Most of us when we hear the word ‘organic’ today will first assume that we are listening to some ‘green’ diatribe on the kind of food we eat and the methods of its production, especially since the powers that be decided to reconstruct our morality to see cow farts as deadly extinction level assaults on the planet and forcing people to eat insect paste whilst you consume the world’s most expensively reared beef as a perfectly normal food supply policy platform.
Mark Zuckerberg, for example, a general proponent of net zero as are most billionaires, also has a hobby which consists of him playing cattle rancher on a vast private estate in Hawaii and then waxing lyrical about how delicious the hugely expensive Wagyu and Angus beef that comes from stock fed on macadamia nuts and beer is. The estate also includes a survivalist underground bunker stocked with supplies, which is an interesting touch. Zuckerberg was predictably excoriated by the ‘green’ lobby not for the hypocrisy involved but for the Joke Crime of ‘harming the planet’ by raising cattle. The Guardian, for example, gave lots of wild hair nut foresting types the opportunity to vent their spleen whilst reminding us that cow farts contribute “3.7% of all greenhouse gas emissions”.
Oh dear. 3.7%? As much as that? Sounds like a good reason to completely wreck the farming industry (a few thousand years of a meat and dairy diet) throughout the globe based on an unproven causality between agricultural methane and insignificant climate change temperature rises (pretty much a single century of highly manipulated and contestable data analysis), doesn’t it?
Zuckerberg’s condemned hobby tells us something about the evolution of what ‘Green’ means too. Farmers are more directly in touch with the land than anyone else. They are most effected by rapid changes in climate conditions. Their livelihood depends on it. Once, we trusted people engaged in the countryside to tell us what ‘green’ was, what sensible management of the land was. Today, urban dwelling types who could not survive a day without a laptop and a conveniently located Starbucks tell us and farmers that those working the land know the least about it. They tell us that hysterical doom mongers and nerdy computer programmers creating purely theoretical models from junk data are far wiser than any mere farmer or country dweller about what the land needs and what the planet can endure.
There was a time when Zuckerberg’s hobby would have seemed a harmless or even beneficial one, a case of a hugely wealthy individual using his near unique opportunities to do something pretty wholesome, to get closer to real life. Even fairly recently he would have been praised for the ‘organic’ nature of his ranch (“not using artificial chemicals” and “being or coming from living plants and animals” as per the Cambridge Dictionary) and the food it was producing. Now, it’s all about the planet destroying farts.
But there are other meanings to the word ‘organic’, and other contexts in which it can be used. It also means this, in the right context:
“Happening or developing naturally over time, without being forced or planned by anyone.” (again, Cambridge English Dictionary definition).
So there are two specific meanings of organic that have wider political and philosophical importance, that give us a route to wider important points. It’s something that arises from living animals and its something that develops naturally “without being forced or planned by anyone.”
What would ‘organic’ look like in the social or political sphere, then? Its origin would surely be ordinary people. These are the ‘living animals’ of the political ecosphere. It would be human-centric, humane and focused on the things that sustain and delight human beings, as well as things that help them survive and prosper. The best way of assessing that would be to ask if the mass of mankind, if the most ordinary majority of mankind, want the thing. That would tell you whether it was truly “organic”. And so would looking at whether it had arisen naturally from the thoughts, feelings and tastes (in every sense) of ordinary human beings or whether it was planned, decided and imposed, from above, by a narrow minority.
In strictly political terms, applied to political movements, organic would be a movement that spontaneously arose from The People, like the US Tea Party movement, or like the Canadian anti-mandate trucker protests, or indeed like farmer rebellions against government ‘Green’ policy in Holland or Germany. It would be human beings reacting, protesting against something that harms them. Is this what we see with climate change activism, green politics, and groups like Stop the Oil? Are these all spontaneous reactions, self-organised, from people who are suffering actual harms?
Not at all. These movements are more akin to color revolutions. They are organised from afar, they are funded by existing vested interests, they are not responding to a real threat to lives and livelihoods but rather to an ideologically determined, imaginary threat to ‘the planet’. Stop the Oil and similar groups are funded by people like a Getty oil heiress, extraordinarily rich people playing out their psychodrama of family rebellion at the cost of and to the harm of ordinary families. They aren’t really about care for living animals, especially not human beings, who these ‘Green’ fanatics, whether the street level activist or the billionaire backer, despise as a ‘cancer on the planet’. Human beings, after all, are ‘wrecking the planet’. Human beings are selfish and destructive. Human beings are to blame and their bizarre desire to be warm and comfortable and fed is ‘killing the Earth’.
And of course its not just middle class indoctrinated activists and a few crazy billionaire chicks who feel this way. It’s the UN. Its the IPCC. Its the government ministers who all jet around the world attending vast UN or WEF organised conferences on ‘tackling climate change’ and ‘the need for net zero’. Its the bureaucrats of some of the most powerful international and transnational bodies on the planet, and specific profiting billionaires like Bill Gates, and a whole new triumphantly emerging Green Business Sector of corporate interests who see the opportunity to get in early, hoover up government funding for products that don’t work, and build market dominance of the mandated replacement technologies that are supposed to smoothly take up the work oil, gas, coal, methane, and the entire oil based industrial system was doing before it was decided that the Sun and natural cycles occurring long before the human species existed (the things responsible for all climate change for the last few billion years) are somehow not responsible for climate change today.
In other words Net Zero and the whole green agenda is “something being forced or planned”. Did you ask for it? Did anyone except a radical deeply misanthropic minority who used to be laughed at? Were you hectoring your MP or your Senator demanding to know why there were no huge international conferences with 40,000 delegates and 10,000 planes in the air ferrying them and others to very pleasant lunches before they sign a bit of paper saying that they hope to have you sucking insect shells in a home without heating by the year 2030? Who asked for all this? Which ordinary human beings, what organic political uprising from The People, asked for all this?
The organic response, the one that arises naturally from human beings and their best interests, is of course that of the people opposing climate change hysteria and Net Zero policies. Its the farmers saying ‘we want to be farmers’. Its the western tax payer wondering why all this nonsense applies to the UK, the US or Canada but not, apparently, to China or India (who are producing most of the pollution and the industrial greenhouse gas emissions).
The organic response is not the paid middle class activist throwing flour at a snooker match or soup at a famous painting, and its not the hysterical people sitting in the middle of the road to block traffic or wandering around naked and smeared with blood while wailing about the planet dying. At best these people are sincere fools or mentally disturbed narcissists. They have been conditioned to do this by indoctrination with fear based warnings, and the people that have indoctrinated them have shares in the “urgently needed Green alternative energy companies”. Or the people that have indoctrinated them are receiving a very fat set of research grants from the UN, the IPCC and the Gates Foundation.
The organic response, from ordinary people with ordinary hopes and needs that are rational ones, is what we see when exasperated members of the public move the climate change activists out of the road or off the roof of a tube train. Those people have real concerns about real life.
Perhaps its fitting that I have gradually come to see the word organic as a very useful and necessary one. My politics is a politics of the land. I’m as incompetent in that regard as any middle class protester or urbanite climate obsessed teen hunched over a smartphone screen showing Tik Tok routines. I’ve never got up at 4am to milk a cow and I’ve never, Fast Show style, dealt with the drainage problem in the lower field. But my father loved the countryside and passed that love on to me. My politics and patriotism is invested in specific fields, villages, hedgerows and hearthstones. Organic, meaning human and unplanned, is what I see as the natural development of society, and usually the best development of society.
Politically, that which is best is that which grows by itself, that which is a natural process, that which ordinary people ask for and do, not that which is determined by a bureaucracy, enforced by a State, or slyly promoted by a corporation. It is that which arises of its own volition from a people and a place based on their self-interest, which is almost always less selfish than a Big State or a Big Business directed ‘Green’ policy. The local is better than the national, and the national is better than the international, the transnational, the multinational and the global. The more something is imposed from without, the more assuredly it will be inimical to the true interests of those it is imposed upon. And the more something grows from a natural seed, a seed born in a particular soil, the more it will grow straight and true.
A healthy society grows like a tree. It might become mighty, but it started small. All of its growth was the natural consequence of its beginnings, its setting and its opportunities. It is the product of its own environment, and no other. Its not a machine to be tinkered with endlessly, rebuilt from scratch, hacked down into component parts. It either follows natural law or it withers and dies. Hack it and you kill it. It is organic rather than planned.
Tyranny, of course, is always planned.
The smallest seed is the human being, the individual, the next the family, the next the village, the town, the city, the nation. Perhaps these form the natural boundary before all becomes bureaucracy and plan, before the organic is entirely lost and the human and the individual is forgotten. The desire to keep the State small is organic natural law as well as conservative instinct, because it is the only way you prevent external and imposed planning of everything, the only way you keep decisions organically human rather than bureaucratically and ideologically mechanistic.
Western civilization flourished, grew and dominated the globe not because it was the most planned, the most bureaucratic, the most controlled, but because it was the least planned, the least bureaucratic, the least controlled. It became globally significant because it had a genius for preserving purely local interest. Its the western village that really powered western dominance, not the western city. Ask an old Londoner to tell you what London means, what their memories are. They will begin with a street. With the closest thing a city has to a village, back when both had real identities grown organically over time.
Others have pointed out that the British Empire even grew “more by accident than by design”. Elizabethan courtiers may have written about a future Empire, but it was built by individualist Elizabethan adventurers, in her reign and after. By men looking for personal glory. By men like Raleigh, or, much later, Rhodes. At the height of British imperial power the Gladstone governments for instance spent more time trying to turn down imperial offers, rein in wild adventurers and would be conquerors, rescue too daring missionaries and disentangle themselves from too many foreign commitments than they ever spent planning new colonies.
It was the most successful and greatest Empire because it was, in typically British contradiction, a glorious continuing accident, an organic imperialism. Spanish imperialism, to give a contrast, died quicker because it was less organic. The individualism of the conquistadors was only possible far from home, and the Spanish King, the Spanish State, was far more directing and planning things than the British did.
In an amusing modern example of what I am saying, a few years ago the Spanish had a short period with no functioning government. The economy did fine, perhaps better, in that brief moment than it did before and after. Central planning can be very effective in the short term. Give it more than a year or two and its nearly always disastrous. The very best planning is that which encourages less bureaucracy, less government, and less taxation, as we saw in the growth of Hong Kong from fishing village to mighty city under very light British guidance.
Others of course have also famously noted the ‘cultural memes’ behind western success, of which the greatest (and from which others flowed) was individualism. Individualism, the assumption that the individual is the best navigator of their own destiny, is the thing that distinguishes Early Modern and later Western society from the East, from moribund entities like imperial China. Combined with free market capitalism, it unlocked vast reservoirs of human potential that remained locked down (a phrase with more literal meaning after COVID) by Eastern despotism, autocracy, bureaucracy and stasis.
In a wider historical context, when we talk about individualism and collectivism we can be more precise than people (even political philosophers) usually are by adding the word organic to the discussion. People ordinarily talk about individualism and collectivism as opposed and therefore also opposite, especially if the people talking are libertarians. And in some ways, at the extremes, this is true. Statists, collectivists that worship or empower an all mighty State, are almost always people who create foul tyrannies. You can’t have an all powerful State, or a State interested in everything you do, say, and think, without that being a tyranny. And a person insisting on individual rights as paramount will, in general, be an individualist insisting on natural law which is conducive to the general good.
BUT libertarians (and some Objectivists in particular) don’t get it completely right. When they get it wrong, its not because they are wrong about the State per se, Its because like some liberals they start to make a worshipped fetish rather than an organic growth of individual rights and they start to apply it in all circumstances no matter how irrational that becomes. So just as a corrupt liberal might use human rights arguments to defend the interests of an imprisoned child killer (as Lord Longford did in the UK) whilst forgetting the proper moral response to child killers, so too we can find libertarians arguing that vast social media companies have every right to treat conservatives unfairly on the basis of the ‘liberty’ of a company, which they prioritize over the liberty of millions of people using those services. And they have argued on these lines to me even when the entanglement of the company with the State is as obvious as the selective injustices done to individuals by the company in question. Because they place the fetish of defending the company owners right to form its policy above more moral reactions on what the company is doing as it impacts the liberty of others.
What helps here is adding the word organic to both individualism and collectivism. Ask yourself is this individualism something that grows genuinely and naturally from the individual? Is it something fitted to the best interests of the individual in terms of their life and liberty? There’s an individualism that is based on “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that is surely a natural thing and a moral good that a healthy society respects and encourages. If by pursuit of happiness you mean living your life with a minimum of State interference, not being stepped on by others, being free to speak your mind, own possessions, have and defend your family, live according to your individual moral conscience without requiring State sanction, control your own money acquired by legal effort then that is an organic and healthy individualism.
If your pursuit of happiness means being allowed by the State and other people to rape people, mug people, take any drug imaginable, access the most loathsome pornography, harm others for sexual kicks or personal profit, than that’s all licence to commit evil and not individual liberty in any meaningful sense. Especially if representatives of the State or of powerful interests (like George Soros) are the ones setting the rules that allow you to do all this.
In a woke, progressive, Cultural Marxist society, we see what has been termed anarcho-tyranny, where responsible, decent, normal freedoms are made illegal, and where selfish, anti-social, immoral actions are made legal. We see organic individualism crushed (you aren’t allowed a choice on whether you take a dangerous medicine you don’t need) and selfish individualism supported (you are allowed to engage extreme sexual perversions or take any drug imaginable). And we see this along lines decided by a corrupt elite depending on whether your organic individualism threatens their interests (your political opinions) or actually makes you less of a threat to them (your drug addiction). In such a society, which is the West today, a corrupt elite will encourage types of anti-social behavior that they can make a profit from, that don’t threaten their political and economic dominance, and that can be used to distract others from rebellion.
Similarly with collectivism, there’s a difference between its organic growth and its planned, forced, imposed growth, and this difference is that between a healthy nation and an unhealthy tyranny. The individual will find that they and everyone else are part of a species of social animal. That they want human connections that impart meaning or offer both practical and emotional support. That they are in a society and must negotiate with others. They will have personal interests that are not solely individual ones, such as the life and fate of their family members or friends. If they are very lucky they will have some ghost of a continuing real community in their neighborhood. Or they will have something like a sports team loyalty that connects them to other people. All of this is organic collectivism. All of this is healthy and good and gives life meaning.
All of that, the things we are born connected to or the things we individually choose to love and care about, are very different and in fact natural rivals of the things imposed by the State, by a bureaucracy, by a transnational body like the UN, or by multinational corporations. Organic collectivism, things we collect to ourselves by choice or things which grow from our birth into a living social environment, are the exact opposite of State collectivism, things we hand to an organisation thanks to indoctrination, or things that are seized from us and demanded of us against our will. And today even if we don’t recognize this the malign certainly do. This is why almost every policy and action they take is designed to reduce or destroy organic collectives (the family, traditional faith and nation) and build oppressive global alternatives (the atomized society of perverts, the new controlled religions of woke and climate change, the transnational bodies).
Moving away from tyranny then, is a returning to what is natural, what is organic, what grows from our particular human needs in our specific local soil. It requires a re-connection with the land rather than a controlled policy for the planet, even where the second isn’t simply a thin excuse for tyranny in the first place.
Daniel Jupp is a populist writer from Essex, England. His latest book is “Gates of Hell: Why Bill Gates is the Most Dangerous Man in the World.” Daniel’s Substack is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.