Old-Fashioned Activism to Confront the Food Monopoly
by Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the twentieth century, American agriculture abandoned its traditions of family farming. This was no small change. Like the centuries-long enclosure movement in England whereby the landlords used the law and violence to privatize the commons and throw out of the land uncounted number of peasants, American large farmers have been using the power of the state to bring about a civilization shift in rural America.
They transformed a way of life for raising food and sustaining democratic society to a massive factory industrializing both farming and food and farmers, making rural America a colony for the extraction of profit.
This tragedy left behind millions of broken family farms, contaminated water and land, and a wounded rural America.
According to the 1884 “Transactions of the California State Agricultural Society,” “there will be too few farms and these too large. A republic cannot long survive when the lands are concentrated in the hands of a few men. Any man will fight for his home, but it takes a very brave man to fight for the privilege of working for half wages.” (more…)