1. Did the colonists Ask the British to rescind the Intolerable Acts, lift the Boston Port closure, take back the Coercive Acts? No, it only took them a few years from the mid 1760s to early 70s to comprehend that Asking the British for Better Policy doesn’t work, so they stopped doing it. They knew the only options were servitude, or to get the British OUT.
2. Today we’ve had far more than a few years to comprehend the same fact, that Asking the British doesn’t work. (It’s a sad fact of history that no one learns lessons from history, but must learn the same lesson from experience, over and over. So be it – our own experiential evidence is conclusive.) We’ve had over a century of experience with the elemental viciousness of the corporate domination imperative, which is totalitarian in the most basic and literal sense of the term – the corporations will NEVER stop short of total enclosure and total domination. This was common sense from the beginning, and it’s been proven by the evidence. The evidence of our own lifetimes is the most decisive of all.
3. We know that Asking the British doesn’t work. Those who tout modern versions like “writing your congressman”, “petitioning your president”, and of course “voting” (I mean those who tout these as the only, or primary, courses of action*), we must classify as modern versions of loyalists. Corporate Loyalists. These include all system NGOs, liberals in general, and conservatives too.
4. GMO labeling, where it’s seen as the goal rather than a step toward the goal, toward the total abolition of GMOs, falls into this begging-for-Better-Policy category.
5. In response to the lousy campaign and stolen vote in California, and belated analysis of the inherent flaw of the Labeling idea (as the end goal), some people have moved on to calling for a ban on GMOs. This is a step forward, but is still mired in system consciousness. Even if a legalistic ban were possible (which it’s not, at the central or at any state level, not right now), it would still be operating within the same corporatized framework where Monsanto operates. By making a fetish of “the law” and considering it magically endowed with active power, it implicitly concedes the legitimacy of existing law (for example the very intellectual property regime which props up Monsanto) and the central government itself. But we must, as an element of our political education, reject all such alleged legitimacy, in principle.
Here’s some typical examples of how the law really works: CAFOs, fracking, and mountaintop removal mining are exempt from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. And of course the just-passed (by a bipartisan consensus, as all these examples of corporate lawlessness are held) Monsanto Rider to a typical corporate welfare law would exempt GMOs from all regulatory control or judicial review. That’s the way “the law” works. Remember that the next time you see anyone blabbering about “the law” and “petitions” and “voting”.
6. Food Sovereignty rejects the notion that an alien central government can ever play any legitimate or constructive role in food production and distribution. The sector is naturally local/regional. The only thing centralized hierarchy can do is use massive top-down power to force agriculture into the commodification strait-jacket. This command economy, and the massive corporate welfare and thug apparatus which props it up, is the basic activity of the US government. It will never do anything significant which runs counter to this corporate commodification imperative. Therefore, the people’s only constructive course of action is to build a grassroots political movement to meld with the Community Food sector which is already surging as a vibrant economic movement.
7. Therefore, the basic nature of the anti-GMO movement, as with the entire liberation movement, has to be direct action, self-management, civil disobedience – in our minds, in our words, and as much as possible in our actions.
8. That’s not to say legalistic actions, where immediately possible, aren’t worth doing. Any town council with the votes to ban GMOs, ban fracking, ban corporate personhood, declare local food sovereignty, should do so. But no such votes exist at the central government level. So those who propose a “ban” on GMOs are really proposing that we build a political campaign centered on this kind of legalistic advocacy (and without even building an underlying movement structure and culture first). This is as quixotic and utopian as an idea gets.
9. History and today’s evidence prove that nothing will work but to relocalize our economies and particularly our food; to build the consciousness of our economic need to do this; to build a cultural and intellectual movement around this new way of life; to build upon this a new democracy consciousness; throughout all these actions to learn from the enemy’s assaults upon us, the true nature of the corporate tyranny we struggle against; and from there to politically organize to resist, reject and abolish this enemy, through rejecting its legitimacy, refusing to cooperate with it, refusing to participate in its systems, and wherever possible to take local direct action against it. Combined, this movement can preserve itself through the trials ahead, maintain the health and happiness of its people, help bring down the corporate tyranny, and lead humanity through to a new freedom and prosperity.
10. As with every other anti-corporate struggle, the struggle vs. GMOs is an abolition movement.
[*The title of an upcoming food book by a leading system liberal: Eat,Drink,Vote. Yes, that sums up passive consumerism in its most profound form. A real citizen’s book, meanwhile, would be entitled: Eat, Drink, Grow, Organize, Fight. But the job of system reformists is to fence in dissent, keep it domesticated and system-coordinated, and fence out the real time-tested ideas of action.]