Community, food, and the economy

It is all connected. My favorite constructive pessimist, Robert Paterson, on the problem:

Our system has destroyed community. Food is now “made” in industrial settings far away from the consumer — where machines or “slaves” do the work. I use the term “slave” deliberately as people who do crushing hard and boring and often dangerous work for just enough to feed them.

And the solution:

If we grow food . . . locally all the work related to this — the growing, the servicing, the processing, the sales and distribution — all return home. We start to create the habit and the systems for doing things locally.

No place for the young in the economy now — Food is the key.


Robert Paterson reflects on the John Boyd Conference 2008. It’s pretty grim reading about the state of the world, but he does have suggestions for what to do (on both macro and personal levels).

The search for efficiency and the urge to consume has set us all up like a row of dominoes — there is no buffer, no resiliency. . . .

We have to shift the Mindset and hence the design of our world from Efficient Machine to Resilient Organism. We have to shift the mindset of the leader from the hero/Saviour to the servant leader.

Above all, each place has to be largely self sufficient in:

  • Food
  • Energy
  • Money/Stored wealth/Credit/Savings
  • Security

(hat tip to Joe Irvin)