2013-07-25

Overpopulation. Airijos bulvių badas


1799 m. Airija prisijungė prie Didžiosios Britanijos ir pagaliau tapo pilnaverte Jungtinės Karalystės nare.
The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was ultimately achieved with substantial majorities, having failed on the first attempt in 1799. According to contemporary documents and historical analysis, this was achieved through a considerable degree of bribery, with funding provided by the British Secret Service Office, and the awarding of peerages, places and honours to secure votes.[51] Thus, Ireland became part of an extended United Kingdom, ruled directly by a united parliament at Westminster in London.
1826 airiai atsisakė nuosavos valiutos. Ekonomika nori nenori turėjo atsakingai susiorientuoti į eksportą. Anglams reikėjo mėsos.

Airijos žemvaldžiams tapo naudinga žemę skirti į eksportą orientuotai gyvulininkystei, todėl nuo geriausių žemių nuvarė nuomininkus, kuriems teko susispausti į pakraščius. Likę ant mažesnių žemės sklypų žmoneliai skurdo ir priverstinai koncentravosi į to, kas būtiniausia prasimaitinimui - bulvių auginimą. 1845-aisias prasidėjus potato blight epidemijai, maždaug trečdalis airių (apie trys milijonai žmonių) mito vien bulvėmis. Milijonas išmirė badu, milijonas emigravo. Airija prarado 20-25% gyventojų.

Ne tai, kad būtų stokoję žemės kitokio maisto užauginimui ir žmonių išmaitinimui. Institucinė struktūra neleido.

Nathan Tankus: Marx on Ireland, Then and Now
Ireland’s experience in the 19th century has implications not only for today, but specifically for modern Ireland. Ireland never really recovered from the great famine. It had net emigration for the rest of the 19th century and most of the 20th century. According to Martin Ruhs of University of Oxford: “In 1996, Ireland reached its migration ‘turning point,’ making it the last EU Member State to become a country of net immigration”. With the onset of the Euro crisis, unemployment in Ireland reached well above 10% and stayed there. As a result, net emigration has returned to Ireland according to the last migration estimates produced by the Central Statistics Office (click to enlarge).

Thus, in Marx’s language, Irish and Eurozone policy has produced a “relative surplus population” and reproduced the conditions which led to net emigration Ireland. The difference is largely in the fact that now Ireland has a social safety net. This may not be true for long, as Ireland implements budget cut after budget cut as the “powers that be” demand. Rather than being pushed by the British however, this austerity is being pushed by the Eurozone and the IMF. Just last week, according to the Irish Examiner,
The International Monetary Fund said Ireland should stick to the terms of the bailout agreement and cut €3.1bn from the Budget in October. The IMF said it was not its job to dictate the terms of the Budget, but said that Ireland needed to continue its track record of fiscal consolidation”.
In other words, the blood-letting continues.

Finally, for those watching the history of currency unions closely, it is interesting to note that the Irish pound was ended in 1826. One major (albeit dated) study of Irish economic history argues that “the suppression of paper money in 1826 the tragic effects of the Great Famine twenty years later were made inevitable”. If this latter point about the Irish pound is true, it implies that Ireland has fallen into another trap similar to the one that plagued it in the 19th century. The difference is that this time Ireland’s politicians gave up autonomy rather then having it yanked from them. Words such as tragedy and farce don’t begin to describe their crisis.