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Food Crises - I


Food Crises - I Development & Underdevelopment, From Green Revolution to Famine – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Food Crises - I

Food Crises - I
  • Development Underdevelopment,
  • From Green Revolution to Famine

  • H.Cleaver, "Food, Famine Int'l Crisis"
  • NACLA, "US Grain Arsenal"
  • "US Food Power Ultimate Weapon in World Politics"

Food as Feast
  • Food as staff of life, fundamental necessity
  • gathering, production always social act
  • Food as social medium
  • family meals
  • religious rituals
  • collective rituals, holidays, festivals
  • sharing of food sharing of self ? bonding

Food as Power
  • Control over food ? power over life
  • control over land - food ? autonomy
  • power to live independently
  • control over land - food ? Power over others
  • Power to make others lives dependent
  • e.g., sharecropping
  • e.g., wage labor
  • e.g., soviet family plots

Power over Others
  • Families
  • control over children
  • no work, no supper, primogeniture
  • Local community
  • control over land fundamental to structure of
  • Nation States
  • internally role in food distribution function of
    pressures, top down, bottom up
  • externally food as weapon in diplomacy

Food in Capitalism
  • Control over land - food ? control over work
  • Without autonomous sources of food, people are
    forced into labor market
  • Monopoly of control gives capitalists Power to
    impose work
  • History of capitalism is history of business
    efforts to achieve monopoly control of land -
  • enclosure, Wakefield, etc.

Food Resistance
  • Conversely, access to land - food gives power to
    resist, material basis for autonomous life
  • Historical resistance to enclosure, from England
    in 18th Century to Zapatistas at beginning of
    21st Century
  • Those who have lost access to land fight for
    "access" to food, e.g., welfare, food stamps
  • greater the access, greater ability to resist low

Development Underdevelopment
  • Development underdevelopment
  • as states-of-being
  • developed industrial, rich
  • underdeveloped agrarian, poor
  • as processes
  • development investment, growth,
    industrializing, rising real income per capita
  • underdevelopment disinvestment, decline,
    falling Y/cap
  • as strategies
  • development giving food to get work
  • underdevelopment witholding food to get work

Giving Food ( Land) - I
  • Lack of food seen as source of revolution
  • 30s - 40s private foundations developed "food
    politics" for Third World
  • land reform, community development, new ag
  • especially Rockefeller Foundation in China
  • even earlier in US South
  • "development" strategies, give to get
  • state took over private policies and integrated
    into foreign policy thru foreign aid programs,
  • state also subsidized increased food production,
    increased real wages in US Europe, welfare

Giving Food - II
  • 1960s "Development Decade"
  • "Green Revolution" technologies from IRRI,
  • high yielding rice wheat varieties
  • replaced land reform com. dev.
  • promise of food in exchange for acceptance of
    capitalist rules of the game, integration into
    global economy
  • Development Keynesianism in 3rd 2nd worlds
  • Soviet Keynesianism in countryside, cities

Withholding Food - I
  • After World War I, Herbert Hoover American
    foreign aid in Eastern Europe
  • food aid given to those who followed the American
    line, vis a vis Germany USSR, US investment
  • food aid withheld from those who didn't go along
    with US policies

Withholding Food - II
  • 1950s - 1960s PL 480
  • subsidies to US agriculture ??food surpluses
  • Hubert Humphrey saw surpluses as leverage
  • food for starving if and only if governments
    accepted American directives
  • e.g., Indian famine 1965-66
  • Orville Freeman, Sec of Agriculture tells Indian
    Min of Ag Subramaniam food aid if
  • population control
  • opening of Indian fertilizer industry to US firms

Contradictions of Green Revolution Technologies
  • Unforeseen consequences of Green Revolution
  • uneven application across regions
  • accessible to rich farmers, not poor, aggravated
  • rich farmer investment in labor saving capital
    equipment caused unemployment for landless
  • environmental problems due to
  • monocropping
  • increased use of inorganic fertilizer,
    pesticides, herbicides

From Green to Red Revolution
  • Regional Disparities aggravated Pakistan Conflict
    as West benefited and East didn't
  • Increased intra-peasant conflicts in India btwn
    those who benefited and those who didn't
  • Naxalite Rebellion in W.Bengal, Bihar

Welfare State Rebellion
  • Food subsidies to poor
  • school lunches, food stamps, etc
  • Viewed as inadequate, part of cause of
  • central city uprisings
  • Black Panther Party extortion for breakfasts
  • State response dramatic spread of Food Stamp
    program to meet demands, quiet rebellion

Food Rebellion in East
  • Circa 1960 food riots in Russia
  • chronic peasant resistance
  • results in Krushchev's opening steppe production
  • later Keynesian policies for peasants
  • 1970 Polish govt increases food prices
  • widespread rebellion in Poland, food prices
  • sympathy strikes in USSR, 5-yr plan revised,
    increased food imports (1972 grain deal), efforts
    to industrialize food production

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