Time to be self-reliant


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Category: International 20 Apr 08


Reports from New Delhi:

“The world had just about enough cereal stocks to feed the global population for two to three months.

“With a crisis looming worldwide, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation revealed that the world has four to five million tonnes of cereals stocks that can feed the global population for only eight to 12 weeks.

“World food prices have risen 45 per cent in the last nine months, and there are serious shortages of rice, wheat and maize.

“The world food situation is very serious today, with food riots reported from many countries like Egypt, Cameroon, Haiti, Burkina Faso and Senegal.”

From London: “Surveys show that some types of bread are up by 33 per cent, pasta by 80 per cent and rice by 32 per cent. Eggs are up around 40 per cent, chicken by more than 70 per cent and beef by more than 60 per cent.

“The heads of both the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have sounded the alarm. IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned that spikes in food costs around the world could lead to shortages and the toppling of governments.”

From Washington: “The financial markets crisis that erupted in August, 2007, has developed into the largest financial shock since the Great Depression.

“A house price collapse in the US could have serious repercussions in economies globally, including those of Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland”

From Trinidad & Tobago: We have every reason to be able to withstand a global depression with our oil windfall, the means to develop our agriculture sector.

Yet, our politicians have managed, by consistently under-spending on health and education, and over-spending on political patronage programmes, to achieve this:

Power outages; water shortages; 40 per cent functional illiteracy; 23 per cent living below the poverty line; a chronic shortage of health workers and educators; an increasingly paralysed manufacturing, construction and service sector scrounging for labour that has been mopped up by an estimated 100,000 government-supported “make-work” employees at enormous cost to taxpayers.

Now this: the global monster of food scarcity and soaring food prices. Inflation. We will sink when oil prices dip or we run out of energy resources. A restless, apathetic, dependent population who is accustomed to asking aggressively, “What you have for us?”

Love it or scorn it, but the countries who’ve thrived through tough times, wars, depressions, famines even have been the ones with the best propaganda machines with a love of country so strong they will die for it.

I’m not talking about swinging left so hard we become oppressed masses. I’m not talking about Germany’s holocaust, but about their national pride in their efficiency, not about British colonialism, but the British stoicism, “getting on with it,” rebuilding after war and depression with equated with heroism.

In Japan, billion-dollar corporations are run, so workers feel they are part of a “family,” where your sense of worth, your “honour” is linked with your output.

If you cut the menace out of propaganda, it can be turned into a tool. These governments have cleverly fed (the BBC was born as a propaganda machine) subliminal messages to the population to be productive, responsible, and law- abiding.

They do this by engaging the population emotionally, by equating happiness, passion, success, with education, hard work loving your country.

Once the depression hits, “they” won’t have anything for us, but will leave us in a state riddled with illiteracy, poverty and crime.

It’s time we grow up, shake off the State-managed menace of dependency and become self-reliant. 

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur