June 5, 2012

Who Wants To Feed the World?


There’s lots of morbidly ignorant people of all political stripes who believe the Big Lie that industrial agriculture can Feed the World (TM) and has any intention of feeding the world. (Never mind that it’s Capitalism 101 that capitalism needs conditions of scarcity and seeks to create and aggravate this scarcity, as much as possible. What’s the very first sentence one learns in Econ 101?)
For these flat-earthers, the mere mention that fossil fuels are finite is tantamount to calling for the starvation of millions.
Meanwhile for those who aren’t morbidly ignorant, there’s the facts. The fact is that organic and low-external input (LEI) agriculture even now outproduces industrial monoculture in terms of calories and nutrients. The fact is that this margin will extend astronomically as cheap fossil fuels become unavailable.
But this kind of agroecology can’t be adapted to corporatism. It doesn’t scale up, it can’t be Taylorized, it doesn’t fit well into political and economic hierarchies.
So when the morbidly ignorant blather about “feeding the world”, what they really mean is that they consider corporatism to be normative. But since corporatism cannot feed the world and does not want to, those ignoramuses are really the ones who want the world to starve.

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