Chris Smaje

After studying then teaching and researching in social science and policy, I became a small-scale commercial veg grower in 2007. Nowadays, when I’m not writing about the need to design low-impact local food systems before they’re foisted on us by default, I spend my time as an aspiring woodsman, stockman, gardener and peasant on the small farm I help to run in Somerset, southwest England

Though smallholding, small-scale farming, peasant farming, agrarianism – call it what you will – has had many epitaphs written for it over the years, I think it’s the most likely way for humanity to see itself through the numerous crises we currently face in both the Global North and South. In my writing and blogging I attempt to explain why. The posts are sometimes practical but mostly political, as I try to wrestle with how to make the world a more welcoming place for the smallholder.

Chris is the author of A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity, and a Shared Earth, and most recently, Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future: The Case for an Ecological Food System and Against Manufactured Foods.

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Food ecomodernism and the emptying of politics, Part II: or, jesters and mystics

How do we decarbonise and degrow the economy while nourishing ourselves not only physically, but also socially and culturally? I can’t see any plausible answer to that question which doesn’t involve embracing a greater emphasis on diverse small-scale farming to meet local needs – which was part of the point of writing Saying NO…

July 16, 2024

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Food ecomodernism and the emptying of politics, Part I

There’ve been two seismic events in British public life in the last couple of weeks. One was the general election. The other, of course, was the publication anniversary of my book Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future.

July 9, 2024

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Looking back, looking forward

I’ve long argued that the current global meta-crisis is essentially a cultural or spiritual crisis, even though I’ve never been an especially spiritual or religiously oriented person.

July 2, 2024

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Another England, or Another Rome?

The present global meta-crisis seems certain to affect not just global politics but also the underlying structure of global politics in the existing system of nation-states. What’s the outlook for modern nation-states as the crisis unfolds?

June 25, 2024

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Newsflash – global energy transition deferred, again

In the case of renewable energy, given that renewable electricity generation facilities are so cheap, why isn’t the global energy system switching rapidly to renewables? Because, Christophers shows, the economics of energy (like the economics of everything else in the modern world) isn’t driven by price, but by profit.

June 24, 2024

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Rethinking Rewilding: or, re-farming and the right to plant

The word ‘rewilding’ has had its day and now needs to slip gracefully into retirement. That, at any rate, is the polite suggestion I’m going to make in this post, which is the last in my recent mini-series on ‘wrecked’ land and what to do about it.

June 18, 2024

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