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Down with the Cities! By Tadashi Nakashima Characters: 17009

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:07

- Escaping the City, Becoming a Farmer -

Since the city is the Great Evil that will ruin humanity and the

Earth, we must somehow get rid of it.

In order to accomplish this, it is important for as many people as possible to break away from the city and become independent farmers, and to take up Natural Cycle Farming, in which one does not depend upon the city, but only upon the blessings of Nature. It follows that the conventional professional farmers must extricate themselves from modern urbanized high-quantity agriculture and establish themselves in self-sufficient compound small-scale farming.

As the numbers of such farmers grow, the city will shrink and weaken, and when the effect has grown sufficiently, the city will perish.

A Society in which Everyone Farms Guarantees Our Future

Above is the blueprint for the eradication of the cities that I gave in Chapter V. To express it succinctly, it is the return to primitive communistic society in which everyone farms; it is the sliding back into an anarchistic agrarian society that has no need of state power; it is the realization of an agrarian society that has ceased all harmful and wasteful activities (i.e., the activities of the secondary and tertiary industries). [45]

Getting out of the city and beginning to farm is, as I noted in Chapter VI, easier said than done owing to a number of difficulties. Especially difficult to the city white collar worker is getting land.

I have repeatedly said that the agriculture problem is one of agrarian population, [46] and that the problem of the agrarian population is one of land. [47] Not only is the land problem the root of the agricultural problem, it is of such great significance that it influences, not only the city, but also all of humanity, all other living things, and yes, the fate of the entire Earth (just look at the present state of things - the city digs up the land and continues to cover it with concrete; the end result is that we will have starvation in the middle of convenience).

The Land Is Nature Itself

And now we arrive at the obvious question - who shall possess the Land? The answer is that it shall not be possessed by individuals; it is not the territory of local governments nor of nation-states; it was not meant for the public use of all the peoples of the world; and it is not held in common by all the living things on the Earth.

The Land is none other than Nature itself. Long before living things - including human beings - appeared on the Earth the Land already existed. It is therefore perfectly well for us to conclude that the Land belongs to no one; it is the Earth itself, it is Nature itself. So it is unpardonable for anyone, no matter who, to destroy or contaminate the Land. It is the vilest act of desecration to use the Land for selfish purposes, or to use it arbitrarily for the benefit of a group or a nation-state.

What is known to the city as construction and development is to Nature (the country) nothing less than violent acts of destruction and contamination. The countless large buildings in the big cities (which look like the many monuments in a cemetery), paved roads, amusement parks, subways, factories, and public facilities found in the country also tear up the Land and cover it with concrete. [48] None of these things can be made without hurting the Earth.

There is no need to go into detail over what will happen as the final result of destroying the Land and wounding the Earth. It is mistaken to believe that Nature will continue to put up with the high-handedness of the city. Nature has been bent almost as far as it can be bent, and when it reaches its limit it will slap back at us with a force equal to that exerted upon it (just like an earthquake). Nature will surely deal a great blow, and sadly, that time is near. [49]

The Only Laws We Need Follow Are Those of Nature

As things stand now, there is no future for humanity or the Earth. We are hopelessly locked into the mechanism of the economic society, but if we do not put a stop to all construction work now, we will regret it forever. We must find the resolution to overthrow the economic society (the city). Material productive power is a poweful force that shackles us with money, so we must first of all reexamine material productive power, and then return to the ancient past (material productive power did surely not exist from the start) to see how things were.

What we will probably find is that, while there were no "rules of the economic society," there were the Laws of Nature. Since wild animals all live according to these laws you will never find a wolf or a pheasant destroying the Earth. What wild animal has ever tried to make the Land its private possession, and then used it for its own selfish purposes?

Abolish Private Ownership of Land

The Land is, most emphatically, the property of Nature, yea, it is Nature itself. Human beings also, when they use the Land, merely borrow it from Nature for the time they need it; when we have finished we must return it to Nature in its original state.

Returning the Land in its original state - this requires the abolition of private land ownership. Human beings, presumptuous as they are, mistakenly believe that the Land is their own, and that is why they harm it without a moment's reflection.

The same goes for farmland. Since farmland is treated as a private asset, people occupy it and try to increase their wealth; they fall prey to the idea that because it is their own they can do whatever they like with it (like contaminating it with agricultural chemicals); and they believe that land is a commodity, and so they scheme to make money by selling it. The culmination of these effects has brought about the present, all but hopeless, plight of agriculture. (Though it is called "agriculture," modern agriculture is actually a harmful practice and a rebellion against Nature. It is only natural cycle agriculture that can claim the right to borrow land from Nature.)

At first sight, it looks as though the private ownership of land engenders a feeling of loving attachment to one's farmland, and supports an ideology by which the land is well taken care of, but it is actually the opposite. "It's my land, so if I want to tear it up or sell it, that's my business." And particularly depressing is the fact that ruining the land before selling it brings in a higher price!

The tenant farmers of yore, though they did not own their land, took care of it as they did their own children, maintaining and building its fertility by applying great amounts of composted organic matter. Nowadays everyone farms their own land, but we see that in all parts of the country the farmland is going to ruin. (Another major factor influencing the degree of farmland deterioration is the amount of imported food.)

So what I would like to see the government do here is, in place of Nature, take full responsibility for the preservation of the Land, and embark upon a program of national management (it is of course best if we can live like animals in Nature, for they experience no disorder even without government, [50] but since it will be some time before we reach that stage, this is the one thing I would like the government to do).

Private ownership of farmland (and all other land, too, for that matter) should be abolished, and the government, acting on behalf of Nature, should lend the farmland to those who wish to till it, and only for the time they actually use it. When the tiller has finished, the land is returned, and the government lends it to the next person. If the government reorganizes the present Registry Office and brings in the necessary personnel, they should be able to take care of this much without the use of computers. If they attach a serial number to each plot and lend farmland according to the number of family members, this could be done even without the Ministry of Agriculture. Even if everyone in Japan decides to farm, and requests flood the Registry Office, there should be about five ares of land for each person, which is enough to grow one's own food. Needless to say, the large-scale farms should be dismantled.

Even if those in the city want to farm but can find no land by themselves, we should be able to help them find it. We must not overlook the fact that those who have had it with big city life (or those who sense the danger in big city life) are burning with the desire to t

ake up farming. Without these conditions, it is impossible to get people out of the cities and onto the farm. Under the present system the people have a right to quit farming, but urbanites have no opportunity to take up farming. This faulty policy is responsible for the drop in the farming population, and the rise of the urban population.

The sons and daughters of farmers, who show aversion to farming are free to seek destruction by moving to the city, but urbanites who fear the collapse of the city are unfortunately prevented from leaving because of the land ownership system. It seems to me that, rather than those who hate farming and run to the city, the urbanites who, deeply concerned with the future of humanity, have given up on the city and burn with the desire to take up farming, will be of far more use to the future of humanity and the Earth. * * * And now a word to those who, hunkering down in the city, continue to dream of a luxurious and pleasant life:

As long as you exploit the farmers, and live in the city with the intention of continuing your easy, gluttonous lifestyle without dirtying your own hands, it is only natural that you must be satisfied with very little space and with an anti-Nature environment. That is urbanization. If the population did not abandon the country, gather together in one place, and destroy the natural environment, urbanization would be impossible.

Not satisfied with their cramped quarters and unpleasant environment, the deluded politicians and arrogant urbanites came up with the "Urban Planning Law," which is legislation meant to seize more farmland, and by means of this law they force the conversion of more farmland into urbanized areas. The urbanites had best not forget that the farmland which they desire to urbanize produces the food that keeps them alive. Perhaps they want to live in great mansions without eating anything.

The spacious gardens we find in the Tanaka Mansion and other such places should be used to grow soybeans and vegetables, and the urban residents, including the rich, should put up with living in cramped, high-rise buildings. It is only natural that such people, seeking ease in the city, pay such a price. Though their buildings fall over in an earthquake, and though they are cramped and stuffy, they must accept these conditions. When the time comes, as it inevitably will, they will have to make up for the shortage of imported food by growing their own in baseball fields, parks, and roadsides. * * * In the dominating classes of the present system there are great numbers of people who, using the institution of private land ownership as a basis to make money, attempt to maintain their own superior position (there are very few famous politicians who have never conducted any land dealings), so hoping for the abolition of this institution is like seeking hot water under the ice. To these dominators, losing land (or losing the means to pacify the land-dazzled dominated classes with land) means loosing everything, and that everything is power and property; they would be cutting their own throats. Since abolishing private land ownership is far easier said than done, we must push forward with our plans for escape from the city and taking up farming while under the present system.

It is fine for those with financial resources to buy land in an depopulated part of the country, but it is not advisable for those without money to borrow it and buy land.

Money moves around according to the laws of business and industry, so trying to match it to the speed of agriculture, which is bound by the laws of Nature (an extremely slow-paced productivity) is like entering an automobile race with a horse-drawn cart. Unless one is, from the very beginning, prepared for failure, it is dangerous to borrow money to get one's start. Even if the interest rate is half that for business, or if someone will pay the interest for you (as with a subsidy, for example), it is likely that you will be paying the loan back for the rest of your life. No matter how much you work the amount you owe will not diminish, but will in fact increase steadily due to the devilish plundering effect of money (a stratagem known as the market principle). Thus it is best to borrow or rent land first.

The age when people inherited farms from their parents is coming to a close. Children who grew up watching their parents labor hard on the farm rarely ever choose to follow in their parents' footsteps, and experiences. Of course things are different for people who are in line to be doctors, teachers, or actors - professions which can skim the sweet juices (jobs which, no matter how hard one must study, offer far greater financial rewards than farming) - but most farm children choose not to follow in their parents' footsteps, so they study hard, get into a university, and choose a fruitful profession (one that makes them a lot of money).

The eldest son (almost all children are eldest sons) goes to the university, gets a job, and settles down in the city. In time his parents on the farm grow old, and find that there is no one to inherit the farm and carry on the work; the parents cannot, at this point, demand that their son return to the farm, and the son, for his part, has gained a respectable position, and does not want to sacrifice this in order to become a farmer (besides, he has tasted fully the sweetness of idleness and gluttony, and could not possibly, in such a physical condition, take on the work of a farmer). So he has no choice but to take in his aging parents and look after them. And thus the reduction in the farming population continues.

This phenomenon can be found in every farming village in the country. The people who flowed into the city on the crest of the rapid economic growth tidal wave are now, 30 years later, finding that the time has come to take in their parents, whether they like it or not. This problem will grow rapidly more serious within the next 10 years or so.

Needless to say, as is symbolized by such officialese as "farmland mobility," "coordination of farmland use," and "fostering core farmers," the farmland that thus goes unused will be gathered up and passed into the hands of aggressive farm operators (i.e., those who affirm the good of mass offerings to the city and who like to be on the receiving end of the city's plundering), whereupon they will increase the scale of their operations and carry on with the industrialization of agriculture (this is known as the "intensive" use of farmland). Because of this policy most of the farmland will either be sucked up by such farmers, or will be invaded and exploited by other industries.

However, this policy will be successful only in the easily-accessible farming villages. There will be no dilettantes who, knowing from the start that they will lose money, will rent much farmland in the inconvenient mountain villages where people never made much money to start with. We can therefore expect the farmland in the remote villages to fall into permanent disuse after the aged farmers move to the city.

For those who wish to get out of the city and take up farming, such isolated mountain villages are good places to borrow land and get started. Long ago human beings lived and survived in the foothills of the mountains, so such a place - the border between the plains and the mountains, is certainly the ideal environment for people. Though it may be an economically poor place to live, it is ecologically ideal. * * * Even though one may have left the city and fled to an inconvenient mountain village to take up farming, it is impossible to guarantee that one will thus be able to survive into the twenty-first century. Even if, in the event of a nuclear war, one managed to avoid a full-scale nuclear attack, the Earth will cool as a result of nuclear war, and agriculture will suffer a severe blow. There is no assurance that those who have left the city and taken up farming in the mountains will be safe. One may of course conceal about two years' worth of grain in a pit solo, but there are yet difficult problems such as residual radiation and the pillaging of starving people.

Still, when the city destroys itself by means of its own poisons (the peace of waste, contamination, and destruction), the independent farmers will not, as the modernized mass-offering farmers will, be dragged down with it.

I shall explain the reason for this in the final chapter.

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