Wednesday, February 13, 2013

National Agricultural Commons

"Most of feudalism’s overt abuses had now ceased. But the remainder represented unaccountable control over other people’s lives and a steady transfer of wealth from poor to rich in rent or fees....even in the cities, where people suffered from an often-fractured sense of identity and their feelings of powerlessness led them to accept poor governance as a norm. Taking on landlordism by setting up [a]…Trust, then, would be a symbolic work.  It would send out signals aimed at a wider transformation, connected as it was to a sense of belonging and the human ‘claim of right’—the right to freedom…The authority structures that held it all in place might resemble a fortress; in certain ways, some of which were not to be underestimated, they were a fortress.  But in other ways they were just eggshell.  Yet as long as that eggshell remained painted with iron bars, it could imprison oppressor and oppressed alike…

It was therefore going to mean engaging power…the whole corpus of landed interests…It would mean drawing presumed authority structures into question and helping to build an exciting and sustainable alternative...And just look at what, in the case of landlordism, the alternative could be. With community ownership, security and commonwealth could become the core values rather than profit and domination. Rents and other revenues could support infrastructure rather than subsidising the idle mores of the rich. People could recover an authentic sense of connection with place and therefore have a framework in which to cultivate responsibility."

                                        - Alastair McIntosh, Scottish activist, ecologist, writer, and bard                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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