We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Let Me Tell You About Thailand's Rice Farmers

Click here to access article by Tony Cartalucci from AltThaiNews. 

There is a lot of valuable information in this post, and thus it should not be read carelessly. First of all, Cartalucci brings us up-to-date on one of the fundamental causes of the deep political conflicts raging in Thailand. A second section is devoted to some very interesting ideas about self-sufficiency using high technology that empowers people. It's clear to me that such applications of technology are not possible within capitalist systems of exploitation. And, finally, some political recommendations about how to deal with the current crisis.
The problems faced by rice farmers have only been compounded, however astronomically, by the current regime's ill-conceived, failed vote-buying scheme. Farmers are facing increasing hardships that began long before this latest national disaster - and hope of rectifying any of them seems remote at best.

Another grave and growing concern is the increasing monopolies held by foreign big agricultural corporations who have set about miring Thailand's farmers in a web of debt and perpetual servitude toward chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The cycle of chemicals and industrial scale monoculture (the dependence on only a single crop) leave farmers entirely dependent on both large agricultural corporations to grow their crops, and big-retail to sell them.