Self-Sustenance Comes First
In the development of the Capitalist Society, one of the key foundations of the entire system was, of course, trade and commerce. The idea that if I do something for you, then you’ll do something for me.
This certainly was never a bad thing: After all, we’re a communal race
However, the world is changing. We’re in the middle of a Global Economic Crisis, watching the balance of power begin to shift, and it’s not an unreasonable admission to say that we’re not really sure what’s going to happen, or where we’ll be left at the end of it.
Which begs the question, what do we do about it?
First of all, and this should have been a priority before hand anyway, but first and foremost, we should be ensuring that we are able to take care of ourselves.
From a Tasmanian perspective, this is perhaps more important than other places. Even with the world shrinking, communication getting easier, and Princess Mary pointing out that Tasmania is not a place in Africa, we’re still isolated. We have our own little slice of paradise down here, and our first priority should be that place.
As Tasmanians, we have a special community and most of us recognize that there is a bond with one another. It’s like going overseas, standing in a French airport and hearing an Australian accent. You’re automatically friends, and can trust each other just because you’re both Australian. Well on a narrower scale, that’s the case with us Tasmanians. When you meet one another internationally, or even interstate, there’s that automatic connection of origin.
As a community that recognizes that bond that we have with one another, it is perhaps something that we need to give more credit to, and recognize ourselves as Tasmanians.
The point being that our priority should be each other and ourselves.
So what should we do?
First of all, we should be taking steps to ensure that Tasmania’s future is secure, no matter what happens to the rest of the world. I don’t mean financially secure, either. What happens when we come through this Economic Crisis and face the next one?
No, security has a different face now. It’s not about financials, it’s about stability and survival.
Our priority, I propose, should be first and foremost on ensuring the basic needs of life, and ensuring that every Tasmanian has access to them. Food, water, shelter, clothing, power.
Let our government provide support to our Tasmanian farmers. Encourage those farmers to ensure their produce stays in Tasmania! Let King Island Abbatoir stay open – we maintain the jobs, we maintain the steak, and we maintain the security!
Our government should be investing in the assurance that no matter what happens on a global scale, we as Tasmanians will be prosperous. Again, I don’t mean prosperous in a financial sense, but prosperous in the sense that we have more than what we need to survive.
Let’s find ways to encourage Farms to produce food, milk, fruit and vegetables in and for Tasmania. Let’s encourage the growth of raw materials such as cotton and hemp, and then encourage the production of local clothing from these products. Let’s ensure that everyone in our state can have a roof over their head, a warm meal at night, and a blanket to keep away the cold Tasmanian winter.
Here in Tasmania, we quite easily have the resources available to at least look after ourselves. With a few changes, we would have no need to import any necessity from interstate or overseas.
In a time of crisis such as that which the world is facing now, it’s time to stop looking outward and start looking back inwards. Let’s divert our attention for the time being as to where we fit in the world, and let’s just work out how we can flourish in our own back yard.
What propositions do I suggest?
Primarily, I would say that our first priority should be to our existent resources. Tasmanian farmers are not doing it easy, but there is no doubt in my mind that as a community, Tasmania can support its farmers. Let’s take a look at our import/export ratio, and set a point that ensures that Tasmanian products first of all stay in Tasmania, sold at a price to Tasmanians that is fair to both the farmers and the consumers, and if we have leftovers, that’s what we can consider selling to the rest of the world.
Our Government should be getting behind a plan such as this, ensuring that Tasmanian farmers will be looked after properly, will not be taken advantage of by international corporations who will continue to drive down their own purchase price while driving up the price at the checkout.
I would urge all Tasmanians to support our own local producers in purchasing locally produced product whenever at all possible.
Providing Government support for Tasmanian product-based industries is also called for, ensuring that resources such as Tasmanian wool and cotton can be produced locally and remain local as Tasmanians manufacture the products.
A self-sustainable Tasmania is not only achievable, it is a necessity for Tasmanians as we continue to move forward through the upcoming years and decades.