How the Other Half Dies

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I wish that the issues and power struggles described in this book from the 80s were long gone from our society today. That does not appear to be the case sadly. This book was very eye-opening and sets the stage for the economic terrorism that are detailed in books such as "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". The choices will necessarily include where one wants to go, how fast, and at what economic and social cost.

How the Other Half Dies by Susan George

Our vocabulary conforms to the myth when we say that "prices rise" as if "prices" were the only available subject of the verb "to rise" and as if no human actors could possibly be involved in raising them. These actors exist, however, and although they are not yet always able to put prices up and sustain them at optimum for them levels, they are rapidly progressing towards this goal. These annoyed governments far more than insufficient food levels did. They also destroy food by the hundreds of tons to keep it off the market if need be. This does not mean that the price of a can of pineapple goes down.

If an already undernourished person can be made to want junk food, this is not the comapnies' problem. View 1 comment. Sep 28, notgettingenough rated it really liked it Shelves: sociology. I imagine the basic messages of this book are as pertinent now as in the late 'seventies. There is enough food, but the people who need it don't have enough money to pay for it Oct 05, Suzahn rated it it was amazing. Even though it's older late 70s?

Jan 31, Victoria rated it really liked it. A well-written exploration of world hunger and famine. May 17, Tahir marked it as to-read. Harvey Goldberg referred to this book in his lecture on private property.

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Apr 22, Sarah rated it it was ok. Really, its a bit old to be relevant but still an interesting read. It was written in I just hope things and attitudes have changed. Jun 01, Maziar Parizade rated it it was amazing. Ryan rated it liked it Nov 28, H rated it really liked it Feb 04, Dede River rated it it was amazing Dec 21, Federico rated it really liked it Dec 13, Trev rated it liked it Aug 30, KimmGr rated it it was amazing Mar 11, Luis rated it it was amazing Apr 23, Howard Breen rated it liked it Jun 19, Alert Holtman rated it it was ok Nov 03, Matthew K rated it it was amazing Oct 25, Christopher Fisher rated it it was amazing Nov 15, Matthew rated it really liked it Aug 18, Winnie rated it really liked it Aug 01, Don Wilton rated it it was ok Sep 11, Muhammad Rusdi rated it it was amazing Feb 23, Lisa rated it it was amazing Aug 05, Shin Furuya rated it it was amazing Aug 08, Kaveh Bahrami rated it it was amazing Mar 25, Sue Mauhar rated it it was amazing Jan 01, Their condition isnot inevitable but is caused by identifiable forces within the province of rational, human control.

The food crisis became the focus of worldwide attention in , particularly during the World Food Conference held in Rome in November. This Conference, like the two that preceded it, could hardly be called a success. Most of the solutions proposed were purely technological; they stressed production rather than equi- table distribution of food. Briefly, they echoed those selfsame measures that have been offered for the past thirty years. The only point that everyone seems to agree upon is that matters are bound to grow worse.

We are going to examine the role of the affluent nations in the crisis, for it is they that have imposed a nearly universal economic system on the rest of the planet. We will look at the role of their governments, their transnational agribusiness corporations and the international institutions they largely control ; as well as at the habits of consumers - meaning all of us - in keeping other people hungry.

This control is very paltry indeed compared to the comer America has on the world food market. It is my belief that many Westerners, for whom this book is primarily intended, would try to act against the forces that insure continuing malnutrition, hunger and famine if they clearly under- stood how - and why - these forces work.

In the following pages, I attempt to cut through official cant and popular north - most of which is pro- moted by those same forces that have every interest in maintaining as thick a smokescreen as possible around the problem of world hunger. First, I try to explain what the problem is and why we should be as much or more concerned by malnutrition as by outright famine.

Are pigs more important than people? How much more could a sane world produce using what resources? A close look at the present situation shows that only the poor - wherever they may live - go hungry and that deeply-rooted patterns of injustice and exploitation, homegrown or imported, literally prevent them from feeding themselves.

Needless to say, such analyses are not popular with those who Introduction may profit from injustice.

These methods have not produced a single independent and viable economy in the entire Third World - and in fact were not meant to. Yet we continue to try to tell the other half how to live. Powerful groups want to keep food prices at scarcity-value levels. A multilateral institution like the World Bank would probably prefer to feed people if this were possible without fundamentally altering the present world economic system be- cause it would just as soon stay one jump ahead of revolution.

Mqor business interests have even wormed their way into the very structures of the United Nations. If technical solutions like the Green Revolution, the transfer of technology and population control cannot solve the problem of hunger ; if food aid is largely geared to keeping the governments of other states in line, if the multinational agribusinesses and the multilateral institutions seek to perpetuate in more sophisticated ways patterns of colonial control in underdeveloped countries; if, in a word, none of them, separately or together, can promise an era of abundance for mankind, then what?

The only underdeveloped countries that have either solved the food problem for their own people - or are on the way to solving it — have used some kind of central planning and have devised means for involving the people - all the people - in turning the tide against hunger.

Third World countries must produce more within their own borders. Nearly everyone agrees on this now. If increased pro- duction were the only problem, we could almost discount the world food problem, for it would be well on the way to being solved. Third World countries can go on increasing their production until hell freezes and hunger will remain, for the production will go to those who already have plenty - to tho developed world or to the wealthy in the Third World itself. Poverty and hunger walk hand in hand.

Y et every time weaker nations have attempted to reallocate their resources and undertake land reform, powerful interests emanating from the rich world and its multilateral bodies have thwarted their efforts. Chile is a recent example, but it is not the only one. The inescapable conclusion is that however bard the road, the hun- 18 Introduction griest countries must reduce their dependency on the West. They must not only produce more food crops, but also distribute them more equitably and allow more people access to food-producing resources.

Mine would be that they will not, and in fact cannot. I try to offer some concrete suggestions on how concerned citizens can attempt to organize and to counteract the thrust of worldwide agripower. This is our own task if we want to help the poor free - and thus start feeding - themselves. If it takes you six hours to read this book, somewhere in the world 2, people will have died of starvation or of hunger- related illness by the time you finish. Rich Man, Poor Man: Who? Hunger is not an unavoidable phenomenon like death and taxes.

How the other half dries

We are no longer living in the seventeenth century when Europe suffered shortages on an average of every three years and famine every ten. Unfortunately for the millions of people who go hungry, the problem is not a technical one - nor was it wholly so in the seventeenth century, for that matter. Hunger is not a scourge but a scandal. The present world political and economic order might be com- pared to that which reigned over social-class relations in individual countries in nineteenth-century Europe - with the Third World now playing the role of the working class.

The other one per cent know who they are. Duringihe same period, in the US A, people av- eraged Ibof grain intake, nine tenths of it in the form of meat, poultry or dairy products. Figures are just slightly lower for Europe and Japan. In the past ten years alone the average American has added lb of grain to his annual diet - about the equivalent of the yearly consumption of a poor Indian. Obviously, this American was not seriously malnourished in and this addition has not been imperative.

If you are eating too much meat and animal fat, this is a matter between you and your doctor. It is also a matter in which the consumer generally has very little to say. It may be efficient, but it is also extremely costly. Farming itself, inside this system, has become almost incidental: it occupies under 4 per cent of the American population on 2,, farms. Not quite 4 per cent of those farms produce half of all the food that feeds the other 96 per cent, the farming population itself, and provides millions of tons for export besides.

Forty years ago there were million farms in America. The 4 million that have disappeared were, of course, small family farms.

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Many of them are in farm- ing only because of t he tax advantages it offers. Although it is a mqjor grower of 25 Is the Problem Enough Food? Such farms need very little labour but they are in- tensely dependent on manufactured inputs like machinery, irri- gation systems, fertilizers and the like.

As to the modem way to raise animals, another giant, now under development in North Carolina, will cover a total of , hectares but will employ only 1, people, one for every 15 hectares 37 acres. They will be fed to the 50, cattle and hogs.

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They will be bred, suckled and fed to maturity in specially designed pens. The era of the family farm is gone and people might as well forget it. It takes risk-capital to farm nowadays and capital investment requires a profit.

How the Other Half Dies How the Other Half Dies
How the Other Half Dies How the Other Half Dies
How the Other Half Dies How the Other Half Dies
How the Other Half Dies How the Other Half Dies
How the Other Half Dies How the Other Half Dies
How the Other Half Dies How the Other Half Dies

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