Archive for capital

Strange Cotton

Posted in Ecological resilience, Revolution, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by Rob Wallace

Weighing cotton2Southern trees bear a strange fruit, / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, / Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, / Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. – Abel Meeropol (1936)

My momma was raised in the era when / Clean water was only served to the fairer skin / Doing clothes you would have thought I had help / But they wasn’t satisfied unless I picked the cotton myself… / I see the blood on the leaves. –Kayne West (2013)

Our political consciousness gestates early enough, perhaps in a rudimentary fashion as far back as the womb, but certainly on the playground and at the dinner table, daddy or mommy haranguing some politico. On the other hand, we also never really make it there. A 90-something I know, nodding out her window, copped to asking herself, Am I ever gonna figure that out?

Along the way there are revelations, some more trap doors than epiphanies. We learn history is both contingent and unexpectedly accumulative—shit happens in a growing pile—even as the pathways along which any set of circumstances converges aren’t always clear.

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We Can Think Ourselves into a Plague

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution, Farming Human Pathogens book, HIV, Influenza with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2010 by Rob Wallace

The power of the mind is a New Age staple. But really, can I concentrate enough to levitate myself (much less get my laundry done today)?

The materialist answers, funny you mention it, but, yes, you can. A few minds thought through the ideas that produced the airplane and perhaps soon enough the personal jet pack with smart phone dock and coffee maker.

The dialectical materialist would modify science’s self-congratulations with the observation it’s taken many generations’ labor to produce the surplus permitting a few their deep thinking. Ingenuity is itself a social object.

And yet, despite, or perhaps because of, that backing, we can think ourselves into era-specific traps. Among these include animal and plant diseases that rope-a-dope us into a frustration we feel obliged by our lords and masters to fail to understand.

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