Over on Knarf's Knewz in a link post about the Black Rose Anarchist Party, JDW put up a couple of quotes from Bill Mollison about becoming Producers rather than Consumers, with the implication that this was the real productive form of Anarchy to be undertaken.
In this one, Bill asserts that if just 10%of the people of the world undertook this form of self-sufficiency, we could feed the world. I'm assuming he means doing it without Industrial Fertilizers as well. Not sure how he felt about big combines, harvesters, tractors and so forth though.
My first question here for this thread is whether this is really true? Could 10% of the population feed everyone else, all 7.3B people currently walking the earth?
Next question is that of self-sufficiency to begin with. Before you can feed 9 other people, you need to feed yourself of course. Is anyone really self-sufficient enough to feed himself?
In all my years of talking with various Doomsteaders with various levels of prepping and various sized properties, not ONE
of them has ever said to me, "I am 100% Self Sufficient with Food Production"
. Most of the time, they give me a number somewhere between 25% & 50%. "But I am working toward being fully self-sufficient, and hope to get there in 5 years"
. Or some timeline anyhow.
Now, if they have NOT
achieved 100% self-sufficiency in food, then if/when TSHTF, they're still gonna starve to death, just a bit slower than the folks who are 0% self-sufficient. If you're only getting 50% of the daily calories, protein and vitamins you need to live, you are gonna die! So anything less than 100%, you are also going extinct.
This is only the question of self-sufficiency on your food production ability given the tools you buy to do this stuff. Even if those tools are just horse drawn plows and the tack necessary for strapping them up, most if not all people including the Amish BUY
this stuff, they don't make it themselves. It does wear out of course, but if you are well prepped with spares and so forth AND are food self sufficient, now you may have got up to 20 years, but the next generation of your kids growing up on the farm are not going to be able to buy this stuff, so then they will go extinct. No farming tools, no farming.
So of course, this is why we at SUN☼ always talk about the importance of Community, in order to have some people who know how to MAKE
tools necessary for farming, as well as those who USE
the tools to do the farming. This sort of community really doesn't exist AFAIK*, except perhaps in some Amish communities. However, even they buy most of their tools from the industrial economy, the only ones they make themselves are the ones the industrial ecoomy doesn't make any more.
So, the whole idea of becoming self-sufficient in time for the Collapse of Industrial Civilization seems like a tough goal to achieve.
Going back in history of course, there certainly were people who were entirely self sufficient, but they were all Stone Age Hunter-Gatherers. Once the transition was made to Agriculture and Metallurgy to do that with, self-sufficiency was lost. Even the Pioneers weren't really self-sufficient, they brought with them tools and implements with which to get started, mostly shipped over from Europe at the beginning until forges and blacksmith shops were built on the East Coast and mining operations began to get iron ore and coal locally. Then they traded the food they grew using these great tools to get new tools when they needed them.
Now, moving into the future here,the likelihood of being able to acquire coal and iron ore to make new tools seems quite small moving say 100 years down the line. For those of us alive today, not an issue, we probaly can scavenge a lot of material and repurpose for a while, like taking sheet metal off carz and using it to sheath a plowshare, or sharpening to make a Scythe. But by the 100 year mark, all that old metal will be rusted and brittle and not useful anymore for making such tools.
So eventually of course, returning to full self-sufficiency means returning to H-G and Stone Tools. It ALSO means getting to that point within about 100 years.
Now, on the upside here, the population is likely to decline quite a bit over that century time span, making H-G living theoretically possible again. However, within that time span, those who don't know how to knap stone tools, hunt in primitive fashion will have to acquire those skills if they don't have them already. How will they do that if you as Patriarch/Matriarch of this group of intrepid Survivors of Collapse aren't spending at least some of your prep time on gaining Primitive Skills? Who will teach them if they grew up as farmers with tools to do farming made of metal, but no longer have metal to work with?
I would like to hear Diner Opinions on many of the issues I brought up in this post. Can a farmer be completely self sufficient? Are any, even the poorest subsistence farming Indian farmers self-sufficient? Could you continue farming (or permaculturing) with no metal tools? Do you think spending some prepping time on gaining primitive skills is necessary, or a waste of time? If not a waste of time, how much time should be spent on this so you will have the knowledge to pass on to children and grandchildren?
I am hoping to get enough responses to this post to make a Diner Compilation article out of the thread, so post up!
*AFAIK- as far as I know