The last 40 years of our history have seen the rise and dominance of neoliberal capitalism in the world and Mauritius as well. All the so-called big political parties including the MMM and the Ptr, all actors in the economic field and most, if not all, electronic and written media outlets have subscribed to this ideology. Globalisation and deregulation are perceived as the remedy to all our problems.
Leaders in our main papers denied that global warming (which has become global burning) and climate change (which has become climate crisis) were real problems and argued that they had nothing to do with human activities. The editor-in-chief of an important morning paper even wrote that the melting of polar ice would not affect us as the water would remain in the Arctic and Antartic regions; he also wrote against price control, for supply and demand as a regulator of price should be free to operate without government interference.
PA MWA SA, LI SA!
Now KASER NISA (spoilsport) Covid-19 suddenly makes us realise that “tout n’est pas pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes”. Respected thinkers, all over the world, argue in favour of radical changes in all fields to ensure sustainability. Piecemeal reforms are bound to fail.
But in the blessed paradise of pseudo-trilingualism, instead of seizing the bull by the horn, blood-thirsty politicians, journalists and the general public are feverishly looking for scapegoats. And, as is always the case, the small fry will bear the brunt. Haro sur le baudet! The weak and vulnerable will be accused and punished, not the rich and powerful. Small businesses are responsible for all our problems. The neoliberal capitalist pundits are suddenly very silent. If we allow a few shopkeepers to be harassed, victimised and stoned (why not!), then it will be impunity for all billionaires, millionaires and their brain-dead political acolytes.
The much-cheered law of supply and demand, once the paragon of virtues, is now the road to hell for the weak and vulnerable until … Heaven knows!
AND FOOD SECURITY?
In the wake of Covid-19, we have suddenly realised that, carried away by the promise of ‘high income’, the reward of neoliberal capitalism for loyal service, we have entirely forgotten that humans need ‘chow’. Food scarcity is already threatening us. For decades we have been using land, sacred land, as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder, to build gated cities for the rich, sumptuous villas for filthy rich foreigners who were allowed to buy citizenship. Now we need someone to shoulder the blame. Of course, the poor, weak, needy and vulnerable. Who else?
You don’t have a kitchen garden? You should be shot. You don’t grow your own ‘tipima and kotomili’? You should be whipped. In the early days both the MMM and the Ptr manifestoes had agrarian reform topping the list of their priorities. This has miraculously disappeared while a handful of white people own more than 75% of all lands. They believe in cash crops, not in food production. “GROW WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU GROW” has remained an empty slogan although it is a life-saving principle. Moreover, food security means also land reform, food production cooperatives, a new food culture in terms of cuisine and nutrition and special attention to health damage done by “gonaz-consumption”.
The economically and politically rich and powerful are to blame, not ‘the poor crooked scythe and spade’.
AND …LOOK FOR SCAPEGOATS!