Humankind is at a fork in the road
For years I have been writing about the concept of Disintermediation as a framework for localizing our lives and our supply chains. It simply means that for every need that we have to survive, we must eliminate the intermediaries between us and our supplies. For example, a person who purchases an apple at a supermarket is 100% intermediated. A person who purchases the apple from a local organic farm is partially disintermediated. A person who grows the apple locally is 100% disintermediated in terms of acquiring an apple. You can apply this concept to all your needs and you will quickly see what and where the challenges lie. Disintermediation is the opposite of globalization. As you may know, the ruling class is all about globalization. We, as a society have become so dependent upon out Lords to supply us with our needs that we no longer know how to care for ourselves.
We are now on the threshold of having to decide, individually, what path we are going to take. To continue on the path to globalization, or to do what this group in the UK has been dping for a number of years. Their efforts have slowly gained momentum and there is a write up about them in The Guardian. It is an interesting read and it may shed some light on the challenges you might face when you decide to walk down this road.
In my mind, there is no other solution to our global dilemma. The localization movement is the only viable future. It will happen in an organized and supportive way, or it will happen after our wise leaders have brought an apocalyse upon the planet. Either way, we will end up here. The question is will we be allowed to walk this path?
My own apples are starting to ripen, but they're scrawnier and more bug-infested than they should be. I wish my community supported your concept of 'disintermediation' by holding public classes in what used to be 'everyday skills' of our earlier ancestors, as well as the modern updates that have come along since. Teach us to do more for ourselves, to work to end our dependence upon imports from elsewhere. Heck, we've got a number of large parks in town, with generic trees. They could replace those with fruit trees, hire on some orchardist types to care for them, and distribute the food produced to the community in season, placing much of it with the local food pantries.
is within a year, will prompt communities to do exactly as you hope. And my guess is, based on your actions already, people like you will lead the local effort. Are you aware of the edible forest projects that are going forward in some cities?
Ie, now that you mention them again, I vaguely recall having heard about them, but I've not really looked up any info on them. I should.
the species evolved a few hundred thousand years ago. Apparently, a majority of their decisions haven't been the best ones.
to me, actively growing the apple is the first step toward DISintermediation, i.e., you are removing intermediaries.
That's going to result in some sort of agricultural/farming activity. Who's not going to want to control the number of apples available to them? That farming will free up time for people to specialize in other non-apple related skills. That specialization will eventually lead to a globalized economy, if the required energy is available to maintain it, where intermediation is what makes the system function.
You can pick the apple off the tree and eat it. If you control the tree though, then you control who gets the apples.
It also makes more sense for others to pay me for my services.
a great excerpt from a book that was published in the Guardian
tip of the hat to Malaise for posting a link to it a few days ago:
I see this every day, here in May berry of all places.
I am heartened to see signs of the localization movement.
The more people become disconnected from their food sources the more dependent they become on big business. It's a problem on a number of levels, wait until water becomes scarce and humans become dependent on 'for profit' water corporations to deliver the product to them.
Where would you stop in the disconnection? Are you for, as an example, local schools teaching whatever they want to teach? Is it any large and distant entity, or just big business?
We can't really do both, because large and small are different. One doesn't fit into the other, either way. We try to do both, but nothing really works. As another example, we have global corporations, but at the same time we have regional governments all acting in their own interests, so corporate power can play one against the other fairly easily. Nobody really listens to the UN.
It seems like we are letting them dictate how we are to live. The point of encouraging people to support their local infrastructures (food) is to help people remain autonomous from the massive machine of global capitalism. There will always need to be some type of supply chain, I think the argument is for keeping it shorter rather than longer.
"Mother Nature" (no, I'm not any kind of pagan, it's just a nice short description) is going to pound this international economy and civilization into the sand, possibly quite literally as the oceans rise and storms become more intense.
The uber-wealthy are going to end standing on the pavement pounding on their cellphones wondering why they can't buy fuel for their private, jets, cars, and yachts, just before their phones stop working, as their bodyguards desert them, and the pitchforks and torches crowd arrives to burn down their palaces.
The hard working invisible people living in poverty, will as a class survive, they usually do, but for no other reason than that there are so many of them.
That's generally how life on earth has always worked, for billions of years. Exponential population growth always ends badly, not only for the dead, but for the survivors too until something new comes along.
Our current economic system, as others have noted, "is dumber than a vat of yeast." Fossil fuels powered our population's exponential growth, and thus this economy is doomed.
Meanwhile, we are all free to walk our own paths, and always have been.
Some of paths individuals find themselves walking are difficult, and some are easy. But not everyone gets to leave this world peacefully, checking out in old age without pain surrounded by friends and family. Nor is that "ideal" end everyone chooses. Base jumpers in their wing suits, monster wave surfers, people who race big motorcycles along twisy mountain roads, people who challenge bloody "authority," they know there is some great risk they will end crushed on the rocks.
It's common human nature to reject the advice of others who tell us what we "should" or shouldn't do, especially when that advice comes wrapped in some sort of threat.
We should quit fossil fuels because of climate change!
We should quit nuclear power because of nuclear waste, Fukushima, and Chernobyl!
I hate automobiles with a passion, even electric automobiles. If somebody gave me a Tesla I'd toss it away like a hot potato. But I'm also a hypocrite who doesn't want to suffer the inconvenience of not owning a car in this automobile-centric society. My protest is to drive an $800 piece of shit car that I never wash, except for the windows, and drive as little as "possible." I cheer the floodwaters that recently took out the bridges on Interstate 10 here in California, disconnecting us in some small way from Arizona, and the only people I really feel sorry for are independent truckers who had to eat the costs of delays and detours.
Fuck you, automobile culture!
If I was emperor of this planet earth then the maximum speed limit for anyone in motorized wheeled vehicles, boats, and planes, all but for paramedics, would be 50kph.
But mine are shallow gestures.
My own philosophy is born of my inclinations as an amateur evolutionary biologist and paleontologist. I've got the college education documenting that interest, plenty of coursework and fieldwork, and have been a science teacher at various times.
In a million years none of this shit matters. Our civilization is an interesting layer of trash in the geologic record.
In ten thousand years nuclear waste doesn't matter.
In a hundred years or less, most of the work we busy humans are so concerned with today simply doesn't matter. I've installed tile and stonework (my brother is a tile contractor), built with exquisite craftsmanship to last centuries, that has been ripped out and replaced on the whim of trophy wives of wealthy men. (Don't accuse me of sexism... one bully who used to torment me almost daily in middle and high school ended up as the boy-toy of a wealthy older woman, and she very proudly introduced me to him, at which point both of us, as proud adult men, decided instantly to pretend we'd never met.)
I've also been a hermit, and I'm sort of living that way now. Our animal shelter rescue dogs probably think I'm one of them, useful in our pack for magically procuring food, opening doors, and filling their water dishes whenever the lids to the toilets are inexplicably closed. Dingo is fairly certain she ranks above me in the pack hierarchy. Mostly I'm okay with that.
My own philosophy has a lot of Ursula K. LeGuin in it.
Picking a short story and a novel, I'd say, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas and Always Coming Home.