Challenge capitalist use of agriculture as a weapon of domination
By Don Fitz
October 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It is time to take action against corporate methods of agriculture which poison the food our families eat, threaten the survival of soil ecosystems, destroy the livelihood of farmers, crush farmworker organizing efforts and subjugate entire countries. Here are a few of the many ways that people are challenging capitalist agriculture, from the very theoretical to the very concrete.
The core problem of agriculture is 10,000 years old. Cultivation of annual grain crops inevitably degrades the soil ecosystem and depletes soil organic matter. Perennial grain crops and cropping systems now being developed can resolve this, making food-producing ecosystems as resilient as natural ecosystems.
In India, the small and marginal farmers who comprise 83% of farm households suffer brazen commercialization of the countryside. The steady withdrawal of state support causes a decline in incomes. Yet, a growing network of people's collectives and agro-ecological approaches are reinvigorating Indian farming and augmenting incomes.
South Africa exemplifies a theme that runs rampant. Colonialism wrecks the economy of the colonized. This is especially true with regards to food deserts imposed by settler “farmers” on Black people within South Africa.
In the US, conditions for farmworkers go from daily abuse through wage theft to modern day slavery. A small, driven group of farm workers joined with the Fair Food Program to completely change these conditions. Allies across the US can support the expansion of farm worker rights through the Boycott of Wendy's.
On Wednesday, November 3, 2021 (at 7 pm CT USA) four speakers will address these problems during the webinar, “Agriculture as a Weapon of Domination.” (If you join live from India, 5:30 am, Thursday Nov 4, 2021.) It will include:
Wes Jackson, co-founder of The Land Institute, has a doctorate in genetics from North Carolina State University and has written Altars of Unhewn Stone, Becoming Native to this Place, Nature as Measure, and Hogs Are Up, Stories from the Land with Digressions.
Jaideep Hardikar is a journalist, writer and researcher in Nagpur, India. He is a Roving Reporter with the People's Archive of Rural India, a fellow of the New India Foundation, and the author of Ramrao and A Village Awaits Doomsday.
Asa Anpu is an African from Occupied Azania (South Africa), who was born in 1992, became a revolutionary in 2013, and joined with the Uhuru Movement to spread the message that colonized people must overturn colonialism in every possible way.
Nely Rodriguez is a leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). She conducts workers’ rights education in the fields of farms participating in the Fair Food Program, hosts daily radio shows on the CIW’s community radio station, receives abuse complaints, manages wage theft claims, and investigates cases of modern-day slavery.
Delilah Barrios will moderate the program. She hosts "As All Get Out" on The Populist Voice channel and is the Green Party candidate for Texas Governor as well as being active in its Latinx caucus and Indigenous caucus.
People with internet connections can join the program via Zoom from anywhere in the world. The webinar is NO COST, but you need to REGISTER to attend.
Click HERE to register for the webinar or copy this link into your browser: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIsduitpjMsGNU0a8Wqpyj4VEVM1FsFg8Md
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on joining the meeting.
Following presentation there will be time for questions, comments and discussion of up to two minutes from those in the audience.
Don Fitz (firstname.lastname@example.org) is on the Editorial Board of Green Social Thought where a version of this article was first published. He was the 2016 candidate of the Missouri Green Party for Governor. His book on Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution has been available since June 2020.