Home | About | Donate

Building Alternatives for Food Systems and Trade


#1

Building Alternatives for Food Systems and Trade

Karen Hansen-Kuhn

Public opposition to free trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that serve to increase inequality and concentrate corporate power has reached a loud crescendo. We got to this point through years of effort by thousands of civil society groups around the world, reaching out to educate people on the likely impacts of the very specific rules embedded in those documents, as well as defining alternatives for our economies, environments and food systems.


#2

Given that our species is "on the road" to extinction (see this: http://guymcpherson.com/2016/08/the-politics-and-science-of-our-demise/ ), what's the point in creating these alternatives?


#3

With the onset of NAFTA came a counter-movement that continues on to this day.
Odd not to have mention of it this article, for as we meaninglessly toss words like 'revolution' around up here in El Norte the real thing is transpiring to our South.
For your edification and viewing pleasure:


#4

Get a new comment!


#5

It's not given.


#7

It is wonderful to see this get attention here.

With the election rigged and the pact on a fast-track, our odds of stopping the TPP are probably slight. Still, we cannot follow it or honor it

If it passes, we have to borrow an idea from old conservative playbooks and buy American, even local, and even from people we know. This is something that we are going to have to do anyway. It makes no sense to fly items from Chile or Pakistan. If it did, we still could not check abuse abroad or catch labels that have been changed. We have little enough chance of catching abuse in commercial items made within the US.

Were this not enough, every time we buy an item sold at profit, manufactured, or transported by large corporations, we fund organizations that purchase our politicians and bribe them to abuse. .

Because we cannot generally just stop purchasing international products now that local economies have mostly ceased to exist, the central point of this article is right square on target: we must build local economies--not just national, but very, very local.

This is little likely to happen with information flow, and in some ways this is just as well. The last thing we need amidst all the problems wrought by Western Civ and the misbegotten agriculture and slave states that spawned it is more ignorance and xenophobia. But even there electricity can to an extent be generated locally, and almost everything else that a human needs can be arranged, despite a pretty substantial curve for learning and preparation in our current circumstances.

Consider what you need:

This can all be done in pieces, just a little bit at a time. It usually works better that way---but that means starting while one does not need to. But that's nice to do anyway. It is not just a hedge against one or another catastrophe, but a potential support point for art and activism and study, and a refusal to fund things that you really, really do not wish to make happen.


#10

I have never gotten to hear him in person, though I have enjoyed his books and his podcasts and would very much love to do so.


#11

Wonderful. Thanks!


#12

So should humanity just relax and wait for the end to come, just shrug and say, "Oops, when we figured out what was happening, it was too late to do anything, so we we figured why bother to even try? We couldn't possibly be wrong about there being nothing that can be done. Human intelligence has never been wrong about anything, has it?"