Friday, September 18, 2009

Digging the Trenching for Coming Resource Wars

New reports from the UN and analysts in India, Washington and London estimate that at least 30m hectares is being acquired to grow food for countries such as China and the Gulf states who cannot produce enough for their populations.

So-called emerging economies are buying up land and commodity sources in the undeveloped world to hedge against domestic resource collapse. Most of them, such as China, have already been shut out of the prime real estate because of their late development - the West and Japan have already claimed the best stuff. Consider the big prize in political relationships, that of the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Of course, investors in G7 countries are also involved, but more as private equity funds. Morgan Stanley has bought 40,000 hectacres in Ukraine as a way to profit from possible resource scarcities.

In order to preserve profit, class relations in capitalism must revert to a pyramid structure. World system theorists have called this the core, semi-periphery and periphery structure. For a few very wealthy to exist, there must be a exponentially larger pool of surplus labor available to exploit and profit from. As the so-called semi-periphery countries look to further develop, they are going to be forced to enlarge labor and resource exploitation from the very poorest countries in the world. Otherwise, the pyramid structure of world capitalism becomes top heavy, and much like US domestic nonfinancial profits collapsed in the 1970's due to high labor costs - so too will the world economy. To the extent this affects the 'core', they will present a note of alarm and concern . The subtext of the previously quoted UK Guardian article is "G8 leaders to discuss 'neo-colonialism'". Obviously, the G7/8 has not historically had qualms with imperialism. However, when emerging economies do it, then it threatens the established world power structure, and is reported as threatening.

1 "Fears for the world's poor countries as the rich grab land to grow food" - UK Guardian

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