More than 4,000 farmers have killed themselves in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh since a programme of free-market measures was implemented by a “hardline liberalising regime” with the help of a £1.65m grant from the Department for International Development (DfID).
A study for Christian Aid claims that the dramatic increase in the suicide rate, which saw 2,115 farmers take their lives last year compared with 588 in 2003, is directly linked to British support for policies joining aid to economic liberalisation in developing economies.
(Source: The Independent)
“Economic liberalisation” is the euphemism for “rapacious free-market capitalism,” the tying of aid money to working practices which are disastrous for the people being given aid.
The previously beneficial departments providing subsidised machinery and seeds were shut down under this “liberalising” programme. What should the poor farmers do now? Why, grow cash crops and all become millionaires in the wacky world of global capitalism! All they needed to do was buy all the paraphenalia of commercial farming, as opposed to the subsistence farming they’d been carrying out:
Research found that farmers in Andhra Pradesh who had traditionally grown their own food were persuaded between 1999 and 2004 to swap to cash crops and incurred large debts which they were unable to pay due to wildly fluctuating global prices.
The result has been a catalogue of family tragedies among thousands of peasant farmers who were forced to approach unscrupulous money lenders to fund fertilisers, pesticides and water boreholes that produce little or no financial return.
Among the methods of suicide chosen by victims has been to drink the pesticide they hoped would transform their economic prospects.
(Source: The Independent)
Have a read of the full article, linked to above. It’s a horrible example of the true nightmare of the capitalist myth, what happens to average people once socialism gets hacked away by the Adam Smith-quoting barbarians.
This is what capitalism does: it robs people of common land, of common resources and then sells a corrupted, packaged version back to the people, at no benefit apart from profits for the thieves. In Andhra Pradesh, the capitalists dismantled the tiny oases of socialist support and the result is thousands of dead farmers. Another glowing victory for the free-market.
These are the same capitalists who are looking to dismantle our socialist healthcare system here. Why? It’s simple: if the money flows from taxpayer -> government -> NHS, where can they weasel their way in? But take away the NHS, hobble it so it becomes unusable and people will be forced to turn to private healthcare.
The result will be the same as in India: death and despair for the ordinary people but fat pockets for the exploiters.