Before I wade into blogging about my new book Saying NO to a Farm-Free Future, I’d like to take a step back and try to characterize some of the broader political contours that have now put me in a different camp to George Monbiot,..
I’m beginning to embrace the notion that there are hierarchies we cannot simply transcend through history, and that they must be honoured. But, per Rabelais and Bakhtin, that doesn’t mean we can’t invert and relativize them, make fun of them and insist on keeping them at arm’s length while we get on with the more important business of the people’s life and livelihood.
I’d argue, too, that there’s no particular virtue in boycotting existing climate protest movements from the conviction that you personally have access to some higher-level political consciousness, though there may be good reasons for boycotting them in practice.
Asking himself how deep the reconstruction of the project of Enlightenment has to go, McCarraher’s answer is an emphatically italicized “all the way down” I think he’s right.
This is the field of agrarian populism, where both the greatest challenges and the greatest opportunities lie in the fact that so few of ‘the people’ in so many countries today are agrarians.
I’m thinking of these present two posts more as a kind of position statement on the politics underlying my forthcoming book, A Small Farm Future, and its arguments for renewable agrarianism, using the debate about XR as my foil.
I briefly mentioned the Extinction Rebellion climate change protest in my last post. In this one I want to describe what some of my misgivings about it were and how I’ve now laid them aside and embraced the movement, thanks to a few dark nights of the soul and a little helping hand over the line from former British Home Secretary, David Blunkett.
So when combined with probable future food and energy crisis, there’s a chance that we may yet wrest the phoenix of an outward-looking small farm future from the ashes of Brexit. But the stakes are high, and the obstacles many.
International migration, then, is controversial every which way you choose to look at it. So let me take a deep breath and try to define a pragmatism of my own around the issue
I’d like to think that it should be possible for everyone in the world to have safe and comfortable shelter (including access to tolerably warm bathing water) and an adequate diet (I’m not so sure about the color TV)…
I’d like to raise a standard in this post for two doctrines that I think speak to our troubled times. The doctrines I have in mind are civic republicanism (that’s the Florence part of my title) and agrarian populism (the Texas part). Let me explain…
Generally, populism and its personification in figures such as Donald Trump and Nigel Farage has been presented in mainstream circles as a dangerous political turn, a threat to the established order of things, and not without good reason. But for those who’d like to replace the present global neoliberal economy with a more local, more equitable and more land-based or agrarian society there are overlaps with populism that raise a few questions…