(مع ترجمة عربية) – ‘Food security and sovereignty in late capitalism’

(مع ترجمة عربية) – ‘Food security and sovereignty in late capitalism’


one thing one thing to be told that the
contents not accessible but the Train but its title and the and the title I
was I was going to talk to and we’ll actually is around to security and flu
sovereignty has more good symptoms of late capitalism and of course the morbid
symptoms comes from grandsheikh and quoting the crisis consists precisely in
the fact that the old is dying and you cannot be born in this interregnum a
great variety of all the symptoms appear and it’s those morbid symptoms which I
think we can locate our understanding of whose sovereignty and food security the
other kind of quotation I would begin with is from the Ray is from the late
Samir Amin who noted that capitalism by its nature can’t resolve the peasant
question the only prospects it can offer are a
planet full of slums and billions of to many in quotes human beings capitalism
is becoming barbaric and leads directly to genocide it’s more than ever
necessary to replace it by other development logics which are more
rational and these are the kinds of themes it seems to me that people have
been discussing today and what I propose to do at least in the first hour is is to rate is to raise five questions of
things that I thought about before today and I don’t think anything has happened
in the discussion that has changed my mind from the five questions that I’m
raising and their five questions about food security and food sovereignty and
lay capitalism and here late is referring to the capitalism after 1975
and from that date of course neoliberalism and the capitalism that we
know is one that has been in intense crisis and actually is as Ali suggested
this morning in terminal decline but how we recognize or understand that term
analogy and how we can perhaps try and hasten its demise it’s something that I
think probably all of us in some way or other concerned about and what I want to
also do is to try and link my observations and the questions I raised
in the possibility of a shift in the character of the third world food regime
a third world food regime that was ushered in in 1973 in a period that
effectively since then has been marked by what we could say is the end of
developmental ISM the current period is one where food sovereignty is seen as a
radical alternative to food security and I want to interrogate that a bit food
sovereignty is now discussed almost as much as food security but of course
despite that care is still needed partly because reformers now use the
radical rhetoric of sovereignty as an excuse to extend the food chain
maximized food product diversification especially around organic food as a
proposed alternative to food security or alternatively there is of course the
much more radical food sovereignty that offers an epistemic shift from food
security to capture instead farmer demands that are effectively under no
circumstances would you take my land and use it for anything other than that
over which I make all the decisions about that for me is the premise upon
which radical food sovereignty emerges and from that of course is the
significance of themes related to agroecology social class and social
differentiation in relation to battles against the food giants that we’ve been
looking at in other parts of today so I mean at the outset I suppose I want to
be clear or try and be clear that there seems to be quite a lot of agreement on
the seven principles of food sovereignty these are principles that can be
summarized in terms of affirming food as a human right the need for agrarian
reform natural resource protection shifts in the character of the food tray
piece and democratization and the end of global hunger all those teams are
actually the under the umbrella of food sovereignty the trouble is with those
headings is that it’s a bit like what the Americans call motherhood and apple
pie you can’t possibly be against it the problem is that the first question
really is food sovereignty in fear of being captured by neoliberalism so
that’s the first question I’m posing you really I don’t have the answers we’re
going to kick these around together is food sovereignty in fear of being
captured by neoliberalism we can also offer of course a more radical
interpretation of food sovereignty in late capitalism if we understand the
temporality of capitalism in other words capitalism is not here to stay
and one way of understanding capitalism’s temporality is I propose
and others around this table have done the same as well is to look at the
importance of food regime analysis food regimes and world food systems explain
how the commercial datian of agriculture has spread and
what some of the forms of resistance to that commercialization have been in the
periphery in the periphery of a core in Europe and North America so a food
regime is a rule governed structure of production and consumption of food on
the world scale it’s an analytical framework which is
rooted in an historical analysis of commercial agriculture how it’s grown
who the main actors have been how we understand that growth and how we
understand points of intervention and their promotion of resistance to it but
the important see is that we have an analytical frame within which to bundle
in some of the themes that we’ve looked at today the understanding of historical
processes of the expansion of the global food system is to actually understand
what the limitations are in this region in promoting an alternative to food
import dependency and if I had an overhead I’ll show you a fancy chart or
table which you might be grateful I don’t have the opportunity to show you
because it’s a table effectively to summarize world food systems analysis
and different food regimes one from 1870 to 1914 the second from the 40s until
1973 and the third from 73 until the contemporary period but what I would
what I would have done had there been a PowerPoint would be to talk much more in
more detail to this table to ask you and whether we could collectively together
put a fourth column could we put a fourth of food regime related to the
contemporary period and what would that look like so the second question is it
possible now to see a fourth food regime emerging and what would the
characteristics of that for food regime be are we in a transition to it are we
in a process of accelerated D peasant ization for example
and the possibility for redistribution agrarian reform deepening and extension
of social movements that are having an impact on actually rolling back the
power of the corporates that we’ve been so critical of earlier today so the
forth food regime is perhaps I’m suggesting one that’s characterized by
contestation around a radical food sovereignty dynamic not one seen through
the prism of food as a human right but food as part of socialist developed
development in the 21st century is it premature in capitalists in capitalism’s
crisis to think through what moving from capital centered development which of
course is a term been solving has used very proprietary cently can we move in
this current conjecture of late capitalism can we move from a capital
centered view of development to one orchestrated and organized around labor
and if we can what would it look like what will be necessary to try and
promote that tipping into the fourth food regime one centered around labor in
its early formation would have to immediately address poverty you’d have
to decide how labour can be reproduced more healthily and with choices in a
more democratic state and what would be the necessary continued participation in
the world food economy or the world food system that we might promote the
jettison off from our newly emerging forth food regime crucially how could we
more effectively produce public goods at affordable prices public goods at
affordable prices late capitalism is characterized or underpinned by the
analysis of financialization the financialization of food and agriculture
and recent work by Jennifer clap Andrian Isaacs and
non-speculative harvests not–how financialization now influences of
course the way food is produced how its distributed how its consumed and how
profits are made this is at the core of the contemporary conjuncture of lay
capitalism’s crisis of financialization agriculture since 2008 especially but
before that – but especially since 2008 is now a source of direct capital
accumulation benefiting from earlier patterns of deregulation of markets
speculation in prices new investment projects and these new investment
projects or packages buy equity finance companies like black stocks for example
that of course they would say with some irony but I think actually is just crude
have an investment portfolio called cow Co W with funds in companies like Archer
Daniels Midland Company Tyson’s food and buns which of course is one of the
biggest transporters of grain across the planet
another equity finance company van eck has an another equity fund called mu M
double O and it has significant investments in potash Syngenta and dear
so financialization product prioritizes of course shareholder value and there’s
a concentration and centralization of capital in that process to control the
farm sector literally from the farm to the plate so here you know forgive me
for being bloody obvious as we would say in North London food is a highly
inelastic demand people need food to eat but food is like every other commodity
it has an exchange value and a use value so unless you have the wherewithal to
mr. food you cannot purchase that commodity crucial here is another
obvious Calculon obvious observation I’m being harassed here by the only fly
that’s in this room capitalism is I’m assuming we agree a
historically specific and contradictory mode of production that systematically
produces class inequality crisis and conditions for different types of and
forms of politics so understanding capitalism and food I’m suggesting we
need food regime or food systems frameworks as crucial in exploring
development of center periphery relations and what have become known
more popularly known in the critical literature as agrarian questions
questions of accumulation production and politics so question three is does
agriculture in this region or any other region that you have expertise in have
the capacity to generate food and non-food output that exceeds an amount
necessary for self provisioning there does agriculture in this region have the
capacity to generate food and non-food output that exceeds the the amount
necessary for meeting self provisioning and if it does what are the obstacles
that prevent that from being realized I can imagine many of you or he’ll
obstacles at me for even suggesting that there isn’t enough capacity and
wherewithal to provide surplus in excess of self provisioning but it clearly is
not so why isn’t it what are the obstacles for so doing or does actually
raising that question in that way simply allow us to fall into the old production
astre promoted by the bank and the fund we can ask a slightly
different question namely what rules what rural social classes benefit from
social differentiation and what policy would be needed to ensure a more equal
distribution and consumption of food in the context of what we’ve heard today of
war conflict and high levels of displacement one thing is clear and I
don’t make any apology to refer to the if’ eyes
one thing is clear is that we cannot turn to the eye-fi the international
financial institutions like the bank and the fund for help in fattening answers
to these questions we know has been said already the data in the region is very
scarce for a very obvious political reasons but how do we understand the
impact of carrot and the character of agrarian capitalism in this region the
Near East and North Africa was 60% of all farms or less than one hectare 60%
less than one hectare more than 50% of land is owned by holdings of over ten
hectares there are other stats that one can look at you can question and argue
about the efficacy of them but the issue related to the inequality that they
highlight relates also to the consequences with poor family farmers
poor family farmers and landless and also near landless where dependence upon
wages off farm becomes so important or on other land owned by other farmers in
other words as soon as we begin to analyze the characterization of
inequality we get into a set of social relationships that require us to explore
the process of commercialization crucially to that level of commercial
the consequence of commercialization and a social differentiation that allows us
a window into exploring it also raises political issues of the consequences of
levels of inequality what are the networks that may or may not exist
between landless and near landless and urban social classes not only through
migration and employment but also in terms of access to food and markets
linked to food production distribution and political alliances that can be
forged for social transformation I want to make one comment I have five
minutes according to my clock so I think I can do this reasonably well in time one comment about the role of the bank cause no matter how distasteful one may
find analyzing what they do they remain worryingly influential the World Bank
Group in its global monitoring report 2017 asserted a ridiculously low level
for 1.9 $1 90 poverty level for the many region and that was at a level of 2.5
percent of the population which would make this region on a par with the rest
of Europe scandalously stupid statistic to be publicized by any reputable
organization but there’s an even more chilling World Bank Group Report the World Bank Group’s new economy for the
Middle East and North Africa which is published in October this year makes
absolutely no mention of farming and agriculture and certainly not of
peasants this is a document entitled new economy for the Middle East and North
Africa no mention of the rural sector or the social actors involved the new
economy they talk about is an economy to empower nevertheless
women and youth but how are they going to do it they’re going to do it in the
area of the internet and digital expansion I have a long quote from the
banquet show say I’ve saved all our ears from repeating very good I think we need
to reflect on the I’m convinced we need to reflect on the persistent mission of
the World Bank and of its repeated tropes regarding state inefficiency and
the gains from entrepreneurialism we can note with alarm how the bank now asserts
that the region had it gets better the region the region must now adopt quote a
moonshot approach to development a moon shot at moonshot approach why because
gradualist approaches to change are no longer feasible the region has now got
to adopt quote the style and the impatience of the United States to get a
man on the moon and to quote them I will quote them see I’m gonna put it through
men a moonshot can unite people behind a common goal and transform the ways in
which governments companies international financial institutions and
civil societies conduct business the bank assumes that a digital economy will
create work create jobs it also concedes though that in the period when there was
when there was economic growth between 2005 2010 the economies were precisely
unable to provide employment for an enlarging unemployed capital Cavill
intensive growth in labor surplus economies moreover the language that is
used beyond what I’ve mentioned is also a language very much at the heart of the
1950s modernization Theory basically there are economies in the region that
can be quote unlocked it’s a bit like the Arab Spring just
waiting push for democracy’s it’s waiting to take off and be released if
only it could have the help and assistance of Western democracy the bank
does know that the region have got problems dealing with what they see to
be global mega trends and these are trends that they think the bank will
have trouble keeping up with in particular ideas of interconnectedness
of the globalized world cross-border trade capital and labor mobility but
it’s absolutely no mention again of two million refugees in Lebanon one and a
half million in Jordan more than 250,000 in Egypt so question four should you
decide to accept the challenge question four do we care why should we care about
what it is that the World Bank says and does and perhaps as importantly how do
we fathom the relationships between the World Bank and local political and
economic elites so two things there really is what is it the bank saying how
and why are they saying it with what kinds of consequences on the ground in
relation to macroeconomic issues but link to those macroeconomic outcomes is
who are there political conduits for delivering neoliberalism in this sector
or any other sector and should we be bothered about that can we afford to
exclude an understanding of the bank and the phone the silences of the bank on
food security peasant agriculture consequences of economic reform
environmental transformation war all those issues that are driven by
imperialism all those issues which have been so much our concern or focus today
are of course driven by local clients local class actors local States locals
actions of the bourgeoisie here and elsewhere see see now in Egypt
in he has a lot of competition but the most authoritarian and beastial regime
in a region of authoritarianism and bestiality Sisi is now exacting an
austerity program to try and reverse an external debt almost equal to 40 percent
of the country’s GDP and of course it’s immediately seeking to clobber that
through cuts in crucial food subsidies and transport costs for a working-class
and rural poor how long can regimes get away with that
and what is what is it that will prevent them from getting away with it
that could be another question but it’s not one of this I haven’t written it
down so it’s not one for discussion so finally you know the logic of capitalism
we know is to expand without limits destroy human beings and destroy nature
that was made very clear in the presentations this morning and of course
human beings and the natural world however one constitutes an are the
originators of wealth and yet we live in a society and a social formation that
destroys the creations of that wealth and distributes it according to
political and economic power Samir Amin said that since 1975 we’ve been living
in a period of generalized monopoly capitalism where monopoly capital
controls everything all sectors of life which have now been reduced to zero and
the relative autonomy of agriculture and Industry are now subordinated to the
gains of imperialist monopoly rent an overstatement wherein lies the space and
opportunity for resistance within that hedge anomic force of late monopoly
capitalism for Jason Moore the key feature of the post 75 economic
crisis has been that it has been the difficulty of the capacity of capitalism
to develop access to strategic inputs and those strategic inputs of course are
those inputs which relate to food and labour and other social and economic
transformatory dynamics of late capitalism so the fifth and final
question is slightly more long-winded the fifth and final question is in the
period of him in the in the period of the imperialist triad to use the late
samira means phrase which i think is wonderful the imperialist triad of the
US EU and Japan that manages the world system and dominates key areas of
technology resource access creation and reproduction of financial systems of
exploitation dominance of the arms sector as well as providing for support
from media moguls wherein lies the space for resistance and the promotion of food
sovereignty I should say that one final comment I mean the political trick here
really is not – this isn’t this isn’t a discussion to be optimistic or
pessimistic in it’s a discussion to recognize what some of these objective
forces of the crisis of late capitalism are and what the social forces to
promote a resistance and a transformation of it look like and one
of the core constituencies that we’ve all looked at today as a form of
resistance to these morbid symptoms of late capitalism is a peasantry other
farmers which isn’t to allow us in any way
to be sentimental or romantic about royality was anybody who has ever
stepped 1/2 a foot into the countryside realized that it’s not a harmonious and
certainly isn’t a place to necessarily conjure up or recreate it is instead to
recognize that unless we grasp the importance of sustaining and reproducing
and promoting support for morality we’re all doomed one kick off the discussion by saying
that I think ray you have to add one more question to your 5 questions in
fact it’s a good idea if you start with that question and that is what is food
because I think food is two aggregated by category and the part of the reason
we don’t get any satisfactory answers to the rest of the questions you posed
which are very important questions is because we’re working with the category
which is far to aggregate it I mean food is not just one thing it’s a number of
different things and a country can have enough of one kind of food but not
enough of another for example if we if you take food grains and dairy products
then Europe and America have too much production of food grains and dairy
products but if you’re talking about fruit and vegetables in winter then
either north america nor europe have enough a supplier of that kind of food
and who would say that grains and dairy products are enough for any kind of
balance so obviously the rich industrial north
is surplus in certain types of food but it is grossly deficient in other types
of food and I think unless we recognize this we don’t recognize the actual
dynamic through which food systems so called food regimes operate we don’t
understand the operation of transnational food companies we don’t
understand for example why last me which is just a few months ago the United
States took a complaint against India to the World Trade Organization making an
absurd claim that look India is giving subsidies for rice and wheat which is
far in excess of the de minimis provision of the agreement on
agriculture it says you can’t exceed subsidies to the extent of 10 percent of
the value of your production that is if you take the value of US wheat
production or rice production we can’t get give subsidies more than 10 percent
and the argument that is put forward is utterly absurd because the fact that
costs have risen can forces 1986 to 88 is ignored and the price international
price of wheat and rice which prevailed with them and how long ago is that just
make a calculation 9606 it more than 30 years the International price which
prevailed 30 years ago is then compared to India’s minimum support price and the
difference is about 1,000 rupees a quinta and that is multiplied by the
whole of the output to reach an astronomical figure and they say you’re
supporting giving support to the extent of 60 to 70% of the value of your output
which is just intellectual dishonesty but what can I spend it is would be
given if you posed the first the question and I’m posing what they
basically want is to access our market for their surplus grain so they want
India and other developing countries to give up our own food procurement and
distribution system and rely on impulse of green because they have a surplus of
it so does the European Union I don’t know whether Britain
specifically has along but the EU certainly has on the other hand where
they have a huge deficit is all these things I you know obviously in winter
you don’t produce anything at all so fresh fruit and vegetables in winter
which the transnational companies want to access from our land and from our
agriculture so sorry my question itself became what kind of very long digression
but I think I do think this is very necessary if you’re going to get any
kind of meaningful answers thank you thanks a lot it’s actually it was a
question to have Eve about the force for the regime so I thank you for developing
this point actually well maybe populism should be inside of
you know the rise of Trump with what’s happening with India with the war of
tariffs with China with with all this protectionism coming back so maybe
populism might be an entry point of what power might be hidden behind this fourth
that opposite of what might be we asking for so well something else is actually
very important is also the SDGs we are bombarded with SDGs the sustainable
development goals and beside the World Bank now it’s the cradle of all the
civil society we’ve been in part of it is actually they are claiming that we
want as the G is claiming that by 2031 zero hunger but if we look at it a
little bit like meticulously well for example the 2.3 as the G would ask for
doubling the productivity of farmers and 2.2 point a would increase the
investment and have the eyes so are still in the same continuity of what is
what’s been happening since the second food regime which is the Green
Revolution and all the interests of agribusiness that might be in there so
where where do you situate this and how can we fight and refuse the SDGs as
simple as that something as maybe it was your fifth
question isn’t it Minds me but Iraq is a critique of the food regime is
that we forgot to put the labor history of value inside of it so maybe this
might be an entry point what do you think thank you Ray
you mentioned the US EU and Japan and since I’m from Syria I I just want to
how do you see the differentiation between the shift and the power toward
the east as the role of Russia and China as in the armed conflict in Syria we can
see that the role of Russia is not far away from the US in supporting
authoritarianism or supporting subordination of people actually they
are coordinating on the regional level and in the international level as we can
see during the conflict so this is one side which has who’s the the new power
how this created and how you differentiate between the new emerging
powers the second question is the role of identity politics the cultural
questions or the way that more investing in identity politics which is
complementing the other materialistic approach to think about how this
affecting the people affecting the the farmers and affecting the labor within
the country how you think we have to introduce this in the framework because
we can see that there is a lot of costs for supporting or investing in identity
politics like the cost for war economy or contract economy which is producing
gains for crony capitalists or some of the attorneys will lead to the next it doesn’t get very many of those we’re
not you know thanks for the questions thank you clarifying effectively what is
the relationship between the center and the periphery through through grain
which has been at the heart of which was certainly at the heart of the u.s.
foreign policy after 45 with the use and expansion of public for public law for
18 sorry I’m sorry I’m suggesting that effectively you reaffirm the
significance of grain as a political weapon that was certainly used by the
u.s. after 45 and I think it’s quite clear and Chomsky’s done this ad
infinitum but State Department records after 45 show very clearly how grain
will be used to establish and recreate political clients and that the brouhaha
around the former Soviet Union was precisely brouhaha that the bigger
concern that US State Department has was for maximizing the exert the way in
which grain could be used for a political weapon and to snuff out any
possibility for nationalist revolt so nationalism was the virus that the
State Department wanted to snuff out it wasn’t either the former Soviet Union or
the erosion at the end of hunger I mean your your comment matches I think that’s
thinking behind a couple of these other questions now is this but we know we
know but many others seem less clear on and that is the nonsense that the World
Food Summit have historically always announced I mean it was Henry Kissinger
dr. death no less who in 96 96 or 92 World Food Summit said that within 10
years no man woman or child would go to bed hungry
that was the formal statement in the conclusion of the world who summit the
10 years later there’s another food summit and they’re reducing down the
idea or the Assam the expectation that they can erase
hunger to actually before the end of the and before the end of the decade there
will only be 500 million in the planet who won’t be able to have a sufficient
calorific intake so there is a I think what we have to be cautious of is is
it’s very easy and it’s quite I suppose it’s still important to mobilize around
food as a right and the whole kind of rights agenda that international
agencies are very fond of but actually we know that analytically the food isn’t
we don’t have rights to food we only have the ability to purchase it and
access it through those you suggested though they’ve a theory of value
globally and how that’s accepted between powers in the periphery and at the and
at the core does that mean that we think it’s not important that there has been a
year for family farming in 2013 delfield FAO declared and around which many
important research papers were assembled a lot of international debate and
discussion took place political and social mobilization does that mean that
we wouldn’t throw political support behind that knowing that if silver who’s
the current head of the FAO had enormous political difficulty ensuring that there
could indeed be a year for family farming because the united states were
unhappy with such an idea and very quickly of course after that year of
family farming it became the year of the soil and then the United States and the
agribusiness lobbyists who have incredibly powerful within the AFL were
very helpful I mean I can remember being trapped in a lift with a redneck from
the deep south in the US is there allowed to say that who Rick started
hanging me I didn’t know him from anybody but he started hanging me for
the waste of time at the FAO was spending having a conference on the year
of family farming when the only good thing to be done was to actually put
great conditions very and he was a head of a company that
could help promote that and reduce hunger like that but it was he was an
advocate for the chemical ization of food food food and poverty which was
precisely why DaSilva but the year of family farming on the table and
delivered it but subsequently there is now a decade how many of us here know
that there is we are now in a decade of the family farming just announced by the
u-men what is that part of the political struggle that we engage with a level of
of reform and how do we see the relationship between that and other
types of activism would we support the accompanying Campesina becoming part of
the advisory group within the FAO now which is something DeSilva again has
very radically promoted and advocated for or does the inclusion of such a
group like the Via Campesina inside the tent mean that they will be
automatically being politicized in that in that process I mean it’s a really
important excuse-me political issues do we have a viola is it does it matter
well it would it be important for them to opt out of that I don’t see Russia as
an imperious power period is all I have to say on that there’s a bigger issue with China and
the high level of liquidity and dollar dollar presence because the IMF just
this week has announced that they don’t know exactly how much money China has
lent to the Maghreb and sub-saharan Africa
because of the secrecy deals between Beijing and bilateral lending and yet
the IMF is now being petitioned by states in sub-saharan Africa in
particular for new bilateral arrangement concessional lending rescheduling but
the IMF is doing it blind which they really hate because they like to control
all issues of what they determine is transparency so there is an issue of the
financial weight and power of China which is slightly different from the
strategic military presence of the former Soviet Union in in Syria just to follow up on that since Syria’s
close to is how it is it not also that what you what they the fundamental
understanding these imperial powers is that they control the world financial
and capital flows in a manner that Russia does not and so it is not that this implies that you are you know giving a blank check for all military
action done by Russia for example it simply means that analytically Russia
does it quite absolutely does not stand at the pivotal places of control that’s
why you drew a certain contrast with the scale of financial flows out of China so
that’s just a footnote to make it a bit more intelligible yeah I apologize short
in my response to your intervention by simply saying I do not think Russia is
an imperialist part I don’t party for those reasons that Martha said but also
of course it would go to the heart of what well understands by the conflict in
Syria and the geostrategic position that clearly Russia has as a skin in the game
compared to the Washington’s interest to dismantle a strong nationalist regime
which is what they’ve sought to do in Syria which they’ve done in Libya and
which they seek to do as part of their imperialist adventurism yes so I thanks for the intervention I
would ask you to elaborate a little bit you know we’ve talked about farmers and
we’ve talked about the World Bank but so outside of you know looking purely at
agriculture what could you suggest our additional kind of policy changes that
go hand-in-hand to support farmers so you know if you can give kind of broad
directions we talked about some of this in Indonesia I remember so we talked
about currency exchange we talked about central banks we talked and so I’m
wondering if you can you know sprinkle some of this and obviously it’s a huge
question but directions well I think there are and partly an anticipation to
this kind of question I mean I had I mean there is a there is a debate about
how one can establish and promote the particular pathways to food sovereignty
and I suppose I’m hesitant to simply establish a shopping list because the
shopping list is what famously the IFI is do in what they think should be done
for reform I mean the obvious issues are related to agrarian reform strategies to
limit landlessness produce phillipe the need not for the market create
conditions for subsidies create conditions and policy measures that will
rein in biotechnology but again that’s the motherhood and apple pie thing you
can’t possibly be against that so how is it how does one forge or promote that
agenda of policies how does one create conditions for social ownership identify
what real social need is how can one promote decentralized democratic
planning on the basis of increased knowledge of the participants in the
planning process so decisions are made about allocation
and distribution of resources that are not only democratic but they’re socially
equitable that’s what we I think generally we could we had to sign a
declaration at the end of the day I hope that some of the things that we could
sign off on but what would it mean and how do we get there what are the
political forces that create the conditions for delivering that is it
possible and I mean okay then I’ll go further it’s not rocket science is it
you either have a strong state politically convened and conformed to
deliver this socialist agenda or in the context of either crumbling or fragile
neoliberal states which are varying in their levels of authoritarianism and
secrecy and lack of transparency try and create pockets and opportunities that
won’t become military free zones as in the liberation movements in the 70 but
will create conditions for trying to promote food sovereignty on the ground
amongst them within in between communities so you know Carroll knows
farmers in in the Jordan Valley are people as farmers in Tunisia we know
farmers who create conditions for their own food sovereignty their own seed
sovereignty this is clearly illustrative of the kind of incremental push that
farmers themselves are pushing back on in relation to what they recognize to be
the deleterious consequences of being participants you know in the liberal
market that they understand is screwing them that’s that’s that’s well known but
we don’t what are the alternatives we have a strong state that can clear it
there isn’t one existing on the planet incremental political movements to try
and create the conditions for promoting it yes there are those movements present
but they’re not delivering on large scale so actually one of the questions
would be if this is that if if we can agree an agenda how can we precisely
scale up the knowledge that we have of food sovereignty activists in the
countryside to become much more meaningful and deliverable that would
spread and manage to compete more no I don’t want to use that word compete
because if I say to compete more equally with the marketeers and the biotech
companies then that’s to concede that the ground isn’t it it has to be a
learning process of delivering outcomes which are more beneficial to farmers
than those that they’re currently experiencing create conditions for
policy and policy trance policy delivery that enables farmers lives to be
improved in a way that is a better form of improvement or return to farm labor
than that which is currently in place under neoliberalism in other words how
do we create conditions for rewarding labor and the creation of a promotion of
social need public goods rather than simply those that are driven through the
market because that’s the defining character for me that would be the the
cleavage around the market economy for the market and exchange value rather
than public goods for use value to meet needs on a democratic basis socialism
isn’t it isn’t it question of clarification
because you made the point but it was made so fast I couldn’t quite get it and
that is you referred to a poverty line which gave some 2.1 percent of
population in poverty now which country or region was this referring to sorry it
was the Middle East and North Africa Middle East and North Africa and the
poverty line the World Bank was using was $1 $91 19 years right and that’s
actually in the 2017 World Bank report so it’s quite a current bigger now that
that figure of $1 90 yes contrast to per head that contrasts
with something like narrow for Gani sort Madoff again yes but the use for Europe
or Britain for example they didn’t they just they just they don’t they just say
Europe they themselves say Europe okay I mean there’s no line for Europe or for
the u.s. there are there are poverty lines but they’re not it’s in relation
to national minimum wage not in relation to not in relation to daily allowance
but the point is that that not a fag Annie for example an economist in Egypt
who was the lead author on the UN’s Human Development Report argued that
whilst the bank and the government of Egypt were talking about these kinds of
figures but the rule for poverty he argued that actually more than eighty
percent of rural Egyptians were living on less than $2 a day more than eighty
percent so I mean the contrast between the figures that’s partly because in
Egypt so cap nasty and the Institute for organizing data collection has
run by the military I’m sorry this 80% below this level it’s figured given by
who by a lead author in the UN Development Report
oh that Afghani UNDP okay who’s an Egyptian man kissed a bitch is 2% in
poverty 1.9 percent yeah yes won’t know one point nine dollars two point three
percent I will discuss this so I can I can give you these exact figures I will
give you this no because this is sort of complicated I’ve been working on Indian
poverty figures for a very long time for more than 10 years and the whole thing
is with this poverty line is that you see what they do is they actually take a
base here which is very far back in the past and then the poverty line is
derived for the base here quite correctly the amount that we allow you
to satisfy a nutritional norm but then they don’t apply the same definition
later on what they do is simply update that poverty line by a price index so
you in the case of yeah they don’t apply the same definition definition gets
changed so that’s why in India what we find is the official poverty line is
giving you lower and lower proportion of people in poverty because it’s not a
proper nutrition based poverty line anymore it’s simply a price indexation
of a poverty line which was arrived at forty years ago in 1973 okay and if I we
have very good database in India so when I look at the National Sample Survey
figures from which they do their estimation if I look at the nutrition
figures and then I relate the two and apply the original definition I find
that 75 to 80 percent of the rural population is in poverty as the correct
definition applying the nutrition norm so that’s why I was interested in this
divergence you’re talking about it’s a statistical trick which the World Bank
has been doing and which every national government has been to
for years and years they’ve been taking us for a ride
saying poverty is declining with actually it’s increasing it’s not
decline you should measure it properly thank you requesting again a response
which is actually where do you situate Arab uprising in the third food regime
and where do you situate populism that is rising also and the third food regime
like Trump election war bonds he thought it was happening except to take a
certain distance from the slinging around of the term populism but I’m not
I’m not sure how I would answer they want question in relation to trump and
populism I think that the easier question in relation to the uprisings in
Egypt in Tunisia is to see a direct link between the levels of rural
impoverishment and the increase in political activism and ultimately the
mobilization that toppled the two dictatorships but at the same time it’s
I wouldn’t over egg that if I couldn’t use that terrible English saying I
wouldn’t over stress food and bread riots as the anything other than perhaps
the immediate spark that creates the conditions for mass mobilization and the
toppling of the regime I think in both of the case and this is something that
happy was documented very well in Tunisia but I’ve also looked any in
relation to Egypt one sees the groundswell of the uprising in Egypt
from before 2004 and r7 as if coming to power as a new neoliberal izing prime
minister with the Mubarak and before that the massive
mobilization in the hablar of textile workers so there’s a tremendous drive
from organized working-class mahalo people don’t often understand is the
greatest is a town of the greatest concentration of industrial workers of
anywhere in the Middle East and those workers for more than a decade had been
a pain in the side of the authoritarian regime interestingly there is a recent
report which I didn’t refer to here but it runs alongside an analysis I’ve done
also of the bank which I did mention isn’t it
there’s an interesting report by the Brookings Institute looking at Middle
East poverty and they are much more concerned that persistent poverty in the
contemporary period will create conditions for another uprising this is
from Brookings and and that’s both in Tunisia and in in Egypt so there is a
clear there’s a clear link but I would want to see a longer a view of longer a
on the background and the conditions which create the transformation of both
Tunisia and Egypt rather than just simply the deaths in the bread cubes in
Egypt two years before the uprising any any political regime what you would
think would have enough attention to understand that this is something’s
going wrong but it didn’t and it intensified repression rather than
creating the conditions for releasing it yes I’m going to give the last word to
Habib but before then I want to remind us of course that both Syria and Yemen
had perhaps the biggest mobilization of all by the scale of the population and
by the jury of its holding and we simply don’t incorporate that
shit into understanding speak happy come and answer the the social explosion in
Sidi Bouzid and start the revolution consider the
short time ok because they think much longer but let’s say that let’s consider
this short period of November December 2010 January 2011 it was in Sidi Bouzid
okay and it was about access to land to agricultural sources to natural sources
and to brand the first logon in Sidi Bouzid
after the suicide of Hobart was easy was bread and dignity because how was easy
who was killed ok he didn’t kill himself physically yes
we did but in the process killed him and the process is what it was a process of
limitation of access to food through limitation of access to natural
resources this this the immediate connection reship between food
production and access both and the what happened later in the bruja satin smooth smooth young at the
we Luca della cooler Madonna who were cool man
version Anna Daniel 800 I would like to thank you for setting off such a long
day and having the fantastic stamina to be asking the last series of questions
too so now I think we go to have a bite to eat everyone

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