Humanity is entering an age of accelerating decentralization and complexity. The turmoil we are witnessing globally is a manifestation of this and suggests a turning point altogether as cataclysmic as the transition from the agricultural age to the industrial age. The forces of centralization and control (governments, corporate and labor structures, any hierarchical structures really) are in full panic mode because they are being rapidly upended by the decentralization trend.
If you want to see the violent death throes of centralization and control in action, look no further than our food production and distribution systems. Mac Slavo shared an outrageous story yesterday that will make your blood boil. It was about a group of private Nevada citizens who gathered together recently at Quail Hollow Farm for a Farm-to-Fork dinner consisting of organic food prepared by a popular chef.
The Nevada Health Department got wind of the dinner and dispatched a food inspector who barged onto the property to prevent anyone from eating the prepared food. In fact, after consulting with her unseen superiors back at H.Q., the inspector forced the gathering to destroy all of the food — literally hundreds of pounds of it — by pouring bleach over the top of it.
As outrageous as this sounds, it’s happening with such frequency these days it’s not even surprising anymore. We’ve seen a wave of stories of fully-armed and armored government thugs raiding raw food stores, arresting citizens who sell raw milk, threatening citizens who have home vegetable gardens, even shutting down children’s lemonade stands.
Folks, when citizens can no longer prepare home cooked meals for friends and guests without a government agency intervening (often violently), we’re rapidly reaching the end game. This is no longer about protecting the health of citizens — if it ever even was — it’s about control. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger himself admitted as much when he remarked that “if you control food, you control the population.”
Today our agribusiness food production is highly centralized and controlled. It’s a hugely inefficient, massively government-subsidized, monoculture system that is destructive to the environment, requires ever-more intensive inputs (pesticides, fertilizers) to generate yield, and produces cheap Franken-slop such as high fructose corn syrup rather than the healthy foods humans actually want to consume.
Organic farming on the other hand, is demonstrating conclusively that embracing complexity, decentralization and local production can pay huge dividends. As Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms explains, we are just now starting to understand the benefits of using multiple crops in the same space to imitate the diversity and resiliency of natural ecosystems. We’re just now starting to understand how little critters — bees, worms, bugs, etc. — interact with, support and benefit such ecosystems. We’re starting to understand that working with complex biological systems rather than against them is a much smarter way to produce food.
As importantly, the Internet is liberalizing and freeing information as it relates to food production in truly amazing ways. If you get a chance, watch the video below about a 300 year old food forest in Vietnam. It will blow your mind. As food production becomes more localized and decentralized, it’s also benefiting from a global knowledge base that can instantaneously transmit new local food production ideas, permaculture strategies and farming “best practices” to anyone, anywhere on the globe.
It’s this growing realization that food self-sufficiency is not only possible, but imminent, that has the forces of control scared shitless. A citizenry that can locally produce and consume its own food and no longer has to rely on huge agribusiness monopolies, represents an existential threat… at least to them. When you can feed yourself, you have a degree of independence and self-reliance that is truly frightening to the power hungry.
Complexity defies control, and in so many different ways, the future we live in will be defined by increased complexity and decentralization. Old hierarchical structures are crumbling all around us, and nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to food. The possibilities and opportunities of decentralized/localized food production are going to be huge, but make no mistake about it: As evidenced by the Nevada food inspector story above, the old system won’t go down without a fight.
Quick update… You really need to watch the video at the YouTube link below of the NV Health Department raid of the farm. The vegetables were apparently declared a “biohazard”, and they were prevented from even feeding any of the food to their pigs. Criminy…