Sustainable farming is all about the horrible exploitation of Mexican single mothers and slightly smarter brown women creating one middle-income job with benefits for themselves along the way as administrators of various “incubators” for small-scale vegetable farming.
What does it have to do with conservatives? They could Notice that the stable farms producing local or regional food are not part of some baksheesh scam, but in fact are family enterprises that return profits and are mostly farmed by intact Christian families. They could also point out that the “diversity” push is actively removing farmland from production and leading to less food produced over time, rather than more. In the examples above, most of the land isn’t being farmed and what is being farmed is plots barely larger than a backyard garden. The women farming those plots are worse off than actual sharecropping, because they’re never given enough land to make a full time income from, but they’re also not allowed to farm the entire plot as a group for the “incubator”. It is the worst of independent “farming” of a backyard plot combined with all the regulatory hassles of having many masters as in a full-on collective.
There’s also fun stuff like requiring the immigrant single mothers to take college courses (that they have to pay for) to maintain access to the plots they do farm.
This is so horrifying I’m just going to put it up as it is and not try to expand on the numerous other examples of “sustainable” evil out there.
One of the weirdnesses of American conservative life is the way in which everyone tries to label themselves middle class or even upper middle class no matter how low their actual station and income. Conservatives, even the very devout Christian sort, really do seem to buy into the “temporarily embarrassed millionaire” self-image. So the idea that poverty is sometimes a thing that can happen even to people who work hard and live clean is lost, even though as recently as the 1970s in America it was still a whisper here and there (mostly of course in the context of black Americans, but not exclusively). Living among the poor sincerely and functionally, not on a temporary basis where you go back to your high-income zip code a year later (there are easily half a dozen pastors I can think of who have done that kind of thing and dozens of non-pastors who think it’s “missional living” to do it for a few months), is something worth more than getting into a good school district via scrimping.
Americans have always recoiled from respectable poverty and only grudgingly accepted its existence, but in post-America, it’s worth remembering that poverty is always going to be with us until the Lord returns, so having it be respectable is better than having it be unrespectable.
This is the very model of a bagatelle.
Something that is always left out of the portrayal of pioneers and settlers as secular saints is how rapacious they were. FDR’s administration had to intervene during the Depression because whites only a generation or so removed from pioneers were so careless with forest harvesting that they were creating massive hazards and epic forest fires. There was also the poisoning of water supplies for gold mining, there was the overfishing and rapacious hunting. The ecological types arose in response to the fairly astonishing way in which (white) Americans were scooping up resources and hollowing out land with no particular thought to keeping it going for some future beyond the next few harvest seasons.
And the pioneers themselves worked hundreds of acres alone or nearly so with the aid of technology so they could have more money. Wall Streeters putting up 100 hour weeks are working extremely hard, but I don’t see reactionary conservatives jumping up to explain how their hard work means they earned everything they have and that we should all look to them as role models for how to really live the Christian life.
Note, I’m not saying the pioneers and the first couple generations following didn’t work very hard. I’m saying they chased them dollahs until they hollahed and whatever that is, it’s not saintly. There’s this strain in American conservatism of slaving really hard for any extra profits and I think you have to consider the socialist and communism infiltration in that light. There was a competing strain that did not win out of using the technology to work only enough to be “comfortable”, a sort of proto-distributism, and it’s very interesting to see it rise up alongside the “gotta get ’em all” mentality of the settlers and their children and even some of their grandchildren.
I have to throw in that “pioneer” and “settler” are terms along a continuum. Pioneers and settlers were homesteading into the 1950s (Alaska) and there were still what moderns would consider “real Ingalls-style pioneers” as late as the 1920s in parts of the Mountain West and Pacific Northwest.