Earlier last year, I was hired by a tech firm to write a report on the future impact of new technologies in the agricultural field. After doing in-depth research and conducting a series of interviews with experts, I put forward the notion that the two biggest disruptor technologies, by far, will be:
- Autonomous robotics
Credit-capital is the most potent invention of all-time, and as global capital investment unleashes autonomous robotics into the field of agriculture, it will likely bankrupt hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers around the world.
Needless to say, my report wasn’t super well-received.
The tech firm was hoping for better news, perhaps even a pro-technology outlook. They were looking for ideas on how technology could help farmers, but I just couldn’t delude myself into cheering for big banks and tech companies to make homeless half a billion members of my global family. I just couldn’t muster enough conviction to state otherwise. I eventually discounted my fee and let them edit and publish the report without my name on it.
The Prediction Is Proving True
Under the guise of liberalizing the industry, India’s dictatorial Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently passed three laws without consulting farmers, who make up half the nation’s workforce.
The bill package is essentially a mass deregulation, a stripping of farmer protections — even blocking them from taking their disputes to court — while allowing corporations to stockpile land and essential commodities.
“Smallholders and family farms, indigenous peoples, rural women, youth, and landless rural communities are being squeezed into smaller parcels of land or forced off the land altogether, while more and more land is concentrated in fewer hands, mainly serving the interests of corporate agribusiness and distant investors, utilizing industrial models of production that employ fewer and fewer people.” — Land Inequality Initiative
How could these new laws possibly lead to widest-spread wellbeing?
Who is really behind these changes? Who paid for their passage?
How much will they profit from the suffering of the masses?
We are about to witness the largest land consolidation in human history.
It will make the Highland Clearances look like child’s play.
And it’s not just an “Indian farmer problem.”
This level of corruption has gone global across all industries.
As corporations silently take control of “democratic” governments and enact laws to suit their private interests, powerful entities like Indian agribusiness enrich themselves wildly while impoverishing millions.
The individual versus the collective. Autonomy versus democracy. It’s a war that’s raged since the dawn of humankind. But, instead of holding the two in tension — of caring deeply for the person and the populace — powerful elites are dominating workers in every corner of the globe.
We’re seeing it in the menacing gig economies of Uber and Lyft.
We’re seeing it in the surveillance economies of Facebook and Google.
We’re seeing it in over-financialized centers like London’s City banks.
We’re seeing it in America with healthcare, guns, and universities.
But the people will not suffer in silence.
India contains some of the smartest people on the planet. More than 250 million farmers and their supporters have taken to the streets; the strike is now officially the biggest protest in human history. Naturally, taxpayer-funded police in Delhi fired gas and water cannons at their own people. Like police departments and military units all over the world, these middle-class thuggish enforcers are showing themselves to be completely blinded to the fact that they’re complicit in the future demise of their own freedom.
It’s unlikely that these protests will lead to meaningful change. They rarely do. Politicians simply don't work for the people. So what can the people do?
Violence, of course, is not an option — not only is it deeply immoral, but the elites control the police, military, and surveillance apparatus and will continue to use them to violent effect when uprisings start.
But you can eat any elephant if you have enough ants.
Perhaps the only thing that can depose the global corporatocracy is sustained radical mass economic resistance, including:
- The widespread use of cryptocurrency.
- The mass adoption of cooperative business models.
- A global boycott of corrupt companies.
- A mass tax strike.
The people are free to disobey any law that disobeys rightness.
In all likelihood, we may have already reached escape velocity — there may very well be no way to stop the corporatocracy from consuming the planet.
But one thing is for certain: if capital and technology bankrupt billions of workers and evict us from our homes, this current protest will be small peanuts compared to the ones to come. At some point, the overlords will have to do the math and put a price on the cost of peace itself.
I opened my report to the tech firm by saying that we can expect to see a vast number of the world’s 570 million farms lose financial participation as the industry conglomerates, automates, and makes them economically redundant forever.
I ended the report by saying the task at hand is to enact global socioenviroeconomic sustainability: to make the agriculture industry democratically fair, biologically sustainable, and mathematically sensible. This applies to all nations and all industries. We must seize democracy and build a circular bioeconomy that works for the planet and all its people, including every single person who loses their job to automation.
I stand by those words.
And now, 250 million of our brothers and sisters are standing as well.