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Historical Food Production Cycle

The British Lords, Kings, and Parliament began to enclose the English Commons in the 13th, 16th, and 18th centuries. Enclosure and the Loss of the Commons drove peasants off the lands they relied on since time immemoral for survival. Some were forced to work on the lands of the Lords, others worked under horrific conditions in factories in the cities, and the remainder emigrated to the Western hemisphere.

Enclosure fueled the Industrial Revolution and Capitalism which has grown more powerful with global corporations. Raj Patel points out that one of the main roles of capitalism in England was to provide cheap food to workers in cities – and that has remained its primary responsibility globally. If capitalism can no longer perform that role, one of its primary reasons for being no longer exists.


Yet, the article US Warns Decade-Long Food Crisis = Global Chaos shows that food insecurity threatens  more than the poor. The description for the Democracy Now video Raj Patel on America’s Growing Hunger Crisis says: “More than 49 million Americans – or one in seven – struggled to find enough to eat last year according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture released Monday. That’s the highest total since the federal government began keeping track of food insecurity.


The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel shows that former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted in the Congressional hearings after the 2008 financial collapse that his model of how the world works had been wrong! So, clearly we need a new operating system! Certainly, as this approach is leading us toward the Sixth Extinction Level Event, we will either end the system or it will end us. 


Stop, Thief: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance points out that capitalism, may be just a brief interruption in humanity’s access to the Commons. The Return of the Commons is a growing local movement taking shape around the world in many ways including food. sovereignty. People are taking their power back to provide their own food while helping to protect the environment.


The Issues and Solutions Map shows how central food issues are to many critical local and global concerns.

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