International Man: Recently, we have seen governments in the Netherlands, and Canada move to shut down farms under the pretext of climate change. According to John Kerry, Biden’s “climate czar,” similar moves against US farms are in the works.
The US and the Netherlands are two of the largest agricultural producers in the world. It seems certain Western countries are waging war against farmers in the name of climate change. What is really going on here?
Doug Casey: I hate to say that things like COVID or a rabid belief in anthropogenic climate change are parts of a conspiracy—although it often seems that way. I tend to discount conspiracies for a number of reasons. It seems more likely they’re mass hysterias—the type of thing that happened in Salem at the end of the 17th century, except on a gigantic scale. Versions of the kind of “group think” that captured a number of countries in the 20th century, as well.
In any event, what appears to be a war against agriculture on the part of “the elite” is both real and serious. People in power are anxious to control every aspect of the plebs’ lives, usually either for the supposed good of humanity or the planet itself. They believe there should be rules governing where the plebs live, what they can say and think, and even what they eat. The “elite” like to say farm animals are partly responsible for global warming by emitting methane.
But maybe it’s more than that. Maybe it’s a general belief, even among the plebs themselves, that the world’s population, composed mostly of useless eaters, is too high. The powers that be have said on any number of occasions that eight billion people is “too many” and that an optimal level would be less than a billion.
Here’s an outlandish thought: They can’t put people in gas chambers anymore and hope to get away with it. But perhaps reducing the quantity and quality of their food consumption, among other measures, can have the same effect. A crazy thought? Don’t forget that governments have sponsored wars, famines, and persecutions that have killed hundreds of millions. There’s no reason to think that today’s “elite” are any less nefarious than their antecedents. Rather the contrary…
There’s plenty of evidence that the kind of people who control the world and run governments have evil intentions toward their fellow humans. Even while they masquerade as philanthropists and humanitarians, they typically treat them either as a means to their ends or a nuisance.
International Man: Government central planning of agriculture can be catastrophic. For example, millions of people perished in famines in the Soviet Union due to disastrous policies forced upon farmers. Do you see any parallels today?
Doug Casey: Government, as an institution, is congenitally incapable of creating anything.
It can only control what others create, and it’s mainly destructive. There are lots of examples. The perpetual famine that the USSR experienced while it still existed, including Stalin’s Holodomor in the Ukraine. Mao was famous for creating perpetual famine in China during his Great Leap Forward and again during the Cultural Revolution.
Farmers always fare poorly when “the elite” capture the apparatus of the State. One reason is that, as a group, farmers are basically entrepreneurs. They don’t work a 9:00 to 5:00 day. They don’t take orders from supervisors working in cubicles. They’re necessarily independent.
Farmers have to buy and sell like merchants. They have to be practical field-level biologists, botanists, and zoologists. They have to be businessmen, mechanics, meteorologists, and a dozen other things.
A successful farmer is naturally multi-faceted and multi-talented—not the type of person prone to taking orders from high up. He’s a person that owns property and values it.
As a class, farmers are natural enemies of socialist governments. It’s true that they can be corrupted, much as many farmers have been in the US with subsidies since the 1930s. But farmers tend to be independent freethinkers.
Governments, therefore, hold them in suspicion and are inclined to pay special attention to farmers.
International Man: With inflation making meat unaffordable for many, the elite want to keep the plebs happy by gaslighting them into thinking that meat is bad for the environment.
That’s a big reason why there’s been a flurry of articles in the mainstream media condemning meat consumption and promoting cheap alternatives.
Bill Gates recently said: “I think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can’t have cows anymore,” and governments can “use regulation to totally shift the demand.” What is your take on this?
Doug Casey: The US Department of Agriculture has about 100,000 employees. It’s one of the many US government departments that should be abolished. If any of those 100,000 employees actually know anything about agriculture or farming—most of them don’t—they should go out and do it, as opposed to making the lives of farmers miserable.
Interestingly, the #1 mission of the USDA, stated on its website, is to combat climate change. Not to improve food production.
The USDA, the EPA, and many others create regulations on everything and anything that farmers do today. I’d point out that according to USDA rules, a “farm” is any piece of land that produces over or can produce over $1000 worth of product. That’s an unbelievably low amount. A garden in your backyard can be deemed a farm if it suits the authorities.
No matter what a farmer produces, he can rely on lots of oversight from a regulator who is intent on justifying his existence.
All production has to go through a bureaucratized, centralized, and highly regulated process. It’s almost like anything that’s produced might as well be sent to a central processing facility in Kansas before it’s shipped back to the very place that it came from after being homogenized, pasteurized, sterilized, packaged, and denatured.
This is a bad thing because it leads to less independence on the part of both producers and consumers and more dependence on bureaucracies that bring nothing to the party but taxes and regulations.
International Man: As part of this trend we’ve been discussing, the media, the World Economic Forum, and certain politicians promote eating bugs as a solution. An article in The Economist notes: “We’re not going to convince Europeans and Americans to go out in big numbers and start eating insects… The trick might be to slip them into the food chain on the quiet.”
What do you make of the push to feed people bugs?
Doug Casey: Especially in the Orient, certain types of insects and grubs are sold in grocery stores. I’ve sampled some, and after overcoming a cultural reluctance, they can be quite tasty snacks.
In fact, for decades, there have been things like chocolate-covered ants sold in the US in specialty stores as edible novelties. Having some insects or grubs as an occasional diversion to amuse your friends at a cocktail party is one thing, but changing the entire nature of people’s diets because you think it’s a moral imperative to eat bugs? The idea is insane. Manipulating the food supply, and the eating habits of the plebs, is worse than unnecessary; it’s degrading.
The movement to radically change the nature of agriculture, and feed the masses, goes way beyond insects, though. A Finnish company called Solar Foods has developed an obscure bacteria that can be vat-grown, lives largely on hydrogen and sunlight, is very high in protein, and, they say, very eco-friendly. It can be dried into a powder and manipulated into edible form. I’m all for innovation. And suppose Wokesters and the starving masses might go for it. But my view is that it should be promoted as cattle fodder, not a Soylent Green substitute. But that won’t work when cattle are eliminated.
Speaking of cattle, the Irish parliament has mandated a severe reduction in the Irish cattle herd. About 65,000 cows will be culled over each of the next three years to reduce the herd by about 10% in order to meet the EU’s carbon dictates. This is the shape of things to come everywhere, I suspect.
The problem is that the people on top, who see themselves as a distinct class and have huge amounts of both power and money, figure that they have the right to give orders to the plebs. They’re only marginally affected by the laws they pass. Meanwhile, the plebs have been inculcated with notions making them think it’s morally wrong to eat animals, the way animals have always eaten other animals.
I understand an esthetic inclination to be a vegetarian. And I appreciate the moral sentiment not to slaughter other beings. But this is a choice that—like all choices—that should be left to individuals, not imposed on them by those who fancy themselves as their betters.
International Man: What can the average person do as the war on farmers and meat accelerates?
Doug Casey: What you may be asking is: Is it possible to fight the State?
If you don’t follow the law and do what you’re told, you run a risk of being jailed or having your property confiscated. It’s dangerous to run counter to the law, especially when the average person thinks he’s in a “democracy” and shares control over what’s happening. That’s an illusion. Our nomenklatura have control of the apparatus of the State.
Can you take any kind of political action to change the people that are in control? I think the election of 2020 showed that that’s probably pointless this far down the road. Can you reason with these people? Probably not.
We’re dealing with a psychological problem, not an intellectual problem. Therefore, the situation is not really open to solution from reason and factual arguments. Recognize that the only reason to try to change things is not because you will succeed—that’s unlikely—but because it’s right.
The direction of society has a life of its own. You should work to reverse bad trends simply because it’s good karma and, personally, psychologically gratifying.
Recognize, however, that the downtrend has been in motion for decades. It’s still accelerating and likely to keep accelerating until it reaches a real crisis, which will be very unpleasant. We don’t know what’s going to happen after we go through the crisis. What’s happening with farmers and the food supply is just one aspect of it.
Article cross-posted from International Man.