Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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March 24, 2009
Guess who's coming to dinner    ?

Why the recent skyrocketing of global food prices?

Lula of Brazil is said to have explained it in part as follows:
The world was unprepared for China and India's 2 billion inhabitants -- out of the 6 billion who live on the planet -- eating three meals a day.

The quote appeared last fall in UNAM prof Sergio Zermeño's NACLA Report article, "Desolation: Mexican Campesinos and Agriculture in the 21st Century."

[Spanish lang. verz. of the article = here.

The quote is sourced to a La Journada article here, not that (the admittedly often myopic) TiR can find the statement therein.]

Da Silva's more comprehensive statement on the several intertwined aspects of the global food crisis, given at the UN's June 2008 food security conference in Rome, is here.

Zermeño, whose article focuses primarily on Mexican agriculture and agricultural workers, apparently has referred to Mexico's recent fate as an intensifying process of "bipolar" fragmentation into an "integrated" (globalized) tier and a "broken" (lumpen) tier.

His "Desolation" piece otherwise reminds TiR to (attempt to) pause, out of intellectual curiosity, every once in a while during this year of supposed universal economic slump, to check in with how Big Agribiz is doing.

[If we did so, maybe we'd find additional links like these, on Monsanto alone:

  • "Making a Profit Out of The Food Crisis" (July 2008)

  • "Brazil's Agribusiness Model Breeds World Hunger While Fattening Monsanto & Co" (Jan. 2009)

  • "Monsanto's dream bill, HR 875" (March 2009)

But who knows?]

Zermeño's article appeared adjacent to David Bacon's highly illuminating contribution, "Displaced People: NAFTA’s Most Important Product," readable here (and here). Bacon introduced (the admittedly often cloistered) TiR to the concept of the derecho de no migrar or "the right to stay home, free from forced migration," a notion that's getting some worthy     recent     circulation.

The Report issue in which the abovementioned articles appeared is the second of two devoted to "NAFTA's Road to Ruin: The Decline of the Mexican Social Compact," both of which could be seen as counterweights to more reassuring mainstream accounts, such as one that happened to have been published today, here.