System failure can be hard to see because it often comes cloaked in human failure. Each one of the farms that failed over the last several generations led us to the system failure, the spectacular failure where agriculture today is simply too short of people to be able to properly foster soil health. It has been too short of people for at least a generation now to properly support the community, including the vital community formed by a living farming culture, a culture carrying the knowledge of how to care for soil in use as well as the people using it.
The failure of the agricultural system, by the increasing failure of the people in it, is merely a part of a larger failure. This too is system wide. Our economy is producing a tide of technological innovation. But no where that I see is it fostering and honoring work that is meaningful. Teachers are not honored. Care workers are very nearly not even paid. Factories, which have always been a human problem, even when they were busy are increasingly abandoned in our country. Retail establishments close, breaking another human connection, to be replaced by delivery drivers, each of them closely watched and monitored by the on board company computer. Cars are “fixed” by mechanics following the direction of the scan tool and simply plugging in new systems. Houses are built by robots in huge plants and then the panels are fastened together on site by relatively unskilled labor. The move is afoot everywhere to diminish people and emphasize machines, sending all wealth to the top of the society.