In the near future, the experts say we're going to have to return to an economic model based on local suppliers. Rising fuel prices and the end of cheap overseas labor will force us to grow our own food and make our own shoes, the way they did in the Middle Ages. Abstractly, this has been a fetish of the hipper bourgeoisie for some years. Organic local produce, local artisanal honey, stretch pants made in downtown LA, etc. What's going to happen when this is no longer a pricier option, but the only option? Will it be a Bobo's dream come true, or some sort of weird New Feudalism?
Monday, April 28, 2008
The existing landscape is marked by irreverence brought on by a couple hundred years of mass production and the spread of globalism. Perhaps these things have kept us from seeing the broken washing machine in our own backyards. As a culture we've gotten a little farsighted; the immediate surroundings are out of focus as we order our groceries on the internet and send emails from our cellphones. On the other hand, the internet has given way to a new mode of communication that fosters the sort of independent spirit necessary for vertically integrated local production.
Fascism taught us the danger of obsessive-compulsive control. The hippies taught us the danger of loosey-goosey, orgiastic free association. What are we going to do now? Choose our battles wisely. Feel it out. Some of the detritus of the soon-to-be past will make excellent fertilizer for the homegrown vegetables of the future, some of it will kill you.
Posted by simone at 9:56 AM