There was a meme on facebook that caught my eye. It described growing your own food as being an act of civil disobedience. This seems odd as there is no law against doing it and most of us who grow herbs or lemons would hardly regard it as some sort of statement. I do recognize that for some self-sustainability is a political statement but you need more than just growing a few vegetables to achieve this.
My thoughts advanced further on this after reading and article by Deidre Macken in a recent edition of the Weekend Australian, which talked about people “disconnecting” from the grid or pipes. This was a trend to not have land line phones, to have solar panels rather than be on the electricity grid and to watch programs streamed on line rather than watch TV, either free to air or satellite.
This article essentially described a trend for people to disconnect from fixed infrastructure. To become unplugged as it were. The most extreme example of this was in a third article about a couple, in the USA, who let their house be foreclosed and now travel around in an RV working when they need to and going where they please.
What is going on? Many of us feel chained to the wheel. Many of us are working to pay bills for things we wonder if we really need. I have nothing against creature comforts but wonder whether we need as much as what we are nudged into buying.
And times change. When TV first started it was seen as wondrous that you could be entertained at home. Now it is almost seen as tyranny that you are expected to watch programs at a set time. The TV stations have become aware of this and also now offer programs online in case you missed them.
The food and infrastructure industries require us to consume what they produce. If people grow their own food and generate their own power they are in a way detaching from the system and this is arguably a threat to them.
The health system is also under threat – by people who want to be healthy. I always wondered why those in health officialdom put so much effort into denigrating supplements and organic food. Maybe their use is a threat to a system that really only makes money when people are sick.
By eating well (with or without supplements), doing regular exercise, getting enough sleep and generally looking after your health you are much less likely to get sick. In turn you have less need for the “health system”.
This is perhaps another way of people disconnecting from “the grid”. If you are healthy you may not feel the need for much of the services or products the system offers you. If this took off then the system really would be threatened.
And we would see the empire seek to strike back, say by medicalizing more aspects of life so as to draw more people into the system. It might seek to scare people about infections. It might over diagnose by the use of screening tests. Maybe this is already happening.
Maybe growing some herbs in your back yard is a radical act after all.
I will go and check how the parsley is doing out by the laundry.