Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sajda part 4 سجدة الجزء الرابع


'The general problem of rapid resource depletion that occurs in the poor countries of the world is frequently a result of foreign exploitation and not because of a country’s growing population. The exploitation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s natural resources by shady means—“opaque deals to acquire prime mining assets”—organized through shell companies by British and Israeli capital is an example of what can happen." (Thanks Safia)

Monday, January 28, 2013

The agrarian crisis

'London : India has the largest number of smallholder farmers in the World, 600 million by some estimates. From this army of workers one impoverished desperate man, or indeed woman, with a noose of debt around their neck takes his or her own life on average every thirty minutes, A statistic barely comprehensible, representing the tidal wave of suicides that has swept through the farming community in the last 15 years.
The agrarian crisis of which farmer suicides are a tragic consequence is a mega calamity, rooted in one fundamental cause,which P. Sainath (i) ,rural editor for The Hindu describes as ‘the drive towards corporate farming', predicated by the “predatory commercialization of the countryside”, that is forcing “the biggest displacement in Indian history”. Shocking and destructive it should be seen as part of a greater whole of interconnected issues facing India . Sainath makes this clear, “don't detach this crisis from the overall political, economic social direction of the country, he says.' (Thanks Martha)

sajda part 2 سجدة الجزء الثاني

Co-opting women in the "value chain": forget about power, the market will liberate you

"One approach to enhancing women’s power, supported by Oxfam, is to position women ever more ‘strategically’ into the ‘value chain’ of globalized production, on the assumption that if only they had the opportunity to earn the equivalent of their male peers, they might earn an equivalence of power and influence. In so doing, a fundamentally flawed food system is being further ‘propagated’, in effect out-casting other food systems. 

Women are generally solid about their pivotal role in securing daily food and water. But when they join global supply chains, women, like men, become complicit in a livelihood system that keeps the family in a state of permanent impoverishment." (Thanks Daniel)

Obba Saida Style!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Remember Maroun al Ras? Part 1 of Sajda my comic strip inspired by the March of Return قصة مسيرة العودة سجدة: الجزء الاول

What went wrong in Malawi? power again.

"Once again Malawi finds itself in a tight spot. A food crisis set off by erratic rains, rising food prices and economic hardships is slowly unfolding. For the first time in several years, the country’s ability to feed its citizens is at risk. Sadly and unexpectedly, Malawi has lost its hard-earned status as an agricultural success story — it used to produce enough maize for its people to eat and still provide a surplus to neighbours. Many are now wondering what went wrong and whether there could be lessons for other African countries." (Thanks Daniel)

Guess who said that: the land monopolist renders no service to the community, contributes nothing to the general welfare

"In 1909 a dangerous subversive explained the issue thus. "Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains – and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and cost of other people and the taxpayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare, he contributes nothing to the process from which his own enrichment is derived ... the unearned increment on the land is reaped by the land monopolist in exact proportion, not to the service, but to the disservice done."
Who was this firebrand? Winston Churchill. As Churchill, Adam Smith and many others have pointed out, those who own the land skim wealth from everyone else, without exertion or enterprise. They "levy a toll upon all other forms of wealth and every form of industry". A land value tax would recoup this toll." (Thanks Laila)

Monbiot excellent as ever

Challenge power? not nearly enough. Fight it.

To stop hunger, it's not enough to change policy; we must challenge power

The If campaign has laudable aims, but real change will only come from tackling unfair trade and the financial sector's power
"Campaigning is a challenging business at the best of times. As campaigners, we need to be able to motivate the public to inspire political and personal action – this is true for everything from breast cancer awareness to action on climate change. And getting the message right is no small task. The If campaign emerges just a few years after Make Poverty History, a simplified message, which certainly inspired the public but failed to meet its objectives." (Thanks Anne)


After a looooong absence, I am blogging again. There is just too much stuff that needs to be disseminated.