Farmer suicides = data crunch for dinner

200904170919

Our future?

This just in:

Mallika Chopra: 1,500 Farmers in India Commit Suicide: A Wake-Up Call for Humanity:

The crop failures, which took place in the agricultural state of Chattisgarh, were prompted by falling water levels. Nearby forest depletion and poorly planned government dam projects contributed to the falling water level. Combined with the vicious money-lending schemes that are prevalent in the region, many farmers felt that death was the only option in the face of insurmountable debt.

Judging from mainstream media coverage, the Chattisgarh suicide story is not ranking as critical (sportscaster John Madden’s retirement seems to be bigger news– thanks to the HuffingtonPost for keeping this story on our radar). This is unfortunate, since the mass suicide was probably the most important news item of the year, if not the century. Why? Because if you follow closely what is happening in India, you will see the farmer debt crisis is a sign of things to come for all of us. Farmers are driven to despair through global policies that deprive them of their ability to live and survive off the land. Drying water, peak oil, and monoculturalization are caused by a global debt slavery system that is shielded by the misused term, “progress.” The plight of Indian farmers in India is a consequence of when land-based people are converted into pie charts and infographics in New York and London, whose livelihoods are traded and commodified by financial managers that are unconscious of the casino game reality they are playing. Like it or not, the sock market is a really a video game with real world consequences, so dire that 1,500 farmers took their lives. And this is only the latest of a growing trend.

Sadly, in the global scheme of mediated reality, these are unworthy victims, disposable people whose lives are not as meaningful as the God of Growth that our society worships. Imagine the difference in public discourse if 1,500 stock brokers or celebrities killed themselves, and you get a sense of how inhumane our mediated reality has become. As Vandana Shiva argues, we cannot live in a post-food society. And she is right. So fuck the singularity and global electronic brain if we can’t eat. We have to put the issue of a fair and just food system back on the global table, because down the line none of us will be able to eat data for dinner.

For more info, start here.

  • I thought I would take a moment to acknowledge the importance of this story…. I for one realize that societies ‘progress’ is indeed ‘regression’…

  • Antonio

    Thanks for the acknowledgment!