July 13, 2013

What’s the Precautionary Principle?

Filed under: Corporatism, Scientism/Technocracy, Sovereignty and Constitution — Tags: — Russ @ 3:03 am


Lots of philosophizing here about the precautionary principle.
While the precautionary principle is certainly a mainstay of a rational world view, I don’t know if I’d call it a scientific postulate, as opposed to an empirically derived theorem: Those who tout these kinds of technologies have always lied about every aspect of them, and have always proven to have none but evil motives, whatever altruism they pretended to. Therefore, no rational person who’s not a criminal himself would hold anything less than the position that the burden of proof is on the aggressor: To prove that the product is necessary, that it’s safe, that it increases the general prosperity for all of humanity, and that his motives are truly on the up-and-up.
Indeed, we can’t argue with those who are so convinced by the unanimity of the malign pattern that they’re satisfied to reject all current and future such products out of hand. This, too, is rational, given the overwhelming evidence.
Elsewhere I’ve seen reference to “the [unnamed] fallacy of giving a proven liar the benefit of the doubt”. While for obvious reasons this fallacy isn’t as well-named and publicized as spurious applications of the “ad hom fallacy”, it’s at least as important in constructing a rational world view and deriving guidelines for action from it, since the world is full of proven liars, for example anyone who touts unproven* technologies like GMOs.
To me it seems that’s the real, or at least primary, nature of the precautionary principle, and the core rationality of it. Like the rest of our real science, it’s empirical, based on our demand for an understanding of reality, rather than an illusion conjured to assist a venal or ideological imperative, and imposed from the supply side of the mind, which is seldom rational or good, but always aggressive.
These are just a few opening remarks. I’ll have lots more development of these ideas.
*Of course by now we’ve amassed enough evidence that we’re either over or at the threshhold of a reasonable doubt, that GMOs are in fact unnecessary, don’t work, are unsafe, and have none but destructive socioeconomic and political effects.
Again, one can easily argue we’re beyond a shadow of a doubt.



July 11, 2013

GMOs Uber Democracy: European Examples

Filed under: Corporatism, Food and Farms, Globalization — Tags: , , , — Russ @ 7:36 am


Yesterday I commented on how insecticidal and herbicide tolerant GMOs no longer work, as was predicted by all rational, non-criminal observers. (Those two are the only genres of GMOs which ever temporarily worked or were commercialized. All other sorts – “Golden Rice”, “drought-resistant”, “nitrogen-fixing”, etc. – are just PR hoaxes. The propaganda of these varieties exists because people are understandably turned off when they learn that the only things GMOs actually do are let more poison be sprayed upon them, or produce their own poison from within.)
Of course governments are intent on continuing to force these worthless, destructive products, for which there is zero natural demand, upon us anyway.
These days the EU’s Commission (an unelected technocratic government) continues in its desperate mission to force GMOs upon Europe, in spite of the continued overwhelming rejection of GMOs by the European people.
See also how, as more independent tests like last year’s Seralini feeding trial are proving the health malevolence of GMOs, the GM flacks are reduced to demanding that testing simply not be done! That’s the kind of swine who populate “our” hierarchies.
(The links there also give a good intro to the fundamentally anti-democratic character of government-by-bureaucracy like the EU, and the similar character of globalization’s “free trade agreements”. Since the European Commission continues to falter in pushing Monsanto’s imperative, the US government is trying to force GMOs literally down European throats via a bilateral “agreement”.) 


July 10, 2013

The Latest in GMO Failure: Bt Corn and Rootworm

Filed under: Corporatism, Disaster Capitalism, Food and Farms, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 7:49 am


The latest report on a GMO-resistant superbug.
This is especially pernicious because rootworm wasn’t originally a big problem for US corn growers. It was more of a periodic nuisance. But Monsanto was able to force the anti-rootworm trait onto farmers by stacking it with the anti-borer trait they had been convinced they did need. Meanwhile the rootworms were already becoming more prevalent. Historically, farmers had rotated their crops as part of natural pest control. But one of the selling points of Bt corn is that you can plant it year-on-year without making a big pest problem for yourself, because the pesticide-expressing trait would handle it.
Predictably, by now the borers are becoming resistant to Bt corn. Worse, the lack of crop rotation turned what had been an intermittent rootworm nuisance into a chronic problem. The anti-rootworm product therefore found its “market” through a combination of monopoly force and being the “solution” to a problem artificially generated by its marketer. And now it too is starting to fail.
The result, which dissidents from Big Ag predicted from the start: In addition to planting the GMO crop, malevolent in many ways of its own, farmers are having to use more pesticides than they used before, and are having to go back to more toxic pesticides. The same dynamic is taking place with herbicides and herbicide-tolerant (HT) GMO crops.
This is just one example of how, in addition to their health, environmental, socioeconomic, and political evils, GMOs comprise a crap product which doesn’t work. This practical failure is designed into them, since systemic failure is part of what maximizes profit and control for corporations and governments.

July 9, 2013

Good and Bad


Where it comes to everything, not just food but especially food, the criteria for what’s good and what’s bad are clear. Organic, holistic, part of a community context, not the reductive NPK mentality in any form; bottom-up, not top-down; democratic, not hierarchical; decentralized, not centralized; participatory and direct, not “representative”; demand-based, not supply-based; production for use, not for commodification; open-source, not proprietary; the commons, not enclosure. Apply these imperatives to each and every alleged policy dilemma, and one will never go wrong. They all lead to the same conclusions: We must abolish commodification and abolish globalization through the expedient of abolishing planned-economy corporatism, abolishing corporate welfare, abolishing the corporate form.
They also cut across all the false divisions: Left/right, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican (we don’t want or need an “alternative” version of these, but something totally different), public/private, socialism/”free market”, protectionism/”free trade”, and others.