Betting The Farms
I am not a farmer. In fact, I'd venture to say that I don't have an agricultural bone in my body.
So, it might seem strange for me, of all people, to pen a piece centered on the recent farmers' rebellions across the globe. But I am writing it, nonetheless, because I believe it is critical for us to discuss what is happening before mankind finds itself in the midst of another historic famine.
Namely, we must address the danger in letting politicians dictate sweeping changes to farming.
In The Headlines
Seemingly every country in Northern Europe has witnessed some form of rural revolt of late. While the precipitating factors vary, the response has been roughly the same: thousands of angry growers caravaning their tractors in protest.
In Holland, they have responded to what feels like a pyrrhic war on nitrogen. Despite reducing their nitrogen emissions by two-thirds since 1990, Dutch farmers still fear being shut down. And their dread is not unfounded. The government, through permitting and bank regulations, has made croperties virtually non-transferable. In practical terms, this means many farms in the Netherlands won't last beyond this generation.
When it comes to Ireland, it's the dairymen who are in the crosshairs. Last year, a plan was floated to reduce greenhouse gases by culling 65,000 cows annually. In what must be some sort of first, PETA was on the same side of an issue as the herders. Consider how thoroughly loathsome an idea must be for those two groups to oppose it!
Then there is Germany. Farmers in Deutschland also have a problem with hikes in real fuel costs. Additionally, they are very concerned with being left out of bureaucratic planning processes and the stiff input regulations that result from them. Worst of all, they are saddled with an Agricultural Minister who actually said, "there's a lot more that people can afford" to justify escalating prices for basic staple foods. I can't be the only individual who finds it worrisome that she doesn't have her fellow humans at the top of her "priority" list.
Before we move on, please take a moment to peruse this steaming pile of dung published by Foreign Policy. In it you'll find a large portion of disdain for food producers along with a singular focus on their diesel demands. You won't spot any of their other gripes being treated seriously... and certainly nothing about that public servant who despises the public. If there were Scarecrow Awards for the most egregious examples of strawman schlock, Paul Hockenos would deserve one.
In The History Books
Elites like Hockenos think they know better. They want to prove how right they are. They view their adversaries as stupid country bumpkins. Yet these academics apparently have no clue how scary things can get if their schemes backfire miserably. Perhaps we should remind them.
The Great Ukrainian Famine
Less than a century ago, Ukrainians suffered through one of the worst famines in modern history. What is now referred to as the Holodomor ("death by hunger") killed at least 3.5 million people in approximately one year. Realistically speaking, that figure was likely two to three times higher, once other death tolls directly linked to this situation are considered. [Underreporting, disease, and complications from forced labor are often the top three cited.]
But what caused it? Well, almost everyone agrees it was the result of a communist push for collectivization in farming. Many go further... attributing it to an intentional plan to decimate any rural opposition to the Soviet model by destroying all private ownership of lands and crops. And it's hard to argue against that sentiment; both Lenin and Stalin saw the Kulaks (successful peasant farmers) as "vampires" who needed to be eradicated via what was literally called dekulakization.
The depths of evil appeared to know no bounds. Food was rationed with increasing scarcity. Thanks to a newly enacted internal passport system, families faced the gulags if they attempted to flee their barren farmland. The Law of Spikelets was passed, leading to hundreds of thousands punished or murdered for simply scouring their own fields for post-harvest scraps. Entire villages were blacklisted and "encircled by troops" who "blockaded (residents) from leaving or receiving any supplies; it was essentially a death sentence." It wasn't long before theft, prostitution, and cannibalism (where children were hunted as prey) became rampant there.
Make no mistake. It's not like there weren't any crops. The problem was almost wholly unnatural. The Kremlin was taking sustenance out of Ukrainians' mouths and redistributing it to other regions... even exporting grain (as well as refusing foreign aid) while the peasantry wasted away. All so the Soviets could project strength on the international stage and paint anyone who objected to any part of the suffering with an anti-communist brush.
All because politicians meddled with the food chain.
The Great Chinese Famine
China experienced its own manmade disaster a generation later. During their supposed Great Leap Forward, the communists decided to roll out a campaign to rid the country of sparrows. Their misguided logic fixated on improving grain yields by killing off the birds and other pests. Alas, Mao (son of a peasant farmer) and his lackeys failed to calculate the incredible damage associated with eliminating the winged predator that kept locusts at bay.
Within a year, tens of millions had perished. All because a few power-mad autocrats claimed it was imperative that every last nest of one species must vanish from the Chinese countryside.
All because politicians meddled with the food chain.
The Great Reset Famine?
To recap, it's clear that government can destroy a nation's food supply just by adding a few unsound mandates. Query the citizens of Sri Lanka -- who learned this the really hard way after lawmakers banned synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in 2021. According to some estimates, the drastic shift to organic farming forced around 90% of them to endure months of food insecurity.
Now imagine what would happen if these dogmatic directives were coming from a continental or worldwide authority. In many respects, things seem to be trending that way under The Great Reset plan that popped up during the pandemic. I'd be remiss not to ask the following questions:
What if John Kerry's suggestions do more harm than good? What if this World Economic Forum member and his fellow "agenda contributors" decide to significantly ramp up their war on CO2? What if one bad decision, no matter how well-intentioned, causes starvation on a massive scale?
The Holodomor and China have taught us how fast things fall apart when awful recommendations are implemented. Sure, today's policies aren't being enforced under threat of imprisonment or death, but beyond a certain agricultural tipping point, the end result will be the same. And while there will always be 'experts' who refuse to concede the truth -- even about places where panic led children to turn in their parents for execution -- the rest of us understand historical precedent.
Millions might die if politicians get too forceful with agronomic policy. Let's not bet the farm on extreme alterations to cultivation. Otherwise, many of us will end up buying the proverbial farm.
Note: the post above may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.