Sunday, November 25, 2007

75th Anniversary of Genocidal Man-made Famine

Yesterday, Ukraine marked the 75th anniversary of the terrible famine of 1932-33, engineered by Soviet authorities to force peasants across the former U.S.S.R. to give up their privately held plots of land and join collective farms. Millions perished.

Now President Viktor Yushchenko is leading an effort to gain international recognition of Holodomor - or death by hunger, as it is known there - as a crime rather than merely a disaster, by labeling it an act of genocide.

Long kept secret by Soviet authorities, accounts of the Great Famine still divide historians and politicians, not just in this nation of 47 million but throughout the former Soviet Union.

Some are convinced that the famine targeted Ukrainians as an ethnic group. Others argue authorities set out to eradicate all private land owners as a social class, and that the Soviets sought to pay for the U.S.S.R.'s industrialization with grain exports at the expense of starving millions of its own people. What is most interesting to me in all of this, is that these were hardy, capable, self-sustaining farmers driven to catastrophe simply by being robbed of their food. In a time of plenty, and despite their skills to sustain themselves, these people were wiped out.

Looking at the extent of economic instability facing the U.S., and the potential for economic and political unrest - I wonder what will happen here if supplies crash (like the water supply is crashing in Atlanta), or, TPTB simply cut off supplies in selected cities for political reasons? I suspect that things will be a lot like they were in Argentina after the collapse.