The problem is a more general one, beyond this particular terroir. Why are so many figures on the bien pensant Anglophone left adopting anti-ecological politics that advocate technologies that are as inseparable from their funders as the looms were from the mill owners in the age of the Luddites ? Why are these positions serially platformed by allegedly critical podia, time and again, even as their logics are symmetrical to those underlying efforts to force meatpackers back to COVID-infested processing plants, where all that labor is “saved”? There’s a through line from Trump to what counts in much of the Global North as the far left.
Clearly the interminable omission reflects an inability to center the voices of the actually existing ecological and anti-systemic movements in the core and periphery alike. Soul Fire Farms, the Savanna Institute, and the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance in the core are rendered invisible, as well as the more discomfiting and openly anti-imperialist La Via Campesina, which expresses solidarity with crucial fortresses for humanity’s struggle for a better future such as Venezuela, Cuba, and the now-fallen Bolivia.
Compare such calculated disappearances with the Minnesota Farmers Union’s recent efforts to breach the rural-urban divide in the other direction :
You’ve no doubt heard about the killing of George Floyd this week by a Minneapolis police officer. This horrific act and ensuing protests and property destruction have been hard to process, not just for those living and working in the Twin Cities Metro, but all Minnesotans and Americans.
There’s a lot to reckon with and soul-searching to do to ensure that, at an absolute minimum, nothing like this ever happens again. We have to do more than say that we condemn it, which we do. This comes on top of a deadly pandemic that has disproportionately harmed people of color, including in agriculture and food sectors.
As always, we are here as a community, ready to listen to whatever is on your minds and hearts. Do not relegate this to simply an urban issue. We can’t go back to the previous “normal” post-COVID—this makes it even clearer why. We call on our public officials to fight back against all injustices they can, and for everyone to reflect on why injustice persists.
Perhaps such soppy sentiments make us agroecologists “appreciate simplicity,” not to say clarity, to borrow a condescending aphorism from a “radical” anatomy in favor of the Bolivian coup. We leave that for others to judge, if in the glare of a bank of bright bulbs shining light therapy right to left upon the pandemic.