Friday, March 27, 2009

Food riots as global phenomenon?

The global economic crisis has made "pessimism porn" something of a favorite pastime these days. More and more publications are talking up apocalyptic scenarios like food and water shortages, devalued currencies, and huge spikes in crime rates as old orders break down. (Great piece in the New Yorker recently that should be required reading.)

Poorer countries have some familiarity with phenomena like food riots, since when you're living close to the poverty line, even slight changes in commodity prices can be the difference between eating and not eating. Hence situations like Haiti, where elements of the government fell when food prices got out of hand.

Indonesia too has seen some isolated food rioting in recent years, and there could be more to come depending on how deep this crisis goes. But when you hear experts talking about such possibilities in America, it's time to rethink your assumptions about the world. Here's forecaster Gerald Celente on the possibility of social breakdown in the US itself, not just the so-called Third World.

Even level-headed writers like Peggy Noonan are being told by expert buddies to start growing their own food and stockpile gold coins. Rewind to 2007, and who would've thought any of this craziness would come to pass?


Today's Top Stories

52 killed, search for missing underway

Indonesia likes Chinese idea

Second time in just a month

Rebel leader in Papua raises passions

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