At a time when basic needs such as food is being denied to some people in parts of the world, Vedant has compiled a reading list that challenges our views about the relationship between farming, food, consumption and distribution.
1. Rob Wallace – Big Farms Make Big Flu. Dispatches on infectious disease, agribusiness and the nature of science, 2016.
This book helps us disentangle the beginnings of this pandemic – and understand the economics that caused it. Surely, looking for a cause-effect relationship between the emergence of factory farming and neoliberalism may be a question of the chicken and the egg. And even if the capitalist mode of production may have led to various forms of exploitation since the industrial revolution, Rob Wallace shows clearly an intensification of sickness of the system. The author’s account of the current crisis can be read here.
E.M.S Namboodiripad – History, Society and Land Relations. Selected Essays, 1937-1996.
Better known to some as the state’s first Chief Minister and the man behind the ‘Kerala Model’, this title collects the CPI(M) leader’s work on the question of social inequalities and the material base.
2. Saskia Sassen – Expulsions. Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, 2014.
A spatial understanding of income inequality, inclusions and exclusions is particularly relevant today – not only to make sense of the shifting boundaries of work between essential and non-essential, but also between varying global responses to the crisis and the differences they create. The project we have called globalisation until the outbreak of the virus may look very different in a few months from now.
Ryosuke Furui – Land and Society inn Early South Asia. Eastern India 400-1250 AD, 2020.
This work contributes to a long-term historical perspective of evolving social structures and changes in agrarian infrastructure in Bengal. In times where rights of access to food are highly contested, the ties between caste and land holding patterns are crucial to understand.
Coronavirus Pandemic – A crisis that capitalism birthed
From the Bodhi Commons Blog, a collection of material around political struggles, arts and economics
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