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Bananas for Socialism

Arun Gupta

Will there be bananas under socialism?  Ben Burgis in the Promethean-leaning Jacobin aligned with pro-growthers when he wrote that “the instinct by at least some participants in Banana Discourse to trivialize concerns about access to consumer goods as a matter of spoiled Americans not being able to imagine giving up their ‘treats’ is deeply misguided.”  They view socialism solely as a labor process rather than a social one that would transform everything from gender and healthcare to cuisine and culture.  A more fruitful approach is to ask what bananas can tell us about socialism. For one, it tells us that polyculture is far superior to monoculture in food systems as well as in politics and society. In any socialist future worth living in, there would be many more types of bananas available (and foods in general), and much more diverse methods of farming and forms of distribution and consumption.