Writing On Food Politics and Food FreedomThursday, May 10, 2012
It is interesting to note that Reason Magazine online now points to an archive of “food politics.” The coverage of food politics doesn’t begin until July, 2011. I welcome my fellow libertarians who are finally waking up to the government-corporate state’s war on the non-industrial food movement through coercive and violent political actions. I am pleased that my fellow libertarians are finally supporting the individual’s right to be free of coercion in terms of his or her food choices. My question is – Dear Reason, where have you been?
As I have pointed out to Lew Rockwell in the past, when I first started covering these topics (health tyranny, the medical establishment, food freedom, food politics) on my own blog and Lew’s website in about 2003 or so, I received a lot of vicious hate mails and attacks from LRC readers, and even fellow libertarian writers and Austrian economists, who could not understand why I would attack “the glorious free market.” It took a long time for dogmatic libertarians (often deemed libertarianoids, by me) to understand that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are not a product of the free market, and neither is the ginormous industrial food machine that uses its political power and its sponsored quasi-government agencies to advance its own agenda and crush its smaller (mostly local) competitors. The violence of the Industrial Food Machine goes well beyond the well-known savage and totalitarian acts of Monsanto. It took a long time for these folks to discover that Big Pharma is not the free market, and neither is the Medical Establishment or Big Cancer.
In fact, I am actually humored by the attacks that still occur, on the part of a few of my fellow libertarians who should be my partners in freedom, as they step up their puerile attacks on me on their forums and facebook threads. How can I not enjoy the panorama of fools and smile whenI am consistently Facebook tagged and attacked for doing something so egregious as indicating my passions in terms of my choices, writing about them, and then offering others potential alternatives to the system and choices they have been roped into by the coercive establishment? Persuasion and the offering of alternatives aren’t coercive acts – they are voluntary options.
It took many years for the emails to swing the other way (from a dash of hate to a lot of love), but when it did, there was an instant light bulb followed by a swarm of “Karen, now I get it” emails in my inbox each day. The amount of those kind of emails that I now receive has grown exponentially. The turn of events has been priceless.
My one great anchor, I believe, is that I plant one foot solidly in my occupation and the other foot in my passion, without having to find myself in a position where I am compelled to negotiate my principles to ensure my libertarian survival. Doing so allows me the freedom to stick to my guns without having to worry about who I am pissing off and whether or not I am blowing a potential paid opportunity or making the “right” allies. Quite frankly, in my libertarian world, I couldn’t give a frickin’ hoot about forging allies and acceptance and long-term job prospects. LewRockwell.com author Gary North has written more than once about “the calling” vs “the occupation.” Here is a link to Gary’s philosophy on handling both the job and the passion. Gary writes:
I define “calling” as follows: the most important thing that you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace. I define “occupation” as the way you put bread on the table. Sometimes these can be the same, but not very often. The most important thing is your calling. Your occupation should support your calling.
When I first read those words in 2006, I felt like they were scripted for me. Yes, I get paid for a lot of what I do in my ‘second job,’ and yes, I still do a lot of work for free, too. Crazy? Maybe. But perhaps not. I often turn down a lot of paid work to do what I want to do - some of that for free - because time is short, life moves fast, and I have no time or inkling to sell my soul to the highest bidder. Sometimes I just want to get the message out there, whether or not there is any monetary compensation. Hence I have my occupation, which is definitely still a passion, but mostly, it provides me with the education that undergirds a lot of my knowledge, and, more importantly, it is a funding mechanism for the rest of what I want to accomplish in my one term here on earth (sorry Shirley MacLaine). Thus my occupation allows me to be flexible in terms of my calling.
But folks are coming to my website and LewRockwell.com, and they are learning about why this issue is so important across the board. Ultimately, isn’t that what we are here for?
CORRECTION: Reason’s “food politics” archive actually extends back to 2007. However, historically, Reason has done a sparse job of covering food politics, eco-agriculture/small-scale farming, and the government-corporate state’s war on the non-industrial food movement through coercive and violent political actions. Most of the website’s coverage, until the last year+, extends to topics centered around defending food choice (the free market for fast food, the war on obesity and its assault on market choices, etc.).