Friday, December 8, 2017

Some Big Picture Wisdom about Agriculture from Alan Watts

The title of this Youtube video is "Alan Watts breaks down what's wrong with the world - Part 1 (1970)".

I love Watts' early mention of agriculture, in an overall discussion of world leaders coming together to L.A. to solve the world's problems. I have transcribed this portion of his talk.
“we didn’t know what to say because we really don’t know what to do. Some things that we might do, for example, to increase the food supply with high yield crops may be ecological mistakes. And, so, the consensus of almost everybody at the meeting, in some way or other, the human race has to learn how to leave the world alone. And let what is called the natural homeostasis which is the self balancing process of Nature, take care of the mess.

Now how will we do that?

See our problem is, we don’t really know how to stop. We’ve got something started, and we see its going in the wrong direction and I think the difficulty is, to borrow an old Chinese saying that when the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong way. Now, there’s something wrong with the way we think. And while that is there, everything we do will be a mess."
There is some philosophical wisdom contained in Watts words that goes far beyond most discussions I ever hear today in main stream writing about agriculture. What he says, too, is prescient and directly applicable to our current state of over-production of the agricultural grains and commodities and the trending of the big getting bigger, whether that be bigger farms, or bigger hog confinement facilities.