Hunger Is Obsolete, If-
The Unused Weapon to Win the Cold War
The fact and the fear of hunger have ruled the world as long as human creatures have walked it. Hunger governed the primitive world of the Psalmist, where the sower went forth weeping to the field—weeping because he had snatched the precious seed grain from the mouths of his hungry family. It gnawed at the core of the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, England recorded seven major famines; there were seven in France during the 1700′s, climaxed by the crop failure that precipitated the Revolution. In China and India throughout history, starvation and pestilence have been endemic.
For ten thousand years—until toward the end of the 18th century—the art of agriculture remained almost static. Then the technological revolution in agriculture began. Yet even during the 19th century Europe experienced three great food crises. Each time the rapidly expanding industrial population of Europe was rescued by the improvement and mechanization of agriculture and by the opening of new grainlands in North America, Argentina, and Australia. Today there are no new grainlands, every year there are twenty million new mouths to feed, and only about a third of the earth’s peoples even now get enough to eat. Seneca wrote that a hungry people will not endure reason, will not listen to justice, and will not bend to any prayer for mercy. If hunger is not at the surface of the present war fear, it is in the minds of most of mankind a ruling assumption just beneath it. The policy of nations still proceeds on the assumption that there is not and can never be enough food to go around, and that hunger is the penalty of weakness and defeat, the inevitable lot of the hindmost.
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