Thursday, December 22, 2005

The coming genocide.

Afterthepurge's Pigdog has an excellent summary of the WTO's meeting in Hong Kong, "WTO kills farmers":

"The farmers say opening their domestic rice market to foreign competition under a WTO treaty would bankrupt them.

The final key agreements of this WTO meeting includes:

  1. All forms of agricultural export subsidies to be eliminated by 2013 - achieved in parallel and progressive manner. A substantial part to be realized by the end of the first half of the implementation period.
  2. All forms of export subsidies for cotton to be eliminated by developed countries by 2006.
  3. Developed countries will give duty and quota free market access for cotton exports by developing countries once the policy is implemented.
  4. The 32 least developed countries will enjoy duty and quota free access for their products in 97% of all product categories, excluding rice and textiles, which the USA and Japan are protective about.
  5. For service industry, countries will adhere to the Doha Ministerial Declaration and continue to aid the developing countries, as stated in the Modalities for the Special Treatment for Least-Developed Country Members in 2003."

also see Lenin's Tomb: "Anti-capitalism hits Hong Kong: Kong Yee Sai Mau!"

What do peasant farmers have to fear from WTO initiatives concerning agriculture?

Samir Amin has an answer:
"Modernization has always combined constructive dimensions, namely the accumulation of capital and increasing productivity, with destructive aspects—reducing labor to the state of a commodity sold on the market, often destroying the natural ecological basis needed for the reproduction of life and production, and polarizing the distribution of wealth on a global level. Modernization has always simultaneously integrated some, as expanding markets created employment, and excludedothers, who were not integrated in the new labor force after having lost their positions in the previous systems. In its ascending phase, capitalist global expansion integrated many along with its excluding processes. But now, in the third world peasant societies, it is excluding massive numbers of people while including relatively few.

The question raised here is precisely whether this trend will continue to operate with respect to the three billion human beings still producing and living in peasant societies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Indeed, what would happen if agriculture and food production were treated as any other form of production submitted to the rules of competition in an open and deregulated market, as decided in principle at the November 2001 WTO meeting in Doha. Would such principles foster the acceleration of production?

One can imagine that the food brought to market by today’s three billion peasants, after they ensure their own subsistences, would instead be produced by twenty million new modern farmers. The conditions for the success of such an alternative would include: (1) the transfer of important pieces of good land to the new capitalist farmers (and these lands would have to be taken out of the hands of present peasant populations); (2) capital (to buy supplies and equipment); and (3) access to the consumer markets. Such farmers would indeed compete successfully with the billions of present peasants. But what would happen to those billions of people?

Under the circumstances, agreeing to the general principle of competition for agricultural products and foodstuffs, as imposed by WTO, means accepting the elimination of billions of noncompetitive producers within the short historic time of a few decades. What will become of these billions of humans beings, the majority of whom are already poor among the poor, who feed themselves with great difficulty. In fifty years’ time, industrial development, even in the fanciful hypothesis of a continued growth rate of 7 percent annually, could not absorb even one-third of this reserve."

Three billion people stripped of their means of producing, of feeding themselves, of sustaining their lives.

Three billion people.


Post a Comment

<< Home