Thursday, January 04, 2024

Reformist Band Aids v. the Socialist Scapel

  Indrajit Samarajiva says of Band Aid’s charity anthem “It’s not just that these lyrics haven’t aged well. They were never good at all.''   With which we can agree, unlike his superficial critique: “I mean, this is all wrong. It does snow in Africa, although not a lot.”

In a short article titled Band aids for poverty ( July 2003) we observed:

'Almost 20 years ago Bob Geldorf organised “Band Aid” concerts in London and Philadelphia to help the starving millions in Ethiopia. So what is happening in that country today? Local musicians are organising similar concerts to aid the starving. “Aid agencies estimate 14 million Ethiopians are at risk of starvation after the worst drought in nearly two decades. The United Nations said Ethiopia needs 1.5 million tonnes of food aid this year.” Herald (26 May) In 1984 Ethiopia was devastated by a famine which killed one million people. In 2003 we have 14 million at risk of starvation. So much for charity, so much for well-intentioned reformers. What we need is a complete transformation of society not an elastoplast on a gaping wound.'

And today it comes as no surprise to read:

'Ethiopia's Tigray region faces a devastating famine, with thousands in desperate need of aid. The aftermath of war and drought leaves residents, especially the elderly, struggling for survival.'

Plus ça change!

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