2007-10-21 17:07:00 UTC
entitled 'Re: Socialists of the world, Unite!' The reason for this re-
posting is that I was doing some further research on the subject of
industrialized agriculture. (I am currently reading Upton
Sinclair's 'The Jungle' whilst simultaneously reading 'The Omnivors
Dilema' by Michael Pollan.) As such I was revisiting my original post
to gather information (the table in the index)when it occured to me
that not one fellow socialist had replied to my original post.
It further occured to me that as current postings appear to be
somewhat long on 'how many angels can dance on a pinhead' and
somewhat short on any substantive discourse( my subjective opinion-ha
ha ha)that I would recycle this post.
Anyhoo, I simply want to throw this back into the ring to see if
the underlying idea behind Pieter Lawrence's posting--finding
socialist solutions to capitalist problems without producing some
(dreaded) blueprint for future socialists to follow, would galvanize
socialists to both that idea as well as to emphasising our prime
objective: disseminating socialist ideas and making socialists.
here we go......
Re: Socialists of the world, Unite!
Pieter Lawrence, in his excellent post (29587) suggested that a
good way for socialists to educate the world about socialism would
be to demonstrate how much of a difference socialism could make to
present day society, rather than to simply speculate over some future
" Positive, practical socialism should be the main content of our
case and without it our movement cannot expect to make progress but
let me giv(e) an example of the work that can be done. Probably
the worst problem suffered by humanity is poverty and malnutrition.
It's getting worse. In 1975 435 million people were seriously
undernourished. In 2000 this number had risen to 825 million.
The basis of food production is cereal production (and has been
since the agricultural revolution) We can say what is current world
cereal production. We can project a figure by which it should be
increased. We could propose the world organisation required to get
Paul Azzario (Wageslave) replies:
As Pieter Lawrence suggested using agriculture as an example, I have
been researching world agricultural statistics using the United
Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation's excellent statistical
data program `FAOSTAT'. This data base is astonishing in its size, as
it encompasses every nation and every crop produced on the planet.
With this data base you can determine almost any agricultural
statistic that you can conceive. I wanted to determine the
global production yield of selected major crops in comparison to the
area of land needed to grow 'feed' for agricultural herd animals.
My hypothesis is that we could eliminate human starvation by
replacing the amount of crop lands dedicated to growing feed for
livestock with land to grow food directly for human consumption.
Secondly, if this was possible, how much would we need to
reduce land used for animal `feed' in order to eradicate human
Firstly I would like to point you to a chart that I have compiled of
my research. It is located at:
scroll all the way to the end. (World Agricultureal Production)
I would also like to make the following caveats. I am not an
agricultural expert, so I am just putting this data out there for
future debate. I have a feeling that some of the data will be
incorrect for various reasons. The most obvious (to me) being that
the data for certain crops like sunflower seed cakes, and indeed
all `cake' crops, may well turn out to be simply by-products of
other crops e.g. sunflower oil. I am not sure of this, as I was
unable to find whether these two crops would constitute `double
accounting' where it comes to calculating total land area usage.
Explanation of the table:
Col.1 is the name of the crop
Col.2 is the total metric tonnage produced in 2002.
Col.3 is the total metric tonnage of that crop produced specifically
for animal `feed'
Col. 4 is the percentage of feed produced per crop
Col. 5 is the total area of the crop
Col. 6 is area of each crop grown
The total at the bottom of col.5, (1,175,935,500 hectares)
represents 76.33 % of all arable land and land used for permanent
crops in 2002 (1,540,572,000 ha.)
As can be seen, there are a total of over 523 million hectares
of farm land devoted purely to growing animal food, or 44.49% of all
total farmland! Put another way, this is more than all the land used
to grow the entire worlds supply of the following crops: Wheat,
Barley, Corn (Maize), Soybeans, Oats and Potatoes!
Whilst I am not suggesting that socialism will mandate
vegetarianism, I am suggesting that socialism will be able to feed
all of humanity by simply decreasing our meat and dairy production.
If we were to cut land use for animal feed by 30 percent for
instance, we would be able to double world production of
corn and oats.
The beauty of this demonstration, as Pieter Lawrence stated, is
that this is not some utopian, futuristic ideal, but a concrete
example of how socialism would change things for the better in the
here and now should society be re-organised to reflect the emphasis
of human need as opposed to the bank accounts of a handfull of muli-
It is this that Mike Lepore stated that we should be
publicising to the media in order to promote socialism as a
practical alternative, and it is exactly this that I stated (in
concurrence) as a way of unifying the various factions within
socialism by means of emphasising the `macro-socialist' ideas as
opposed to squabbling over the `micro-socialist' details that
the neophyte is unable to understand.
Yours for Socialism;