France: Pierre Rabhi decorated with the Legion of Honor


An article by Auguste Bergot for La Relève et la Peste (translated by CPNN)

Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Envirornment, has presented Pierre Rabhi with the insignia of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor, rewarding the unusual journey of a true humanist who has devoted his life to the development of ecological agriculture and dissemination of an ethic of life advocating “happy sobriety”. Here is the course of this French peasant, writer and thinker of Algerian origin.

The course of his life

Pierre Rabhi was born in 1938 in Kenadsa, Algeria. After spending his youth in Oran with his adopted family, he left for Paris at the time when the Algerian War broke out. With his wife Michèle he then realized the dream of emerging from urban life to adopt a rural lifestyle and turn to agriculture. They therefore went to the Ardèche before the great wave of the neo-rural movement of the late 1960s. Pierre Rabhi enrolled in a rural family house to be trained. He embarked on goat farming by refusing the productivist model to prefer an experimental method of biodynamic farming, a method consisting of considering any agricultural domain as the most autonomous and diversified living organism linking the lunar and planetary rhythms to agricultural activity. In 1985, he founded a training center for agroecology in Gorom-Gorom, Burkina Faso, and then extended consciousness-raising and training programs throughout the African continent, particularly where the land is most difficult to farm.

In 1994 he created the association “Les Amis de Pierre Rabhi”, which was later renamed “Terre & Humanisme” and “Mouvement Colibri” whose mission is “to inspire, connect and support all those involved in building a new project of society “. He has also published some twenty books, among them Towards Happy Sobriety, Agroecology, an ethics of life and The power of moderation. They call for an “insurrection of consciences” to humanize globalization, to unite humanity around the return to earth and to emerge from the myth of indefinite growth.
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(Click here for a version of this article in French)

Question for this article:

What is the relation between movements for food sovereignty and the global movement for a culture of peace?

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“fertilize consciences”

After dedicating his life to spreading an alternative model and proposing new paths of thought, Pierre Rabhi was decorated on Thursday 23 March with the highest honorary decoration of France that rewards citizens who have rendered “eminent merits” to the Nation. Ségolène Royal, Minister of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, emphasized in a complimentary speech his “refusal of voluntary servitude” which led him to invent, produce and above all “fertilize consciences”. It also recalls the terms that Pierre Rabhi himself used to speak of his profession and which summarize well the path that followed and teach it: “the farmer installs a concord between the land and himself, He shapes life, he enslaves nothing, he is free in conforming to the laws of nature. ”

Pierre Rabhi the humanist

Faithful to his will to fertilize consciences, Pierre Rabhi insisted in his discourse on the crucial role of education. Regretting the aesthetics of wars and conquests, as well as the “duality and competitiveness” that govern our school system, he pleads for an education that is done “in solidarity”. In the words of a “humanity in disarray in relation to the continuation of history”, he militates that “humanity should recognize itself as such”, one with solidarity, committed together on its original ark. The wisdom of his speech is, as always, a source of meditation, but also of hope.

(Thank you to Kiki Chauvin, the reporter for this article.)