Small Brasilian farmers are often evicted from the land they farm on share-cropping. With their families, under very difficult conditions, they are obliged to migrate to the virgin lands of the north and west of Brazil which, sparsely populated, generally belong to the State. They cultivate food crops, beans, manioc... they are called "poseiros".
Often, when they have started installing lanes and roads, appear false landowners, with false papers, who try to chase away the poseiros. These false landowners are rich and powerful. They start by using intimidation, they resort to the corruption of judges, and if this is not enough, they destroy the villages and kill the men.
The poseiros oppose passive resistance, or inquire about their rights to "land lawyers" because Brazilian law states that land belongs to the person who has farmed it for several years. Faced with violence, they demand police protection. But the police, badly equipped and often corrupt, is powerless before the bands of well-armed "pistoleiros" paid by the usurpers.
All things considered, there are two possible attitudes for the despoiled poseiros :
±For the vast majority : flight. They run away to ±the "favella", the shanty towns round the big ±Brazilian cities. There they meet misery and ±humiliation. The men rush after jobs which are ±often temporary and very poorly paid. the women ±become prostitutes ; the children do small jobs ±to survive. One child out of two dies befvore ±the age of 20. Unemployment reigns. There is no ±social protection in case of illness or ±accident.
±Others choose mass resistance, thanks to the ±support of professional unions, of basic chruch ±communities and a network of solidarity ±comprising among others non-government ±organizations and information and education ±groups. They try a new organization with work ±for all on an equal basis.
WHEREFORE THIS SITUATION ?
First of all we must consider what happens in the country.
The poseiro is evicted from his land because of speculation : land in Brazil is one resource which does not devaluate (in this country annual, monetary inflation exceeds 200 %) Speculation rests on a triple exploitation of Brasilian territory with a view to obtain large benefits :
±farm development oriented towards crops for ±export :
± - speculative crops whose prices are fixed
± by the Stock Exchanges of rich countries (coffee, cocoa..)
± - food for livestock destined for rich countries (soya).
±mining development to supply the industries of ±rich countries (iron, bauxite, gold, silver, ±manganese...)
±small industries : basic transformation of ore, ±assembly plants under licence, poluting ±industries.
Most of these activities are called : "of little added value" ; they yield little for the investment required. All are for export.
WHY MUST BRAZIL EXPORT ?
To pay its gigantic foreign debt (100 billion dollars). The debt comes from loans contracted to equip the country with a view to install the multinational companies of rich countries : roads, dams, harbors, power supply.
In this way the economy of Brazil is alienated ; this country like many others of the "Third World" has given priority to production for export while it cannot even feed the whole of its population. Yet Brazil is extremely rich : it could feed 400 million inhabitants, whereas there are only 120 million people.
WHY THESE ECONOMIC CHOICES ?
In fact Brazil DOES NOT CONTROL ITS OWN DECISIONS, any more than the poseiro controls his land.
Where the money is, lies the power of decision and both can be found :
* in rich countries, the headquaters of Stock ºExchanges and multinational companies,
* in the large international banks (amongst ºwhich is the so-called WORLD BANK and in ºparticular its instrument known under the name ºof "International Monetary Fund" where the rich ºonce again are the lawmakers.
The description of the situation of a certain category of Brazilian peasants which whill be the object of the text hereafter, should be taken as an illustrative example. .
Therefore, the dispossessed Brazilian peasant is the victim of economic forces at work in his country. Brazil is not in charge of its own development, we will examine why here.
º Today the world of men appears to be ºorganized in two groups as :
* a "CENTRE" formed by "developed" countries, ºthat we shall call R.R. : "rich regions"
* an "OUTER RING" formed by the "Third World", ºthat we shall call E.D.R. "economically ºdominated regions".
In fact it is not quite so simple, because the RR comprise an important centre with its own outer-ring, and the E.D.R. consist of a very small centre and an immense outer-ring : to what does this correspond, and how does it function ?
RR = 1/3 of humankind
E.D.R. : 2/3 of humankind.
*The centre of RR is characterized by an important concentration of population, industry and money... therefore POWER. It is a point of "economic development".
* The RR outer ring is :
* The centre of E.D.R. resembles in a smaller way, the centre of RR. Concerning only a minority fraction of the EDR population, it is mainly an enclave of import-export.
* The EDR outer ring ; this is where, in compagny with our Brazilian peasant, are to be found hundreds of millions of human beings engaged in poorly-paid occupations, and affected in various degrees by the most scandalous evil of our time : malnutrition.
Between the RR and the EDR exist important and unbalanced exchanges : in fact the produce sold by the dominated to the rich (raw materials, power, speculative goods, livestock food) allow these latter to create even greater wealth (finisched products) while the rich sell to the dominated countries product which is a source of dependence : expensive food products, advanced technology, one-way cultural information, military aid.
Moreover the investments by the multinational companies in the E.D.R. are returned a "hundredfold" by transfering their profits to the RR, thus the centre of EDR plays a leading part in the control of the RR over the EDR.
However between the outer ring of RR and EDR are put in place different networks of exchanges based on solidarity. That is where along with numerous "non-governmental organizations" (N.G.O.) the World Community Fund Against Hunger functions.
This last point is urgent, because the dominant system destroys its own base :
²- in generating more and more poor people, it ²restricts the demand (the number of purchasers) ²and stifles the production of the rich ;
²- in exploiting extensively the resources of the ²planet, it leads to their rapidly becoming ²exhausted ;
²- in developing social insecurity, it furthers ²demographic increase, as in Europe until the end ²of the 19th c.
²- in arousing the anger of the impoverished, it ²causes the setting up of repressive regimes ²which betray Human Rights.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN ?
All this started when, by using its own resources, Europe was able to control its famines. The intensification of agriculture and the increase in population combined the right conditions for industrialisation. Since then industry has competed more and more with agriculture and caused the drift from the land.
From this first imbalance resulted colonisation, first of all an attempt to seek elsewhere cheaper product, then the means to extensively exploit the planet in favour of the development of Europe, then that of North America.
In the 20th c. the industrialisation of agriculture in industrial countries has caused a new imbalance, overproduction , prices not compensating investments. So, again, a search for new foreign outlets. This is why by means of "aid" and "formation of the elite", the RR contrived to export the American-European type of consumption towards the EDR. these "elites" have formed the centre of EDR.
thus we have reached, for historical reasons, a situation of planetary division of labour whose roots are found in the RR, and which assigns to EDR, the subsidiary role of supplying low cost raw materials, and consuming very expensive finished products.
All this takes place in an environment where the political powers responsible (confronted with votes, public opinion, revolutions) but national (their authority only extends to their territory) have practically no influence on the economic power (money, whose only rule is to produce even more money), irresponsible and transnational : money makes compete among each other to obtain conditions more suitable for themselves.
So because of these mechanisms, an increa-sing number of peasants, fishermen, breeders, craftsmen but also the poor people in the rich countries lack food and do not live a decent life.
From these observations the philosophy, objectives and the means of action of the WORLD FUND have been bord. We will explain them shortly.
3. THE ANSWERS OF WORLD COMMUNITY FUND
² means of action.
The solutions to the problem of hunger have not the least chance of success unless they correspond exactly to its nature. Judge by yourselves
To large sections constitute the phiulosophy of the WORLD FUND :
º* to eliminate chronic food shortage, ºpopulations must be helped to regain the means ºto feed themselves : be on their own and live by ºtheir own.
º* to eliminate the relationship of dependency of ºEDR as regards RR the nature of relationships ºbetween different human societies must be ºreconsidered.
These two aspects are mutually dependent : one does not go without the other.Let us explain:
The first section tends to favour the setting-up of conditions of development ensuring in the best way food self-sufficiency of the populations. It comprises :
É- technical aspects, the fight against natural ºcalamities, population drain, the well - thought º- out choice of lproduction systems, the ºallotment of the most fertile lands to the ºappropriate food crops, the maintaining of ºnatural balance ;
É- social aspects, recovery byt the most under-ºprivileged of their means of word (remember our ºBrazilian peasant whose means of work is the ºland, which was stolen from him ; another ºexample : le craftsman"s traditional knowledge) ºand the recovery of their power of decision on ºthe use they wish to make of it ; reconstitution ºof balanced local and regional economic systems º(no domination) ; the setting-up of collective ºor cooperative systems guaranteeing the rights ºof the individual ; a balanced demographic ºevolution.
The second tends to substitute sharing cooperation between human groups in place of the deadly competition we now know.
É- the wealth and the divertisy of human culture ºmust be safeguarded and maintained ;
É- each human group must be able to freely choose ºits own mode of living (administration, ºdevelopment, culture) in the full exercise of ºits responsibility ;
É- human societies, with natural resources, must ºbe allowed to exchange among each other without ºa relationship of domination/dependency.
These two sections have determined the objectives and means of action of WORLD FUND : defined in 8 articles in the statutes, the main objectives can be summed up thus :
±* to fight agains hunger in favouring
± food self-sufficiency ;
±* increase the food resources of mankind
± by supporting research and its
± applications, and respecting ecosystems
±* to incite the setting up of true
± collective or cooperative mechanisms of
± production, stocking and distribution
± of basic goods.
±* top make men able to sharing by
± education and information ;
±* to incite by thie example, the
± setting-up of a real world institution
± of sharing ;
±* to institutionalize sharing by means
± of a world tax against hunger.
Never has an institution aimed so far in the field of sharing, or as high in its confidence in man.
To challenge the problems in a more and more complex world, the means of action of the WORLD FUND is based on the triple choice of mundialism, federalism and mutualism.
Because the dimension of the problem is WORLD-WIDE. The WORLD LFUND ignores frontiers. Beyond these it is based on individuals with no reference to nationality, ideology or religion. To the transnationa irresponsibility of money, it opposes the transnational responsibilité of men. It is placed under the competence of the PEOPLES'CONGRESS.
Because each human society must freely choose its destiny : UNITE WITHOUT STANDARDIZATION is the condition of real transnational sharing. The WORLD LFUND will littlke by little be organized in regions as homogenous as possible. These regions are destined to administer themselves and will be federated to decide together the solutions to problems in common.
Because true sharing, which respects tghe dignityh ofd the Human being, implies that each should be both giver and receiver in proportion to his or her means and needs. Each member exercises hi or her individual responsibility and also his or her individual rights, equal to all. Each member is in this way owner of the WORLD FUND. Thus, we can understand how it works.
4. RESOURCES AND BENEFITS OF THE WORLD FUND
THE RESOURCES OF WORLD FUND :
The fundamental resources of the WORLD COMMUNITY FUND which guarantee reciprocity of solidarity are constitued by the subscriptions of its members.
The minimum amount of subscriptions is based on justice and is the symbol of the fight against hunger : it is the equivalent of one day's food allowance, paid every year.
This subscription is estimated by everyone according to income and conscience. This method of calculation guarantees perfect equality between members of the WORLD FUND, whatever their situation or contribution.
This is the prefiguration of the World tax the WORLD FUND advocates in its statutes. Of course, the tax we speak of here is not a blind poll tax, it is the equitable participation of everyone for the good of all.
The other resources of the WORLD FUND are on one hand gifts and grants (no pressure is made), on the other hand the repayments of loans it has granted. True to the mutualist spirit, the WORLD FUND makes no profit, all its resources are re-assigned to solidarity.
THE BENEFITS OF THE WORLD FUND
The WORLD COMMUNITY FUND finances the implementation of projects whose objectives conform with the statutes.
The projects are defined by the beneficiaries themselves.
A "Contract of Solidarity" concludes the agreement between the WORLD FUND and the beneficiaries.
Financing always includes two parts :
* a grant : it is the incentive which will stimulate the archievement of the project. The grant is entirely and permanently given to the beneficiary.
* a loan : which makes the beneficiary responsible toward solidarity : because the sums repaid to the WORLD FUND are immediately re-invested in other projects. The loan bears no interests.
The proportions of grant and loan are proposed by the beneficiaries as also the repayment of loans. In no case must the repayment of a loan put the realisation of a project in difficulty. For this reason, it is always renegociable on the initiative of the beneficiary.
Also, written the limit of 20 % of its resources the WORLD FUND can finance emergency food aid to populations so striken by calamities that the implementation of projects is impossible for them.
The WORLD FUND refuses to use more than 15 % of its resources for administrative functionning costs and publicity. This is why its bulletin and documents are not luxurious or showy. MONEY MUST BE USED FOR MUTUAL AID.
This rigour, unique to our knowledge, explains why at least in its starting phase, the functionning of the WORLD FUND relies on the unselfish volonteer work of its members.
This is why the WORLD FUND's only way of prospering is by the ACTIVE WILL of mutualists who ensure publicity around themselves.
The mutualists, who have joined the WORLD FUND, or will understand that the sucess of such an enterprise depends on a great number of people joining.
translators : V.CORFDIR, S.FISHER
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