TENS of thousands of people are making plans to travel to Scotland at the beginning of July to demonstrate against world poverty.
Sarah Sachs-Eldridge, International Socialist ResistanceThe representatives of the world’s rich elite, the G8, will be meeting in a five-star luxury hotel in Gleneagles. In the four days that they are there, 120,000 African children will die from poverty, caused by the profit system which these politicians support.
Explaining why the US would not be increasing its aid to Africa, Bush said, “It doesn’t fit our budgetary process” – a process which includes a plan to waste almost half a trillion dollars on military and war this year.
In A Blueprint for Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank Brett Schaeffer, of the arch-conservative think-tank, the Heritage Foundation, argues against providing more aid to the poorest countries on the planet. He claims if countries will not embrace policies which free up trade, then their economic situation will not change no matter how much aid is poured in.
Schaeffer points to “heavy state intervention” as one of the crimes of poor countries which stand in the way of what he sees as healthy economic development. Apparently he fails to see any irony in this claim.
American cotton farmers receive US$3.9 billion (Â£2 billion) a year in government subsidies – more than the entire GDP of Benin (161 out of the world’s 177 poorest countries) and three times the annual amount the US gives in aid to Africa.
The WTO has ruled that this huge chunk of state intervention is illegal, but aid agencies believe that the Bush administration has little intention of scrapping it.
These enormous subsidies to mainly the richest farmers in the US are certainly one of the causes of the huge economic chasm between the rich and poor. When this is coupled with the privatisation schemes, massive exploitation and oppression of workers and poor by the multinational corporations it goes some way to explaining poverty.
Gordon Brown is asking us to go on bended knee to Edinburgh to beg the G8 leaders to help the poor in Africa. But the G8 are incapable of making poverty history. They do the bidding and ease the way of the fat-cat corporations who salivate at the thought of privatising and profiteering throughout the world from the poorest to the richest countries.
If we want to make poverty history we have to make the system which presides over it history. Capitalism is based on profit and sustaining the profit system.
Make capitalism history. Make socialism our future!