FROM THE GROUND UP: A NEW FUTURE
(OR WHY WE SHOULD BET HEAVILY ON AGRICULTURE)
You need a lot of them at first.
In fact, at first, that’s all you need.
|Manufacturing, communications, services, all born from agriculture's nation-building stem cells|
In fact, when faced with death and disease, with crisis and geopolitical and economic cancer, these very things that built you up from nothing are going to be the very thing you need to save your sorry black ass.
(That means you too Allen. I know what your granma looks like. I won’t be called dead calling you a white boy. You can count on me to remind everyone that you got that drop, that ounce, that blood. And you really need to beef up on the difference between a nation and a business. You’re scaring me with the things you say.)
You can’t build babies without stem cells. And you can’t build nations without farmers.
That’s what they mean when they talk about building a nation “ from the ground up.” Agriculture.
Everyone say it with me now: Agri-fucking-culture. The ancient art of growing things, cultivating them, harvesting at the right moment and delivering them both to the people who need them the most regardless of the price and the people who will pay the highest price for them, regardless of their need.
It’s not just about farming. It’s about our attitude to commerce, the tourism industry, arts and culture, the sports sector, everything. We’ve had an instant coffee approach to nation-building.
And now a hospital.
And now a quadrant development plan that's never going to happen.
That’s not a plan. That’s just a way to win elections.
Everyone can agree that all that is good about us was built by the sweat and determination of farmers – a great portion of them being unrewarded, unrecognized women of the field, the descendants of the heroic Caribbean field hands that Beckles and Gaspar have taught us to revere, if not fantasize about.
|You will always be Beautiful to me|
This is not vanity on my part. My ancestors were not great, hard working farmers and rebels. Half my people were fishermen who would drifted between Martinique and St Lucia, settling wherever freedom was easiest to obtain. I have a good feeling that every time some trouble started, that side of the family would just get on a boat with a prayer and some water and sail for the other side. They were not trying to be no damn heroes.
You can tell by my style and substance that I don’t grow things. I fish and I kill and that’s the food I bring to Village Market. In the post-modern era, I do it in that paper-pushing, interview-stalking, keyboard pumping kind of way. Essentially, I hurt people who need hurting for the benefit of people who have been hurt but didn’t deserve it. You cannot base a nation on people like me. People like me should only exist after farmers have produced so much excess food for the nation that most of us are free to do whatever we will.
So when I seem to glorify farmers, it is only because what I’m saying is an absolute, categorical moddorflogging fact. It’s not because I’m jacking my ancestors off.
|Real farmers only! No profiteers allowed!|
And so when they fucked up, it looked bad for everybody. So no fake farmers. Please.
But get this:
In the early 90s, this report came out that said thousands of small farmers would get culled from the industry, because they wouldn’t be able to meet the demands of a competitive market. Within a decade, thousands of farmers were culled from the industry, it’s true.
But the small farmer/big farmer dichotomy did not play out..
Turns out that thousands of small farmers knew exactly what the fuck was up and challenged the challenge and won. Thousands of them remain today. They competed, they adapted, they survived. Many of them even grew. They didn’t just grow. They expanded. They became scientists and business people at the same time.
They’re still out there. They’re the children of the Neg Mawon. They can’t be killed. Historically, no matter how bad things got, they kept agriculture alive. Because it keeps them alive.
Does no one else see that? That is amazing strength. We have to bet chips on that horse.