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Lappe_-_Beautiful_Horizon - 92 i I H O PE S r DGE human...

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92 i HOPE'S rDGE I human beings inside-our? or, could it be that Annat and my hunch about hu- man beings' need for connecrion with others and a purpose larger than our- selves is being born out by this extraordinary social experiment? Here is one of the few places on earth where people are, in a sense, at- tempting a new s.cicry a.d one within an opposing dominant sulluls- global, corporare capiralisnr. It may be the only place on earth where people are attempting r() nlccr this challenge on such a large scale, now directly af- fecting millions. Ma.y irr rhc MS'l' rr'gue that irt not they who are trying to rwist human nature inttl sot)rc trlllliltural contortion. That's what the dominant culture is doing t. r.s cv('r'y rlrry. "'l'he media and the whole culture are in a permanenr canrprrign r. pr.jccr vrrltrcs," Joio Pedro told us as we sat sipping sweet dark c.fli'c wirh hirrr irr sri. I':rul., "as if people arehappy and important when they collsunre , and whcrr rhey 1;rojcct their egoism and individualism.They tell us ail we warrr is r' c.'srr'e . Ilrrr these are fundamentally antisocial values." I told JoSo l)edr. ab.trr a' article Anna had shown me, which proclaimed that "the triumph of consrrmerisrn is the triumph of the popular will."18 The media want us to believe thar'.s t*re, .fo6o pedro said,but he and the people in the MST think differently: "Human beings need something more to be h"ppy." on the way out the door to Logan Airport for our flight from Boston ro sao Paulo, I'd thrown a copy of Barry Schwartzt book, The Battle for Human Nature, into my backpack. I figured I might wanr ro divert my mind at some point from harsh realitiesto more philosophic rhoughts. h didnt dawn on me then that what I was about to witness in Brazil wourd be nothing less than that: the battle for human narure. .',t'*'n,,\'*i r ; r" ofrl E H B u R A o u N IZ L TI Tb search for solutions to hunger rneans tu aa within the principle that the status of a citizen sur- passes that of a mere consurner. F o CITY OF BELO HORIZONTE A long overnight bus ride north from Slo Paulo takes us to Belo Horizonte, Brazil's fourth largest ciry.'We're in Belo Horizonte-"beautiful horizon'-for one reason: Itt the only ciry we know of in the capitalist world that has de- cided to make food security a right of citizenship. There are actually two Belos, we quickly rcalize,as on this morning we find ourselves at the crossroads between tnem. On one side, a towering hill is dotted with palatial houses, their large win- ,l,,ws glistening in the sun. On the other side, one of the cityt warst fauelas .lings to a steep hill. In the crook between is a pond and a police station,with t'()l.tcIA in letterslarge enough to be read from either side. Just beside thesc rowcring letters we spot our destination-an airy, warehouse-sized tn,rrkct 'clling rrFFordable, locally grown produce' Wrrlking insicle, we :trc irnmediately cl,rz.z.lecl by abtrrrtlrrncc: lrr()trrr(l\ {rl lr(.sll (lllr'()rs, lx.[)l)(.rs!
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