What If the Consensus on Small-Scale Toolmaking and Agriculture Is Wrong?

The idea that food is globally incredibly cheap right now doesn’t compute in the mainstream narrative.

Source: OfTwoMinds.com
Charles Hugh Smith
July 14, 2016

In the consensus view, agriculture is only profitable on a mega-farm corporate scale, and tool-making has been offshored because it’s unprofitable to manufacture stuff in the U.S. But what if both of these “obvious” consensus opinions are flat-out wrong? What if small-scale farming and toolmaking are both potentially profitable?

Perhaps we should be asking: what if the highest future profits will belong to small-scale agriculture and manufacturing, not Wall Street or Silicon Valley? This idea is so far out of the mainstream that it is widely considered “impossible:” nothing could be more profitable than politically sacrosanct “too big to fail” Wall Street banks or quasi-monopoly tech giants.

As for agriculture–nothing could be more profitable than large-scale corporate production, all watched over by machines of loving grace (as per Richard Brautigan and Adam Curtis).

All of these presumed “truths” may be melting into air if small-scale machine tools and software technologies enable highly efficient and productive small-scale agriculture:

Drew Sample and I discuss these nascent but potentially revolutionary trends in a new podcast, Small Scale Farming, Small Scale Manufacturing (1:08 hrs).

Critics will quickly point out that large-scale production of grains such as corn and wheat and crops such as soy beans cannot be profitably grown in small plots. While that’s currently a financial reality, that does not imply it’s a permanent truth: large-scale agriculture consumes vast quantities of fossil fuels (currently cheap, but maybe not cheap forever) and huge quantities of minerals such as potash that are non-renewable.

Should essential non-renewables skyrocket in price, large-scale agriculture becomes a lot more costly to operate.

There’s also the question of sustainability. Typical large-scale practices such as tilling cause soil loss that cannot be “fixed” with conventional methods. Then there’s the decline of water tables as aquifers are drained by conventional agricultural practices.

In typical Wall Street fashion, the perspective on what’s sustainable currently extends about one quarter (three months). Few observers ask what will be sustainable in 20 years.

Continue Reading At: OfTwoMinds.com

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BreakawayConsciousness

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who regularly studies subjects such as: Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more. His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world. My work can also be found on https://steemit.com/@zyphrex.

4 thoughts on “What If the Consensus on Small-Scale Toolmaking and Agriculture Is Wrong?”

  1. Speaking of offshoring, I just read ‘Why Our Status Quo Has Failed’ Charles Hugh Smith. He has a unique take that seems like it should have been obvious, once he explains it.
    It’s a little slow starting. He offers solutions in a second book (just started it), ‘A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All: The Future Belongs to Work That Is Meaningful.’ Which title reminds me of this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes sense. Yeah C.H.S. puts out high quality work for sure. Haven’t had to chance to read any of his books, only his website. Really appreciate his thoughts on these and other subjects. How’d you find out about his work?

      Liked by 1 person

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