Right-to-Farm, Right-to-Harm

As some readers already know, I am a farmer — or at least was a farmer — and in some places in the world, farmers are still called “peasants,” or perhaps “gentleman farmers” or even “villeins” (or “villians”). Although I no longer farm my own land, I am still occupied in agriculture in various capacities.

Keep this association of farming with “villainy” in mind as I discuss here this new new-thing presently (and brazenly) attempting to take off in the United States and Canada called “right-to-farm“, which I call by it’s more accurate name “right-to-harm”.

When I started the earlier Dark Age Blog years ago I was still farming, and much of the impetus for starting that blog then was rooted in my objections to what was quickly becoming conventional farming practice as I was observing it around me. Farming was drifting away from the human and humane ideals of stewardship and husbandry and was being “rationalised”  through a narrow-minded corporate-managerialist and engineering-technocratic model that I found desolate and abominable — exactly that attitude which I have come to refer to as a “mentality”.

And a “mentality”, to state it once again, is the mere residue of a soul after the spirit has departed.

Much of what I have learned of the “deficiency” of the present mental-rational consciousness structure (as described by Jean Gebser) I have learned from observing what are now considered “conventional” agricultural practices — this “rationalisation” of farming practices. And as Rosenstock-Huessy also once quipped about this drive for “rationalisation”, our poor bread has become so highly “rationalised” that we now have to put the irrational nutrients back into the bread in the form of additives, as if the nutrients were an afterthought.

It was from observing at close hand this rationalisation of farming — this desolate and dystopian “new normal” also in agriculture — that I came to extend my critique of this “mentality” to the contemporary techno-corporate society as a whole.

So I should probably not be surprised to see this constellation of corporate and technocratic interests congeal in this brazen political initiative called “right-to-farm“. If the concept seems vague and hazy about enshrining “generally accepted practices” in law and giving it privileged constitutional protections, it’s because it is intended to be so. It is intentionally obfuscatory and duplicitous because “right-to-farm” means nothing else but “the right-to-harm”.

Don’t believe the propaganda about this. Any farmer (or agricultural corporation) who really thinks he is “feeding the world” is suffering from ego-inflation. And this is, in contemporary terms, where the old association of farming with “villainy” seems most appropriate. “Right-to-farm” involves the most bald-faced mendacity and duplicity imaginable, and the old “villainy” resurrected in terms of the farmer’s dependent and subordinate relationship to the agricultural corporations.

More to the point, it illustrates that problem of the irrational sense of entitlement and privilege that Jean Gebser saw in the excessive individualism (the culture of narcissism and the supremacy of the self-interest) as a symptom of modern man’s disintegration,

“The current situation manifests on the one hand an egocentric individualism exaggerated to extremes and desirous of possessing everything, while on the other it manifests an equally extreme collectivism that promises the total fulfillment of man’s being. In the latter instance we find the utter abnegation of the individual valued merely as an object in the human aggregate; in the former a hyper-valuation of the individual who, despite his limitations, is permitted everything [my italics]. This deficient, that is destructive, antithesis divides the world into two warring camps, not just politically and ideologically, but in all areas of human endeavor.” (full quote here)

“Right-to-farm” should not imply a right-to-harm. Conceivably, it could insulate and protect agricultural corporations and their modern villeins from any kind of responsibility for the collective harm they may cause or do as a result of their “best practices” in the name of an all-too narrowly conceived “efficiency” and “rationalisation”, including evading the regulation of toxic chemicals such as those implicated in bee colony collapse, the decimation of bird populations, and the present misuse and abuse of anti-biotics in farm animals — a malpractice that directly affects you.

Apparently, these agricultural interests will not be happy until they sterilise the entire planet with their anti-biotic mentality.

Just say “no” to “right-to-farm”. It should not be given the same political status as “freedom of religion” or “free speech”, which the initiative has been compared to. That is a ruse and a dodge the aim of which is to externalise the costs and consequences of what are bad and irresponsible agricultural practices onto others and to evade any kind of accountability for it.

 

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13 responses to “Right-to-Farm, Right-to-Harm”

  1. LittleBigMan says :

    It is unbelievable that despite what we know about the impact of the common use of antibiotics in animal farms, the practice is still allowed to continue. None of this is making any sense, considering that our planet cannot sustain an ever increasing human population which is directly the result of this industrialized scale agricultural and animal farming.

  2. LittleBigMan says :

    I was just going to call it a night when I saw this image of a recent crop circle in a farm in Germany:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/germans-flock-mysterious-crop-circle-n169336

    I am absolutely fascinated by them, and the German farmer, Christoph Huttner believes that students on summer vacation did this. Noooooooooooooo way, Jose……… 🙂

    • Scott Preston says :

      Yes, these crop circles are quite something. Hard to believe they are man-made, given their near perfect symmetry. It’s almost as if they were designed on a computer then cut-and-pasted into the landscape in a single motion and moment.

      There is an ancient precedent for them, though — and not just the mysterious Nazca Lines and geoglyphs — but the labyrinth. Crop circles are labyrinths seen from overhead — from the vertical view rather than the horizontal view. It is extremely peculiar given what Ebert was saying about much contemporary art, too — Jackson Pollock, for example — painting as if he were viewing the earth from space, like a satellite.

      From the horizontal plane, the labyrinth seems an imponderable. But rotate the view through to the vertical plane (the overview) and you see the plan and logic of it all at once.

      Whatever the reason, incredible time and labour went into creating the Nazca Lines, so it must have been for some high purpose. I’m willing to venture an hypothesis, though — that like some other neolithic structures, they are artifacts in the evolution of consciousness to cultivate “the god’s-eye view” — in a sense, to dislocate consciousness from the physical senses and project it into the heavens via imagination, to “dwell forever amongst the gods” as it were. They may well have been aids to consciousness expansion.

      The counterpart to that might be the old question of scholasticism that was mocked by the new rational attitudes — “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin”. Seems like an absurd question, but it taught the mind to think in terms of the microscopic and the minute, and the question today doesn’t seem so absurd in view of fractal geometry and the fractal dimension either.

      One last thing about these kinds of structures (the neolithic ones anyway) is that one can’t properly interpret them except as belonging to magical culture, and thus without adopting (empathetically) magical consciousness oneself. Whatever purposes these structures might have served, it is in connection with magic or sorcery, because that is the mode of consciousness in which they were conceived.

    • Scott Preston says :

      By the way, you might want to compare these crop circles and the Nazca Lines and of labyrinths generally with the images on the 5,000 year old Cochno Stone in Scotland,

      http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/5000-year-old-cochno-stone-carving-may-be-revealed-1-3479326

      It’s very curious.

      • Scott Preston says :

        Just to fry your noodle a bit further…

        You might want to compare the images on the Cochno Stone with the layout of Stonehenge. Here’s an aerial view of Stonehenge showing the same avenue leading into the concentric circles

        http://www.stonehenge-avebury.net/stnhngebuild.html

        Here’s a diagramme of the whole works which assumes a completed structure at Stonehenge, showing the same “potholes” and concentric circle motifs as one finds on the Cochno Stone

        http://www.astronomy.pomona.edu/archeo/britain/stonehenge/align.htm

        Now compare that with the “ringfort” structure of Ireland’s Eamhain Mhacha (Navan Fort) which is assumed not to be a fort at all, but a “pagan ceremonial” site. You will notice how the central roundhouse is located within a circle at the end of a processional avenue in the photos provided in Wikipedia.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navan_Fort

        Photo of the ceremonial roundhouse

        Not much to say that there is any connection with crop circles, except that many crop circles follow much the same pattern

        https://www.google.ca/search?q=crop+circles+images&client=firefox-a&hs=5rj&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=7f3aU7iFCMPgoAS6y4L4CA&ved=0CB0QsAQ&biw=1280&bih=673

        Some of these are clearly human engineered. In other cases, human beings may be the agency, but the conception is not (if I can put it that way). These are those “sacred geometries” that arise from timeless primeval roots. In that sense, they are man-made yet not man-made at all.
        Both conclusions may be true.

        • LittleBigMan says :

          LOL……the circuits in my noodle are indeed fried as it is now…….but no choice, got to try to keep up with the highest quality blog on the web 🙂

          The Stonehenge is quite remarkable. Your earlier statement about these as having been the products of magical structure of consciousness is well founded. As you say, and I agree completely, that’s why we have such a hard time deciphering these works with the predominantly mental-rational structure of consciousness today.

          The Navan Fort was another new piece of information for me. Truly, everything about the British Isles (the seas, the history of its people, its landscape, climate, and nature, etc.) is magical, I think, more than any other place, even today. When I think about its relatively small geographic location and reflect on the impact that it has had on all of history, it’s no surprise that we encounter these mysterious structures from its past.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        Wow……I had never heard of Nazca Lines and geoglyphs, and Cochno Stones. I watched a very interesting documentary on Nazca Lines and geoglyphs on the Youtube (I hope you can access the link from up north):

        One liberating aspect of these giant ancient artifacts is that we can point to the civilizations that created them even though they were constructed many moons ago.

        But crop circles are brand spanking new and, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been seen or caught creating them. How come I can get caught as a kid eating fruit from someone’s orchard, but no one has ever been caught or seen creating these huge precise patterns in the crop?

        Over the years, every bit of information I have read or watched about crop circles has surprised me even more. In one instance, the crop circle was created a few hundred feet from the main house of a farmer, and yet he had not heard a sound or detected a movement when the crop circle near his farmhouse was created. That tells me that most likely no electrical device was ever used to create the crop circle. Even a leafblower working that far away would perhaps draw someone’s attention to itself. Crop circles are very very peculiar and mysterious.

        • Scott Preston says :

          I haven’t yet watched your video, but I’ll make a pot of coffee and sit down with it shortly.

          Last night, however, I had a dream about the symbols on the Cochno Stone and the meaning of Stonehenge. I don’t know quite whether to credit the dream at this time, but it gave me a different view. It wasn’t a very comforting dream, however.

          The dream suggested that the “cup and ring” symbols were actually the human form. The processional avenue into the centre of the circle was either the spinal column or the esophagus — I couldn’t tell which. At the centre was an inky blackness, and this is in the area of the solar plexus. This inky blackness, it was suggested was “the dragon under the mountain” or “the bear in hibernation” in its cave, and the thought that occurred to me was “the foreign installation” — an alien presence in my solar plexus, and it was drawing off energy from my limbs and organs to sustain itself. These other limbs or organs are the concentric circles of the image — representing metabolic, circulatory, respiratory, nervous systems and circuits, or perhaps the various “sheaths” — the psychic body, the astral body, the mental body, etc.My dream wasn’t quite clear on that, either. But my body was depicted as this labyrinth in the same manner as the images on the Cochno Stone, and the relationship of the centre to circles was depicted as the relationship of the solar plexus to the various bodily functions, and the dark mass occupying the solar plexus was feeding off the energies of these other functions.

          I actually did wake up feeling very weak in my limbs, and with an almost urgent need to physically vomit up and expel the dark mass from my solar plexus — I was feeling almost volcanic, in that respect. The feeling passed in time, but it was quite unsettling.

          I mention this dream as perhaps another possible explanation for the “cup and ring” symbols — not so much being astronomical as much as images of the human form. Stonehenge might actually be the shape of a man, or the shape of human consciousness as it was understood in that time.

          • LittleBigMan says :

            This is a remarkable dream, especially given the physical symptoms it brought upon you after you woke up.

            I didn’t realize this until you mentioned the connection between your dream and the array of markings on the Cochno Stones. But, your comment suddenly opened the gate to a flood of memories for me………

            You see, similarly peculiar and even undecipherable markings are what I at times see in the transitory moments right before falling asleep.

            As my eyes are closed and I lie in bed for close to an hour tossing and turning, there comes a moment when I realize falling asleep is imminent. This moment has two important signals. Firstly, I feel a sense of relaxation that only occurs in the moments right before falling asleep, and secondly, at times, I can feel a barely discernible sensation of a portion of my being from within disengaging from the rest of my physical body. I have never been able to get to this point and keep awake. This sensation of disengagement from within is tantamount to falling asleep.

            This portion that begins to disengage or dislodge itself from the rest of the physical body may be the same as “the dragon under the mountain,” or what Robert Monroe described as “The Second Body.” But it doesn’t seem to be “the foreign installation.” I say this, because according to Jiddu Krishnamurti, “the conditioned self” happens in the brain not in the solar plexus. By the way, this sensation of disengagement I feel at times right before slipping into my sleep isn’t localized.

            At the same time, don Juan did mention some symptoms of becoming a man of knowledge? which I believe were very similar to the symptoms you experienced after you woke up from the dream.

            But my main reason for mentioning the “sensation of disengagement” from within that I feel right before falling asleep is that it is right before this sensation that I sometimes see dense clusters of Cocho Stone type images inscribed on rocks with my eyes closed. This is why I believe they are totally symbolic.

            I’m able to see the inscribed images almost at will before falling asleep, but I know it is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to understand what they mean. Quite possibly, they could signify a connection to the human form, as you mention.

  3. LittleBigMan says :

    By the way, Here are a series of videos on California drought. The first two videos from the top of the website touch on the impact on agriculture industry.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-drought-cost-2-2-billion-thousands-jobs-n159616

    A couple of years ago, farmers here were knocking down almond trees (water intensive trees) in favor of planting less water intensive produce. The second video at that website shows a farmer who is knocking down a portion of his orange trees in favor of planting something else. What’s next?

  4. LittleBigMan says :

    I was just listening to an interview with an expert, on my radio, about the algae toxins that have rendered the Lake Eerie water non-potable for hundreds of thousands of people In Toledo, Ohio. The expert was saying that this problem had occurred before and it was identified back then that the cause was runoff water from farms upstream that contained phosphorous.

    Sure enough I found the following excerpt from a report that was filed at this link:

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/08/04/this-bloom-is-in-bad-location.html

    “Studies at the National Center for Water Quality Research at Heidelberg University in Tiffin have found a direct link between farming and high levels of phosphorus in watersheds, Laura Johnson, a research scientist there, said yesterday.

    “We know it’s coming from agricultural runoff. But in reality, when we think about why these farms are leaking phosphorus, that part of the story is far from clear and far from simple,” Johnson said.

    “Heavy rains can wash fertilizers from fields into the streams and rivers that feed lakes. Overflowing sewers, failed septic systems and runoff from lawn fertilizers also contribute to phosphorus in the watershed.

    Ohio has no laws requiring farmers to limit the amount of phosphorus on their fields or that force farmers to reduce runoff. But lawmakers this past spring took a step toward tackling the algae problem when they offered farmers voluntary training before they use commercial fertilizers on their fields.”

    Indeed, the “Right-to-Farm” has become the “Right-to-Harm.”

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