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POL410H1 Lecture Notes - Food Regimes, Invisible Hand, Neoliberalism

Political Science
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The invisible hand the visible foot - Araghi
The invisible hand means that if left alone markets will balance themselves. The visible
foot derives from politically constructed global agrarian relations. Araghi takes a world
historical viewpoint. He looks at three central themes that the visible foot causes.
Depeasantization, deruralization and hyper urbanization. He divides history into three
main stages; (1) colonial liberal globalism from the discovery of the new world until the
early 20th century (2) long national developmentalism 1917-1973 (reformist phase) (3)
post colonial neoliberal globalism. The first and third stages are closely associated with
economy liberalism, anti-welfarism, free market fetishism and designs for constructing a
truly global division of labour. The 2nd stage was the retreat of the 1st due to socialism
and anti-colonial nationalism. The current phase, the 3rd is an extension of the 1st phase.
In phase 1 and 3 there is a dispossession of the peasantry in 2 ways. This means power
shifts in the hands of the few, mostly by exploiting the peasantry. The first occurs though
different areas of national protectionism of the home market. (as touched by Clara in the
Bate’s article we observed the government exploiting peasants for purely
developmentalist means through price controls and export restrictions) The second occurs
by displacement in eras of world market hegemony through the establishment of global
food regimes of capital.
The global food regime is the value based global division of labour, we saw it’s
establishment during the 1st phase, colonial liberal globalism, where global pools of
peasants and wage labours emerge at the expense of domestic sources, creating the
dispossession of the peasantry from abroad through foreign power relations
The 2nd phase, termed “long national developmentalism,” was a reformist phase, with the
ackownledgement of the postcolonial peasantry as a political force and the
accommodation of their demands and needs economic orientation is domestic, either
by: a) socialist means, b) market-led national development two key themes dominated
the latter: i) import-subsituting indutrilization policies, meant the appease the urban
populations, ii) US-sponsored land reform policies, meant to pacify the needs of the
peasantry but also eliminate any moves to socialist tendencies (proposed as a political
motives by the US during the Cold War against the Russians and extension of the visible
food in action) family farms promoted to create individuality, cheerisment of freedom
and democracy; establishment of subsistence farming, some of which were able to
accumulate capital but others mostly failing emergence of the world market
substantially undercut and derailed home market formation and nation-based division of
labour US surpluses of food aid depressed world prices and encouraged third world
food imports/ dependency; dependency of imports emerges contradicted the liberal idea
that stressed national development and small scale expansion of capitalism towards
industrialization overall we see the goal of peasantization/ development being curtailed
due to external trends that lead to their collapse and depansantization to the urban setting
The 3rd phase, postcolonial neoliberal globalism, seeks to reverse protectionist measures
of society towards markets policy lending from the developed world under the rubric of
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