"There is nothing in today's global market that buffers it against the social strains arising from highly uneven economic development within and between the world's diverse societies. The swift waxing and waning of industries and livelihoods, the sudden shifts of production and capital, the casino of currency speculation - these conditions trigger political counter movements that challenge the very groundrules of the global free market''
(John Gray, London School of Economics, 1999)
Humanity & Agriculture:
Civilization began with agriculture. When our nomadic ancestors began to settle and grow their own food, human society was forever changed. Not only did villages, towns and cities begin to flourish, but so did knowledge, the arts and the technological sciences.
And for most of history, society's connection to the land was intimate. Human communities, no matter how sophisticated, could not ignore the importance of agriculture. To be far from dependable sources of food was to risk malnutrition and starvation.
In modern times, however, many in the urban world have forgotten this fundamental connection. Insulated by the apparent abundance of food that has come from new technologies for the growing, transportation and storage of food, humanity's fundamental dependence on agriculture is often overlooked.
Fractured and unjust social systems, armed conflict, and narrowly nationalistic attitudes contribute greatly to inadequacies in food production, transportation, storage and distribution. It is no coincidence that nations suffering most from chronic malnutrition and food insecurity are also the most disrupted by war or civil strife. There seemed to be a constant need to have a body or an organisation that spanned the globe and crossed geographical boundaries in an effort to bring communities and countries onto a level playing field.
Effective and lasting solutions to problems related to food insecurity would have to be found in policies and actions that pay...