A Revolutionary Act

Thomas Moore

Today I committed a revolutionary act. It had nothing to do with firearms or marksmanship training. I didn’t organize a protest march or join the Underground. In fact, it had nothing to do with politics, except in the broadest possible sense. But it was revolutionary nonetheless. Today I finished spring planting.

How can such a benign activity be revolutionary, you may ask. In a sane and normal world it wouldn’t be. People have grown their own food from the beginning of the world. Agriculture has always been the foundation of civilization and the farmer a benefactor of mankind. But today we don’t live in a sane and normal world. The criminal Regime we live under is not content just to rob us of our liberty, our property, our dignity and humanity. It also seeks to control us by controlling the food supply. It seeks to strip us of food self-sufficiency and make us dependent, first on the central state, through food stamps, for example; and second, on the state’s real masters, the giant agri-businesses who determine Federal food policy. I call this process food fascism.

No doubt the word fascism has been abused, like racist, sexist, and anti-Semite. We Southerners in particular are familiar with the elites’ use of these epithets to demonize us. But “fascism” is not mere name-calling. I’m using its precise and original meaning, and on good authority – Benito Mussolini, the founder of Italian fascism himself. He said, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.”

However, there’s a significant difference between the 1930s and today, and the difference is the key to understanding the politics of the modern American Empire, especially food politics. Under Hitler and Mussolini, the corporations did the government’s bidding, but in today’s America, government does the corporations’ bidding. Big multinationals, in this case Monsanto, ConAgra, Cargill, and ADM, buy political influence through their lobbyists who “bundle” huge campaign contributions. They contribute heavily to think tanks and universities that influence policymaking. Their staff scientists and lawyers circulate between corporations and key jobs in regulatory agencies. Is it any wonder the kept whores of government make laws and regulations that benefit “industrialised agriculture” instead of you and me?

Michael Pollan, well-known food author and expert (The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto) points out that under the guise of promoting nutrition and health, "…the US Congress is hell bent on introducing laws with global reach that would destroy the very basis of people’s food security and food sovereignty." One example much in the news lately is HR 875, the so-called Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2009. If enacted, "…it would effectively hand over control of America’s food supply to such a nefarious giant as Monsanto and its lesser counterparts such as Tyson and Cargill," according to Natural News. When the Feds stick it to us, it’s always in the name of safety or security. Then there’s HR 759, the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act. It could cripple small farmers by imposing recordkeeping requirements that currently apply to food processors, and also by requiring all farms to become certified in “best agricultural practices.” These practices, ostensibly aimed at controlling microbial contamination, would place a disproportionate burden on small family farms in the name of regulating the large factory farms where most food-safety problems originate. HR 814 and SR 425 are supposed to prevent the e. coli bacteria in spinach, meat from “downer” (diseased) cattle in school lunches, feathers in chicken patties, and other food disasters we’ve seen all too much of lately, but almost all of them originate on large factory farms and CAFOs, Confined Animal Feeding Operations, the horrors of which are too sickening to enumerate. Extending onerous regulations to small farms that typically are free of these problems will further undermine the smallholder and family farmer in favor of corporate agriculture and doubtless give us more toxin-laden and nutritionless food. "What people don’t realize is that if any of these bills pass, we lose. All we will have left is industrial food," says Deborah Stockton, executive director of the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association.

What people also don’t realize is that the big business-government marriage means the corporations now have at their disposal government force. Big Agra enriches itself at our expense; and if we refuse to bend the knee to their worse-than-useless regulations, then they get government to sic the SWAT teams on us. This is modern American fascism, and it rules over the whole economy, not just agriculture and food production. Fusing big government, big money, and big corporations creates an unlimited and unaccountable center of power. It is the program of both major parties, of Congress, and all the major Presidential candidates. Traditional politics can’t fix the problem; in fact, only feeds it.

I believe the eventual goal is the criminalization of independent farming and food self-sufficiency, including prison terms, fines, and property confiscation for farmers who refuse to hoe the row laid out for them by the food fascists. Does this seem like an exaggeration? Keep in mind that Federal power always expands beyond the plain language and original intent of any legislation. Remember the RICO statute, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act of 1970? It was supposed to be aimed only at Mafioso bosses and organized crime. Now it’s almost never invoked against the Mafia but is used to prosecute individuals, businesses, Right-to-Lifers, and political protest groups – in short, almost anybody in almost any context. s, and terrorist organizations. In short, a Agriculture ranked high among the vital issues considered by the First Southern National Congress in December 2008. We passed a Remonstrance and Petition for Redress of Grievances noting, among other things, “Since the Great Depression, Federal law and policy have waged war against Southern agriculture, devastating Southern farmlands and impoverishing and dispossessing farm families. Regions once famous for their fruitfulness now lie depopulated and fallow. Instead of making it possible for farmers to remain productive on their own acres, Government policy encourages corporations to gobble up small farms, leaving their owners landless strangers on the land their fathers tamed.” See the full Remonstrance We petitioned the government to end the policies that undermine independent Southern farmers and impose destructive regulations and unsafe food upon us. But don’t hold your breath or delay your supper waiting for the Feds to reply. You’ll surely go hungry.

The inescapable reality of the human condition is that we have to eat. Moreover, if we want to remain healthy, we have to eat clean, safe, wholesome, and nutritious food, but you aren’t going to get this kind of nourishment from the food fascists. Perhaps in the future, perhaps in a national crisis, if you don’t comply with the government’s dictates, you might not get any food at all. History is replete with examples of dictatorships using food as a weapon, usually against their own people. Henry Kissinger, arch-criminal and myrmidon of the New World Order said it: “Control the oil and you control the nations. Control the food and you control the people.”

More than any other issue – more than guns, more than the mass robbery of bailouts and trillions for Wall Street, more than sound money versus fiat money — food fascism versus food freedom illustrates the control agenda and the true depths of evil of the Regime. For this reason, any progress you can make toward food self-sufficiency, toward raising your own nutritious, wholesome, and inexpensive food (and almost anyone can), is not only “revolutionary” in the broader sense of the word, it’s also the best way to protect yourself amid the turmoil that is breaking over our heads.

One final, personal word: This account is not just an abstract argument flowing from a sentimental tie to our Southern agrarian past. I practice what I preach. Eventually, or perhaps sooner than the word implies, I aim to live off what I can raise, supplemented by what I can shoot in the hills and catch in the creek. In so doing, I’ve found another kind of nourishment deeper than sustenance for the body, something we Southerners once understood better than most Americans – the nourishment of the soul.

I’m recovering something precious that was lost, knowing my labours are connected to the most basic and legitimate of human needs. To see the dark green tops of my potato vines first poke their heads up from their hills and see the first corn shoots appear boldly is to know peace and contentment instead of the frantic scurrying about overlaid with anxiety that is the substance of modern urban life. Raising your own food inoculates you from the confusion, rootlessness, and alienation so rampant in today’s world. It spares you from the infantilism, the narcissism, and the eternal obsession with things, mostly trivial and useless things, that ultimately spell death to the soul. You experience the miraculous almost daily, and thus come to know the Great Planter Himself more intimately. In this way too, it is a revolutionary act.

Copyright © 2009 Southern National Congress

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