Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/278/24469

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2002

Why Capitalism Brings Famine

THE UNITED Nations says that 30 million Africans are facing starvation. That's three times as many at risk as in 1984 when the Live Aid famine relief appeal was launched.

One reason for the food shortage is widespread drought which has ruined crop production. But with a surplus of foodstuffs worldwide, why the threat of famine?

Simple, the crushing burden of 'debt' repayments of poor African countries to Western banks and governments means a lack of money to buy in the food.

Despite the hullabaloo from Gordon Brown and other Western finance ministers about providing debt relief measures, neither the US nor the European Union (EU) will provide the $50 billion aid to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) which even the World Bank says is needed to reduce world poverty by 2015.

And what aid has been made available, George Bush says, is conditional upon HIPCs implementing 'reforms' ie abolishing trade tariffs, privatisations, ending farming subsidies, etc.

What hypocrisy! While preaching 'free trade' to HIPCs the US, EU and Japan all heavily subsidise their agriculture. This May, Congress passed a bill increasing state payouts to US farmers by 70%, spending $180 billion in farm subsidies over the next three years. Even industrial goods are being protected, e.g. Bush has levied a new 30% tariff on steel imports.

By using their political and economic muscle, Western powers have ensured favourable terms of trade.


THE DROUGHT isn't necessarily a 'natural' disaster. According to a New Scientist report in June, polluting emissions from factories and power stations in the US and Europe over the last 50 years have caused drought and starvation in parts of Africa.

Yet US president George Bush rejects even the weak controls of the Kyoto environmental summit in favour of a "polluters' charter", complete with tax breaks for US energy companies.


It means that poorer countries are forced to import cheaper, subsidised agricultural goods, forcing local farmers out of business and labourers into working on cash crops for export.

The prices of these exports, such as coffee, are driven down to rock bottom by the market power of multinational companies. An Ethiopian coffee farmer who five years ago sold seven sacks of coffee to meet his family's needs, now sells 28 sacks (worth just $60 a year) and his family of 12 are going hungry.

Some say we should shop 'ethically', as if working-class people here can afford to make these choices. We say: cancel the 'debt', nationalise the multinationals, neither free trade nor protectionism but international socialism.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 November 2002:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Firefighters - Their Fight Is Our Fight

All Out To Win On London Allowance

Firefighters - A Decisive Struggle

Why Capitalism Brings Famine


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Top-Up Fees - Build A Mass Movement Of Action

Firefighters Strike "Nothing will ever be the same"

ISR - Fighting For Socialist Change


International socialist news

Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 November 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Capitalism:

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

triangleWhat we saw

US:

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleMobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleThem & us

Coffee:

trianglePost-election campaign stalls, coffees, chats on Saturday 10 June

triangleThem & Us

Aid:

triangleStop the cuts - save our vital services

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

29/11/17

Them & Us

Them & us

29/11/17

Homes

Tory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

29/11/17

Wages

Make the Tories history

29/11/17

Birmingham

Birmingham bin workers win!

29/11/17

British economy

Amber warning lights flash on British economy

23/11/17

Pay

After the budget - unions must launch pay fight

22/11/17

Climate change

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2