At a farmer’s fair in Krakow, South Poland, in early May, I spoke to a Romanian peasant. He was demonstrating clay pot making using a foot treadle to spin the plate upon which the pots were being formed by his deft hands.
I remarked how attractive I found this technology due to its lack of reliance upon any electrical power source. He nodded, saying “No other power required.” The conversation swung to the need to remain independent; independent of state and industry controlled sources of power. Because being dependent upon centralised power, be it energetic or political, means always owing something to someone or something; whereas to be free of such a burden enables one to form strategic relations where one pleases. This form of sharing creates a natural form of interdependence with fellow humans, rather than dependence on governments and corporations. He nodded again.
A colourful troupe of Gorale (Polish mountain farmers) were stamping their feet to the rousing notes of a merry fiddle while weaving a circular pattern through and amongst each other, shouting out in occasional bravura. My Romanian friend was looking-on, his non-treadle foot tapping out the folk song’s rhythms. After a little he turned towards me and said “The farmer is the future.” (more…)