December 18, 2012

We Need the Abolition of GMOs


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.]



  1. Just wanted to say “Amen” 🙂

    I guess our biggest enemy is the attitude that those bad things only happened in the old days. We’re so much more progressive now, that nothing this generation does could possibly be a repeat of the same old mistakes just wearing glitzy technology and different clothes.

    Comment by DualPersonality — December 18, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    • I’m currently reading The Populist Moment, Lawrence Goodwyn’s great analysis of the 19th century Populist movement. I’m reading from the point of view of analyzing it as a possible model for a movement based on today’s Community Food sector. (One big difference, and possibly an advantage we have, is that Populism was still within the framework of agricultural commodification, while Community Food constitutes an entirely different sector with different, more self-sustaining, needs.)

      As Goodwyn analyzes, the “progress” myth is one of the fundamental obstacles America’s political culture poses to democracy movements.

      Comment by Russ — December 18, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  2. I agree with almost everything you’ve written above.
    But… I think that Galbraith’s analysis of the INDUSTRIAL state is more accurate than decrying the corporate state, possibly.
    To my mind, industrialization is a way of organizing the world, work, our lives. For me.. IT is the enemy, if you like.
    And it reaches far into our lives…

    Comment by Debra — December 20, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  3. Merry Xmas Russ and gang. May you find some peace in this season. Love, tawal

    Comment by tawal — December 25, 2012 @ 11:34 am

    • Thanks, tawal, and the same to you.

      Comment by Russ — December 25, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  4. I tried to find an email address for Russ to email this link, but couldn’t find one, so I’ll just post it in comments.

    insidious meme


    Comment by casino implosion — January 6, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    • Thanks, casino. Yes, corporate environmentalists do support GMOs, just like they support every other kind of corporate ravage of the environment and of indigenous and lower-income people. Just like all “food safety” NGOs, directly or indirectly (through support of the Monsanto-adjunct FDA), support Monsanto.

      The fact is that almost all Western NGOs are worthless at best, and more often actively evil. A true movement for freedom and democracy needs to start by rejecting and reviling them all.

      Comment by Russ — January 11, 2013 @ 3:14 am

      • Hi Russ and gang, Hope all is well. Here, Struggling with new transport after a hit and run driver totaled my parked car.

        Comment by tawal — February 4, 2013 @ 2:46 am

      • Hi tawal, sorry to hear about your car. Things are pretty good here. I’ve been on break, but I’m planning to resume writing soon.

        Comment by Russ — February 4, 2013 @ 5:00 am

  5. […] an abolitionist, I’m unwilling to “be patient” again at the behest of the same corporate liberal […]

    Pingback by Abolitionism and GMO Labeling | Volatility — June 5, 2013 @ 2:22 am

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