therefore, seems to be an investment in democratic socialism. -MARIA ASLAM, Lahore, November 19.