Stuck in the mud
During the rainy season the desert tracks here in Sudan are virtually impassable: a sixty-mile busjourney can take a whole day as the bus is frequently bogged-down and has to be dug out or pulled out by a tractor. A pedal-powered vehicle would find the tracks equally impossible. Any type of wheeled vehicle, without proper weather-proofed roads, is likely to find the rainy season difficult. And in this vast, sparsely populated country, buses and lorries are the means by which people both keep in contact with their families and friends and market their produce.
First, your reviewers' claim that Marx said that "'the bourgeoisie will create its own grave-diggers": the trade unions', is completely erroneous. On the contrary, he claimed it would be a `political party' which would bury capitalism. Also, your reviewer impled a distinction between Socialism and Communism. This is also false. Marx and Engels used the words interchangeably throughout their lives.
Incidentally, the original title was `Manifesto of the Communist Party'. There was, of course, no such party, nor was there during Marx's lifetime. That is why Engels, twenty-four years later in a preface to the Manifesto, said that some of it had become obsolete.
Perhaps the term would seem less attractive if instead of thinking of the rich at the top, middle class in the middle, and poor at the bottom, we put the poor at the top, reverse the order, and try then to justify a `trickle up' process.
In fact Third World monetary flow is such that there is a process of osmosis in the middle sector that draws some money from the top down, but also draws up an enormous amount of productive effort from the bottom, while distorting local economies to the further disadvantage of the poor.
Perhaps in 1981 we can de-emphasise `trickle down' and examine the `osmotic syndrome' as a more descriptive and accurate piece of economic jargon.
If individuals are free to join the economy on their own, rather than as an employee; and are allowed to fail or succeed on the basis of their own skills and free market pressures, then the theoryworks. All economists agree small indepedent businesses are the most efficient and innovative of economic units. Any newly generated wealth spreads through the system benefitting a large number of people, since so many people are a part of it.
If, however, the economy is controlled by price-setting oligopolies, it is nearly impossible for small newcomers to enter the system. Any newly generated wealth will stay with the oligopolies.
There is a symbiotic relationship among economic, social and political structures. Oligopolies will be paralleled by an elitist society and a pervasive government. Ahost of small independent economic units will be paralleled by a society where no group predominates and a limited government.
It is not as if the theory is wrong; it has just not been given an honest chance to workbythe self-perpetuating elites running most Third World states.
Daniel Allan Kyba
This spectacular increase is due to massive supplies of food to Black African states which would otherwise starve. The Economist of London reported in June that South Africa was sending 80,000 tons of maize to Kenya, 250,000 tons to Zambia, 150,000 tons to Mozambique and lesser quantities to Zaire, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mauritius. Since June these supplies have increased further and also include wheat.
The paradox is that while Russia sends more and more arms to Black Africa to destroy life there, South Africa is providing food to sustain Black lives.
The road to hell
The eye of the beholder
Surely there would be more beauty in the world if there were more justice and equality. Equality can never be gained by women or anyone else whilst they have to waste time and money distorting themselves to fit an image which other groups in society want them to conform to. Black people have realised this and they are now taking control of, and pride in, their own identity and the way they want to look, as the Rastafarian pictured on the cover of your issue No. 94 well illustrates. Women are trying to do this too.
I'm not saying that women shouldn't wear make up - but they should have the choice. If they choose to wear it they should do so because they enjoy wearing it, not because they want to look the way Mr. Clow thinks they should.
Secondly, I would argue with Mr. Clow's stereotyped image of a feminist. As Editor of the Women's Studies Newsletter I've been to many feminist gatherings and failed to see all these 'grim-faced, humourless, dowdily-dressed feminists'. We're grim-faced occasionally perhaps, but anger at oppression makes us all serious sometimes.
What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't really matter what Mr. Clow `would rather look at'; an individual's appearance must be controlled by the individual concerned.
Land for all
One solution would be for charity to establish a programme of systematic land acquisition in countries where a shortage of land is the chief obstacle preventing the poor from helping themselves. The land acquired would then be divided into small, but viable holdings and leased at low rents to the poor. The rents, plus donations to the charity, would provide the means for continuous expansion of the programme. The tenants' rents would therefore be used to help others worse off than themselves. Perhaps some charity is already engaged in this sort of programme. If so, I am sure readers of the New Internationalist would like to know who they are.
R H L Disney
More good news
If they exist, perhaps we could have some more articles with an emphasis on where some solutions lie?