Saturday, March 21, 2009

The “Permanent Revolution” of our Ignorant Elite

The fantasy held by leftist elitists in the west seems to remain as it ever was: accelerate downward mobility for everyone and doom humanity to starvation and failure for whatever variety of excuses are popular at any given moment. It used to be totalitarianism veiled in the demand for universal human sameness, now it’s a 19th century aesthetic fantasy about agriculture.

Paul Roberts is another writer who finds much to admire in Cuba. His book The End of Food (2008) is a paean to the banishing of the evil tractor and the awful fertilizer, the wonderful diversity, the docile oxen chewing their cud, the peasants happily hoeing as peasants ought to do. Roberts quotes McKibben to the effect that this concentration on labor-intensive agriculture is a wee bit more possible in a police state than it would be elsewhere. After all, Cuba had lots of excess labor and the ability to move it where it was needed without too many scruples.
Peasants are supposed to be peasants and struggle, after all, and we should all be coerced, if not forced into being peasants. That way we can all die by the dim light of the permanent revolution.
Sustainable, largely organic, community-based, and healthy food production in post-Soviet Cuba is offered by critics of "industrial agriculture" as an example of the sort of system that we should aspire to in the United States. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of Soviet subsidies for Cuba's sugar industry in the early 1990s, a near famine forced Cubans to radically change what they consumed and the manner in which it was produced. By 1993, per capita calorie consumption in Cuba had been cut by a third from the Soviet-subsidized level.
That’s for one simple reason, the same one that makes the bong-jockeys in universities believe that under communism there was plenty: there wasn’t. What there was, was a system disposed to producing the gravest environmental disaster zone in history: an agricultural and industrial environment where the value of all things was arbitrary because there was no real market to determine how to deal with the impact of creating goods, the costs of inputs and resources, and the like. Contributing, of course, is the unexamined leftist fantasy of government control of production combined with government regulation of safety practices. Call it an externality and that inherent feature of the human spirit is corrected for! If government is inherently good, then by magical the armies of people hired into it will be nothing but selfless. If “the new man” was supposed to correct for all of that greed stuff, why did generations of Communism not produce a single new man if it placed so much value of him?

Step number one will be to force the entire population between the ages of 14 and 74 to join the Future Farmers of America.

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