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Let’s Hear It For Agriculture

May 14, 2011

It’s late but I had to pass comment on this. Cannot believe what I am reading.

There’s no doubt that there are and/or were downsides to agriculture. But it’s this love for all things primitive, without really questioning what that entails. It’s a lot like some of the self styled ‘anarchists’ who only call themselves thus because it’s cool not because they have ever actually considered the implications of anarchy or how it may actually work.

Okay so we transition away from agriculture. How? Just kind of…let the cows walk away? I don’t think they want to. But let’s suppose they do. Surely the most efficient way for people to feed themselves is to do some kind of manipulation of nature – you know, farming – otherwise they are dependent on the whims of natural changes, basically wandering through the wilderness, fingers crossed that the next bush will be full of berries.

So agriculture has given us a lot more ‘food security’. Great. This also frees up a lot of time that would otherwise be spent foraging which can now be used for song and games, and for some, philosophy, writing, science, art etc etc. You know, culture? That whole thing? Civilisation?

(Even hemp won’t grow unless you plant seeds. Yes, planting seeds is agriculture.)

What makes me sadder is how some people actually just nod and agree. I mean, it may as well be Malthus right there, and frankly I got the same feeling while reading that, but maybe that is just due to the academic author.

So thank you agriculture for all you have given us. Some of our long ago ancestors toughed it out farming, for century after century, and look where we are now, with a majority of people literate for instance. Some of them even blasted into space. If prehistoric man had stuck with hunter gathering where would we be? Sat in the bush in loin cloths? No way in hell would this post exist. In fact I’d certainly be dead as I only survived birth due to surgery. (Irrelevant supposition as world population wouldn’t even be a tenth of what it is today.) Although maybe that’s me being ‘selfish’ again, huh, ruining the whole planet just for my own gain…

To dismiss the acheivements of the human species via agriculture/civilisation, as some kind of ‘mistake’, is an insult to our ‘primitive’ ancestors. You want primitivism, however, you’re going to get it. We do seem to have been predictive programmed for that.

I don’t think the reality would come close to matching the fantasy painted by the movies and of course by Ray Mears who we all know is superior to Bear Grylls. Cmon at least Ray actually does the stuff for whole days and doesn’t cheat.

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