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Hunger: Two Clear Ideas

July 20, 2019

English translation of Nuevo Curso's Hambre: dos ideas claras



It is impossible to read the data in the new UN report on food and food security without being consumed by rage. World hunger has been growing since 2014 and now affects more than 820 million people. If we also take into account what FAO refers to as "moderate food insecurity", we’d understand that hunger is a reality that permanently accompanies the lives of 2,014 million people and grows in all regions. One in seven newborns were born underweight and 24.9% of children under five did not have normal physical development due to food shortages, something totally consistent with the fact that the percentage of women of reproductive age suffering from anemia rose to 32.8%. Now what does the media showcase? That obesity also grew to 13.2% of the world's population.


Two clear ideas:

  1. No, it's not "natural" disasters or climate change that cause hunger. Humanity has enough resources to produce and distribute food to give a healthy life to all. The UN itself is now "discovering" that there is a direct link between the economic crisis and increased food insecurity. Capitalism subordinates access to the most essential foods to the production of profits. When profits fall and capital has difficulty reproducing, production and the number of people who can access it are reduced. The Result: pauperization, slaughter, and misery. An example that is close to home? Venezuela. Add to that the effect of wars and we will have a fairly complete picture of how capital and the most basic human needs are in an open contradiction that is deadly to billions of people.

  2. When the media point to rising obesity, they unwittingly point to something important as well: even when capital gains "allow" it, the only thing it can offer are cheap fats and permanent distress. It is incapable of offering genuine development. The logic of capital, with hunger and insecurity on a massive scale, with obesity and undernourishment on the rise, can only offer death and a poor life for Humanity.



How do we get out of this?


The FAO calls for greater "sovereignty" of states and donations and aid from large national capitals to weaker capitals. But "development aid" has not changed anything since it was invented after the world war, it does not have a single case of success, a single country in which it managed to make up for the inability of national capital that had arrived later on the world market to generate even a minimum of social development. And that is not going to change now, even if the effort is multiplied. As seen by the example of Haiti, the data published today speaks for itself: food insecurity doubled in the last year and a quarter of the population is in need despite having received 13.8 billion dollars so far this year.


Why talk about "sovereignty"? It was the banner of the tyrannies of the weakest countries, from Albania to North Korea; today it is banner of Trump. With capitals that literally do not fit within national borders, the invocation of national sovereignty today only means more trade war, more war and more hunger.


Do we want to get out of this? There is only one way out: we cannot put the needs of capital above human needs. It is neither a moral maxim nor does it fit into an electoral program. This is what is discussed in Cádiz where the unions tell us that it is necessary to sell boats to secure jobs or in Portugal when the left in government puts the "budgetary balance" above the needs of teachers.




From Argentina to Japan via Spain, there is no other more important battle. That's where the battle front is. Do we want to "be in solidarity" with the hungry? Do we want to avoid suffering hunger? Do we want to free humanity from this inhuman dictatorship of profit that only produces hunger and a poor life? The enemy is always in our own country ruling over us. Let us impose the criterion of human need on the capital that is imposed on us. And let us begin as soon as possible!


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