Terrorism, Radicalism, and Populism in Agriculture

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Perhaps predictably, the peasants generally responded with suspicion, viewing the Populists as soft, interfering dreamers with no concept of real villages accusations which weren't exactly unfair, indeed, repeatedly proven , and the movement made no inroads. Indeed, in some locales, the Populists were arrested by the peasants and given to the police to be taken as far away as possible from the rural villages as possible.

Unfortunately, some Populists reacted to this disappointment by radicalizing and turning to terrorism to try and promote revolution.


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After this, the Populists faded away and transformed into other revolutionary groups, such as the Social Revolutionaries who would take part in the revolutions of and be defeated by the Marxist socialists. Share Flipboard Email. Robert Wilde is a historian with a focus on early medieval Europe who has 15 years of freelance writing experience.

Terrorism, radicalism, and populism in agriculture.

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Iowa State Press, Ames, Iowa, , pp. The author claims that the radical agriculturists RAs who are antiglobalists, radical environmentalists and luddites and animal rightists, as well as the populist agriculturists PAs who pursue issues of self-interest like higher prices and income for farmers, promote soft terrorism. Soft terrorism as used in the book means the peddling of misinformation, hate, violence and property destruction in agriculture.

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In the book, Tweeten puts particular emphasis on the activities of the RAs who are against international trade, corporate business, new methods of biotechnology and labor-saving machines and which he said are influenced by the postmodern ideology and moral imperatives. On the other hand, there are the applied economists who see a positive future in science and technology and the rationale processes of democratic-capitalist system.

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He reviews the ethics and activities of the antiglobalist, radical environmentalists, luddites and animal rightist and states that there is asymmetric threat because it costs less to perpetuate activism, but the costs on victims and society e. He cites the social and economic progress that free trade and innovations in biotechnology bring. His contentions are well substantiated by documented studies and events. The author explains that globalizing the economy can raise national income, resulting to economic expansion that can reduce the pressure on the environment and scarce agricultural resources.

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Technology and knowledge applied to agriculture, for example, can reduce the threats of global warming, loss of biodiversity and environmental pollution, thus making agriculture more sustainable. The author agrees and states that progress can come not at the expense of the environment.

In the book, Tweeten is saying that science, technology and market systems can be used as the solution to the problem rather than being blamed for causing the problem. The book focuses primarily on costs and benefits of agroterrorism in the United States, an affluent and rights conscious society.

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The author could have been more convincing had he dealt more with the less developing countries where the situation is quite different and more pressing. These countries have much to gain from agricultural biotechnology, free trade and doi In Asia, for example, for the past two decades, manufacturing has taken over agriculture in terms of contribution to GDP, although agriculture still remains an important sector because a majority of the population who live in the rural areas still depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Agricultural biotechnology is seen to have great potentials in solving food and supply security in Asia. The agricultural sector has to provide the food needs of an expanding population projected to reach 8 billion by , a majority of whom live in Asia.

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