Category Archives: Environment

Monsanto, Settlers Inadvertently Create New Superweeds

Monsanto, Settlers Inadvertently Create New Superweeds

(www.antiimperialism.wordpress.com)

Over a decade ago, Monsanto made a supposed breakthrough. The idea was simple: sell both genetically-modified seeds and herbicide which would kill all other plant-life. It was marketed with great success to Amerikan farm-owners as a low-cost, high-output alternative to traditional agricultural methods. Critics called it “Frankenfood.” Now, Monsanto and Amerikan farm-owners are acknowledging one recent consequence of genetically-modified crops: superweeds.

Weeds, often those long native to the Americas, have long plagued Amerikan farm-owners. However, new superweeds are resistant to Monstanto’s herbicide, greatly diminishing the usefulness of their twin products, and in some cases grow much larger and quicker than their native ancestors. Farm-owners claim the evolution of superweeds has set their practices back by twenty years.(1) In a video from ABC News, a white guy explains the new weeds can damage heavy machinery while Blacks are shown in the fields doing manual labor.(2)

Monsanto claims a solution is only years away: newer genetically-modified seeds and stronger, sometimes older herbicides, such as 2,4-D, a main component of Agent Orange.(3)

On the surface, it’s hard to explain why Amerikan farmers chose to douse their field with stronger herbicides each year. Amerika is hardly short of food. The majority of the US population is overweight or obese, and around 40-50% of all produce grown in the US goes uneaten.(4) Neither are Amerikan farmers compelled by any feeling of altruism towards the masses of people who are underweight and genuinely malnourished throughout the world. That Amerikan farms overproduce food does little to help your average starving African.

In fact, the opposite is true.

As part of the globalized economy and along with subsidies Amerikan farm-owners receive (both in the form of vast amounts of stolen land and cash from the US government), local, largely autonomous economies have been undermined and destroyed. As a result, hundreds of millions of people have been kicked off of their lands, often their only means of day to day survival, resulting in greater food insecurity throughout the Third World. Exploiters’ quest for profits have caused great pain to the world’s masses. Superweeds are a minor problem compared to any number of plagues imperialism has unleashed.

Imperialism is a system which can not rule without destroying local communities, traditional economies or global ecology. While the world’s masses may never recover everything exploiters have stolen or destroyed, a new world can be built, free from this menacing system. It is out of the ashes of a world imperialism is destroying that the struggle for a mutually and equally beneficial order can emerge victorious.

While over the long run this struggle will benefit humanity in its very ability to survive, the task of building a new world rests mainly on those exploited by imperialism, who have “nothing to loose but their chains.” This group resides mainly in the Third World. At most, a small minority from imperialist First World countries will line up to fight on the side of revolution. Nonetheless, the exploited and their allies must press forward, facilitating the destruction of imperialism and creating of a new, revolutionary global society. Despite everything imperialism has thus far stolen or corrupted, it will be the people who own the future.

Sources:

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-cka5s4AqE

3. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704025304575284390777746822.html

4. http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Supply-Chain/Half-of-US-food-goes-to-waste.

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New Pamphlet: Environment and Revolution

Released by People’s War Press, Environment and Revolution, is a collection of articles by the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement and our allies at Monkey Smashes Heaven.

Click here for 8 page PDF

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In Indian, Forests Grow with Naxalite People’s War

In India, Forests Grow with Naxalite People’s War

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

A new report has stunned and embarrassed imperialism and Indian compradors: forests are growing in tribal areas controlled by Naxalites, India’s Maoist-inspired revolutionaries. Some of the districts in which the Naxalites are based, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, have seen remarkable greening, leading to a marginal net gain of forests throughout India. Though it has received little media attention, the news came shortly before world leaders met in Copenhagen, purportedly to discuss curbing global climate change.

Naxalites claim they are fighting for the economic and social rights of India’s poorest. Their social base is the country’s peasants, forest-dwelling peoples and, to a lesser extend, the urban poor and sections of the intelligentsia. The Naxalite movement began as a peasant insurrection in 1967 against the ruling ‘Communist’ Party of India in West Bengal. It was led by leftist opposition within the Party, influenced by Maoism, then at its revolutionary height during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Today, Naxalites operate in over one-third of Indian and are organized into a number of groups. They claim to be carrying out a people’s war: leading guerrilla offensives against government forces, building independent bases of power and providing greatly-needed social reforms in areas under their control. Naxal base areas are said to be rich in iron, coal, bauxite, gold, uranium, magnesium and diamonds. Mining Companies are reluctant to enter these areas and it has been reported the investors have been scared away in areas where the Naxal presence has increased.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has called Naxalism the country’s greatest internal security threat. In September of 2009, the Indian state launched Operation Green Hunt, a two-year military offensive against the Naxalite movement involving over 100,000 troops. Since 2005, the Indian state has funded anti-Naxal militias. The Indian media has also launched a public relations offensive against the revolutionaries. The Naxals are often called criminals and murderers. Rather than fighting for social welfare, the Indian state claims the Naxals seek political power.

For their part, the Naxals openly state they desire political power, saying they cannot reasonably implement necessary social changes without it. They say they have been pushed to this position from decades of exploitation and state violence and claim their own violence is defensive, aimed at compradors, government forces and other enemies of the people. It is estimated that 42 percent of Indians currently live under the international poverty line of $1.25/day (PPP).

Imperialism has nothing to offer but its own wretched self-preservation. The comprador Indian state has been adamant. India’s poor will suffer deepened and widened exploitation, continued division and sale of communal lands, the building of more ‘Special Economic Zones’ and the militarism necessary to enforce these measures. At the same time, in Copenhagen, imperialists haggle over who’s going to profit from the devastating climate change they acknowledge they’re creating.

Imperialism breeds resistance. The Indian Naxalites are fighting for a system which operates around the needs of people, not capital accumulation. It should be of no surprise that areas under their influence have seen growth in forest coverings. Revolutionary struggle and social change, as the Naxalites are attempting carrying out in swaths of India, are the only real solutions to global climate change.

Sources:
http://indianvanguard.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/maoist-areas-see-green-cover-rise/01-12-2009-001-020/
http://www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Interviews/KishenjiInterview-091113.pdf
http://india-forums.com/news/article.asp?id=214457
http://www.thehindu.com/2009/10/12/stories/2009101257690100.htm

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Program of the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement

We want to smash this world and build a new one. Today, the median global income stands around $2.50 a day. Over 1 billion people face chronic hunger and a child dies every five seconds of starvation. This same situation is killing the planet at an unprecedented rate. Meanwhile, a global minority lives in comfort, unconcerned with their effect on the world. We aim to change this.

We understand that there is a causal relationship between wealth on one hand and poverty on the other. On a global level, the First World is rich because it exploits the impoverished majority, the Third World. This global divide, called imperialism, is the principal feature of the world today.

We side with the Third World masses and support their struggles for liberation. Exploiters are not going to hand over freedom to those they exploit. Only through struggle can the oppressed free themselves. We support the right of resistance- and revolution- for oppressed peoples against their oppressors. We support unity of the Third World masses against imperialism.

We reject First Worldism: politics which panders to or assumes that First Worlders are a social base for revolution. The “masses” of the First World are a global minority: a petty-exploiter class which regularly supports the imperialist system from which it benefits. Global revolution demands a just and egalitarian distribution of the world’s resources and wealth. Thus, over the course of global revolution, First Worlders will receive less, not more.

We are John Browns, staunch First World allies of the Third World. We are few and far between and behind enemy lines; there is little direct effect we can have. We consider our circumstances and focus on areas where we can effectively contribute to the revolutionary struggle.

We openly represent revolutionary anti-imperialism and work to build public opinion for Third World liberation struggles. We interject revolutionary, anti-imperialist politics into political arenas such as speaking events and protests; contribute to publishing and distributing revolutionary literature such as the RAIM Global Digest; and conduct group education through study collectives, practical tasks and informal discussion. We seek out and educate those who can be won over to consistent anti-imperialist politics.

We encourage direct participation and involvement, promote personal development and push people to become more valuable to the larger, global revolutionary movement. In part, RAIM is a ‘university of revolution.’ Through direct involvement with RAIM, we encourage people to become more proficient both politically and technically. A large part of RAIM’s purpose is to make individuals more of an asset to the Third World majority.

We encourage Third World-oriented, revolutionary political work. Though RAIM fills a roll by providing a public presence for and entry-level work into revolutionary politics, it is not the end-all-be-all of revolutionary political work. We encourage and support revolutionary, Third World-oriented politics being applied as part of different types of projects and efforts.

-Adopted by RAIM-Denver and RAIM-Seattle, November 23rd, 2009

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Water and Imperialism

Water and imperialism

(www.raimd.wordpress.com)

Water is essential, in various ways, to all human activity. Water is something that humans, literally, cannot do without. Every human needs water in order live and to have a good life. Societies need water in order to be provide for the survival of their populations. Usable water, as a resource, is finite and distributed unevenly across the planet. Most societies have difficulty providing water to their populations, especially in the Third World.  The inability to access water is referred to as the water crisis. The water crisis results in terrible human costs every year. And, as usable water becomes less and less available in the future, the brunt of the water crisis will befall Third World populations. The writings of  Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, social theorist and architect of the Bolshevik revolution, have framed discussions of imperialism and global poverty. Famously, it was Vladamir Illich Lenin who predicted cycles of world wars as  the powerful nations vied for the dwindling resources of the poorer nations. In the twenty-first century, there is increasing conflict over water. Lack of usable water will be a source of great instability.

Capitalist imperialism plays a role in the crisis.  And, it is the Third World that suffers from these water wars and social instability.  As activist and author Arundhati Roy states, “Empire does not always appear in the form of cruise missiles and tanks, as it has in Iraq or Afghanistan or Vietnam. It appears in their lives in very local avatars-losing their jobs, being sent unpayable electricity bills, having their water supply cut, being evicted from their homes and uprooted from their land. It is a process of relentless impoverishment with which the poor are historically familiar. What Empire does is further entrench and exacerbate already existing inequalities.”(1)

The effects of the water crisis are wide ranging. According to secretary-general of the United Nations at the time, Kofi Annan, “One person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water; over twice that number—2.4 billion—lack access to adequate sanitation.” (2) Each year more than five million people die from water-related disease. (3) The World Health Organization states that 1.8 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and sanitation.  (4)

1.2 billion people have no sanitation facilities at all. 2.5 billion lack decent sanitation.(5) Fecal matter causes the majority of illnesses in the world. At any given time, half of the poor of the developing world are ill due to water supply, sanitation and hygiene. The biggest cause of infection is poor sanitation, usually related to water. (6)

In addition, agriculture and the water crisis are connected. Firstly, the water crisis is a significant factor in the world food crisis. Poor agricultural techniques waste water. And, overall, if agriculture remains on the same path, it will produce less and less relative to the growing human population. According to one source, “Irrigation-fed agriculture provides 45 percent of the world’s food supplies, and without it, we could not feed our planet’s population of six billion people.” According to the influential head of environmental research institute Worldwatch, Lester Brown, believes that water scarcity is now “the single biggest threat to global food security” (7) Much of the current irrigation is stressed, using more groundwater reserves than can be sustained. (8) As access diminishes, overuse of current water supplies results in increased pollution and environmental damage. This, in turn, diminishes water resources.  Thus, the water crisis is also a significant factor in the world food crisis.

Population growth will especially compound the problems in water and agriculture. A third of the world’s population live in “water stressed” countries currently. (9) This number will only increase in the coming years.  “Population and economic growth across Asia and the rest of the developing world is a major factor driving fresh-water scarcity. The Earth’s human population is predicted to rise from 6 billion to about 9 billion by 2050, the UN reports. Feeding them will mean more irrigation for crops.” (10) Feeding an increased population will mean more water.

This full brunt of the water crisis is suffered by the Third World. Access to water varies greatly from place to place. Looking at the distribution of access to water from one place to another shows that First World has more access than the Third World. This is exactly what one would expect. Privilege in one area accompanies privileges in other areas. Those with high incomes, those in the First World, have access to food, shelter, water, and other goods required for the good life.

The median income globally is about US $ 912.50 (US $ 2.50 per day). There are 2.5 billion people living on less than US $730 a year (US $ 2 per day).  By contrast, the median yearly  income of  a household in the United States was $46,326 in 2006. (11) The average person requires 5 gallons of water per day to survive. The average American uses 100 to 176 gallons of water a day. An average African family consumes roughly 5 gallons a day. (12) There are 2.9 billion without decent sanitation. (13) Those without access to drinking water are not in the First World.

The wealth and power of the imperialist nations translates into the ability to control access to water in the weaker nations. Imperialist nations use water as just another commodity, and they are not above brandishing their control of such a commodity for political ends. This has only increased with the rush toward globalization.

Water is increasingly playing a role in imperialist schemes against the Third World.  For example, one contention between the Palestinians and Israelis is the mountain aquifer underneath the West Bank. The Israeli state and settlers have dominated the groundwater supplies. Palestinians are charged three times more for water than Israelis. (14) Under International Law, Israel is required to provide drinking water to Palestinians. Israel is not allowed to deny it to them. (15) Yet increasing costs is one way to wage war against the Palestinians using water instead of bullets. By controlling water, its distribution and cost, the Israelis and their American allies are able to wield power over the Palestinians. Control over water means control over agriculture and food supplies, it means control over sanitation, and control over human life.

The water crisis also threatens to play a role in the reversal of Zimbabwe’s land reform movement. One consequence of the land reform movement in Zimbabwe has been an increase in water problems. Land in Zimbabwe had been controlled by Europeans, reducing the African population to pauperism. Mugabe’s land reform redistributed the land back to the majority African population. One unintended consequence of the land reform was that the new land owners proved unable to maintain the water systems and irrigation dams.

These problems can be manipulated by political forces. (16) The ex-land owners, those who had benefited from the old imperialist and white supremacist system  in  Zimbabwe, have a vested interest in a water crisis because they stand to benefit. Such a crisis could be exploited politically to oust Mugabe and return themselves to power. These forces are backed by powerful Western allies who seek to reduce Zimbabwe to the status of a colony.  (17)

The one example with a happy ending is the conflict in Bolivia. A water conflict in Bolivia also set an imperial power against a poorer people.  Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. (18) Seventy percent of its population live in poverty. Ten percent of children die before age five. Bolivia’s economy was wrecked by hyper-inflation in the 1980s. A small ruling elite dominated Bolivian society. Sixty percent of the population is indigenous. Those of European background have historically had more privileges than the poorer and indigenous segments of the population. In Bolivia in 1999, Cochabamba auctioned its water supply in order to increase services. The water system was purchased by Aguas Del Tunari, a part of Bechtel, a large American corporation. As part of the purchase, the company was guaranteed a 15 to 17% rate of profit. After taking over the water system, Aguas del Tunari raised the water rates, some as high as 300%. (19) This sparked massive protests that lasted two months. The protesters accused the company of “leasing the rain” as they clashed with the Bolivian military. Hundreds were arrested and a  seventeen year-old boy was shot and killed. Journalist Luis Bredow describes the revolt: “Everyone was protesting, everyone…I’ve never seen anything like it in Bolivia. Housewives were throwing stones at the police. It really was a revolt.”

The water conflict intersected with traditional nationalist sentiment. These clashes nearly collapsed the government of Bolivia. The sale of the water resources had to be withdrawn.

The view that water is a commodity like any other has led to disaster in the Third World. According to Vandana Shiva:

“At the core of the market solution to pollution is the assumption that water exists in unlimited supply. The idea that markets can mitigate pollution by facilitating increased allocation fails to recognize that water diversion to one area comes at the cost of water scarcity elsewhere.

In contrast to the corporate theorists who promote market solutions to pollution, grassroots organizations call for political and ecological solutions. Communities fighting high-tech industrial pollution have proposed the Community Environmental Bill of Rights, which includes rights to clean industry; to safety from harmful exposure; to prevention; to knowledge; to participation; to protection and enforcement; to compensation; and to cleanup. All of these rights are basic elements of a water democracy in which the right to clean water is protected for all citizens. Markets can guarantee none of these rights.”

Furthermore,“Market assumptions are blind to the ecological limits set by the water cycle and the economic limits set by poverty. Over-exploitation of water and disruption of the water cycle create absolute scarcity that markets cannot substitute with other commodities. The assumption of substitution is in fact central to logic of commodification. “ (20)

The problem of water crisis can be solved in principle. According to one source, 97.5 percent of the Earth’s water resources are salty. Of the remaining water, only a single percent is available for humans. “Even this tiny proportion, however, would be enough for humans to live on Earth if the water cycle was properly functioning and if we managed our water use wisely.” (21)

However, the nature of capitalism is to view every resource, from labor to water, as a commodity. The water crisis cannot be solved on a global scale until there is a change in social relations globally. It cannot be solve under the current system of capitalism because the very nature of capitalism itself is to put a price on resources, to eliminate the commons. This being the case, it is likely that solutions will not be put in place for a very long time. And, in the meantime, this translates into increased conflicts, even wars over  diminishing access to water.

The reason that the water crisis won’t be solved in the short term is that imperialists have an interest in perpetuating the crisis. Capitalist imperialism is a system organized around profit, not human need. As long as there is profit to be made by “leasing the rain” or using the water crisis to destabilize political enemies, then the policy makers of the powerful nations will not act to solve the water crisis. It will be up to the oppressed nations to solve the water conflicts themselves as was done in Bolivia.

Notes.
1. Roy, Arundhati. People vs. Empire. In These Times magazine. January 2005.

2. Hillary Mayell UN Highlights World Water Crisis for National Geographic News. June 5, 2003.

3. Pacific Institute,  Dirty Water: Estimated Deaths from Water-Related Diseases 2000-2020. 2002.

4. Global Citizens Core.  http://www.globalcitizencorps.org/issues.htm?page=issues_water&elon=1&gclid=CN7WgOrp7ZYCFRxNagodBmgurg

5  UNICEF/WHO. Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: Special Focus on Sanitation. 2008.

6. Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). 2008. A Guide to Investigating One of the Biggest Scandals of the Last 50 Years.

7. Africa’s Potential Water Wars. BBC News. 1999. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/454926.stm

8. World Water Crisis Underlies World Food Crisis. Environmental News Service. 2008. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2008/2008-08-18-01.asp

9.The World Water Crisis. http://www.worldwaterday.net/index.cfm?objectid=E39A970B-F1F6-6035-B9F75093B863ED13

10. Wallace, Scott.  Is water becoming ‘the new oil’? Christian Science Monitor. 2008. http://features.csmonitor.com/environment/2008/05/29/is-water-becoming-‘the-new-oil’/

11. US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/

12. UN Water. Tackling a Global Crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008. 2008.

13. UN Water. Tackling a Global Crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008. 2008.

14. Ofori-Amoah, Abigail. Water Wars and International Conflict. 2004. http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/OFORIAA/

15. Water war leaves Palestinians thirsty. BBS News. June 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2982730.stm

16. Maoist-Third Worldists denounce imperialist meddling in Zimbabwe. http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/maoist-third-worldists-denounce-imperialist-meddling-in-zimbabwe/

17. Banda, Ignatius. Poverty: Water Wars Hit Rural Zimbabwe. IPS. http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=44294

18. Bolivia Country Report. CIA World Fact Book. 2008. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bl.html

19. Joseph, Richard. The Water War in Bolivia. Counterpunch. March 26/7, 2005.  http://www.counterpunch.org/joseph03262005.html

20. Vandana Shiva.  Water Wars. South End Press. 2002. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Vandana_Shiva/Water_Wars_VShiva.html

21.  World Water Crisis Underlies World Food Crisis. Environmental News Service. 2008. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2008/2008-08-18-01.asp

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Harvest Season Means Forced Labor for Uzbek Children

uzbek children

(https://raimd.wordpress.com)

Every September, hundreds of thousands of Uzbek children begin two months of forced labor in the country’s cotton fields. Receiving almost nothing in wages and acting in accordance with state mandate, schools are closed and children become virtual slaves as the harvest season rolls in.

In the fields, children as young as seven are forced to meet extreme quotas with little opportunities for rest. Conditions are described as squalid and food inadequate. They earn a few pennies per kilo of cotton and wage deductions are made for transportation and food costs. At the end of the harvest season they are left exhausted and often in poor health. Teachers are conscripted into becoming overseers and also work in the fields in order to meet production quotas. Children make up only about half of the harvest season labor force and farmers, forced to grow the export crop,  have it little better. As one Uzbek farmer describes it, “being a cotton farmer here is like hanging between life and death. The government controls our lives very tightly. If we don’t obey, we’ll end up in trouble. All we want is freedom. And the state is punishing us for wanting freedom.”

Uzbekistan’s state-administered cotton industry has also taken its toll on the environment. With the heavy irrigation demands for the cash crop, the Aral Sea, once a climate modifying feature in the region, is at 15% of its former volume. As a result, salinity has multiplied, killing 24 species of native fish and wiping out Uzbekistan’s commercial fishing industry. The cotton fields themselves have been overirrigated and suffer from high levels of soil salinity and erosion. Cotton monoculture has left Uzbekistan’s formerly prosperous lands increasingly infertile, sometimes to the point of abandonment. The heavy use of pesticides has compounded the environmental problem, leading to increased rates of birth defects and genetic mutations.

Uzbekistan is the world’s second largest exporter of cotton, shipping 800,000 metric tons overseas. The comprador Uzbek state maintains a monopoly on the export of cotton. With a barely paid, seasonally captive workforce, much of the income from the cotton is not used in future development projects or as part of social welfare programs but instead props up a small parasitic elite which make up the Third World regime. The cotton which is not exported is sent to Uzbekistan’s small domestic textile industry, made up of joint ventures between the Uzbek state and foreign investors.

According to Steve Trent, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, “We have witnessed the forced use of children in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields and seen the conditions they work in. At the same time we have seen how a small, corrupt, ruling elite denies these facts and continues to be the main beneficiary of the cash the child labor earns Uzbekistan.” While forced child labor is undoubtedly a regular feature in the country’s cotton industry, Trent and the Environmental Justice Foundation are missing the larger picture.

Most of Uzbeck’s cotton is exported. The Uzbek state actually sells the cotton at 85% of the global market price and 43% of it is sent to Asian textile mills. There young adults, often women, endure conditions which are scarcely better than that of the common Uzbek. Produced under similar conditions of comprador capitalism, the final product is then exported to imperialist countries where it enters consumer markets. While various Third World puppet regimes may reap some of the benefits of vast pools of virtually captive people, most of it is passed along.

After cotton is harvested and spun into textiles under brutal conditions of comprador capitalism, the finished goods finally enter First World consumer markets. There, First World business realizes massive profits from simply selling the products of Third World labor to First World consumers. Also, First World workers benefit: their high wages enable them to purchase vast quantities of goods, something that would not be possible without the super exploitation of Third World workers. In the grand scheme of things, the Uzbek state is a minor player. It is the imperialist First World which is the main culprit: through its exploitative workings of global scale, it demands cheap commodities produced under conditions of virtual slavery.

Those who benefit from Uzbek forced child labor, the Uzbek comprador elite and the First World, are a global minority. In contrast, the Uzbek masses are part of a larger majority, the vast Third World masses. According the the Environmental Justice Foundation, 250 million children around the world are compelled to work, presumably in commodity exchange industries. Adding to this are the world’s exploited adults, those languishing in vast urban slums and subsistence communities under constant threat of being kicked off the land. Together, the vast Third World masses pose a serious threat to the system: they carry great potential and a historical responsibility.

Today, the most long term solution to the problem of forced child labor is an end to the system which demands it, capitalist-imperialism. Organized along their combined interest, those currently at the bottom of the global order are key to destroying it and building anew. By organizing those who have nothing to lose, Uzbek children and farmers, Chinese factory workers and the vast Third World masses, around a radical program of class war and liberation, and by supporting each others’ struggles against the imperialist system, peoples everywhere can find freedom.

The struggle to build a new world can only take place alongside advances of the oppressed over the course of class warfare. Only through a revolutionary movement of the Third World masses will children everywhere have a future of peace, freedom, prosperity and equality.

Sources:

http://www.ejfoundation.org/pdf/white_gold_the_true_cost_of_cotton.pdf
http://www.newint.org/columns/currents/2009/07/01/uzbekistan/
http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=5409

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Amerikan E-Waste Poisons Chinese

e-waste-orange-stuff

Amerikan E-Waste Poisons Chinese

(raimd.wordpress.com)

E-waste increasingly flows from the U.S. to the Third World. E-waste is made up of computers, cell phones, and other electronics that have been thrown away. For example, Amerikans throw out 133,000 computers a day and 100 million cell phones a year. Electronics contain harmful, toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and polyvinyl chlorides. These materials are known to cause cancer, brain damage, kidney disease, etc. This toxic e-waste is the fastest growing part of the municipal waste stream in the U.S.

How does e-waste get from point a to point b? There are dozens of corporations that are contracted to dispose of e-waste. One such company is Executive Recycling out of Englewood, Colorado. Executive Recycling promotes itself as an eco-friendly corporation, sponsoring Earth Day events and a “Go Green” campaign in Colorado, for example. They are a corporation that is contracted to dispose of e-waste in an environmentally safe manner. The Executive Recycling web page even warns of the dangers to Amerikans that e-waste poses: “Here in Colorado, residential customers are not governed by law to recycle electronics; however by putting these items in the trash we are causing a larger issue, as these items leach mercury, lead, and other hazardous elements into our drinking water.”

So, how does Executive Recycling keep Amerikans safe from toxic e-waste? Rather than expose Amerikans to their own hazardous trash, Executive Recycling dumps it on Chinese. A recent story by the news journal 60 Minutes documents how toxic materials are shipped by Executive Recycling, and other First World recycling companies, from Amerika to destinations in China.

One destination is Guiyu, China. It is a city with a growing population, where peasants have come after being driven off the land. The ex-peasants breakdown and burn old computers and other electronics. They earn a few dollars a day dealing with highly toxic materials without protective equipment. They report that their lungs burn and they have trouble breathing. Their skin is damaged with scars and burns. The local water has become undrinkable. Drinking water has to be trucked in. Guiyu has the highest level of cancer-causing dioxins in the world. Seven out of ten children have too much lead in their blood. Miscarriages are six times more likely there.

The Amerikan high-tech lifestyle produces poisons that are forced upon the impoverished peoples of the Third World. Not only do Third World peoples slave away in factories producing consumer goods for Amerikans for pennies an hour, Third World peoples also have to recycle Amerikans’ toxic trash. Capitalist-imperialism poisons Third World peoples in order to maintain the Amerikan way of life. This is yet another example of how the First World lives on the backs of the Third World, exporting the cost of its lifestyle to the majority of the world’s people.

Amerikans have help in poisoning the Chinese population. The Chinese state turns a blind eye. In the 1970’s, Chinese self-determination and independent socialist development was replaced with brutal comprador capitalism. Today, the Chinese state sells the labor and health of its people to imperialism in order to make a buck. The First World and its Third World lackeys will continue to ruin the lives of Third World peoples until imperialism is defeated, until Third World peoples seize control of their own destinies.

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4586903n

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