Why Diversity is Bad for Sustainable Farming

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.

 

 

 

 

Whatever happened to respectable poverty?

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.

More on pioneer and settler greed

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.

What living near each other could look like

I sometimes read a little group blog called The Orthosphere.  It’s run by a bunch of conservative men who seem really sincere about promoting traditionalism.  The problem is that they profoundly misunderestimate what kind of polemic would serve to promote traditionalism as an abstraction.  A recent post there is a case in point, but what this post is about is not the abstract, overlong attempt at conversion rhetoric, but a comment following the post about living more normally/traditionally.

http://orthosphere.org/2014/04/21/you-need-to-be-a-traditionalist-conservative/#comment-43968

Here’s the relevant half of the comment:

“…living correctly is not currently allowed. It’s politically incorrect. But individuals can score small victories in their everyday lives. They can refuse to agree with what they know is wrong. They can act rightly in their own lives or, when forced by overwhelming power to act wrongly, they can do so minimally, under protest. Perhaps we should open a new thread where people are invited to share the ways they resist the current order, act rightly, and maintain their sanity. We must not lose heart because our ideals have been declared thoughtcrime. Current conditions will not last.”

This assertion is correct in that living correctly in a piecemeal, cafeteria fashion is policed and getting increasingly difficult to do if one is conservative.  But this commenter misses the observed reality that doing so in a complete fashion, with a real parallel system is still on the table.  That is the gist of my post here.

Serious conservatives could be buying properties like this with a few other families and setting up a practical agrarian/distributist lifestyle and even potential spouses for their children and a real possibility of grandchildren and future inheritance.  That property has multiple single family homes and enough acreage for each family to “own” one of several crops (livestock is a potential crop, not just plants) and use that specialization opportunity to maximize returns.  Also, with several families living near each other but having their own homes, household tasks could be split up and rotated in traditional agrarian fashion so that nobody was overwhelmed.

Since the property is located in the super-boonies, living near several like-minded families would make the stresses of driving 2-4 hours to the “big cities” to sell the farm products a great deal more tolerable.  And the small core of families could still build relationships and friendships with the locals, but wouldn’t be demoralized if those social ties never formed to a deep extent (which is sometimes the way of things in isolated rural areas).  Living far away from one’s biological relatives would have a lot of the sting taken out, as the redundancy of multiple families means it would be possible to maintain regular visits and contact without the problems that come from leaving crops to do family visiting.  And financially, the property doesn’t require each individual family to have a huge income to pay their portion of a mortgage or massive savings to buy outright.

This is one path to “having all things in common” without ignoring the importance of access to private property and individual opportunities to build wealth and inheritance long-term.  I would also note that there are dozens if not hundreds of these sorts of properties for sale right this very minute, all over the United States.  The work would be hard and challenging, and certainly people have to save up something first, but this is on the table as an option instead of laments about being priced out of the suburbs, where one would have to struggle in a very different and more risky way with a piecemeal approach to living normally.

One doesn’t have to go full Amish, but one does have to set up a lifestyle that lays groundwork for restoration of healthy social structures and institutions by starting with a small group of like minds and branching out from there.  The barnacle approach of continuing to cling to the pieces of liberalism that appeal to you while rejecting the pieces that don’t is not going to continue to be a path for conservatives going forward.  Just as the True Way of faith in Christ is narrow, so too is the list of viable options for preserving normal life for future generations.

Them’s the breaks.  Industrialization and modernity mean we just can’t rely on the old dividends of traditional living.  They’re spent up and we have to just grit the old teeth and give up some precious temporal things now or see our children lose them all.

Political programs won’t restore normal life

Changes must be social, even if formal and systematized.  The politics may follow, but they won’t matter without the social backing coming first.

Thus, it is silly to focus on votes or overturning laws as long as you keep all the liberal, deracinated aspects of modern life in place.  If you won’t take the steps to live normally, you can’t expect the political changes to ever happen or be taken up by your children and their children.

It is extremely improbable that normal life can be restored in a generation, and certainly it won’t happen by the next election cycle.

The closest I get to political promotion is pushing people to demand civil service from their civil servants in their local jurisdictions.  That is something that one can see huge, major changes in and it’s something people with lots of free time can do right now.  In my region of North Cascadia, people are starting to demand this civil service and are seeing good results.  Less harassment, reduced regulatory pressure, more opportunities to run sustainable, long-lasting family-staffed businesses that enmesh themselves in their local towns and become strong, wonderful pieces of the community fabric.  That’s where political energy would best go, rather than campaigns and candidates.

 

 

Don’t let low-meat be high status

http://letthemeatmeat.com/tagged/Seventhday_Adventists

Some quick points:

Post industrialism brought a hard-hitting gnosticism to dietary practices for women.  There had previously been here and there some saints advocating away from meat, but nothing like the full-court press of the Seventh Day Adventists.  These heretics brought us breakfast cereal, the hearthealthywholegrains thing, and the beginnings of what eventually turned into vegan domination of what is nutritious, healthy and high-status.  The link above offers some densely written, reference-heavy dot-connecting on the Adventists and how the modern New Age vegan is just a hanger-on to the recent idea of meat as low-status.

This is where the whole “gotta eat lots of fruits and vegetables” and “diverse diet” yipyap comes from.  Conservatives don’t need the pseudo rationalizations of paleo to justify eating meat (this is why it’s so popular with conservatives, it’s ‘science’, so that makes up for doing the low-status thing of eating naughty naughty meat).  Meat is delicious!  Diverse diets are only necessary if you are a strict vegetarian, because you have no robustness to fall back on.

There’s nothing wrong with eating bread and stuff, it’s just that a startling amount of the whole conservative obsession with home-baked bread and fruits/vegetables on a budget and open denial/minimization of meat in the diet are due to frugality-obsessed conservative women aping what they think are higher status food habits.

There’s also the separate issue of women buying into the crazy idea that meat is masculine.  It’s not.  Women eating meat is not any less unfeminine than women being able to carry their own babies and children for hours a day (an extended feat of endurance and moderate physical strength and one variation of traditional female behavior).

The status issues around meat are another example in the endless parade of liberals being the ones to define health and high status food and conservatives just going right along because they view liberal ideas as higher status than conservative ones.

Reverse engineer eco-unfriendly stuff like low-flow toilets

Conservatives, who make up a sizable proportion of nerds and mechanically inclined types even on the internet, have a golden opportunity to be practical by subverting the ongoing push to regulate the usefulness out of ordinary technology like showers, toilets, lawn equipment and farming equipment like chainsaws and tractors, to name a few prominent examples.  Light bulbs, washing machines and detergent are other examples.  Detergent’s useful ingredient was removed due to a mixture of confusion about the chemical nature of the ingredient and outright violation of the laws of physics to serve a political agenda.  Conservatives have the opportunity to reverse engineer these things explicitly and then confront the mostly liberal “sustainability” advocates with the reality that their regulatory changes are ecologically unsound and carbon-promoting, while the reverse engineering is safer, cleaner and supports small, local, community-based businesses and families.

Then they have to actually deal with the implications of their talk about ecological practices being practiced, lived and promoted by conservatives and decide whether to dissemble or move aside.  Because liberalism is emotion-driven, facts and data, true data are powerful when steadfastly applied.  This is why liberals repeat canards about data even though they don’t know anything about the data and in many cases are referencing opinions declared to be data.  But videos of a chainsaw starting are much harder to make false accusations about, especially when a local regulator is standing right there watching.