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February 24, 2014

Corporatism and Globalization: The Context of the TTIP and TPP

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Perhaps the best way to prove the tyrannical intentions of the globalizers is to start with their own words. If we look at the manifestoes and comments issued by the various business consortiums, industry groups, and individual corporations, we find the unvarying demand that all government action be subordinated to the corporate profit prerogative, and that no other value be allowed to interfere with this.
 
This is why I call corporations and their intent totalitarian. My definition of this term: A powerful person or entity is relentless in pursuit of an imperative, at every moment wants to enforce the domination of that imperative to the fullest extent possible, and refuses to recognize the right of any other value to exist at all. A totalitarian may or may not be willing to “tolerate” the existence of something purely extraneous. But where there’s any conflict between the corporate domination imperative and any other value, it’s taken for granted there can be no compromise. The non-corporate value must submit, if necessary to the point of its own extinction. As the historical record makes clear, this is true of all human values – health, happiness, prosperity, culture, tradition, religion, morality, simple human decency and fairness. None of these can coexist with corporations. In the long run these must all go extinct, if corporatism continues to exist.
 
One of the reasons I became a GMO abolitionist is that this fact of the impossibility of coexistence is most clearly demonstrated in the case of agricultural poisons, where the unrelenting, uncompromising assault contaminates not just every economic and political aspect it touches, but goes the farthest in extending its indelible physical corruption to every physical medium – the soil, the water, the air, the wild plants and animals, the cultivated crops and livestock, our own bodies.
 
But the same phenomenon is general across all corporate sectors, which is why every kind of thinker, writer, and activist, however much one may want to resist this choice, will in the end have to choose between humanity, and therefore corporate abolition, or a total corporate domination which will destroy whatever it is one values. Many, certainly most established NGO types, seem already to be making their choices, though in a sense it’s an early day as yet. We must not succumb to one of the standard pathologies of progressives, that of demanding instant gratification.
 
In particular, there’s the pathology that any idea which can’t be boiled down to running candidates in the next election (and not just monkey-wrenching, gridlocking anti-corporate candidates, but affirmatively “good”, policy-intending ones, no less) is bad, “impractical”, objectionable, offensive, certainly to be rejected. We need to be aware that we’re in this for what from the point of view of a human life is the long haul. We’re not likely to see the abolition of corporations, perhaps not even of GMOs, in our lifetimes. (Well, at over 40 I’m not likely. Perhaps someone half my age may live to see it.) I’m clear that I was put here to be a writer, to express these ideas as well as I can, to broadcast them as far as I can, and leave it to people to use these expressions (not the ideas themselves, which can only coincide or not with the drive of the people; no one can ever convince anyone of anything they don’t already feel) in whatever way people find good.
 
And so back to the analysis of globalization as an economic and anti-political offensive being carried out by corporatism toward the goal of total domination. By economic and anti-political I mean that the goal is total domination through total economic domination, while all real manifestations of politics are to be suppressed completely. (The neoliberal phony semblance of “politics” – sham elections, nominal constitutional rights and so on – may continue for some time.) Power will be exercised at the command of corporate oligopoly sectors, by executive government bureaucracies and extranational globalization tribunals, and increasingly, directly by the corporations themselves.
 
The policies business wants encoded in the TTIP and TPP and enforced by governments and World Bank tribunals provide a clear picture of what these persons are. They’re nominally “businessmen” seeking “profit”. They’re really political and economic totalitarians seeking total power and control. They seek this under the rubric of business ideology, and using the corporation as their basic mode of organization. But any large corporation is not really trying  to provide a good/service and make a profit, but is rather a power-seeking organization using its particular economic sector as its base of operations. It seeks to attain total power within that sector and use that economic base to assert political domination as extensively as possible.
 
I was about to say, “just because it’s not overtly political, the way a de jure political party or political pressure group is, doesn’t make it any less the same kind of organization.” But in fact anyone who pays attention to corporate actions knows they’re every bit as openly political as any non-profit, de jure political group. Corporations and their trade groups describe and disseminate political principles, devise political strategies and carry them out, lobby nominal politicians and regulators. There’s really no such thing as a lobbyist-politician dichotomy, but only two political activists talking to one another. In every way corporations are organizations which seek political power. The only difference is that under representative democracy a de jure “party” is the kind of organization which runs someone called a “candidate” for a particular type of political office, while corporations are bureaucracies, identical in a de facto way to nominal government bureaucracies like the USDA or FDA.
 
Under the conditions of complex globalized economies real power naturally tends to accumulate with the bureaucracies, and whether these are nominally “public”, like the USDA, or nominally “private”, like Monsanto, makes no difference. Even an executive office-holder like a US president, let alone a legislator, would need to powerfully exert himself to alter this bureaucracy’s inertia in any significant way. Indeed, only revolutionary regimes have been able to do so. But then that could be a definition of a revolutionary government under modern conditions: A government whose leaders want to alter significantly the inertial trajectory of the bureaucracy. This is hard to do for a nominal government bureaucracy. For a private one like a corporation, it may be impossible unless the corporation wants to alter itself. Since under no circumstances would a corporation want to do this at the behest of a bottom-up people’s movement, it follows that while a people’s movement in theory may think of seizing the reins of government and altering the trajectory of government bureaucracy, such a movement can logically think only of abolishing corporations.
 
Still, if one wants to continue with complex commodification and globalization, one must accept the domination of bureaucracy in one form or another. The whole question becomes simpler if we understand that commodification and globalization as such are unnecessary for prosperity and undesirable from any human point of view. If we then seek not just to abolish corporations but to abolish all supply-based planned economy and restore purely demand-based economies, we can think of dispensing completely with bureaucratic rule. We can even think of having a choice among various forms of direct or assembly-based democracy.
 
Those are questions for another time. Under today’s conditions centralized representative government is not and cannot be anything but a sham. Neoliberalism has been, among other things, the art of perfecting the aesthetics, emotional manipulation, and intellectual astroturfing potential of this sham. It hasn’t just enlisted the mass media, the entertainment industry, the arts, the law, academia, the scientism ideology and scientific establishment, and the twin bourgeois ideologies of conservatism and liberalism, all of which would have happened anyway. It has convinced these adherents and practitioners to accept corporate rule as veritably a law of nature, something never to be questioned or even noticed, even in thought, and brought all these realms to the most potent level of marketing appeal to the atomized mass. All this is just the facade of power and culture.
 
Real power is inertially in the hands of the bureaucracies, “public” and “private”. But of course bureaucracies don’t just passively receive and use the power which economic structures deliver to them. On the contrary, globalization is a planned economy. It’s been planned by those same bureaucrats toward the goal of permanently increasing and expanding their power. Going back to the rise of imperialist ideology and corporate lobbying in the 19th century, corporatism has relentlessly and with ever greater self-consciousness and intentional focus sought to build this command economy. (I won’t here get into the history of where corporatism came from in the first place, but I wrote extensively about it here and here.)
 
This reached a new level of aggressiveness in the post-war time, and especially since the end of the Cold War. NAFTA and the “trade” pacts based upon it have comprised the state of the art in post-Cold War globalization offensives. Today the TTIP and the TPP propose to expand the NAFTA model from North America across both oceans to encompass Europe and the Pacific Rim under a single corporate umbrella, turn the Atlantic and Pacific into ponds upon one big corporate park, use this power position to overawe Latin America and ruthlessly subjugate Africa, and to crush what’s left of the substance of democracy and economic self-determination in every country encompassed, including America and the EU.
 
The twin bureaucratic structures, corporate and regulatory, understand this mission well. They see total power within their grasp. Today they’re gearing up to reach for it. The coupled mechanisms of the globalization compacts through which they intend to attain the totalitarian goal are “investor-to-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) and “regulatory coherence”. The former is a direct assault on democracy, civil society, and politics as such, as well as being a massive corporate welfare conveyor. The latter is a formula for total bureaucratic Gleichschaltung (coordination). More specifically, it’s a plan to fully and formally institutionalize the subservience of government bureaucracy to corporate bureaucracy, and to fully rationalize the processes of this subservience.
 
In subsequent posts on this I’ll relate the corporate plan for regulatory coherence in the corporations’ own words, relate the echo as it has come back from the governments and regulators, and do the same for ISDS. That’ll bring us to the EC’s upcoming, much-hyped “consultation” on ISDS with the people of Europe. Throughout, my examples will focus on GMOs and the GMO cartel. But this sector is not only extremely aggressive, but in principle is typical of them all. So the same description and the same kind of examples will apply in all other powerful sectors. Because the GMO cartel’s obsession with kicking down Europe’s door is at the core of the US government’s goals for the TTIP/TAFTA, I’ll naturally be focusing on the Atlantic side. But the TPP has the same provisions and the same goals.
 
Next up – the “regulatory coherence” wish lists and strategic plans of the US Chamber of Commerce, BusinessEurope, and the GMO cartel.

 
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February 12, 2014

It’s Official: Monsanto Wants FDA Preemption on GMO Labeling

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The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Monsanto’s main front group which coordinates propaganda among corporate manufacturers and retailers (who are all under the thumb of the GMO cartel), has put together a coalition of corporate groups calling for FDA preemption of state-level GMO labeling policy.
 
The press release hits all the points, calling upon the FDA to label, to perform “safety reviews”, to define the term “natural” in food labeling, to impose its own regulation on voluntary non-GMO labeling, and to preempt stronger state-level policy. This is the development I’ve been discussing since my November post on preemption. It tells us three things: It further demonstrates the totalitarian, anti-democracy goal of the GMO cartel and of food corporatism in general. It tells us that the state-level fight, in spite of setbacks, is working; it is striking fear in the corporations. And it tells us that Monsanto is confident that the FDA shall do its pro-GMO duty.
 
This also puts in perspective the propaganda of Just Label It and other ostensibly anti-GMO groups who also call for an FDA solution. Aren’t the GMA and JLI talking about the same FDA? Does JLI repose its hopes in the same place Monsanto does? Or do these labeling groups and commenters think there’s two different FDAs?
 
The fact is that there’s only one FDA, and it is pro-corporate by its nature as well as by the conscious intent of its cadres. As I explained in my preemption post (also in this post), a bourgeois bureaucracy is designed in the first place to seek pro-corporate outcomes. So the FDA will be like a fish in water if legislatively mandated along the lines Monsanto and the GMA want.
 
By contrast, if by some miracle Congress told the FDA to really label and regulate GMOs, the FDA would be hostile, obstructionist, and just plain befuddled. The result would be poor at best.
 
As I’ll be writing about at greater length, the impending “regulatory coherence” Gleichschaltung provisions in the TPP and TTIP, if these globalization compacts are ratified and go into force, will further intensify this corporation/regulator affinity.

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February 10, 2014

The TTIP, Corporatism, and GMOs

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Negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP, aka TAFTA) has been slowed over the EU’s felt need to take time for a “consultation” with the people of Europe over its “investor rights” provisions. That means it needs more time for propaganda. Meanwhile any cosmetic revisions of this draconian provision won’t affect the harshness of the proposed compact’s other provisions.
 
As with previous compacts, the corporate drivers of this plan hope to enshrine a race to the bottom, where all regulation and public interest policy, as well as all aggressive corporatist policy, has to be “equalized” at the most pro-corporate, anti-human level among the adherents to the pact. For example, since GMO labeling is required in Europe but not in the US, Europe would be expected to relinquish its labeling policies, which would equalize regulation between the entities where it came to this issue. The same will be true of European agricultural and food safety policies in general. Similarly, US law and constitutional jurisprudence would have to conform to Europe’s less strict regulation of the finance sector, and perhaps to its more strict regulation of seeds.
 
In general, US regulation is more lawless and corporate-aggrandizing than that of the EU. As its proximate goal, the proposed compact is intended primarily to dismantle European protections and open up Europe to an escalated US corporate assault.
 
Given how one-sided the compact will be, how generally pro-US (including in the term “US”, US-based corporations, which are best seen as extensions of the US government and of US power), the eagerness of European Commission (EC) bureaucrats to conclude this deal looks like economic malpractice and treason to the European people. Where it comes to real economic fundamentals Europe is doing very well. In particular, Europe’s agricultural sector outperforms that of the US in every qualitative way and in all the meaningful quantitative ways. Looking toward the post-fossil fuel future, Europe, while far from having a truly resilient agriculture and food system, is in a far better position to transform these systems to post-oil needs.
 
Destroying Europe’s agricultural advantages and opening up Europe to the full onslaught of US agricultural products and systems is the main goal of the US in pushing for this compact in the first place.
 
Why does the EC want to do this? What does this say about the nature of the EU bureaucracy? And why would European governments want to go along with this? The answers must go to the core of why Europeans feel they need this economic union, even as they still feel extreme ambivalence about the political coordination it implies, and which the EC is trying to enforce.
 
All the types of regulation and public interest policy the TTIP would gut are among the irritating political residue which corporatism seeks to abolish.
 
1. Corporatism is the process by which the 1% seeks to shift decision-making power and control from nominally “public” government to nominally “private” corporations. In US constitutional parlance, the system is transferring this power asset from the three branches of government enshrined in the written constitution to the extra-constitutional Fourth Branch, the corporations. In this way, power and control are shifted from nominally accountable “representative democracy” to power structures which are totally unaccountable even in principle. The nominal government remains as corporate welfare bagman and police thug, and to maintain the fraudulent facade of elections and whatnot. This process is also called neoliberalism, since it seeks to maintain the semblance of classical liberalism and pseudo-democracy even as it institutes most of the substance of fascism.
 
2. The EC, like any bureaucracy, despises democracy and accountability, and politics as such, and seeks to maximize its own power as such without any necessary reference to what its nominal job is supposed to be.
 
3. To its ongoing frustration, the EC hasn’t been able to persuade Europeans to relinquish political power, nor has economic Gleichschaltung (coordination) gone as far as they want (which is always the maximum conceivable).
 
GMOs are an excellent case study: Politically and culturally they’re rejected by Europe. From any rational point of view they’re clearly against the European economic interest. Yet the EC wants to force Europe to subject itself to the full GMO takeover of commodity agriculture, as has been happening in the US. This is the most clear-cut example of how globalization and corporatism have nothing to do with trade or economic rationalism, and everything to do with power.
 
4. The TTIP is meant to override European democracy and European politics in general. I’ve previously written about how globalization is inherently anti-political. Corporatism sees politics as such to be an atavism. Globalization is meant to impose bureaucratic, anti-political solution to this atavism.
 
(I still consider the NYT piece I wrote about here to be a classic of corporate media “journalism”. Every sentence embodies the assumption that the corporate project must go forward. The inconvenient fact that the people of Europe don’t want the GMO element of this project to go forward is depicted as a technical hurdle to be overcome. From the point of view of corporatism and technocracy, human needs and wants are indeed nothing but technical problems to be “solved”.)
 
The name “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, although meant as an anodyne euphemism to replace the politically inflammatory “TAFTA”, expresses what the globalization process sees as the only real sovereign group and political constituency – corporate “investors”. Meanwhile the term “trade” is purely Orwellian, since globalization is not about legitimate demand-based trade, but the extreme opposite: Forcing supply upon markets which don’t demand it at all, or don’t demand it in the form corporatism wants to supply it. Whether one looks at GMOs as a discrete genre of product, or as a form of agricultural production, either way there’s zero demand for them. All “demand” is forced into being by planned economy measures. Pro-GMO TTIP policy is an escalation of this command economy.
 
(This is yet another reason to eschew the propaganda term “free trade”. We should never let this term pass unnoticed in our thoughts and words. Globalization has nothing to do with legitimate trade. It is all about maximizing the imperatives and prerogatives of supply-driven corporate “markets”, toward the corporate concentration of all economic and political power.)
 
This leads us to the specific case of GMOs and their structural importance. Obviously the US government and the GMO cartel see Europe as a massive, relatively untapped market. But beyond this, they have a structural imperative to force all economies to come under GMO domination. They also loathe the current state of European agriculture as a real world alternative which has proven superior in every way to GMO domination. Europe proves every day that even given the parameters of industrial agriculture, GMOs are unnecessary and inferior. Europe proves every day that conventional agriculture performs better and less expensively without them. This is an ongoing embarrassment and affront to US corporatism. The US corporate system tries to deny this in the same way that during the Cold War the US and USSR would deny the very existence of ways in which they were outperformed by the other.
 
They would have destroyed these embarrassing facts if they could. Today the US government is trying to use the TTIP to wipe out the embarrassing fact of Europe’s superior agriculture and its far healthier food system. The EC bureaucracy is coordinated with this goal, since by its nature it sees things in terms of corporate one-world government rather than as a power struggle with the US-corporatist bloc.
 
The people of Europe have a more clear view of the real nature of the power struggle, although they too have been indoctrinated into the commodification/”growth” ideology to the point that they accept most of its premises even as they demonstrate great ambivalence in practice. This ideological indoctrination is why they tolerate the “European Union” in the first place. European national governments are ambivalent, feeling caught in the middle. Then there’s the EU’s position of institutionalized ambivalence, the European Council. This is the level of the system where governments function though bureaucratic fiat, but can still feel political pressure from the people. Meanwhile the European Parliament is the EU version of a “representative” assembly, primarily a powerless facade.
 
We have a good current case study with the application for cultivation of DuPont’s 1507 stacked maize variety. The people of Europe overwhelmingly reject it. The European Parliament voted it down. The Council just voted it down, albeit with many abstentions by both pro-GM and ostensibly anti-GM governments. These abstentions at the level of representatives of national governments, meant to shield those governments from political backlash while helping to give the EC bureaucracy cover if it unilaterally decides to approve the application, exemplify the ambivalence over the whole EC economic coordination project.
 
No one outside the bureaucrats and the corporations really likes the EU concept, and proposed compacts like the TTIP drive this ambivalence to extremes. That’s why the EC feels the need to take time out to “consult” the people on the “investor rights” provision, and why the compact is slated to include a “regulatory coherence” provision meant to postpone the most inflammatory detailed policy-making till after the “agreement” is concluded. I’ll be writing more about these shortly.
 
So there’s some notes on what’s going on with TTIP/TAFTA, globalization, and the GMO regime.

 
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January 29, 2014

Corporations Striking Back Against Democracy in Hawaii

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Anti-democracy forces are mustering all their legal weapons against Hawaii’s recently enacted county-level pesticide and GMO restrictions. These new laws, modest and inadequate as they are, are still too democratic for the poison corporations.
 
The new offensive has two prongs so far. The corporations have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that regional democracy, in the form of county-level legislation, is illicit according to federal and state law and the constitution.
 
Meanwhile there’s an attempt in the state legislature to pass a so-called “Right to Farm” law. This kind of law is really a pro-corporate scam. These laws claim to want to protect local farmers from onerous legislation, but are really meant to prevent communities from legally protecting themselves from corporate invasions, such as the pesticide test plantations which have turned Kauai into one big poison gas zone. For now, the bill may end up dying in the state House.
 
Anyone who really wants to help local agriculture would want to pass legislation strengthening communities against alien corporations. Most “Right to Farm” laws are meant to do the opposite, aggravating corporate prerogatives in order to override democracy. (Meanwhile such laws seldom do much to protect real farmers against truly onerous regulations. Often they explicitly exempt real farmers from protection.)
 
Philosophically/ideologically, we need to get our minds straight. We must recognize that agriculture is naturally local/regional, that commodification/corporatization of it is illegitimate, and that corporate agriculture is necessarily irrational and destructive. Two conclusions which follow from its illegitimacy are that no large-scale central government has any legitimacy to “regulate” agriculture or food, and that no corporation can hold a patent on any seed or plant, nor can government issue such a patent. The “supremacy clause” is illegitimate, as is the “commerce clause” as interpreted by the corporate courts. Examples of its necessary destuctiveness include the way centralized, commodified agriculture automatically relies on ever-escalating deployment of poison, and automatically degrades the soil and devastates the environment.
 
We must recognize that the corporate state is a monolith, with concentrated power itself constituting tyranny. Any nominal division of “public” government from “private” corporations is a meaningless, false, misdirectional distinction. Corporations are extensions of government, the Fourth Branch in US constitutional parlance. We must completely, non-negotiably reject the legitimacy of corporations and their prerogatives, and implicitly draw all conclusions which follow. There’s no such thing as corporate “rights”, corporations have no right to exist at all, and we the people would be much better off in every way if corporations were abolished completely.
 
Until we build this ideological discipline and refuse to be diverted from its full logic, we’ll remain confused and without self-assurance, and our actions will remain incoherent and non-cumulative. Our minds will remain the most potent weapons in the hands of the oppressor, as Biko put it.

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January 15, 2014

An Abolitionist Future

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As I predicted a few weeks ago, the “supreme court” has now refused to accept an appeal from the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association of its suit against Monsanto seeking protection against the company’s litigation persecution of farmers, and the invalidation of its seed patents. There was no reason for the court to revisit the matter, since the appeals court decision largely upheld the legal status quo. Meanwhile the SCOTUS last year handed down a rousing 9-0 pro-Monsanto smackdown. I’ll wager the supreme corporatist court along with Monsanto are content with this status quo. For the court to take another Monsanto case could hardly add anything to Monsanto’s legal impregnability, but would only run the risk of generating more bad political publicity.
 
(The appeals decision last June did achieve two possibly worthwhile things: 1. The court acknowledged that genetic contamination of non-GM crops by GM crops is inevitable. (The notion that this contamination is rare or even doesn’t happen at all is still a standard lie of the pro-GM hacks, and in their actions government regulators still try to pretend it’s not happening.) 2. Monsanto felt constrained to issue a statement that it has not in the past and will never sue farmers for collateral contamination. At the time I considered this to be worthless, since it was a lie in describing the past, and therefore sounded like nothing but empty words which left the way open for the continuation of the same practice. But I suppose at least at the trial court level it could be of some use, if anyone ever tries legally to resist. At any rate, as a political statement it now holds. So when Monsanto continues to sue the victims of its trespass and property destruction, we’ll have their own formal promise to hold against them. Perhaps that will be of some use politically.)
 
So we have it confirmed again that the people shall never get justice through the courts, just as we never shall through any other system channel. So where shall we find it, and how? 
 
We won’t do it as we are, and we won’t do it by doing things the way we’ve been doing them. We the people have become atomized and have long been mired in a stupid, depraved inertia. That’s why by now I regard it as axiomatic that those who are still “consumers” will never rouse themselves to undertake even the most modest structural changes. (To believe in the sufficiency of voting is part of consumerism.)
 
Therefore, I don’t see strategy in terms of trying to build a mass movement right off the bat, let alone a political party to run political candidates. That kind of laziness and impatience, the demand for instant gratification, so typical not just of “progressives” but even of many who fancy themselves radicals, is part of the same consumerist pathology.
 
For now we need to start an organization with those people who care deeply, want to fight, and are willing to commit to disciplined reporting, analytical, and publicity work, plus whatever activism the members wish to undertake. Even if it’s just a few people at first, once that nucleus exists, it’ll be a constant beacon, and a constant example for others to form similar organizations.
 
Eventually the thing will cohere as a real movement, a presence in the public consciousness, and as it grows it’ll be able to take on more tasks, more aggressively. At some point, once it has a firm and disciplined enough movement culture, it might be able to organize politically. It can seek to elect monkeywrenchers. (Another current pathology shared even by radicals is that an “alternative” party can seek to elect officials who could then enact good policy. But it should be obvious by now that’s impossible. On the other hand, it could be possible for legislators from an anti-corporatist party to help organize ad hoc coalitions to defeat BAD bills (i.e., all of them) and enforce gridlock. This could even help break up the two party system. The only expedient goal for electoralism is to elect cadres who act as obstructionists from within to help the movement whose real action is outside that system.)  
 
At that point it can start preparing to become a mass organization, as the crises get worse, and as nothing works anymore, and the people are ready to try anything. At that point abolitionism could present itself as the key to breaking all logjams, unplugging all bottlenecks.
 
I’m working on GMOs and corporate agriculture. We need abolition organizations here most of all. But the same principles apply to every other sector. We’ll know the real actionists in accord with how they accept and apply those principles. But it seems to me that everything else has been proven not to work under these circumstances.

 
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January 13, 2014

Climate Change, “Green Capitalism”, and Abolitionism

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It’s long been obvious to me that Western governments will never mitigate one iota of GHG emissions, nor will global corporatism as a whole. They’re going to burn every BTU worth of fossil fuel they can extract. That’s a done deal. Nor is anyone within the system interested in any kind of adaptation. For both mitigation and adaptation, all we have are scams. As with everything else, these are most pronounced in the agricultural sector.
 
That stands to reason. Taken as a whole industrial agriculture is the worst driver of climate change, since it’s the #1 GHG emitter and the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
That’s why the one and only answer, here as with every other issue, for both mitigation and adaptation, is to abolish corporate agriculture and transform to agroecology on a food sovereignty basis. This is what’s necessary, and only this will be sufficient. Strategy and tactics have to be geared to meet this objective, with no other prejudice. Everything else is a fraud. This piece gives a good overview of the “green capitalism” scam. It’s hard to believe anyone was ever naive enough to think capitalism, which must continue to expand, violate, and subjugate in order to exist, could ever be reconciled with environmentalism. On the contrary, all this was an earlier version of what with GMOs is called the “coexistence” scam.
 
The Truthout piece is good in skewering all these frauds. As for its prescriptions, it’s not wrong, but it’s still mired in the whole “socialism vs. capitalism” ideological morass, not to mention that it has a scarcity-based mentality and rhetoric. None of that’s going to fly. People are sick of obsolete ideology, and to tell people that we face scarcity is likely to make them more conservative. By “conservative” I’m referring to temperament and unwillingness to rock the boat. That’s why GMO labeling campaigns fail.
 
But the fact is that this is a world of abundance, and we can have broad-based, democratic abundance if we break the corporate stranglehold. I would like to recast all conceptions of scarcity, even the ones which are actually physically based, as political bottlenecks caused by corporatism. It’s certainly true that corporations directly cause or badly aggravate every problem humanity faces. Which leads to the political program: A movement dedicated to abolishing corporations and corporatism. It has a clear goal, rather than the intentional vagueness of past ideologies, and I think it offers lots of opportunities to drive political wedges, to slash through all the obsolete, by now tribal dichotomies which no longer reflect any kind of reality, but are on the contrary a misdirection and escape from reality - “left vs. right”, “liberal vs. conservative”, “Republican vs. Democrat”, etc.
 
As for the measly notion of carbon taxes, command-and-control, etc., there’s no chance of mustering anyone to fight for that. It’s too picayune a goal, and yet to win a such a temporary victory would take just as hard a fight as to wipe out the enemy once and for all. That goal’s not going to stir the soul, fire the imagination, set people in motion driven by an inner flame. But a movement which sets great goals could possibly do this.

 
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January 11, 2014

Syngenta, DuPont, Monsanto Agree: GM Isn’t Needed and Doesn’t Work For Drought Resistance

Filed under: Corporatism, Food and Farms, Mainstream Media — Tags: , — Russ @ 3:08 am

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The notion of “drought-resistant GMOs” is one of the most prevalent PR scams found in pro-GMO propaganda. Along with similar hoaxes like golden rice and the GM Kenyan sweet potato, the purpose of the drought-resistant GMO trope is to misdirect attention from the fact that GMOs were created for no reason other than to sell poison. The two kinds of GMOs which actually exist on a practical level are those tolerant of herbicides, and those which generate their own Bt insecticidal poison in every plant cell.
 
Drought-resistance, on the other hand, along with traits like pest and disease resistance, salt tolerance, improved nutrition, and improved nitrogen uptake, is solely the province of non-GM conventional breeding. This breeding, like any other, builds upon the accumulated work of thousands of years of farmer breeding, a collective human heritage. This paradigm was reinforced in the 20th century, as all significant modern crop breeding was done using public money. So anything today’s corporations do with this heritage is at best a miniscule contribution to a monumental and ongoing collective human project. That’s part of the reason it’s morally and rationally impossible for seed patents to have any legitimacy. At best modern breeding is a man standing on the shoulder of a giant. (Isaac Newton wasn’t known for his humility, yet even he freely conceded this fact.) This “at best” is 100% within the realm of non-GM conventional breeding. A “drought-resistant” GMO, on the other hand, is nothing but a drought-resistant conventional variety which has one or more of the poison-enabling transgenes inserted. Thus we have the conventionally drought-resistant variety with an added Roundup Ready and/or Bt trait extraneously added. This is then fraudulently called a “drought-resistant GMO.” 
 
The GMO cartel itself acknowledges this, and specifically that drought-resistant maize is a non-GM achievement. Thus Syngenta’s Agrisure Artesian drought-resistant maize was developed using conventional breeding, including marker-assisted selection which uses the most modern technology to more easily identify genetic traits, but has nothing to do with genetic modification. Pioneer and Monsanto’s varieties are similarly 100% conventional.
 
Yet Syngenta freely admitted that the only reason it worked on the pre-existing drought resistance public heritage was to add poison-producing and poison-tolerance transgenes to the final patented product.
 
Once again we see an example of how humanity could accomplish any necessary agricultural task, such as breeding better drought-resistant varieties, far less expensively and without letting ourselves be hijacked by the poison purveyors, without continuing to have our soil, water, and bodies poisoned by this criminal system, if we’d merely retake control of our seed commons and do the work ourselves.
 
This message is being reinforced today, as African breeders are releasing ten conventionally bred drought-resistant maize varieties. These too have nothing to do with genetic engineering, but are slated to be engineered with poison transgenes to turn them into patented products. But their conventional existence is proof that Monsanto/US government front groups like the AATF (African Agricultural Technology Foundation), Bill Gates’s AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) and WEMA (Water Efficient Maize for Africa) all lie when they claim GMOs are necessary to provide African farmers with drought-resistant maize. GMFreeze has several more links to information on non-GM drought resistance.
 
A corporate cadre is quoted in the Syngenta piece saying these poisons are necessary. This is a lie. Until the early 90s maize was grown using vastly less agricultural poisons, a practice which was changed from above when the US government committed itself to serving as Monsanto’s corporate welfare bagman, publicist, and thug, all toward the goal of tremendously increasing the production and use of agricultural poisons, all toward the goal of escalating corporate profits and control.
 
Meanwhile agroecology is unsurpassed in its ability to grow crops without the use of poison, through a combination of conventional breeding and naturally harmonized pest and disease management practices. Its capacity is unlimited. Industrial ag, on the other hand, is unsustainable in every way, including its myopic, toxic, designed-to-fail pest and weed suppression-oriented GMOs. The pests and weeds are already winning, and will inevitably win completely.
 
Therefore, if we need drought resistance in our crops, we won’t find it through GMOs, but only through conventional breeding. And if the goal is for these crops to be sustainably grown, we’ll never attain that through poison-oriented false crops, but only through the true crops of agroecological breeding and pest management.
 
Thus we see how, from every point of view, GMOs are at best a worthless and counterproductive money pit, while agroecology is the vastly better, vastly less expensive solution. That’s in addition to its infinite superiority over GMOs where it comes to human and environmental health, genetic contamination, and socioeconomic effects. 
 

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January 10, 2014

Malvinas Poison Factory Halted

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Great news from Argentina. The construction of the Monsanto poison factory at Malvinas has been temporarily halted by the combination of a physical blockade at the construction site and legal action. The Chamber of Labor just issued an injunction ordering construction to halt until the required environmental impact statement is completed. It also recommended that a referendum be held among the people of the region. Previous polls have indicated that most of the people who would have to live in the vicinity of the factory oppose it. These, of course, are the only real, legitimate stakeholders where it comes to approving such a project, while no one who would not want to live next door to it has any right to support it. Hypocrites have no rights. 
 
The blockade has been in place for nearly four months. It has withstood threats and violent assaults from police and goons. Activist Sofia Gatica received death threats and was beaten up by thugs. But none of this diminished the resolve of the people to prevent this invasion and toxification of their land and homes.
 
The Malvinas plant is slated to produce seeds which will endemically express their own Bt poison and will be coated with multiple neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides. So it’ll be a veritable chemical weapons factory, with a constant influx of poison deliveries and a constant production of toxic waste, in addition to the inevitable spills and wind drift of poison dust and gas. Anyone who has any doubt about the likely safety procedures at the plant need only consult the record on how meticulous about safety and drift the glyphosate sprayers have been on the surrounding soy plantations, and what the result has been.
 
While the future is uncertain, the more we can slow down the onslaught, the better a chance we have of halting it completely and causing it to collapse. That’s what this exercise in democracy and direct action is doing so far at Malvinas. No matter what lawyers argued in court, the factory would already be underway to the point of being an accomplished fact if the people hadn’t physically stopped it. It’s a lesson for all of us, that legal action by itself accomplishes little or nothing, but must accompany direct action, wherever this is possible at all. By contrast, in the West we tend to complain and sometimes sue while the physical crime proceeds unhindered. But as a form of possession, physical facts (on the pro-corporate side) are also nine-tenths of the law.
 
These protestors understand this well. They vow that they’ll continue to maintain the blockade until the threat of the poison factory is removed once and for all. The courage, fortitude, and persistence of the blockaders sets an example for us all.

 
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January 8, 2014

New York Times Compendium of Lies is a Prime Exercise in Streicherism

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The New York Times has always been one of the most ardently pro-GMO publications. This is part of the NYT’s role in setting the standard for the corporate media, where it comes to the major oligopoly sectors, the police state, the permanent war, and every other aspect of corporate tyranny.
 
This past Sunday’s NYT/Monsanto infomercial [1; I'm putting all the links at the bottom because there's so many and the WordPress posting program has gone screwy, making insertion a difficult process] may be the single worst corporate media hack job I’ve ever seen, which is saying alot. It’s a kind of mainstream media coming-out party for every canned lie of commission and omission which has been worming its way from the Monsanto blogs to the mainstream. While pro-GMO puff pieces are nothing new in the NYT or the corporate media as a whole, I’m not aware of such a complete packaging of flat-out lies so prominently featured on the front page of the “paper of record”.
 
This record will be one for the New Nuremburg indictments, if humanity can ever see its way to victory over this most insidious and comprehensive evil it has ever confronted.
 
*The literary conceit of the piece is a standard of GMO propaganda – the former GMO opponent who has now seen the light. For years the PR machine has trotted out several such hacks, such as Patrick Moore who was allegedly an environmentalist back in the 60s. Starting a year ago the GM cartel launched a media offensive centered on Mark Lynas, a long-time ideological adventurer turned mercenary who poses as having been a “founder” of the anti-GMO movement, although he was never involved with any movement at all. In this piece the NYT hack presents a Hawaiian politician as the latest convert to the GMO gospel.
 
One wonders what, other than a payoff, could have changed his mind, since the piece presents zero evidence for why anyone should. On the contrary, it does nothing but spew premeditated lies.
 
*Without naming the Seralini study, probably because the scribbler doesn’t want people looking it up, the piece refers to it as having been “thoroughly debunked”. In truth, the Seralini study has withstood an unprecedented campaign of media lies, sophistries, and the personal slander of its authors, and its results stand as constituting the best study we have on the effects of GMOs and Roundup [2]. Check that link for a rundown on the study’s findings and how it was superior in every way to every Monsanto study which preceded it.
 
The journal, “Food and Chemical Toxicology”, retracted the study after coming under immense pressure from the cartel for over a year, including being forced to accept a Monsanto cadre onto its editorial board [3]. It was only then that Monsanto was able to work from within to cause the journal to retract the study. The retraction was done in defiance of Committee on Publication Ethics (of which FCT is a member) protocols. It was a blatant case of ideological censorship of science.
 
The NYT has now made its stand clearly on the side of ideology and censorship, and against science.
 
*This is confirmed in the very next paragraph, which repeats the debunked canned lie, that there’s a “scientific consensus” in support of GMO safety. This is self-evidently false [4], as is proven by the recent statement by the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), “There Is No Consensus on GMO Safety” [5], which has been signed by hundreds of scientists.
 
The NYT is aware of this statement, and is aware of the fact that there’s never been anything approaching such a “consensus”, but has chosen brazenly to repeat this canned lie.
 
There is in fact a consensus among independent scientists that GMOs are not known to be safe [6], that there are reasons for concern and substantial evidence to back up those concerns, and that long-term rigorous safety testing should be done prior to the commercialization of GMOs.
 
Meanwhile, no scientists support GMOs, only mercenary technicians paid by industry. The piece later offers examples of alleged “independent” support for GMOs, but its examples are all pillars of the system.
 
It starts with the standard NYT lie and political misdirection which tries to separate government from corporations and to oppose them to one another. But the corporate state is a monolith, and the job of government regulators is to support the corporate imperative while putting their fraudulent seal of “safety” approval upon its products. The same is true of the WHO (which adopted industry-written standards for allergenic testing of GMOs) and corporatized professional associations like the National Academy of Sciences. Meanwhile, when the leadership of the American Association for the Advancement of Science unilaterally issued a statement opposing GMO labeling, there was a veritable revolt among the rank and file publicly denouncing the statement and declaring that the leadership (including several industry-paid mercenaries) didn’t speak for them [7].
 
This is a common pattern. The FDA, the USDA, the UK Food Standards Agency, the AMA, the British Medical Association, the Royal Society of Canada, are just a few examples of government and professional groups where political appointees and corrupt mercenaries among the leadership promoted an anti-scientific pro-GMO line over the objections of large numbers of the working scientists among the rank and file.
 
(I remember how during the Bush years the NYT and others were sometimes willing to discuss this phenomenon where it came to environmental and other kinds of regulatory agencies. But even then it was verboten to investigate the anti-scientific rubber-stamp corruption and collaboration of regulatory agencies with the GMO cartel.) 
 
*Having opened up with those lies, the piece proceeds with the fraudulent trope that “scientists” are for GMOs, while consistently depicting anyone opposed to GMOs or corporate agriculture as such in an infantile, emotional way. This too turns the truth upside down, as it’s the GMO flacks who are consistently shrill and emotional in attacking anyone who questions GMOs in the most scabrous personal terms. This is because GMO proponents in fact have no good arguments or evidence on their side, and could never hope to win a rational debate. They have literally zero science in accord with their advocacy. On the contrary, from day one the GMO assault has relied on nothing but ideological dogma (“substantial equivalence”), junk science (one gene = one trait, to mention just one from the long list of pseudo-scientific lies), Big Lies (“feed the world”), fraudulent feeding tests (testing only industry parameters like quick weight gain, never safety issues, intentionally of too short a duration, using bogus reference groups to generate noise, etc.) corporate welfare, monopoly muscle, and thuggery.
 
*Speaking of Big Lies, the piece alludes to the Big Lie that GMOs are needed to Feed the World. “At stake is how to grow food most efficiently, at a time when a warming world and a growing population make that goal all the more urgent.”
 
Based on that, you might think there would follow a pro- and con- of corporate agriculture vs. agroecology. But no, the piece assumes corporate ag as normative throughout, and never subjects GMOs to a criticism nor even mentions the alternative.
 
For good reason – corporate ag and GMOs are already a proven failure, while the evidence is overwhelming that agroecology produces far more and better food than industrial ag [8], even now in the period of cheap fossil fuels. Since cheap fossil fuels, along with aquifer water and industrially mined phosphorus, are finite, industrial ag is unsustainable. Once one or more of these inputs upon which industrial ag is dependent becomes economically or physically impossible, industrial ag will become impossible.
 
Corporate agriculture, meanwhile, has already proven that it cannot [9] and does not want to “feed the world” [10]. Corporations have been fully in charge of globalized food production and distribution for over fifty years now. Right now the earth and farmers produce enough food for ten billion people, yet out of 6.5 billion on earth two billion suffer from hunger, malnutrition, or other diseases related to poor diets.
 
To any honest, rational person this proves that corporations cannot “feed the world”, and that we need a completely different mode of production and distribution. But physical production with agroecology or non-GMO conventional agriculture is not a problem. GMOs are completely unnecessary to increase production in the first place, and in the second place are actually agriculturally inferior and yield less than non-GM conventional equivalents [11].
 
Agroecology offers a vibrant and plentiful way forward for agriculture, democracy, and humanity. But it can’t be enclosed and dominated by corporatism [12]. That’s precisely why the NYT and the rest of the corporate media suppress knowledge about it. According to a new analysis of corporate media pro-GMO propaganda [13], the magisterial 2008 report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science, Technology, and Knowledge for Development (IAASTD) [14] which strongly finds for agroecology and against GMOs has never been mentioned in NYT “news” coverage. This constitutes a systematic suppression of the truth on the part of the NYT. The blackout continues in this hack piece.
 
*Several times the author and her fellow hacks she quotes in the piece try to draw a parallel between climate change denial and opposition to GMOs. But as always the truth is the opposite. It’s the proponents who are climate change deniers or derelicts, since industrial agriculture is the most egregious emitter of greenhouse gases and destroyer of carbon sinks. If we really care about climate change and really want to do something about it, our only option is to fight to abolish industrial ag and replace it with a complete transformation to agroecology on a food sovereignty basis, and along the way to do all we can to preserve the great variety of regionally/climatically adapted seed varieties which will be necessary for agriculture to adapt. There’s no other meaningful course of action. GMOs, of course, comprise a doubling down on industrial ag, and therefore on making the effects of climate change the worst they can possibly be. The GMO cartel is also explicit that its goal is to eradicate seed diversity and replace it with a globally standardized set of a handful of maladaptive, biologically denuded proprietary varieties geared to commodity monocropping, which are guaranteed to fail, and already are failing [15].
 
It’s the opposition to GMOs which is on the side of climate science, while the proponents are on the pro-corporate side of the deniers. But a far more perfect parallel is with the history of tobacco science and anti-science. Big Tobacco engaged in the exact same propaganda and obfuscation program, enlisted the same pseudo-scientific mercenaries, told the same kinds of lies, shouted down the science in the same way, got the same kind of support from regulators and media, and was able to continue perpetrating mass murder.
 
We GMO abolitionists are in the same scientific, moral, and historical position as the early activists of the anti-tobacco movement.
 
I’ll add that GMO proponents are evolution deniers, since it’s obvious from Evolution 101 that superweeds and superbugs will develop resistance to herbicides and endemic crop poisons. They’ve been doing so, and are doing so at an accelerating rate. GMOs also escalate the already dire crisis of microbial antibiotic resistance driven by promiscuous subtherapeutic use on factory farms. GMOs are engineered to include an antibiotic resistance marker (ARM) by which the cultured cells which took up the transgene are identified. (After the insertion, the whole batch is drenched with antibiotics, and only the cells which incorporated the transgene including the ARM aren’t killed.) So GMO DNA spreads antibiotic resistance throughout the microbial communities of the soil, our mouths, our digestive tracts. This is a pending public health catastrophe. While in a just universe only GMO and CAFO supporters would sicken and die from antibiotic resistant microbes, unfortunately human beings are also vulnerable. 
 
*The piece keeps engaging in standard NYT political misdirection, representing agricultural and food issues as “liberal vs. conservative” or “left vs. right”. In truth GMOs and the wholesale poisoning of our food may be the best example of the pure divide of humanity vs. corporatism which slices through all these obsolete identifiers. But a job of the corporate media is to try to keep people ignorant and pigeonholed into these hermetic, unreal categories.
 
The struggle is also that of science vs. anti-science. How does science work where it comes to a dubious technology like GMOs? It must begin with the precautionary principle. This means it must begin with some basic questions.
 
1. Do we need this? Agricultural science has already given a clear answer: No. Agroecology and non-GM conventional agriculture are both superior to GMOs in every way.
 
2. Are there alternatives? The science is clear: Yes. Again, agroecology and non-GM conventional agriculture are both superior to GMOs in every way where it comes to productivity. As for the distribution of food, we already know that corporate agriculture is a failure. So reason and the scientific mindset are clear that the distribution system has to be changed. We know that Food Sovereignty [16], food production and distribution based on economic and political democracy, distributes far more food on a fair basis to everyone. It’s a clear alternative to corporatism, and the only alternative to corporate tyranny and indenture.
 
3. Is it safe? Science says GMOs have to be subjected to mandatory rigorous long-term safety testing. The NYT piece quotes a hack who tells the lie that such testing has been done.
 
But the fact is that GMOs were first legalized under the “substantial equivalence” ideological dogma, over the vehement objections of FDA scientists who pointed out that it was a lie. But not only was no long-term safety testing EVER done or required by any government, but this dogma was invented to provide an ideological justification for why this testing allegedly wasn’t necessary.
 
The truth is the exact opposite. Science has decided strongly against GMOs.
 
-All independent studies, as well as most of the rigged industry tests, have found evidence of toxicity. Often they’ve found evidence that GMOs cause cancer as well.
 
-The hacks have no rebuttal, no facts, no arguments. They’ve never been able to do anything but try to shut down the science, from secrecy and censorship of their own results, to withholding research materials from independent researchers, to demonizing the independent science which is done.
 
-Meanwhile Monsanto implicitly concedes the validity of the Seralini study, the Puzstai study, and the rest of the many studies which found strong evidence of heath dangers, since it has always refused to spend the pennies it would cost to replicate those studies.
 
But that’s how science works. If you think a study was badly done, you redo it, correcting only the parts of the methodology you find faulty, and see if you get a different result. That’s all Seralini did – he redid Monsanto’s own studies, changing only their methodological frauds, but otherwise using the same kind of rat, the same sample sizes, etc.
 
The fact that Monsanto does not do the same is a concession on Monsanto’s part.
 
*The examples of “studies” which gave GMOs a green light are frauds. An EU “comprehensive review”, and a list of animal tests maintained by the cartel site “Biofortified” (the piece lies about its independence), are two of several reviews which merely list a bunch of rigged industry tests. There are no legitimate safety studies on these lists. They’re mostly feeding trials which were set up to measure only industry parameters (quick weight gain, conversion of macronutrients, and similar metrics which have zero to do with safety in the human diet), were too short to give a meaningful measure of human toxicity and other health effects (usually 90 days with rats, a duration calibrated to ensure chronic health effects wouldn’t become clear; that’s why tests of such duration are called “subchronic”), and were unscientifically designed to include bogus “reference” groups having nothing to do with the ostensible object of the study, but designed to generate noise and drown out signal.
 
Earth Open Source was able to identify only three safety tests in the entire report [17]. These were too short but at least measured some health parameters. These three all found evidence of toxicity and altered composition and were ambivalent in their conclusions.
 
Even in spite of all these intentional barriers, these industry tests nevertheless often found evidence of toxicity. The Seralini experiment was nothing more or less than a replication of several of the most prominent of these bogus tests which still found evidence of toxicity, changing only the duration (from the unscientific 90 days to the scientific 2 years) and measuring toxicity parameters so that these effects could be scientifically measured rather than merely noted as in the industry tests.
 
The funniest thing about the EU report is that even though it was designed to be pro-GMO, its result was so tepid that the hacks haven’t been inclined to cite the report itself, but instead always cite a press release written about it by the pro-GM UKFSA which depicts the report in much stronger terms than the what the report actually says. So their own propaganda report was too weak for them.
 
It’s no surprise. The most amazing thing about the pro-GM propaganda machine is that for all the money and power behind it, and for all the noise and emotionality it spews, its lies are so flimsy, its arguments so transparently false. 
 
*One interesting detail is the citation of an earlier (2012) hack piece at NPR [18]. Here we see an example of the “liberal media” equivalent of similar processes by which canned lies percolate up through the “right-wing” media [19]. The canned lies start with the cartel itself and its affiliated blogs and listservs like Biofortified and AgBioWorld. From there they worm their way along the media food chain, reach a place like NPR, Mother Jones [20], or the Huffington Post [21], and from there can leap to the NYT front page.
 
(But there’s plenty of cross-pollination between “liberal” and “conservative” media channels. See this Politico piece [22] for an example of how the pro-industry code word “patchwork” has migrated over the years from Frank Luntz memos to become a standard term of mainstream media reportage.)
 
*The piece regurgitates the always-confused lie about the ongoing India cotton farmer genocide. In this case the intrepid politician’s quote contradicts the scribbler’s paraphrase of a tendentious “Nature” article. The former blames the mass suicides on debt, while the latter claims farmers are more profitable than before. (Even the pro-GM Indian government is unable to keep that lie straight. [23]) If they’re more profitable, by which we’re supposed to understand they’re doing better financially, then how can they be driven by debt to suicide?
 
Meanwhile the quote is absurd. It’s the GMO treadmill which aggravated the pre-existing industrial ag indenture treadmill. GMOs escalated the existing pathology where farmers were induced by government lies and threats to incur debt to shackle themselves to expensive inputs. Once you’re in the trap, it’s almost impossible to get out, which is why over 300,000 have been driven by their despair to kill themselves, often by drinking their own pesticides, a death-by-poison symbolic of how Bt cotton doesn’t even work at the one and only thing it was supposed to do, kill insect pests and so obviate the need to purchase additional insecticides. This extra input the farmers were promised they’d never have to buy, along with the soaring price of GMO seeds and artificial irrigation the crops require but which the farmers weren’t originally told about, is what has driven the debt catastrophe and the suicide wave it’s provoked. This is why it’s not just a mass suicide but the genocide of an economically superflous group. Monsanto and the Indian government want to clear the land for large-scale industrial farms, Stalin-fashion.
 
But none of this will appear in the NYT, or even a hint of understanding what sharecropping is. That’s because here as everywhere else the NYT’s job is to suppress the truth and replace it with lies and a void of forgetting.
 
*The piece has a sequence where its bumbling politician protagonist, along with the reader, is tutored by a cadre from an unidentified “national agriculture research center”. This “tutorial” is really a compendium of elementary falsehoods about genetic engineering and contamination.
 
Later the scribbler sniffs at “Jeffrey Smith, a self-styled expert on GMOs with no scientific credentials”. The NYT hack does not explain exactly what credential a molecular biologist like Jon Suzuki (the aforementioned “tutor”) has to speak about agriculture, or a plant technician like Pam Ronald (the charlatan whose own studies are being retracted left and right for actual incompetence and misconduct [24]) has to speak about human toxicity and carcinogenicity. But this kind of double standard is the regular journalistic standard at the New York Times. Anyone who speaks for concentrated power is considered an expert by definition, while anyone who dissents from corporatism is considered an outlaw. Thus other NYT pieces have depicted John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Rajiv Shad, Michael Taylor, and other power cadres with zero technical credentials whatsoever as experts on GMOs.
 
*There’s plenty of other distortions and lies in the piece. This hatchet job on science, reason, morality, and simple truth and human decency is perhaps the worst which has ever appeared so prominently in the corporate media, which is saying alot.
 
I cited Julius Streicher in my title, not as just some off-the-cuff Nazi allusion, but to make a specific comparison. The Nuremburg tribunal held Streicher accountable for his journalistic activities on behalf of the Nazi conspiracy against the peace and to commit crimes against humanity [25]. Those are the two counts on which he was indicted. He was convicted of committing crimes against humanity and was hanged. If Goebbels had survived to be put on trial, he would’ve been convicted and hanged in the exact same way.
 
I point this out to place the kind of media propaganda campaign we’re seeing today on Monsanto’s behalf in historical and moral perspective. These are two perspectives almost always morbidly lacking in today’s thought and discourse. But if humanity wants to survive, we’d better start thinking and talking about them.
 
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January 2, 2014

A GM Free Year Upcoming in Britain

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Corporatism, Food and Farms — Tags: — Russ @ 2:45 am

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According to GMFreeze, an excellent British research, publicity, and activist organization of the type we need in America, there will be no GMO field trials in the UK in 2014.
 
No GMOs are commercially cultivated in Britain, but in recent years there have been several field trials, of GM potatoes and most recently of wheat.
 
The press release repeats the same question citizens and farmers have been asking about the Rothamsted wheat trial since it was first announced two years ago: Since there’s zero demand or need for the product, why was the trial done at all? Especially given how it threatened to contaminate surrounding wheat crops. (I don’t know if anyone has tested for such contamination.)
 
They’re right that part of the point is simply to keep the conveyor belt of funding going. I’ll add what I said in my post on the direct action against the Wetteren field trial in Belgium - each high-profile trial, no matter how pointless in itself, is a propaganda exercise. It’s meant to continue to normalize the GMO ideology as such, and is also meant to continue to impress upon the people the sense of the alleged inevitability of GMO domination.
 
With field trials there’s usually the “positive” side of the propaganda – how great the product is, how it’s going to save the world, etc. But there’s always the negative side, meant to reinforce the sense that GMOs are omnipresent, unstoppable, and that there’s no alternative but to surrender to them. From that point of view, even if the potential trials are so pathetic that the positive propaganda would have a rough time, the system would want to keep up the negative propaganda pressure.
 
That’s the main reason today’s clear docket is encouraging. Given the money available, including vast amounts of corporate welfare, and the ardently pro-GM bias of the UK government, it should’ve been easy to keep the conveyor belt of trials going. Certainly, as the Rothamsted wheat trial proved, they don’t need a reason for the trial in order to get approval and public funding. The best explanation for why there’s no new trials set to go is that the GM product is so lousy, and they’re so out of ideas, that they couldn’t come up with something to trial which could meet even their own very low standards of practicality.
 
Whatever the reason, this is one good sign, and for one year there will be no field trials contaminating British crops and wild plants and wasting public money. It’s only a temporary respite, of course. But the harder the people fight, the harder it’ll be for the cartel and its flunkeys to keep the GMO assault going. We see from their inability to put on a show in the UK this year that, even where there’s no obstacle, they find it more and more difficult to accomplish anything. They’re not so tough. We can bring them down.

 
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