Article describing “The Benefits of World Hunger” published by the UN goes viral, netizens confused whether it is real or satire
George Kent has written extensively on the issue of global hunger, therefore it is unlikely that he will write something positive about the issue, and hence it can be said that the article is satirical.
An article published by the United Nations hailing the benefits of hunger has gone viral on social media today, with netizens expressing shock over the claims made in the article titled “The Benefits of World Hunger”. Written by retired Hawaiian professor George Kent, the article explains how hunger is needed to get workers for low-level manual jobs. It was published on UN Chronicle, the flagship magazine of the UN.
The article argues that people work to fight hunger, and if there is no hunger, there will be nobody to do the manual jobs. Kenk shockingly says, “For those of us at the high end of the social ladder, ending hunger globally would be a disaster. If there were no hunger in the world, who would plow the fields? Who would harvest our vegetables? Who would work in the rendering plants? Who would clean our toilets? We would have to produce our own food and clean our own toilets.”
George Kent also claims that only hungry people work hard, while well-nourished people are far less willing to do such work. He termed the notion that people should be fed well to make them more productive ‘nosense’, saying that “No one works harder than hungry people.”
The article caused great outrage on social media across the world, with common netizens and well-known people slamming it for glorifying hunger for the benefits of the rich.
While the article has gone viral today (6th June 2022) for some reason, actually it was published more than a decade ago. The article was originally published on the UN Chronicle, the flagship magazine of the United Nations, way back in 2008 in printed form. Later the article was republished on the UN website in 2019, which has gone viral now.
The same article is also available on researchgate, the repository of research papers, which says that it was written in June 2008.
While the premise of the article is indeed absurd, it actually seems to be a work of satire. George Kent, who was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii and now a Professor Emeritus at the university, had actually written the article to claim that the rich keep the poor people hungry so that they work for the comfort of the rich.
In fact, he has added in the article, “people at the high end are not rushing to solve the hunger problem. For many of us, hunger is not a problem, but an asset.” In the article, George Kent also claimed that people at the high end are not rushing to solve the hunger problem due to this reason. Although subtle, this suggests that the article was satirical in nature.
While most people were outraged by the article, some people said that it was a satire.
George Kent has written extensively on the issue of global hunger, including a book titled “Freedom from Want: The Human Right to Adequate Food”. Therefore it is unlikely that he will write something positive about the issue, and hence it can be said that the article is satirical.
The Benefits of World Hunger
More importantly, how many of us would sell our services so cheaply if it were not for the threat of hunger? When we sell our services cheaply, we enrich others, those who own the factories, the machines and the lands, and ultimately own the people who work for them. For those who depend on the availability of cheap labour, hunger is the foundation of their wealth.
2 Free the Slaves. Online, 2007. http://www.freetheslaves.net/
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