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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 25)...

    Wasn't agriculture developed as a response to famine?

    ...and the response:

    Agriculture is useless as a response to famine. You can no more respond to famine by planting a crop than you can respond to falling out of an airplane by knitting a parachute. But this really misses the point. To say that agriculture was developed as a response to famine is like saying that cigarette smoking was developed as a response to lung cancer. Agriculture doesn't cure famine, it promotes famine­­­it creates the conditions in which famines occur. Agriculture makes it possible for more people to live in an area than that area can support­­­and that's exactly where famines occur. For example, agriculture made it possible for many populations of Africa to outstrip their homelands' resources­­­and that's why these populations are now starving.


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