The Greenies wet dream in Bhutan

Bhutan set to plough lone furrow as world\’s first wholly organic country
By shunning all but organic farming techniques, the Himalayan state will cement its status as a paradigm of sustainability

My word, isn\’t that lovely? Expect to see this trumpeted from the rooftops. The UN will praise it, the Greens, the greens, Greenpeace and all the rest. And no one will note what this really means:

Young people reluctant to live just by farming are migrating to India and elsewhere,

Amazingly, people who have a choice tend not to like living like peasants.

\”We would already be self-sufficient in food if we only ate what we produced. But we import rice. Rice eating is now very common, but traditionally it was very hard to get. Only the rich and the elite had it. Rice conferred status.\”

And don\’t you go wanting any of that stuff that the rich people eat either.

Dawa Tshering, who depends on his two acres of rice paddy and a vegetable garden,

That\’s what peasant life is mateys. You live only and purely on what you can grow on a couple of acres.

But in a world looking for new ideas, Bhutan is already called the poster child of sustainable development. More than 95% of the population has clean water and electricity, 80% of the country is forested and, to the envy of many countries, it is carbon neutral and food secure.

And this is what is being praised. That 80% of the population should indeed be peasants stuck on their two acre lots. Where, of course, their standard of living is that of peasants. That $, $2 a day existence that we pinkish people have managed, thankfully, to escape. But which is being urged on the couple of billion brown people that still live it. Indeed, we\’re seeing, as here, an insistence that no one should ever leave this peasantry. That it should remain for all time.

The racist little cunts in that green movement.

Here\’s the reality. In a good year you\’ll get about 4 tonnes of rice off two acres of paddy. Rice is about $600 a tonne, give or take. That\’s $2,400 a year for a couple. That\’s the maximum possible living standard of a peasant who stays a peasant with peasant farming methods.

Seriously, why do people want to insist that billions stay in this sort of destitution for all time? What the hell is wrong with developing out of this lifestyle?

23 thoughts on “The Greenies wet dream in Bhutan”

  1. They aren’t racist Tim, many of them would genuinely love the chance to enforce poverty and starvation on white people. For depopulation is the inevitable end result of organic, carbon neutral living.

    Fortunately for us we already have an advanced industrial economy in place that’s not so easily destroyed even after decades of green legislation and policies, so the poor fuckers in Africa and Asia bear the brunt of the misanthropic anti-capitalist eco-loonery of our Western environmentalist cult.

  2. One can fully expect the introduction of manacles to enforce the peasants remain on the land. Said gyves* will, of course, be crafted by traditional blacksmithing methods from recycled materials in a carbon neutral forge.

    *’Chains For Freedom’ is a registered charity. Patron HRH The Prince of Wales

  3. Seriously, why do people want to insist that billions stay in this sort of destitution for all time? What the hell is wrong with developing out of this lifestyle?

    The problem is that the people advocating it have absolutely no idea what that life is like. Even more than those of us that are computer programmers or scandium oligarchs, they are so far removed from the bottom tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that they can’t see the bottom.

    They may be amused by growing a few carrots in the garden, so have this odd idea that this is a good living (buoyed on by the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his faux bucolic rural idyll), that we could all do it, when the reality of most food production in this country, even farmer’s market stuff, is that it is industrial. It depends on machinery, computers and a high level of education.

  4. Yet it need not be a polar argument because ‘sustainable’ need not be or equate to lowest standard of living. Some of the ‘intermediate technology’ arguments are still valid – particularly now production methods for (even niche) consumer goods are becoming cheaper and more efficient. The problem is when governments take only one (easy to communicate) position.

  5. How odd. It seems only yesterday that I was reading that traditional agricultural practices in Bhutan were unsustainable because forest degradation for firewood was causing excess rain run-off and erosion.

    These environmentalists can turn on a sixpence, it seems.

  6. Greens are Reds. They want us all on the Road to Serfdom.

    I sort of agree with the conclusions of this, just not the premise. I don’t think – as some others have said – that the green movement is simply an offshoot of the red movement. It just looks like it because it has all the same people in it. The truth – as I see it – is that both movements are simply manifestations within their own time of the evil controlling instinct that rears its head every generation.

    Basically, there will always be c***s who want to tell other people what to do. The better type do it by manipulation or amassing personal power – they are usually evil but at least you can respect them. The worst kind are too pathetic and stupid to do either so just band together and preach sanctimony. It used to be the church, then it was the moralists, then the socialists, then the communists, now the greens and the international development lot.

  7. “More than 95% have access to clean water and electricity”.

    So that’s about 5% who don’t. In a country like the UK that’s approx. 3m people. Not exactly a triumph. Am I comparing an apple and an orange? Of course, but bear in mind that the ecoloons want the UK to be an orange, too.

    So in their paradise on earth, approx 3m of the population will live in freezing, unsanitary hellholes. Progressive!

  8. many of them would genuinely love the chance to enforce poverty and starvation on white people.

    Forgot to say, this is also true, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t racist. There’s no shortage of people willing to argue that white people should all eat dung sandwiches and power their homes by treadmill but that its okay for africans to have coal-fired power stations because “they are still developing.”

  9. Back home in Oz we call the Greens “watermelons” because while they are green on the outside they are red in the middle.

  10. The red/green problem is actually, I think, one of the old habit of leftists migrating to the right when their political ambitions fail. Sometimes it’s Trots and Maoists reinventing themselves as neo-cons but historically it’s more usual for a portion of the left to become fascists, think of Mussolini or Moseley or the German communists who switched to the Nazis. The origins of greenism are very much on the right and since the collapse of communism and the failure of the old industrial left to make any more headway a lot of them have adopted the next best thing. There are those on the left who understand and oppose this and often get a great deal of flak as a result, until the bulk of the traditional social democratic left wakes up to just what a bloody menace the green movement is to the poorer parts of the world the whole thing will carry on and probably get worse.

  11. Literacy: 60% men, 34% women. Still, I suppose access to an education isn’t really a requirement when you’re a peasant and just need to grow rice…

    Deaths 180 maternal deaths/100,000 live births (UK 12) and 42.17 infant deaths/1,000 (UK 4.56) with roughly 1.7 (UK 3.38) hospital beds per 1000 people and 0.023 physicians per 1000 (2.739 UK) (2007/2010 CIA).

  12. Tim Almond, you’re right. Farms are basically huge industrial factories. That you still see lots of grass and animals does not stop a farm from being an industrial food generation factory. Animals are born, bred, and slaughtered for food.

    If anyone thinks that watching CountryFile tells you all about farming then they are sadly deluded.

  13. suppose access to an education isn’t really a requirement when you’re a peasant and just need to grow rice

    But if you educate them they might have reactionary ideas. Obviously they’d be wrong reactionary ideas, because they hadn’t fully understood why the revolutionary ideals were right, because of false consciousness or something. But they might spread.

    Which is why the first action of any communist state is always to purge the academics.

  14. “Seriously, why do people want to insist that billions stay in this sort of destitution for all time? What the hell is wrong with developing out of this lifestyle?”

    To attempt a serious answer, I tend to the opinion that we all work too hard. I’d suggest that’s true, and as a result of a poor work-life balance some idiots think the solution is a different kind of work.

    As someone said above, doing something like gardening for a hobby is quite fun. Some of the greenies make the mistake of thinking that it would therefore also be fun to do much more of it, and that it could substitute for some of the work they currently do. Apart from anything else, they’re missing the point that mainly what makes it fun rather than work is that they’re doing something different.

    The underlying point is correct, I think: one of the perils of development is placing too great an emphasis on work, and not enough on fun. I’ve seen too many members of my own family throw their lives away working incredibly hard as professionals, earning plenty of money that they’ve never had the time to learn how to enjoy spending. I don’t think they’ve got it any more right than the greenies; they’re wrong in the opposite direction, but still wrong. Meanwhile, they can’t understand how I’m very happy earning half as much as them from half as many hours’ work.

  15. I think you have it spot on Dave.

    A spot of gardening is great fun I agree. Growing one’s own tomatoes pick them warmed by the sun bit of balsamic, bit of salt etc wa hey how much fun is that. HFW would love it.

    if the crop fails no biggie just pop down to tesco and pick up some off of the shelf.

    Of course subsistence farming is something different. Backbreaking work then a flood, fire, or plague of frogs and its bags of rice being dropped from oxfam.

    I liked the spot about the leccy and subsidy from nearby India. Cuba was once a communist paradise on the back of massive subsidies from the soviet union. Once the SU collapsed so did Cuba

  16. In the 1990s Bhutan expelled ethnic minorities amounting to 20% of the population in order to maintain a pure Bhutanese culture.

    Those 100,000 stateless refugees living in camps in Nepal must be so incredibly content with their wonderful sustainable lifestyle of … err … UNHCR food handouts.

    Imagine the conniptions from the Green Party et al if somebody suggested something equivalent in the UK – even the BNP does not publicly go that far. Yet the same Greens are always going on about how happy the peasants are in Bhutan with their pure lifestyles.

    I think this is why Tim is justified in calling it racism – unthinking, ignorant racism for sure, rather than a clarion call for lebensraum, but racism all the same

  17. Growing one’s own tomatoes pick them warmed by the sun

    No, I tried that. They were limp, tasteless, squashy, and basically a bit nasty. My wife, usually to the slightly hippyish left of me, pointed out – not unreasonably – that there was probably a reason that some people made a living from growing tomatoes, and maybe I would be better placed doing something more productive and spending my surplus money on someone else’s tomatoes. She was bang on.

  18. NielsR is spot on.

    Bhutan is more like Brunei or an Arab Emirate with oil or gas reserves. Bhutan makes a good living (for a very small population) by selling hydroelectric power to India.

    This allows Bhutan to employ Indian labourers to do all the menial jobs whilst the Bhutanese have a rather pleasant SUBSIDISED bucolic lifestyle tending their few acres, spending a few years as a monk and working in the city if they want the want the trappings of a metropolitan life.

    Most of the Bhutanese I met when I was there (admitedly prob not representative) had “portfolio careers.”

    One guy was ex-monk, had a farm in the hills he weekended at, was number three or four in the Minstry of the Interior and DJ-ed at Thimpu’s only nightclub on a Friday evening.

  19. @ sam
    I should never pretend to be much of a gardener, just not quite as bad as my wife thinks I am (which is why she took over the garden three years after we married) but our tomatoes were OK to eat, just not cost-effective. Same conclusion when she tried beans and squash. On the other hand parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (also mint, but that isn’t part of the song) require negligible care so are worth the tiny effort.

  20. @Dave

    “Some of the greenies make the mistake of thinking that it would therefore also be fun to do much more of it, and that it could substitute for some of the work they currently do.”

    Idiot. *They* don’t think that the work *they* do should be replaced by scratching around in the dirt. After all.. if they thought that then *they* would be doing it.. to prove their point. Not pontificating about how *we* should be doing it.

  21. One thing you can say about self-sufficient agriculture: short food supply chain.If by “development” you mean the British model: end protection of agriculture from cheap food imports by abolishing corn laws 1846( result, as Marx said at the time: industrialists pay lower wages) ;ex farm labourers migrate to towns where there’s work (mainly,until legislation, child labour, some of it unpaid workhouse children) on imported goods from slave plantations cotton,tobacco,sugar,followed in 1906 with half the recruits for the Boer War being discovered to be too unhealthy and too small to bear arms….then this is not a reasonable alternative.
    Laissez faire capitalism, which Chamberlain gave up on in the 1870’s ,when he had to municipalise the Brum water supply because the everyman his own well system led to typhoid epidemics, is as much of lazy man’s dream as the happy Bhutanese farmer you say Greenies believe in-which I don’t believe they do.
    Now is not the time to recommend the international import/ export of food and more laissez faire.

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