I have noticed that the shifts in local production into larger systems cause us to lose contact with and have less control over most things that affect our lives.  The gravel company (Knife River owns everything — and if you don’t like the noise — too bad.  There is no none local with any real authority to change how they do business.), the meat industry (now no more locally grown and slaughtered supply of meat — no federal inspectors available), the recycling (local gov’t wasn’t fast enough to get funding so our trash is hauled another 50 miles to get recycled properly we can’t even sustain local employment with our own trash).  As this happens our relationship to everything becomes the standard answer with larger systems — well “they say” or the computer says or the lawyers say, not what we want that affects our lives but what works only for the larger systems, in effect for an elite.

There is certainly a valid argument for the increased efficiency of these systems but there is almost no talk about, or even more important, any awareness of these changes and how they affect our local society.  We have no noise control, we have no food supply control, and we don’t even control the jobs of handling our own trash.

In all too many cases we are progressively losing control over the most fundamental things right around us.  We must support alternatives and act or the gravel company 100 or 1000 miles away will be able to thwart civility as they desire.


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