Thursday, October 20, 2005
Modern Agriculture and Left Dhimmi Fascism (1)
We Modernists own our own lives. No one else can lay that claim. The American and French Revolutions put it on paper and called it legal; the Industrial Revolution made it potential and practicable. The ground of those three revolutions of Modernity is rational agriculture.
As background and context for further inquiries into ecology and fascism we will look at the nature of social change as it grew from the changed relation of man to the land, the end of feudal ties to manorial lords and plantation owners. We will look at the beginning of the end of 'man as farm animal.' Life as livestock is still the lot of most men, but not in the world of Modernity. It might return generally if we do not continue our revolutions, if we reject our mission to further Modernity to the universal condition, if we allow the fascists to restore the ancient orders. Back to the Land. The People. The Culture. Oneness with Nature. The Great Spirit. More Feeling. The Peoples' Right to self-determination. Yes, the very stuff of fascism, and it seems so pretty on the face of it. Almost Romantic. Mystical. Authentic. No more cash relations, no more capitalism, no more globalism, but only a purer relationship with ones own community. Local. Community oriented. Pacific. Pastoral. Fascist.
All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind. Marx, Engels, The Communist Manifesto. p.24
A return to the pre-industrial age of pure relations of man to man and man to nature. A time prior to Globalism that "has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors," and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than callous "cash payment."" (p. 23)
The time of the Communist is over. There will be no future workers' paradise in the glory of socialist relations. But! But! But, having witnessed the end of the future, the futility of the coming of the pure paradise of the workers ruling the world in happy harmony, what if-- rather than surpassing the capitalist means of production and social relations through socialism itself to return to the idyllic times of yore we can simply return to those happier, more authentic times directly? What if, rather than destroying the rotting frames of capitalism to erect socialism we simply move back to the pre-capitalist epoch without socialism? Let's all be Palestinians. Let's be "post" modern. Let's all be fascists.
Modernity, as Marx points out, comes from the end of feudal agriculture. The French Revolution wiped out feudal ties in much of Europe, and in its place created the conditions of capitalism, of the bourgeois revolution, the revolution of the free individual with the right to own his own life. No more community of master and man, but free men, men in competition for wages and work, man against man, man against nature, man against the state. Free men and free women. Free, according to Marx, to starve to death for the sake of making a profit for another. Free.
Free man arose from the ground itself, freed in England partly by the Black Death, that plague, by killing perhaps 25 per cent of the population, caused a labour shortage, a shortage that required competition for workers, that allowed a man to move from his tenure on the manor to a state of negotiated wage-labour on another's estate with the knowledge he would not be reclaimed by his former owner. Man, having tasted freedom, craved more.
In 1492, having finally expelled the Moors, the Spanish looked for a trade route to bypass the Muslims of Arabia on the way to the markets of India. In encountering the New World as a consolation prize, the market was flooded with new goods, and the markets grew and grew and grew, filling the guild-halls to bursting till they did burst, disgorging men into the work market, talented men, and men with access to cash to build and create and compete.
Free men, talented and clever and skilled, with new crops and new lands, created new methods of farming. The nightmare of Modernity began for the post modernists and their fascist Muslim allies: The division of labour. The need for non-agricultural labour. The expansion of cities. The move away from "The Land." The rise of The Machine.
In classical terms, "Conservatives" refers to the landed estate owners. Liberals are those who yearned for cash. The reactionary forces of the Land were from then till now in struggle against the Mercantile/ Industrial capitalists. Nothing has changed. The workers are still caught under foot. Today many of them are free to move away and do on their own what they will. But the forces of the Land are still in the fight to restore the age of feudalism, and they have never ceased in their struggle to regain their previous privileged positions. Today, even at this moment, the vast mass of men is under the foot of the Landowners of the world. Few men live in a state of Modernity. More's the pity.
Below we'll look at excerpts from Ivan T. Berend, History Derailed: Central and Eastern Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2002. Also we'll look at Eric J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution: 179-1848. London: Cardinal Press. 1962. The purpose of our look at the development of modern agriculture is to show that the world of Modernity could not have arisen without rational agriculture, and that from that came the marvels of Modern industry and the reality of individual freedom for man, a condition that is specific to Modernity. In this look at the roots and growth of Modernity we will also see the continuation of pre-modern and therefore post-modern fascism.
Please return later this evening for our continuation of this post. We apologize for the delay.