Sunday, February 5, 2012

Food, Finance, and Force

I think it was in 2004 that I first read a Stan Goff essay; from the beginning I was drawn to the everyday language he uses to make connections between the seemingly disparate threads of growing food, war, autonomy, and patriarchy.  I could also relate to his change of heart regarding a formerly unexamined hyper masculine "career".  For the past several years he has been writing about the links between systemic, non-partisan, economic/political issues and growing food.  Don't let the unappetizing title of his latest, "The Roles of Food, Finance, and Force in US Foreign Policy", put you off.

Here's an excerpt:
The belief in a conspiratorial view of history seems to me to be a psychological reaction to the fear of chaos. If the world is not as one would like it, at least a conspiratorial view of history suggests that history as a process is still subject to human control, and that once we wrest control from the unjust conspirators, the world can be made right again.

This unpredictability, this sense of instability that compels some of us to reach for order in chaos with a history of conspiracy, ironically, has been produced by the current political milieu, one wherein neoliberalism has disembedded economies from local control and re-embedded them in national and transnational institutions, and those institutions are themselves now experiencing a loss of control in the face of unanticipated changes.

Click on through to read the rest.

He is also a part of Insurgent American.

Insurgent American is a practical strategic resource.  What does that mean?

Let’s start with strategy. Strategy for what? In our case, for social change that emphasizes the practical and the non-violent. We believe that Grand Strategies are an illusion, a distraction, a waste of valuable resources, the most valuable being time.

Instead we suggest that practical, local solutions are the key to deep changes in our built environment, our natural world, our cultures and societies. So instead of top-down strategies, we believe in the strategic imperative, which is aimed at a process and not a target.

A strategic imperative might be “grow your own food.” No reason to manage how people do it; that is better decided by those on the ground, and it’s different in different places. No reason to monitor, oversee, or direct.

Note that the above strategic imperative is practical, not ideological.

On the other hand, we believe that people need to relate their activities not just to local conditions, but to a larger milieu. Macroanalysis, then, is essential to contextualize our actions and priorities. In other words, we need good intelligence to make good decisions… intelligence in the military sense. Information that is organized into a coherent account of relationships and processes.

So we link to and provide original analysis, and its essential counterpart, synthesis. Hey, if you want to take it apart, then you better be willing to put it back together.

One of the owners of the site is a practicing, if heterodox, Christian. We have also included various analyses and exigeses of biblical topics that relate to our current epoch. His outlook is radical (from the roots), anti-authoritarian, and pacifist.

IA will not confine itself to its own definitions, because that would be the tail wagging the dog. Anything that qualifies as intellectual ammunition may be subject to post.

Enjoy Insurgent American, and make positive changes in your community.

1 comment:

H2 said...

Thanks for the compelling read.

Irrefutable argument in favor of seed-saving and buying non-GMO, open pollinated seed for growing whatever food you can.