The best-laid plans
0 comment Friday, September 26, 2014 |
Tim Heydon discusses the relationship between rising food prices, globalization, and the 'popular uprisings' in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere in the Arab world.
Presuming that the 'popular uprisings' are just that, and that they were not fomented by outsiders as many have speculated, it is thought that rising food prices on staple foods provoked the unrest. As we are seeing rising food prices here (along with rising prices, generally) this is something we have to think about.
Heydon says in his piece that
"Globalisation depends on the specialisation or division of labour and Ricardo�s theory of Comparative Advantage. New Labour positioned this country into the Global economy as specialising in financial services. Hence its love affair with the City which has brought us to such disaster, and its total lack of concern for the export of our manufacturng [sic] industry and the huge increase in the population of an already crowded country.''
I surmised some time ago that the idea behind globalizing is in part the idea that the various regions (I started to say, 'nations', silly me) are to specialize, and this, in order that we not be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. I think I wrote on this blog that this forced interdependency, even when it comes to basic foodstuffs, is a way of making us hostages, in a sense, to each other. If we are all dependent on people on the other side of the world for the necessities of life, we are very vulnerable, at the mercy of people (the Chinese, for instance) who are surely not our friends or well-wishers.) I think this forced interdependence is a diabolical idea, in all sense of that word. But Heydon believes that is a part of what is going on.
And as he says, that's why our manufacturing capacity has been destroyed or offshored for the most part, with no seeming regrets among our overlords.
A friend and I were talking recently about the utter insanity of our getting seafood from the other side of the world instead of from local waters, while presumably much of our locally-caught seafood goes to who-knows-where. Read the packagaging labels at your local supermarket; very few food products (or non-food products) are made here. Most products say, at best, 'Distributed by..' someplace in another U.S. state, perhaps, but very little says 'Product of the USA', as it should. We are taking a gamble when we eat anything, really, given China's record of pushing toxic products of all kinds onto the passive world. For the latest instance of that, reports on the toxic metal contamination of Chinese rice
''The polluting effects of China's rapid industrialization are hardly news. But the industrial clusters cropping up in the nation's farm belts present new problems. Food safety in China in the past few years has primarily been framed as a problem of corruption in the supply chain, as was the case in the melamine scandal, or the overuse of pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture. Crop contamination by heavy metals from nearby industry that soak into the soil did not start this year � in fact the rice samples used to determine the 10% contamination rate were taken back in 2007 � but the scope of the problem is just beginning to be fully comprehended.''
Most people, rather than being justifiably alarmed by the many instances of contamination, simply shrug their shoulders and go on buying the stuff. Maybe among the adulterants in the food products is something that makes us passive, docile, and stupid.
I'm only half-joking when I say that.
Along with the artificial population explosion in the UK and our country, via mass uncontrolled immigration, we are in a bad way when it comes to being able to feed ourselves and be self-sufficient. But the idea is that we not be self-sustaining, and that either our ''own'' political classes, and/or the people in China who control our flow of goods, will have power over us by that fact.
This can hardly end well. Now, as the price of gas threatens to hit $5 a gallon soon, prices will surely continue their upward climb.
What next? Do our political classes think they can control and use this crisis that they have engineered, or will it backfire on them?
Heydon concludes by saying that an era of scarcity will put paid to this globalizing experiment that is under way. Another way to look at that is that we need to regain some kind of control over our own lives by producing what we need for ourselves, as was our forefathers' intention. We can't wait for this experiment to fail completely before we decide to work towards more sovereignty over our own lives and more self-sufficiency.

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