You know, there is certain helplessness, a particular defeatist attitude we all feel we cannot escape. “Extremists” (Anarchists, Activists) are actually just people who give a shit and care; they are compensating for the world’s lack of care. They keep the candle-flame of humanity alight against apathy, and humanities death. You have ended up feeling this way (more and more apathetic) slowly. It crept in over the years. You could not really escape it. But you can unlearn, to escape. You can’t blame yourself, too much. From primary school projects ten years ago on the epidemic of pollution to talking about having to buy water, to actually BUYING water (there was a time the thought shocked the privileged suburbanite). This is how every totalitarian state came to power. The same way “the system” has, and now, well, let’s just have a simple meditation of all the plundering and exploitation of people and “resources” worldwide..
Not only is our traditional idea of God dead, but we have also lost the capacity, at least temporarily, to create new myths to fill the void… Unfortunately, neither fetishizing technology nor the immense material abundance that many in the third world enjoy can help us solve the riddle of having to navigate the key questions of existence
We as a species impressed the spirit/ life within us into our practice of farming the land, we treated it as a sentient being. And not a potential profit. And the impact is evident all around us. We have lost touch with nature; we have lost touch with ourselves, no matter who you are. When you were a joyful child you believed, ecstatic, that there is an endless celebration of life – and you are wholly part of it! Because you did not yet know. That you were to be marketable, a stat, an ID number to approve your credit riddled conscience’s way to its next meal. Capitalism has bred individualism. To help some suit hit a number. You did not know that your power and life has been stripped away, as the years did, wasting away in a strip mall. One day you started to feel it, your freedom disappear, and you realized over a series of moments, fuck, and “I have to live this way, and do these things – just to survive”.
We don’t know HOW to farm our own land, as people, anymore. because we don’t know WHEN we can feel secure about our basic means of sustenance first. This trap to unwind from. We forget that our very ability to survive is what is being compromised with the current food system. With every easier, cheaper, faster purchase (Someone is being screwed over along the production chain). To be “one with nature”, is not just a new age trope – it’s the very essence of our human nature that we have lost. Whether you like it or not, the way society is structured has taken your freedom, man.
I hope it brings you peace of mind, happiness and a rejuvenation of spirit through the excitement that comes with the assured potential hope that the sacred act of nourishing your body with Mother nature’s gifts, is not only found behind a sea of cars. In a mall. In an over-priced scammy food franchise outlet. Wrapped In a bevy of plastic bags. That you need to stuff somewhere. That you save for that random chance that you might need it… In the same way we actually need the fertile soil, clean water, and abundance of unmodified seeds on this planet.
I rest easy knowing there are still people who know how to grow their own food and actively garden the revolution of keeping the land they walk on uncemented and free for all (The likes of Hanneke Van Lange from NOSH food rescue, Sun Wayord and his guerrilla farming community in Joburg, Ikhaya making gardening cool in Khayelitsha and more). Until the People can get their land back, knowing the wisdom on how to work intimately with the land is vital to not entirely be held by people in white jackets. Behind security fences. With cameras. In facilities run by either an intentionally hegemonic network or unconsciously complicit network …threatening the sovereignty of affordable and available real heirloom organic real foods, the way *God intended it.
This is what last control us masses have in this late-stage global-capitalist system have. We don’t have time for me to apologize for the grim reality I’m inviting you to be aware of or act on. Literally the last untouched forest in South America has been taken over by Coca-Cola. The oceans are being ransacked and radiated. Our water systems are cleaned by chemicals. The soil, from where all food is nursed, is starving for real rejuvenation. Monsanto has legally crept into Africa. Literally taking away the last of the future of Africa’s out of its hands; its seeds.
Without a future, there is no hope.
This is why our local food activists are doing what they are doing. Fighting, by claiming back the autonomy and power of the individual, by taking back control of his food, his children’s food. Activists are teaching us how to invest in hope, because the plants are teaching them.