Uprisings by starving people around the world may prove the tipping point for capitalism’s crash. Each element in the global food crisis comes from the chaos of callous government policies that support profit, no matter what the long-term — or even short-term — consequences.
Requirements for loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and restrictions in the so-called “free trade” agreements have gutted the self-sufficient food production of countless countries.
Haiti, for example, was once a major rice exporter. It must now import rice from the U.S. at this year’s 74 percent price increase.
In 2007-08, the price for corn is up 31 percent, soybeans up 87 percent, and wheat up 130 percent.
Severe weather changes, unrestricted land development, land theft, commodity futures speculation, agribusiness, and the conversion of primary food sources to biofuel have forced farmers off their land and into cities where there are no jos. They’re part of an estimated 1 billion slum dwellers worldwide.
There’s no food shortage. Shelves are filled — and the protesters know it. They are standing up to a system that takes ever-greater profits out of the mouths of hungry people.
The problem of distribution, whether of food, shelter, water, land, or wealth, will not be solved by capitalism. There is enough to go around. But we’ll have to take it.