A response to a WFNA leader's timely inquirey.
The objective is to illustrate the flavor of the intellectual and theoretical exchanges that are not yet showing up on our social site. Food for the head is as important as food for the body. I invite everyone to join in this (I think), important discussion. (Caveat: Probably not going to be of much interest to people with little-bitty attentions spans).
NOTE TO ALL THAT ARE NEW TO THE SITE: Please begin with the basics, if you haven't already done so, by seeing THE FUTURE OF FOOD, FOOD INC, and FRESH.
I wondered if you would watch a video link, or have any interest in it. Lance Wallnau talks about the 7 mountains, and how to get a "Grass Roots" movement to burn with strength. It is one hour long. Here are a few things he says:
Clarity is Power - see the future perfect state
Proximity is Power- hit the (center) area of greatest leverage
Small is the New Big- smaller you fracture, more atomic power.
The Seven Mountains: Religion, Family, Education, Political, Media, Athletes, Business
On Assignment for God,
Thanks so much for the head's up about a "grass roots movement" primer by Lance Wallnau. Please refer also to the book, "Doing Democracy" by Bill Moyer (not the guy on TV). This gets into the mechanics, personality types, movement phases, govt. provocateurs, and causes for success, and the many routes to failure (to be avoided).
I am so delighted to work with you and Kevin, believe in the community ideas you have expressed, and look forward to many enjoyable times ahead.
As you probably know, I (personally) am a Jeffersonian agrarian who puts God at the top of all things created in temporality, including these pip-squeak governments invented by man. You know how I feel about the Globalists, One-World-ers and their UN ilk. Possibly because of our common heritage of Ozarkian self-sufficiency, we have many conservative activists, home-schooler's and home-churcher's working tirelessly in the WFNA cause. Others, though, have very different perspectives- and all are welcome. We are all neighbors.
Equally, I recommend that people read Progress and Poverty, (on E.F.Schumaker site), Henry George's answer to some omissions in Adam Smith's seminal work (Wealth of Nations). George's perspective is not gospel by any means; just the beginning of informed dialogue about a sustainable economy. Fractional reserve and compound interest are the dark side of our usury-based monetary system, but other, better, and historical models exist. (See: The Future of Money, by Bernard Lietaer, central banker from Belgium, aka, "the father of the Euro." He workstirelessly to stabilize the current (failing) finacial status quo system, and for the European elites who control it. He also knows that it is unsustainable, unjust, and preposterous. Wouldn't want to be in his shoes. Just sayin'.)
These, and other, sources must be part of the discussion if we intend to have a parallel, stand-alone, regional economy. Historically, those prepared for times of crises and collapse, (with a dual currency system), have a snowball's chance of surviving. Those not so prepared have perished. Given the failure of the Global Casino and fiat currency, and the immanent collapse of the dollar, it is increasingly apparent that un-informed, (i.e.,single bottom-line capitalists) now fall into the category of small children with loaded guns. Springfield has its full quota, no doubt.
The WFNA champions a social, ecological, and capitalist triple-bottom line as the best model (to date) for a sustainable and prosperous future. What this looks will depend, in some part, on how well and how far we can amplify this very discussion.
People don't remember (or even know) that Smith's first book concentrated on Christian ethics and morality as the essential basis for any regional, capitalist economy. His point: capitalism won't work without this foundation, will, in fact, be an instrument of evil. And where is this foundation today?
Local liberals and progressives have not joined up, yet, in significant numbers. But I'm hoping this will change. A real (read: transcendent) cause must make sense to a cross-section of the people- All the people. Hence, the following letter to my friend Pat Chipman (that I just sent in reply, this morning, and thus on to a few activists in the Springfield Democrat cause). A list of conservatives and libertarians involved in the WFNA would be equally impressive, but off point. I left them out of my reply to Pat to keep focus on her concern. The local democrat side, I think, will equally comprehend, and see the wisdom of championing, the resonate elements of our POPULIST cause.
I take Pat's letter to me, then, as an invitation to dialogue, an invitation to unite the people of the Ozarks in a meaningful plan that will result in real, systemic change (not just empty rhetoric and vacuous identity politics). Use (or improve upon) any of the talking-points you may find helpful; ignore or refute anything that you personally find out-of-whack with your own understanding. The point is not to fear the clash of ideas, but to awaken them and amplify the discussion 'till it hits the man-on-the street. Food freedom and energy sovereignty can- and must- become the focus of Missouri politics in the next round of elections. So far, so good.
Our mutual future will appear much more hopeful, and far less fearful, if we can just achieve this degree of common-sense resonance.
BTW, this evening (5:30, Panera Bread Co on National and Elm) Eric Vought (a computer genius, organizer for the Statesmen of the Constitution) and head of the WFNA County Restoration Handbook project, will be giving a tutorial on how to migrate info into our wiki- Handbook documents. This is a golden opportunity to get involved in an effort of the highest importance. The significance and utility of our vision, road map, and timeline will, we hope, be ready for national distribution in roughly 60 - 90 days.
Once on the team, you can contribute content from home, on your own schedule. What you and Kevin are doing, right now, is potentially of great importance to urbanites who intuitively know that they are vulnerable. Everyone is twitchy, everyone knows that nothing coming from the pulpit, economists, or government, adds up.
Please stay in touch; events are moving fast on all fronts; we are doing our best to stay out in front of the wave. And we must build this ark while standing neck-deep in the water. All aboard! Arise, Awake, stop not 'till the goal is reached!
Galen (417) 353-7758
Your letter- and call for more emphasis on sustainability and self-sufficiency- is timely and important. Yes, libertarians and conservatives have been a bit quicker to grasp the trans-partisan import -and power- of the WFNA message. This is regrettable and reflects on local party leadership, especially given that Former Lt Governor Joe Maxwell (a national committeeman) is leading our effort to build the WFNFarmers'Coop across some 30 counties.
Our affiliate bioregionalist group in Osceola, The Crater Critters, has a few members tied into the Mel Carnahan network. Moreover, a former assistant Director for the Missouri department of social services (democrat) is the executive director of the Well-Fed Neighbor Alliance, a 501c nonprofit. Professor Emeritus of Agricultural economics (ret) John Ikerd of The University of Missouri, and Larry Yee of UCLA (same position), are senior policy advisers to the WFNA, and members of our website. Given this, and that many conservatives and independents are on board with this leadership, working hand and hand to serve the greater good, the disconnect of local democratic leaders only invites speculation.
Here's what I said on May Day, (redacted for length), as the first invited speaker at the latest Springfield Tea Party:
"Unlike the honorable office holders and candidates who have just been introduced,
I am going to tell you the truth because I am not running for anything.
The people of Missouri can no longer feed themselves. Not one county in this state can feed its rural population, much less the teaming metro areas. There are three days of food in the transportation pipeline at any given time, all but 2-3% of which comes from a thousand miles away, or more.
Given the times, any serious disruption of the flow of cheap foreign oil will reveal our abject dependency- and utter lack of of preparedness, on all levels. For this, thank the politicians of both parties who, for over 30 years, have preened and dithered while we lost historic memory of who we are, lost our food processing capabilities, our tools, our knowledge, and our economic base. Except for information processing, health care, tourism and service industries, this city has no means of support. The City of Springfield has no future unless its leaders embrace a course towards genuine sustainability.
The infrastructure losses necessary for agrarian self-sufficiency runs into billions of dollars; the cost to our self-determination and freedom is incalculable. I have seen the collapse of everything that once sustained us in my adult lifetime.
Here are the facts they won't tell you in school: The most important human event is, and always has been, the annual harvest. Everybody else's job is derivative. We now live in an upside-down model of values and conceptual framework. Our children are programmed to avoid, at all costs, "the work that Americans won't do."
Fact: whomever controls the food on your plate controls your destiny. Fact: we have completely lost control of our food supply at all levels- local, regional, state and national. Fact: the food that we actually eat- I'm not talking about GMO cattle feed- is imported in greater quantities (per capita) than currently being sent to the people of Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere. We are in trouble so deep we don't even have a word for it. And these people running for office want your vote. To do what?
We suffer from collective amnesia, a total disconnect from where we came from, and who we once were. We have no institutional memory of the Golden Age of Missouri, when we fed ourselves and millions of others all up and down the east coast. We once hosted a World's Fair based upon Jeffersonian comity. Look at the grand old houses built from 1890 to 1920; the craftsmanship, woodwork, filigree, stained glass- this is what full employment looks like- what decent wages can buy. Retired farmers built many of these homes when they moved to town. They were well-rewarded for feeding the rest of us, for keeping the seeds, for securing our future. In those days, we Missourian made the tools, and almost everything else we needed, right here, in-state.
And now? Our greatest time of peace, happiness, prosperity and full employment is receding in the rear-view mirror,100 years past. Now, we don't even know where our food comes from, what's in it, or why we are all dying from an epidemic of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The cost-to-benefit ratio of our so-called "cheap, safe, and efficient" system of industrialized foods and box-store hegemony is not only suppressed by government at all levels, it is now a federal crime to even criticise certain foods. Remember Oprah's million dollar court case because she criticized Texas hamburger?" And these people want your vote. To do what?
A shocking number of college students believe that milk, eggs and meat is manufactured in the back of grocery stores. To them, food is simply made in factories. Dumbed-down is not a metaphor. And these people running for office want your vote, your money, and your respect. Don't be so quick to give it to them.
The last Missourians who still know how to feed themselves- and us- without Big Government, Big Oil, and Big Pharma are 80 to 90 years old. With their passing, 8,000 years of agrarian self-sufficiency will go with them; our commonwealth knowledge and basis for individual liberty, will go with them. And no one is even talking about it. No one seems to notice. Now, one of six in our state is on Federal food assistance, and the numbers are climbing rapidly. We are being fed into total helplessness. We no longer grow anything, nor make anything of value. Everything we need to support genuine sustainability in Missouri has collapsed.
Here's the message: do not vote for ANYONE that does not have a vision of a peaceful, inclusive, and above all, sustainable Ozarks. Demand to hear their plan, and a timetable to achieve it. If not forthcoming, don't bother giving them the time of the day. They are simply posturing for a job interview. Any authentic meaning for the word "sustainability," however we come to define it, depends upon restoring a prosperous and diverse regional food supply system under the control of the people who live here. Food and jobs.
Sustainability also requires the restoration of energy sovereignty for the people, a condition that we enjoyed for most of our state history. Upon these two pillars- food and energy sovereignty- you can restore a vibrant local economy, one with the resilience to withstand national and international economic collapse. Forget your your IRA's, stocks, savings and investments. When (not if) geopolitical push comes to shove, your only measure of wealth will be how many people you can feed, and for how long. Must we wait till the odoriferous biological waste material hits the proverbial mechanical air-moving device to discover that everything else we counted upon was illusion, the measure of our buy-in to the consensus trance?"
Pat, you've heard me give this speech many times. Please do what you can to spread the word to those you love and care for. Time is of the essence. This is not about informing people, not about political correctness, but awakening people to the actual situation at hand. Point to the empty grain towers and broken silos. Tell people of the tens of thousands of orchards, now covered by pavement.
Food freedom and energy sovereignty transcends the "party-first" mentality. Sustainability (the real thing) is the one and only focus capable of uniting Missourians around a Vision, Plan, and Timeline for a peaceful and prosperous future.
Inside the garden, we are friends and neighbors. Inside the garden, talk of politics and religion is not a plan for the future, but a need for self-revelation. And we get this.
Thanks again for your letter-
hope this prompts a dialogue, gets the ball rolling
Galen Chadwick (417) 353-7758
regional coordinator WFNA, WFNFarmers'Coop