Reconstruction by Way of the Soil

by G.T. Wrench

Chapter 12


Here is the story of another primitive farming people of East Africa, about 1,000 miles south of the Kikuyu and occupying highlands of lesser elevation at about the same distance from the sea.

In 1935 the Government of Nyasaland became perturbed by the increasing exodus of able-bodied peasants from the homeland. The Governor appointed a committee of inquiry. How alarming the exodus and its far-reaching consequences were was revealed to the members of this committee. As they travelled and saw and questioned, vista after vista of the tragedy of native life was disclosed.

This is what they reported: 'We must confess that, six months ago, there was not one of us who realized the seriousness of the situation; as our investigations proceeded we became more and more aware that this uncontrolled and growing emigration brought misery and poverty to hundreds and thousands of families, and that the waste of life, happiness, health and wealth was colossal.'

Now this statement of a well-intentioned committee is worthy of the closest attention. At the outset it should be noted that there was not a rural native upon the committee. It was assumed that wisdom lay outside the land. The committee men were not terrene men, measured by the axioms of the soil, but super-terrene men with very little knowledge of the terrene men of the land of Nyasa. Consequently, within six months, they found themselves astonished, even overwhelmed, by the disruption of a terrene life-cycle, involving many humble people, for whom they and their kind were responsible. The wealth, of which they wrote, was the wealth of the land, and they laid down their belief about it in these words: 'We consider it essential that the whole Protectorate should be surveyed by local agriculturists with the idea of discovering the best uses to which the land can be put, regarding the land not as something to be exploited piecemeal, but as the sole capital of the Protectorate.'

The language, one will note, is that of money-minded men; the land is called the capital of the Protectorate; as capital it must not be exploited for industrial profit, but put to the best uses as the only means of livelihood for the people of the Protectorate. How this was to be done was to be decided by local agriculturists. This term did not include native farmers, because they would not be capable of surveys with an accumulation of facts and figures from which to draw conclusions. The committee men did not seek a renovation of the indigenous social and farming life, from which improvements could eventually develop, but advised the consideration of the question from the up-to-date Western agriculturists' outlook. In that way it could be decided how to put this particular capital to its best uses.

The indigenous methods by which the natives of Nyasaland farmed had general resemblances to those of the Kikuyu. They cleared a part of the forest and cultivated it as long as it gave good results. Then they abandoned it for a number of years, in which, by encroachments from the neighbouring forests, it reverted to the natural plants and conditions of the country. This is called shifting cultivation.

'Shifting cultivation,' write Messrs. Jacks and Whyte, 'although it kept men as unimportant servants of wild nature, maintained soil fertility indefinitely, since the forest drove the cultivator out and re-assumed its beneficent control as soon as any sign of soil exhaustion occurred.' The indigenous method, therefore, included as a practice, if not as an intellectual precept, the indefinite maintenance of soil-fertility. The Western agricultural, money-making land-owners only awoke to the devastating effects of the loss of soil-fertility after it had markedly occurred, and then devised methods of preservation.

This is because dominant money falsifies conservative farming. The whole conception of money plus interest is foreign to the soil. When money is lent, it is in the expectation of getting not itself, but more than itself in return, an additional creation called interest. But a crop does not reproduce more than the substances it gets from the soil and the air. The creative power never creates anything extra. It changes forms. In nature there is only transition, not addition. The conception, then, that money can produce extra money, something over and above itself, is not one derived from the creative power of the soil or the character of nature, and that no doubt is the ultimate reason why interest has been so strongly condemned by religions and philosophies. Peasants feel it to be wrong and the poets, who in Dante's definition are 'those who know the secrets of nature', the 'makers' of the Greeks, know it to be against nature and unreal and therefore inimical to the intellect and morally wrong.

For these reasons money-directed farming, however scientific, cannot create the honest constancy of equivalent return. It strives to get more than it gives, and thereby brings about a difficulty in actual survival. It is this which constitutes the story of Nyasa. Money-directed farming was expected from a primitive people by a government belonging to the money system. The primitive people belonged to a completed life-cycle, in which surplus crops were exchanged for other human needs. There was no space in their work or habits for anything over and above this completed life-cycle, nothing, that is to say, which could be stored away as dead capital or discarded as not wanted. It would be turned immediately into wealth, which meant cattle or other such visible 'goods' of the native. It certainly could not be symbolized and banked. Consequently when the Nyasa Government demanded a hut-tax to be paid in money, it drew the peasants into the money system without any preparation or aptitude for it and without defence.

They could have paid the tax in goods or kind according to their custom. But they had not the coins which the Government demanded, and their own elder men, in their own urgent need for the coin commanded by government, ordered the younger men to pay the bride-price in coin, not the conventional cattle.

The cash asked for by Government through taxation, wrote the committee in their Report, was considerable. It was more than a farming district, after providing for subsistence, earned. The committee gave, as examples, five districts, which had to pay taxes of £18,000, though earning but £14,000, made up of market earnings £1,000 and wages £13,000. In response to these urban infiltrations amongst primitive farmers, therefore, none of them proved to be 'the fittest to survive' upon the land of their fathers. There was only one thing to be done, as was done in England by many of the harassed Tudor and Georgian peasantry; they had to evict themselves and seek employment in the modern, Westerners' mining, towns of Tanganyika, Rhodesia and the Transvaal, all of which could be reached on foot. Hence, out of a total population of 1,600,000, there were 120,000 farmers continuously out of the country, 50 to 60 per cent of the able-bodied population. Basutoland and Swaziland, farther south, had almost the same percentage of young workers absent from the land. The workers, partners of the soil, were disintegrated and blown, as it were, like eroded soil, to regions where they were made to take from the earth, not crops, but the gold that was then the god of the money system. 50 to 6o per cent left their farms; yet the Government of the Belgian Congo had been advised by one of their committees that even the absence of 5 per cent of young able-bodied men from an African village upsets the whole economic and social balance of the community.

There is scarcely need to give a picture of the state of the peasant families who remained; of the women, the old men and the elder children, who strove to carry on the cultivation of the land; the fields overgrown with weeds and jungle invasion; the huts falling to pieces; abandoned fields and crumbling villages, as if the Tudor period flung a long reflection of itself upon Nyasa and the neighbouring lands.

A partial remedy came through the unchastity of the married women. Wearied by the unequal battle and the increasing illnesses of themselves and their families which accompanied it, they gave up the attempt to remain chaste for their husbands' return from the mining towns with the cash and the venereal disease they had there acquired. So, when natives of Portuguese East Africa discovered that there were women and land across the border, they seized their opportunity. At the present time, it is said, there are as many, or even more, such male cuckoos resident in Nyasaland as there are Nyasa men.

The story of Nyasaland tells that 'waste of life, happiness, health and wealth was colossal'. It is a tale of the misery of a shattered life-cycle. It is not a tale for the heart only, but for the brain. It is an expected tale. History does repeat itself over and over again. Post-Punic history and Tudor history, with their evictions and brilliancy, are repeated in the story of Nyasaland and its neighbours. Distances are greater and the brilliance was to be found distantly amidst the wealthy of London and other cities, and those who derived something from them.

But the modern story was debased by its being one caused by naked gold itself, to mine which the peasants went from their farms to earn cash, for the taxation by coin that was put upon them. It is a tale of the immediate contact of the raw material of the money-system itself with primitive farmers. The foes were face to face.

Some readers may sometimes have wondered why primitive peoples seem to die out with the 'advance of civilization'. Here is one way. It shows directly how the money-system acts. It is the system, which elsewhere is represented by high explosives, bombs, tanks and the rest. But against the soil its weapons are not known as weapons. Nevertheless, through them, the money-system is far more widely and more permanently lethal than it is by the destructive efficiency of its machines. It kills at the source. It kills the partnership of the soil and the peasants. Wherever it is in action, it produces an eventual desolation of death; peasants and soil vanish and with their loss, what was a source of healthy creative power is given over to death.

Chapter 13


Between Kenya and Nyasaland lies the great, sparsely-inhabited territory of Tanganyika. In this territory, there is a life-cycle of a very remarkable character, which contains within it, as a part of its ecology, an insect, the tsetse fly. This fly has come to play the part which the lions of Judah once played as defenders of the natural forest against the intrusions of man. Palestine no longer has its lions and the consequence is that, when one flies over it in an aeroplane, one looks down upon the watershed to see barren rock where there should be forest.

The tsetse's method of defending its forested life-cycle is more subtle than the terror by which the lion once kept men from his home. There is nothing regal about the tsetse, but its part in its life-cycle forms one of the most remarkable in nature. It feeds like the mosquito, upon blood, biting both animal and human. Tsetse is also a host of the microscopic trypanosome; consequently when it bites it may inject the trypanosome into the blood of the bitten animal. When it injects animals in its own life-cycle, the animals live. The trypanosomes do not harm them more than a number of microbes, which live in men, harm their hosts.

But if man's domestic animals and man himself invade the tsetse area, it is a very different story. On the expedition to Tanganyika, to which the Kikuyu peasants were taken as porters and endured such miseries, none of the animals imported into Tanganyika in the service of the British Forces survived. Practically all that were not killed accidentally succumbed to the fly. It is destructive too, to men. The first trypanosomes were brought by cattle driven across the watershed between West and East Africa. In parts of Uganda the tsetse lived. They became the hosts of the trypanosomes, and 200,000 out of 300,000 people died in six years.

Men, therefore, have a very great fear of the localities of this insect, a great fear like that of past Palestinians for the lions of their forests. The tsetse evicted them and their cattle from its forest areas. It is said that in the full 365,000 square miles of Tanganyika, two-thirds of the five million inhabitants have to confine themselves to one-tenth of the total territory. Then came scientific white men determined not to be evicted by, but to evict the insect. So they cut down the trees and bushes near the streams, lakes and pools, in the shade of which the tsetse lives. The result has been an erosion, not so threatening and extensive as in Kenya, because the area that is cultivated is so limited, but so serious as to call a halt. It was clear that trees must be left to protect the soil against the heavy rain of tropical East Africa; otherwise the forest became savanna, then coarse grassland and, eventually, if this poor pasture was over-stocked with cattle, barren waste.

The hydrological or water-cycle, in which vegetative cover plays an absolute part, had to be preserved, and consequently the wholesale destruction of the haunts of the tsetse along river and around pools and lakes had to be abandoned. In its place very cautious ablation of bushes and trees favoured by the fly, is being tried. Indeed, in no part of Africa probably has the value of distribution and conservation of the water supply been more thoroughly grasped than in present Tanganyika. In the Kilimanjaro Native Co-operative Union, which claims 24,000 members out of the 36,000 farmers on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, there are 26 societies, and the reason of this number is that it corresponds to 26 streams, which take their origin in the great mountain and water its slopes. Under the guidance of Sir Donald Cameron, geologists, plant ecologists and water surveyors have been linked together to fit farmers in an understanding manner to the local character of the water supply as a whole. They have marked out the catchment areas of the 26 streams. Each catchment area with the river to which it gives rise has been made into a separate entity and is presided over by a native chief, and the 26 entities united in the Co-operative Union; 26 catchment areas, 26 rivers, 26 cultivated areas, 26 chiefs, 26 communes, and one Union. It is a real association of communes and the assembly of the Union a real House of Communes or Commons, people of a common source of life and not the mixed mockery which the Assemblies of Communes have elsewhere become.

So in the strange way in which nature replies to human acts, man has been shown that the tsetse, which has been such a prolific killer of him and his animals, has nevertheless proved a great saviour of the source of terrene life, the soil. Had it not been for the tsetse, the rich soil fed by the greatest mountains of Africa under an Equatorial sun, would have been greedily seized upon and its stored fertility turned into cash, until an irrevocable erosion stayed further ravages. But, owing to the tsetse, this swift onslaught could not be made. The tsetse has prevented it; in the words of Mr. R. 0. Whyte 'the presence of the tsetse in many parts may be a blessing in disguise, as it can be regarded as the trustee of the land for future generations'.

The tsetse is a pest to man, but man, greedily eager to make his fortune from stored soil fertility, is a pest to life itself. So the strange story of Tanganyika ends with the little tsetses still defending their waterways against the lords of the earth, so giving time for nature in her own ways to tell these lords that, masterful though they may be, if they claim to be masters of nature, they are doomed. They themselves must re-learn with humility that they are the creatures of nature, and, this time, a little insect shall teach them.

Chapter 14

'Earth Thou Art'

Before continuing the story of the present misfortunes of the, soil, it is well to recall again how earthly we ourselves are. This may be done by a meditation, in which one concentrates the mind on some one thing of those so common to us that normally we never trouble ourselves about them. We concentrate and allow our minds constantly to widen the circle of thought that arises from this concentration. We are accustomed to give a good deal of time thinking out our problems, but we rarely meditate, we rarely make ourselves strange to the familiar. We accept the air as air, the sun as sun, the earth as earth without at any time making ourselves strange to them until we comprehend both them and ourselves in relation to them.

'Earth we are and to earth we return' is a sage and familiar saying upon which we may well widen our reflection. It seems that this earth now under our feet is in some way us. To it and its darkness we and so much else in the world of light belong. The interchange from the visible to the invisible and from the invisible back into the light, is continuous. We ourselves, as part of the visible, are largely concerned with the invisible. The great majority of men trouble little about it, but since man is, it seems, the sole creature of the soil that is endowed with meditative thought, he has gathered a good deal of knowledge of the crust of his planet. Deeper than the crust of the earth he can scarcely reach, but in it he searches from a wide generality of instinct, which tells him that, though he has spirituality, he is nevertheless essentially terrene, and when he searches into the earth, he searches for a further understanding of his own being.

Living in the visible world, he is destined to return to the earth. As electricity can be separated by him from the earth and made to run trains, drive ships, bathe night cities in radiance, and draw great clouds together over thirsty lands, yet like man it has its earthy phase and to the earth it must return.

Similarly man, in his farming, separates land from its natural state of forest and prairie. There he grows products for his use, but in the end they too are destined to return to the earth.

So also it is with water. Water rises invisibly from the ocean and ascends to the skies there to take visible form as clouds. Thence it descends again to the earth and takes visible form upon it as brooks, rivers, lakes, ponds and dew. Man, too, separates some of it for his purposes. By irrigation he waters his fields, by conduits he waters his cities, by tanks and reservoirs he waters himself. But eventually these waters return to the invisible, they sink into the earth or the depths of the ocean, from which once again they come back to the visible world.

We human beings, whose substance plays its part in these transitions, are conceived by the sparks that set our being in motion and spring from the mystery of creation. But from the very moment after the two sparks, male and female, unite, we are in growth of the earth earthy. Heredity, in all its variety, comes from two cells so small that they need the microscope to make them visible. In these two cells for us and other beings of the earth, there is the magic of predestination. It is they that determine the launching of man or animal or plant. In man, they determine sex, colour, character. Though only two specks, they have within them a multiplicity of destiny that is quite beyond our understanding. We know there are so many genes in each cell, but to know such mathematical details, though most acceptable, is not to understand its mysteries.

In this early stage, as in later ones, we receive the means of growth from the earth and from those things which also have their earthy phase, the air and water. These means of growth are made up of substances, many of which have been separated as entities, by the knowledge of man and called by him elements. There are only ninety known elements, but they occur in so many combinations, that we should be entirely lost if we had to manage them ourselves. It is nature that manages them and their interchange. This we know, that otherwise there would be no life. Nevertheless, we boldly again isolate elements and certain combinations, identify them by tests, weigh them and give our names to them and try, as it were, to come to some stable and positive relation towards them, calling a halt, for the time of our own being, to their constant transitions.

These are the elements that have been found to be a part of human bodies: nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, sodium, potassium, sulphur, iodine, fluorine, manganese, silicon, cobalt, copper, iron, zinc, lead, arsenic, lithium, magnesium, aluminium, boron, chromium, strontium, cadmium, barium, tin, vanadium, titanium. Some of these twenty-eight elements may not be essential to human life. But they are part of it, for all have been found in sewage sludge. They may, one hazards, be essential, if not to life, to certain qualities of life.

The four great elements of our body, our brain, our thought and our affections, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen, are all aerial, as if they have to pass to the heavens for their purification before they turn with pristine vitality to the earth again. Perhaps there, bathed in the rays of the celestial bodies, they gather that marvellous power of combination, which makes them the supreme elements of life. In their endowment of life they show a singular affinity for each other, an affinity so dazzling that it blinds our very thought in conceiving it. They associate together in innumerable patterns, as if in the great spaces from which they come they had become like Wordsworth's birds displaying

Hundreds of curves and circlets, to and fro,
Upward and downward, progress intricate
Yet unperplexed, as if one spirit swayed
Their indefatigable flight.

It is the four of them that, joining together in almost uncountable varieties, form the proteins of living substance. Some of their steps in the protein dance have been separated out by the cold skill of the masters of organic chemistry. These steps are called amino-acids. Here is one and this is how it is written: six atoms of carbon, thirteen of hydrogen, one of nitrogen and two of oxygen, or (CH3)2:CH. CH2. CH(NH2). COOH. Or they may be spaced like this:

The number of possible proteins is quite beyond men's imagination -- Berg gives them as 6,708,373,705,728,100 -- and the transition of associating elements from one temporary form to other forms gives one a glimpse of the constant and amazing variety of living nature, before which man can only, with such glimpses as he has gained, regard his own creative and manufacturing power as something, excellent though it may be for him, yet very lowly and humble before this whirling, form-making artistry.

When nitrogen steps aside from this quadruple partnership and leaves carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, the three again meet and re-meet in the less dazzling combinations of the carbohydrates or starchy and sugary substances of living matter. They too are illustrated by the chemists in formations more regular, but nevertheless as wondrous as when nitrogen takes so vital a share. Here is a common sugar, dextrose, CH2OH. CHOH. CHOH. CHOH. CHOH. CHO. Were this form placed amidst a number of surrounding mirrors, there would be an equivalent number of reflections. There are actually sixteen of those reflections to the above sugar, dextrose, four of which are found in nature, twelve prepared synthetically by Emil Fischer and others, but not yet found in nature.

There is something sober and shapely about the carbohydrates; for the majority of them are so many atoms of carbon in combination with so much hydrogen and oxygen, combined as they are in water or H20. This cannot be said of these three elements, when nature with her marvellous jugglery uses them to make the fats. Here for example is an arrangement which makes a fat: C3H5 (O.CO.C15H31) (O.CO.C17H33) (O.CO.C17.H35). Even with this jugglery with the three elements in the making of food substance known as carbohydrates and fats, nature is not content, but from them she fashions certain hormones, which have a governing power within the body, such as the hormones of the testes and ovaries and also one of the adrenal glands which in excess can give a beard to a woman with other qualities of masculinity. Some of the popular vitamins are so made. By adding nitrogen there result one or two other hormones and vitamins, and yet again with the addition of iodine and nitrogen the hormone of that very dominant gland, the thyroid, and, with nitrogen, sulphur and chlorine, the well-known vitamin B.

When one reverently meditates upon these four marvellous aerial elements, is it strange that man, who derives so much of his vitality and the fabric of his spirituality from them, should not almost from the beginning have felt his intimate unity with the pellucid heavens above him? Truly it seems that he has a heavenly, as well as an earthly body. Yet, in his murky worship of money, in his manufacturing cities, he shuts himself off no less from the clean air than he does from the clean earth. We know that in consequence he is less whole and healthy. We know that he has to go to the sea side or the country to recover some of his aerial factors. We know that authorities have to plan camps for children and adolescents to go under the open sky. We know that we have to install plants of artificial sunlight in the cities as a treatment for the most obvious cases of deprivation of natural sunlight. We do not know how wide, subtle or deep is the total extent of deprivation, because our wholeness within the life-cycle is unknown to us and, at the most, only the subject of fragmentary research. How then dare we to proclaim ourselves the masters of nature and the lords of creation, we who have broken our own life-cycle, divided ourselves from its earthly and heavenly elements and look to mortal men of mediocre health and physique, sitting in their laboratories, for guidance in these immortal truths that are clearly evident in our inward feelings and written upon the open face of the great sphere where we live?

There are other aerial elements, argon, crypton, neon, xenon and helium, of the relation of which to life we know little or nothing. We will return then to the terrene elements. How many of the twenty-eight already named in this chapter are essential has not been determined, but it has been discovered that mere traces of some of them are essential. Thus, in the case of the black rot of sugar beet, it has been found that this disease occurs if there is lacking a necessary trace of boron in the soil. Similarly, a trace of manganese protects oats from black speck. A fatal disease of sheep in parts of Australia and New Zealand is made curable if a little cobalt is added to the soil. In Florida cattle were found to die until a trace of copper was put in the fields, in which they pastured. It is probable, then, that all these twenty-eight elements are workers and that none are drones in the cycle of life.

There is, then, a procession of the elements and, though there is no pause in it, it may be said to start in the microbic and fungoid stage in the soil. In man's cycle, the procession starts in man himself, for the breaking down of waste substances by microbes begins in the lower bowel. Microbes in health are friendly microbes. Their hostility only appears when living matter seems to lack what we call quality. Then they set about hastening the return of the living matter which lacks quality to the soil. By far the greater part of the microbic world is, then, not only friendly, but it is merely ourselves in a different form. Our elements are their elements. They make us and we make them. Therefore, when we concern ourselves about them, we concern ourselves with what we ourselves are. This is a secret of healthy food. If we take elements out of the cycle and disperse them in the sea, we are robbing ourselves. The microbes then take measures, as it were, to save themselves. Unfriendly microbes multiply. One witnesses, in fact, a break in the mores, the morality, of the microbic world. The microbes start exploiting the weak for their own benefit, they become aggressive, bring the weak to the ground and become emboldened to attack the strong. But it is the original weakness that brings about this break in morality and turns one phase of the procession of the elements to become the enemy of another phase. The microbic theory and money-dominance are certainly no strangers to each other.

It can all be so different. These marvellous elements are like the notes of the piano, which under skilled and reverent treatment produce an infinite number of melodies and harmonies. In the rhythm and the completeness of the forms they make in the natural world, one can indeed see a wider picture of that music to which the ancient Greeks gave the highest place in human culture. Misplaced they make cacophony, the hideous cacophony that now roars throughout the inhabited globe.

Man must revere and respect these elements. He must lose none, he must spoil none. He must consider them wherever and however he meets them as a part of a great being and becoming in which he has his share. Whether as non-farmer or farmer, it should be his wisdom to understand his life-cycle and keep to it. He should know that, as man, he tends to be so anthropomorphic, so self-centred, that he interprets food from his own point of view only. He thinks of it as things of the day, the market and the shop, as bread, vegetables, meat, eggs, fruits and milk, or as things of the factory, processed, preserved, tinned, bottled, dried or dehydrated, or as things of the field, as growing grains and vegetables and fruits upon the tree. He thinks of them as things in themselves, as indeed he must do in the daily traffic of life. But to preserve quality in them and to maintain quality, he must also think of them as transitionary parts of a whole. This he has failed to do. It is a failure in thought and observation. With that failure he has become, in the words of the great seer, F. H. King: 'the most extravagant accelerator of waste the world has ever endured. His withering blight has fallen upon every living thing within his reach, himself not excepted.' He pursues the path of race-suicide, while he chants the hymn of progress.

He is terrene and everything that is terrene is of importance to him. He is of and for the earth. As the sugar-beet gets black rot without its trace of boron, oats get black speck without their trace of manganese, and sheep, 'pine-sickness' without their trace of cobalt, so he also requires such final sculptural touches for the perfection of his physical and mental health. If he depletes his life-cycle, he is himself depleted. In the intelligent United States, the depletion of the soil has awakened alarm, and scientists now make statements which seem extreme but may well be true. Such statements are that 99 per cent of the American people show some lack of minerals. Dr. Sherman, of California, has said of his people, what Sir John Orr has said of his, that above half the people suffer from calcium deficiency. Dr. Northen, of Alabama, added a number of minerals to the soil and found that, though vegetables and milk produced by it had the accustomed appearance, they had a very different mineral content. Quite new standards are, therefore, needed.

Textbook analyses, once made, stand. But often they are standards set by a soil that has been injured by faulty practices. So they are faulty value standards. We need the standards of the perfectly healthy soil.

Man's bodily substance, when not lost to the sea, returns to the earth many times in the course of his life. The grim saying, 'Earth thou art and to earth thou shalt return', said of his dead, is no less true of his living body. He is a terrene animal, of the earth earthy. That he cannot escape, and so he lives as a product of the soil to conserve it or deplete it. At present he depletes it. The story of this depletion is in its way mystical and inexplicable. It is one of retributive justice. The old doctrine that sickness and wars were the punishments of God appears again as truth. It seems that, in non-recognition of it, man acts with a perversity little short of insanity, for the insane are those who irrationally endanger both others and themselves.

Next chapter

Table of Contents
1. Introductory
2. Rome
3. The Roman Foods
4. The Roman Family
5. Roman Soil Erosion
6. Farmers and Nomads
I. The Land
II. The Nomads
III. The Farmers
IV. Nomadic Migrations and Farmers
7. Contrasting Pictures
8. Banks for the Soil
9. Economics of the Soil
10. The English Peasant and Agricultural Labourer
11. Primitive Farmers
12. Nyasa
13. Tanganyika
14. 'Earth Thou Art'

15. Sind and Egypt
16. Fragmentation
17. East and West Indies
18. German Colonies: The Mandates
19. Russia, South Africa, Australia
South Africa
20. The United States of America
21. A Kingdom of Agricultural Art in Europe
22. An Historical Reconstruction
The Initiation
The Institution
The Achievement
23. Recapitulation
24. Action

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