Why peasants?

It’s a bottom-up approach with a global perspective; embodying both the struggle for freedom from economic entrapment, and the lessons necessary for sustainable land use and healthy food production in the coming future.

By viewing the Earth’s people according to their ecological footprint we find that the ~40% who live more or less sustainably are small farmers in the rural areas of the so-called poor/ undeveloped countries, while the ~60% who don’t are city dwellers, living mainly in the so-called rich/ developed countries. Many in the former group live well enough on little or no money, compared with the latter who live in total dependence upon it for everything. For them, (let’s call them the managed poor), a lack of money means misery. As for the others (the unmanaged poor) they typically feed their children well without it anyway.

The non-violent recruitment of the unmanaged poor into managed poverty appropriates both their labour and their land into the globalised market/tax system. This agenda is called ‘economic development‘, or simply Development. Its most visible collaborators are the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations. Not surprisingly, top of the list for their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to ‘eradicate’ poverty.

Struggling against this agenda are hundreds of peasant organisations whose members worldwide join forces by their hundreds of millions to take the fight back to the UN. What they have most in their favour is the sustainability of their agriculture systems. What they need most is for Westerners to grasp the environmental significance of their fight and get on side.

We support developing sustainability,
NOT sustainable development.

Tired the lingering failures of Rogernomics, many New Zealanders are now leaning towards post-city, off-the-grid lifestyle possibilities.
Peasants NZ aims to socialise that story.

Ross Scholes

headshot Ross

Founder, NZ Peasants
BSc.(Geology); Nat.Res.Mgt.(PGDip); Dev.Studies.(PGDip)

 – Associate Editor; NZ Soil & Health magazine (6 years) || Development Consultant; sustainable forestry, project management & evaluation, village water supply & sanitation projects (8 years, Solomon Islands) || Garden designer & horticultural adviser (ongoing).

As to its pedigree … peasant derives from the French for country – pays, opposite to cité: hence paysan/ citizen. The derogatory implications are unique to English, possibly as scorn for activists in the French Revolution.

In Spanish the equivalent campesina (from campiña), carries the feminine gender and is used internationally by the Sustainability Revolution.

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