August 6, 2018

US Electoralism is No Difference

Filed under: Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , , — Russell Bangs @ 1:02 am


How can we explain electoral idiocy? To significant extent it’s ignorance and stupidity. Years ago when I was masochistic enough to “debate” politics with Democrat partisans of my acquaintance, I was always amazed at how ignorant they were of almost everything their Party and their Leaders actually do. Thus for example they’d always be astounded to learn that Obama and Hillary Clinton are hard core supporters of Monsanto, GMOs and the whole regime of poison-based commodity agriculture, indeed that if anything Obama was even more aggressively pro-GMO than Bush was. And in truth they’d never learn any of this but forget it immediately.
But most of all it’s non-political egoistic perspective. If A and B agree on 99% and differ only on 1% of details, they may argue all the more fiercely over the 1% in dispute. But from the point of view of C, who completely disagrees (agrees on 0%), A and B are practically identical.
Thus both Democrats and Republicans are imperial war-mongers who support US wars of aggression. They disagree only on some details, which to them take on huge proportions.
But to those of us who are anti-imperialist, anti-war, they are identical.
In the same way, both Democrats and Republicans agree that America should be ruled by the rich and big corporations, that these should pay little to no taxes, and in fact that the purpose of society and the Earth is to serve the rich as a resource mine and waste dump. They disagree only on details, and that the Republicans “go too far”.
But to those of us who recognize that the rich are purely parasitic and destructive, who want to abolish the rich completely, who want to abolish concentrated wealth as such, Dembots and Repbots are identical.
They both agree on ecocide. They both agree that the living Earth should be nothing but a resource mine and waste dump for their worthless civilization. They only differ on details of how absolute the destruction should be, and how fast total destruction should be carried out. They argue about details like whether national parks should be privatized. They agree on the total destruction of everything not specifically “protected” in this formal way. (There we find the mission of the mainstream “environmental” groups: To help the destroyers of the Earth “manage” the destruction, which in practice means to carry it out somewhat more slowly. The role of NGOs is much the same as that of the WWII Judenrate (Jewish Councils) who helped the Nazis organize the deportations to the death camps.)
But to those of us who love, revere, cherish the Earth in all its beauty and mystery, we who recognize the absolute dependency of humanity on the only home we’ll ever know, the Democrat and Republican parties are identical in their insane and evil drive to murder the Earth and force the total murder-suicide of humanity.

August 5, 2018

You Can Hoard, But You Can’t Hide (Svalbard’s Broken Freezer)


When we built the seed vault, there was not even discussion of the permafrost,” Hege Njaa Aschim, the press representative of the organization that oversees the project, told me. But the weather last winter, she said, was “like a Norwegian summer.” “We didn’t come up with the term doomsday vault,” Cary Fowler, the mastermind of the seed vault, told me. “The idea there was to provide an insurance policy, so if anything were to happen to those other facilities, it wouldn’t be an extinction event.”
Destruction of seed biodiversity is one of the worst crises and crimes of corporate agriculture. The proprietors of Svalbard – the agrochemical cartel and the governments that serve it – all want the total death of humanity and the Earth. For the ecology, agronomy, and human freedom it’s essential that we the living people breed our own necessary organic crops and sustain and expand a decentralized network of seed saving and seed exchange.
You won’t hear this in the corporate media. There you’re far more likely to find the hagiography of Svalbard, the “doomsday vault” which is going to save us all, the seed bank which in crisis is going to enable Monsanto and the Gates Foundation to continue to “feed the world” even though so far all they’re doing is starving it.
Svalbard is part of the system dedicated to centralized corporate control of all genetic diversity and committed to the destruction of agroecology, participatory breeding, networked seed sharing and conservation. Consider who controls the Svalbard project: Bayer/Monsanto, the Gates Foundation, Syngenta, DuPont, USAID, the CGIAR, the World Bank, all dedicated to totalitarian technocracy.
The project is a typical “public-private partnership” which fits into the decades-long pattern of CGIAR institutions traversing the global South to collect germplasm, convey it to the corporations (i.e. to perform corporate research with public money), and to proselytize on behalf of Western corporate agriculture among Southern officials, intellectuals and farmers, but using a “public” veneer. USAID and the Gates crew specialize in this. The seeds they heist and convey to the corporate vault then come under corporate control and will be used only for the elites’ purposes. The same system which is trying to enclose seeds everywhere will deploy its corporate vaults in the same way.
The doomsday vault is supposed to come in handy if the political and corporate elites ever were to have catastrophic need. In the meantime the place serves as a standard publicly-funded corporate gathering and research facility for Monsanto and the rest of the GM seed cartel. In that day-to-day way it represents doomsday for humanity and the Earth.
Beyond that, the idea of Svalbard – a centralized, literal fortress – is completely wrong ecologically. Here as everywhere else we need networked decentralization. We need a vast network of thousands of seed banks, all devoted to adapting landraces on a regional basis. Also, storing seeds is only second best. For varieties to remain attuned to the ecology people need to keep growing them. There’s no way to rely on the ecological viability of even the most carefully stored seeds as time passes while the plants aren’t being grown in the real world. You have to keep planting and growing them.
This also is the only way to restore seeds and crops as a core part of human culture, human spirit. They must be part of our living experience, our immersion in the flows of the ecology.
Svalbard’s broken freezer, its melting permafrost, is a reminder of how physically and politically vulnerable a bunker like this is, how it’s the wrong path. It’s ironic that the climate chaos being driven most of all by the industrial agriculture paradigm of which Svalbard is a devoted part is coming home to threaten the vault itself. This project of Monsanto and Gates does indeed represent doomsday: First human doom through socioeconomic attack, then ecological doom through poisonism and destruction of habitat and biodiversity, and above all total human and ecological doom through total climate chaos.

August 4, 2018

For Book Draft: Chapter Introduction on Agronomic Failure and the Poison Mandate


Decades of harsh agronomic experience proved the model of agriculture based on pesticides didn’t work and couldn’t be sustained. Rational and honest participants and observers rejected poison-based agriculture in favor of agroecology. We had a “Show Me” attitude toward Missouri-based Monsanto’s proposition that the GMO version of this poison model would be any different. The reality of the field quickly proved it the same failure.
The poison agriculture machine was successful for decades at driving billions of human beings off the land, exterminating wide swaths of ecological community, and concentrating tremendous socioeconomic, cultural, and biological power as well as venal wealth. But its agronomy was always a complete failure. Indeed, the corporate state production system depended on this failure for all its successes.
Herbicides and insecticides became more profitable as pests developed resistance to them. The more the poisons failed against their targets, and the more secondary pests moved in to exploit temporary gaps opened up where the targets temporarily were suppressed, the greater the array grew of different poisons which had to be applied, and the volume of application for each. The pesticides themselves were being “stacked” long before that became a term of art among GMO products. At the same time propaganda converted each failure into an imminent crisis which could be met only by stampeding more poisons into service. In this way the agrobusiness state stampeded minds, stampeded the culture, furthering its own power goals and reinforcing the general goals of instilling religious faith in corporate control and acceptance of the need for deregulation and bureaucratic speed.
Genetic modification technology had far reaching despotic monoculture and eugenic goals from the inception. But the operators soon zeroed in on agriculture as their first battle deployment. Attempts to engineer for agronomic and product quality traits like environmental hardiness, nutritional efficiency, and food quality always have been failures because genetic engineering is basically a stupid, brute force technology incapable of attaining the evolutionary precision and harmonies required to bring out such traits. But the engineers found that crops could be dumb-engineered to become poison plants: Engineering a plant to tolerate an herbicide or to produce its own insecticidal poison generally required only the rote insertion of a single “transgene”.
Therefore GMOs dovetailed perfectly with the existing paradigm of the pesticide treadmill. More herbicides could be sprayed directly on the crop at any time. In principle agriculture now could be subject to a limitless menagerie of herbicides coupled with seeds “stacked” with multiplying herbicide-tolerance traits. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready line opened up a whole frontier for the massive slathering of glyphosate, hitherto a lesser herbicide. As the weeds surged to resist glyphosate, the agrochemical bazaar offered seeds to tolerate glyphosate plus every kind of poison – glufosinate, 2,4-D, dicamba, isoxaflutole, HPPDs, and onward. The multiplication of the GM seed traits and the herbicides also multiplied the profits, the patents, the monopoly power, the cultural power, the biological power.
At the same time and by the same process insects developed resistance to the endemic Bt toxins of the GM poison plants. Here too the system’s solution was to stack more poisons and more of every poison: Each new GM seed was engineered to exude a greater variety of Bt poisons, while each seed also was coated in multiple neonicotinoid insecticides (along with fungicides, mitcides, nematocides, and so on). Farmers who were told that GM seed would eliminate the need to spray insecticides now needed to go back to spraying in addition to buying the ever more expensive stacked GMOs.
For poison-based agriculture, a power-seeking project, failure was success. Failure always was built into the business model and the geopolitical strategy.
Persistence Proves Intent. If governments, the agribusiness corporations, the scientific establishment and the corporate media see this inexorable failure of every poison in the face of simple natural evolution, and see how the paradigm’s one and only answer each and every time is to add more poisons to the stack, each poison guaranteed to fail in its turn, this proves that this failure is part of the effect intended and desired by these organizations. As a rule the major effects of a large-scale action always are the desired effects. If concentrated power desires different effects, if the government and political-intellectual class desire different effects, they always have alternatives which could preserve the “good” effects without the “bad”. There’s really no such thing as “collateral damage”. That’s a propaganda lie which pretends that some effects weren’t sought by the policy-makers and that they deplore these effects. Never mind that all the major effects are consistent, predictable, therefore premeditated. If there really were major effects which the government did not anticipate and found bad, it would change the policy so as no longer to produce those effects in a major way. Persistence proves either that the effect, if truly unanticipated, is nevertheless welcome, or else that it was anticipated and consciously intended all along. Morally and practically this makes no difference. The major effects of an action comprise an organic whole, and anyone who wants one characteristic effect of an action will anticipate and want its other effects and will welcome any major effect he didn’t anticipate.
In reality the agrochemical project has zero beneficial purpose and no redeeming qualities. It claims two purposes: To “feed the world”, yet it has done nothing but sow malnutrition, hunger, and famine; and to control crop pests, which has been nothing but a losing arms race. Meanwhile agroecology grows more calories and nutrition per acre than industrial monoculture, and it grows this as food for people, not commodities for Mammon; and agroecological methods are vastly superior for pest control.
But just as poison-based agriculture never wanted to grow food and did want to sow desperation and famine, so it never wanted to control pests, only to manage them so that pest afflictions become ever more severe. As we’ll see in the next chapter, this management ideology has a direct parallel in the regulator ideology of “managing” poisons in the environment, in part by gauging alleged human and ecological “tolerances” for these poisons. These versions of this false ideology are deployed because the program of poison-based agriculture is to maximize poison production and use as such, toward the goal of increasing system power and monoculture control. This is why industrial agriculture seeks the destruction of agricultural and ecological biodiversity as such: Dynamic diversity is impossible to control. This is why it seeks to maximize monoculture at every level from the most literally physical to the political and cultural: Because monoculture is easier to control. This is why it is waging biological and chemical warfare around the world at the most extreme levels possible: Because it wants to eradicate physical biodiversity and to eradicate political and socioeconomic diversity through total corporate control of political and economic life.

August 3, 2018

How the Supply-Driven Economic Society Works

Filed under: Dance of Death, Globalization, Mainstream Media — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 3:58 am


How the economic society works. This describes all societies based on productionism, which means all of modern civilization.
1. Get subsidies to build a factory and to destroy parts of the Earth by extracting “resources” and/or spewing poison.
Meanwhile productionist-consumerist indoctrination begins early in childhood and never lets up. The supplementary propaganda also begins early and never lets up. (It’s telling how relentlessly the dose needs to be repeated to keep humans within this mindset. That’s strong evidence that none of this is a major part of human nature.)
2. Overproduce. Destroy parts of the Earth with pollution.
3. Launch a propaganda campaign (i.e. advertising) to convince consumers that they need and want the thing you overproduce.
4. Use the revenue to further concentrate your wealth and power.
5. Use this wealth and power to lobby for further subsidies, to destroy more earthly “resources” and build more factories, to overproduce more, and to directly destroy parts of the Earth purely for the sake of destruction.
I can’t think of any aspect of the economic society, any corporate sector, which isn’t summed up here.

August 2, 2018

This is Fishy (Salmon CAFOs and GM Camelina)


Factory farming of salmon, allegedly a more “sustainable” alternative to industrial mining of wild salmon, depends to a large extent on using ground up anchovies as feed. Thus it decimates another wild fishery. This generates the problem of declining anchovy populations and insufficient feed to fuel the overproducing salmon factory. The government, corporation, scientific establishment, and mainstream media then use this purely artificial problem as the pretext to tout GMO “solutions”. They do this for mundane profit purposes and toward more far-reaching goals of political power and eugenic control of GM animals and eventually GM humans.
In this case, anchovy-based feed as well as non-GM algae (also used extensively, and still available in adequate volume) are slated to be superseded by feed based on GM camelina modified with algae DNA to cause it to produce long-chain omega-3 oil. The fish fed on this material then will be touted as “healthy” to eat.
A laboratory feeding trial with this GM camelina currently is underway in Britain. As always with such trials, it’s not a food safety trial but only studies whether the animal quickly reaches slaughter weight. Nor will there ever be a study on the food safety for humans who eat animals fed this way. Once GM salmon are fed on GM feed it’ll be double exposure.
Note how the so-called “scientists” quoted in the piece think exclusively in terms of capitalist ideology, especially the Orwellian lie that government-subsidized supply-driven overproduction (in this case CAFO feed and farmed salmon), supplemented by consumerist propaganda, equals some natural mechanism of supply and demand. In reality there is no such “demand” except where artificially juiced by propaganda and retail prices kept deceptively low by hiding most of the costs and simply refusing to pay the environmental costs. But this environmental debt is vastly greater than the national debt. (National debts are denominated in money and owed to other money-mongers, and therefore can be written off without much trouble. But civilization’s mounting debt to Gaia is existential, biological, not financial; and it cannot be written off. On the contrary the Earth, perhaps at first slowly but all the more surely, will insist on payment in full, with interest.)
Reject the false Mammonist way of thinking, and the gratuitous idiocy of the whole CAFO/GMO paradigm becomes clear.
Fish farming is as bad as any other factory farming. Good land is condemned in order to grow the feed while human food production is driven onto more marginal land or just driven out completely. CAFOs are disease incubators, in the case of salmon frequently spreading disease to already beleaguered wild populations. CAFOs especially are designed to drive antibiotic resistance among human pathogens leading to the collapse of antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. Factory farming drives many socioeconomic evils, destroying community ways of life and community economies of farming and fishing for human food rather than for mass commodity production. CAFOs are ongoing atrocities against the animals exploited by them, physically and morally the descendants of Auschwitz. Anyone who could do this to non-human animals also would do it to humans, and anyone who could tolerate this level of animal cruelty would tolerate this level of cruelty to people. Nor is there any good reason to believe it’s less cruel for salmon than it is for chickens, pigs, cows.
And then in cases like this, the self-generated problems of factory farming are used as a pretext for the existential aggression of the genetic engineering regime.
On the other hand, no wild fish have evolved to withstand industrial fishing methods. All commercial fisheries are unsustainable. Salmon also are the special targets of dams. The attempted murder of rivers also murders the salmon who migrate up those rivers.
There is no ecological way to consume commercially extracted fish. Those who work toward an ecological way of life have to abjure commercial fish completely. This also would purge many poisons from the diet, from the mercury which accumulates in big predator fish to the incipient danger of GM salmon, the most dangerous kind of GMO for food safety because unlike commodity GM maize or soy it’s a true direct GM food designed to be eaten directly. Any food safety danger from genetic engineering itself will be maximized by such direct frankenfoods as GM salmon, “golden rice” if it ever got beyond the hoax stage, RNAi potatoes, botox apples and others.

August 1, 2018

Science Has Abdicated


Institutionalized “science ethics” always has been a contradiction in terms. The UK Nuffield Bioethics Council’s endorsement of genetically engineering human embryos for eugenic and designer baby purposes is one of the most grotesque examples.
This is typical of how genetic engineering has never been about anything but further concentrating wealth and power. In this case, both the fake “medical” rationale and the real eugenic rationale are reserved only for those with financial access to these extreme high-maintenance technological treatments. Indeed many erstwhile “anti-GMO” people believe the Heal the World lie, although this British eugenic gambit is so brazen that even the lukewarmists oppose this particular outrage.
Meanwhile the truth is that the Heal the World lie is identical in every way to the Feed the World lie which is universally refuted among GM critics. There’s far more than enough food for everyone on Earth to eat sufficient diets, but billions lack the money to buy sufficient calories and/or nutrition. This artificial Mammon condition is the only source of hunger and malnutrition. In the same way, good basic medical care easily could be available to everyone through a sane, humane economic system like single payer, which would deliver much better care at far less expense than the bloated parasite which is the private health insurance racket. Boutique high-maintenance “treatments” like gene therapy and this kind of eugenics could at most help a tiny handful. In both cases, “feed the world” and “heal the world”, the genetic engineering religion is based on nothing but lies. One of the main lies is that problems like hunger and disease aren’t socioeconomic problems with political solutions, but purely technical problems with purely technocratic solutions. That’s a gambit of corporate rule, and of neoliberal capitalism in general.
In the same way, it was always obvious that fantasies of genetic engineering, “transhumanism”, space colonization were about nothing but the power and depraved whims of the rich.
Chinese vaccine manufacturers make defective vaccines and lie about it. US manufacturers are no more trustworthy. Indeed the US system doesn’t even have the token fines the Chinese system does, only the subsidies.
Then we have the “eco-modernist” ideology, ardently embraced by the mainstream STEM cadre, which stems from mainstream “management”/sacrifice oriented corporate environmentalism. It hooks up seamlessly with both corporate power and the scientism religion. It flatters the consumerism of the Western middle class which always wants to “have it all”, total gluttonous license along with ecological and moral integrity. It promises that “growth” can continue. It promises that the Progress religion will come true. It promises all these things with a shiny techno-sheen, so attractive to all the retarded infants of this madhouse: GMOs (who cares that they’ve already proven to be an absolute fraud in every way), geoengineering, biofuels, fracking, the electric car, the “space” meme, all these genocidal-ecocidal frauds will turn magically into salvation at the ultimate moment of the Armageddon they’re currently generating, if only Homo domesticus stays the course, doubles down on the destruction, becomes ever more murderous and wasteful. Stalinist doctrine had it that the class struggle reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of communism. Christian doctrine had it that the struggle of God vs. Satan reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of Jesus over death. And now we have the terminal doctrine of the modern technocratic civilization, the same among all strains of its ideology, now including the “eco”-movement: The struggle of man vs. nature reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of a suddenly sustainable and free civilization, where human lion will lie down with human lamb and civilization’s lion will lie down with the ecological lamb.
In reality, the evangelists of the “eco-modern” scam (such as the false prophet of “vertical farming” exposed in this piece) are speaking in code. Like the politicians and corporate CEOs they serve, they really intend for the vast majority of human beings to die of starvation and pandemics, most likely deliberately engineered. Biowarfare to produce pandemics goes logically with the entire technocratic ideology, and it’s the only explanation for the technocracy’s deliberate campaign to wipe out antibiotics as an effective medical treatment. Modern famines always are artificially and deliberately generated, without exception.
Just as agriculture is the basis of exploitative, destructive, wasteful civilization, so for the scientific establishment the number one purpose is to render agriculture as exploitative, destructive, and wasteful as possible. Thus the establishment’s absolute embrace, staking their entire future authority, of the GMO/pesticide regime. The poisoning is more slow and subtle, the repression is primarily economic rather than directly violent (though that’s increasing too), the forced mass expulsion from the land is primarily coerced economically. It’s all part of corporate neoliberalism’s strategy for domination, more refined than that of classical fascism. They realized they could attain the same results as the Nazis without generating similar resistance against themselves. (Indeed, via the EU Germany has attained something like the economic dominion in Europe which the Nazis sought.) As for scientists, today’s are the exact same type as those who served the Nazis and would do the exact same thing given the circumstances. Today’s Bayer is of course the exact same company which provided Zyklon B, its executives the exact same executive type. Monsanto should fit in just fine.
Science has completely abdicated, sold out, gone over. It is no longer trustworthy on any level and no longer there for the good of humanity. On the contrary science is completely encompassed by engineering imperatives and the corporate science paradigm. It seeks only profit and power, including its own religious will to power, and it’s an unequivocally enthusiastic participant in the productionist/consumerist/technocratic/corporate paradigm, the destruction of humanity and Earth purely for the sake of destruction and control.
Only some individual fugitives are working on a new ecological paradigm for science. The rest are fully committed to mechanistic reductionism, corporate science, science as waterboy for profit-seeking tech development, all the modes of boot-licking junk science.
What will have to die out isn’t a sclerotic generation of scientists in favor of a rising generation of ecology-minded scientists. This generation will not be forthcoming. Part of the reason for the STEM indoctrination onslaught in the schools is to foreclose this possibility.
What has to die out is the generation which still believes in “Science” as a religious idol. The scientism generation must die out and be replaced by a generation ready to go home to Earth, which recognizes that science in its modern form, irretrievably corrupted, distorted, demented, is toxic baggage we mustn’t take for the journey.
We can salvage and continue with ecology, agroecology, chaos theory, the purely intellectual aspects of physics, and related modes. The rest is malign and must be jettisoned.