July 13, 2011

The Relativity of Scarcity and Plentitude

Filed under: Food and Farms, Freedom, Land Reform, Neo-feudalism, Peak Oil — Russ @ 4:57 am


Everyone’s familiar with the slogan “scarce resources”, but few stop to ask, scarce for what?
For example, there’s no level of resources which wouldn’t become scarce where monopolized by corporate and government elites and land rentiers. But a vastly lower absolute level could constitute plenty under a democratic economic and political dispensation.
That’s the core action principle of food sovereignty and my vision for post-oil agriculture. If we the people take back our land and farm it of ourselves, by ourselves, for ourselves, then even without fossil fuels we can still have plenty to eat, and live joyous lives as well. But if we remain passive and allow neofeudal processes to continue, we shall definitely be reduced to servitude and starvation.
You’d think this would be a no-brainer.


  1. It is to me. And to many others, going back to the “back-to-the-land” movement of the 1960’s, and even before.
    However, most of our fellow consumers, I mean citizens, laugh at the idea, or consider it impractical, or are afraid of trying. The fear seems to be that failure will lead to desperation and poverty. But the poverty lies in the lack of imagination regarding what true poverty is, and true riches, and the ability of people and communities to work together. Specialization, the supposed benefit of capitalism, would be a source of great community wealth: I know certain skills and knowledge, and you know something else. Together we get pretty strong.

    My in-laws are actually contemplating a future move to a land/small-farm based communal life with their children and grandchildren. Praise be to gutsy insights and actions.

    Comment by Publius — July 13, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  2. I hear more and more stories of people with such guts. That’s one sign, so far small but I think significant.

    Comment by Russ — July 14, 2011 @ 6:57 am

  3. I’ve long dreamed of a simpler existence whereby one doesn’t have to pay a power bill, a water bill, rent or a mortgage. The whole rat-race cycle is insane at its best.

    Post oil means mass starvation and populations literally blowing up. Hopefully it would also spell out the death of the predatory capitalist class as well.

    Comment by antiks72 — July 14, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    • It doesn’t have to mean those (the starvation and nuclear war). It’s all our choice.

      Comment by Russ — July 14, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

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