The Irish Potato Famine Was Caused by Capitalism, Not a Fungus

Malandra, Ocean
Date Written:  2017-03-13
Publisher:  Paste Magazine
Year Published:  2017
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20554

While the blight did strike and take down most of Ireland’s potatoes, the truth is that Ireland was exporting more than enough food to feed everyone at the same time as the famine was happening.



Regardless of the wealth of the British Empire, it repeatedly refused to use its resources to either effect structural changes or alleviate food shortages when they occurred," Kinealy says, explaining how the Irish Great Hunger was not an isolated incident. "Famines occurred periodically in both Ireland and India in the 19th century. In both countries, the rulers in London blamed the indigenous poor for their own poverty—creating the myth that they were lazy, socially backward and uncivilized." Sound familiar? Of course it does. Blaming poor people for being too lazy or unmotivated to succeed is an extremely popular pasttime in the U.S., despite the fact that, just as the Irish who starved were hard at work producing profit for their rich British landlords, most American food stamp recipients are employed full-time.
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