*Leaf 16 - Full Moon - 04 June 2023*
After a long break, this fortnightly broadcasting is back, in a monthly mode now - on Full moon days! It shall remain as a medium of dialogue on all topics that are relevant to our Freedom & Happiness.
In this episode, we'll talk about a WTO, La Via Campesina & some Store updates as well.
WTO vs La Via Campesina
The WTO came into existence in 1995. But it was just a renamed version of the GATT, which was in existence since 1948, that was defining the International Trade rules. The main improvisation from GATT to WTO was to integrate Agriculture into the logic of generalized Free Trade.
La Via Campesina (LVC) is a world peasant movement, that was created against the logic of globalization and commodification of Agriculture, involving, small / family / women farmers around the world.
Last month, WTO sent a request to LVC for joining in the new 'Civil Society Council' that it is proposing to initiate and integrate within its structure. Thankfully, LVC rejected the request and sent an open letter explaining its position on why WTO cannot be reformed and why it should just be closed. It is such bold and clear moves from LVC in the last 2-3 decades that has increased its Trustability and grow worldwide.
(To read the full letter from LVC, go to https://viacampesina.org/en/la-via-campesina-responds-to-the-wtos-purported-plans-to-set-up-a-civil-society-council/ )
WTO is an organization that came into existence to sell agricultural products in faraway markets. Can you imagine who would want the agri produce to be sold in international markets rather than the local markets? Sorry, no prizes for guessing. The big corporates and as its representative, the WTO felt incomplete in their identity and hence started looking for ways to do a image makeover - by including the civil society groups within its ambit.
So, why is WTO trying desperately to cross lines and make friends now? The Russia-Ukraine war, the impending recession in the developed world makes the 'world leaders' think new strategies and pathways to chart or 'sustain' the current development path for the world....
The question to ask ourselves is - Do we really need a WTO? As an individual and Society, what do I gain from it? Do I have any control in the governance and decision-making of WTO directly or indirectly? (Surely, majority of us wouldn't know how WTO is run and how it is funded, but are getting affected by its decisions day in day out)
A more pointed question is - Can Trade help in fighting unemployment and Inequality? The fundamental flaw in all arguments aimed at supporting 'International Trade' is its rootedness to MONEY. Only those who believe in the premise that 'Money can solve all the global problems of today' will vouch for WTO and its functions to alleviate poverty and inequality.
For wealth-redistribution to happen through Trade, the producer and consumer should be closely connected, without which these 2 people will end up as sufferers only due to Trade. This is precisely what is happening today.
Hence, for a healthy redistribution of Wealth & Resources, let us stay connected & engaged, in every possible way or atleast in matters of Food! Let us acknowledge the work of organizations like LVC and support them to grow. Let us create the path to Globalization (of wealth, resources, ideas and Joy) through active localization of Food, goods and relationships.
Keyword of the month
The sprouting of new branches on the Tree of Life
During adaptive radiation, one species multiplies into many, each of them with its own lifestyle that is best suited to its own Habitat
To know more on this topic, check out the book - Sleeping Beauties by Andreas Wagner