June 21, 2013

Pride in the Name of Monsanto

Filed under: Corporatism, Food and Farms, Globalization, Neo-feudalism — Tags: , — Russ @ 5:22 am


I often hear an abomination on the radio. Not just a bad song, though; not a bad song at all. I wouldn’t use the word “abomination” for that. I reserve that for GMOs, and things at that level of evil and criminality. But this is symbolic. Back in April the DJ came on once sermonizing about the assassination of Martin Luther King, and you may be able to guess what song came next “in honor” of King. Yup – U2’s “Pride in the Name of Love”.
MLK wasn’t the teddy bear today’s liberals fondly fantasize him to be. He was a fierce critic of evil, and was killed when he started criticizing the war and the structural evil of capitalism. He despised liberals. One can imagine what he’d think of today’s far worse corporate liberals and their support for Monsanto. Meanwhile, “Pride in the Name of Love” would make a great slogan and theme song for Monsanto itself. As a slogan it’s similar to “Work Sets You Free” (“Arbeit Macht Frei”), the line posted at the entrance to Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz. (According to Dante, the gate of hell carries the inscription, “I, Too, Was Created by Eternal Love”.)
There’s something ironic about it, too. The title sounds ironic, but the song doesn’t sound that way at all. I don’t think Bono, laboring so mightily under the White Man’s Burden for those poor benighted brown masses of the world, meant the title be ironic either. He’s clearly very proud of his boundless love. He also just wrote something that sounded cool to him without understanding its implications.
But compare the title, and the neoliberal programs for which Bono serves as Celebrity Useful Idiot #1, to the concepts of democracy politics. We the people seek and need to build: Individual self-respect within the cooperative economy, and collective political self-confidence, as necessary toward democratic goals as well as valuable in themselves. These can be built only by we the people organizing ourselves, from the soil up, on a democracy basis. Meanwhile the top-down, supply-driven planned economy of corporate globalization, epitomized in the obscene plan for a “Second Green Revolution” in Africa, is seeking to do the radical opposite. It sees the people as inert and helpless, needing to be mined by elites as a raw material. “For their own good”, of course.
This is a lie. Nothing but Africa’s exploitation, dispossession, and debt enslavement is being contemplated. But even if some version of the good of Africa’s farmers and people were sincerely intended, it would still be in such a way as to see them as stupid, helpless, ignorant, infantile, and utterly incapable of self-respect and self-confidence, let alone agricultural self-management. In addition to all its other evils, a scheme like this is viciously elitist, anti-humanist, misanthropic. And when we consider how it’s white Westerners trying to impose this on Africans, it’s viciously racist.
So instead of “Pride in the Name of Love”, we have a similar Orwellian formulation: “Helplessness is Self-Respect”, “Submission and Dependency is Self-Confidence”, “Shantytowns are Prosperity”. And of course “Work, for Monsanto, Will Set You Free”.



  1. This is one of your best, IMO. I really enjoyed reading it. And I always detested U2 anyway 🙂

    Comment by DualPersonality — June 21, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    • Thanks DP. In case you didn’t click on the Chris Floyd link (recommended), here’s my favorite part:

      There is a well-known if dubious story that claims that at a concert in Glasgow Bono began a slow hand-clap. He is supposed to have announced: “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.” Whereupon someone in the audience shouted: “Well fucking stop doing it then.” It’s good advice, and I wish he’d take it.

      Comment by Russ — June 21, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

      • I read the link, and laughed out loud at that part.

        Comment by DualPersonality — June 21, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

  2. Russ, why bother with all this exposition about the nature of corporatism when the fascists can speak for themselves? Here’s the official agenda straight from the top dog at Nestle:

    Comment by Karl — June 25, 2013 @ 3:01 am

  3. Hi Russ and gang,
    Here’s an article on community currencies that may be found of interest: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-crime-of-alleviating-poverty-a-local-community-currency-battles-the-central-bank-of-kenya/5341276

    Comment by tawal — July 1, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    • That and the other examples go to show what alternatives to planned-economy money can accomplish, and the likely response of the system when programs like that start to work. As time banking has spread, the IRS has been making noises about revisiting its ruling that time banking is not taxable barter. Meanwhile the tax thugs are already going after Indian tribes who have revived traditional potlatch practices.

      I always love the way the term “counterfeiting” is used, and not just by the corporate media. In what way, other than the might-makes-right “legalistic”, can one be a counterfeiter, but for example the Fed is not?

      Comment by Russ — July 2, 2013 @ 6:44 am

  4. This is off topic, so I apologise in advance. I have followed your blog for some time now. Anybody can see that you take risks being true to yourself and your beliefs. I am curious as to why you would place baselinescenario in your economy blogroll. Anybody who has followed that blog for any period of time can easily see what it is all about. This may seem trivial to you, but you have always been generous to others addressing their concerns and I would be grateful if you would comment.

    Comment by Chris — July 4, 2013 @ 10:53 am

  5. Russ,

    You may find this article of interest.


    Comment by Tao Jonesing — July 7, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    • Thanks for the link, Tao. The basic question is important, since historically nothing works unless a critical mass of “intellectuals” turns against the system and puts its pens to work against it. On the other hand, today literacy and information availability is universal enough that perhaps it won’t be necessary for a significant number of “system” intellectuals to become dissidents, but rather we can comprise our own alternative intelligentsia.

      It’s bizarre that the piece represents intellectuals as being the target audience for lies about hierarchy being “natural”, when on the contrary it’s their job to formulate and propagate such lies. Oh well, I have no doubt most of them snort their own stuff. The piece seems to wander a bit, starting out describing system intellectuals as a group but then focusing on one thread of their pathology, technophilia.

      It’s right on about technological fundamentalism, though. The technocratic and engineering cult not only makes faith-based promises to solve all the problems it created in the first place, but also concurs perfectly with elitism as such. Technocrats share with other elitists the superstitions of superior types who deserve to rule, reductionist assessments of humanity, and that the art of rule boils down to precision technological manipulation and social engineering.

      Of course, a believer in capitalism also has no choice but to worship technology, since only incessant dispensations from technological gods ex machina can keep “growth” and capital accumulation staggering along.

      When they say GMOs are necessary to “Feed the World”, they’re telling a Big Lie about food, but are accurately describing their own ever-expanding hunger for profit and power, and how they’ll perish if this hunger isn’t constantly fed.

      He gives some vague criteria for how to assess things, but the answer is clear. All economic activity must be 100% demand-based, while all supply-driven, planned-economy impositions must be abolished. I think that neatly cuts through a lot of otherwise foggy notions.

      Comment by Russ — July 7, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    • Here’s a good example of the scientistic reductionism enshrined in GMO ideology, propaganda, and practice.


      Comment by Russ — July 8, 2013 @ 4:35 am

  6. […] of conscience is left for any of this is met with the “Feed the World” Big Lie, a lie as depraved as that which was posted at the entrance to Auschwitz. […]

    Pingback by There Is No Science of Big Agriculture | Volatility — August 4, 2015 @ 9:40 am

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