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How Is Raw Milk Right-Wing?This past week, I was forwarded a note about yet another government raid on an organic farm. This one was in Michigan, the Nourish Co-op. The website says they oversubscribed and are not taking any new customers. That’s an indication of consumer demand. Once in this country, the customer was king. No more: it’s become the opposite. The regulators in combination with large industrial partners rule the day.

You can get a sense of the farm’s purpose from this statement on its website:

“There is no denying that the food system in America is declining year after year—with increasing levels of pesticides, chemicals and metabolism-suppressing & inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)—even in meat and dairy products! This is unacceptable to us—as it shouldn’t be this hard to source food that actually supports your health.”

What’s at issue here is entirely predictable. It’s all about the raw milk. There is a huge demand for this. Every seller within an hour’s drive of where I live is constantly sold out. One farm I visited has about a dozen cows working overtime. They cannot keep the stuff in stock, and there are lines out the door every day with people waiting to buy. Some always leave disappointed when supplies run out.

If memory serves, in my lifetime every person I ever knew who promoted raw milk would be considered countercultural lefty with a naturalist vibe. That’s my experience in any case. But last week, the New York Times (NYT) decided that raw milk is right-wing, if you can believe it. This is the new moniker attached to any alternative diet or health practice.

“Health officials are warning Americans not to drink raw milk as bird flu spreads through American cows,” says the NYT. “But some media figures and influencers are misleadingly suggesting that the product is safe or even healthier than traditional milk. And sales are growing.” The story continues to quote various CDC officials and scientists, offering up their opinions as fact, and summarily dismissing every report to the contrary.

I cannot speak to the scientific and nutritional issues here, but I’m in no mood to take anything from the CDC as authoritative. If anything, the opposite is true. If the CDC is jumping up and down to proclaim some hard truth, I’m inclined to want to know the opposing perspective. In the case of raw milk, there really is no question that it tastes much better. Meanwhile, legions of testimonials attest to health benefits. Raw milk means only the way milk was consumed from the beginning of recorded history in all parts of the world. Pasteurization surely has a role but it need not be the only way.

What’s especially bizarre is the treatment of this product as right-wing. It’s always been associated with naturalists, hippies, alternative lifestyle people, and so on. When I was an unthinking fan of all products of the modern “capitalist” marketplace, I recall thinking that these people were flaky and fixated on a big nothing. When the organic product marketplace was born, I had nothing but disdain for it all. It struck me as anti-modern, anti-industrial, and primitivist.

How times change! I confess that I’ve completely come around. Does that make me now left-wing? According to the NYT, no, I’m just becoming more consistently right-wing (never mind that I’ve written a systematic critique of rightist ideology from 1820 to 1946). So none of this makes any sense.

To be sure, we are all learning a thing or two about how today’s systems of compulsion and coercion work. The agencies reach deep into the industrial structure and work through the largest firms. In the case of milk, the dairy industry is dominated by a lobby that works closely with the Department of Agriculture. I should have had a clue by this lobby’s long-running attack on independent farming and raw milk in particular. Goading agencies into these kinds of attacks is nothing more than a method of market competition, not by offering better products and cheaper prices but rather by means of regulatory enforcement.

The tragedy is that this is happening in a country that was founded by yeoman farmers who built our political structures to protect commercial exchange from arbitrary intervention by the government. Our greatest thinker was Thomas Jefferson, who wrote: “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds.”

Indeed, how does it come to be that in the “Great Reset” these very people and their customers are being targeted by our own government? It’s been going on for decades but, as with everything else, it seems to be getting much worse these days. The independent farmers that still survive are being pressed from every end, dealing with non-stop interrogation and arbitrary attack.

There is zero chance that the NYT article against raw milk is a pure accident of journalism history. It is a harbinger of more attacks to come. They have rebranded raw milk as right-wing, which today is nothing more than a green light for attack from government and industry. This is all part of the comprehensive purge of the whole of American life, from industry to academia to politics and culture.

It’s remarkable how the nominally left in this country is taking recourse to the model of government as laid out by Carl Schmitt, the German jurist who became a partisan of Nazi politics. His outlook was that all politics is and must be dominated by one agenda only: reward your friends and punish your enemies. All states devolve to this point in the interest of surviving. They divide the population against each other as a means of building state power.

This paradigm did not end well in Germany in the mid-20th century, and one might hope that this dark outlook would be vanquished from the earth. Somehow it keeps coming back. The Biden administration seems particularly adept at practicing it. Looking back, this was the point of the mask and vaccine mandates: to reward the compilers and punish and humiliate the dissidents. This also led to every manner of purges from many professions including media and academia. It’s a cruel way to practice the art of governing but that’s where we are.

Incredibly, this paradigm is reaching deeply into our lives, all the way down to the milk we drink. We aren’t even allowed choice here either. What to do? I know of no other solution than to defend and champion the independent farmers who are still holding onto the rights of owners and consumers. Those rights are a core of what it means to be an American.

Would I go so far as to say that every sip of raw milk is a toast to freedom itself? Sure.

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