[Marxism] Wine, capitalism and your good health
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sat Jan 12 22:02:03 MST 2019
Ok. Thanks for posting this. But as someone who downs closer to 21 than
14 glasses a week, I like David's rebuttal in the Notes section, below.
Here in South Africa, the core poli-econ of wine story - and critique of
the industry that employs about 120 000 workers - would be the taste of
super-exploitation. In one institute I occasionally lecture at in
Stellenbosch, there is a pre-school and primary school for children of
nearby farmworkers. They deal with a roughly 10% fetal alcohol spectrum
disorder, and you can imagine how debilitating that can be. The old "dop
system" of payments to farmworkers in kind, not in cash, is now illegal.
But it happens, still.
In early 2013, after the rumble of extraordinary class struggle that
carried on for about five months in the wake of the August 2012 Marikana
Massacre (one which still implicates our current president, Cyril
Ramaphosa, a major Lonmin platinum mine owner), the farmworkers won a
battle after brave strikes. Some workers took to burning down some of
the finest vineyards. Eventually they achieved an amazing victory,
raising daily wages from R70 to R105 (their demand was R150 ... about
US$17 at the time, but more like $11 now). That 50% increase was,
naturally, resisted in all sorts of ways by the white wealthy farmers.
Today a brand new minimum wage (R18/hour for agriculture, R20 for most
other work) is in effect, so the workers should be getting closer to
But the class/race/gender struggles in our vineyards remain
high-pitched. Here's one example:
Probably the most dynamic organiser of farmworkers and land-justice
campaigns - and most critical Marxist thinker - that you'll find out in
the vineyards (working from a Cape Town NGO) is Mercia Andrews:
Perhaps the best scholar to consult is a quasi-Marxist originally from
the region, Gavin Williams: http://www.gavinwilliams.org/cape-wine/
January 13, 2019 at 11:55 AM
Very typically junk-science at it’s worst. When you seen “Some experts”
one should run the other direction. Easily I can show that “some
experts” and “recent studies” show that drinking a glass or two of wine
*everyday* lengthens ones lifespan. Please this is incredibly nonsensical.
So you all know…there is NO science that says any amount of wine is
harmful. None. It’s a extrapolations, not done on human clinical trials,
but on…rats. Generally speaking, the statistics will show that countries
with similar economic levels of development people live longer with few
chronic diseases in heavy wine drinking countries than those that
consume less wine. France vs the United States for example. But it is
only of ‘interest’ because correlation does not equal causation.
However, even the American College of Cardiology agrees drinking some
wine is better than drinking no wine. And a recent study out of UC
Irvine notes “Drinking about two glasses of wine or beer a day was
linked to an 18% drop in a person’s risk of early death—an even stronger
effect than the life-preserving practice of exercise, according to the
Secondly, wine has *not* gone up in alcohol content. Since..when
exactly? Wine is *cheaper* to make *without* as high an alcohol
content…all wine runs from 9% to 13% and has for over 100 years at
least. What they found is that the longer a wine ages…the more it tastes
better, depending on barrel material and the fermentation process. The
longer it ferments, the more enriched with alcohol it becomes.
This is article is beneath the generally good quality seen here on Red Line…
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