Wheat is still wheat, and pigs are pigs – that’s the difference with regard to computers, mobile phones or even cars, where every generation of products is subject to perpetual innovation. In essence, nature has created the pig (once this used to be God’s prerogative), since even the interferences of breeders are still rather limited. The so-called progress of agriculture is therefore almost exclusively due to the fact that pork, wheat, milk, and so on get cheaper. However, in order to achieve this goal, traditional farms must be transformed into automated and increasingly large factories, where all operations from feeding to slaughtering are carried out by machines. Tractors and mowers are steered not by human hands but by roboters following the commands of computers. Our children are still raised with colorful books, where crowing roosters and happy cows portray a romanticized peasant life. But reality is quite different. Animals have turned into mere biomass mechanically produced and processed. Manipulated from birth to death by machines, God’s own creatures spend their lives in narrow and sterile boxes right up to the final moment when they end up in the supermarket. Milk, beefsteak, as well as the fruits of the field, the European Commission wants them all to be produced in ever greater quantities and at still lower cost. The fact that landscapes around our cities are turned into agrarian wasteland and suicide rates among farmers soaring, does not concern those for whom nothing counts but economic efficiency.
Where does this all lead to?
Why this striving for the ever-more, the ever-bigger, the ever-more life-negating? In todays »progressive« North only two per cent of the population are still employed in agriculture. Do we want this process to end with only a single farmer who, like the engineer in a nuclear power plant, sits in front of a wall of screens in order to ensure the proper functioning of the plant, which would in the present case be a single country-wide grain and meat factory? Do we want the future landscape of Europe to be made up of a few megametropolises, placed in the midth of desolate agricultural deserts? What does Europe still want to achieve, given the fact that its highly subsidized agricultural production long since generates much more food than needed to feed its own population?
African mass exodus – triggered by the European Union
The shocking answer to this question had been found years ago by Jean Ziegler in Africa. “A housewife can buy vegetables, fruits and chickens from France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Greece … for half or even one-third of the price paid for the corresponding African product, she can do so in every African market – in Dakar, Ouagadougou, Niamey or Bamako” (2011: 176). Thanks to state subsidies and to the industrial production of its food industries, Europeans may offer their chickens, pork chops, etc. at much cheaper rates than a farmer in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger or Mali.
It is obvious what this means for countries where the majority of the population is still employed in agriculture. Peasants abondon their homes, rush into the slums of already overcrowded cities, and then, in the absence of work or income, they leave for Europe, the presumed Eldorado.
The left hand knows not what the right is doing – and it does not even want to know
This is what European politics look like today, the once great European project! To be sure, an agricultural commission only deals with matters pertaining to its own competence: that is, with agriculture. Those extremely expensive investments in industrial automation have to be paid off, so it argues, and this cannot be done without exporting those cheap and subsidized European food products. For desperate African farmers pushed from their land (a tendency further strengthened by overpopulation), the agricultural burocracy rejects all responsibility. Let other departments in Brussels ponder over such problems!
What happens to the values of Europe?
But does not Europe defend its own values in an exemplary way, as states and private organizations are working hand in hand to save all those Africans from drowning in the Mediterranian? Certainly it does. But what happens then after the refugees have been saved? They are deposed on the coasts of Italy, the saviors declining any further responsibility because their own conscience is by then appeased. What happens afterwards to those emigrants is of no more interest to them as it is of any interest to the agricultural bureaucracies in Brussels, Paris or Berlin, what European cheap exports do to Africa. But they should care! For everybody knows – I mean, Europe’s people know, though some governments still pretend not to know – that the Union will rather break into pieces before Germany, Austria or France – not to mention Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic or Slovakia – accept refugees in unlimited numbers.
Does the Commission strive for the break-up of the Union?
In Italy and France, the extreme right is only a few steps away from storming the bastions of power. Europe defending its values in such a strange way, what else do we expect? An impartial observer may even suspect the European Commission of determinedly aiming at its own and the Union’s disintegration. First, through a senseless agrarian offensive, which triggered a human exodus from beyond the gates of Europe, then through a policy of forcing masses of migrants on its own unwillig people.
Politically wise an action is called, which does not neglect its possible consequences. The agricultural low-cost production at home has become a bureaucratic self-runner who threatens to disfigure beyond recognition the living conditions for a whole profession and the living space for a whole population. Must we not speak of political madness when millions of Africans are driven from bread and labor and thus compelled to seek survival in Europe? And is it anything but madness to rescue the refugees from drowning, only to depose them on the shores of a state whose population is thus driven into the arms of the extremists?
Let us stop
the low-cost agricultural production in our own countries! Let us stop subsidized exports to Africa, which expells these people from their own countries! The best way of helping Africans is not to harm them. In the name of our values let us save those, who still come to us, from drowning, but bring them back to the coasts of Africa instead of destabilizing Italy and endangering the future of the European Union!