imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Icy Normality of Hunger

by Jean Ziegler Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2004 at 1:31 PM

"World agriciulture in its present state of development could feed 12 billion persons.. The daily silent genocide of hunger that occurs in icy normality is not a fate. People are responsible.. For Rousseau, there was no natural law of capital.."

The Icy Normality of Hunger:

Weak Reason against Global Greed

How Hunger Threatens All of Us

By Jean Ziegler

[This article originally published in: Stuttgarter Zeitung, May 27, 2004 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]

Of all the production processes that humanity has produced in the course of its history, the capitalist mode of production is undoubtedly the most creative, the most efficient and also the most brutal.

For a long time, capitalism was territorially restricted. With the implosion of the Soviet Union in August 1991, the bipolarity of the community of states collapsed. Until then every third person on our planet lived in a communist system. The corrupt despots in the Kremlin and their crowd in the regime were as communist as I am Buddhist. Nevertheless the bipolarity and the territorial limitation of the capitalist production mode was a fact.

Capitalism has conquered the world for more than a decade. Monopolization and multi-nationalization are its two vectors. A standardized world market has arisen. The leadership of giant transnational empires, the so-called multinational companies, was possible thanks to the computer revolution, uniform cyberspace and the new speed of telecommunications. A private Geneva banker writes to his branch in Tokyo at the speed of light.

One form of capital has automatized: finance capital. The world dictatorship of the financial market is expressed structurally in the stock markets. These markets determine all other decisional authorities in the world. In the morning the German chancellor, the French president and all their democratically elected colleagues first consult the stock market data from the previous day (Tokyo, Frankfurt and New York) to know what millimeter-range is left to them for their national investment-, job-creation and fiscal policies.

The ancient philosopher Marcus Aurelius once wrote: Imperium superat regnum – the empire is above the king. Today the world dictatorship of finance capital rules over all other power structures. The motor of freely raging finance capital is sheer greed.

The globalization of the capitalist production mode functions beyond all ideas and expectations. In the past decade the gross world product (all the goods, services, capital, patents etc produced in the world in a year) has doubled. World trade has tripled and has broken through the magical limit of trillion per year. Energy consumption doubles every four years. The rulers of globalized finance capital possess more than an emperor, pope or king ever had.

In 2003 the 226 greatest personal assets were equal to the assets of the poorest 2.7 billion people in the world. In 2002 the 200 most powerful transcontinental corporations of the world controlled 23.8 percent of the gross national product of the planet. The annual profit of Exxon Mobil is higher than the gross domestic product of Austria. The profit of General Motors is higher than the gross domestic product of Denmark.

At the same time the mountain of corpses in the world grows. Among all the phenomena of inequality, underdevelopment and the deliberate destruction of humanity, I focus on hunger. In 2003, 841 million people were gravely and permanently malnourished. In 2002, there were 826 million malnourished persons. 100,000 persons die daily of hunger or its direct consequences, for example in deficiency diseases. Every seven seconds a child under ten years of age dies of hunger.

The same World Food report of the UN World Food organization that published these statistics insists that world agriculture in its current state of development could feed 12 billion persons normally without problem. “Normal” means an individual daily ration per individual of 2700 calories. However there are presently only 6.2 billion in the world. What is the reason for hunger? The daily silent genocide of hunger that occurs in icy normality is not a fate. People are responsible. Every child, every woman and every man who perishes of hunger or its immediate consequences is murdered.

Many are scourged by poverty. The World Bank in 2004 counted 1.2 billion persons “living in absolute poverty”. They earn less than a day and don’t have a dignified life. Among them, the rural population amounts to 75%. Why is this? Unequal access to land as a means of production is one of the main reasons for this absurd humanly destructive misery.

Very different situations should be distinguished. The Sahara expands another ten kilometers south on the annual average. Farmers lose their land, their ponds and their meadows. They flee into the slums of the metropolises. The UN estimates 250 million as so-called “ecological refugees”. Unlike political refugees, they have no rights at all. Tenants enslaved to contracts characterize the second situation. In Bangladesh, some tenants pay up to two-thirds of their harvest as rent to the owners. They must survive somehow from the remainder. In the third situation are farmers who must eke out a living on largely unproductive soil. In Brazil four percent of the landowners control 52 percent of the arable land. 90 million hectares lie fallow.

The situation of women in the country is especially miserable. Women manage 28 percent of all rural households of the world. However women amount to merely 5.1 percent of landowners.

The dimensions of hunger, extreme poverty and exploitation can only be understood in the so-called “life cycle perspective”. Every year millions of gravely malnourished women give birth to totally malnourished children who aren’t breast-fed after birth. They are the “crucified from birth” as my friend, the philosopher Regis Debrey says.

To break this murderous circle of permanent malnutrition, exclusion from an adequate income, landlessness and daily despair, we urgently need a land reform wherever property monopolies exist, a social credit-policy for small producers and an access to the market at reasonable, standardized conditions.

The neoliberal delusions that have spread so rapidly should be identified. Neoliberalism that serves the rulers and bounty hunters (and globalization generally) as a legitimation theory seeks to represent economic courses as natural laws. The world despot of speculative finance capital pretends to be an executor of mere natural laws. The French philosopher Pierre Bourdieu declared: “Neoliberalism is like the Aids virus. First it destroys the immune system of the victims.”

James Wolfensohn, the World Bank president, answered the question about the horizon of history as “stateless global governance”. In other words, the self-regulation of the world market freed from all normative (state, territorial and union) fetters should create maximum wealth. The means to the end of self-regulation are the strategies of the so-called “Washington consensus”, the complete and rapid liberalization of all streams of goods, services, patents and capital, local privatization of all areas of human life and submission under the command of profit maximization of all existing public services. If this “consensus” is realized worldwide, capital will flow intuitively and automatically every second where it gains the maximum profit in the shortest time. The result is constantly increasing wealth. The neoliberal delusion claims that this maximum wealth will fall down on everyone in the form of prosperity like a golden rain.

Neoliberalism opposes the values of the Enlightenment. There was no natural law of capital for Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his supporters whose ideas have defined European forms of state, ideas of popular sovereignty and human rights. Only the person – individually or as the nation – is the subject of history. The sentence “Between the strong and the weak, it is freedom that oppresses and the law that frees” stands right at the beginning of the “Social Contract”.

Where is hope? New social movements coalesce and a powerful civil society arises even in Germany. Resistant fronts break out everywhere on the planet. Their methods of struggle are different but their motivation is the same: the moral imperative, the person’s consciousness of identity. I am the other and the other is I. What happens to the other happens to me.

Over 100,000 people from five continents, delegates from 8000 farmer syndicates, industrial unions, women’s movements and non-governmental organizations that fight for human rights and environmental protection and against torture and hunger met at the World Social Forum in Bombay in January 2004. They met without hierarchies, a central committee and a complicated program as a brotherhood of the night and living figure of solidarity. We know exactly what we do not want. But the world that arises from our resistance belongs to the mystery of liberated human freedom.

One thing is certain. Either people successfully create a planetarily just world order or the furiously globalized predatory capitalism will blot out from the planet the civilization inherited from the Enlightenment.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy