New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for the ‘Pancho McFarland’

Circulate and Grow

March 01, 2014 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Pancho McFarland

From the War on Poverty to the Revolution in the Garden

by Pancho McFarland

I teach a “Class and Stratification” course for the Sociology Program at Chicago State University.  In the course we focus on inequality, the global capitalist economic system, critiques of it and examinations of alternative economic systems.  We examine the problems of inequality caused by the capitalist economy and then focus on our city, Chicago, as a means to understand our places in the economy as working class people of color.  To learn about ourselves in Chicago I use a text written by the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce.  The book, Urban Renewal or Urban Removal? is volume one of a planned eight.  Authors of the text include activists, teachers, parents, long-time residents and professors.  It is a grassroots bunch of dedicated organic intellectuals.  (more…)

Bija Swaraj

October 08, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Pancho McFarland

Seed-Saving as Self-Determination and Resistance

by Pancho McFarland

Gardeners at the Roseland Community Peace Garden have committed to the principles of bija swaraj, which is the principle of seed self-rule or seed democracy. They are also committed to bija satyagraha or non-cooperation with the powerful corporate seed machines and unjust laws and legal structures that benefit transnational corporations at the expense of the planet.  This summer at the Outdoor CommUnity Classroom at the Peace Garden, gardeners discussed international movements for food sovereignty and food autonomy, especially as detailed by Vandana Shiva in her numerous works and how this related to the their situations in the U.S. inner city. (more…)

Indigenuity

June 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Family, Pancho McFarland

Sustainability and Community Autonomy in Urban Gardens

by Pancho McFarland

In the September 2012 issue of Z Magazine, Robert Hunziker reports that a climate change-induced food crisis in the Middle East was the central cause of the Arab Spring of 2011.  In Syria, the drought of 2006-2011 left 75% of farmers from the northeast and south with total crop failure. He writes that: “According to the UN, 800,000 Syrians had their livelihoods totally wiped out.  One researcher notes that ‘the single factor that triggers riots around the world is food.’”  In 2007, 48 countries experienced food riots.

Meanwhile, in the US, the 12-month period between July 2011 and June 2012 was the warmest on record.  The Midwestern drought has destroyed the corn, soy and wheat markets causing prices in the US and around the globe to rise rapidly.  Hunziker concludes the article with this thought: “As certain as riots are expected in many underdeveloped countries in the world, a North American Spring is not out of the question.” (more…)