Food, Famine and The Former United States of America

 

Food, Famine and the Former United States of America

 

 

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

 

 

The following was given to me by a courageous soul who wants me to help save America – or should I say, it will be given to me in the year 2036. Since I am over 2000 years old and I can time travel – I have decided to come back to the year 2011 and give you a look into your future and a brief history lesson of your recent past!  — Diogenes

 

November 2036.

 

 

 

My name is Bill Fox. If they knew that I was writing this, I would be thrown in jail for treason and I would be labeled an enemy of the State. Nevertheless I am in a prison of sorts known as the Jimmy Carter Memorial Housing project in Atlanta Georgia. I have an eight by ten foot apartment that includes a two by two foot shower, a small toilet and a two by six foot cot. Since I am over six feet tall my feet hang over the edge. I have a hot plate and a two foot cube refrigeration device. Not much edible in it, yet I am one of the lucky ones. I work in a Government factory. I still get rations, meager that they are. The serfs and farmers are not so lucky. They are dying from starvation. There are food riots and bread lines through much of the former United States of America. I have heard rumors of cannibalism and worse. I am just old enough to remember what America was like before Barak Obama. As a small boy I remember the times mother took me to the gigantic super markets with their endless rows of fruits and vegetables and food of all varieties. It has been so long since then, I sometimes wonder if those images were just my hunger playing tricks on me. When I tell anyone born after 2010 about super markets, they shake their heads in disbelief and tell me I’m crazy. Maybe I am. That world is long gone.

 

 

 

Barak Obama has just been elected for his seventh term as President of the New Socialist States of America. Food in the former United States of America has become a weapon and is in short supply. Barak Obama is a name that now stands in the dubious pantheon of dictators like Stalin and Mao. I have been told by the few historians who have not yet been purged from the education establishment that the scenes in America today are reminiscent of the Stalin era Soviet Union and the worst famine in history – the 1950s China of Mao Zedong.

 

Although there is extreme distress from many segments of the population – especially the rural serfs and farmers – Barak Obama still manages to win elections handily. What they call an election. Of course, there is no real opposition second party. The New American Socialist Party has had a lock on the executive branch of the federal government and most elected offices since Obama's third term.

 

Amnesty for illegal immigrants was decreed by executive order right before the 2012 election. The XXII amendment – Presidential term limits – was repealed in 2016 which allowed Barak Obama to continue running for the presidency past the two term limit. I do not know why they bother to even have these sham elections. However, I am told there are true believers who still actually believe that the elections mean something.

 

 

 

I am not quite sure why they call our highest legal document a Constitution anymore. The original articles and amendments have been modified long ago to suit the ruling party. The Republican Party no longer exists. The Democrat Party, finally secure in its invincibility, changed its name to the New American Socialists Party. There is no pretense of free enterprise. Private property has been outlawed. No one is allowed to own or carry a firearm.

 

The law is what Barak Obama and the Party says it is. This is what my historian friends (the authors of the ebooks I am now able to read) tell me the Soviet Union was like during Stalin or Mao’s China. I guess we will never really know. Until I met the crazy old man, there were no books other than ebooks that sang the praises of Barak Obama. The press has long been a public relations and propaganda arm for Barak Obama. I was told by my historian friends in my ebooks and the crazy old man that the press and media used to question authority and be an advocate for the people. Today they are merely cheerleaders for Barak Obama and The New American Socialist Party.

 

According to one history I read, Joseph Stalin assumed power in 1924 and he launched a program to promote massive industrialization in the Soviet Union.  Food was a major part of his plan at the time he took office. Small farms run by individual farmers were being forced together to form collective farms owned by the State.  Stalin hoped that by using collectivization he would increase production. In 1929 Stalin bragged that the Soviet Union in as little as three years time would be the richest food and grain producer in the world. Some conjecture that Stalin was trying to emulate what Britain had done in the 19th century that led to its world domination and industrialization.

 

It was believed that industrialization had been preceded by a great boost in agriculture. It was believed that once laborers were removed from the burden of working on rural farms they would be able to move to the city and that would inevitably lead to a massive industrial revolution.  Stalin’s approach was different.  In Britain the State had a very limited role in agriculture, but Stalin’s State control was absolute.  Collectivization of farms meant that the State controlled exports and all the production of food.

 

Not surprisingly the farmers were less than enthusiastic.  Farmers were thrown into communal organizations that they were not used to.  Some farmers were so angry that they chose to destroy their crops and slaughter their animals rather than become a part of the new collective farms.  Stalin was not very thrilled with some of these reactions and he declared that farmers who refused to hand over their crops or animals were enemies of the State.  And many of these farmers ended up being shipped off to labor camps later called Gulags.

 

Bad weather and droughts in the 1931 and 1932 reduced crop production. This was the exact opposite of what Stalin was proclaiming to the world however, as levels of food production dramatically decreased.  But of course Stalin and the Soviet leadership were unable to admit their mistake.  So rather than change policy, Stalin believed that farmers were hiding produce and grains and demanded that they hand over everything they had. This meant that many farmers were left to starve.  Meanwhile industrial workers in the city had plenty of food and exports actually did increase giving the outside world the exact opposite impression from reality.

 

But the most outrageous travesty occurred in the rich agricultural region of the Ukraine. Stalin mandated that keeping as much as one piece of corn or wheat was punishable by death or imprisonment.  As people began to starve, soldiers were posted to guard stores of grain that had been amassed. The people were desperate for food of any kind. People ground bones into flour and chewed leather laces and ate it like it was spaghetti.  But this was not a Charlie Chaplin film, this was real life.  Stalin’s first response to the reduced crop harvest and production was to send hundreds of thousands of farmers to the Gulags, but then he thought better of it since letting the people starve would be much cheaper. In 1933 Stalin restated a Lenin quote: “he who does not work -neither shall he eat”.

 

In early 1933 crackdown on people fleeing to the cities led to further starvation of villages in the Ukraine.  And the Politburo rather than confronting Stalin came out with Statements blaming the farmers of the Ukraine for sabotage and effectively made them enemies of the State.  Malcolm Muggeridge, a British journalist visiting Ukraine in 1933 reported that Communist officials had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and took anything that was edible with the inevitable result that thousands of peasants were left to starve. 

 

But this report was countered by the journalists of his time – many who sympathized with Stalin insisted that there was no famine.  In the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, an Italian consul reported that there was “a growing commerce in human meat”.  And there were actually posters that said “eating dead children is barbarism”. But when foreign aid organizations offered food Stalin refused.

 

It is estimated that as many as 8 million people died of starvation – all victims of Stalin's fantasy, his radical ideology, megalomania and egotism that pushed him to continue the great lie in order to convince the world of the superiority of communism.  It is now universally agreed that the millions of Ukrainians were the victims of genocide. As one man commented who survived the Ukrainian famine “A man is capable of enduring a great deal but these terrible scenes of starvation will not be forgotten by those who saw it”.

 

As difficult as it may be to believe Stalin does not own the record for slaughtering his own people – that dubious prize goes to Mao Zedong who seized power in China in 1949.  Mao was very interested in following the Soviet ideal of collectivization which the propagandists still maintained was a great success in increasing food production and helping to promote industrialization.  So Mao decreed that China would follow the Soviet model.

 

Predictably China had the same results as the Soviet Union.  It was estimated that grain production fell as much as 40% in 1956 alone as the State, through insane policies, removed any incentive for farmers to increase production.  And people began to starve.  Horses and other animals that were used to help harvest were slaughtered and eaten so there were fewer of them to help work the farms. 

 

Like Stalin, Mao’s Communist Party boasted of its great success.  To make subsequent harvests look better, the 1949 harvest was revised downward.  In reality food production had fallen to a level below that of the 1930s.  But Mao, not to be out done by Stalin, was planning “a great leap forward” that would industrialize China overnight.  Khrushchev was aware of the harm that was done by Stalin and warned him not to proceed.

 

Unfortunately Mao did not heed Khrushchev’s warning.  And then Mao had an idea of how to increase steel production. Party officials told everyone to hand over a certain quota of metal.  They would produce steel from backyard furnaces.  But of course steel making is just a tad more complicated than Mao understood. Trees were cut down to fuel the furnaces which merely turned perfectly good pots and pans into worthless iron. 

 

Mao's understanding of farming was even less than his understanding of metallurgy.  Mao advocated dense planting the seeds, deep plowing, and greater use of fertilizer. But things did not go well. Instead of using appropriate chemical fertilizer, household rubbish was used instead with the inevitable result that it harmed rather than helped production; trying to produce plants in a smaller area quickly exhausted the soil; killing rats and birds actually exploded the population of insects; and increased irrigation made the earth weak to the point where it soon collapsed and nothing would grow.

 

Party officials nodded their heads and went along with the charade.  Across China achievements announcing gigantic vegetable growth and great progress were shown.  There were faked photographs of miracle crops.  Although Mao was told in 1958 the first year after “The great leap forward” that the crop harvest had doubled.

 

But this only meant local provinces had to show more production. This forced a competition among various provinces to equal the announced output.  The attempt was to prove to the world China's prowess in farming.  But by the winter of 1958 there was no food for the people to eat. One party leader estimated that 25 million people starved. In early 1959 Mao's response when he finally acknowledged some of the carnage from his policies: “Tuition fees must be paid to gain experience”.

 

By the end of 1959 millions of Chinese were starving.  Communal kitchens were serving watery soup with grass or anything they could find. The crisis increased as China cut itself off from the world.  Relations with the Soviet Union were cut off so that even Khrushchev did not know of the disaster.  When the problems were finally admitted they were blamed on natural causes such as drought. 

 

But Mao was still undeterred.  He began planning another increase in production quotas for 1960.  Many of the people in the country were too weak to plant anything. People in the city suffered less as they were given rations from central granaries.  They were the last to be affected by the famine.  Most of those who starved to death were peasants in rural communes.

 

Reformers finally got Mao to step back and to allow some land to be worked by the peasants so that they could grow their own food.  And in some parts of China some people were also allowed to raise livestock and grow food on small plots of waste ground.  “The great leap forward” was a disaster of monumental proportion and resulted in the worst famine in history and in all it is estimated as many as 40 million people died.  But that fact was only discovered in the 1980s as American demographers analyzing population statistics were finally able to determine the full extent of the disaster. 

 

In the final analysis the main cause of both of these famines was not inadequate food production as much as the warped ideology, fanaticism and megalomania of Socialist Dictators with cult like followings.  We can only hope that this atrocity is not repeated in the New Socialist States of America. But I am not very confident.  I walk outside this morning to go to my factory job as I do every morning, and see signs everywhere with pictures of Barak Obama and the slogan: “America’s Great Leap Forward”.  I wonder how many millions of my fellow citizens will die before we would learn our lesson from history and rise up against this tyrant.

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