By Colin Tudge
‘This is just to alert you to my new website, ‘Colin Tudge’s Great Re-Think’ (www.colintudge.com) which is intended to complement the College for Real Farming and Food Culture and the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC).
‘The core idea — which as far as I am concerned is also the idea behind the College and the ORFC — is that if we, humanity, are to pull the world back from the brink of catastrophe then we need to re-think everything we do and everything we take for granted from first principles, and re-structure where necessary (which is much though mercifully not quite all of the time).
‘It all amounts to nothing less than a global Renaissance, even more deep-rooted and far-reaching than the Renaissance of the 14th Century onwards that brought the European Middle Ages to a close (more or less, for better or worse). And whereas the Renaissance of a few centuries ago was led by bankers and intellectuals, at least its final phases, the Renaissance we need now must be led by us, people at large, because the people with most influence in the present world – in essence an oligarchy of big governments, corporates, financiers, and their selected academic and expert advisers — have their own agendas, and are not focused on the things that really matter.
‘The Renaissance we need now must be cross-the-board – from the day-to-day realities of growing Brussels sprouts, via the economy and governance, to the most high-fallutin’ reaches of science and metaphysics; but the whole endeavour must be built around agriculture, which is where all big ideas converge, and where the biggest ideas engage with life’s realities, and where human beings interact on the broadest front with the natural world. To treat farming simply as ‘a business like any other’ and as an exercise in biotech, as is the present norm, is a kind of madness; and to put people in charge whose only brief is to impose the off-the-shelf ideology of the reigning political party, is madness squared.
‘The good news is that the necessary Renaissance is already in train. Many millions of people worldwide including many millions of farmers, and many thousands of organisations, are already doing the kinds of things that need doing – creating ‘islands of sanity’ which, as they multiply, may coalesce to form a truly viable alternative to the status quo. All that’s really lacking is a little coordination and a coherent philosophy, rooted in ideas of a fundamental kind that everyone can agree to, at least in principle. The idea of the new website – ‘Colin Tudge’s Great Re-Think; www.colintudge.com — is to create a forum where people who give a damn can share and develop the ideas that are now needed, and with luck form new relationships that will help to develop what needs to become a global movement. So please take a look at work so far and add a comment!
‘The main ideas are introduced in my latest book, The Great Re-Think (Pari Publishing 2021), available on line.’
See further In the ‘What’s for Dinner?’ section of the RURAL website: www.ruraljersey.co.uk/good-food-for-everyone-forever/