Thursday, 16 December 2021

The Agronomic Revolution

As "The-War-To-End-All-Wars"(1914-18) ended a century ago, Spanish Flu took millions of lives on top of those lost in the war Although many worked hard to build a safer, saner world, they failed, and, as a result, we inherit a sorry history. The founding of the Soviet Union totalitarian state led to the death of untold millions of peasant farmers. It was followed by the rise of Hitler's Nazi Germany, Mussolini's fascist Italy, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the bombing of Dresden, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Vietnam, Korea, Afghaninstan and so on, on and on. In the meantime, humanity made war against the natural world destroying rainforests, and replacing sustainable peasant farming techniques with financially profitable agribusiness that suits neither man nor beast. Presently we are seeing the frightful isolation of the elderly and dying, the injecting, masking and isolation of children, and the evaporation of basic human rights, all in the name of scientific and technological 'progress'. At the heart of the matter is the economic system. The world of finance forces us to sell our time for money to the highest bidder in order to buy the necessities of life.

According to the text books, economics is the "study of the allocation of scarce resources to infinite wants". But this leads to the 'diamond/water paradox. Water is essential for life, but it is plentiful. Diamonds are a luxury, but they are scarce. Hence diamonds sell for a high price, whilst water sells for a low price. The paradox invites us to consider the two basic forms of economy, the financial economy that is driven by finance and competition, and the real-life economy through which we manage our lives in cooperation with others and using the resources of the natural world. The financial economy that presently rampages across the world is, to put it simply, out of control because it is beyond the comprehension of rich and poor alike. It does not have to be that way. All that is necessary is to take a long, hard, unbiased look at what is actually happening.

When we do so, we discover three basic, interlocked economic systems or networks, all of which are keyed into the money system in their various ways. These are the macro-finance corporate world, the local Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and the individual Households (upon which everything depends).

The macro-finance corporate economy comprises the massive, world-wide, interlocking networks of transnational corporations that currently rampage across the world playing havoc with every living thing in their path. The networks of finance and Big Pharm corporations control production of armaments, pharmaceutical products, cars, computers, transport systems, agribusiness, mass produced foods, consumer durables, the mass entertainment and information media and, increasingly, the political and legal systems. Corporations include all the familiar names that appear daily in the news media, and whose products are brand names.

The micro- Small and Medium Sized economy consists of a mass of small businesses supplying goods and services to the local community. These include hairdressers, taxis drivers, high street shops, producers of all manner of electrical, plumbing, building, engineering, health care and education services.

The economy of individual Households is crucial to the existence of the other two economies. The full implications of this statement call for much self-help research, discussion and debate in the immediate future. Starting with Your Money or Your Life, leading to Radical Homemakers, Green Housekeeping and the Book of the Home. These point us in the direction of the key issues of food, farming and finance. In short, the Agronomic University of Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and the Catholic Worker movement as a whole. This is the area where we can all, each one of us, make a contribution that will make all the difference. (More in due course).

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