[Marxism] Wine, capitalism and your good health

Patrick Bond 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/



davidwalters66 says:
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 
researchers. ”

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…

David Walters

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