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Prout's Stand on Present Food Crisis

From: "Daniel Bromberg" To: Subject: Prout's Stand on Present Food Crisis Date: Wed, 07 May 2008 23:16:22 +0000 Baba Intro to PS: In this following song, the loving Parama Purus'a, Tara'ka Brahma, is communicating directly with the devotee. Specifically, in a personal way, the divine Entity, Tara'ka Brahma, is asking the sadhaka various questions. In contrast, in most Prabhat Samgiita songs, the devotee is singing or expressing his own thoughts to Parama Purusa. But this entire song is different: It is expressed in the voice of Parama Purusa; He Himself is narrating the scene. "Kende kende tava kavarii-bandha khuliya' giya'che ka'r tare..." P.S. 1104 Purport: For whom have been crying such that your hair braids have become loose and undone, and now your hair is just falling in an unkempt manner. Who is responsible for causing you so much pain. Even then you are trying hard to conceal your grief-stricken & broken heart; but by seeing your pain-filled eyes anyone can understand how sorrowful you are. Indeed, you are so upset that you cannot maintain the proper melody or tune of the song which you are singing. Why like this-- whose longing has caused all these problems & distress in your life. Now look, the whole day has passed and it is reaching up towards evening time. The brightness of the day is gone and now evening is falling. The sun is going to set; that time has come. At this time in this lonely place are You sitting here by yourself in this isolated forest. Tell me, whose memory is churning your heart; why are you so heart-broken. The whole day you have been sitting here alone involved in contemplation and now evening has come and still you are remaining here. Who is the cause behind all this, how has this happened-- please tell me. Always remember that the balaka bird flies off to far distant places, but again and again it returns and comes back to its own nest. Similarly, if your Beloved has gone far away, then He too will return again and come back. So please do not cry. O' devotee, whose love has shaken your whole existence. Rest assured that He will come...
Namaskar, A global food crisis is now hitting our humanity. In some places, food prices have skyrocketed and in other places food is just not available at all. We've all read about it, if not experienced it ourselves. So what has happened? Did all the food suddenly disappear from the face of the earth? Did the population of our planet double or triple in the last six months? Certainly not. And only naive persons would point to such ridiculous factors as being the cause of the problem. The question is: Why is what was not a problem a few short months ago, suddenly a major issue-- nay a critical food crisis? In Baba's Prout teachings, He has clearly identified the cause(s) and given the solution(s). Here following is a brief review of Baba Proutistic analysis of the current food crisis.
While the unfolding of the global food epidemic may seem like something totally new, actually it is a near mirror image of tragedies of the past wherein big enterprises used manipulative antics to exploit & starve the common people. Let us take a look... Baba says, "The British East India Company used to collect raw materials by looting and intimidating the local people." (PNS-19) So just as years ago, the British East India Company pummeled the Bengali public by strong-arm business tactics, similarly in today's market the capitalist powers have 'twisted the arm' of the common people and forced local inhabitants in all regions to live according to the dictates and desires of the corporate regime. In areas of Mexico, Peru, Thailand and all over where local people would grow their own food, such growers & local merchants were bullied into becoming factory hands for those corporate behemoths. In a phrase, local people were pressured & allured into giving up their own way of living and instead tricked into becoming tools of the corporate enterprise. This has set the stage for today's food calamity.
Now let us take another look back at the history... Baba says, "It [British East India Company] contracted a pledge from those who worked in cottage industries that they would buy raw materials only from the company, and sell finished products only to the company. The company used to sell raw materials at high rates, and buy finished products at twenty-five percent below their actual market price." (PNS-19) Here Baba shows how the British East India Company imposed their unfair & exploitative business practices on the local merchants and common citizens. In a phrase, the British totally railroaded and manipulated the market of Bengal in their favour. Similarly today, consumers and workers all over the globe are forced to live by the mandates of today's corporate powers. Local businesses are totally devoured and swallowed whole, and local people are dragged into the clutches of the corporate business market. Whether it be bananas, grains, rice, or any other food need-- or even non-essential items like internet connections and etc-- the common people have become slaves to the global capitalist framework. Because local food production in places like Africa, China, Bangladesh, and Chile has stopped or been seriously curtailed, and because those former food growers are now factory workers for the global economic giants-- producing goods that will be exported-- the local people's essential food needs can now only be gotten by those very corporate giants. What food local people used to produce themselves, they now have to purchase at a high rate from corporate suppliers. So what the British East India Company did in Bengal in the past, the corporate monsters are replicating today all over the globe.
Let us continue to take a look back... Baba says, "The manufacturers [of Bengal] who refused to agree to the terms of the company were handcuffed and publicly flogged, and the thumbs of many weavers who resisted the demands of the company were chopped off to destroy their capacity to weave fine cloth. Because of this kind of oppression, the weavers of Bengal could not compete with the weaving industry which was being developed in Manchester [England]." (PNS-19) To further capture the market, the British East India Company 'made an example' out of those locals would would not comply and they literally tortured and maimed any and all who rebelled against their exploitative tactics in order to establish the company's dominance. Likewise in today's world, the food growers and small farmers in local areas who try to 'buck the system' are totally maligned, marginalised, and mangled by the corporate powers. From Brazil to Malaysia to El Salvador, local merchants are forced to accept the corporate dominance in their region. And what is that dominance? Give up your independent way of living; work night and day producing for the capitalist enterprise; export those products overseas so capitalists can sell those things for a high price; and become a consumer of essential goods (rice, lentils, & other food stuffs) from global market. Of if those local growers opt to remain as farmers, then the corporate factory farms will temporarily under-cut them in price, thereby squeezing those local growers into bankruptcy. By this way, corporate agricultural powers grab the entire globe within their snatch. Through imposition and force, they create their own global market. And then they can pull the strings of their own puppet show and manipulate the food supply and cost as much according to their own corporate, greedy desires.
Now let us take one last look back to see the final picture... Here then is the final result of what happened years ago under the auspices of the British East India Company. Baba says, "Within ten years after the Battle of Plassey in 1757, most of the important industries in Bengal such as silk, cotton, sugar, salt, colour dyes, machine parts and shipbuilding had been systematically destroyed. The manufacturers and skilled labourers who had been employed in various industries for generations were uprooted from their natural source of livelihood...The inevitable result was the catastrophic famine of 1770. Thus, Bengal was converted into a supplier of raw materials and a market for British products. This type of economic exploitation is called 'colonial exploitation'." (PNS-19) Thus, left totally bedraggled and defeated and out of their natural way of living, a terrible famine spread across the whole of Bengal-- all due to the ruthless economic exploitation of the British. And in today's global economy, the corporate giants of the west-- and of America in particular-- have created the same outcome, with the worst still to unfold. Local denizens all over the globe have been uprooted from their traditional ways of living and forced to accept the global economic structure. In that case, every day goods and foods that locals used to produce for themselves, they now purchase from corporate giants. Plus their entire day is spent producing goods like automobiles, sneakers, or computer chips for a few pennies of pay and while the corporate monsters sell those very same items in other lands for record profits-- in the billions. Simultaneously, those corporate farms-- which are now the sole supplier of food to those local peoples-- create a fake or artificial scarcity so that they can raise the prices and gain bigger profits. The result being a false shortage of food and increased rates which nobody can afford. In a nutshell, that is the present-day food crisis. So exploitation works in bigger and bigger cycles: What the British East India Company did to cause the famine in Bengal centuries ago, the American-cum-western corporations are doing to the world today.
Just as a quick review, the whole strategy known as 'artificial scarcity' is one of the main cards being played by today's corporate agro-industry. Baba says, "Capitalists hoard essential commodities rice, pulse, and salt etc] and create artificial scarcity to extract the maximum profit. As a result consumers pay inflated prices for essential commodities, and sometimes they even find that such goods are not available at all. Middlemen and profiteers create artificial shortages of essential commodities knowing that people will certainly purchase them, even by taking loans." (PNS-14) Thus the whole thing is just one capitalist sham. There is no real shortage of food; prices need not be that high. The whole thing is manipulated by capitalists. It is part of their business culture in order to maximise profits. Tragically, such ruthless practices never bode well for the common people. Baba says, "If hoarders create artificial shortages... [and] accumulate essential commodities then common people will suffer tremendously." (PNS-14) And that is what has taken the world by storm today. The food crisis is causing poverty, riots, famine, and torment all over the globe. And sadly enough, it will probably only get worse before it gets better.
So then what is the way out. Here is a bulleted list of solutions which Baba has given. In the future these can be discussed further in greater detail. Baba says, "This situation [food crisis] can be avoided if consumers cooperatives purchase essential commodities directly from producers cooperatives or agricultural cooperatives." (PNS-14) At present, from farm to mouth, from field to stomach, our food passes through the hands of countless middle-men, causing the price to increase at every turn. In contrast, Baba guides us that people should be empowered to purchase directly from that source industry. And those source farming industries should be organised as cooperatives-- not at corporate agencies. This will solve a big part of the problem as the middle-man will be gone. Baba says, If the distribution of essential commodities is done through consumers cooperatives, middlemen and profiteers will be eliminated." (PNS-14) Thus in a nutshell: - Food should be produced by local growing cooperatives. And these should be large-scale models that are governed and staffed by local people, not outsiders. - There should be an appropriate portion of the population involved in a balanced array of industries, including agriculture. There must not be over-industrialisation, which is what we see happening in much of today's global economy. In various discourses Baba warns against this and provides exact percentages of how the population should be organised. Baba says, "In order to build a sound economy thirty to forty percent of the people in an area – neither more nor less – should depend directly on agriculture. If the percentage is smaller, agriculture is neglected. Conversely, if the percentage is greater, there will be a heavy strain on agriculture." (PNS-12) - Thus those are some of the key solutions: Cooperatives, local agriculture, no middle-man, no over-industrialisation, etc. And verily, Baba has devoted dozens of His Prout discourse to the evolution revolution, and creation of a cooperative based society. He has given all the requirements and guidelines for moving away from the hellish capitalistic model and smoothly transitioning into a Proutistic one. So we need not look far to find any answers. Rather we are to propagate Baba's ideals across the globe. That will bring relief.
By Baba's grace He has identified the problems and given the solution to today's food crisis. None should naively think that there really is no food or that there are too many people on the planet. Neither of these things are part of the problem. The whole problem lies in the evil and greedy tactics of corporate capitalism. Yet by Baba's grace the end is near, and soon the world will embrace a new way of living that will be founded on sound-socio economic principles. Baba says, "For the establishment of a healthy society, agricultural cooperatives, essential commodity producers cooperatives and essential commodity consumer cooperatives are a must...As science advances, cooperatives will develop and manufacture a great variety of commodities from synthetic raw materials...The day is very near when science will be guided by spiritually oriented intellectuals. When this day comes, science will move forward with leaps and bounds, causing the intellectual capacity of human beings to increase immensely. Cooperatives will greatly assist this psychic and spiritual advancement." (PE, 'Cooperatives') Namaskar, Dharma
****************************************** Method to Make Ideal Human Beings
Baba says, "Some people may ask: Why does A'nanda Ma'rga run many kindergarten schools and not many high schools, degree colleges and universities? A kindergarten school is something basic and the mission of making human beings is accomplished here. If one has already become a thief or a criminal, in that case university education for such a person is of no avail. One is to be moulded in one's childhood. If one receives the fundamentals of education in the formative period of one's life, one will keep oneself alright in the teeth of the greatest trials and tribulations in life. A bamboo, when green, can be shaped or bent in any way you like. Once it ripens, any attempt to reshape it will break it. This is why more stress is to be laid on kindergarten schools. Such schools are the first phase of making human beings." (PNS-18 p.37)

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