I've been reading a fair amount of anthropology and archeology. Always been interested in the what causes civilizations to collapse. One should be able to learn from the past, right?
Lately, however, I've been looking at things from the other end. How did civilizations start in the first place? It's been a fairly common assumption that civilization started with agriculture. A settled population with a calorie surplus could grow the population base and allow for skill diversification. That's it in a nutshell.
Ah yes, but how did government form? There's a good case that it all started with communal grain storage. Someone had to watch over the grain -protect it and dole it out. With the control of food, came power.
Over the years, government has discovered many other ways to control people. That being said, they've never forgotten the power that come from control over the food. Just ask the surviving Kulaks about Soviet control over food. Centralized agriculture is centralized control over the population.
Our system is a bit more subtle. We can call it the Industrial Agricultural complex. Big agriculture companies have serious sway with the government that's supposed to regulate it. The Feds do a fine job at stomping on the small guys. Look at the raids on tiny dairy farms selling raw milk. The incidence of sickness from raw milk is minuscule. Compare it to industrial egg production. Something like half a billion eggs have been recalled for salmonella contamination. The Feds aren't sending swat teams to their door like they do to small dairies. Who's got more political clout?
In emergencies, governments have been known to inflict harsh penalties on people with plenty of food storage. They are called hoarders and worse. Why is that? Why should someone be punished for proper disaster planning? A man who has his own food cannot be as easily led as a hungry man who gets his bread from the government.
Proper food storage, especially combined with your own food production, is a revolutionary act. It's a strong blow for individual freedom. Governments are afraid of losing their original and most basic power. That's why there are some many ways that food is regulated. Sure, some of it is supposedly for our protection, but why do we always get "protected" from the small producer while the big guys get away with murder?
Grow your own food. Keeping a few hens is starting to look pretty good right now. Store your own food. It's part of your power base. Do what a fair number of surviving Kulaks did -hide some of that food where the government goons can't find it.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
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