Hostile cities, engineering localism and other delusions of urban agriculture.

This is a transcript of a talk that I gave at the ‘Gardens of Justice’, Critical Legal Conference at the Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan, Stockholm in Septmeber 2012.

Lenin’s Hatred of Allotments

We on the Left today tend to think that class struggle and environmentalism are natural bedfellows. We tend to forget that there are differences between Green and Left political outlooks which remain difficult to reconcile. Can the greater state of localism and sustainability which urban agriculture represents, for example, really be politically-engineered?

Urban Agriculture’s Growing Right Wing

Of the many political movements to have sprung up over the past century, none have encompassed such a diverse range of beliefs as urban agriculture. Movements have taken Green, liberal, communitarian – even libertarian – forms, at once a testament to the movement’s flexibility and its apolitical nature.

Nature and the Circumstances of Justice

Neoliberal economists have taken for granted that ours is a world positioned in what John Rawls called “the circumstances of justice”, a world where the majority live in a state somewhere between abundance and shortage of resources. But how accurate a description of the world is this?