The “P” Word


Progress is a peculiar word. And to make matters worse, it is a political word as well. Perhaps the problem is that we humans are a particular bunch, often specious and many times self-promoting. Progress is not often synonymous with tradition but perhaps that is only because we define it as profit. We have, no doubt, progressed but with profit as progress comes a price.

The price for the particular progress that is being promoted by the current preliminary agricultural programs being put forth under numerous and often publicized public interest in agrarian lifestyles and sustainable food-growing is that often progress is not seen as progress at all. However, I am here to tell you that sustainability in any form is most definitely growth, advancement, improvement, development: it is progressive!

While it is true that profitable progress will pay the price in the beginning, proper progressive movement relies upon the propensity of those involved to understand, to recognize, to perceive (if I may) the parallel between the proper way to grow, choose and eat food and the priorities that we choose to make. In short, progress is defined by why and what we prioritize. If we prioritize profit over progress than we get what we deserve which is exactly what we are getting now.

To prioritize profit and production over sustainable progress and points of virtue is to presuppose that profit is a necessary participant in proven progress. The point is that progress is not always profit-driven. Progress can be profitable but only if it is sustainable. So, while sustainable lifestyles seem in vogue and are popular with a growing number of the populace, it is not a popularity contest. Furthermore, although the progressive movements with food production often rely upon pre-industrial ideas, the proposed changes are necessary if we are to remain progressive.

The phenomenon is primarily a progressive one that is properly founded upon proven production means that are both profitable and practicable if not predictable.

Thanks for reading!  Philo


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