- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The politics of food

Posted by: vox on April 22, 1999 at 14:30:42:

In Reply to: like the US food donations to USSR? posted by Gee on April 21, 1999 at 17:40:44:

It's a bit simplistic, I think, to say that capitalism causes famine, though it certainly doesn't help. Let's remember that during the Irish Potato Famine, food was exported daily to England rather than being made available to the citizenry. Also, we can look at South America today where US agribusiness interests have farmers growing grapes and such things so they are available in the US marketplace when they are out of season, rather than the farmers being able to grow grain that is sorely needed in their country, which enable the US to export grain to them, thereby giving the US an upper-hand in any sort of trade negotiations.

However, the problem of mass famine is usually the result of war. In Ethiopia we can now look back to the worst of the famine and see that there actually was enough food available. The problem wasn't in the lack of food, but in its distribution. Of course, there was a war going on, as well, which controlled the distribution. Time and time again it's shown that food, and by extension starvation, is used as a weapon of war.


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