I recently came across an article regarding the transition society has taken from the traditional farmer to industrial farming. It is a phenomena that I think most of us are at least somewhat aware of, but I thought this article in particular really highlighted the blatant presence of exploitation from those individuals in power.
It is obvious the writer’s negative tone towards industrial farming, but the most notable recurring theme the author brings up is the group responsible behind industrial farming. He calls these exploiters “American Oligarchs.” We can also view them simply as the Bourgeoisie. The writer effectively highlights the extremely negative aspects of industrial farming, but still takes time to routinely bash these American Oligarchs responsible.
At the expense of organic quality, industrialization has praised profitability over all other factors in the farming business. As the article illustrates, methods are being used which are in no ways natural and seem to be harming both farmers and consumers. The food industry has taken efficiency to a new level. They in turn have no regard for the well being of the working class. However, we often see people unable to escape processed foods, as it is often the only option left. As traditional farming has come so close to extinction, it becomes increasingly impossible to escape this ever growing market run by oppressive bourgeoisie.
The writer of this article states- “some loveless, power-addicted oligarchs sitting atop their mountain, looking contemptuously down on us normal folk, have decided that’s just what they desire.”It is easy to sympathize with the writer in his frustration with these oligarchs. It is a part of how Marx describes the relationship between the proletariat and the Bourgeoisie. We feel trapped as we are spoon fed toxic foods and watch traditional organic farming die out, all the while feeling powerless to do much of anything against it. We also see an interesting statement arguing for the traditional farming technique- “the traditional family farmer is uniquely suited to mediate with nature and us to produce food that is healthy for humans and animals to eat. No machine can replace the personal dedication or passion that I have seen again and again in every farmer I have met who truly cares about his livestock or crops.”
A crucial factor in the food industry is the secrecy of its shrouded methods. Many people are completely unaware of what goes into the food they eat. As our society as a whole becomes more aware of what we eat, we will eventually be able to act against these powerful oligarchs. We know from Foucault that our government is obsessed with obtaining a healthy diet of its population… so how much will that play into food regulation in the future? Perhaps it will take place in an act of Arendtian protest against food industry. Maybe even a Marxist style revolution will take place against the bourgeoisie. Regardless I don’t see industrial food being the healthiest route for society, both in terms of diet and lifestyle.