April 18, 2018

CRISPR: Utopian Religious Fantasies, Shoddy Reality


In their fantasies and propaganda, it’s a palace

BASF is announcing that it plans to use the CRISPR “gene editing” technology to engineer “crop protection”, i.e. the same old pesticidal GMOs.
This is just the latest proof that all the high-falutin’ advertising come-ons about “second generation” GMOs boil down to the same old poison plants and pesticides. That’s all agricultural GMOs in themselves were ever about and all they’ll ever be about.
This is just as true of hoaxes like “golden rice”. Even if golden rice ever were to be developed to the point that it could be commercially deployed, it would be deployed only in a Bt-expressing, herbicide-tolerant poison plant form. And while Syngenta has made propaganda hay out of its alleged “donation” of the beta carotene transgene (though the IRRI has reserved the prerogative of taking out its own patents on this technology), it certainly will not donate its pesticidal transgenes.
Agricultural GMOs do have two more profound long-run purposes. For the pro-GM activists of the scientism cult, the idea of GMOs and genetic engineering as such is far more important than the real thing. This manifests in two ways.
1. Agricultural GMOs are a stalking horse for animal and human eugenics on a GE basis. This is what the cult and the technocratic power structure really care about. Do you think the Western STEM fraternity really cares about a GM eggplant in Bangladesh for its own sake? They similarly don’t care how CRISPR actually is used in the short run, whether to engineer herbicide tolerance or glow-in-the-dark fish or bigger muscles for geeks or whatnot. These are all just practical and political experiments toward their goal of literally sculpting human bodies and minds according to corporate-technocratic specifications, for corporate-technocratic purposes.
2. The political/propaganda experimentation is part of the idea of GMOs serving as an organizational principle. “GMO” is a clarion call, a dog whistle, a way for every cadre and fellow-traveler of the scientism/technocracy cult to recognize one another, come together on a militant basis, and get used to waging fanatical culture war. This in turn is preparation for literal civil wars and escalated imperial wars as the eugenic control project gets fully underway. “GMO” is a fascist slogan in the most precise sense.
The goal of technocracy is the total blank slate, the total eradication of messy, hard-to-control wildness, indeterminism, freedom, all to be replaced by strictly engineered and controlled technological entities. The goal of replacing all human workers with robots is just the tip of the iceberg.
This is the ultimate culmination of the Judeo-Christian pathology which has sought relentlessly to sunder humanity from nature, depict humanity as being in a war with nature, and hail the destruction of nature as the ultimate goal. Ironically, this destruction has been called “reclamation”. The idea is that the wilderness is the domain of Satan, and destruction of the wilderness and its replacement with every kind of monoculture is a process of restoring the Garden of Eden.
But the truth is the exact opposite. The living Earth is Eden. Humanity is inextricably part of the Edenic ecology and can never truly be sundered from it. Humanity never was driven from the abundant Garden, but merely has embarked upon an infantile campaign of mutiny and vandalism within it. This death wish is more suicidal than homicidal, and it destroys freedom instead of attaining it. We had the freedom of the forage but chose the slavery of the tilled field. Industrial agriculture and its biotech escalation work to lock down this enslavement as permanent by physically eradicating all possible biological basis for truly reclaiming the Garden in all its biodiversity and freedom.
Of course the technocracy, according to its projections of a robot economy and agriculture, thinks it will need only a few slaves. The rest of humanity is, in the technosphere’s eyes, nothing but toxic waste which has to just go away, one way or another. The goal is to render the Earth Humanfrei, an exact reprise of the Nazi goal of rendering Europe Judenfrei.
Step One: Drive them out of the economy. We see the ongoing liquidation of all living-wage jobs and the campaign to replace workers with robots and other machines regardless even of profitability let alone any other value. The real goal of capitalism isn’t profit but control and domination. The profit system is just one mode of organizing power. We see the centuries-long aspiration of monocultural agriculture to drive all people off the land. And where were the people supposed to go from there? The system never had an answer to this. They briefly were supposed to go into the factories, but only until they could be replaced by machines. Today they’re supposed to go to ghettos and shantytowns where they’re supposed to rot and die. Exactly the original Nazi plan for the Jews.
Step Two: Drive emigration, if there’s anyplace for the dispossessed masses to go. As we see, globalization and its wars have set great masses of refugees in motion. The imperial countries who have destroyed the people’s homes refuse to accept any of these refugees except on an illegal basis, according to the cheap labor needs of the corporations. There’s nowhere the people can go where they can find security to build new lives. There’s noplace even to set up new ghettos. This too is exactly parallel to the Nazi persecution. They tried to force the Jews to emigrate but weren’t surprised to find that none of the sanctimonious Western countries wanted these refugees.
In both cases, the Nazi persecution and today’s corporate globalization persecution, we have a vast mass of people who the system considers worthless and dangerous. In both cases there’s nowhere for the people to go, no moderate “solution”.
We know what Step Three was for the Nazis. What do you think Step Three will be for the corporate technocracy, if they’re able to continue their onslaught?
The biotech deployment, and the ideological-religious propaganda of GMOs, are a key part of this onslaught. The “CRISPR” meme is the latest and most sleek propaganda model. The tawdry facts of its actual deployment are just as irrelevant to the true believers as the tawdry facts of the entire history of GMOs. That’s why pro-GMO activists do nothing but lie, like any other kind of religious fundamentalist: Facts mean nothing, only the fundamental faith.

March 20, 2018

The Exterminators Have Asked


(Today is this blog’s ninth birthday. Covered some ground since I turned a Baseline Scenario comment into my first post. And yet on day two I was already writing about geoengineering, the climate crisis, and GMOs. So the whole thing has been along one trajectory.)
The New York Times, leading propagandist for every form of Earth destruction, does it again: “Should Some Species Be Allowed to Die Out?” (Magazine cover story)
The only rational and moral answer is, yes, Homo sapiens evidently must die out if Gaia is to survive. Certainly the NYT would insist it’s an either-or.
Actually, what needs to go extinct is not true humanity – free, leisure-loving, usufruct-based, part of the ecology – but the debased, depraved, “civilized” humanity, Homo civilis. Only this will save both humanity and Earth. Thankfully this infestation has almost depleted its food supply (its accessible fossil fuel energy and therefore its industrial food supply as well) and must imminently go the way of the dodo and the many other species it murdered.
As for the innumerable species being exterminated by civilization, for which the NYT and corporate environmentalists* cry such crocodile tears, even the lowest microbe is worth more than the entirety of this grinder “civilization”, which is worth nothing. That’s why the only way it can exist at all is by destroying humanity and the Earth. That’s why civilization feels such infinite hatred for the Earth and for free humanity and actively wants to wipe them out.
*The purpose of mainstream environmentalism is at best to manage ecological destruction, negotiating how much is to be destroyed at what rate, in much the same way the Judenrate negotiated with the Nazis over how many Jews were to be killed how quickly. In both cases the conscious end goal is total destruction.

February 23, 2018

Today’s Inversion of Yeats


The consummation of civilization

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of
Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
– William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
This poem was written in the context of the turmoil and radicalism of the interwar era in Europe. Yeats saw rational, humanitarian values in full retreat while the will to violence and destruction surged.
Today’s good moderates solemnly read this as cry of anguish against the extremes of fascism and communism. I don’t know enough about Yeats to know if that’s exactly what he meant by it, but given the context of the times it’s an obvious reading.
The problem is that today the matching of action to the perceived “moderation” or “radicalism” of political positions has flipped completely from that of Yeats’s time.
For years I’ve written from the perspective of speaking to those who have some level of anti-corporate consciousness and commitment and sought to heighten, enhance, intensify these. Most specifically I’ve spoken to the anti-GMO/pesticide movement and sought to help it evolve from reformism within a pro-corporate context (a position doomed to failure, as I’ve argued in countless posts) to the agronomically and ecologically necessary position of total abolitionism, a position which would require a broader anti-corporate consciousness.
You could say I’m trying to do the same thing King was doing when he realized that the civil rights movement never could win unless it broadened its consciousness and action to a comprehensive position against capitalism and war, and spoke to his people exhorting them to this evolution.
Well, my call to build an abolitionist organization, let alone a broader anti-system movement, has met with crickets. The most direct reason for this is that no one who talks radical wants to do any work, while those willing to work are willing to do so only within the system’s officially allowed reform frameworks. It’s a depressing paradox.
And when we look at where the real fury is in this society, that’s where it occurred to me that today we have an inversion of Yeats wrote.
“The best lack all conviction”: Today there are no MLKs who want to move from particular struggles to the commitment to build a movement to break corporate power and overthrow corporate rule. And there’s no one who would follow them if they did exist.
“The worst are full of passionate intensity”: Where’s the only place one finds fire, fury, radical feeling? Only among the Dembots and Trumpbots, only among the most pro-status quo conformists and cheerleaders of kleptocracy who nevertheless really ready to tear one another to shreds over whose team is better. Never in history, not even in Gibbon’s depiction of the Council of Nicaea, has the narcissism of microscopic differences generated such strife. And in this case, the identical twins locked in a mutual death grip are fighting over who gets to be the most mainstream, the most conformist supporters of entrenched power, the most ardent corporate bootlicks, the biggest warmongers, the most loyal (vicarious) followers of warlords and crime bosses.
Since civilization has become completely engulfed in the Extreme Energy Civilization, and since this civilization is doomed because by its nature it must violate the limits of resources and ecology until these force its destruction, it follows that for the adherents of civilization there’s nothing left but desperation, insanity, and the final rampage of destruction which will strive to drag down all of humanity and the Earth to extinction with it.
It follows that there’s no place left for any kind of “alternative”. No cultural, political movement is going to be built. The proof of this is that no one who in theory wants alternatives is doing anything toward this movement-building work. Politics is Dead. “Leftists”, “radicals”, just as much as your standard glad-handing Republican, care first and foremost about their work life. And just as much, they desperately support the Extreme Energy Civilization and yearn for its permanent continuation with all the ardent faith of the most primitive idolator. What’s the difference between someone who says we need total drilling and fracking to power the hi-tech economy, and someone who says we can power the hi-tech economy with renewable energy? Nothing. It’s the same religion and the same delusion. And in the end even the greenest renewables-touting, Prius-driving Sierra Club member will support drilling the last drop of oil and fracking the last cubic foot of gas in order to keep the city lights on for one more minute. It’s a fundamentalist religious commitment.
For whatever few of us hate what civilization has done to destroy humanity and the Earth, who can’t wait to see the lights go out and who can only hope there’s something left to rebuild upon, we’re simply the primal mammals hiding in the tree-tops and burrowing under the shrubbery, waiting for the end of the dinosaurs. We know the time will come, and just have to hang on till it does.
So it follows that any way we mammals can come together, any kind of actions we can take and groups we can form, must be dedicated to preserving our humanity, our ability to live as human beings, and the feeling of what it is to be human. Certainly this is a hard task amid such a hostile civilization.
As for the civilization itself, the masses of furious conformists and inert skeptics, there’s nothing to be done since they’re all committed to the terminal ride, and the only actions they’ll ever take are homicide and suicide.

February 22, 2018

What’s Really Indicted by the Indictment


On its face the indictment of some Russians for internet trolling sounds just like all the previous “evidence” for Russian perfidy: A big nothing. Certainly all the attempted manipulations of every country on Earth add up to nothing compared to the daily manipulations all over the world engaged in by the US corporate system. It’s the field against Tiger Woods in his prime. But the real goal of this indictment is the subsequent criminalization of anti-corporate dissent as such. The key part isn’t the allegations about “foreigners”, but about what kind of speech they engaged in which allegedly is criminal: Regular, run-of-the-mill political speech.
The mainstream media is sounding the toy bugle of judgement day for Russia’s day that will live in infamy, while our earnest “progressives” are engaged in microscopic parsing of the statues invoked in the indictment, trying to discover whether this is “real” evidence that Putin is the Antichrist. Reading them, a visitor from another planet would think there’s such a thing as a “rule of law” here. But in reality there’s nothing but Might Makes Right with the law being nothing but a weapon to be deployed however power wants to deploy it.
All one needs to know about US concepts of “citizenry”, “foreignness”, who is and isn’t “alien” etc., is that in the US/globalization system corporations are considered legal persons as well as given priority over all nominal “law” at globalization tribunals, and that in principle and practice big money is the only real right. The most direct legal application of this to elections is Buckley v. Valeo and its appendix Citizens United. These are just logical extensions of the Mammon ideology as such, which believes money is a real thing and that all human-to-human and human-to-Earth relations should be reduced to money relations. All forms of liberalism (and conservatism) and the mainstream media agree with this and are components of it.
So it’s easy to see that the “rule of law” exists nowhere but in the minds of regressive progressives. Money also doesn’t really exist, but unlike with rule of law, the rule of money is enforced aggressively enough that it has become the real power.
So all one needs to know about these Russian allegations is what a piddling amount of money is involved, even according to the indictment. That says it all about the real effect of Russian trolling if it ever existed, how much attention anyone should pay to it, and how the real purpose of the indictment lies elsewhere: Part of the ongoing campaign, supported across the mainstream political spectrum and by all mainstream institutions, to criminalize any real dissent on the part of Americans themselves. From the corporate mainstream’s point of view, including the Democrat and Republican Parties, we are the true foreign criminals.

January 15, 2018

The Action Spirit of King


In April 1963 Martin Luther King and his fellow Birmingham direct actionists sat in jail. They had expected such a response from the segregationist power structure. It was also predictable that they’d be hearing criticism and condemnation from most of the people who in theory should have been on their side. King anticipated this, and responded immediately with an eloquent refutation and exposure of this collaborator position. This was the Letter From Birmingham Jail.
In the letter King refutes those who object to demonstrations, boycotts, sit-ins, civil disobedience in general, those who reject anything but the most lukewarm, “civil” criticism which is guaranteed to remain impotent. He opens up with their standard objection to any real resistance, that it’s “unwise and untimely”. Today this could be the signature of all who are lukewarm.
Protest is always timely and wise in the broadest sense. As for the specific timing, we who want humanity and the Earth to have a future must recognize when the time has come, and when today is the day. Our task today isn’t the same as that of the civil rights movement. They sought a specific set of reforms. They were up against an obsolete set of attitudes and practices which for the most part were an embarrassment to corporate power, and the reforms the movement sought wouldn’t interfere with corporate imperatives. Indeed, the end of segregation was put to good political use by corporate power. It has helped render racially astro-turfed divide-and-conquer even more insidious and harder to counteract. It also generated the terrain for anti-political “identity politics”. This isn’t the fault of the civil rights movement, but rather these are crimes of the corporations and the rich and the fault of malingering racists and corporate liberals themselves. But we should be aware of this history of corporate domination.
Today we need to abolish poison-based agriculture and transform food production and distribution on the rational, scientific basis of agroecology and the social basis of food sovereignty. We must build this alternative to the corporate agriculture and food system, counter to it where possible, in resistance to it where necessary. This is a permanent necessity whose goal is the eventual complete replacement of this world of waste, bottlenecks, and destruction by a world of socioecological health, well-being, and freedom.
We’ll constantly be propagating the need for total abolition. Along the way we’ll encounter many opportunities for the kind of direct action and civil disobedience campaigns King led. We’ll likely have to engage in civil disobedience on behalf of the Community Food movement which the corporate system is trying to repress as an economic and political threat to its domination. Up against these assaults, we’ll often encounter the same sort of opposition, including the opposition King specifically addresses in his Letter.

I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.

When we speak of the global ecological and human network and the global corporate assault upon it, in particular the global onslaught of poison-based agriculture, we know that anyone who lives as part of Earth can never be considered an outsider anywhere upon it. Conversely, corporations and the hominid functionaries of corporations are purely alien to the Earth, nothing but parasite squatters on the planet’s surface. They never can be considered part of Earth or humanity. They themselves proclaim this with their ugly foreigners’ disdain for what they call “the rock” with its “messy nature”.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham.

1. The injustice is clear.
There’s many reasons to abolish poison-based agriculture. It’s agronomically and environmentally totalitarian. It poisons the soil, all crops and the environment. It accelerates soil, water, air, and habitat destruction. Industrial agriculture is by far the worst driver of the climate crisis. The longer humanity remains in thrall to industrial agriculture, the more abject its dependency shall become, the worse the environmental destruction shall be, and the more profoundly the global ecology shall be chaotically wrought.
Poison-based agriculture also is destroying our health. All pesticides cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, organ damage, and autoimmune disease such as allergies, asthma, autism, disease of the gut, and gastrointestinal inflammation which leads to every other kind of disease. These are just the best documented effects. It’s likely GMOs themselves also cause these health harms. Glyphpsate-tolerant crops are nutritionally denuded, and eating the processed foods made from them merely adds to the nutritional deficiency already inherent in diets centered on such “foods” and the many diseases this can cause or exacerbate.
The most amazing thing is how all this is over such a pathetic, worthless product. Pesticides and GMOs are shoddy, antiquated, failure-prone products based upon the backward, luddite mental framework of dealing with crop pests and disease with poison. Agricultural poisons and GMOs don’t work for any purpose which could actually help people. GMO yield is poor, no improvement over non-GM conventional agriculture. They require far more pesticides than non-GM conventional agriculture. By helping weeds and insect pests build resistance to pesticides, they generate pest resistance against themselves, uncontrollable by the same poisons which were supposed 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.
These factors build the despair, anger, and the sense of social, political, and economic bottlenecks which are driving the rising global will to rebuild the community food system and abolish the industrial food system.
2. We the people owe don’t it to those who in principle are our public servants to negotiate with them, but nevertheless we have done so ad nauseum. Citizens have fought for and passed anti-corporate legislation at the local level. Citizens and farmers have filed lawsuits like OSGATA vs. Monsanto. Almost everyone involved with the rising Community Food movement has wanted to do so with the blessing of the power structure and has been appeasement-minded about it.
No, we’ve done all we can to negotiate. The fact is, representative democracy itself with its elections were supposed to constitute such negotiations. But this always was a sham. System politicians have done nothing but lie to the people and have never felt the slightest obligation to live up to their promises after the election. Indeed, ideologues of fake electoral “democracy” have explicitly argued that the “representative” has no obligation to his constituents at all after the election is over, but is free to “vote his conscience”. In this case conscience is a euphemism for corrupt personal interest.
The “negotiation” failed. We can never have a responsible, responsive, legitimate government in its current form. In his reform context Martin Luther King came to a similar conclusion.

As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community.

All that’s left to us is self-purification, and then to go out there and do it.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

This is a direct rejoinder to those who want to keep we the people kettled inside a polity-wide “free speech zone”.
King goes on to discuss the change of governmental administrations which never constitutes a structural change. He agrees with the anarchists: Only direct action ever accomplished anything, and it did so with nonviolent force.

My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have not only the right, but the obligation, to disobey unjust laws:

One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an “I it” relationship for an “I thou” relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man’s tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong.

Today things are even worse than Buber’s “I-it”. Mammon and the corporate technocracy seek to reduce all relationships to purely technical and money relationships. This system does not recognize the existence of human beings, only technology and money. It views all relationships as “it-it.” Corporate personhood and patents on life, two kinds of demon worship, represent the most clear distillations of this.
On the contrary, the only relationships are ecological relationships, most importantly to us the relations of human being to human being. Therefore the only just laws would be laws in harmony with ecosystems and interrelating constructively with them, since the only thing which biologically exists are these ecological relationships. Agricultural and ecological pioneers long knew this intuitively and empirically, and over the course of the 20th century science has confirmed it. By contrast, poison-based agriculture, genetic engineering, “intellectual property”, property in land, the corporate-held agricultural system, segregates we the people from our work, from our land, from our food, from our own bodies. The whole ideology of productionism, consumerism, scientism, technocracy, instrumental reason, arises out of a fundamental self-loathing and hatred for the physical earth and the physical human body.
The “I and Thou” invoked by Buber and King also signifies the human affinity with the Earth, its natural ecosystems, its soil, its crops, its food, and especially the earthly human labor which indelibly interacts with these. The “I and it” indicates our sundering from all that makes us human, our forced exile driven by corporate agriculture. Alien, anti-human corporations and all that comes from them render human society a destructive and self-destructive parasite squatter on the surface of the earth, no longer a constructive part of it. With every action corporate industrial agriculture expresses its contempt for the earth. It insults the soil as the cradle of all complex life, treating it as nothing but an inert medium. It insults the seed as the universal embryo, treating it as a commodity to be painted, pimped, and most of all controlled. It adds the obscene injury of its wholesale poisoning of the soil, air, water, crops, and environment.
Legally and ideologically also this is a surface squatter regime and an obscene alienation of humanity. The land, the soil, the very seed are “owned”, which word we must render in all corporate contexts as controlled and dominated by an alien, anti-human entity. Indeed, a patent on a seed is alienation squared, since the patent is an abominable segregation and sundering of we the people from our common heritage, and it’s “owned” by an alien, anti-human entity whose very existence is also an abomination.
Economically as well this is a surface squatter regime and an obscene alienation from humanity. Growing our food is the essential human labor, the core human economic activity, the primary economy, a deep cultural and spiritual endeavor. It’s the main form of our communion with the Earth and our thread of its harmony. We’re now to be alienated from this, driven off the land. For the Western middle class, into spiritual ghettos. For the global South, into physical concentration camps called shantytowns. And soon this bell tolls also for us in the West, as our economic liquidation proceeds and the capitalist era deteriorates to a more brutally direct mode of tyranny.
We’re all too familiar with this type today:

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

Today the “moderate” isn’t an outsider with a shallow understanding, but either a predatory collaborator or a willing part of the prey herd himself. His moderation and lukewarm stance are homicidal and suicidal. He sides with the oppressor against those who would fight.
King describes how the inertial mass deplores those who fight as “extremists”, as instigators of violence, and as being too impatient. But these charges are false. It’s the enemy who’s extreme, it’s the enemy who’s violent, and we’ve been far too patient for far too long.
But in all the things we do, we aren’t the ones generating the “tension” so unpleasant to conformists. Where it comes to that, we’re merely symptomatic:

Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

This is the only path forward.
King describes how the early Christians were sustained by their faith and their relentless will against long odds.

Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being “disturbers of the peace” and “outside agitators.” But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were “a colony of heaven,” called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be “astronomically intimidated.” By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

The hardest thing is to overcome this feeling of astronomical intimidation. The mission is daunting, and existing institutions can play no constructive role.

Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world.

This will ring true for us today wherever we transpose it to any institution of the corporate-dominated system.
Today in the West the conflict isn’t over de jure slavery (but there’s still much of that worldwide) nor de jure segregation (but land policy is very effective at “segregating” out of existence small farmers who produce food for the community and do so without poisons; and in general we’re all being driven off the land and segregated into ghettos, shantytowns, tent cities, cemetaries), we are being economically destroyed and physically malnourished and poisoned. We are being given cancer. Ecosystems, carbon sinks, arable soil all over the world are physically poisoned and destroyed. New crop deployments based on massive upsurges in dicamba and 2,4-D will turn vast swathes of US cropland into the equivalent of Times Beach, while the “New Alliance” plan to recolonize Africa coupled with corporate-driven climate chaos threatens to turn all of sub-Saharan Africa into a literal desert. Does the Earth have the luxury of the “patience” King discusses here?

I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: “All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth.” Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.

Time itself is neutral, and the flow of time itself has no characteristic independent of what we choose to do with it. Abolitionism is a way of life. It’s not just labor toward a goal, let alone the ideas contained in the goal itself. Most of all it’s a way of life. The goal is most realized in the here and now, every day. This way of life means not only exercising ecology and freedom in any way we can but also fighting for it everywhere we must. This adds to the challenge and striving, but this challenge is the challenge of being human at all. In the context of King’s struggle he was writing of direct action in the most literal sense. Abolitionists of agricultural poisons will certainly have all too many opportunities and needs for such direct action as well. But primarily we rise to the direct action of rebuilding our agricultural and food systems, building agroecology and food sovereignty, propagating far and wide the ideas of these while rejecting the poison systems on a personal and group level and propagating the demolition and condemnation of the ideas of these.
The essence of humanity is to take responsibility for oneself within the community and ecology, to achieve power over oneself, to exercise one’s responsibility, combining one’s personal strength in free cooperation with others to build a free and prosperous human community. Only in such a community can we then create the space for the essence of humanity, positive freedom. This is spiritual freedom, creative freedom, political freedom, participatory freedom, ecological freedom. These can exist only on the basis of the cooperative prosperity which affords the time and opportunity for this freedom. Only this deserves the name democracy, and only this can be called in the most profound sense civilization.
Today corporate-technocratic barbarians seek to destroy democracy, civilization, agriculture, the world ecology, humanity itself. These barbarians are the opposite of the original tribes raging out of Central Asia. Those were the vigorous barbarians of ascent toward a richer civilization. Today’s barbarians of decadence are rotted and malevolent, ugly and stupid, meanly wicked. Their technology and wealth renders them the most powerful ruling class in history, at the same time that their utter lack of any redeeming quality whatsoever renders them history’s nadir, history’s most degraded, nihilistic, parasitic, worthless ruling class. They represent not a stage of Western Civilization but its final self-cannibalization. This is the end of this pseudo-civilization, for better or worse. The corporate barbarians certainly intend the worst: The full reinstatement of a slave economy, through economic liquidation, debt indenture, and corporate domination of agriculture and food.
We can defeat this satanic plan if we redeem from the wreckage of the corporate industrial agriculture system the greatest treasure we’ve won: The consciousness that we the people can feed ourselves and rule ourselves. We can realize and fulfill our freedom, well-being, and strength through full ecological democracy.
All we need is to accept this fact, believe in it, take responsibility for it, take action upon it. The true Human Renaissance beckons. This is the same human evolution and salvation for which Martin Luther King fought, for which he sat in jail, for which he wrote a letter from that jail.
We shall live up to the standard he and so many other great fighters for humanity have set for us. It’s a very high standard, and the forces ranged against us are powerful and evil. But we can do it. Freedom is ours wherever and whenever we want it. The time is ours whenever we choose it. Our freedom will assert itself as soon as we freely choose to fight for it.
Propagate the necessary new ideas.

January 5, 2018

What’s Your Interest?


It’s a lie when you aggressively extend yourself as an empire and then define your imperial interests as national interests. On the contrary, history’s unbroken evidence record proves that imperialism is harmful to the real interests of the home country, if we consider these to be the health, prosperity, security, and freedom of the people.
Every time the US political classes chatter about, for example, the Middle East, we hear lots about alleged American interests around the globe. Actually, America has no interest in the Middle East, if by “interest” we mean the well-being of the American people. Nor does America have significant interests around the globe. America’s interest, on the contrary, is to roll back the empire and roll back its insane dependency upon globalization.
On the contrary, the original Monroe Doctrine defined the limits, by any rational measure, of American interests. (Of course the Doctrine was imperialistic toward Latin America. This was immoral and by now is rationally obsolete as well. For purposes of this piece we’ll stick with a purely rational, morally dispassionate view of interests.)
Globalization brought benefits only to US corporate and government elites. All it did was maximize the power of the 1%. Therefore globalization has been a great harm to the American interest as defined by the interest of the American people, since the US elites are the worst enemies of the American people.
Stockholm Syndrome sufferers will claim that globalization brought one great benefit to the 99%: It enabled them to buy cheaply a tremendous amount of worthless expensive junk, since this binge could be done on the backs of the global South and by exporting the worst of environmental destruction.
As I said, for this piece we’ll leave aside the morality of living as a leech on the backs of slaves, and we’ll even leave aside what it means to purchase a momentary cheap luxury by destroying your grandchildren’s ecological world, dooming them to cancer and famine.
But was this binge in YOUR interest? Did all this junk make you happy, give you inner peace, cause you to feel more secure financially and physically? If you say Yes, odds are you’re lying. To give the most obvious example, everyone who argues about this, defending the alleged “American way of life”, always is clearly angry, unhappy, most of all very disturbed and scared, in spite of all their material junk. If that weren’t the case, why would they be out there, whether it be in politics or media or just as an internet commenter, expressing such rancor? Why wouldn’t they be off enjoying their utopia, which according to them they have in fact attained? Those who feel safe and at peace don’t go around quarreling.
I say it’s killing your soul. And I say the binge of addiction to worthless expensive junk also was never in the American people’s interest, just as it has never been in the interest of anyone else on Earth to imitate this derangement.
The fact is that the destruction of the American empire, the destruction of globalization, and the restoration of America’s original scope is in the interest of all the peoples of Earth, including the American people. Only a handful of criminal dinosaurs would be harmed. And this too would be greatly in the interest of humanity and the Earth.

December 16, 2017

Community Food Movement: Maine’s Food Sovereignty Act


“Certified organic” increasingly becomes a farce as it comes to equal industrial “organic”. The latest degradation: Hydroponics now can be certified “organic”. On its face that’s absurd and Orwellian. What could possibly be called organic about growing vegetables in fortified water? You might as well allow synthetic fertilizer of every sort. The industrial organic sector is industrial first, organic second.
The organic certification was never more than a second-best stopgap. The only real solution is the Community Food movement, the relocalization of food production and distribution. As much as possible, buy local from farmers you know. But just buying local as a consumer isn’t enough. Community food is a rising alternative economic sector. We need to continue building and defending this rising economic and agronomic movement.
Toward this goal, campaigners in Maine worked for years and finally attained a legislative victory as the state passed its Food Sovereignty Act in 2017. This Act makes Maine the first state in the country to have such an ordinance. The Act frees municipalities to regulate their own local food systems if they choose to pass an ordinance taking on such responsibility. The Act applies only to food produced and sold directly to consumers within the town. Anything produced for wholesale or retail distribution remains subject to state regulation (so Big Ag can’t use this as a loophole to find a corrupt town and set up shop there).
Since production and sale must take place within the town, the geographical scope is more narrow than the average farmers’ market. (Although many Maine towns are quite large geographically.) Nevertheless this is an example of the kind of act the Community Food movement must fight to enact in every state, as a way to boost local food production, processing, and distribution.
No surprise, the thugs at the USDA insisted that if the state relinquishes authority over meat and poultry to towns, that only means the feds will have direct authority over it. This forced Maine to enact an emergency amendment to the Act stipulating that meat and poultry remain under state regulatory authority. This power play gives a perfect example of what we’re up against.
It also demonstrates the limits of legislative action.* Campaigning for food sovereignty laws, just like campaigning for GMO labeling and/or GMO/pesticide bans, is at best a supplement to the work of building the affirmative movement. In the case of community food, this includes building the economic and physical infrastructure of relocalized food production and distribution.
There’s lots of people already doing good work toward that eventual goal. We need to scale that up, in tandem with escalating the campaign of ideas. As for our personal lives, the Earth’s call to anyone is to commit your life to the cause. That’s a very hard sell in this Mammon theocracy where even among the people who superficially have the right ideas and good intent, most still objectively adhere to Mammon in the way they view the world. Even fellow travelers of the necessary ideas fundamentally don’t understand the concept of subordinating one’s “private” existence and existing fundamentally as a political animal, a public citizen. All we can do for starters is to systematically propagate ideas which are fundamentally against the whole grain of this theocracy and try to find fellow atheists versus the superstitions of Mammon, technocracy, scientism, productionism, who want to work on that propagation project. This is one of the basic building blocks necessary to build a true cultural, spiritual, existential movement dedicated affirmatively to the necessary agroecology/food sovereignty transformation, negatively to the total abolition of poison-based agriculture. This campaign of ideas is the necessary counterpart to the intertwined actions of building agroecological science and food sovereignty practice.
That’s the ultimate need. What individuals and small groups can do right now:
1. Take on as much of the propagation work as you can.
2. Become active building up the community food sector as much as you can. Growing some of your own food in a garden is a good first step, and the actions quickly scale up from there. In my case, in addition to my intermittent market gardening I’ve worked at a farmers’ market, herbal medicine garden, and am director of two community gardens.
3. In your personal lifestyle get as independent of the system, as “off-grid” (using that term both literally and metaphorically) as possible.
4. To the extent you have to remain enmeshed in the system for the time being, at least be clear in thought and word that this is under duress. I still have to drive a car, but I never think or say anything other than that the car as such has to go. This is contrary to the climate crocodiles who wring their hands and then tout hybrids and electric cars (i.e. fracking cars, nuke cars, coal cars) as some kind of answer. No, that’s just a more pernicious form of climate denialism.
5. In general: Do the most good you can and never do evil. I have never once heard of an example of an evil action that was necessary in any way. That’s always a lie.
Much of this focuses on ideas and propagating ideas. I’m forced to be a writer since for now I lack any greater scope for action. In Eric Hoffer’s terminology, I’m an activist by nature who’s been forced into the role of the “man of words”. For now there really is no greater scope for action in America, since the necessary movement doesn’t yet exist in any tangible, coherent form. Or, any rudiments which may be cohering are not yet visible to the general culture of dissent.
So it follows that the first, prerequisite step toward building this movement is to propagate the necessary ideas for this movement. Not even at first to convince people, but to force the existence of truly alternative and practicable ideas into the public consciousness so that, when the cultural tipping point suddenly comes (history demonstrates that we have no idea when it will come or what proximate cause will trigger it) and lots of people are suddenly looking for a new idea, this set of ideas will be one of the sets laying around ready to be taken up.
Toward that great goal, the second necessary preliminary step is to form the skeleton of a future mass movement in the form of coherent organizations, of whatever size attainable, which will undertake whatever wedge actions are possible for the time being but whose primary action will be to propagate the ideas as far and wide as possible.
All this must take place in tandem with building up the community food sector. We especially need more local retail producers, and processing infrastructure, and political organization against the state’s repressive campaigns. The community food movement already exists as a vibrant movement with great scope for all the action one could desire. We need for the whole thing, from organic horticulture to market gardening to abolition of pesticides/GMOs to a global agroecology transformation, to evolve into one coherent cultural force.
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
*As a general rule within-the-system action is worthless, especially at the higher levels of government and especially where people seek positive policy, as opposed to resisting bad policy. But there are some wedge issues which cut across the system’s calcified political lines, where especially at lower levels of government dedicated pressure groups can get action. I argue that food is one of these potential wedges, and that organizations dedicated to the right kind and mode of food action can get good results, both directly and in terms of driving a broader cultural wedge. That’s the wager I make with my writing.

December 13, 2017

Practice Makes Awareness, Passivity Makes Stupid

Filed under: Freedom — Tags: , — Russ @ 9:42 am
The true spiritual consciousness usually requires active practice:
“Occultists tend to say that anybody who engages in intensive spiritual practice will figure out what’s actually going on — the problem with dogmatic religions is that their theology is constructed by intellectuals and made official by politicians, rather than being created and taught by practicing mystics, so it’s no wonder it’s all such a jumble of half-truths and outright malarkey.”
This principle is just as true of political and economic participation. Only active participation can render one aware and in contact with reality. By contrast, any notion of politics and economy which is mediated by corporate system-coordinated intellectuals and enshrined as policy by politicians is guaranteed to diverge radically from reality. Anyone who follows this fake path will know only fake things.
Consider the status quo mode of “politics”: Passively sit, passively receive propaganda from schools and media. Vote when told and for whom you’re told. Sign petitions when NGOs tell you, and sign what they say.
This is hardly a way to understand anything about political or economic reality.
Same for the economic status quo: Get a “job” or be “unemployed”, either way passively exist within or in relation to a hierarchy. Obey orders at your job, or obey the order to look for a job. All of this because you’re an atom of a religion called Mammon which requires constant rote repetition of rituals which require exchange of mystical tokens called “money”, and which requires reverence toward a mystical essence called “property”, where it comes to every part of nature. Nature itself doesn’t exist, only its property reflection on the wall of the cave.
This is hardly a way to understand anything about economic or physical reality.

November 21, 2017

Mammon and Work

Filed under: American Revolution, Freedom, Mainstream Media — Tags: — Russ @ 6:08 am


Another piece laying out the rationale for a shorter work-week.
There’s two reasons people have to “work” so much in order to get the money to participate in Mammon’s religious rites.
One is that most of the wealth nature and labor produces is stolen by a small gang of criminals, i.e. “elites”. The second is that people have been brainwashed into grinderism and into thinking they need to buy a limitless amount of worthless expensive junk.
And of course the elites have done all they can to impose a planned economy which requires one to buy expensive junk in order to be functional at all, most obviously the car.
The fact is that the vast majority of human societies, including most civilizations, did not force people to acquire money in order to function economically. They were organized in better ways. An economy and society which forces all human-to-human and human-to-nature relations into the money strait-jacket is a Mammon theocracy. That’s what this place is, a theocracy fixated on the worship and rites of a fake thing called “money”.
A necessary step toward human liberation and ecological restoration is to free our minds of this religious enslavement, become atheists toward Mammon, and envision a world where we’re not money’s slaves.
Propagate the necessary new ideas.

October 25, 2017

Using the Enemy’s Own Terms Helps the Enemy


Scientism and technocracy depend upon the people’s tacit acceptance of their authority and legitimacy. Although this patina of authority has been tarnished, it’s still mostly intact. Part of the job of we who oppose corporate-technocratic rule and poisonism is to keep undermining, subverting, eroding this perception of legitimacy. But this mission undermines itself when anti-poison people denote the enemy using the enemy’s own fraudulent term, such as “skeptic”, which the enemy adopted in the first place in order to bolster its perceived authority.
Scientism cultists are religious fundamentalists. By definition a fundamentalist can never be any kind of skeptic. A fundamentalist is someone who believes, in an absolute, rote, mechanical manner in one or more “fundamentals”, and who rejects in the same absolute rote mechanical way anything which is at odds with these fundamentals. At both ends there is zero room for skepticism, since there’s zero room for thought. It’s impossible for a fundamentalist to be a skeptic.
These fundamentalists call themselves skeptics because it falsely makes a claim to have looked honestly at the evidence and rationally concluded that something is implausible. It also has a general, positive connotation of free thinking (although even many bona fide skeptics are really cynics rather than free thinkers). When the corporate media calls someone a “skeptic” (it’s almost always someone shilling for the system line), they mean “here’s someone who is cutting through all the nonsense of the obstructionists and naysayers, and who will give you the straight talk explaining why to believe the government and the corporations”. And this is what the cultists want the people to think when they call themselves “skeptics”.
That’s one example of dissidents using the enemy’s own terms in the same way the enemy uses them, thereby reinforcing the enemy’s propaganda campaign. Perhaps the most common example of this is how often anti-globalists and anti-imperialists still use the term “free trade”, and often “free market”, without even the sarcastic quotation marks. “Free” trade of course is extremely anti-freedom: Globalization is a planned economy, completely dependent upon government subsidies and externalization of costs and risks, and it seeks total coerced participation and to eradicate all alternatives. But capitalism has systematically propagated the term since the 19th century for the obvious reason that people respond in a vague but strongly positive way to the words “free” and “freedom”. That’s why they continue to propagate the term today, because it still has that effect on the great mass of the people who don’t understand globalization and who might be inclined to fear and doubt it (to be truly skeptical of it).
So it’s counterproductive and stupid when even the opponents of globalized supply-based coerced trade adopt the enemy propaganda term “free trade”. They’re doing the enemy’s work for him.
It’s unfortunate that we have so many people who claim to be activists of a sort, who have a cause and say they want this cause to triumph, yet who so frequently reinforce the enemy’s own propaganda terminology. When I see such harmful sloppiness, and especially when I point it out and they don’t change this self-destructive pattern, I tend to assume that intellectually and philosophically the person is a slob who will never be reliable, since they can’t even impose the most basic terminological discipline on their thinking and communication. Someone like that is ripe to be manipulated and co-opted by every kind of enemy scam.
This goes for the term and concept science itself. There’s no such mystical thing as “science”, only the people who practice it and the structure of their actions. In principle science is just one of many philosophical tools which helps these people to perform these actions. Today in practice these actions and the way they’re structured and directed comprise only the corporate science paradigm. This corporate directed and controlled paradigm is the everyday practice, funding, and career structure of science.
And yet too many anti-poison people implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) endorse scientism’s lie that science is the most important tool, even the only tool. This is even though the deployment of pesticides and GMOs has zero to do with science, while genetic engineering itself has very little scientific theory. It depends almost completely on genetic determinist junk science and brute force empiricism. More importantly, today’s scientific establishment and mass media have only one system and depiction of science, and this is the corporate science paradigm. Any scientific fact or knowledge which contradicts this paradigm is ruled out by the system as unscience.
So the fetish of “always stick with the science”, standard among anti-GMO people who are both politically and scientifically naive, not only accepts the enemy’s fraudulent choice of battleground but it demonstrates a confusion about what the mainstream is willing to accept as being part of science in the first place. It’s not just bringing a knife to a gunfight, it’s bringing a chicken to a chess game.
Perhaps some of the anti-poison people see themselves as working to compile the factual evidence for some future day when a new scientific paradigm which accepts such facts will exist. (But I’ve never encountered anyone who said anything indicating such a consciousness.) That’s fine, but it has little to do with fighting to abolish poisonism here and now.
We who truly are abolitionists, as well as those who truly want to fight for reformist goals, have to understand that this is a struggle of politics, economics, history, philosophy, culture, religion, and biology, not of science; that there is no mainstream battleground of science, so that even if your fight is for the true science you can commence this fight only from outside the system and against it. We have to understand this, and act accordingly.
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
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