While studying political philosophies, my mind often wanders back to O’Toole’s Herb Farm. They do not consciously espouse any political philosophy, they are too busy working for that. Political theoreticians do not work; not a single one of the original Bolsheviks, claiming to be doing it all for The Workers, ever set foot in a factory.
I interviewed the O’Tooles as part of my job while employed by a major university to “economically develop” our rural North Florida county. I was interviewing businesses to see what they needed to grow. I LOVED their herb farm, set among gently rolling hills and bursting with growing things.
They sell things, sure, they are “capitalists” I suppose. But they have a very revolutionary and subversive attitude.
“Have you thought about selling through an online catalog?”
“We sell about all we can raise now.”
“How about a catalog for the gift shop?”
“We don’t have time. We hold classes to teach people how to grow organically. Those are a lot of fun and I think they do a lot of good.”
“But if you grow your business, you could hire more people and who knows how big it could become?”
“Why would we do that when we have enough now?”
We have enough. We have enough! Those three words may be more subversive to the modern conception of “capitalism” than Lenin’s “Bread, Peace and Land.” Without constant growth, constant wealth accumulation, ever-increasing profits no matter what the cost-“capitalism” as we know it must crash and burn. In fact, it does crash and burn every ten years or so.
The O’Tooles have bread; homemade, herb-scented and healthy. They have land; they got it the hard way. And they have peace; you can feel peace descend on you as you drive down the long, dirt driveway. Let’s get real: You do not feel peace as you approach the WalMart Garden Center.
The O’Tooles are on to something. They have enough. Having enough and having some to share IS wealth, no matter what the bank balance says.