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December 18, 2012

We Need the Abolition of GMOs

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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.]

 
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December 13, 2012

The “Golden Rice” Fraud Continues: China Feeding Experiment

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Question: Who, by its action, shows more concern with being accountable to the people, the Chinese government or a typical corporatized US university, Tufts?
 
In August 2012 Greenpeace broke the story of a joint US-China human feeding experiment with GMOs conducted upon Chinese schoolchildren. The feeding experiment took place in 2008. A Tufts cadre smuggled “golden rice” into China (which has strict import restrictions for GMOs). This GM rice was then fed to schoolchildren in the Hunan province. Chinese technicians presented the parents with consent forms which concealed the fact that GMOs were to be used. They told them it would be normal rice.
 
When the crime was made public and the government launched an investigation, the lead Chinese experimenter tried to cover it all up. This didn’t work, and the government has now fired three upper-level technocrats who led the experiment. That’s impressive in this age of shameless, openly criminal hierarchy.
 
More typical is the reaction of Tufts University, which issued a bland statement, in an annoyed tone, dismissing the Chinese action and referring to its own “investigation”, which we can be sure will be swift, thorough, and seek truth and justice, and won’t be a whitewash at all. 
 
Anyone want to bet on what the consequences will be for the Tufts “professors” involved? Probably a bonus to compensate them for their hurt feelings, what with the nasty things the Chinese parents are saying about them.
 
[This isn’t meant to call the Chinese central government accountable. It’s no more accountable or legitimate than the US central government. “China” is a technical power concentration just as organically fake as “the United States”. Nevertheless, this instance demonstrates how, the rare times you can see any difference, it’s the US system which is the least accountable to the people and the most congenitally contemptuous of us.]
 
The purpose of the experiment, as with all system-funded GMO experiments, is to further the corporate imperative: Total economic and political domination, through total enclosure and control of all food.
 
The “golden rice” scam is part of the publicity wing of the onslaught. Golden rice is fraudulently called the answer to vitamin A deficiency in the diets of children in many parts of the non-industrialized world. Even the mainstream media pieces reporting on this non-consensual feeding experiment repeat the lie that golden rice is intended to do this and can do it. (The MSM pieces I saw were from Britain and China, none from the US.)
 
The facts are that golden rice has such a meager amount of vitamin A that you’d need “12 times the normal intake of 300 grams” a day to get nutritionally necessary amount. Meanwhile even this amount must be accompanied by the sufficient right kinds of fats and oils in the diet to digest it. This tends to be lacking in the overall diets of the people this rice is supposed to be fed to. So this alleged vitamin A source is also non-holistic with the diet of the people who would be eating it, and would for that reason be ineffective, even if it contained significant amounts of the vitamin, which it does not. African diets, for example, are not holistic with it. As for addressing famine (caused by corporatism itself), another alleged miracle of golden rice, by definition people who are starving won’t be consuming sufficient fats to properly digest rice, so it’s a fraud to give a hungry person rice and claim he’s getting the micronutrients from it.
 
Of course, “golden rice” is not in fact intended to supply anyone with sufficient dietary vitamin A. It’s intended to be a media ploy, and it’s been very successful at that. The GMO complex, as part of its “Feed the World” Big Lie, propagated the fraud that golden rice was an imminent miracle food. All around the world the corporate media took up and amplified the message: Golden Rice, and GMOs in general, were a wondrous boon to humanity. Picture if The Loch Ness chamber of commerce were to fabricate a press release declaring that there was documentary proof the monster is a dinosaur and that tourists from around the world should rush to Loch Ness to see it while they can, and the New York Times were to uncritically plaster this on the front page. That’s exactly what’s happened with “golden rice” and similar GMO publicity stunts. 
 
This kind of PR campaign has been necessary because the facts of GMOs are more prosaic and mercenary: There are only two “real” kinds of GMOs, those engineered to resist insects (almost all of them are modified to express the insecticide Bt, Bacillus thuringiensis, in their cells), and those for herbicide tolerance (HT; so far they’ve been engineered to resist glyphosate; but with the rise of glyphosate-resistant superweeds and subsequent collapse of glyphosate as an effective herbicide, there are new generations of HT varieties in the pipeline, resistant to ever more toxic herbicides – 2, 4-D, dicamba, etc.).
 
All other alleged GMO types are really conventional varieties with a particular trait, engineered to be Bt-expressing and/or HT. For example the USDA itself admits that the soon-to-be-commercialized “drought resistant” GM corn is really no more drought resistant than the conventional variety it pirated, but is merely this same variety engineered to be Roundup Ready.
 
That unattractive truth is the reason the GMO complex needs poster children which will allegedly “feed the world”, cure disease, serve as nutritional panaceas, etc. That these are all lies, that these varieties either never effectively exist in the first place (for example the Kenyan GM sweet potato), or are redundantly engineered versions of things that already conventionally exist (for example the allegedly cancer-fighting purple tomato), are irrelevant to the corporate media, which slavers over these stories. Even the rare MSM outlets which are usually skeptical of GMOs turn into Monsanto groupies where it comes to one of these stories.
 
These ploys are also Trojan horses. “Golden rice” is pushed by USAid and other corporate front organizations posing as “humanitarian”. In the guise of offering GMO-based “humanitarian aid” they try to get countries to lift import restrictions on GMOs. If this works they can then dump the “aid”, further ravaging the already-devastated indigenous food production of these economies (all hunger on Earth today is artificially caused by corporate globalization). Then the “humanitarian” GMOs will be followed through the protective door they kicked down by the regular onslaught of Bt and HT varieties, whose only purpose is commodification, enclosure, and enslavement.
 
Meanwhile, as always the true solution is ready at hand. Indigenous farmers can supply all the vitamin A any population needs with a regionally adapted diversity of green vegetables. But this would help keep communities intact, organic, and self-reliant. It would maintain community prosperity and happiness. It would decentralize power and freedom. It would hinder corporate hierarchy, enclosure, and tyranny. That’s why in the eyes of corporations, government, and media, it’s a non-solution.
 

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December 9, 2012

Movement Focus – Community Food

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I’ve made the strategic decision to focus, for however long the doldrum lasts, on the Community Food movement, “inducing” broader anti-corporate and Food Sovereignty ideas from that, rather than going into every situation calling for the immediate and full Food Sovereignty revolution. This movement has to be built, has to confederate, and has to directly fight the growing government/liberal attempt to repress it through the escalating “Food Safety” assault. (“Food Safety”, as I’ve written many times for years now, has the same character and serves the same purpose as the “War on Terror”. Indeed the two are increasingly intermingled, as in the way the Food Control Act provides for massive shifting over power over the food supply to DHS. More clear evidence for how the military-industrial complex is increasingly a Monsanto adjunct, just like the FDA and USDA already are. We see how liberal fascists are on board with the whole program.)
 
So the basic activity:
 
1. Build the Community Food movement, as a viable economic sector and a political/community manifestation.
 
2. Counterattack industrial ag and the “Food Safety” assault. I think the fights against food corporatism in general and GMOs in particular are not just true and necessary, but are good political wedges, ideological sweet spots. Everyone except the most dedicated liberals fears and loathes these things, even if they passively accept them because they currently see no alternative. Our job is to present the alternative.
 
3. Elaborate Food Sovereignty philosophy, but not as part of the primary publicity campaign (which must focus on community food, food relocalization). This part is for within the movement.
 
4. In the course of these build the movement framework so that when the terminal crash is triggered the movement will be ready to aggressively propagate a philosophical solution and course of action, and be ready organizationally to receive the disintegrating masses.
 
I want to create an Internet forum dedicated to this project. In the meantime I’ll do the best I can with this solo blog, but it’s not the right vehicle, and I can’t do all the jobs myself. (Especially since I’m going to try to become a “professional” farmer in 2013.)

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December 6, 2012

The Temporary Resumption of Petty Middle Class Faith

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1. Despite a brief surge of proto-revolutionary feeling in 2009-10, the “early adopters” have gone back to their idiocy. In spite of all they saw and all they supposedly learned, in the end they followed Bernanke, Geithner, and Obomney and learned to love and believe in the Bailout.
 
2. Meanwhile, in a spectacular example of cognitive dissonance and pseudo-religious fundamentalism, liberals have responded to the overwhelming evidence record by doubling down on their faith in the Obama cult. “I believe because it’s absurd.” They’ve also had second thoughts about their own dependency on organized crime. They still have their crumb for the moment. They have a cowardly, cringing mindset. Do they really want to gamble that crumb right now?
 
3. After a brief period of progress, truth-tellers like me are back in the position Hoffer described – “they won’t listen to him”.
 
4. Instead, as we see all over the blogosphere, presented with a clear structural critic and a troll, your aspiring do-gooder ignores the critic and tries to reason with the troll. Of course, this is ingrained in the do-gooder’s temperament. But for a little while there the do-gooders were starting to overcome that temperament. Now they’ve gratefully gone back to it. This is reinforced by how they’ve reaffirmed their psychological comfort in living off the fruits of crime.
 
5. This is part of why there’s no good Food Freedom discussions online. (Besides, the food movement never reached the consciousness of the anti-bank movement. Just like political blogs almost all suck, so food blogs almost all suck, while the only real action was at the econoblogs.)
 
6. For now it seems to me it’ll have more inflammatory than probative value to participate on sites like that. I’ll try to just read the posts but ignore the “discussions”. If I find this impossible, then I’ll drop those sites completely. I’ll continue looking for discussions, but be ready to abandon them as soon as I see how lame they are. For the time being a critic can’t, with any good return on investment, guide a basically conformist conversation onto a critical path.
 
7. So we have to head back to Geneva for now. The 1905 blossom has withered. It’s time to start over from the beginning and build, first a nucleus and then a movement, from scratch. My own blog is senescent. A blog’s not a great forum anyway. Just use the blog to advertise the forum. Start a real discussion, and moderate it just as relentlessly as these liberal petty bourgeois idiots do. (They’re especially idiots because, on account of their own SQ brainwashing, they don’t even realize their own aggressive ideology, nor how their selection of discussion emphasis comprises a vicious pro-system bias.)
 
8. It seems that philosophically it’s time for slow fermentation. We need to build the full basis for somnambulistic counterattack. We can start in the sweet spot, the good wedges of Community Food, anti-GMO and anti-corporatism, without primarily insisting on Food Sovereignty. (It’ll be better to do this where we can choose our own battlefield. It’s harder to stick with it at places where the liberal and petty bourgeois idiocy is jabbering right there in front of us.)
 
9. Part of this sweet spot is relentless counterattack on the government food police and how they’re preventing America’s economic resurgence. (But this too is for a core audience? In the period of system retrenchment, won’t most people including system NGO types disregard the real need for Food Relocalization? Their actions show that they do.) But every attack on the government has to include at least some anti-corporate element, and some teaching that government and corporation are the same thing, the same enemy.

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December 1, 2012

Is the Triumph of Food Sovereignty Inevitable?

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Let’s compare it to Marxism.
 
1. Marx saw industrialism as part of the normal development of history. (So he implicitly saw the modern level of energy consumption as permanent.) He thought it would naturally and inevitably generate a centralized industrial and finance structure and a physically centralized industrial proletariat. He also saw the evolution of democracy as a linear progress.
 
2. Marx thought the material conditions of capitalism would automatically generate proletarian consciousness, which would then drive the proletariat to abolish capitalism and establish communism. These developments would basically be stimulus-response. 
 
3. These ideas, which Marx saw as laws of history/nature, are summed up in the idea of historical materialism.
 
4. But things didn’t happen as Marx projected. Industrialism and finance physically and organizationally dispersed. I’ve previously made the point that corporatism has in a sense turned the tables of guerrilla warfare tactics. It’s corporate power which seems infinitely agile, concentrating at the enemy’s weak points and dispersing at any concentrated enemy attack. Meanwhile it’s the people, civil society, and democracy which have seemed lumbering, clumsy, off-balance, their own weight a weapon against them.
 
The industrial proletariat itself was also physically dispersed through globalization.
 
5. It turned out that the Western proletariat, to the extent it ever did concentrate, was pretty easily co-opted by the corporate system. Instead of naturally and spontaneously developing proletarian consciousness, it was co-opted and infused with petty bourgeois consciousness. The GI Bill, the subsidized car culture and mortgages which fostered suburbia, the “American Dream” and “Ownership Society” propaganda campaigns, all did their work very effectively.
 
So Marx’s forecast of this particular automatic development of consciousness was disproven. It turns out the proletariat was not automatically going to do that, and was able to be indoctrinated into a different mindset. (This is confirmation of some elements of Lenin’s organizational philosophy.)
 
6. Meanwhile capitalism itself didn’t develop in the way Marx projected. It never liquidated all feudal vestiges, but conserved most of them (really all but the nominal trappings of monarchy, aristocracy, etc.). It turns out that “pure” capitalism was never going to exist, but rather at most a feudal-capitalist hybrid.
 
7. This is because history was in fact more materialistic than Marx’s historical materialist idea. Unlike Marx, history always understood that fossil fuels are not infinite, that the modern era of extreme energy consumption is not normal or natural, but rather a unique, ahistorical blip. It understood that modern industrialism is also a unique and ephemeral circumstance. Therefore it understood that pre-oil modes of organization, what we in the West can loosely call “feudal”, were not being abolished but were merely being temporarily modified for the high-energy age. The “bourgeois revolution” was really a kind of scam, and all the commentators like Tocqueville who noted how much was conserved instead of thrown out were recognizing the basic truth of the development.
 
(In the preceding passage I was using “history” as a metaphor for the truly material, unconscious forces driving the developments. Even at their most insane men can’t act completely against nature, and the finitude of fossil fuels was a constant material fact, even during the glory days of extraction.)
 
8. It turns out that historical materialism itself, and the predictions Marx derived from it, were part of the “superstructure” and one step removed from the real materialism of energy consumption.
 
That’s why Marx’s inevitabilities turned out to be contingent at best, and mostly failed to come true. His physical inevitabilities were wrong, and his psychological inevitabilities failed to materialize. It turns out that within the modern framework economic democracy was not fated to develop the way Marx projected. Does this mean the democratic evolution is not linear, but cyclical, and just as it surged with fossil fuels, so it’s fated to subside with them? Or could the development still be linear, with the modern pseudo-democratic co-optation being a temporary obstacle? More on that below.
 
9. We’re left, first, with the real material inevitabilities. These are the facts of fossil fuel depletion, fossil water depletion, soil exhaustion, and the degradation/depletion of every other natural resource.
 
10. I’ll focus on industrial agriculture. It’s guaranteed to collapse on account of any of four causes – fossil fuel depletion, fossil water depletion, phosphorus depletion, soil exhaustion. (Which of these will be the proximate cause is a horse race.) It could also collapse even ahead of these because of the climate change it’s causing (industrial agriculture is the #1 greenhouse gas emitter), or the superweeds and/or superbugs it’s generating, mostly via GMOs.
 
11. Therefore humanity certainly will return to historically normal modes of food production and distribution. Food production will once again be 100% organic, to use the modern term for the traditional. Markets and distribution will once again be predominantly local/regional. These are physically guaranteed.
 
12. How painful this transformation will be, whether it must mean mass famine, whether we’ll be left at first with woefully denuded soil which will take centuries to rebuild, will be functions of how strong a Food Sovereignty movement we can build prior to and during this collapse, and how forcibly corporatism is able to keep a death grip on power for how long. Corporatism will certainly try to force total devastation upon humanity, since it would rather see humanity starve and die than achieve freedom. It would rather see genocide than relinquish power. It’s too early to know if the forces of evil will be able to hang on once they start to weaken, or whether they’ll collapse quickly in spite of their malevolent will. But there’s no doubt that the stronger humanity’s own organization against this curse and toward its own future, the better a chance we’ll have of averting the worst. But all these things seem to be open questions.
 
13. As for the consciousness of democracy and freedom in themselves, we’ve certainly assimilated the ideas as completely as a species can. This goes with modern agroecological knowledge as one of the two great heritages of modernity we can take with us beyond it, if we choose.
 
14. What does it mean to say humanity “can choose” something? It’s natural for a species to seek its own aggregate survival, under the best conditions possible. We don’t usually say a non-human species “chooses” to seek to survive and triumph. Is there any reason to think homo sapiens is different?
 
15. If not, and if it’s true that our best chance to continue to eat going forward is to organize toward that goal, does this mean that affirmative imperatives like Food Sovereignty (and negative ones like the total abolition of GMOs) are not just political but biological imperatives? And if this is true, does that mean that the triumph of Food Sovereignty is inevitable?

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