Religion and Politics–Whoops, We Talked About Both (Jeremy Cowan Interview Part 3)

You know what they say… This is the third and final part of the interview I did with Dr Jeremy Cowan, an expert in organic and permaculture agriculture, we conclude our reflections on Distributism by breaking both taboos. In this one we deal with the role of religion and politics in changing the way we grow food, but we do more than that. We delve into questions such as why religion is often unhelpful and how it could be otherwise, why political divisions get in the way and what might solve that problem … More Religion and Politics–Whoops, We Talked About Both (Jeremy Cowan Interview Part 3)

Could Agrarian Distributism Ever Work? (Interview with Jeremy Cowan Pt. 1)

t part of a conversation I had with Jeremy Cowan, who participated in my Summer 2021 Seminar on the economic theory of Distributism. Dr Cowan is a specialist in organic agriculture with a strong interest in its relationship to politics and economics. In this part of the conversation, we get into the polarizing character of current politics and how it gets in the way of imagining turning towards Distributism or any other alternative to our current corporate-dominated and state-supported capitalism. We discuss the strong agrarian strain in Distributism and whether that is still a relevant direction to change in today’s world. … More Could Agrarian Distributism Ever Work? (Interview with Jeremy Cowan Pt. 1)

Indian Farmer Protests and Distributism (3)

This is a selection from the seminar I’m teaching on Distributism. For months now, thousands of Indian farmers have been protesting in an occupy-style encampment near Delhi. They fear that they are in danger of losing not only their livelihoods but their way of life due to changes in the laws leading to deregulation of the agricultural sector in India. They are worried that these changes will make many small farms financially impossible and will lead to a great agricultural consolidation into the hands of big agriculture, changing Indian food security and leaving them without the support of the land and extended families they have relied upon. These farmers are in the situation GK Chesterton saw unfolding in England in the early part of the 20th Century. Chesterton called for something like the Indian farmers want back–government regulation and aid to help maintain numerous and plentiful small farmers in an economy of cooperation with subsistence farming with a market element. The farmer protests are a test case as to whether people now can demand a different economic arrangement that protects and preserves food security and their way of life. … More Indian Farmer Protests and Distributism (3)

GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Audio)

In this podcast I cover the section of GK Chesterton’s book, The Outline of Sanity, that deals with agriculture. Chesterton does not agree that the industrialization of England was a good thing, and points out the flaws of massive urbanization. He defends the settled way of life as in some ways superior to the urban way of life. He also defends a mixed economy with some degree of socialism and a greater degree of private property, spread out by state edict. … More GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Audio)

GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Video)

In this video I cover the section of GK Chesterton’s book, The Outline of Sanity, that deals with agriculture. Chesterton does not agree that the industrialization of England was a good thing, and points out the flaws of massive urbanization. He defends the settled way of life as in some ways superior to the urban way of life. He also defends a mixed economy with some degree of socialism and a greater degree of private property, spread out by state edict.. … More GK Chesterton: Agrarian Communalist (5-Video)

Human v. Pig: Disc. w/ Friends (Porkopolis 3-Audio)

Alex Blanchette’s Porkopolis is the source of this discussion among friends. We are all reading Blanchette’s book about the US pork production industry. Our conversation ranges from the limits and costs of ever-increasing efficiency in production, to squeezing pennies out of runts, to the endless quest for the uniform (and therefore efficiently processed) pig and the impact this has on the workers involved. We segue into a conversation about the reality and value of universalization/homogenization in both production and societies. Thinkers discussed include Karl Marx, Jacques Ellul, Eugene McCarraher, and Adorno and Horkheimer. … More Human v. Pig: Disc. w/ Friends (Porkopolis 3-Audio)

Human v. Pig: Disc. w/ Friends (Porkopolis 3) Ft. Marx, Ellul, McCarraher, Adorno & Horkheimer

Alex Blanchette’s Porkopolis is the source of this discussion among friends. We are all reading Blanchette’s book about the US pork production industry. Our conversation ranges from the limits and costs of ever-increasing efficiency in production, to squeezing pennies out of runts, to the endless quest for the uniform (and therefore efficiently processed) pig and the impact this has on the workers involved. We segue into a conversation about the reality and value of universalization/homogenization in both production and societies. Thinkers discussed include Karl Marx, Jacques Ellul, Eugene McCarraher, and Adorno and Horkheimer. … More Human v. Pig: Disc. w/ Friends (Porkopolis 3) Ft. Marx, Ellul, McCarraher, Adorno & Horkheimer

Somos Puercos: Human-Animal Melding in the Meat Production Business (Porkopolis 2-Audio)

Alex Blanchette’s recent book Porkopolis shows how human and animal lives become intertwined in a relationship of dependency that distorts both natures. How should we understand this type of production? What does it do to the people involved every step of the way with animals who no longer feed, procreate, give birth or die without humans intimately involved? Blanchette explores these questions from the vantage point of someone who did many aspects of the work and talked openly with people involved in many steps of the process. Do we treat the people involved as interchangeable, expendable and dependent as the industrial pigs they tend? What does that say about the food system we’ve created and which most of us rely upon and benefit from? … More Somos Puercos: Human-Animal Melding in the Meat Production Business (Porkopolis 2-Audio)

Somos Puercos: Human-Animal Melding in the Meat Production Business (Porkopolis 2-Video)

Alex Blanchette’s recent book Porkopolis shows how human and animal lives become intertwined in a relationship of dependency that distorts both natures. How should we understand this type of production? What does it do to the people involved every step of the way with animals who no longer feed, procreate, give birth or die without humans intimately involved? Blanchette explores these questions from the vantage point of someone who did many aspects of the work and talked openly with people involved in many steps of the process. Do we treat the people involved as interchangeable, expendable and dependent as the industrial pigs they tend? What does that say about the food system we’ve created and which most of us rely upon and benefit from? … More Somos Puercos: Human-Animal Melding in the Meat Production Business (Porkopolis 2-Video)