The new campaign is more nuanced and less celebrity-dominated (no Geldof, yet). The slogan “Enough food for everyone if …” allows a useful cascade of information about the obstacles to be overcome. It is emphasising that money alone is not the answer. It highlights the role played by politics and governance: tax avoidance that robs governments of rightful income, clearing small farmers off the land to grow biofuels rather than locally consumed food, the lack of openness that fosters corruption.
It gets even weirder…
And it is pushing in an established direction of travel. At Davos last week, the World Economic Forum launched a report, Achieving the New Vision for Agriculture, advocating supporting subsistence farmers as “change agents”. The peasant, declared dead only a year or two back, has been miraculously revived. And David Cameron’s backing it. Attention at the G8 is guaranteed.
Subsistence farmers are “change agents”? The peasant has been miraculously saved? Really?
I really don’t get it at all. What is this fascination with the peasant lifestyle? This desire to trap hundreds of millions in it for evermore?
We’ve all escaped it and we’re all damn glad we have. So why this delight that Mbutu and his sons are going to have to do it for untold generations into the future?
Exactly. Back braking work, disease, hunger, sky high infant mortality rates and an early death. What’s so glamorous about the peasant lifestyle?
Without any peasants to campaign for, the glamorous, the global elites will have to find a different cause to champion. And finding one will take work; and work is decidedly unglamorous.