A handful of rice

Japan is about to send 20,000 tonnes of rice to five African countries, according to a report in the May 23rd Dominion Post. This contribution to help ease the global food crisis sounds generous. In fact, Japan’s present stockpile of surplus rice amounts to 2.23 million tonnes. Japan’s donation to Africa is less than one percent of their surplus.As the feature article in the June issue of the Spark, “Lies and truth about Food Prices” makes clear, there is no global food shortage. There is only a shortage of political will to fix the problem.

Capitalist countries fear that rebellion from desperate starving people will disrupt their profit making. That’s why they’ve been driven to toss a few crumbs in the direction of those in want. But those few crumbs are as far as capitalism will go. The history of the capitalist system is a history of starvation in the midst of plenty. During the potatoe famine, Ireland exported food. During the great depression, mountains of fruit were destroyed while American sharecroppers went hungry. As long as the capitalist system operates, profit will be put before every human need, including the need of poor people to eat.

The Spark is produced as a part of the international struggle to destroy the inhuman system of capitalism and replace it with a planed democratic society run by working people.

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