Monday, 25 January 2010
The Fat Of The Land
I have been reading John Seymour's Fat Of The Land for the first time since I was in my twenties. It was a book that had a profound influence on the early 70's "back to the land" movement and a whole strand of British sub-culture that followed on from it. There was much that I disagreed with at the time and disagree with now. For a start Seymour appeared to lack any kind of class analysis and of course to a large extent, as a successful writer and broadcaster, his was a contrived attempt to be a middle class peasant. Perhaps more was owed to The Good Life than to Proudhon. None the less, re-reading it now I can see that on a practical level John Seymour's ideas on the nuts and bolts of food production shaped my own pragmatic approach to the subject both as a anarcho-hippy years ago and for that matter as a Freedom Pass Allotmenteer today. As a blueprint for social change Fat Of The Land left much to be desired but say what you like about John and Sally Seymour - they didn't just talk about it but got stuck in and did it.