October 16, 2017

“Is There Any Good Use for Biotech?”


Question I saw in a comment thread: “Is there any good use for biotech at all?”
Answer: No.
Even if we had that mythical beast, a truly socialist yet hi-tech society which was truly based on egalitarian principles dedicated to human and ecological well-being, where all hierarchies and surplus value extraction* truly were based on reason and the good of the people (we’re piling up lots of “trulys” here, none of which are possible in reality), it would still be a fact that there’s nothing biotech can achieve which agroecology cannot achieve less expensively, more robustly, more securely, more safely. Therefore such a society would still reject biotech on rational grounds.
And then biotech isn’t just “hi-tech” but most of all high-maintenance tech which means it depends absolutely on cheap, plentiful fossil fuels. Therefore like all other high-maintenance tech it will become unsustainable and cease to exist as the fossil fuel binge fades out. So it has no future regardless. Only agroecology has a future.
We can answer the same question in the same way for all other forms of high-maintenance technology.
*Biotech, like all high-maintenance tech, requires hierarchy, surplus value extraction, and democratically unaccountable expert cadres in order to exist. Therefore by definition it’s incompatible with anarchism. The fact that so many self-alleged “anarchists” still directly contradict themselves with dreams of space travel, industrial renewables deployment, even a socially and ecologically responsible deployment of biotech, just to give a few examples of highly elitist, hierarchical techno-deployments, is simply proof of how stupid techno-cheerleading makes one, and what frauds even the vast majority of our anarchists are. That’s one reason I gave up on anarchism as offering no solution.

October 11, 2017

No Gene, and No Individual (Fake People, Part Two)

Filed under: Agroecology, American Revolution, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 8:37 am


(Part one.)
Here we refer to the false notion of the “individual”. This ideological concept is false in two ways.
1. There is no “gene” (“selfish” or otherwise). There is only DNA amid the four-billion-years-evolving genetic and cellular structure on the one hand, and on the other the combined holistic organism inextricably part of the ecology.
2. There is no “individual”. There is only the symbiotic bacterial-human collective organism on the one hand, and human society, the human community, on the other. The “human” part of this combined organism is dependent upon and interdependent with its bacterial counterpart, and both are dependent upon and interdependent with a healthy, intact, diverse ecology. This human being, a social primate as much as it is a combined organism, is as dependent upon and interdependent with the community as it is with the biodiverse ecology. And this community is dependent upon and interdependent with the ecology.
It’s clear that the only ideas which can be part of a human future are ecological, communal ideas and acts. All anti-ecological ideas and acts, most of all those redolent of the false and destructive notion of the “individual”, must be purged from our Earth if we are ever to make it back home.

October 7, 2017

Potato Seed at the Edge of Transformation

Filed under: Agroecology, GMO Hoaxes, GMOs Don't Increase Yield — Russ @ 5:17 am


The Dutch seed company Solynta has developed potato varieties that are resistant to potato late blight using conventional breeding techniques. The UK’s Sarpo has had blight-resistant varieties on the market for several years now. Therefore Sarpo and Solynta have left in the dust the GMO developers who continue to struggle to produce a blight-resistant GM potato, even after pirating the necessary traits from pre-existing conventionally bred varieties. Once again have proof of one of the iron laws of GMOs, proven anew every time: Where it comes to any GMO touted for its alleged “product quality” (nutrition, taste, storability, etc.) or “agronomic trait” (disease resistance, drought resistance, etc.), there already exists a better, higher quality, safer, less expensive non-GM version. There are no exceptions. GM potatoes have a typically sordid history. (And then the GM version is more often than not a hoax anyway. “Golden rice” in particular is one of the most egregious media hoaxes in modern memory.)
Unless one is religiously committed to the failed path of genetic engineering, the way you breed potatoes is by crossing varieties and planting the resultant “true seed”. This term refers to the actual seeds from potato plants, as opposed to “seed potatoes” which refers to planting pieces of the tubers themselves, which results in a clone plant.
Solynta has bred hybrid varieties for whose seeds it plans globalized commodity distribution: “[P]otato seeds can thus be distributed quickly and easily around the whole world.” This is part of the century-long pattern of hybrid breeding. Corporate agriculture chose the path of breeding hybrids instead of open-pollinated varieties for reasons of power and profit. Both agronomically and legally, farmers are foreclosed from saving the seeds of hybrids. Hybrids are produced by crossing two pure parent lines, and the seeds of the hybrids themselves are too genetically unpredictable for commercial planting. And then these varieties are usually patented or hold plant protection certificates. Thus hybrid-based agriculture is aligned with GM-based in its corporate enclosure framework.
And then, globalized distribution of seed is part of the corporate monoculture onslaught which cannot work because to be most effective varieties must be adapted to regional conditions (that’s part of the reason golden rice keeps failing), and because in the long run agriculture depends upon sustaining millions of small farmers dedicated to producing food for their communities and the locally-adapted seed such a system needs. By contrast the mode of destroying all farmers and seed and replacing them with giant corporate plantations dedicated to producing not food but globalized commodities is part of the doomed paradigm which, if humanity persists in it, inevitably will bring the total collapse of agriculture and subsequent mass famine.
History has proven that conventional breeding of agronomic traits such as blight resistance works well and quickly, while genetic modification seldom works at all, and where it does the result is inferior and more expensive in every way. But history also proves that hybridization was never necessary for effective breeding of such traits. Agronomists know that for example the yield increases of hybrid-based agriculture also could have been attained by breeding of open-pollinated varieties, and that hybrids were chosen for capitalist reasons, not agronomic ones.
Our great need today includes such projects as breeding blight-resistant potatoes. But we don’t need the globalized, patent-based hybridization structure for this. This structure is undesirable, part of the corporate pathology we fight rather than part of any solution. On the contrary, potato varieties can be bred from open-pollinated true seed. The same is done with other crops. We can and must continue to build the community food sector including the breeding of regionally adapted, open-pollinated crop varieties. This breeding must be done on the basis of the participation of practicing farmers and committed amateurs, with the assistance of agronomists who are committed to agroecology and food sovereignty. This is called participatory plant breeding, and it’s part of the great agroecological transformation we need.

October 3, 2017

Monoculture is Biological Warfare


Life has embraced the Earth for billions of years. Gaia is a warm robe of effectively infinite colors, tints, flashes of light, sparks of form, all enfolding this globe, making it a home. This biodiversity isn’t ordered according to any reductive command but plays out the patterns of a much more complex, interdependent, cooperative, holistic order. This order just barely can be grasped at times by ecological science and chaos theory. Through these rare sciences we can learn just enough to understand how little we can ever truly know, and how this little is more than enough for all our needs, enough to power all the desires of our souls. This is the way humanity can truly, finally live, and this is the only way humanity can live.
Therefore the great imperative of the Leviathan, the corporate technocratic state, is to clear the land and divide it into squares. It must completely subjugate the natural abundance, the great polycultural diversity, the ecological order, the non-linear Gardens our legends have called Eden among other things. The corporate state must devour this all, turn abundance into scarcity, life into death. It must turn the entire Earth into a desert.
This is the monoculture control imperative. By now this imperative suffuses all of modern civilization and dictates nearly all its actions and the actions of all significant groupings of civilized people. It can be seen and analyzed most clearly in the sector of food and agriculture.
Consider the leveling, homogenizing, sterilizing control imperative which dominates the entire ramification of this system. A lab generates uniformly engineered, cultured, and patented plants. This further concentrates a crop breeding system dedicated to narrowing the genetic diversity of all crop varieties to as close to monocultural uniformity as possible. The seeds of these narrowly engineered crops are increased on strictly regimented plots under a tightly controlled number of growers operating according to stringent guidelines under severe economic constraints dictated by patent-holding corporations and monopsony buyers. These seed companies themselves are owned, regimented, controlled by the seed cartel. They sell the monocultured seed to a homogeneous set of industrial farmers. These farmers operate under draconian rules starting with the seed contract and proceeding through the exacting roster of rules imposed by banks, government subsidy dispensations, and the monopoly sellers of chemical inputs. The farming process itself seeks total domination and control of the soil and everything on it, including the eradication of all unauthorized life forms. If the farmer deviates from the rules and rituals in any way he and his family become unauthorized forms to be driven off. The entire process is a strictly controlled authoritarian regime of poisons, machinery, and dollars. Preparation, planting, growing, and harvest are rigidly choreographed according to poison schedules and mechanized routines. This continues through the strictly disciplined sale to the commodifiers who process and transport the agricultural commodity according to punctiliously laid out patterns existing within a claustrophobically small and confined space which otherwise would be as big as the globe.
Once the mono-logic of the money and power flows has been played out, the afterthought of turning some of these commodities into food also plays out according to stern monocultural rules. Much of the commodity enters homogeneous animal feeding factories to produce assembly line meat, while another portion enters uniformly mechanized factories to produce uniformly mechanized processed food products. These “food” products then become re-commodities and again traverse the same unsparing monoculture of distribution, most of them to reach the homogenized retail paradigm of supermarkets and big box stores.
Thus we have the monoculture of corporate industrial agriculture and globalized distribution, based on technocracy and Mammon’s theological lowest common denominator of money, as controlled by this system’s primary organizational form, the corporate person. Here we have another monoculture aspiration. Technocracy already considers the corporate person to be the only true person, client, citizen. The system’s ultimate goal is to render this true in reality.
Therefore the vast monoculture of action is a monoculture of purpose. This civilization seeks a total monoculture of genetics, biology, economy, politics, culture, spirit. When we consider the profound homogenizing regimentation of our very food as we just described, it’s no surprise that the human beings to whom this industrial mono-product is dispensed tend to receive and ingest this food in a regimented way. Of the system’s many modes of wiping out human polyculture and inducing conformity and human monoculture, perhaps none goes deeper than its exercise of control through food.
This starts with simple physical control. Corporate technocracy induces the people to relinquish all food independence, all food security, in favor of complete dependency. For many this dependency reaches the point of absolute mental darkness, an actual belief that food comes from the supermarket, from the corporation, from the poison lab. The cultural and spiritual decay of diverse humanity to a standardized, dependent mass hominid then proceeds from there.
This systemic indoctrination is reinforced by the “feed the world” propaganda campaign. Superficially this campaign is about the allegedly helpless and starving masses of the global South. In fact all the claims of the propaganda, going back through the entire history of the “green revolution”, are proven lies. On the contrary, the people of the South comprise the great preponderance who still are providing food for themselves. This is why they’re the primary target of the corporate agricultural system. The people are targeted for economic liquidation and physical cleansing from the land. The great Southern ecosystem of human and ecological polyculture is slated to be eradicated, the land scrubbed sterile and portioned out into squares.
Feed the World is war propaganda. Corporate technocracy’s war aims are similar to those of its forerunners, the Nazis: driving the despised groups out of the economy, Lebensraum, Humanfrei, empty space, absolute monoculture. The campaign of corporate agriculture is a campaign of biological imperialism. Its first goal always is to drive vast numbers of people off their land. This cleansing is accomplished through economic coercion reinforced by violence wherever necessary. (The palm oil wars in Indonesia, Honduras and elsewhere, with “conservation” NGO shills in tow, comprise a typical example.) This is a biological cleansing which transcends all ethnic cleansing. It’s a complete human cleansing without regard to politics, religion, culture, all of whose diversity the system seeks to eradicate. Only the rite of money as prescribed by the theocracy of Mammon can identify one as part of the system. This identification as well, being nothing but conformity to fundamentalist ritual, is monocultured.
Then the natural polyculture of humanity is bulldozed, leveled, crushed, paved over. Everywhere the people are driven into the monoculture of the ghettos, the shantytowns. This is where all culture and spirit are driven to die. This form of concentration camp is the midway goal of money and of the corporate technocratic system. But it’s not the end goal, not according to the corporate personhood logic, and not according to the logic of poison-based agriculture and a system based on poisoned food.
This proximately is what “feed the world” means. That’s the war aim, to drive out all people, all wildness, all physical and genetic diversity. The Earth is to become nothing but commodified spaces and concentration camps. The polyculture of humanity is to be reduced to one shantytown monoculture, non-culture, non-spirit, non-politics.
But even more profoundly than this, the ultimate target of Feed the World propaganda is the mass of Western conformists themselves. They’re led to sense that in their dependency and insecurity, only their total conservatism and conformity can hope to sustain the extremely fragile, vulnerable, unsustainable industrial food system so that it can keep feeding them. Their rejection of GMO labeling is just one lesser example of this don’t-rock-the-boat conservatism. A greater example is their continued religious faith in the regulatory model. Only this conformity, they believe, can save them from being driven into the far more abject and miserable conformity of the tent cities and ghettos, urban and rural, for years now ramifying across the American scene. Here in the middle class West they see more and more of their neighbors economically destroyed and driven hence. The corporate technocracy and its media ministry enforce the fear.
Throughout human history, up until the modern era of extreme energy consumption and high-maintenance technology, the great polyculture of peoples lived according to a natural order, place, and unity. With the rise of capitalism and technocracy and the total victory of the enclosure movement, the historical order and unity have been broken. The goal of the corporate monoculture onslaught is to destroy all human diversity, and all sense of place, unity, control for each group amid this polyculture. Humanity must extrude the new movements to rebuild the polyculture and abolish the corporations. We abolitionists of poison agriculture strive to abolish for reasons of the physical health of humanity and the greater ecology, and for spiritual reasons. We must restore the lost unities amid diversity, the lost places and lands, the lost self-control, self-determination, freedom. We need the will and resolve to continue building the community food sector, the civilization of food sovereignty, the necessary transformation to agroecology. Perhaps we must start at the primal mammalian scale at first, small among the dinosaurs. But eventually and inevitably the renaissance we generate shall inherit the Earth as we restore ourselves to our rightful place within the infinite ecology of Gaia.
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.

September 1, 2017

What Can Follow the Modern Age


“Post-modern”: This means that modern civilization is purely nihilistic in the full Nietzschean sense. In the human mind there is no longer any such thing as fact or fiction, truth or falsehood, no moral values, no aesthetic values, no spiritual values, no philosophical values, no political values, no version of what Nietzsche called an order of rank. No religious values; God is Dead.
The vast majority of people still claim to have such values, but all groups and almost all individuals are liars and hypocrites about this. In practice they cherry-pick, self-contradict, and flat out lie according to whim or perceived advantage.
This doesn’t change the physical facts. The main facts are that fossil fuels are finite, and there is no substitute for them; and that civilization cannot indefinitely rape the environment without inevitably provoking a severe correction of itself.
But no one believes in these facts. This collective unbelief is the one stable religious fundamental of modernity. Even those who identify themselves as environmentalists don’t really believe it, just as those who call themselves anti-capitalist aren’t really any such thing.
So then those academics who call themselves “post-modern” study this culture of elemental falsity, their study itself being an example of unbelieving, uncommitted pop culture trivia. Same as everything else in modern culture.
Meanwhile we few who believe in physical, biological reality, we primal mammals laying low in the underbrush while the doomed giant reptiles still lumber about, we know that the reality beyond the modern mass suicidal delusion will never be “post” modern, but the combined restoration of history’s natural course with what’s true and humanly useful from modern philosophy and science: Agroecology, and then a few things worth salvaging. This Renaissance is the only possible future reality, if there’s to be a human future at all.

May 31, 2017

Abolition Movement Part Two – Basic Goals for Organization


In Part One we sketched the need for an abolitionist movement built from the soil up, from completely outside the existing political system, toward goals and a way of life contrary to those of this psychotic, homicidal and suicidal system. What are the basic operations and goals of this movement?
It’s not possible to “stop” the corporate system as long as the fossil fuel, environmental, and organizational basis of its power remains intact. The purposes of starting right now to build a pioneer movement for the abolition of poison-based agriculture and for the spiritual and cultural affirmatives of the new Earth are more evolutionary and cumulative, with an eye toward the long run. But this still requires hard work in the here and now.
1. The movement must propagate the new and necessary ideas. Humanity needs a dedicated abolitionist organization whose first goal is to sow in the public consciousness ideas of the need and practicability of abolishing poison-based agriculture and building the complete economy based on agroecology and food sovereignty. Toward this goal we must speak to those who already feel these things to varying extents, to further radicalize each from whatever level they’re currently at, toward the full abolitionist consciousness. [Definition of abolitionist consciousness: Implicit acceptance and avowal of the need for total abolition; total commitment to this goal no matter how long it takes and no matter what’s necessary to attain it. Therefore complete flexibility and lack of bias with regard to strategy and tactics.]
Almost no one knows yet about the need to do this and the fact that it can be done right now. Most people have no idea that there exist far better alternatives to industrial agriculture, globalization, the finance sector, etc., that all these things are destructive rather than constructive, and that there’s no physical basis for the future of this system. There’s no substitute for fossil fuels; the soil and ecology as a whole cannot sustain the exploitative and destructive status quo. So we must propagate the ideas into the general public consciousness. At first this isn’t primarily to “persuade” anyone, though to whatever extent that happens it’s a fringe benefit. Rather, the primary goal is to make people aware that the alternative ideas exist, so that when history brings a radical change in the situation and large numbers of people suddenly become ready for a radical political change, they’ll know where to go.
Agroecology is a fully demonstrated science and set of principles ready for full global deployment, as soon as humanity evolves the will to do it. Therefore the first task is to make these ideas fully public. From there food sovereignty and poison abolitionism can start building a true social and cultural movement toward active political goals.
So the first task is to make these ideas part of the public consciousness, even if at first most people don’t take them up.
2. The movement must build the new within the old. Especially agroecological practice and the community food economic sector, but also whatever else is possible in other sectors. We must defend this rising economic and agronomic movement against the government’s increasingly aggressive attempts to suppress it. This is an economic necessity for the flourishing of truly organic farming and food processing and distribution restored to their rational regional basis. (Almost all food production and distribution is done naturally and rationally on a regional or local basis.) This is a physical necessity since it’s necessary to preserve as much of the agricultural and wild germplasm as possible for the future basis of agriculture. In the same way it’s necessary to preserve as much of the still-living arable soil as possible and to start rebuilding the soil wherever possible, starting right now. It’s also the ongoing empirical and scientific process of building our agroecological knowledge and expertise. All this is already happening. It needs greatly to expand and to become fully conscious of itself as a world-changing movement.
3. The movement must prepare for the time, which will come unpredictably but can start accelerating at any time, where the basis of corporate global power begins to erode in earnest. We must be ready to act in any way possible as this proceeds. Even now I think there’s several potentially powerful wedge campaigns we could run which could help to break up existing political alignments, in particular the overall fear and loathing of poisonism.
4. This movement comprising the pioneering abolitionist organizations must build itself as the skeleton of a future mass movement, which will cohere when the masses to whom we previously propagated the new and necessary ideas suddenly become ready to take up these ideas and commit to them. That’s when the abolitionist and ecological movement (by “ecology” meaning not just the physical environment but economy, politics, spirit, culture) will have its first great chance to transform the Earth. That’s also when it’ll be humanity’s one and only option, other than the mass starvation and pandemics locked in to the status quo path.
There’s the overall strategy. In Part Three we’ll sketch a plan for the day-to-day actions of pioneer abolitionists.
Help propagate the abolitionist need.

May 2, 2017

Non-GM Supply Chain Reforms, Their Potential and Their Limits


Cargill is among the most powerful of the commodifiers who receive grain shipments from farmers, variously process the grains, and sell the grain products to food manufacturers. Commodifiers and input suppliers (sellers of seed, fertilizer, and pesticides, such as Monsanto) together maintain control of agriculture and have great power over the food supply. Therefore Cargill’s increasing participation in building a non-GMO supply chain is an important expansion of the restoration of the non-GM conventional sector. Food manufacturers and retailers increasingly have wanted to provide non-GMO products, but theirs is a relatively weak position. It’s very difficult for them to enforce changes in the supply chain from the buyer side. But when key elements of the supply side itself, commodifiers like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, are doing structural work toward building the alternative supply chain, it’ll become much easier for more manufacturers to choose this in deference to the demands of consumers.
This is an example of capitalism trying to save itself by reforming itself. Most of the corporate food chain, at least from manufacturer to end consumer, regards GMOs as a worthless, gratuitous, costly, politically inflammatory imposition upon them. From their point of view Monsanto is nothing but parasitic and predatory.
The response of Monsanto and its cultist fanboys proves once again that they are nothing more or less than religious fanatics and gangsters. They’re capitalists who in their shrill and feverish rhetoric turn against capitalism itself the moment other capitalists, who don’t share their religious commitment to this worthless technology, try to make a profit without it. Cargill’s CEO is quoted: “There’s a growing group of people who don’t want GMO ingredients. So let’s develop a supply chain for that, rather than say, ‘You’re wrong if you don’t want GMOs.’ Our mind-set is we’re going to empathize and understand the consumer on what they want in their food.”
As we’ve long known, “capitalism”, “property”, “contracts”, “satisfying the customer” are not values for the corporations and mean nothing to them. The ideology of these is only a set of lies they use and abuse as convenient toward their real goals of religion and power. We see this with Monsanto in its attacks on Chipotle, Dannon, and others who act in a truly rational capitalist way toward GMOs, treating these merely from the point of view of their profitability. Meanwhile the attitude of the pro-GMO capitalists is one of the best examples of how, contrary to its propaganda, capitalism usually is non-rational and irrational. Of course Cargill is doing this now only from this profit-seeking perspective, and only extreme naivete would see them as “good guys” or something, the way so many did with the Campbell’s PR scam.
(As for the “farmers” whose tweets are quoted in Ken Roseboro’s piece on Cargill, they’re likely paid trolls who may not even be farmers at all. Nor should humanity have any tolerance for the kind of farmer who willingly injects poison into our food, water, and environment. As for the content of their whining, how are they “suppliers” or anything else which implies agency? They’re slaves, 100% of their own volition. They’re willing slaves to Monsanto as well as to commodifiers like Cargill. So if they’re ever discomfited by a difference of opinion among their masters, they have no one to blame but themselves. Meanwhile anyone with a true farmer ethic supports anything which helps break the stranglehold on our food – first abolishing GMOs, then poisons as a whole, and then corporations as a whole. Any true farmer realizes the overriding importance of conserving and rebuilding the non-GM grain supply sector and improving its economy of scale. This is critical for non-GM farming, the organic sector, and most of all the rising community food sector.)
Roseboro’s piece finishes well: “The simple reason is that more and more people don’t want foods containing GMOs. If GMO technology is so great proponents should proudly feature it on food labels instead of trying to hide it and attacking companies and people that don’t want to use or eat the technology’s dubious fruits.” This is self-evident and indisputable. The pro-GMO activists claim to be so proud of their product in theory, yet in practice they’re obviously deeply embarrassed by it and ashamed of it to the point that they don’t want people to know when it’s there. Imagine if what you considered your great affirmative endeavor were so slimy that you had to skulk around in disguise like a pervert in a raincoat slinking into a porn theater.
Strategically, it seems superficially that the labelists are making progress toward their goal of reforming corporate industrial agriculture to purge it of GMOs. By the same token, corporations from Cargill to Dannon to McDonald’s evidently believe that the consumer movement against GMOs really is nothing more than a narrow-minded consumerist campaign, and that the labelists and “anti-GMO” people really don’t care about Food Sovereignty or the community food sector, at best care about the industrial organic sector, and really don’t care about pesticides either, but are just targeting this one product genre and can be appeased by giving them “non-GM” alternatives.
Indeed, a Bloomberg headline goes against common sense when it calls the Non-GMO Project an “anti-GMO group”. Since the Project, along with the rest of the testing sector, depends for its own rationale and funding upon the existence of GMOs and widespread contamination by them, by what logic could they be considered “anti-GMO”? The whole testing sector, and the whole complex of NGOs dedicated to seeking GMO labeling, depends upon co-existence, to use the cartel’s own term. This is simple capitalism and bureaucratic self-perpetuation as well, along with an ingrained ideological tendency inherent to reformism as such. (And of course even this bare minimum of reform has to assume: That it’s possible even now to sustain a non-GM supply chain, given how rampant contamination already is; how with many crops it’s impossible to prevent contamination; and how the very term and concept “non-GMO” keeps being diluted as the allowed level of “adventitious presence” mechanically and inexorably is increased. This is a fraud built into the whole notion of the co-existence of GMOs with non-GM products.)
We who work to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and build Food Sovereignty understand that no reformism within the corporate system or within industrial agriculture is possible or desirable. Therefore while we stand ready to use every opportunity to build community food and to condemn the evils and lies of the corporations and the technocratic cult, we must never be lulled into thinking reform is working well toward the necessary goals, or that it can become a goal in itself.
It’s not possible for corporate industrial agriculture to save itself. Industrial agriculture is doomed physically to collapse. At the same time, in spite of whatever short run calculations are shared by Cargill, the Non-GMO Project, and the labelist faction, in the long run GMOs as a primary mode of control over agriculture, food, and from there all of civilization, are too important for the corporate system to let them go without a war. So while the delays and obstructions forced by the reform campaigns are good, in the long run these won’t suffice. The system will, for as long as it has the power, force GMOs into our food supply and into agricultural and ecosystem genetics.
GMOs are physically totalitarian and politically totalitarian. For both these reasons humanity cannot co-exist with them, and therefore they must be abolished completely. And because industrial agriculture also is physically unsustainable and is guaranteed to collapse completely, even if GMOs could be abolished via the reform route while leaving conventional industrial agriculture in place, this would solve nothing toward the great looming food crisis and the great affirmative need for the global transformation to agroecology.
It’s true that the eventual physical collapse will bring an end to further GMO deployment once and for all and “abolish” them in that way. But until then they will wreak physical and cultural havoc, with incalculable reverberation effects long after Monsanto is dead and buried. Their existential presence will be much like the long run reverberation effects of extreme greenhouse gas concentrations, long after humanity’s artificial emissions have stopped. That’s why it’s insufficient for humanity to wait for the system to collapse. By then the contamination chaos will be wreaking dire, extreme harm, just as with climate chaos. These are among the practical reasons humanity must take its fate in its hands and build the transformation movement of its own free will and abolish corporate agriculture of its own agency, rather than waiting passively for the collapse. That’s in addition to the spiritual need freely and affirmatively to undertake the transformation work.
Unless we want the worst for ourselves and our progeny, we must affirmatively transform. This movement action must go hand in hand with the abolition action. Only this synergy will galvanize our spirit and provide the political basis for the affirmative work to go on in the face of the enemy’s obstruction and repression attempts. The squabbling in the media over “non-GMO” consumerist projects are just that, squabbles within consumerism over petty consumer “choices”. This is a tiny ripple amid the rising flood. Much bigger forces drive and comprise the flood tide, and much bigger forces must be deployed in order for us to swim amid it.

April 30, 2017

The Attack on the Leopold Center and the Destruction of Science


Power dictates what kind of science is done. Most often, research which could benefit humanity is never funded in the first place, and scientists are indoctrinated against seeking to perform such research. Of the potentially infinite number of lines of scientific inquiry, humans can choose only a tiny fraction to pursue. This choice is almost never made on rational/scientific grounds. On the contrary, the choice is made on political and economic grounds and according to political and economic goals. Especially in the modern era of scientific professionalization and specialization, this choice is almost always made by existing political/economic elites. The axiom, “In any era the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class”, is nowhere more true than where it comes to how technology and science are chosen. STEM education takes place within the framework that considers corporate control and corporate profiteering to be normative. This is the water in which it swims, and it’s a rare cadre who even becomes conscious, let alone asks questions.
Less commonly, the system does provide some resources for true scientific inquiry. By this I mean, research which is neutral from the point of view of whether its results will support or condemn capitalist activity. Of course this institutional support is never more than pennies compared to the billions of dollars of public money distributed for avowedly pro-corporate research, i.e. “science” as corporate welfare. But even this piddling amount, which nevertheless is consistently the best investment the establishment ever makes from any objective point of view, is always at great risk of assault by the representatives of corporate power. Today Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is slated to be killed off by rerouting most of its funding.
The Iowa state legislature, owned by agribusiness and presiding over the complete destruction of the state’s communities, economy, soil, and environment, just voted to starve the Leopold Center this way. Advocates of sustainable agriculture and real advocates of science are now trying to get the governor to veto the bill.
The modest amount of legislated funding for the Center will instead be redirected to agribusiness interests. This is typical of the massively lopsided funding structure which is dominant everywhere. Few universities have anything remotely like a Leopold Center in the first place but have always been 100% pro-corporate in their funding and research. The Gates Foundation is typical of pro-corporate “philanthropy” in giving a measly few dollars for what are allegedly “sustainable agriculture” projects. It then touts these for propaganda purposes in order to make its actions look scientific and responsive to the public good even as the vast majority of its disbursements are for pro-corporate projects. In a typical example, in the form of Cornell University’s “Alliance for Science” corporate philanthropy and a corporatized university collaborate to set up a junk science propaganda bureau on behalf of the corporate product genre, GMOs. Much of the funding comes from the Gates Foundation. With such gambits they’re following the longstanding pattern of the US government’s foreign aid scams. Almost all USAID money and “food aid” policy goes to pro-corporate and pro-globalization initiatives. USAID funds cosmetically “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” projects only for propaganda purposes, and once they’re away from the media eye these projects are often scams and always come under agency pressure to conform to corporate norms. See Food First’s World Hunger for copious details of USAID’s chicanery.
What does all this mean? Monsanto and the other giants of agribusiness have extracted massive profits. Why do they need a cent of publicly funded R&D help, let alone such a monumental level of corporate welfare? What’s more, in recent years these corporations have been dismantling their own research programs. This is in fact an admission of the intellectual and scientific bankruptcy of the entire industrial agricultural endeavor. In every reality-based way corporate industrial agriculture is a complete failure at every good it promised to deliver, is obscenely wasteful, and is horrifically destructive of human communities, real economies, the environment, and the soil and genetic basis of all future agriculture.
The only thing propping up the whole destructive mess is the current regime of entrenched power. Governments and corporations have enough concentrated power to enforce the domination of corporate industrial agriculture through economic and physical brute force, and that’s all they have. Even this system of force keeps faltering, and the elites keep being forced to concentrate power even further in order to maintain their brute momentum.
Clearly the day has come where actual technological research has reached the point of total attenuation and diminished returns, while science long ago disavowed industrial agriculture as a destructive failure. The day has come where the elites of the system no longer have any use at all for actual science. When an Iowa legislator flippantly says that the Leopold Center “has completed its mission” he’s speaking far more broadly and profoundly than he knows. Indeed from the corporate point of view all of science has completed its mission. At the same time their use of the idea of “science” as a fraudulent theme for propaganda and organization is becoming increasingly critical. This corporate propaganda project goes with the attempts of the scientism religion to sustain and aggrandize itself. Here we see the core of how corporate power and pseudo-science fundamentalism increasingly find their interests and goals to be identical.
Since power dictates what kind of science is done, it also dictates how truly rational and rigorous the practices are, and how honest and forthcoming the practitioners are about the results. The result is the same age-old practice of power: Establishment “science”, having been chosen to protect and increase the power of elites, is also practiced in order to bring about the elites’ desired result, not the result that rationality in search of truth would attain. The result is then publicized, not in an open, honest, descriptive way, but as a form of political propaganda, with all the usual propaganda methods applied to it, from suppression to secrecy to cherry-picking to distortion to tendentious interpretation to flat-out lies.
Therefore the Cornell Alliance’s pseudo-science is far more typical of today’s corporate science establishment than is any legitimate scientific research. The astronomically lopsided funding imbalance reflects this, assaults on the few legitimate scientific institutions like the Leopold Center reflect this, and most of all the near-consensus among system types that there’s simply no science left to be done at all wherever corporate PR themes are normative reflects this. Cornell and Gates, and the cultist fanboys who sign on to the lists circulated by the Cornell website, are smug in their fundamentalist assurance that whatever the Monsanto PR department decrees is the essence of science, no more and no less.
This is also the religious faith of the pro-corporate cadres and fanboys who “marched for science”. Where are they when it comes time to fight for a beleaguered practitioner of science like the Leopold Center? They’re nowhere to be seen because they’re part of the corporate consensus which believes that science = money and money = science. They’re part of the corporate science paradigm which decrees: Science is nothing more or less than whatever the corporations say it is. By now all of corporate science, which means almost all institutional science, including all research programs, is nothing but propaganda, part of a massive lie machine.
We see the basic fact. Where it comes to agronomic and ecological science, at the very least they don’t want to know. The corporate-dominated system doesn’t want to know, the average scientist and “marcher for science” doesn’t want to know, the average voter doesn’t want to know. If they wanted to know, the Leopold Center wouldn’t be getting the axe. If they wanted to know, the Leopold Center would be far more lavishly funded, and there would be hundreds of university centers just like it. If they wanted to know, they wouldn’t be actively or tacitly supporting Big Ag’s publicly funded lie machine. And this leads us to the fact that the system goes far beyond not wanting to know. It actively, systematically suppresses truth and all legitimate inquiry which would seek truth. The corporate system and the scientific establishment which is its helpmate together comprise a complete culture of the lie.
Therefore it’s easy to see why the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is so odious, not just to corrupt legislators but to the whole culture of scientism and corporate “science”. Its founding mission, as encoded in the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act, is triply scientific in the true sense of the term and therefore abhorrent to corporate science and those who are religiously committed the paradigm:

(1) Identify the negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts of existing agricultural practices, (2) research and assist the development of alternative, more sustainable agricultural practices, and (3) inform the agricultural community and general public of the Center’s findings. It is important to recognize that this mandate creates, by design, a dynamic tension between conventional and alternative forms of agriculture. This tension is a healthy part of the Center’s work; it does not indicate the Center is failing to fulfill its mission or communicate effectively. The Center has a particular responsibility to focus on the environmental problems of agriculture and their solution.

According to the concept of the scientific method there is in fact supposed to be intense, thorough-going dynamic tension within the scientific community as everyone always works to see if they can falsify the work of everyone else. The fact that today’s corporate and scientific establishment and their parrots in the media and among techno-fanboys find such tension and falsification work to be intolerable is proof that there’s little left of legitimate science within the system framework. Within the limits of establishment research and publicity frameworks, we’re currently in a post-science and pre-science era where actual science has no room left. Only when the forces of human and ecological opposition become kinetic and destroy this destructive system will they open up the space for human innovation, including scientific innovation, to resume. But today we live in the time of the total bottleneck. The corporate system will do all it can to prevent every human and ecological attempt to restore the balance and resume human and evolutionary freedom.
Therefore, the Leopold Center is being targeted in part because it challenges the culture of lying and debunks the lies. It debunks the lies of industrial agriculture and exposes its failures and destructiveness. But we can’t stress enough that the Leopold Center’s primary activity is not this direct debunking. Rather, the Center assists and helps fund the rising community food sector which Big Ag rightly sees as its mortal enemy. The Center is targeted for assassination not because of its criticism, but because of its affirmative role toward the necessary great global transformation to agroecology.
Help propagate the necessary ideas.

April 29, 2017

Note on the Rising Ecological Science and Practice


An example of the right idea and correct design.

In most cases where anyone talks about renewable energy it’s still completely in the service of the wrong idea: Extreme energy consumption toward general productionism and wasteful consumptionism. “Renewable energy” is merely supposed to replace (in reality, supplement) fossil fuels toward the goal of feeding the extreme consumption maw.
And then this wrong idea automatically drives bad design. Renewable energy is conceived in terms of concentrated solar panels and industrial wind farms, all of it of course under corporate control. (And all of it dependent on a foundation of continued fossil fuel extraction and burning.) Massive electricity production, massive electricity consumption, all to be used as wastefully and destructively as possible. They even want to continue with the personal car, even though this requires using the propaganda meme of “renewables” in the service of what are really fracking cars, coal cars, nuke cars. Social and engineering design doesn’t get more stupid and pernicious than wanting to use electricity to power such self-indulgent luxury transportation in the first place, and it was inevitable that the whole thing would be nothing but a pure fraud. A Prius is exactly the same product as a Hummer and exactly as ecologically and culturally destructive.
We know the corporate science paradigm generates only waste and destruction. What kind of science and engineering will be constructive for the human and ecological future? This goes with the question of what constitutes real science and in what way science can be restored to its proper, constructive role as a tool for the benefit of humanity and helpmate of human well-being.
Science and engineering must focus on the most constructive result within the framework of low energy consumption, low greenhouse gas emissions, low-maintenance technology, resiliency, robustness, and which does not destroy carbon sinks or in any other way harm the environment. Optimally, it’ll contribute to rebuilding sinks. This is the science which will be constructive and beneficial toward the necessary ecological human future.
These criteria are dictated by the finitude of fossil fuels, surging climate chaos, the acidification of the oceans, the mass eradication of biodiversity, the imminent collapse of the soils, and other looming environmental collapses. We must learn to live harmonious with the ecology or die. We’ve also learned that humanity cannot co-exist with corporations and therefore with any technological deployment which is inherently high-maintenance and hierarchical. Science and engineering which would benefit humanity would focus on inherently low-maintenance, decentralized, democratic technologies. As Auden wrote at the beginning of WWII, a war which never ended, “We must love another or die.”
Obviously these criteria rule out “hi-tech agriculture”, which is mutually exclusive with all of these, as well as any development or deployment of high-maintenance technology. It rules out anything which assumes globalization, since modern globalization is mutually exclusive with low energy consumption and low emissions, and as the most fully developed form of corporate domination it’s mutually exclusive with human innovation and freedom.
Agroecology is the gold standard for a fully developed science and set of practices which superbly fulfills all these necessary specifications.
I write about the future of agriculture and food as Peak Oil, climate chaos, environmental collapse, and extreme cultural and political volatility impend. Others must take up the corresponding tasks to propagate the necessary ideas for other essential sectors.
Help propagate the necessary ideas.

April 22, 2017

The Age of the Earth

Filed under: Agroecology, American Revolution, Climate Crisis, Peak Oil, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: — Russ @ 6:07 am


The Earth is home. For all our human purposes the Earth is the universe. The Earth is our entire home, and our only home. All social ideas are grounded in this truth. All traditional religions agree upon this as well. Attempts to find the heavens in the “up there” are misreadings. The Bible is unequivocal: The New Jerusalem is supposed to descend to this physical Earth, and heaven is nowhere but upon this Earth. The same is true from every other point of view.
Among all religions only scientism consistently despises its home and provider the Earth. Thus, in addition to its many other evils and idiocies, scientism constitutes the most extreme and despicable ingratitude. All human beings agree this is the worst of sins and the most ominous of traits.
For the great majority of us home is a particular foodshed. Only a handful of people are born travelers. The vast majority of migrants are those cast adrift by corporate-driven economic coercion, or by the spiritual and cultural homelessness generated by the technocratic civilization. Part of the great and necessary ecological transformation is our return home to the Earth in the most spiritual sense of learning again to be part of our foodsheds. In the end communing with the Earth through our mode of food is the most direct form of our spiritual communion with the Earth and with ourselves as a whole. Only through the Earth can we become human again.
It’s a measure of the decadence of the alienated civilization that “Earth Day” is cordoned off as a discrete holiday. As if we all don’t live at the complete sufferance of the Earth every moment of our lives. As if all the grand towers and fortresses and mausoleums of our civilization, and all our technological self-deification, don’t exist at every moment in an ICU, hooked up and dependent upon every machine while we simultaneously do all we can to pull all the plugs.
This self-driven campaign, too, is part of the Earth’s kinesis.
Western myth begins with the image of a woman with child in the heavens, the Greek wisdom Sophia, fertility and wisdom. We find the great wisdom at the roots of creation where we say our God as well found it. Her child and the Earth come into being simultaneously along with various notions of an evil dragon. This monster often has been mistaken as Sophia’s misguided creation. This depicts the primordial vision of dialectical conflict unto creation.
Human history is the story of the preparation of the Earth for humanity and humanity for the Earth. Before this preparation is complete the Earth must undergo its time of tribulation, first the ravages of the kamikaze campaign of extreme energy consumption, then the unfathomable volatility and turbulence of this era’s collapse and self-immolation, as all the pent up potential, all the physical and spiritual heat and poison this kamikaze civilization has emitted, reaches Kinesis.
The time has reached such an extremity of alienation and confusion that few on Earth can read the signs in history and nature, and so humans have conjured religions to interpret the signs. Few have the vision to recover the lost wisdom of the woman who had to flee into the wilderness. But this wilderness is nothing but the fertile Earth, tending itself and waiting for humanity to end our destructive self-exile and come home to our creative work.
The visions of the woman Sophia spangle the heavens with the sun and moon and stars. We project these from Earth. As the final star descends, the morning star, its light shall gather all other cosmic lights in itself and glorify them as they continue to shine upon Earth.
Light and sight finally shall be liberated here, as we finally understand the mysteries. The new civilization shall prove with light that the only night was in the benighted minds of men. In the new city there shall no longer be the day vs. night of the mind. The sun and moon and stars shall shine on Earth as before. This shall be the final end of all artificial hate, greed, lusting for power and control, spiritual homelessness. All that’s ecological shall continue the cycle, now fully in harmony, transcending all distinction of natural and artificial, purging all that is anti-ecological and living as one amid the Earth’s now exalted ecology.
Thus the trial of perdition, the final judgement of the fossil-fueled technocratic derangement (veritably a malign ghost, a resurrected fossil of evil, a summoned demon), shall be complete, the mystery shall be solved, and from there all which is, was, and is to become, shall become, and shall be, and shall become forever more. The tree of life cycles forever through the twelve seasons, bearing its twelve fruits, and all human stewardship of Earth shall fruit in harmony. The water of life is a river which flows forever, and as Greek wisdom has it no one may step twice into the same stream and yet it remains always the same stream.
The great vision comes of the air at break of new day, and all creation sings its new song for the new city. There still must come tribulation from the air. The air of the day must gather and pressurize the power of the heated winds, heated by the oily bonfires of Babylon. When they shall be loosed, as the fossilized technocratic empire loses control, the Kinesis will rage while the vision of the temple and the ark ranges the sky forecasting the flesh and blood and stone of the new city which shall descend. This is the word from air to earth and sea. But there is a tiding of the thunders which shall remain untranslated until the final descent of the city, whence this too shall resolve to a rainbow.
Fire is the great inspiration, fire is the great symbol of tribulation raging as wildfire across the visions, fire is the destructive force Babylon’s bonfires unleash to scourge the world as the empire loses control. Fire shall consume Babylon itself. Fire is the symbol of the ultimate sundering of those who refuse the last call to come home. But as the new heaven will establish upon this earth, so all of hell has been on this earth and shall continue in the voids within the self-damned. Thus the ultimate fire has been in the minds of men, their raging violence, and so the future lake of fire shall be the soggy ashes in the dead souls of those who refused.
The creative fire is the new light of the new city. Earth has been cradle and romping ground and home for mind, and shall now resume as home for the soul.
The river of life leads the song now sung by all the creatures of creation. The river shall flow forever in the new city, and throughout the new heaven and earth. The ocean, primal residue on Earth of the primordial waters before life itself, shall be resumed into these waters. The river still flows on Earth, still flows to the seas that girdle the Earth. All soon shall be cleansed and purified to become as holy water, suffusing Earth as rain and river and sea. These shall bless our crops forever bounteous, shall redeem and restore the ecology of Earth, Garden of Eden, Gaia.
But first the age must undergo a great tribulation of water. Babylon sprawls upon many waters and its crimes and poisons surge forth. It shall be destroyed by literal and spiritual tsunami. Humanity must rise up to abolish the poisons and poisoners. The great ecological preparation requires this affirmative act of agency, and Earth shall not forgive passivity on this point.
And so humanity and Earth meld, as artist and material, material and artist, to establish a new heaven and a new earth on this very soil. This is the consummation of creation, its transformation. This is the revolution and restoration and Renaissance. Humanity and Earth plant the tree of life in this very soil, and secure the foundations of the walls of the new city upon this very rock, the rock of Earth beloved unto all time by all human gods, and our home of Humanity unto all time.
The only God is God of the Earth. And let it be blasphemy and the mark of evil to say this Holy Rock is not home, and that “we”, meaning a handful of mean and stupid boot-lickers and slave-drivers, still seek a new home somewhere beyond this earth.
Humanity has a mission throughout this trial. We must work to prepare the Earth and to start building our new city. This is our part in the transformation of creation. We must liberate the Earth, for this is preparation and transformation. We who are called to this mission must work and endure in harmony Earth’s power and the human will transmuted to God’s will which shall bring us through to victory.
Paradise is of this Earth. It now shall be established in the flesh and stone and spirit of the true civilization, the Ecotrinity of God and Humanity and Earth. We will finally know how to use mind and soul in harmony to work amid Gaia’s ecology in harmony. The greatest sin was to embrace the primal sundering, the alienation, the exile. This is what Jesus called the sin against the Holy Spirit. This is the sin that cannot be forgiven because only a willfully sundered soul, in all its the deluded depravity, can forbid itself to repent, forgive itself and come home. These who willingly bear the mark of the beast refuse to do so, and so cannot return, and must try to prevent all return by force. This is their main political, economic, ideological, and anti-ecological campaign today.
Paradise is of this earth. The Ecotrinity, and the ecological state of mind and soul which accompanies it, is the great and rising idea and spirit at this climax and tribulation of the modern fossil-fueled, corporate demon-ridden, propaganda-exhorted derangement. The false idea of “man vs. nature” is dead and dying, and the false “dominionist” religion, in both its traditional and secular forms, dies with it.
The tree of life shall extend its redemptive roots throughout the soil of the newly conceived Earth. Its twelve seasons of fruit shall symbolize the great prosperity of humanity and Earth in the new day. The waters of the river of life shall suffuse all the springs and rains and flows and deep blue seas of the new Earth. Our children and crops and all the plants and animals shall drink of these holy waters.
According to scripture the new city shall not contain a temple, for all Earth shall be a temple. And finally we shall understand what it means to say our bodies are temples. Finally we shall resume living as temples, no longer as coffins. And what we build shall be the bowers and wreaths of these temples, no longer tombs.
We shall resume our true heritage as our spirit spreads from the new city’s model point of light to embrace and combine with the light of the entire Earth. That’s the great promise and goal we aspire to on Earth Day. It commands us to make every day Earth Day, and then for this great aspiration simply to be the living work of each and every day.
This is the movement humanity must build. The Earth is calling us home.
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