A United Nations article lauding the “benefits” of world hunger seems to have been removed this week as it appeared to resurface in screenshots on social media.
Titled simply “The Benefits of World Hunger,” the article was published on the United Nations Chronicle website before being archived on Wednesday and then scrubbed by the international organization even as an explanation was offered to claim the post was an attempt at satire, albeit a pretty lousy one.
Readers are now taken to an error page when following a link to the article.
The United Nations has removed an Agenda 21 related article, published in 2008, from its website. The article says world hunger is a necessary evil because “no one works harder than hungry people.” Here’s a link to the archived article. https://t.co/mhelXueLGL pic.twitter.com/6El78Uj3iV
— Mark Alan Pearce (@PearceAlan1962) July 7, 2022
Archives seem to show the article was first published about a dozen years ago but, in light of current world events, it appeared to gain new life on social media this week as users expressed their shock over its content.
Written by George Kent, a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, the piece that many thought could not be serious touted how hunger could be good for the economy and may serve as a “foundation of wealth.”
The UN removed a page from its site entitled
– The Benefits of World Hunger
Fact checkers will say the page never existed. pic.twitter.com/G7sIzhVmir
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) July 6, 2022
“We sometimes talk about hunger in the world as if it were a scourge that all of us want to see abolished, viewing it as comparable with the plague or aids. But that naïve view prevents us from coming to grips with what causes and sustains hunger. Hunger has great positive value to many people,” Kent contended in the opening lines of the article.
“Indeed, it is fundamental to the working of the world’s economy. Hungry people are the most productive people, especially where there is a need for manual labour,” he wrote.
They deleted the article from their website but here’s the archive for posterity:https://t.co/ivRij6LnFb
— Ronni Peck, the Think Too Much Mom (@thinktoomuchmom) July 7, 2022
“How many of us would sell our services so cheaply if it were not for the threat of hunger?” Kent asked. “For those who depend on the availability of cheap labour, hunger is the foundation of their wealth.”
He furthered this premise as he continued.
“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?” he asked, warning “We would have to produce our own food and clean our own toilets.”
Kent posited that it can be an “asset” to the wealthy elites to have people “enslaved” by hunger, offering that hunger drives productivity.
“No one works harder than hungry people,” Kent wrote.
The eyebrow-raising article sparked outrage on Twitter where many, like the New York Post’s Jon Levine wondered if it was actually satire.
— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) July 6, 2022
Interestingly, the UN Chronicle spoke up and claimed the article was “never meant to be taken literally” and was a failed attempt at satire.
This article appeared in the UN Chronicle 14 years ago as an attempt at satire and was never meant to be taken literally. We have been made aware of its failures, even as satire, and have removed it from our site.
— UN Chronicle (@_UNChronicle) July 6, 2022
But many were not convinced, furthering the warnings of an attempt to establish a “new world order” through the current food shortages and supply chain issues.
Earlier this week, another article published in 2020 by the Rockefeller Foundation also garnered some renewed attention. That document, titled, “Reset The Table: Meeting the Moment to Transform the U.S. Food System” put forth the argument that “numerous changes to policies, practices and norms” in America’s food system have to be transformed to promote “social justice” and “environmental protection.”
The debate on Twitter continued over the UN’s “satire” piece as users expressed confusion and outrage.
The UN has used sarcasm on their site exactly ZERO times
— Tucker Max (@TuckerMax) July 6, 2022
Many people are defensive of this article being satire so it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Ok so assume it is…it’s still revealing a lot about what’s going on now. Assuming that this is the UN’s attempt at comedy, comedy reveals truth.
And no it was not posted in error 🙄.
— Leigh (@embarrassed_4u) July 6, 2022
You dare try to justify it by calling it satire?
Y’all need help, bad, you are broken if that’s what you find funny.
— Allison Hinds (@Sagittarian1776) July 7, 2022
I’m now convinced it was written as satire, making it all egg on the UN’s face. Sly move by Professor Kent if that was his intent. I forgive him; I don’t forgive the UN.
Either way, LOL.
— Κυνικός 🐺 (@kyn1k0s) July 7, 2022
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