Repeasantization

By Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau and Justin Myers

Neoliberal capitalism’s survives by producing spaces that structure everyday life in ways that are conducive to its continued reproduction and growth. These colonized, neoliberal spaces preclude significant formations of solidarity and social movement organization, and most signficantly, impoverish the imagination of radical, emanicpatory possibilities because they only reflect capital’s drive for accumulation through industrialization-urbanization-colonization.

Liberatory social movements need to decolonize the dominant imaginary by breaking with the prevailing conceptions of liberation that are intertwined with industrialization. Through adopting a radical imaginary oriented to the restructuring of everyday life around community economies and food spaces we contend that repeasantization forms the most effective strategy and pathway out of the current ecological and social crisis within the United States.1 The tripartite process of industrialization-urbanization-colonization has drastically remapped the social and ecological landscape, co-producing a multiciplicity of crises. Their interconnected character necessitates that the ecological crisis—encompassing the climate, food, energy, and water crises—cannot be thought separately from the myriad social crises we are facing—poverty, exclusion, violence and economic crises—nor the broader relation of dominance and power between all living beings.2 Accordingly, the relationship between humans and the land is the pivot around which these relations of domination interact and where resolutions might be found.3

Central to both the ecological and the social crises is the rupture of nutrient flows that underpin the integrity of ecological processes.4 The “metabolic rift” of modernity increasingly structures the rural to provide people, energy, food and value to the urban core, which transports waste back to the rural periphery (evident in rural economies based around prisons, landfills and big-box shopping malls).5 This parasitic imperial relationship between rural peripheries, as economically depressed extractive sites, and an urban core, as a colonizing process of social organization founded upon alienated eco-social relations necessitates the reconfiguration of “everyday life.”6 The critical problem is decolonizing development, as capitalism is a political economy of growth wedded to industrialism, technological domination, and violence, both political and economic, that fosters the development of underdevelopment.7 There is a drastic and compelling need to move beyond growth to actual social development or towards a social world emphasizing a steady-state economy, redistributional politics, democratization of power, sustainable reproduction (social and ecological), food sovereignty, land-based identities, and the subsistence perspective.8

Those at the seat of corporate and governmental power contend that the “solution” to the current crisis is the continued centralization of control under their power. This centralization takes three major forms: the intensification of resource wars (food, energy, water), enclosure (land, seeds, water) and Green Revolution 2.0 (genetic engineering of the food supply).9 It is vital to counter this “monoculture of the mind,” where solutions to the current crisis are more of the same: privatization, commodification, financialization – except now at the genetic or atmospheric level.10 Markets, privatization, and corporate control are prescribed as the solutions to the very problems they create, requiring social movements for justice to make a radical break with the dominant socializing forces of modernity. Modernity knows no other solutions to its problems.

The current crisis, as a rupture of the governing logic of neoliberalism and its false solutions, produces an opening for the restructuring of everyday life to create just and sustainable forms of life through a truly “post-industrial” urban-rural formation.11 We contend that the United States needs a new geographical imaginary for the post-industrial social, one that rethinks the relationship between interhuman and human-nonhuman relations through being attuned to the claim of “tierra y libertad,” land and liberty. The landbase and food cultivation, as the basis of ecological and social reproduction and thus everyday life, are the pivot around which a healthy or destructive social metabolism operates. Repeasantization is crucial to healing the social and ecological bonds that maintain both the integrity of the landbase and produce less hierarchical and more egalitarian relations premised upon reciprocity, care, love and respect. There is a drastic need to re-center life around food as culture, for within this demand lies a radical reorganization of place, time and subjectivity. In shifting towards agri-culture rather than agri-business, a fundamental transition is required where the social is oriented around social and ecological reproduction, the gift, and the commons. Post-industrial peasantry is a form of life that recognizes and practices these values and orientations and is accompanied by a geographical transformation.

Orienting the post-capitalist beyond around food couples land, labor, and people to place and therefore produces an individual and collective identity connected to the landbase and ecological processes—the hallmark of indigneous and land-based peoples.12 This peasant subjectivity is the antithesis of capitalism, which is a regulating logic premised on abstraction from the landbase and the concrete needs of ecological and social reproduction. Through severing connections from place, capitalism feeds the decontextualized needs of a global market through the “abstract wealth” of GDP via the value flows of “abstract labor.” Capitalist practices thereby attempt to produce subjects abstracted from the landbase and community—the atomized individual of the market, homo economicus, premised upon economic self-interest, ruthless competition, short-term and profit-oriented contractual obligations, and abstract equality through the state.13

Capitalism creates spaces designed for extraction that disable connections between people and the environment and foreclose the development of the radical imagination. Without spaces that reflect community, justice, or care, these values seem impossible for the selves produced in these environments. The individuals produced in and through capitalist de- and re-territorialization are oriented to the injustice of the market and are forced into conformist atomism or nihilistic isolation. Modernity celebrates our increasing disconnection form the landbase and the heightened mobility of commodities. That only three percent of United States workers are employed on the farm, that apples from New Zealand can be found in New York City, that a flight from San Francisco to Auckland is only fourteen hours, is taken as a sign of “progress” and liberation from the temporal and spatial limits of “nature.” This is “space-time compression,” a hallmark of capitalist industrialization that is destructive of social and ecological health. It can most effectively be challenged through a social orientation around local agri-culture, which necessitates an inclusive politics of place premised upon social and ecological reproduction.14

Because abstraction from land is an essential, damaging element of capitalism, it is impossible to have a sustainable, just food economy and capitalism. Making food the center of the the post-capitalist future is crucial because it raises the problem of capitalism’s use and abuse of land and suggests land and agricultural reform as the critical pivot around which social transformation must swivel. Such a pivot of food requires and entails the production of a new subjectivity of the peasant condition that can be incorporated and generalized into the everyday life of a “bureaucratic society of controlled consumption” to fundamentally transform it.15 Repeasantization, then, is not merely a call for agricultural production from smaller farmers or new economic practices structured around the local, but the articulation of an imaginary premised upon reconceptualizing the “peasant principle” as a modality of the post-industrial self.16 As a personal and social process, repeasantization rearticulates the urban-rural configuration through producing an alternative development paradigm for both, centered on local food economies as their foundation. Accordingly, repeasantization will be theorized as a counter-hegemonic process of de- and re-territorialization that coalesces movements for social justice and environmental sustainability through the slogan of food sovereignty.

The Crisis of Late Capitalism:

Late capitalism is experiencing a crisis of its material reproduction in terms of disappearing natural resources but is also creating social conditions of increased injustice and social collapse that threatens its own legitimacy. Capitalism, as a process of industrialization-urbanization-colonization, reproduces itself through its occupation of, accumulation of, and production of space.17 Capitalist reproduction thus requires the active destruction of non-capitalist spaces, social relations, and subjects.18 The past five hundred years of the development of capitalism has required the subsumption, colonization, and degradation of thousands of local, noncapitalist alternatives.19

At the heart of colonialism, and therefore empire, is the restructuring of the flows of people, energy, food, material and value from the South to the North and from the “New World” to the “Old World”, a process that fueled the industrialization of Western Europe.20 Foremost amongst these rearticulations was the conversion of the “New World” into a food production site for Western Europe with the growth of sugar, coffee, tobacco, and so on.21 It is here we glimpse an early manifestation of the forced massification of food production for Empire. Today, the reshaping of global space for the growing urban centers, particularly for food cultivation, continues these practices but on a larger scale and with greater intensity.22 Industrialization and urbanization should not be theorized as merely a double movement but in triplicate, since such moves necessitate colonization. Industrialization reshapes the relations between countryside and city, subsuming the countryside to the needs of the urban, preventing its autonomous development, while also degrading the urban to the point of internal decay.23

Rural communities in the United States, and indeed around the world, have been eviscerated by industrial agriculture. Small family farms and labor-intensive farming are the foundation of healthy and vibrant rural communities.24 When family farms close down the community dies with it: there occurs a decline in rural population, increased poverty, increased income inequality, lowered numbers of community services, diminished democratic participation, decreased retail trade, and increased environmental pollution.25 The modernization of agriculture post WWII has lead to the collapse of the family farm within the U.S. and Europe and massive depeasantization globally. During the past fifty years, four million farms have disappeared in the United States, seven million in France and two million in Japan.26

The modernization of agriculture over the past fifty years in the United States has fueled the monoculturalization of the landscape and the conversion of rural communities within the United States into industrial factories for the production of corn and soy. The former is converted into animal feed for factory farms, sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, and agrofuel (ethanol) to support the western world’s massive energy needs; while the latter is converted into a multitude of “edible” groceries passing themselves off as vegetarian alternatives. Additionally, this factory model is disembedded from the reproduction requirements of the local landbase and is oriented to feeding a global market of limitless desires, which facilitates the degradation of the landbase and therefore produces declining agricultural yields due to soil erosion, salinization, waterlogging, desertification and toxification.27

Alongside the industrialization of food crops there has occurred the proliferation of animal factories as well, employing confined animal feeding operations (CAFO).28 These facilities, mirroring an auto plant with its Taylorist and Fordist practices of task-specialization and assembly-line production, are directly linked to numerous disease and pathogen outbreaks, inhumane care/slaughter practices and degradation of environmental and human health through air, land, and water pollution. The industrialization of agriculture encompasses both the production of food for vegetarians, omnivores and carnivores and is systemic; no one is immune.

The current agrarian crisis that fuels depeasantization and the collapse of millions of small farms globally is based on two long term secular trends: a price decline for agricultural commodities and a price incline for the social reproduction of the farm.29 These two trends are exacerbated through the capitalist formation of neoliberalism, whose deregulation of commodity markets and evisceration of the sovereignty of national boundaries through debt-peonage, structural adjustment programs and free-trade agreements has forced labor-intensive small farmers, both subsistence- and market-based, to compete with a heavily capital-intensive and mechanized agribusiness. As a result, industrial agriculture—an oligopoly where fewer than ten companies control machines, energy-additives and seeds—fuels depeasantization through creating relations of debt-peonage where small farmers are never able to pay off the loans taken for planting with the proceeds earned from the harvest.30

We maintain that global capitalism is encouraging rural disintegration and evisceration through turning “the rural” into a factory to grow and produce the raw materials needed for the reproduction of an “urban cosmopolitanism,” a life subsumed under the directives of the accumulation of capital. However, Capital and State are increasingly aware of this evisceration because arable land is becoming scarce and the neoliberal paradigm of agricultural modernization and horizontalization of food that destroys the landbase over the long-term is no longer tenable. Instead, capital has embraced the financialization and thus verticalization of agriculture through the genetic turn.31 Capital’s regulating logic now contends that agriculture can in fact become a “renewable resource,” but only if agriculture is disconnected from the spatio-temporal cycles of the landbase via biotechnology. This means capital’s accumulation is now based on the planning of life at the genetic level, more commonly known as the Green Revolution 2.0, which is currently focused on Africa.

The genetic turn represents a critical continuation of the larger structural process of “ongoing primitive accumulation” or enclosure.32 Enclosure is the foundation of neoliberalism’s accumulation model through the privatization and commodification of nature’s free gifts of land, water, and seed, historically treated as a commons by indigenous and non-western peoples.33 Enclosure channels wealth upwards to an elite, who controls the “newfound” private property, leaving the majority in destitution, denied a right to life through denial of rights to land, water and seed. As a result, enclosure facilitates the great mass migrations from the countryside to the city based on the inability to reproduce oneself when denied rights to land, water and seed. In the “developed” world this manifests through a neoliberal process of classed and raced spatial exclusion and apartheid, often in the form of urban gentrification but also the historical legacy of Keynesian gated communities (prison and projects for the poor and people of color, suburbs for the white and wealthy), universalized under neoliberalism.34 For the Global South, slums flourish as a space for the superfluous whose labor-power isn’t even desired for exploitation, which is mirrored in the inner cities of Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh.35

This is the reality facing millions of people of color within the United States and billions globally, and a result of rapid and violent demographic restructuring. Specific rural and urban locales are built-up and then torn-down while other urban locales, San Francisco, Seattle, Boise, Boston, Los Angeles, are rebuilt differently in a spatial-accumulation strategy referred to as “uneven development.”36 The bourgeois valorization process capitalizes and decapitalizes, valorizes and devalorizes, accumulates and disaccumulates capital in the blink of an eye: “all fixed, fast-frozen relations…are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify…all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind,” that the bourgeois “has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment.”37 “Naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation” is all that the bourgeois can offer in return for “creat[ing] a world after its own image…[domination of the] cosmopolitan character [over] production and consumption.”38

Empire increasingly channels more and more wealth into exclusive spaces through laying waste to the social and ecological landscape. This must be clear: empire produces no new wealth. Empire extracts the ecological and social life from the environment and both requires and enables the restructuring of value flows away from local communities towards transnational corporations (TNCs) and international financial institutions (IFIs). New York, London, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai undergo waves of gentrification, sprawl, and segregation that eviscerate the landscape. As a result, postmodern empire colonizes both the rural and urban, creating spaces and imaginaries that foreclose radical possibilites for justice, freedom, and equality.39

Towards the Post-Industrial Peasant

The social and ecological crisis, which repeasantization counters, is intrinsically linked to an energy crisis that necessitates a move away from an agricultural model based on fossil fuel to one tied to renewable resources that are sourced locally and oriented around the production of the farm as a self-sufficient, closed loop ecological flow. Industrial agriculture is a model that is dependent on massive external inputs of fossil fuels in the form of pesticides, herbicides, and mechanization instead of local self-sufficiency and sustainability through the recycling of nutrient flows. Rather than a monoculture of oil-laden food, repeasantization would restructure food cultivation as a “complex production system” encompassing mixed or associated crop growing, animal raising, arboriculture and fish farming, based on “flexible and diverse cultivat[ion] methods” that are grown for local not global markets, require fewer external off-the-farm inputs through “green manure” and are more labor intensive. A repeasantization process is a post-fossil fuel agri-culture tied to alternative energy sources.

The peasant mode of farming counters the existing problem of empire’s reordering of value flows and production of surplus populations through being “oriented towards the search for and subsequent creation of value added and productive employment.”40 Accordingly, the peasant condition seeks to maximize autonomy from global commodity and agricultural markets and subsequent dependency upon debt as a mechanism for social reproduction. It is important to understand the peasant condition as distinctively ordering the “agricultural processes of production and consumption” away from the logic of markets.41 The peasant mode of farming is oriented to the co-production and co-reproduction of both the peasant and the farm in a manner that avoids the exploitation and domination tied up with global capital while centering the production of food around the needs of the landbase, people and the direct producers themselves.42

Such a mode of production is tied to the constant development of the landbase in order to increase the productivity of food cultivation within the limits of the landbase and thereby reduce dependency and maximize autonomy from structures of domination. This drive for autonomy and self-reliance is connected with a move towards “rebuilding the resource base of the farm” through labor intensification rather than agro-industry techoscience, the production of “multi-product farms” rather than monocultures, “on-farm processing” for value-added production instead of the sale of raw materials to TNCs, the “construction of new short links to consumers” in opposition to cash-crop export models, and the reliance on “green manure” processes instead of fossil-fuel additives.43

Repeasantization is therefore designed to build more just and sustainable relations through relocalizing flows of nutrients, value, and power. Repeasantization is the production of a new politics of place that rebuilds the local ecologically and socially in order to address the global crisis of industrial capitalism and modernization; as counter-hegemonic, repeasantization develops in a multiplicity of ways based on social and ecological conditions. This is not a return to the days of yore but the creation of the conditions for the realization of the post-industrial peasant: the peasant of the third millennium oriented to local place-based knowledge rather than market knowledge and small-scale, multi-producing farms for local consumption instead of plantations for monocultured, cash-crop export.

In order for the principles regulating the peasant mode of farming—social and ecological reproduction, subsistence, autonomy—to be generalized throughout the social body and social space of the United States, repeasantization must be both urban and rural. This “new ruralism” must draw from the liberatory potential that Henri Lefebvre saw in cities, and it must also draw from the very real communal experiences of rural locales. Rural and urban space needs to be reclaimed for farms, not factories, and agri-culture not agribusiness; communities need to be reestablished around organic agriculture and slow food in urban and rural environments; and these spaces must exist for the excluded, as a commons and democratically controlled means of production. These spaces will allow for a new geographical imaginary which can entertain radical new relations with each other and with our environment. This spatial transformation is possible because of the current crises in capitalism and the emergence of the post-industrail era.

The post-industrial imaginary draws upon the peasant principle as a regulating logic that centers life around social and ecological reproduction in order to build local and democratic economic power. Accordingly, our post-industrial imaginary calls for a break and a push beyond the regulating logic of industrial society. Daniel Bell’s theory of a post-industrial society, further popularized under Ecological Modernization theory, is not a break with nor a move beyond and outside of industrialism but its hyper-intensification, extending its logic to all social spheres in the hopes that productivist and technocratic logic will solve the problems of growth, poverty and ecological collapse.44 In reality, this post-industrial United States is dependent on the industrialization and colonization of the rest of the world through the outsourcing of industrial production throughout the Global South in order to faciliate the transition to a service economy, which is largely parasitic upon the productive periphery and operates upon “unequal exchange” relations between the core and periphery.

By post-industrial we invoke a new paradigm, epistemologically and ontologically, that forms the foundation for a new geographical imaginary oriented to social and ecological reproduction.45 Founded on the science of agroecology, our post-industrial will require a move away from the disembodied, decontextualized, objective science of the enlightenment, a form of knowledge that conceptualizes time as merely a measure of distance along a mathematical grid and the world as a static, bounded, quantifiable object. This framework is exacerbated under an industrial capitalist logic where the “valorization of speed” and “compression of time” are united under a reductively economic framework. This new spatial configuration, where labor is oriented to the landbase and to the ecosystem, and focus is placed on the community and its reproduction, yields a new orientation to time. A “timescape” oriented to eco-social rhythms allows for new conceptions of liberation and new possibilities for just living.

The relocalization, recontextualization, re-embedding of spatio-temporal rhythms with the landbase requires that agri-culture become local, regional, and seasonal again, where the primary producers of food retain control over the means of production and reproduction. The abstraction of agriculture from the landbase through food empires leads to ecological and social destruction; agriculture must be based on the cyclical rhythm of ecological process rather than the abstract linear accumulation demands of capitalism. Industrialization is about “transcendence of seasons and locale,” a demand that requires the increasing abstraction of agricultural production from place and its production along the factory model.46

Conclusion: Making Repeasantization a Viable Social Movement

The challenges for repeasantization are legion in the United States. In particular, facilitating a demographic shift back to rural living is massive and unpopular on its own. Urbanization has a strong cultural component that values mobile livelihoods, global ideas, and increased connections. Thus, without economic incentives, insurgent subcultures, or strong arguments that value the rural, repeasantization is not likely to occur. However, in connection with a larger project of rebuilding rural economies that moves from a “shopping mall/waste dump/prison economy,” as well as integrating migrant farmworker struggles and larger post-colonial struggles, we hope to build a structure that could be broadly successful. In fact, this effort will only succeed if is done in solidarity with global and regional social movements working for the same goal, like the international peasant-rights organization La Via Campesina and its member organizations. Again, however, we are not uncritically idealizing existing peasants or rural communities as the new “revolutionary subject” or proletariat, but instead are basing our analysis on existing conditions and antagonisms domestically and globally.

Food sovereignty becomes a vital organizing motif for repeasantization, as it emphasizes the correlation between food, place, people and labor that is central to the post-industrial imaginary. The “emerging concept of food sovereignty emphasizes farmers’ access to land, seeds and water while focusing on local autonomy, local markets, local production-consumption cycles, energy and technological sovereignty, and farmer-to-farmer networks.”47 La Via Campesina pioneered and defines food sovereignty as the “people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.”48 Through blending “agroecological science” and “indigenous knowledge,” epistemological and ontological frameworks are produced that privilege “socially just” farming through rejecting agricultural modernization’s drive towards non-food from non-places via centering farming upon local ecological and cultural factors.49 In doing so, the food sovereignty movement emphasizes “economic and social human rights,” that of the right to food, land, water and seed, as “local farmers are the foundation of local and regional economic development.”50 And that in order to achieve these rights there needs to occur redistributive land reform and the restructuring of production and consumption circuits to facilitate, the revitalization of the artisan and merchant ‘class’ that brings life to small towns, alongside small-farmers.

Food sovereignty is central in the movement towards a post-industrial society, as its demand for decentralization of economic and political power through democratizing control over the food system, “from production and processing, to distribution, marketing, and consumption”, is not merely about control over food, but potentially the social surplus – its production, appropriation and distribution.51 Historically, agriculture is the source of the production of the social surplus, and the point of departure for the development and intensification of the division of labor, the state, rationalized political authority and complex mechanisms of surplus labor extraction. As a result, the call for democratization of the food system reaches to the heart of the historical formation of civilization and challenges the exploitative and oppressive centralizing tendencies of empire, which always emanate from the urban and its dependency upon the surplus labor of agricultural producers and the restructuring of local subsistence oriented food economies for the imperial designs of industrialization.

The Peasant is commonly defined as a rural dweller that lives off the land through a combination of subsistence and commodity production. The peasant mode of production is often organized through the family, making it a “domestic” mode of production that also organizes consumption, social reproduction and welfare. See T. Shanin, ed. Peasants and Peasant Societies (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1976), 11-19. Our conception of the peasantry builds off of this conceptualization but moves beyond it as well, being influenced more by the work of Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, The New Peasantries: Struggles for Autonomy and Sustainability in an Era of Empire and Globalization (London, UK: Earthscan, 2008).

The social crisis are defined as: exclusion (neo-apartheid segregation), poverty (material and spiritual), economic (the treadmill of production and jobless growth), financial (fictitious capital), and multi-scalar violence (conflicts at the local, regional, national, and international scales).

For differing theorizations of the dialectic of human-nature/nature-human co-domination see Murray Bookchin, who argues that human domination of other humans leads to human domination of nature. Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2005). Whereas, Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno contend that human domination of nature leads to human domination of other humans, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2002). Since the relationship is dialectical the chick-or-egg argument is diminished in importance.

Clive Ponting, A New Green History of the World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2007); John Robert McNeill, Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century World (New York: W W Norton & Co Inc. 2001); John Bellamy Foster, The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment (New York, NY: Monthly Press Review, 1999).

For more on the “metabolic rift” see: John Bellamy Foster “Marx’s theory of metabolic rift: Classical foundations for environmental sociology” American Journal of Sociology (105)2 1999: 366-405.

For the concept “everyday life” see Henri Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday Life I (New York: Verso, 2008), Critique of Everyday Life II (New York: Verso, 2002), Critique of Everyday Life III (New York: Verso, 2005), Everyday Life In The Modern World (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2007).

Samir Amin, Accumulation on a World Scale: A Critique of the Theory of Underdevelopment (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974), Samir Amin, Imperialism and Uneven Development (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977); Kenneth A. Gould, David N. Pellow, and Allan Schnaiberg, The Treadmill of Production: Injustice and Unsustainability in the Global Economy (New Jersey: Paradigm Publishers, 2008); Andre Gunder Frank, Dependent Accumulation and Underdevelopment. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979).

Herman Daly, Steady-State Economics (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1991), Herman Daly, Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1998); Michael Carr, Bioregionalism and Civil Society: Democratic Challenges to Corporate Globalism (Vancouver, UBC Press, 2008); Vandana Shiva, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability and Peace (London: Zed Books, 2005); Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen and Maria Mies, The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy (London: Zed Books, 1999); Kate Bezanson and Meg Luxton, eds. Social Reproduction: Feminist Political Economy Challenges Neo-liberalism (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2006); Petter M. Rosset, Food is Different (London: Zed Books, 2006), 125-40; Janet Weaver, ed.. Defending Mother Earth: Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996).

Grain, “Seized: The 2008 land grab for food and financial security” October 2008 http://www.grain.org/briefings_files/landgrab-2008-en.pdf; Eric Holt-Giménez and Annie Shattuck, “Smallholder Solutions to Hunger, Poverty and Climate Change” ActionAid & Food First http://www.foodfirst.org/files/pdf/Solutions5.pdf.

For more on “monocultures of the mind” see Shiva, Vandana, Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993). The new call for a green revolution in Africa and cap-and-trade programs are chief examples of neoliberalism’s monocultures of privatization-commodification-financialization.

We are not invoking Daniel Bell’s The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (New York: Basic Books, 1976), which does not break with the logic regulating industrial civilization, that of colonization. Our imaginary pushes beyond the framework, philosophically, politically and economically, that regulates industrial civilization through a reclaiming of non-industrial logics, practices, and structures.

Janet Weaver, ed., Defending Mother Earth: Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1996).

Karl Marx. “On the Jewish Question,” The Marx-Engels Reader, ed. Robert C. Tucker (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1978), p.26-52.

For space-time compression, see David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 1989).

For this term, see Henri Lefebvre, Everyday Life In The Modern World (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2007).

This concept will be elaborated later, see Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, The New Peasantries: Struggles for Autonomy and Sustainability in an Era of Empire and Globalization (London, UK: Earthscan, 2008).

Henri Lefebvre, The Survival of Capitalism (New York: Allison & Busby, 1976) and The Production of Space (New York: Blackwell Publishing, 1991).

J.K. Gibson-Graham, A Postcapitalist Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006); Margaret Kohn, Radical Space: Building the House of Labor (Cornell University Press, 2003); Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital (New York: Routledge, 2003); Karl Marx, Capital Volume I: A Critique of Political Economy (New York: Penguin Books, 1990).

Ward Churchill, Struggle For The Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide, and Colonization (San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 2002); Eduardo, Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1997); Winona LaDuke, All Our Relations: Native Struggles For Land and Life (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1999); Barbara Alice Mann, George Washington’s War on Native America (Wesport, Conneticutt: Praeger, 2005).

Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System, Vol. I, II & III (New York: Academic Press, 1974, 1980, 1989).

Judith Carney, Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2002); Philip Curtin, The Rise and Fall of the Plantation Complex: Essays in Atlantic History (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (New York: Verso, 2001); Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin, 1986), Steven Topik, Zephyr Frank and Carlos Marichal, eds., From Silver to Cocaine: Latin American Commodity Chains and the Building of the World Economy, 1500–2000 (Duke University Press, 2006)

Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen & Maria Mies, The Subsistence Perspective: Beyond the Globalised Economy (London: Zed Books, 1999); Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, The New Peasantries: Struggles for Autonomy and Sustainability in an Era of Empire and Globalization (London, UK: Earthscan, 2008); Marcel Mazoyer & Laurence Roudart, A History of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis (New York; Monthly Review Press, 2006); Monthly Review “The Crisis in Agriculture & Food: Conflict, Resistance, & Renewal” 61(3) July-August 2009; Vandana Shiva, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability and Peace (London: Zed Books, 2005).

Murray Bookchin, The Limits of the City (Montreal: Blackrose Books, 1996), Urbanization Without Cities (Montreal: Blackrose Books, 1996); Lewis Mumford, The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects (New York; Harvest Books, 1989).

Jules Pretty, Agri-Culture: Reconnecting People, Land and Nature (London, Earthscan, 2002).

Ibid., p. 108-109.

Ibid., p. 107.

See Pretty, Agri-Culture (London, Earthscan, 2002)and Shiva, Monocultures of the Mind (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993).

Bob Edwards and Adam Driscoll, “From Farms to Factories: The Environmental Consequences of Swine Industrialization in North Carolina” Twenty Lessons in Environmental Sociology, eds. Kenneth A. Gould and Tammy L. Lewis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 153-174.

Marcel Mazoyer & Laurence Roudart, A History of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis (New York; Monthly Review Press, 2006).

Fred Magdoff and Brian Tokar, “Agriculture and Food in Crisis: An Overview,” Monthly Review 61:3 (July/August 2009), p. 1-16; Eric Holt-Gimenez, “From Food Crisis to Food Sovereignty: The Challenge of Social Movements” Monthly Review 61:3 (July/August 2009), p. 142-156.

Neil Smith, “Nature as Accumulation Strategy” Coming to Terms with Nature: Socialist Register 2007, eds., Leo Panitch and Colin Leys (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2007), p.1-21.

Werner Bonefeld, ed., Subverting the Present, Imagining the Present: Class, Struggle, Commons (Brooklyn: Autonomedia, 2008); Jim Glassman, “Primitive Accumulation, Accumulation by Dispossession, Accumulation by ‘Extra Economic’ Means.” Progress in Human Geography 30(5) 2006: 608-625; Maria Mies, Patriarchy and Accumulation On A World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labor (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1998).

Michael Goldman, Privatizing Nature: Political Struggles for the Global Commons (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998); Shiva, Earth Democracy (London: Zed Books, 2005).

Margaret Kohn, Brave New Neighborhoods: The Privatization of Public Space (New York; Routledge, 2004); Douglas Massey & Nancy Denton, American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass (Harvard University Press, 1998); Neil Smith, The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City (New York: Routledge, 1996).

Mike Davis, Planet of Slums (New York: Verso, 2006).

Neil Smith, Uneven Development: Nature, Capital, and the Production of Space (Athens: Georgia Press, 2008).

Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York; Penguin Books, 2006), p. 6-7.

Ibid., p. 6-7.

Douwe van der Ploeg, The New Peasantries, p. xv.

Douwe van der Ploeg, The New Peasantries, p. 44.

Ibid., p. 42.

Ibid., p. 31.

Ibid., p. 152-156.

See Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (New York: Basic Books, 1976); Richard York and Eugene Rosa, 2003, “Key challenges to ecological modernization theory,” Organization and Environment 16(3) 2003, p. 273–288.

This paragraph is influenced by Barbara Adam, Timescapes of Modernity: The Environment and Invisible Hazards (New York: Routledge, 1998).

Ibid., p. 150.

Miguel Altieri, “Agroecology, Small Farms, and Food Sovereignty,” Monthly Review 61:3 (July/August 2009), p. 104.

Eric Holt-Gimenez, “From Food Crisis to Food Sovereignty: The Challenge of Social Movements” Monthly Review 61:3 (July/August 2009), p. 146.

Miguel Altieri, “Agroecology, Small Farms, and Food Sovereignty,” p. 111.

Peter Rosset, “Fixing our Global Food System: Food Sovereignty and Redistributive Land Reform,” Monthly Review 61:3 (July/August 2009), p. 116.

Eric Holt-Gimenez, “From Food Crisis to Food Sovereignty: The Challenge of Social Movements,” p. 146. For elaboration on the concept of class as the production, appropriation and distribution over the surplus, J.K. Gibson-Graham, The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It) (Minneapolis: University of Minnestoa Press, 2006).