The UN Thinks You Starving To Death Is A Good Thing

Chad

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I wanted to check out the above, so i searched using Yandex and the link for the article is still showing (sceenshots below), but the page has been pulled.

Full text of the article can, however, be found on Archive.ph archive.ph

Maybe i'm wrong, but skimming the article reads as a critique of the current situation rather than promoting it - the final paragraph says:

For those of us at the high end of the social ladder, ending hunger globally would be a disaster. If there were no hunger in the world, who would plow the fields? Who would harvest our vegetables? Who would work in the rendering plants? Who would clean our toilets? We would have to produce our own food and clean our own toilets. No wonder people at the high end are not rushing to solve the hunger problem. For many of us, hunger is not a problem, but an asset.

Full article:

UN Chronicle









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The Benefits of World Hunger​


About the author​


George Kent​


George Kent is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii. He works on human rights, international relations, peace, development and environmental issues, with a special focus on nutrition and children. He has written several books, the latest is Freedom from Want: The Human Right to Adequate Food.

We sometimes talk about hunger in the world as if it were a scourge that all of us want to see abolished, viewing it as comparable with the plague or aids. But that naïve view prevents us from coming to grips with what causes and sustains hunger. Hunger has great positive value to many people. Indeed, it is fundamental to the working of the world's economy. Hungry people are the most productive people, especially where there is a need for manual labour.

We in developed countries sometimes see poor people by the roadside holding up signs saying "Will Work for Food". Actually, most people work for food. It is mainly because people need food to survive that they work so hard either in producing food for themselves in subsistence-level production, or by selling their services to others in exchange for money. How many of us would sell our services if it were not for the threat of hunger?
More importantly, how many of us would sell our services so cheaply if it were not for the threat of hunger? When we sell our services cheaply, we enrich others, those who own the factories, the machines and the lands, and ultimately own the people who work for them. For those who depend on the availability of cheap labour, hunger is the foundation of their wealth.

The conventional thinking is that hunger is caused by low-paying jobs. For example, an article reports on "Brazil's ethanol slaves: 200,000 migrant sugar cutters who prop up renewable energy boom".1 While it is true that hunger is caused by low-paying jobs, we need to understand that hunger at the same time causes low-paying jobs to be created. Who would have established massive biofuel production operations in Brazil if they did not know there were thousands of hungry people desperate enough to take the awful jobs they would offer? Who would build any sort of factory if they did not know that many people would be available to take the jobs at low-pay rates?

Much of the hunger literature talks about how it is important to assure that people are well fed so that they can be more productive. That is nonsense. No one works harder than hungry people. Yes, people who are well nourished have greater capacity for productive physical activity, but well-nourished people are far less willing to do that work.

The non-governmental organization Free the Slaves defines slaves as people who are not allowed to walk away from their jobs. It estimates that there are about 27 million slaves in the world,2 including those who are literally locked into workrooms and held as bonded labourers in South Asia. However, they do not include people who might be described as slaves to hunger, that is, those who are free to walk away from their jobs but have nothing better to go to. Maybe most people who work are slaves to hunger?

For those of us at the high end of the social ladder, ending hunger globally would be a disaster. If there were no hunger in the world, who would plow the fields? Who would harvest our vegetables? Who would work in the rendering plants? Who would clean our toilets? We would have to produce our own food and clean our own toilets. No wonder people at the high end are not rushing to solve the hunger problem. For many of us, hunger is not a problem, but an asset.
Notes
1 Tom Phillipps, "Brazil's ethanol slaves: 200,000 migrant sugar cutters who prop up renewable energy boom". The Guardian. Online, 9 March 2007.
http://environment.guardian.co.uk/energy/story/0,,2030144,00.html
2 Free the Slaves. Online, 2007. http://www.freetheslaves.net/

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Chad

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So people don't have to click through, here's the first load from the list. At least judging from the titles it appears this person is highlighting the problem of hunger:
BOOKS:
The Politics of Pacific Islands Fisheries. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1980 (ISBN 0-89158-683-0).


The Political Economy of Hunger: The Silent Holocaust. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1984 (ISBN 0-03-000368-7)


Editor (with Mark J. Valencia), Marine Policy in Southeast Asia. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1985 (ISBN 0-520-05366-4).


Fish, Food, and Hunger: The Potential of Fisheries for Alleviating Malnutrition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1987 (ISBN 0-8133-7409-X).


The Politics of Children's Survival. New York: Praeger Publishers. 1991 (ISBN 0-275-93723-2).


Children in the International Political Economy. London/New York: Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 1995 (ISBN 0-333-59897-0 and 0-312-12870-3).


Freedom from Want: The Human Right to Adequate Food. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2005 (ISBN 1-58901-056-6 and 1-58901-055-8). Available as no-cost PDF file at http://press.georgetown.edu/pdfs/9781589010550.pdf


Editor, Global Obligations for the Right to Food. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 (ISBN-10: 0-7425-6063-5).






MONOGRAPHS:

War and Children's Survival. Honolulu: Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace, 1990.


Implementing the Rights of Children in Armed Conflict. Honolulu: Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace, 1992.


(with Joda P. Derrickson) Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs in Hawai’i: Report to the Hawai’i State Legislature. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i, 1995.



ARTICLES:

"Foreign Policy Analysis: Middle East," Peace Research Society: Papers, Vol. XIV (1969), pp. 95-112. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/kent FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS.pdf

"Perceptions of Foreign Policies: Middle East," Peace Research Society: Papers, Vol. XV (1970), pp. 99-121. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kent/kent%20PERCEPTIONS.pdf

"Pedagogy of the Middle Class," Peace and Change, Vol. IV, No. 3 (Fall 1977), pp. 37-42. PDF.


"Waste and Malnutrition at Sea," Food Monitor, No. 17 (July/August 1980), pp. 5-8. PDF.


"Food Trade: The Poor Feed the Rich," Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 4 (October 1982), pp. 25-33.
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/food/8F044e/8F044E05.htm#Food%20trade:%20the%20poor%20feed%20the%20rich



"Why Work to End Hunger?" Seeds (Sprouts edition), March 1985, p. 2; republished in newsletter of the Missions Office of the Archdiocese of Seattle, March/April 1985 and in Food and Hunger Notes, No. 30, March/April 1985. PDF.


"Fisheries and Undernutition," Ecology of Food and Nutrition, Vol. 16 (1985), pp. 281-204. PDF.
 

ScioAgapeOmnis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I would be curious to know whether this person who wrote this article would write the same article if he was " one of the most productive people especially when there's a need for manual labor" only because he's hungry. I find this article sick.
I don't know if you noticed, but the number of the attachment in your quote of Ocean's post is "60606". Just thought it was appropriate, because that article certainly screams of the beast showing showing its hand.
 

Joan

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This strikes me a reverse blockade as a psychological exercise, maybe I am off the mark, but given all the psychological abuse of the past 2 years, could it be a possible explanation for this article, this from wikki, yes I know, questionable.

Reverse psychology is a technique involving the assertion of a belief or behavior that is opposite to the one desired, with the expectation that this approach will encourage the subject of the persuasion to do what is actually desired. This technique relies on the psychological phenomenon of reactance, in which a person has a negative emotional reaction to being persuaded, and thus chooses the option which is being advocated against.[1] This may work especially well on a person who is resistant by nature, while direct requests works best for people who are compliant.[2] The one being manipulated is usually unaware of what is really going on.[3]


Note the bullit reactance, in the highlight, and the definition.
 

Alejo

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Maybe i'm wrong, but skimming the article reads as a critique of the current situation rather than promoting it - the final paragraph says:
The funny, or maybe tragic, part of it is that since most people rarely ever go beyond the headlines... that could reach some people and say.. "huh! yeah world hunger is a good thing!"
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
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The funny, or maybe tragic, part of it is that since most people rarely ever go beyond the headlines... that could reach some people and say.. "huh! yeah world hunger is a good thing!"

When I started reading it I thought it was going to go with some Malthusian environmental angle. But instead it was just a radical-left treatise about how controlling the food supply is how hierarchical society is maintained. Is the solution to dump free food everywhere? That dumping of free or low-cost food has done a great job of destroying farming jobs and food security in a lot of places in Africa. And this was put out by the UN of all groups? Even overlooking the sarcasm, this type of muck that passes for sociopolitical discourse is severely unbecoming for an outlet representing a bureaucracy that purports to represent the collective interests and endeavors of humanity. The new BRICS world order cannot come fast enough.
 

Alejo

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When I started reading it I thought it was going to go with some Malthusian environmental angle. But instead it was just a radical-left treatise about how controlling the food supply is how hierarchical society is maintained. Is the solution to dump free food everywhere? That dumping of free or low-cost food has done a great job of destroying farming jobs and food security in a lot of places in Africa. And this was put out by the UN of all groups? Even overlooking the sarcasm, this type of muck that passes for sociopolitical discourse is severely unbecoming for an outlet representing a bureaucracy that purports to represent the collective interests and endeavors of humanity. The new BRICS world order cannot come fast enough.
Yeah, that's a good point.

The trouble is that they could offer a way to make food more accesible, and work for everyone, including the producers and farmers. But that's not the solution they see.

They see a world free of hunger by producing and distributing synthetic meat, to use one idea that has made the rounds over the years. That hurts everyone, literally. It's as if they had a contest of "who can come up with the most destructive idea possible?"
 
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