Famine relief as a Trojan horse for the European farming industry

Thoughts on world hunger, the climate crisis, the paradox of our current global economy and an unconditional basic income.

Guest Comment by Ilse Kleinschuster

Tina Wernsberger (client lead for climate, women’s rights and smallholder rights at Information and Action Network on Food Priority Austria) describes paradoxically how the global economy operates in her guest comment very lively.

Notable contemporaries have known for a long time that it is not “too little” food, but “too much” that causes the global dilemma of an unfair and unsustainable diet. FIAN, the international organization for the right to food with many subsidiary organizations around the world in consultative status at the United Nations, has been trying to confront this disastrous dilemma for a very long time.

So it is time for the EU Commission, with its “Green Deal” and “Next Generation EU” package, to put the European agricultural industry’s call for “starvation aid” in place. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should make government officials stand up and take notice when it states that “unsustainable agricultural expansion increases the vulnerability of ecosystems and people.”

The increasing number of famines in many parts of the world shows how badly this model of continuing to produce food as before has failed, and should be evidence that a prerequisite for long-term security against malnutrition and hunger is fundamental nutritional change: “According to the report, The transition to agroecology and the strengthening of food sovereignty “is the only way to achieve long-term food security”.

Now, with the latest IPCC Climate Report, it has become clear to many people that action against climate catastrophes must be strengthened. More and more initiatives dedicated to this topic are being formed in Austria. However, from the perspective of the goals now available to us for sustainable global development – United Nations Sustainable Development GoalsThe SDGWith many sub-goals – it is important to have a basic understanding of the areas that need to be closely examined and taken into account if we really want to change the world.

With this deeper understanding, Harald J. Orthaber took off years ago. With his many years of independent scientific work, he developed an ingenious concept that – once understood and accepted as a project in progress – could possibly change our world – by design, not by disaster! Together with a growing team and other relevant collaboration partners, he wants to continue to pursue relevant subprojects (such as ProNaWi) as well as high-level projects (such as the FairNaWi Economic Community) on several project paths—to help put this vision into action. In the course of the process – often to the surprise of the participants themselves – a paradox appears in relation to other alternatives, which are inherent in such changes in the system as a result of a change of perspective.

The paradox of our current global economy

Ultimately, the project is based on an incremental description of changing the social, political, financial and political system, and in its context the current debate on Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) It also plays an important role. This regime change, morally imposed by the misery of many people and their environment, ultimately means “turning upside down” the current situation. Not only our social coexistence must change, but also our related conditions. First of all, innovative thinking lies in the idea of ​​a universal basic income, if it is seen as a separation between gainful employment and livelihood security.

Thinking further – can we not imagine the possibility of creating personal funds – as an inalienable basic right – in place of a basic income? Doesn’t creative power usually come from individuals!?! The money is then created by those who want to get the work done. However, the money goes to those who work – in line with the general understanding of an equitable distribution of benefits. So I totally thought the wrong way when you present people’s universal basic income as unearned income.

Ironically, the effect will be the same. This would establish an essential resource for all—and even more—not money that people chase, but the purposeful work that themselves and others desire, cooperation. So this kind of money creation will be particularly business related. Then the boring question of UBI funding is no longer asked. Debt money will become an appreciation of money, and competition for wages will become cooperation among workers. Furthermore, converting into a currency would – in effect – have to be removed from these system considerations to create value-preserving money, in order to keep the value of the accounting unit independent of the money supply (inflation-free!). This will return to the always stable basis of labor time accounting, which can eventually be traced back to every human economic system.

And last but not least, this causal system can also be constantly pushed into the existing system, sometimes for practical and practical reasons, and thus implemented in a real economy. The fact that an ecological solution – a sustainable lifestyle using a resource management tool – has also been brought with this change in the monetary system will not only be a special treat, but an urgent necessity. Similar to the currently politically launched socio-environmental tools, such as the allocation of certificates and other trade opportunities (to mitigate climate catastrophe!), this would create an economic right to equitable access to natural resources (energy and food) – only with the difference that all people can If they use it directly they will be equipped and thus will be provided with basic care.

So this is a stand-alone concept that combines work and the environment in a unique way and ensures the long-term quality of people’s lives and their environment. I think with the implementation of such a concept, famine relief would not have to remain a Trojan horse.


This publish It debuted in a slightly modified form in the online version of Wiener Zeitung on April 28, 2022

Cover Photo: Vince Vera on Unsplash

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