>Sometimes people use the word capitalism as if it is something low, dirty,
>everything bad, and to be avoided.
>These people remind of the two communist farmers who were criticizing
>capitalism. One said that if he had two tractors (forgetting that
>capitalism makes the best tractors) he would give his farmer comrade one,
>upon which the other replied that if he had two cows, he would give the
>"Good comrade", the other said and then asked "If you had two pigs would
>you give me one?"
>"Like hang", the other said. "I've got two pigs and I'm keeping them."
>Good "capitalists" do a lot of good with sponsorships. research, etc.
>Without it we would no be using computers or the Net. But not all of
>anything is all good.
>I've noticed that many of those who eat no meat or animal products are
>often pasty and inactive. Some have to take vitamin B12 to overcome
>anaemia. Again there are exceptions, as in everything.
>The three points we must remember are -
>1. People are all different and not all will eat meat, for a variety of
>reasons, so live and let live.
>2. If the good do nothing, bad will win.
>The bad I'm referring to are those who make wrong statements about meat,
>milk, etc. They must be corrected.
>3. Those in animal production should keep their industry clean and pure.
>Visiting SOME (NOT ALL) dairy, veal and poultry farms, slaughter houses,
>etc., is enough to put one off animal products. Others are excellent.
>Best wishes to you all for a very happy Christmas & a wonderful 1997, with
>many more to come and thank you for your input.
Let's have a wakeup call on this capitalism issue. Capitalism is grasshopper
and ant stuff. If the ant works hard to save capital for the winter, screw
the grasshopper. This suits everyone but the grasshoppers among us who are
aways free with resources of others since they don't bother to create any.
On the other hand, where we live we have an exotic species, fire ants. They
wipe out everything else, even eat baby birds in the nest sometimes. These
need eradication and the job is never done.
When I teach in a little Mexican village in the mountains, a widow will have
a corn grinder. (I'll use real examples to spare my imagination.) She will
have invested her inheritance from her husband in it. Everyone who wants to
grind corn, brings it to her. NO ONE WOULD IMAGINE BRINGING ANOTHER CORN
GRINDER INTO THE VILLAGE TO COMPETE WITH HER. She is providing a valuable
service and needs to make a living. One corn grinder per village is enough,
indeed luxury. She is a capitalis. When Jorge slaughters a beef, everyone
knows about it. His children and neices and nephews (probably 20 percent of
the village children) race around town that afternoon with cuts of meat on
plates covered with cheescloth. Probably women doing the cutting have
directed certain cuts on a certain route, based on experience, gossip,
requests, etc. The housewives pay the children and take the meat they want.
The children do not count the money. (No doubt they remember who paid what,
however, these are not stupid people.) The beef is eaten that day by 600
people, more or less. Refrigeration is not needed. These are examples of
capitalism. The widow has reinvested the capital her husband generated and
makes a living from it. Some people pay her in shares, which she uses and
barters. (Corn is generally an accepted medium of exchange.) Jorge has
invested capital which accrues in his beef animal. Assuming he has a small
breeding herd, much of his capital is labor. He probably accepts barter
too--it is hard to imagine anyone in town who does not. These folks are
capitalists. Other times, there is short term capitalism--women who need
cash bake cookies, using Maora's bread-baking oven after she has removed the
bread. (As this high mass oven cools, several operations take place in it.
She receives credits and services and shares in return.) Again children
and neices and nephews dash about the village with cookies to sell. Jorge's
wife, say, Angeles, uses some beef money so that our cookee baker can get the
use of some cash. Up until about 1980, I sware that these people came close
to wearing money out, passing it back and forth throughout the community.
This is sustainable capitalism, if you will.
To use the same name for the system that gives us General Motors, strip
mines, General Foods, AT&T, etc., is rather stupid, folks. Let us remember
that a central issue in sustainability is scale. In my courses, I list one
definitation of sustainable scale as follows; If you screw up and it is
funny or at least educational, the scale is sustainable. If y ou screw up
and it is a catastrophe, the scale is not sustainable. There are other
attributes. One needs to be aware of the consequences of one's decisions to
have a shot at sustainabilty. Given the proclivity of chaos to intrude in
the affairs of people, you don't have much chance of being accidentally
sustainable. If you don't know every square inch of your farm, and if you
don't directly experience the exact consequence of every activity you
undertake there, it is not sustainable. This is why communist experiments in
farming were unsustainable.
It little matters what the economics system is called, if you garden your
land, if you are so involved with the two of it that you can be regarded as
part of one another, you have a chance at sustainability. It doesn't matter
if you are a capitalist, and sell your beef to your neighbors, or a
socialist, and give away your surplus and get back surplus from others, if
you need what they have. That's window dressing. What matters is the
involvement of human consciousness with the management of the land, and then,
also, an understanding of what is required to sustain a healthy response from
the land indefinitely. From the way discussions seem to be going on this
list, with concern for irrelevancies, I only hope than none of the people in
these discussions are actually allowed functional access to any land at all.
If you don't know how to do it, don't talk about it. If you do, why don't
you say something relevant?
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and The Forest Ecosystem
Food Network. Copyright, 1996, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 2052, Ocala
FL 34478 USA YankeePerm@aol.com
If its not in our food chain, we're not thinking.