1990s >> 1998 >> no-1127-july-1998

Socialism would solve global hunger

In recent weeks newspaper headlines have highlighted the plight of starving millions in the Sudan and Burundi. Again we have seen published statistics that show 800 million of our fellow humans suffering from chronic malnutrition, with 1.3 billion, on any one day, going without food.

While these statistics are shocking, we can search and find others, far more obscene, that show governments still ordering the destruction of food and paying farmers to take land out of production in order that prices can be kept high.

Charities and NGOs may do their bit, alleviate a little suffering here and there, but their work in is in reality only addressing the symptoms, not the disease.

The disease is the global profit-drive market system whose golden maxim is “can’t pay–can’t have”. It is a system governments believe they can run in the interests of us all.

The futility of trying to make the present system work is best revealed in the present instance by remembering Henry Kissinger’s promise to the World Food Summit some 25 years ago. There were then 400 million chronically malnourished, a 75 million increase over the previous ten years, and Kissinger vowed world hunger would be eradicated within the next decade. That number has since doubled, and with the best efforts the experts believe the statistics will not improve in the next 25 years.

In the years to come we will see many conferences and summits looking at the problem of global hunger. A lot of rubbish will no doubt be uttered at the same and you can bet no remedy will emerge.

This is because there is only one remedy and governments cannot contemplate it because, as the executive of capitalism, it runs counter to the real interests they serve.

The remedy involves abolishing the money system, freeing production from the artificial constraints of profit and establishing a world of free access to the benefits of civilisation.

A utopian dream you may say, but is it not more utopian to believe the present system can be made to work in all our interests?


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