If leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away.

George Orwell

1984. Part 2, Chapter 9. Goldstein in his manifesto, explaining that if the wealth of Oceania were to be divided equally, it would prove difficult for the Party to maintain power. So the proles are kept in crushing poverty.