Why peasants stay poor

A panelist at a United Nations-sponsored meeting observed that to understand why peasants (a class of people, of low social status, who depend mainly on agricultural labor) stay poor, one has to study first why their neighbors have become rich. He was saying that the rich exploit the poor.

Studies from early civilizations to the present have shown how ruling and other classes accumulated enormous wealth at the expense of peasants. As the rich accumulated more wealth, the effort to extract surplus from the peasants grew ever more.

Thus the growth in wealth on the one hand was accompanied by the growth of poverty on the other hand driving living standards of peasants down to the minimum level or even lower.


Lessons from England’s Glorious Revolution of 1688

Seventeenth century England was marked by political chaos. It executed one king, experienced a bloody civil war, experimented with military dictatorship, restored the son of executed king and after a bloodless Glorious Revolution, established a strong and enduring constitutional monarchy and democracy.

The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was the culmination of conflicts between Parliament and the Monarchy. The Revolution was bloodless because it deposed one king and installed another without bloodshed.


Keynes and State intervention in national economies are back

In his book “The Wealth of Nations” (1776), Adam Smith reasoned that the state had three duties – defense of the country against invaders; maintenance of justice to prevent inhabitants from oppressing one another; and maintenance of certain public works like roads and support to elementary education. The state should not interfere in the workings of the economy. Adam Smith rejected economic regulation which should be left to the market forces.


How Rujumbura’s Bairu got impoverished

I want to thank Dr. Ephraim R. Kamuhangire for his response of December 23 to my article on “How Rujumbura’s Bairu got impoverished” which appeared in Weekly Observer of December 4-10, 2008. I will respond on how he has chosen to interpret my article. 

First of all, Dr. Kamuhangire’s use of words such as ‘hatred and sectarian bias’ is an attempt to prevent people from telling the truth and to sharing knowledge freely. This method must be discouraged forthwith. 

My article is about Rujumbura county. I am not comparing it with neighboring counties and beyond. Dr. Kamuhangire is free to compare Rujumbura and other entities of his choice and report his findings.


Do Ugandans really understand the purpose of anti-sectarianism?

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the term “sectarian” refers to ‘of or concerning a sect; bigoted or narrow-minded in following the doctrines of one’s sect; a member of a sect’.

When the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government came to power in 1986, it launched the Ten-Point Program for the advancement and security of all Ugandans. Point three of the program stressed the consolidation of national unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism which had divided the country along religious, ethnic and tribal lines. The NRM added that it was a home to everyone irrespective of party affiliation, color, sex or height. The Movement would vigorously fight tribalism and religious sectarianism.


Hunger is silently destroying Uganda’s human capital

resources – especially land – and human capital are the principal pillars of
national building. In Uganda these two assets are deteriorating at an alarming

degradation through de-vegetation, deforestation, overfishing, soil erosion and
fertility loss, climate change – rising temperatures, droughts and floods –
dropping water tables, drying rivers and shrinking lakes are well known to the
authorities and to the public but little is being done to improve the situation.

life – the purpose of this article – starts on the first day of conception. Scientific
studies have established that pregnant mothers who are under-nourished give
birth to infants who are underweight. In Uganda 12 percent of infants are born


Oil won’t eradicate Uganda’s poverty

Since the discovery of oil, every Ugandan that I have talked with – minister, senior civil servant or peasant – is confident that Uganda will soon make poverty history.  They are convinced that enough jobs will be created and abundant foreign exchange will enable the country to import all it wants. Uganda is expected to join the ranks of Asian tigers and dragons soon. 


Lessons from Italy under fascist dictator Benito Mussolini

Fascism (dictatorship, totalitarianism, authoritarianism) is a form of government headed by a dictator who controls all aspects of human life – political, economic, social, cultural and religious activities. Fascism emerges largely in societies that have suffered from economic crisis, military defeat or some other disaster.

Because people are desperate they follow fascist leaders blindly who promise prosperity and stability, national pride and unity.  Fascists gain control of government largely through force.


Land is life and key asset for Uganda peasants

must clearly, consistently and unambiguously advise our authorities at national
and local levels, parliamentarians and would-be foreign developers that
Uganda’s land is life and key asset where 90 percent of our
people live and earn their livelihood. Land is also wealth and a source of
security for almost all Ugandans who do not have pensions when they retire. Above
all, land has sentimental value as our ancestors’ home. It is priceless!
Therefore, it is not a commodity for sale to the highest bidder – local or
foreign. And that is why land has become the single most contentious issue in
Uganda’s political economy.