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October 14, 2017

Monsanto Stole Everything, Innovated Nothing

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There’s many reasons to abolish Monsanto and GMOs. They’re agriculturally and environmentally totalitarian. They inevitably contaminate all other crops and the environment. They accelerate soil, water, air, and habitat destruction. They aggravate and accelerate climate change and every other environmental crisis. The more that GMOs are field tested and commercialized, the longer they exist at all, the worse their ecological ravages shall become, and the more we’ll pass points-of-no-return where the contamination shall become significantly malign and irreversible.
 
GMOs are economically and politically totalitarian. The GMO cartel is leader of the corporate agricultural onslaught dedicated to driving all people off the land. The cartel is escalating what’s already a non-competitive monopoly concentration in the seed sector. It aggressively uses this position to build horizontal and vertical monopoly power, enforce its dictates up and down the food production and distribution chains, drive non-GM seed varieties out of the market and out of existence, greatly jack up seed prices, force obscenely lopsided “contracts” upon farmers, persecute farmers with harassment, thuggery, and lawsuits, and get governments to enact repressive seed laws designed to escalate and accelerate this whole process.
 
That’s just one way the agribusiness cartel has seized control of governments around the world. Under capitalism, governments intrinsically are controlled by corporate power such as the kind of control being exercised by the GMO corporations. The unique threat to humanity and the Earth posed by such corporate control over agriculture and food render corporate control over government particularly nefarious. People can waste time trying to argue about the malevolence of corporate power in other sectors, but there can be no argument here: Humanity must purge this clear and present danger to our freedom, our democracy, and our literal survival.
 
Pesticides/GMOs also present a clear and present danger to our health. All independent studies, as well as almost all the corporations’ own rigged studies, find reason for concern or alarm. The genetic engineering process itself, and the massive pesticide residues in our food and water, wreck our microbiome (our internal gastrointestinal microbial community which with our bodies comprises as symbiotic joint organism cooperating for mutual health), cause gastrointestinal inflammation which leads to every kind of disease, trigger escalations in allergies, asthma, autism, and every other kind of autoimmune disease, cause cancer, organ damage, infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects. These are just the best documented effects. Glyphosate-tolerant crops also are nutritionally denuded. To ingest the processed foods made from these merely adds to the nutritional deficiency already inherent in diets centered on such “foods” and adds to the many diseases this can cause or aggravate.
 
Most of all, the fact that governments and corporations always have refused to perform legitimate full-length scientific safety studies on GMOs is strict proof that governments and corporations believe the results of such studies would be devastating to the GM products. In the same way that Monsanto and the US government have known since the early 1980s that glyphosate causes cancer, so they’ve always known or suspected the severe health dangers of GMOs. That’s why they’ve systematically refused to test them and disparaged the very idea of testing them. That’s proof of bad faith which can come only from the worst suspicions of the worst. Here we must agree with Monsanto, any real safety test of any GMO would give evidence of the worst.
 
The most amazing thing is how all this is over such a pathetic, worthless product. GMOs are cheap, shoddy, worthless, highly expensive products which don’t work for any purpose which could actually help people. Their yield is poor, no improvement over non-GM conventional agriculture; they require far more pesticides than conventional agriculture; they systematically help weeds and insect pests build resistance to pesticides, and thus resistance to themselves, uncontrollable by the same poisons which were alleged to be the reasons for having these GMOs in the first place; the “special” GMOs – those for drought resistance, vitamin fortification, nitrogen-fixing, etc. – are all media hoaxes.
 
 
Another big hoax is that Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations have accomplished any of this so-called “innovation”. In reality, the existence of GMOs, for worse or worst, has been the work of not-for-profit operatives who then had their work stolen or otherwise lifted by the big corporation. I’ll list some examples which include all the big milestones in the development of the main GMO types. My main source is the pro-Monsanto corporate history, Lords of the Harvest by NPR corporate-liberal columnist Dan Charles (page numbers will be tagged DC), with some additional information from The World According to Monsanto by French investigative journalist Marie-Monique Robin (MMR).
 
1. The most commonly used vehicle for insertion of the transgene into the target genome is to attach it to a plasmid from the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens which in nature is a parasite that inserts itself into the DNA of plant hosts. The extracted plasmid with an attached transgene can accomplish the same genetic transfer with many kinds of plant cells. Monsanto did nothing to come up with this idea or to figure out how to do it. Instead, Monsanto took the basic idea of using A. tumefaciens and some DNA snippets from a hired consultant from academia, Mary-Dell Chilton (DC 18).
 
2. Once a mess of transgenes has been shotgunned into tissue cultured plant cells (no matter which insertion method used, bacterial plasmid or gene gun, it’s a purely brute forcible, messy, wasteful, scattershot process with no hint of “precision” about it), the engineers need a way to identify which cells have successfully received the transgenic insertion. The most common way to do this is to include within the “gene cassette” (the transgenic material being inserted) an antibiotic resistance gene which was extracted from another bacterium. (Thus genetic engineering contributes to the corporate campaign of antibiotic abuse and intentional spread of antibiotic resistance, all dedicated to eradicating antibiotics as an effective medical treatment.*) The engineers then douse the lot with the antibiotic, usually kanamycin. The cells which survive are those which successfully received the insertion.
 
But it was technically difficult getting the bacterial gene to work in the recipient plant cells. Monsanto couldn’t figure it out themselves. In order to render the kanamycin antibiotic resistance marker active, they took the idea of using the promoter and terminator sequence from A. tumefaciens itself, along with some more genetic snippets, from another consultant, Michael Bevan (DC 18-19).**
 
3. Early in 1983 Monsanto rushed to patent the A. tumefaciens insertion process even though they knew it was prior art. Charles quotes Monsanto patent lawyer Patrick Kelly: “We knew that Schell and Chilton were going to be [at an upcoming conference], and they were going to generate a set of publications which would be held as prior art.” In the demented world of intellectual property, a patent usually is awarded not to whoever can prove they were the first inventors of something, but merely whoever gets their patent application in first. (This time Monsanto didn’t get things all their own way. It turned out Chilton and Schell had also filed patent applications, and multi-decade litigation ensued.) (DC 21-2)
 
4. In nature, genes will be actively expressive or not (“switched on” or “off”), and at varying levels of expression, depending on timing and environmental conditions. This is an exquisitely developed evolutionary mechanism. In defiance of evolutionary safeguards, and therefore existing in a state of evolution denialism, in contempt of evolution, genetic engineering is dependent upon artificially forcing the transgene to be switched on at full power at all times, 24/7. This requires that the transgene for the particular trait have a special genetic promoter harnessed to it. The main workhorse promoter used in genetic engineering is the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter (CaMV35S). Once again Monsanto couldn’t figure out any of this, the idea or how to do it. For the idea to snip and deploy the CaMV promoter they engaged in corporate espionage. They lifted ideas and data from Calgene and from a Rockefeller Institute consultant. Monsanto then used laboratory brute force to get the thing to work, and in 1984 they patented it (DC 34-5).
 
5. Consultant Roger Beachy was studying viral cross-protection among plants, wherein a plant exposed to one virus may develop resistance to others. Although in the long run little came of it, at the time the idea of using viral transgenes to induce broader viral resistance seemed to be a promising line of research. Monsanto didn’t know how to do it, but they were able to exploit Beachy’s work. (DC 35-6)
 
6. Everyone had the same idea for a synthetic Bt gene. Only Monsanto had the financial resources for the laboratory brute force to do it quickly (DC 46). Any other mode of social organization besides the private corporate person could have done so just as easily.
 
7. Hired consultants did all the work engineering bovine growth hormone (BGH), which became the Monsanto product Posilac (MMR 91).
 
9. Monsanto’s flagship product since the 1970s has been the herbicide Roundup, and its primary GMO product has been the Roundup Ready line. To this day, despite desperate hype campaigns, Monsanto remains financially dependent upon the Roundup Ready system. Yet Monsanto never was able to isolate and engineer glyphosate tolerance. (Calgene did figure out how to do it (DC 67).) This was in spite of years of extremely expensive, futile attempts. But in the end nature handed them the genetic tolerance as a gift which had evolved among bacteria in the polluted ponds surrounding a lowly glyphosate factory. (DC 68-9)
 
 
We see how it was nature, messed with by consultants dependent upon the socially built infrastructure of technical research and development, who did all the work. Monsanto, evidently, did nothing but reap the right to tax all this. So who created GMOs? In descending order of importance, each standing atop the foundation of the previous levels:
 
1. Nature, which always provides the near-absolute basis and resources for all human endeavor. That right there absolutely demolishes any claim that profit ever can be justified.
 
2. The common project of society, which completes this basis. No “individual” (let alone any corporate “person”) ever has accomplished anything requiring the existence of any infrastructure, other than as a networked part of the ecological and socio-ecological basis.
 
3. Farmers carried out the empirical practice of ten thousand years of selecting seeds, developing crop types, breeding landraces. Empirical farmers built 100% of this foundation. Empirical farmers are 100% responsible for developing agricultural crops in the first place and deserve 100% of whatever credit this warrants. And these farmers largely were dependent upon the social structures of those ten thousand years, albeit not as much as modern industrial agriculture and corporations are dependent upon the modern social structure.
 
4. The modern science of plant breeding, completely developed and almost completely practiced by public sector plant breeders.
 
5. The public funded most research in genetics and genetic engineering. The public paid for the corporate state to construct the planned economy of industrial agriculture and food. The public has always funded most of the propaganda for this system. All corporate sectors are elements of a planned economy of neoliberal globalization wherein all the corporations are completely dependent upon corporate welfare, starting with the planned monetarist system itself, in order to exist at all. Big Ag is second only to the finance sector itself in this absolute dependency.
 
6. Within the sector itself, the corporation seldom does any actual work, but exploits a galaxy of consultants and contractors (cf. Naomi Klein’s No Logo). Monsanto exemplifies this paradigm to perfection.
 
7. I can’t figure out what Monsanto contributes at the end.
 
 
So there we have it. Monsanto and corporations like it do nothing but steal and enclose natural and human resources, usually perverting and destroying them along the way, and use these to build massive power for nothing but to escalate their campaigns of robbery and destruction.
 
Genetic engineering (and poison-based agriculture as such) is a shoddy, hyper-expensive, destructive technology which doesn’t work and was never necessary for any human purpose. Corporations also are extremely expensive and destructive, a pure loss and plague on civilization. The Big Ag corporations like Monsanto therefore redouble the evils they perpetrate, the thefts (public domain crops) and enclosures (the goal is to drive non-“protected” varieties out of the market and eradicate all crop biodiversity and bio/cultural diversity as such), the destruction (the agricultural and wild germplasm; and as always everything which is destroyed by poison-based agriculture – the soil, the air, the water, forests, the environment, human and livestock health), all toward their goals of power and control.
 
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas. Only these can be the seeds of the next ten thousand years.
 
 
 
 
*Remember this next time you see someone shrieking about the alleged threat to public health from a handful of non-vaccinators. Demand to know what he’s doing about the systematic campaign of governments and corporations to wipe out antibiotics via their profligate abuse in CAFOs and genetic engineering. This is a campaign which intentionally generates maximal antibiotic resistance among pathogens. Of course the cultists do nothing and say nothing about this. On the contrary, they actively support all the crimes of corporate agriculture including the campaign to wipe out antibiotics. This proves that they couldn’t care less about public health, and that their hysteria and hatred toward non-vaccinators has zero to do with public health. Rather, as authoritarian cult members they’re enraged by this form of civil disobedience as an affront to their statism and scientism. These fundamentalists see non-vaccination as blasphemy against their religion. So the surface arguments about vaccination are just a proxy for a religious culture war. That’s why the techno-cultists, insofar as they shriek about non-vaccinators, should be called proxxers. Always let your first thought be: “These supporters of the CAFO/GMO system want to eradicate antibiotics. They want antibiotics to cease to exist.”
 
 
**This business of hiring consultants brings us to a far bigger truth. We’re often told that society has to allow profiteering and intellectual property and corporate personhood in order to encourage necessary innovation. Now, much so-called “innovation” is worthless and destructive and humanity would be much better off without it. But let’s say for the sake of argument that a given innovation is worthwhile. Similarly, corporate personhood is perhaps the worst idea humanity has ever had: It serves zero purpose but legally to shield criminals from liability for their crimes, and gamblers from having to take losses. But’s let’s say for the sake of argument that even the corporate form is worthwhile. Still, must this corporation be allowed to own patents and profiteer?
 
Monsanto never thought so. That’s why they felt they could do just fine hiring consultants for nothing but a fee, no percentage at all. And they turned out to be right: Consultants were willing to work, to “innovate”, for nothing but the fee.
 
Given that fact, if society decides that it does need corporations to perform certain tasks, why shouldn’t society hire these corporations in the exact same way, as consultants, as contractors, for a fee, while retaining control of society’s own common property? We have the incontrovertible testimony of the corporations themselves, led by Monsanto, that this would work just fine. So why is anyone stupid enough still to believe that society must offer “personhood” and “property rights”, profiteering sovereignty, the right to tax, to private actors in order to get them to innovate? The fact is, even if you think the services and products of corporations are worthwhile, and even if you think only corporations can most effectively deliver them (another disproven lie), that’s still no reason to give them a cut of what only nature and the common labor produces. You can just hire ’em for a fee. Does Monsanto believe this? They’ve counted on it!
 
 
 
 
 
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October 9, 2017

Christopher Columbus

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(This post uses Columbus as an example of broad themes. Many other widely revered persons can be substituted for some or all of these themes, and we’ll be getting around to discussions of some of them.)
 
On the holiday which honors this explorer there will be a huge bout of unexamined celebration as well as familiar denunciation of his role in imperial aggression. (Certainly his role here was significant and enthusiastic.) In this message I’m going to give a few words about a different aspect of the Columbus image of modern times. This image depicts Christopher Columbus as a hero of scientific exploration whose intrepid journey is a pole star for all scientific endeavor, with the most literal parallel being the Holy Grail of the technologically empowered Ubermenschen departing from Earth, the despised “rock”, once and for all.
 
 
 
 
This Columbus image plays a role in the modern false separation of religion and science (a pivotal example of the more general belief that an organic whole can be split artificially into parts which are more important than the whole they comprise in the real world; this itself is a religious tenet promulgated by the scientism religion; the question of which parts are “most” important is then answered tendentiously; but in reality the organic whole is always most important); the myth/lie that historically there’s been a “war” of religion vs. science; and the fact that this false separation and systematic lying are performed in order to exalt a new religion, scientism*, above all other religions, and to seek the eradication of all other religions. This campaign has been in the name of “science”, but in reality science has been one of the most trampled casualties of this campaign. All integrity in scientific thought and practice has been purged, and whatever existed of Popperian scientific method has been veritably sacrificed on the altars of the scientistic religion and the corporate control of all scientific and engineering practice.
 
[*Scientism is the religious worship of the idea of science in principle, and of the idea of technology in practice. Actual technological performance, facts such as that GMOs increase pesticide use and yield less and have never been tested for safety because they’re believed by their own creators to be unsafe, or that computers cannot think, or that space colonization is physically impossible because the necessary resources are not available, is not considered important. The only thing important is the idea of what these technologies can accomplish, an idea exalted in the religious imagination. As for science, almost everyone today who exalts the word “science” is ignorant and contemptuous of the actual state of current science as well as how science actually works.]
 
A good introduction to the real Columbus is found in David Noble’s indispensable theological history, The Religion of Technology. The book traces the history of the cult within Christianity which has exalted technology and technological endeavor as such (with the cult always lumping in science as the waterboy of engineering) as holy and as imitations of God. The book goes on the describe how in modern times cultists of this mistake within Christianity have sought to establish it as a completely new and separate religion, mostly in a veiled “secular” form, though the overlap with overt Christian rhetoric remains strong.
 
Noble places Columbus within this history. First and most importantly, the book documents the extreme Christian devotion Columbus brought to his career and how devoutly he conceived all his goals and discoveries. (Page numbers refer to the second edition.)
 
In the first entry of his journal of the 1492 expedition Columbus hailed Ferdinand and Isabella: “Your highnesses…who love and promote the Christian faith, and are enemies of the doctrine of Mahomet, and of all idolatry and heresy, determined to send me…to India [to learn] the proper method of converting them to our holy faith.” (p. 31)
 
By the standards of the times Columbus was extreme in his devotion. According to his son Columbus was so devout and ascetic in his daily life as to “have been taken for a member of a religious order”, and indeed many of his closest friends, with whom he closely associated in their monasteries when he was home in Spain, were Franciscan monks. “After his second voyage, he walked the streets of Seville and Cadiz dressed in the sackcloth of a penitent and appeared indistinguishable from his Franciscan friends. On his deathbed he took the habit of a Franciscan tertiary and was buried in a Carthusian monastery.” (32)
 
Following from his spiritual guide Cardinal Pierre d’Ailly, a prolific writer on scientific discovery and the religious meaning thereof, Columbus believed himself a “divinely inspired fulfiller of prophecy.” As Noble puts it, Columbus saw himself as “chosen to carry the Christ child across the waters.” The expeditions were, in Columbus’s words, “the enterprise of Jerusalem.” He called for a new crusade to the Holy Land to accompany what he saw as his crusade. He assured the monarchs, “Who would doubt this light, which comforted me with its rays of marvelous clarity..and urged me onward.” He believed he was fulfilling a recent prophecy, “he who will restore the ark of Zion will come from Spain.” (32-3)
 
Columbus worked on his own Book of Prophecies wherein he expounded his own inner visions, depicting them as continuing and confirming the visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation. For him the New World was the fulfillment on Earth of the promise of Revelation 21.
 
Columbus’s most profound error and crime was that in his benightment he believed he was bringing new preparation for this holy vision to a degraded land and people when the truth was the opposite: The New World as Columbus found it was already better prepared than the world he knew. The voyagers should have learned from the higher civilization rather than pontificated and attacked to drag it down to the lower. (Not that the indigenous societies of the Western hemisphere were holy. The were very imperfect. But they were more advanced than Europe.) Thus, instead of helping to uplift as Columbus believed he was doing, he was continuing to perpetrate the fall. This has been the usual performance of the religion of technology.
 
Today we new travelers in the West, amid Babylon, verily do contemplate terra nullius, empty space, no-man’s-land. All around us we see a land debased to the extreme rock bottom and ground zero by the depredation and poisoning of Mammon and its corporations. We who exhort our neighbors to reclaim the land in trust and stewardship to prepare it for the necessary future do bring a version of the word of the New Jerusalem to an exhausted and darkened land and show the way to work and fight to prepare for this consummation. This is the true enterprise of Jerusalem.
 
To say again, this does not apply to Babylon’s continued imperial aggression across the global South, which only continues the exact same delusion and crime under which Columbus labored, trying to bring spirit and civilization to people who know far more of these than the barbarian Sodom and Babylon could ever dream.
 
Noble also describes how Columbus exalted his technical knowledge and achievements as sacred manifestations of his relationship with God.
 

“This sailor’s art predisposes one who follows it towards the desire to know the secrets of the world,” Columbus explained, which led him in his life to seek and gain an understanding of prophecy and his appointed role in it. “Reason, mathematics, and mappaemundi were of no use to me in the execution of the enterprise of the Indies,” he insisted, without such divine inspiration and guidance. His achievement was, in reality, “a very evident miracle.” (p. 31)

 
This, along with the broad “exploration” theme as such, is the mindset which the scientism cultists wrench from its overtly Christian context and fraudulently try to claim for their faith. But Columbus would have rejected with extreme vehemence any suggestion that science and technology can be separated from God, and would have regarded as blasphemous the notion that these can have “their own” will, set their own goals, and finally that these should be placed in the service of newly conjured demons called “corporate persons”.
 
Thus we see how Columbus Day is in truth a religious holiday celebrating a religious crusade. In the same way, today’s dominant religions of Mammon and scientism seek to hijack the name Columbus for their own purposes. Of course the holiday is seen mostly in secular terms, which serves the purpose of the latter religious hijacking.
 
 
Technology isn’t good or bad in itself**. It is a tool, not a sacrament. Thus the religion of technology is intrinsically misguided. The early Christian church, like all primal societies as well as most civilizations, had a better idea. To the primal church technology, like the use of our minds and hands as such, is a blessing from God. But these tools and tool-making are not inherently holy, any more than secular philosophy. Nor is science holy.
 
But today they who take up the name of Columbus as an evangelist, not of the Christian word supplemented by the religion of technology, which was the way he saw himself, but as an emblem of secular scientism, and are trying to flip him as exemplar from one religion to a different and opposed religion. They also are continuing the same colonial onslaught in which Columbus himself was implicated. This includes many who are loudest in denouncing the imperial racist Columbus. This is only the most vile hypocrisy coming from those who support Bill Gates today.
 
Thus: It is false to see Columbus as a modernist, for good or bad. It is false to see him as a pioneer of “science” as that term is used by the scientism cult. It is false to believe it’s possible to be any kind of passionate pioneer, especially a proselytizing one, other than as driven by religious compulsion.
 
It is true to understand Columbus as a spiritual explorer of both religion and technology. It is correct to understand that he saw these as inextricably combined, though he seems to have had mistaken notions about the inherent sanctity of technology itself. It is true that he regarded science and engineering as consecrated to Christianity, and in particular to the proselytizing mission, which he saw as an essential part of the imminent end times.
 
Thus Columbus was a pioneer in the material world who carried a timeless sense of spiritual unity within him, however much some of his concepts were wrong-headed. So if one truly wanted to make him an exemplar, this is his example.
 
 
We too are such travelers, and our spirit, in the broad sense, is the same: We seek the holism, the unity, and are driven by spirit and toward spiritual goals, helped by all the tools of intellect and science. (We can add, money, temporal power, etc. insofar as these are used only as tools.) Pathology and evil come when people mistake the tools for the spirit itself, when they believe it’s the tool itself which drives us, and worst of all when they turn the tool into the spiritual end in itself. But the only worthy, righteous, and possible goal is the ecological sustenance of God, Humanity, Earth.
 
So that aspect of Columbus deserves respect, but not his confusion of a temporal empire with God’s will, church, and end. This confusion was the source of the worst of his colonial aggression, and this colonial aggression must be denounced in him and in everyone who shares this confusion.
 
But we must also reject and denounce the Columbus image of those who, out of malignity or stupidity, claim to be able to separate religion and science. Their real goal is to make scientism the one true faith and to eradicate all others, de jure religions as well as all secular values. In other words, their agenda overlaps with that of corporate totalitarianism.
 
Thus the deniers of religion are themselves among the most fanatical of religious fundamentalists, since they’re not even atheists (though they lie about this) but substitute one religion for another and then seek to exalt it to the exclusion of all others, using every weapon and mode of aggression of which they’re capable.
 
 
 
 
**This doesn’t mean technology is “neutral” relative to its political and economic context, the way the lies of modern bourgeois ideology would have it. On the contrary, science and technology are chosen predominantly by a particular power system in line with the power goals of that system. A capitalist system chooses pro-capitalist science and technology, a truly socialist system would choose different technologies and be more honest about science.
 
The fact that most of today’s self-alleged “radicals”, including those who still call themselves “Marxists”, parrot the quintessential bourgeois line that science or technology can be neutral (it is, of course, Historical Materialism 101 that these never can be neutral), is itself an excellent gauge of the fact that almost all self-defined “political” groups are just so many hobby clubs within bourgeois ideology and conformity to bourgeois ways of life. In other words, they’re all Mammonists.
 
And this in turn was one of the main factors forcing me to the conclusion that Politics is Dead: There simply is no way forward for humanity within the framework of “politics” as we’ve known it in modern times.
 
 
 
 

August 11, 2017

Politics is Dead. The Situation Today

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There’s lots of arguments in today’s Western “politics” about how to arrange these, but nothing more.

 
 
Most, regardless of their superficial politics, still believe they personally will have a lucrative career within the productionist/consumerist system. Many believe they will someday, somehow, be rich.
 
Most, regardless of superficial politics, still believe in civilization’s infinite energy consumption forever. This includes most who pay lip service to resource limits.
 
Most, regardless of superficial politics, still believe the status quo path is the path of progress, and everything will turn out for the best as long as humanity stays the course.
 
Almost none have liberated themselves from these. That’s why no coherent social/cultural/political movement has arisen against the productionist, extreme energy system. A prerequisite for this is that a sufficient number of articulate people must psychologically burn their bridges and irrevocably renounce all religious faith in the productionist global system. But so far humanity lacks even a small cadre of writers and intellectuals who can begin systematically propagating the new and necessary truths. So far all intellectuals remain co-opted and system-coordinated. But history proves that one of the surest indicators of a coming revolutionary situation, probably a necessary precondition, is that a tangible faction burn its bridges and turn definitively against the system, and actively propagate the reasons why.
 
At the moment there seems not to be any politically radical situation on the immediate horizon. (Except, of course, for what be any objective measure is the extreme radicalism of the status quo; let’s never forget that objectively we’re the moderates, while it’s today’s governments, corporations, scientific establishment, and mainstream media who are history’s most radical nihilist bomb-throwers.) What is the situation?
 
 
1. All the evidence is that corporations are destructive in every way, and we’d be much better off without them. (Even by middle class capitalist measures, those who think a mass middle class is desirable would be better off.)
 
2. But people don’t want to know this evidence. They prefer to believe Randroid lies that corporations are the “wealth creators”, the “job creators”. Why do people, including almost all progressives and most alleged radicals, keep voting for corporate rule and otherwise supporting it?
 
3. Probably part of it is path dependency. The people, and especially the cultural/intellectual elites, have become used to corporations being the main organizational form of capitalism and regard it as too difficult to think of switching to a different capitalist mode of organization, even if in the long run that would be better. (That’s even assuming the immortality of capitalism, let alone the economic and physical fact that capitalism, and productionism as such, are mortal and will soon die of resource limits the way a fly trapped indoors becomes sluggish and dies.)
 
4. But I think the main reason lies much deeper. Although the people steadily are being liquidated economically and physically, for the moment they’re still beneficiaries of the corporate West’s system of looting the planet and humanity so that a small group can squat on the surface of the Earth as parasites. Westerners are inured to this parasite existence and don’t want to give it up. They cling to it. They don’t even want to think about the proposition that if they were to transform their lives by taking responsibility for themselves and working to earn their keep as part of the ecology, they’d be much happier and more fulfilled, and over the longer run they’d sustain a much better material existence since industrial agriculture and all other systems based on infinite fossil fuels must inevitably collapse, and because the corporations led by the banks inexorably are liquidating them anyway.
 
5. But they feel the ground shaking and sense that all this must perish, that their own parasitism is running out of time, that capitalism is mortal. This gives them two reasons to double down on corporate rule.
 
(A) If time is running out, there’s no time to spare to transform capitalism. The “longer run” of an “improved capitalism” would never have time to exist anyway, so there’s no point reforming capitalism itself. (This explains the typical falsity of all claims of alleged reformists. The very notion is self-contradicting, since why would you as a pro-capitalist plant the seed of a tree which you sense will never have time to grow?) It’s similar to those who think the rapture will come soon, so why not trash the Earth.
 
(B) Desperate times call for desperate measures, and for those committed to faith in capitalism and parasitism like I described above, the less sustainable mundane belief in the perpetuity of growth capitalism becomes, the more necessary it becomes to resort to deranged Randroid notions. This is the path from toleration of corporations, to exalting them, to seeing them as actual “persons”, along the way developing an increasingly intense superstition, bordering on religion, about money and fictive numbers like GDP, trade balance, etc. The next logical step will some form of worshiping the corporations. All this is because it seems the only way to prop up belief in the perpetuation of the parasite way of life.
 
6. This also is part of the willingness and eagerness of the scientism/technocracy cult to be coordinated by corporate rule. They too see their own perpetuation as dependent in this way. Productionist STEM types have to be Randroids in order to believe they can overcome the Earth’s strong inertia to slough them off of its surface like the parasites they are.
 
7. And it goes toward the leftist tendency to regress to bourgeois ideology where it comes to scientism and technocracy. Since most Western leftists, just as much as any other Westerners, are physical parasites at the expense of humanity and Earth and want to be parasites, they too theologically must believe in the immortality of growth capitalism. They’ll continue to pay lip service to “liberating” all the machinery for the people; this explains the reactionary adherence of many of them to Marxism long after its disproof by history. But this is the same scam liberals run, pretending to want power for the people, really wanting it for themselves, and really to conserve the power of the existing elites. They’re really just talking about sustaining their own parasitism, by serving as misdirectional propagandists for the corporate system.
 
But rather than directly genuflect before the corporations the way the liberals and STEMs do, the pseudo-radicals launder their corporatism through scientism/technocracy. But since the corporations control science and engineering (as per Historical Materialism 101, as any real leftist would know), it amounts to the same thing.
 
8. All of which explains the great popularity among liberals, leftists, as well as many conservatives, of any version of “we can save the earth, avert the worst of climate change, attain socioeconomic equity/justice, within capitalism.”
 
 
Because all of these beliefs are false, because it’s all based on the plunder and destruction of humanity and the Earth, because it’s all evil, and because it’s physically impossible to sustain; because in all these ways the fundamentals are rotten, the result, for those committed to the “politics” of wickedness and impossibility, must become increasingly deranged, self-destructive, and eventually suicidal.
 
One predicted result is the advent of the likes of Trump. Trump is the logical product of the system. Not just Republicans, but Democrats, and all adherents of electoralism as this system has it, voted 100% for Trump.
 
As they are evidently committed to doubling down on this exact same course, having learned nothing and forgotten nothing, they’ll soon vote unanimously for far worse than Trump. It’s hardwired into their pathology.
 
 
 
 
 
 

May 12, 2017

“Fake People”

Filed under: Corporatism, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 8:44 am

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Real life, according to technocracy. Ecology and evolution are unreal.

 
 
For example, look at the bubble of pure fakeness people allegedly want to live in, at least according to the corporate marketing department:
 

..a 2,000 square foot ‘Home of the Future,’ created by News Corp. and ad tech company Unruly in partnership with marketers including Amazon Launchpad, PepsiCo, Heineken, eBay, Unilever, HTC, Nokia Health, and Tesco. The installation opening today in London has been created to give marketers and agencies a first-hand experience of the connected home, and a chance to think about how they might use it to engage consumers.

“Artificial Intelligence is hardest at work in the kitchen, which is stocked with brands from Unilever and supermarket chain Tesco. In this room you can give your AI system a budget and a license to search for deals from different brands and supermarkets. And cooking becomes simple, as your fridge talks you through every step of a recipe and then alerts the family when dinner’s ready. You might find a new item in your shopping basket that’s been placed there as a free sample, based on your preferences, and then let the AI assistant know whether you like it and if you would recommend it to friends.

 
(Some of those same corporations are part of the US government/Gates/Monsanto “New Alliance” assault in Africa.)
 
The scientism cult ardently aspires to a complete detachment from physical reality and complete dependency upon a literal ICU. Hannah Arendt commented on the deepest fantasy of the technocracy cult:
 

Every progress in science in the last decades, from the moment it was absorbed into technology and thus introduced into the factual world where we live our everyday lives, has brought with it a veritable avalanche of fabulous instruments and ever more ingenious machinery. All of this makes it more unlikely every day that man will encounter anything in the world around him that is not man-made and hence is not, in the last analysis, he himself in a different disguise. The astronaut, shot into outer space and imprisoned in his instrument-ridden capsule where each actual physical encounter with his surroundings would spell immediate death, might well be taken as the symbolic incarnation of Heisenberg’s man — the man who will be the less likely ever to meet anything but himself and man-made things the more ardently he wishes to eliminate all anthropocentric considerations from his encounter with the non-human world around him.

 
Indeed they hate humanity and wish with all their being to overcome and discard the species. Yet as Arendt points out, the more aggressively the corporatists and the technocrats try to eradicate humanity, the more starkly they’re confronted by their own image, humanity in its most infinitely vile and disgusting manifestation, humanity seeking to destroy itself.
 
 
Unfortunately the corporations seem not to be mistaken in thinking there’s a constituency of aspiring bubble boys who want to cease from all organic functions and who want for “humans” to exist only as pure vegetable appendages of machines. The fantasy of a GMO crop grown in a purely sterile medium is a fantasy both for its own sake and as symbolic of the existence they fantasize for themselves and for all of “transhumanity”. Don’t be distracted by any of their religious sermons about artificial sentience and virtual reality. The whole transhuman concept makes sense only if what we know as human consciousness is eradicated completely and superseded by unconscious data bit processing. The cultists feel worshipful toward their machines as a new pantheon of gods and demigods, not because they really dream of these machines becoming sentient, but because they themselves dream of becoming functional without sentience, and of exterminating all sentience. The only technical problem, as they see it, is how to render the machines sustainable. That’s the main reason they want to enslave humanity first before exterminating it, as a slave class to service the machines during the transformational period toward pure machine self-sufficiency.
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 30, 2017

The Attack on the Leopold Center and the Destruction of Science

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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 20, 2017

Destinies: Dependent and Independent of Corporate Domination

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All corporate security is the same.

 
 
This is true, spoken by an EU Green Parliament member against the European Food Safety Agency: “It is not your destiny to be independent. You rely on studies by industry. You have no means of commissioning independent studies….Stop pretending you are an independent institution.” That’s about the best we can expect from electoral representatives within the corporate system, from parties dedicated to “reforming”, i.e. preserving, the corporate system. In the end the goal of electoralism is the same as the goal of regulatory agencies, to ensure that all possible destinies remain within the bounds of corporate domination.
 
One of the tasks of the abolitionists, and of all who seek a human destiny free of corporate rule is to use such facts (the EFSA’s complete subservience to industry, as detailed for the millionth time in the piece linked above; here’s more) and such testimony to go one better and speak, not within the elitist framework as those already within it always do (the above quote is not packaged rhetorically for the people but was directed at the EFSA’s chief), but directly to the people, speaking the much greater truth: We must renounce and obliterate religious faith in agencies like the EFSA or EPA and the inherently pro-poison regulatory model upon which they’re founded.
 
 
Unfortunately, system NGOs have an opposed ideology. GMWatch testifies:
 

GMWatch and many other NGOs, however, advocate that regulatory and expert advisory bodies like EFSA should not rely on studies directly sponsored by industry – but they also insist that the public should not pay for them.

The groups have long advocated a system whereby money for safety studies is provided by the industry that wishes to bring a product to market. The money would be paid into a publicly administered fund, which would use it to commission independent laboratories to carry out safety studies.

All results would have to be published on the Internet before the product came to market, putting an end to the current system whereby the studies are the proprietary data of industry and are kept secret.

Both EU laws and international agreements reached under the auspices of the OECD would need to be changed to accommodate the new system. But it is the bare minimum of reform that is needed to restore public trust in the regulatory framework for risky substances such as pesticides and GMOs.

 
And I wish I had a billion dollars. Indeed this goes into the territory of infantile fantasy. Where has this ever been done? Where has there ever existed such a political campaign, which would be designed like these NGOs and share their ideology, but be rather more assertive in action. Here’s the traits of such an organization:
 
**Pro-capitalist, pro-corporate, wanting to co-exist with poison-based agriculture but wanting really to regulate it, wonkish, enamored of complex funding and assessment mechanisms which nevertheless would maintain integrity, believing in the essential goodness of people even within the framework of profit-seeking and “competition”, possessing the political and cultural skill to communicate all this coherently to enough people to muster broad, active political support for this system, and most of all having the organizational strength, relentlessness, ruthlessness, and force of will necessary to remain permanently vigilant and at a state of high alert against the attrition and corruption of this bureaucratic system.**
 
Most astounding of all, many who believe in this fantastic Millennium (which has been disproven by the facts over and over) then turn around and claim they’re being “practical” while abolitionism is “unrealistic”. Nowhere has the insanity of modern politics more profoundly turned truth upside down and forced words to mean the opposite of what they really mean than where liberal and reformist types invert the words “practical” and “pragmatic” to mean their exact opposite, the most extreme, impossible fantasies.
 
 
In fact such fantasy isn’t the real goal of these NGOs, but merely is religious cant they ritually recite. If you have any doubt about how NGOs like GMWatch consider their mission really to be propping up faith in the corporate system, Monsanto and all, whether they’re conscious of this or not, read again the final line in that quote: “[I]t is the bare minimum of reform that is needed to restore public trust in the regulatory framework for risky substances such as pesticides and GMOs.”
 
Quite a peculiar way of putting things, isn’t it? (And it’s not unusual; on the contrary it’s a desire they frequently express.) You might think the primary goal is the health of the people and environment, the safety of our food and water, with “the regulatory framework” being just one of many possible strategies toward this goal, to be assessed and used or not used depending upon whether or not it works. You might think “public trust in the regulatory framework” can be good or evil depending on what this framework really is and what it does, and must never be a goal in itself.
 
But this was not a mistaken formulation on their part. As the quote expresses, system NGOs truly do believe their primary goal is to keep the corporate project going, as I have written so many times in describing the corporate-technocratic regulatory template (most recently here). Therefore where it comes to regulation the number one priority of system NGOs is to prop up faith in the regulatory framework as such. Meanwhile the number one priority of the regulator is to ensure that the corporate project goes forward. The regulator may curb or more often only pretends to curb the worst “abuses”, while the NGO pretends to be vigilant in ensuring the regulator carries out its own pretense. Then both assure the public that everything is fine, the system is working as it should, corporate poisons are being deployed only in “safe” ways, and that everyone can go about their private lives and forget about public matters. Most of all, everyone can stop even thinking about politics. The regulator vouches for the corporation and, for the constituency among the people for whom the regulator’s word isn’t enough, the NGO vouches for the regulator. Thus the regulator is running a scam and the NGO is running a meta-scam, a scam squared. The goal is to ensure that all possible destinies remain within the corporate-normative paradigm.
 
We can go further. The system NGOs work to set up a technocratic, “expert”-brokered paradigm of “politics”, wherein the people are supposed to do nothing but assimilate the news as provided by the NGO, do politically only what the NGO tells them to do (usually sign petitions and sometimes “call your Congressman”), and of course keep sending money. The goal is to ensure that all possible political destinies remain within the corporate-normative framework.
 
 
We see how for system NGOs the regulatory model is the object of religious worship and its perpetuation the focus of all their activity. Thus, as GMWatch says here, the most important thing is to prop up public faith in the regulator at all costs and without reference to whether or not this system “works” toward any other goal. The formulation is clear: The regulatory system’s existence is the priority, what it actually does is of secondary importance at best. This follows perfectly the regulatory template I’ve discussed dozens of times. For recent discussions see here, here, and here.
 
And then this strain of the technocratic religion goes hand in hand with the religion of electoralism, “voting” as an object of religious worship rather than just a tactic toward a concrete goal. We see how in both cases the pseudo-political religion is ultimately opposed to abolitionism and to any movement which is honest, which has a concrete goal, and which embraces this goal as the non-negotiable priority, placing all else in the realm of tactics to be assessed in a purely practical, rational way.
 
We see the extreme difference and opposition between movements whose goal is concrete, and status quo religions like electoralism and regulator-ism whose non-negotiable goals are nothing but fog and diffusion: Voting as such, the regulatory model as such. For these the only real goal is to ensure that all possible political destinies remain within the corporate framework.
 
And then both of these cults are part of the broad infamy of neoliberalism, whose ideology is corporate-technocratic domination and whose strategy is to use the forms of democracy, not just to come to power in the first place as in the case of classical fascism, but to maintain power and become ever more totalitarian while using a minimum of direct, overt coercion and violence.
 
We see how electoralism turned out to be a world-historical mistake on humanity’s part. At least for the duration of the fossil-fuel era, we must understand that it can never be a value or goal in itself but only a tactic to be used or not according to circumstance.
 
As for the regulatory model, it always was transparently a fraud, and in any event the history of over a century is unequivocal. That’s especially true of the regulation of broadly deployed corporate poisons like agroechemicals. It’s been a long, long time since anyone could claim to be innocently mistaken about the likes of the EPA or EFSA. To still espouse faith in this model can only be terminal conformism, stupidity, and corruption. Most of all, it reveals that one is indelibly a technocracy believer and a believer in corporate rule. One believes only in destinies that are encompassed within the death zone of corporate dominion. That says it all, and whether or not one’s petty preference is then to attempt to “regulate” some “abuses” is just a minor detail, a consumerist lifestyle ornament. It has no political substance, and no relation to any reality-based, concrete, necessary goal such as the great need to abolish agricultural poisons. But only those who follow the paths of necessity can even envision a destiny independent of corporate domination and all its evils.
 
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary ideas.
 
 
 

March 19, 2017

Climate Chaos Requires A New Paradigm for Human Action

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The Only Home

 
 
Climate chaos is the ultimate corporate campaign, and the fraudulent politics of it have comprised the ultimate exercise in corporate manipulation and co-optation. The fact that all pre-existing liberal and “left” forces have willingly allowed themselves to be organized according to corporate imperatives is the best proof that these pre-existing forces exist only within the framework of normative corporate rule.
 
For the record, there is one and only one solution for averting the worst of climate change and for adapting to the level of crisis already locked in: 1. Greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 2. Stop destroying carbon and nitrogen sinks. 3. Rebuild sinks on a mass scale.
 
This will require a revolution of civilization. Most important, pressing, and direct, it requires that with all possible speed humanity must abolish industrial agriculture (the worst emitter and by far the worst destroyer of sinks) and undertake the global deployment of agroecology (the great rebuilder of sinks and the only way to produce sufficient and abundant food without extreme energy consumption; therefore the only way possible if humanity wants to continue to eat).
 
But denial of these basic facts is endemic to the commitment of all pre-existing political forces in the West to the model of civilization based on extreme energy consumption, high-maintenance technology, and the twin derangements of productionism and consumerism, each completely unanchored from any use value, any happiness value, any human value at all.
 
(The only exception to this has been action purely to block or delay corporate projects such as the Keystone or Dakota Access Pipelines. Holding up enemy assaults is worthwhile. (Even today it could be possible to field a political party dedicated in practice only to monkeywrenching and gridlocking, if anyone cared to do that. But today’s electoralists seem congenitally incapable of viewing things this necessary way.) But almost no one who does this does it on behalf of an abolitionist philosophy, or even from a purely obstructionist point of view. Instead they couple it with reactionary “reformist” notions which are part of the same cancer driving the corporate assaults they want to block. I even saw examples of nimbyism among the Dakota protectors, with some of the “leaders” among them saying they didn’t mind if the pipeline went somewhere else, just not through their space. But the only good value left is to be against all pipelines as such, everywhere. Meanwhile anyone who doesn’t consider all the Earth and all its people sacred will also sell out his own land and people. That you can count on like night follows day.)
 
It has been pointless for Peak Oilers rationally to teach people about the finitude of fossil fuels and the fact that nothing can or will replace them; the commitment to the technocratic civilization is religious, not rational. Therefore this commitment cannot be touched by rational argument. Religious fundamentalists can be converted by spiritual force, or their commitment can be crushed by main force. As the Oil Age ends, most of the technocrats will cling to their theology ever more grimly until the Earth itself purges them.
 
But until then they will continue to believe: They will believe that fossil fuels are infinite, or that Jesus or Cthulhu or the Flying Spaghetti Monster will descend one day with a new energy source to replace them. Therefore, they will continue to believe that the climate crisis can be confronted within the same framework which is driving it. They’ll believe you can have infinite emissions and total destruction of sinks and still “solve” climate chaos. This flat-earthism goes hand in hand with the flat earth cult of infinite energy itself. We are dealing with a fundamentalist religion.
 
Thus modern technocratic politics has attained consensus on the systematic ravaging of ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western industrialized productionism and consumerism. The climate crisis is caused by these actions. Since corporate state elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. The corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this. Corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all.
 
Corporate industrial agriculture has been by far the worst destroyer of local and global environments. Most of all, corporate industrial agriculture is the worst driver of the climate crisis which in recent years has been wreaking havoc on African farming and food harvests. Today, after years of widespread drought and collapsed harvests, large parts of sub-Saharan Africa are on the verge of famine. This famine, like all previous modern famines, is completely artificial, completely man-made, caused by corporate agriculture and now by the climate change driven by this agricultural sector. The corporate system promises to impose this same dynamic upon the entire Earth and upon all people.
 
One way the system’s propaganda sets up the people for this is through standard lies about such crises as drought. “Drought” almost always is an artificial problem. Drought happens when a society deploys modes of cultivation and grows crop varieties which aren’t well-suited to the rainfall conditions of the region. Historically, drought was seldom a problem for traditional agriculture, and today it’s seldom a problem for agroecology, for these are designed to be diverse and resilient in the event of dry seasons. It’s only industrial commodity monoculture which is designed to be highly vulnerable to drought.
 
What’s more, today’s increasingly volatile rainfall patterns and periods of low rainfall are features of the climate chaos being driven most of all by that same industrial agriculture. This sector is the worst greenhouse gas emitter and by far the worst destroyer of GHG sinks.
 
In both these ways “drought” is a man-made, intentional crisis. And in every case, in classic exploitation manner the drought which is driven intentionally by corporate agriculture then is used as a propaganda pretext on behalf of escalating that same corporate onslaught. This in turn only escalates the crisis.
 
We can draw an analogy from this inadequate, counterproductive agricultural mode to the inadequate, counterproductive political mode which enables it. In the same way that corporate industrial agriculture is designed to maximize both drought and vulnerability to drought, so corporate technocratic civilization is designed to maximize both environmental catastrophe and vulnerability to these catastrophes. All the politics of this civilization, including so-called “radicalism” within the technocratic framework, are designed to help maximize the catastrophe and the vulnerability. All the politics of this civilization have been pre-packaged toward this purpose.
 
 
Persistence Proves Intent. If governments, corporations, universities, the mainstream media, the professional classes, and the voters see that surging climate chaos and ecological catastrophe are the inevitable direct effects of their production and consumption actions and yet they continue with these actions, this proves that the cataclysm is part of the intended effect. The major effects of a large-scale action always comprise an organic whole. It’s never true that a necessary system policy has ambivalent results. On the contrary, the major effects are always the desired effects, because if the system desired different effects, there’s always an alternative which could preserve the “good” effects without the allegedly “bad”. There’s really no such thing as “collateral damage”. That’s just a propaganda distinction to reinforce the lie that some effects weren’t sought by the system and are deplored by it. But if there really were major effects which the system 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 it makes no difference. The major effects of an action comprise an organic whole, so 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.
 
Therefore, the proof that all these outcomes are intended by the Western corporate system and its supporters is that they persist in the patterns of action which are historically proven to produce these outcomes. This is called Strict Proof of Strict Intent. It’s the moral baseline which sums up the modern age. What distinguishes modern crimes against humanity and the Earth from all previous crimes, besides their sheer magnitude, is that with modern science, modern information systems, and modern communications, it’s no longer possible to be innocently unaware of these crimes. Today all ignorance is willful ignorance and therefore culpable. So philosophically we can dispense with the concept of “ignorance”. Climate change, other crimes against ecological and public health, the economic and political destructiveness of globalization, these all are no longer in question, nor is there any question about guilt. The one and only question left is the question of power, and the question of which judgement shall prevail: That of the targets who only now are beginning to fight back, or that of the criminals. Today everywhere only the judgement of the criminals prevails. Tomorrow it shall be different.
 
Humanity shall evolve to meet this great crisis and challenge. This evolution must include a political and cultural evolution beyond the maladaptive technocratic consciousness to the necessary ecological and abolitionist consciousness. The first stage of this evolution is to spread the necessary ideas for it. First people hear of the ideas, then they become aware of them even if they reject them at first, then the historical situation changes, the people are forced to relinquish the old consciousness and become ardent to embrace the new. And then they embrace the necessary new ideas and build the new framework from there. This is the only way humanity shall meet the climate crisis, however long or short it takes. While we pollinators cannot force the ripe moment into being faster than history brings it, we can sow the ideas as fast and thoroughly as possible so that the people render them kinetic at the earliest possible moment.
 
 
 
 
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 

March 9, 2017

Glyphosate Reviews Within the Corporate Science Paradigm

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One World

 
 
Greenpeace is accusing the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), whose opinion on the cancerousness of glyphosate is supposed to be imminent, of “conflict of interest” because its panel members also operate as “risk assessment consultants” for the industry.
 
As a system NGO, when Greenpeace says “conflict of interest” they’re referring to conventional corruption of “public servants” who are paid also by the industry they’re supposed to be regulating in accordance with scientific method.
 
Our abolitionist analysis is much deeper and more comprehensive than this, of course. While this kind of corruption is common, it’s epiphenomenal compared to the overall ideological and methodological framework of technocracy and the corporate science paradigm. Cadres of an agency like the ECHA, or the US EPA, FDA, and USDA, operate according to the corporate/technocratic template. Its three components are:
 
1. The corporate power/profit project is normative. It is the primary purpose of civilization. Under no circumstance can any other value or alternative project be allowed significantly to hinder the corporate project.
 
This has profound implications for actions like a pesticide cancer review. For technocratic regulators to acknowledge the fact that all synthetic pesticides cause widespread cancer would significantly hinder the corporate project. Therefore even the prospect of such acknowledgement is ruled out a priori. By definition it cannot be part of the review. Only the most grossly excessive and obvious carcinogenicity on the part of a particular chemical could be acknowledged even in principle. When outfits like the US EPA or the EU’s EFSA claim to believe that glyphosate is not cancerous, this is not according to any rational or scientific canon of evidence, and reformers who interpret it this way make a mistake about the fundamental character of these organizations.
 
Rather, technocratic regulators apply the canon of the corporate paradigm. According to this canon “causes cancer” is defined as: “So grossly carcinogenic that it’s politically impossible to deny it, to the point that lack of action would in itself be significantly bad for business.”
 
This is the template’s second component.
 
2. Given the strictures of (1), the regulator may if absolutely necessary impose limits on the most excessive harms and worst abuses. More often, it only pretends to do even this. Which leads to the template’s third component.
 
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project as having been sufficiently regulated for safety. According to the ideology of technocracy and bureaucracy, the people are supposed to believe implicitly in the competence, rigor, and honesty of the regulator. They’re supposed to believe this for all measures of safety, public and environmental health, political and socioeconomic benefit and lack of harm.
 
All this is based on a Big Lie, since as we described above the regulator actually functions only according to the normative values of corporate power. But it fraudulently claims, always implicitly and very often explicitly, that it has acted on behalf of human values and to protect and serve the people. Therefore the people should repose implicit trust in the regulator, not assert themselves democratically in any kind of grassroots way, and most of all not start to think in any political terms which would be based on fundamentally different values and goals, values and goals opposed to those of corporate rule and technocracy.
 
Thus we see how technocracy is an ideology, method, and form of government which is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-political as such since it is dedicated to the proposition that the people should relinquish all political activity and passively receive and believe the judgements of technocratic regulators. This system is based fundamentally on the Big Lie that it actually is a form of democracy and a form of society which encourages the political participation of the people. But in fact it conjures only sham versions of these and seeks aggressively to discourage and suppress any true politics.*
 
We see how the corporate state and technocracy, along with their allied economic ideology of neoliberalism, exist as species within the same genus as classical fascism. This is the genus of pseudo-democratic forms bled of all real political content which then stand as cultural facades behind which exists only state tyranny. Today’s corporate state is the most fully evolved form of this tyranny.
 
This site’s ultimate project is to oppose this tyranny. One prerequisite for such opposition is to understand what modern regulatory agencies truly are, and to renounce all faith in and support for them. As abolitionists one of our goals is completely to demolish all claims to legitimacy and authority of such agencies as the ECHA or US EPA. The destruction of such misguided faith is necessary for the people to conceive and commit to the necessary new ideas.
 
Toward that necessity, we need to substitute the more comprehensive analysis for the superficial and shallow “conflict of interest” and “corruption” notion. Corporate regulators, by their inherent nature, do not have conflicts of interest because their one and only interest is the corporate client. Everything else they claim about themselves is a lie.
 
The same Big Lie encompasses their ideology and propaganda of “science”. To take today’s example, the Greenpeace indictment specifically focuses on the ECHA panelists doubling as industry “risk assessment” consultants. We can leave aside the more vulgar modes of corruption though these too are common. Far more important, the entire concept, ideology, and methodology of “risk assessment” is based on the corporate profit endeavor as normative and therefore thinks, at most, in terms only of worst-case scenarios, never the omnipresent, chronic, daily harms and crimes of the corporate project. The official ideology of the US EPA is based on managing the human cancer and other tortures it and its corporate client inflict, via the concept of pesticide and cancer “tolerances”. This word should be taken literally: It means how much cancer can the corporate system cause before the magnitude becomes politically dangerous enough that the regulator needs to take evasive action, starting with sham reviews and lies meant to put the people back to sleep.
 
The European and US government establishment, along with the corporate media, reached this crisis point with glyphosate in 2015 because of the rogue action (from the corporate system’s point of view) of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC, like some individual scientists, acted according to canons of the scientific method instead of the corporate science paradigm. This caused them to issue the scientific judgement that glyphosate causes cancer. The EFSA and EPA since then have carried out their propaganda function. They’ve lied about the evidence and lied about their canons of evidence.
 
(Although the WHO as a whole has been consistently pro-corporate, the IARC is out of step with the dominant corporate/reductionist ideological framework, instead emphasizing environmental factors in cancer causation: “Emphasis is placed on elucidating the role of environmental and lifestyle risk factors and studying their interplay with genetic background in population-based studies and appropriate experimental models. This emphasis reflects the understanding that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.”
 
The proposition that cancer is preventable runs directly counter to the dominant “science” ideology which views cancer as arising from genetic determinism and which conceives the acceptable response to be massively expensive and interventionist cures supervised by Big Drug and other corporate sectors. This ideology is driven by the need of the poison-peddling corporations to obscure and deny the fact that profitable products like glyphosate are in fact major cancer drivers. The corporate flacks are abetted by scientism’s religious zealots who refuse to hear any evil spoken of their technological objects of cult worship.)
 
The IARC also is a pro-science renegade in that it assesses only the scientific public record, which according to Popperian canons is by definition the only scientific record. But the EFSA, EPA, and (we can expect) the ECHA adhere to an exactly upside-down, anti-scientific canon of “secret science”. Secret science of course is a contradiction in terms. By definition, if it’s not part of the public record and open to public perusal, analysis, and debate, it’s not part of science.
 
Today’s corporations, governments, universities, the mainstream media, and the scientific establishment all exalt the perverse notion of “secret science”. This means that we can reject their entire paradigm as, by definition, anti-science and not part of science. This underlies any specific evils of the lies being protected by the secrecy.
 
We abolitionists, in response, assume that anti-scientific secrecy automatically indicates the corporation and/or regulator has zero scientific evidence which supports them, and that what evidence they do have must prove the extreme harmfulness of the corporate product. In this case, the evidence for glyphosate’s cancerousness which Monsanto and the EPA actually possess is likely far worse even than the conclusive amount which has leaked out.
 
 
We see how technocratic regulators, in general and where it comes to specifics such as “risk assessment”, the cadre as a whole as well as specific agents, whether or not particular agents have conflicts of interest and/or are conventionally corrupt, all are part of the corporate science paradigm and therefore are anti-science and anti-democracy, according to Popperian canons of scientific method and the open society.
 
 
*This same corporate-technocatic template can be applied to the STEM establishment, the mainstream media, much “alternative” media, system NGOs, system political parties, and electoralism as such. The details may vary, never the broad function: To conserve the indoctrination that corporate rule is normative, as much as possible to render this water in which we swim implicit and imperceptible, where necessary to reinforce the indoctrination with propaganda, where necessary to offer sham “reforms” and sham pseudo-political “options”, all toward the goal of rendering truly political thought and action extremely difficult, preferably unthinkable.
 
 
 
 
 
Help propagate these ideas.
 
 

February 14, 2017

Humanfrei

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They hate food. (They hate the fact that we have to eat.) They hate the Earth. They hate the literal soil, the “dirt”. They hate the human body.
 
If for the time being they have no choice but to inhabit bodies which need food, they want to render it all as abstract, fictive, clinical, bureaucratic, technological as possible. For the same reason they want as much as possible to remove all direct human participation from food production and remove all contact with nature. They want to render the soil as inert and sterile and dead as possible and then jolt it with synthetic fertilizer. They want to sunder its contact with the rain and wind by rendering it dependent on irrigation water supplied by high-energy systems. They dream of covering all crop fields with black tarps and using only artificial light for photosynthesis. They want to use poisons to kill, not just “pests” but all life other than the crop itself. The fact that industrial agriculture is extremely wasteful in its use of fertilizers and pesticides, and the fact that GMOs are designed to maximize the use and waste of pesticides, is wasteful only from a rational point of view. From the point of view of technocracy and the scientism religion, maximal deployment of synthetic poison, through external application and by engineering crops to ooze poison from every cell, is an ideological value in itself. They do it on principle.
 
Besides maximizing pesticide use, from the cult’s perspective the main purpose of GMOs, and of corporate control of seed in general, is the religious principle of enclosing the seed and the genes, and therefore the physical crop, within the ritual of patenting. However artificial and fictive this is from a rational point of view, if the technocracy cult can convince enough people religiously to believe in intellectual property, and especially the patenting of life, and if this cult can convince the thug arm of the state to use force and the threat of force on behalf of this fiction, it becomes real. The crop now verily is something “new”. In some way it has been abstracted from the hated ecology.
 
Throughout the history of industrial agriculture and its Green Revolution, culminating in herbicide tolerant GM crops, the system has striven to be “labor saving”, aka job destroying, has been designed to purge as much human participation from the system as possible. Human beings are to be wiped out as farmers, wiped out as laborers, wiped out as communities, wiped out as people living on the land. This campaign has been most overt across the Global South, but it intends to encompass all of humanity. Human beings are to be wiped out as producers and eaters of food, since each of these human activities are odious to the technocrats and scientism cultists. Only as agents conveying money, as moneyed consumers, are human beings to be granted the right to exist at all.
 
In all the goal is to render food as abstract, technocratic, mechanized, chemical, biotechnological as possible. Monsanto’s goal always has been to remove all nature from the seed. Robert Fraley envisioned Monsanto becoming the “Microsoft of seeds”. By this he meant not just the mundane goals of greed and monopoly power. More profoundly he thought Monsanto’s transgenes would comprise the fundamental software of all agriculture, with the physical seeds and crops being just the stupid, fungible, cheap factory-produced hardware. Lots of people tried to tell them agriculture doesn’t work that way, that on the contrary the transgene is a stupid, messy gewgaw dependent upon the quality of germplasm in which it resides. For a long time the company wouldn’t listen.
 
After some years of stubbornness Monsanto had to concede to reality. But the company fixed its ignorance of agronomy only under duress. Their attitude has not changed. To this day they resent having to temporize, they resent having had to buy all those seed companies. They’re still trying to figure out how to impose maximum monopoly control with minimum real-world apparatus or indeed contact with physical reality at all.
 
This is the grail of all corporations, themselves such fictions rendered real only by the violence of the state and the inertia of the people. The sector comprising corporate agriculture and food, along with its lead enablers from the state, like USAID and the USDA, and from the world of private philanthropy, led by the Gates and Rockefeller Foundations, thinks exclusively in terms of Mammon’s fictive numbers. The measure of agriculture is never food for human beings but sanctified fake numbers like GDP, trade balances, sovereign debt, commodity and stock prices, corporate profits, money as such. These pure fictions are rendered real only by the corporate state’s violence and the tolerance of the people. Thus the corporate/government/NGO structure is able globally to impose and enforce the agricultural model which conforms to these measures and eradicates, as much as possible, all actual food production for human beings.
 
In all these ways the goal is to render it as literally true as possible that food is produced by money, that food comes from the supermarket.
 
The entire corporate system is dedicated to enforcing the religion of Mammon to its ultimate extreme, where the only relationships which shall exist shall be between sterile objects, preferably legal fictions like corporations, patents, titles and money, while all ecological relationships, all relationships between human and human, human and Earth, shall be eradicated. These relationships are to cease to have any right to exist, and then cease to exist in the most literal sense. This is the logical end of all theory and practice of the profit-seeking corporation. As we see every day, the corporations at all times are working aggressively toward this end.
 
So we have the situation:
 
Corporations regard human beings as superfluous, potentially dangerous, and would prefer they simply disappear from the earth.
 
Technocrats regard human beings as superfluous, potentially dangerous, and would prefer they simply disappear from the earth.
 
Corporations regard the Earth as literally nothing but a resource mine and waste dump.
 
Technocrats regard the Earth as literally nothing but a resource mine and waste dump.
 
Here we have perfect accord on an ideology, an economic system, and a technology set dedicated to rendering the vast majority of human beings superfluous and worthless in the most literal sense of the term. In the same way there’s perfect agreement on the complete destruction of the global ecology.
 
What do you think follows from that? Especially as the people stop being so patient, so tolerant, so inertial.
 
 
 

January 6, 2017

The Right to Judge What’s Right

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Corporatism, Mainstream Media — Russ @ 9:32 am

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If we wish to do what’s right, we must have faith that we have a right to judge the right. Lacking this, no other “rights” have meaning.
 
We can sum up all of today’s indoctrination and propaganda, and almost all formal education: There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the corporate way.
 
This right-way-wrong-way-my-way template means it’s not your place to think in terms of right vs. wrong in the first place, but rather you must leave that to the Leader and do whatever he says without thinking. In this case, it’s not the place of the citizen to think, but to leave that to corporate and government elites. From there it’s meant to purge all thinking on right vs. wrong, except within the narrow frames allowed by the mainstream media.
 
To give an example very prominent these days, it’s allowable to think about the “right and wrong” of climate change in terms of self-proclaimed “belief” or “disbelief”. But any thinking in terms of right vs. wrong actions, any judgement on whether what a political organization or party or government or NGO actually does will be good or destructive, is not allowable. This is supposed to remain literally unthinkable. And as I can personally attest, for most Americans these days, at least for the ones still religiously committed to electoralism, it is literally unthinkable.
 
Which leads to another purpose of the indoctrination. Dissidents who try to publicize their ideas constantly encounter the abject conformists of orthodoxy to whom alternative ideas are nothing but thoughtcrime, to be rejected and shouted down in the most brainless, shrill way possible. This is an effect of being indoctrinated into the mode of thought that since it’s never the business of a non-elite to think about right and wrong, therefore by definition any dissenter must be some kind of rebel or criminal to be rejected out of hand. That’s the main reason it’s so rare to encounter a corporate system advocate who will actually engage on the level of argument. It’s not just that they tend to be stupid and are always utterly ignorant about the subject at hand, though these are also true. It’s that they reject in principle the very premise of non-elites having any kind of discussion or argument over right and wrong. That’s simply not done, according to the corporate indoctrination they have assimilated. And so it’s always been for every kind of authoritarian indoctrination.
 
This “pure” authoritarian mindset underlies and is prior to propaganda. Propaganda then presents the corporate way which is to be accepted and obeyed on faith, dictates the framing ideology, terminology, slogans, rituals, and prescribed actions. And it delineates the limits within which debate is “allowed” to take place. It’s axiomatic that the corporations regard this kind of “debate” as not harmful to their power interests, and usually actively helpful. Climate change provides a perfect example. Here system “debate” always assumes that business as usual (corporate globalization and the high-consumption lifestyle) can and will continue and escalate forever, that all policy proposals will never interfere with corporate profit and indeed will open up new profiteering opportunities, and that the true, necessary actions* will never truthfully be discussed. This is true of literally all system-approved climate change policy proposals.
 
What follows from this? The same lesson that follows from all dissident attempts to find truthful representation in the system media or to argue with system-loyal authoritarians: Either of these is a waste of time and effort which is doomed to failure. No one wants to hear it, but there is no substitute for gathering cadres, forming real organizations toward building a real social and cultural movement, every step of the way speaking directly to the people only. Only after what may be a long period of such work will the movement reach a level of cohesion and strength that it can force interaction with the mainstream and with the tribalists on its own terms.
 
But until then, talking to the system is as talking to a wall.
 
 
*There is one and only one way to avert the worst consequences of climate change: Greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stop destroying carbon sinks, rebuild carbon sinks. Nothing more or less than that. All else is a lie.
 
 
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