Volatility

February 7, 2017

Food Sovereignty and Agroecology for Africa and the World

>

 
 
As the great battle escalates in Africa, we must learn what agroecology is and why it’s the necessary and bountiful path forward for Africa and for all of humanity. I’ve written about it before many times, including here, here, and here. I’ve given basic account of the clash of corporate agriculture against humanity in my new pieces on the corporate plan to recolonize Africa.
 
Agroecology is the practice of agriculture in harmony with the overall ecology. It is agriculture as a constructive, contributing part of local and global ecosystems. The practice of agroecology is the only way humans can practice agriculture in a way which gives as much to the Earth as it takes. It’s roughly synonymous with organic agriculture in the original sense of the term. (Not the degraded sense of the US government and the industrial organic sector. Industrial organic is not agroecological, it’s industrial. It mines the Earth in a way similar to regular poison-based industrial. The only difference is it doesn’t use most synthetic poisons.) In philosophy and practice, agroecology works as a part of nature rather at war with it, in harmony with the rhythms of nature rather than against them, using natural features as reinforcements or remedies, keeping actions within the natural cycles of a regional ecosystem. All this makes for an agriculture which is most sustainable in producing the most nutritious food (and the most calories, acre for acre) using no artificial poisons, doing so in a way which enhances ecosystems, economies, and communities, rather than destroying all these the way corporate industrial agriculture does. Agroecology grows food for human beings. The more the practice spreads, the less hunger, food insecurity, and dietary disease there will be. In contrast, corporate agriculture has always increased hunger and always will increase hunger and cause famine, wherever it prevails. Agroecology provides the only way for humanity to live in a way not destructive, not parasitic, not a mere worthless squatting on the surface of the Earth. It’s the only way forward, if humanity is to have a future.
 
The term “agroecology” indicates its basis in the combined sciences of agronomy and ecology. It is scientific in the true sense of the term. Its practitioners are constantly applying theory to locally-based (i.e. real world) practice, and based on the results modifying and repeating theory and practice, all toward the goal of producing sufficient calories and nutrition. Combined with the political philosophy of Food Sovereignty, agroecology then distributes this food directly to human beings, more than enough for everyone, so that everyone actually gets enough to eat.
 
By contrast, science condemns the industrial agriculture experiment as having failed at everything it ever promised it would do. It did nothing but use the temporary fossil fuel surplus to produce more gross calories. But it distributes these calories in a grotesquely wasteful, inefficient, and inequitable way. The result is that even as food production goes up, corporate industrial agriculture invariably increases hunger. Corporate agriculture can never do anything but increase hunger and make famine more common. Hunger and famine are caused exclusively by poverty and inequality. They have none but artificial, socially caused reasons. Corporate agriculture inherently drives poverty and inequality, because it inherently drives concentration of control over the good land and the control of all resources including food, which must always be rendered artificially scarce. Artificial scarcity is the only way capitalist profit is possible. On the first day of Economics 101 students are always told, on the first page of the textbook, that economics is about allocating scarce resources. The course then tells the Big Lie that this scarcity is “natural”. But in truth the scarcity is almost always purely artificial. In the case of food, it is always artificial. The fact that governments, corporations, media, academia, and the parasite intelligentsia in general wish to continue the evil experiment, now extending it to Africa in a more virulent form than hitherto, is proof that the elites and the experimenters were lying about their proclaimed goals all along. Their goal always has been nothing but to enforce hunger, because their goal always has been nothing but to enforce power and control. We know these facts: Corporate rule is purely wasteful and destructive, does nothing for humanity, and accomplishes nothing but to enable a small group of criminals to further concentrate wealth and power and exercise domination. In the end power and domination are their only goals and their only reasons for being.
 
The core lie of capitalist civilization is that there isn’t enough food for everyone to eat well. In reality both industrial agriculture (for the duration of cheap, plentiful fossil fuels) and agroecology produce far more than enough food. This is true globally, it’s true in every region, it’s true in every country. Hunger is driven only by profiteering and aggression. Famine is caused only by economic aggression and war. The great lie of scarcity is told in order to justify these wars, justify the campaigns of economic and political aggression called “globalization”, justify centralized state power, justify corporate power and profit, justify the massive use of poisons, justify the development and deployment of technologies which are extremely expensive, usually destructive, and always wasteful and worthless. It’s told to justify forcing people to buy food with money according to a predatory commodity system. It’s told to justify forcing people into the framework of submitting to coercion and de facto slavery in order to obtain this artificially necessary money. It’s told to justify the fact that a billion people on Earth go hungry for no other reason than that they lack this money, even as there exists far more than enough food for 10 billion people to eat well, and even as astronomical amounts of food go to waste every day.
 
The “Feed the World” lie is told by elites and their parasite hangers-on and supporters. It’s told in order to justify all crimes of all institutions. It’s told to justify, absolve, normalize, exalt as “the good”, and turn organized crime into the normative measure of “civilization”. The whole abomination stands or falls with this malign religious belief which strives to erase the fact that the Earth is a world of abundance, that human labor coaxes a great bounty from the fruitful Earth. The corporate system exists to enclose, hoard, constrain, ration out, where necessary destroy this Earthy abundance, this human greatness. Food Sovereignty shall break all the chains and shatter all the bottlenecks the corporate “order” has forced upon humanity, liberating all of humanity’s creative forces. Agroecology is the great vehicle, the way.
 
Agroecology is highly skilled work. It requires intimate knowledge of the ways of the soil, weather, climate, plants (crops, other beneficial plants, potentially harmful plants called “weeds”), animals (livestock, other beneficial animals, potentially harmful ones called “pests”). Agroecology’s innovative and highly productive practices reject the straitjacket of monoculture, reject synthetic fertilizers and other poisons, include natural nutrient-cycling and soil-building, the use of manure, compost, and cover crops, crop rotation, intercropping, alley cropping with leguminous trees, infusion of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the soil, biological pest control, agroforestry, better water management, rotation of livestock with annual crops, the whole art of integrating grass-fed livestock pastoralism with vegetable production. It requires the most efficient and effective use of energy and other resources. This knowledge is built primarily by the farmers themselves and shared among them. Agroecologically-inclined agronomists use this body of knowledge to build agroecological theory which the farmers then apply to their practices, with some help from agronomy schools and NGOs. All this is done with emphasis on the most appropriate specific application of general principles within a particular region/locality. This great work of knowledge and practice is fully developed and ready to be deployed globally.
 
This global deployment is necessary because the fossil fuel crutch, required for each and every part of industrial agriculture, from the inputs and financing to the growing to the processing and distribution and preparation, soon shall be removed once and for all. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, there is no substitute for them, nothing can provide even a fraction of this extreme, ahistorical level of energy consumption, and the age of cheap, plentiful fossil fuels therefore nears its predestined end. Corporate industrial agriculture is not sustainable, and proceeding with it is not an option. The two options are to stick with industrialism to the bitter end until it collapses once and for all, leaving in its wake universal famine, universal chaos and confusion, and the desperate struggle to find some new way to procure enough food under the worst practical and intellectual circumstances. Or, to undertake the great affirmative transformation to agroecology and Food Sovereignty, deploying the great body of science and practice we have built. This body of knowledge and practice, as it exists today, already is humanity’s greatest accomplishment. The only greater attainment will be the great transformation, the full global deployment of Food Sovereignty, which will comprise the redemption of humanity and Earth in socioecological concord. Any other path leads inexorably down to disaster.
 
 
—-
 
 
Agroecology is proven to be the most nutritionally productive form of agriculture as well as the most calorically productive, acre for acre. Peter Rosset testifies:
 

In fact, data shows that small farms almost always produce far more agricultural output per unit area than larger farms, do so more efficiently, and produce food rather than export crops and fuels. This holds true whether we are talking about industrial countries or any country in the third world. This is widely recognized by agricultural economists as the “inverse relationship between farm size and output.” When I examined the relationship between farm size and total output for fifteen countries in the third world, in all cases relatively smaller farm sizes were much more productive per unit area—2 to 10 times more productive—than larger ones.

 
A team at the University of Michigan surveyed hundreds of organic and agroecological trials and found that agroecological/organic/low-input production, using the same amount of land globally under cultivation right now, would outproduce industrial agriculture in caloric production for all significant food groups, and can do so while replacing synthetic fertilizers with natural nutrient cycling. They analyzed the data according to two models, one a best-case scenario and the other more conservative, and found that even by the conservative parameters organic agriculture would produce calories, including in grain production, comparable to today’s industrial output, and therefore more than enough to feed everyone on earth. By the best-case model, agroecology could produce over 50% more than the current industrial production.
 
The 2010 report on agroecology from the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food summarized a similar survey performed by a team led by Jules Pretty, with special emphasis on Africa.
 

17. Such resource-conserving, low-external-input techniques have a proven potential to significantly improve yields. In what may be the most systematic study of the potential of such techniques to date, Jules Pretty et al. compared the impacts of 286 recent sustainable agriculture projects in 57 poor countries covering 37 million hectares (3 per cent of the cultivated area in developing countries). They found that such interventions increased productivity on 12.6 millions farms, with an average crop increase of 79 per cent, while improving the supply of critical environmental services. Disaggregated data from this research showed that average food production per household rose by 1.7 tonnes per year (up by 73 per cent) for 4.42 million small farmers growing cereals and roots on 3.6 million hectares, and that increase in food production was 17 tonnes per year (up 150 per cent) for 146,000 farmers on 542,000 hectares cultivating roots (potato, sweet potato, cassava). After UNCTAD and UNEP reanalyzed the database to produce a summary of the impacts in Africa, it was found that the average crop yield increase was even higher for these projects than the global average of 79 per cent at 116 per cent increase for all African projects and 128 per cent increase for projects in East Africa.

 
These numbers prove that the US and British governments, the Gates Foundation, and agrochemical corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta are lying when they claim to want to “help small farmers” and “feed the world”. The fact that they ignore these numbers, and ignore the entire failed history of corporate agriculture and its “Green Revolution”, and instead persist in touting fertilizers, pesticides, GMOs, and the entire industrial monoculture commodity framework, proves that their conscious goal is to destroy all food-based community farming and replace it with export-based commodity industrial plantations. The vast majority of the people are to be driven off their land and into shantytowns to starve. This is the one and only purpose and goal of Green Revolution II, the “second green revolution for Africa.”
 
Subsequent sections of the UN report give more details on what agroecology has proven in demonstration and partial deployment.
 

18. The most recent large-scale study points to the same conclusions. Research commissioned by the Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project of the UK Government reviewed 40 projects in 20 African countries where sustainable intensification was developed during the 2000s. The projects included crop improvements (particularly improvements through participatory plant breeding on hitherto neglected orphan crops), integrated pest management, soil conservation and agro-forestry. By early 2010, these projects had documented benefits for 10.39 million farmers and their families and improvements on approximately 12.75 million hectares. Crop yields more than doubled on average (increasing 2.13-fold) over a period of 3-10 years, resulting in an increase in aggregate food production of 5.79 million tonnes per year, equivalent to 557 kg per farming household.

19. Sometimes, seemingly minor innovations can provide high returns. In Kenya, researchers and farmers developed the “push-pull” strategy to control parasitic weeds and insects that damage the crops. The strategy consists in “pushing” away pests from corn by inter-planting corn with insect-repellent crops like Desmodium, while “pulling” them towards small plots of Napier grass, a plant that excretes a sticky gum which both attracts and traps pests. The system not only controls pests but has other benefits as well, because Desmodium can be used as fodder for livestock. The push-pull strategy doubles maize yields and milk production while, at the same time, improves the soil. The system has already spread to more than 10,000 households in East Africa by means of town meetings, national radio broadcasts and farmer field schools.

20. Agroecology is also gaining ground in Malawi, a country that has been at the centre of attention in recent years. Malawi successfully launched a fertilizer subsidy programme in 2005-2006, following the dramatic food crisis due to drought in 2004-2005. However, it is now implementing agroforestry systems, using nitrogen-fixing trees, to ensure sustained growth in maize production…By mid-2009, over 120,000 Malawian farmers had received training and tree materials from the programme, and support from Ireland has now enabled extension of the programme to 40 per cent of Malawi’s districts, benefiting 1.3 million of the poorest people. Research shows that this results in increased yields from 1 t/ha to 2–3 t/ha, even if farmers cannot afford commercial nitrogen fertilizers…An optimal solution that could be an exit strategy from fertilizer subsidy schemes would be to link fertilizer subsidies directly to agroforestry investments on the farm in order to provide for long-term sustainability in nutrient supply, and to build up soil health as the basis for sustained yields and improved efficiency of fertilizer response. Malawi is reportedly exploring this “subsidy to sustainability” approach.

21…One key reason why agroecology helps to support incomes in rural areas is because it promotes on-farm fertility generation. Indeed, supplying nutrients to the soil does not necessarily require adding mineral fertilizers. It can be done by applying livestock manure or by growing green manures. Farmers can also
establish a “fertilizer factory in the fields” by planting trees that take nitrogen out of the air and “fix” it in their leaves, which are subsequently incorporated into the soil. That, in essence, is the result of planting Faidherbia albida, a nitrogen-fixing acacia species indigenous to Africa and widespread throughout the continent. Since this tree goes dormant and sheds its foliage during the early rainy season at the time when field crops are being established, it does not compete significantly with them for light, nutrients or water during the growing season; yet it allows a significant increase in yields of the maize with which it is combined, particularly in conditions of low soil fertility. In Zambia, unfertilized maize yields in the vicinity of Faidherbia trees averaged 4.1 t/ha, compared to 1.3 t/ha nearby, but beyond the tree canopy. Similar results were observed in Malawi, where this tree was also widely used. The use of such nitrogen-fixing trees avoids dependence on synthetic fertilizers, the price of which has been increasingly high and volatile over the past few years, exceeding food commodity prices, even when the latter reached a peak in July 2008. In this way, whatever financial assets the household has can be used on other essentials, such as education or medicine.

 
The 2008 report from the World Bank’s own International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development, endorsed by all participating countries except the predatory globalists the US, Canada, and Australia, insisted on the sufficiency and necessity of agroecology. A 2013 report from the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reinforced this consensus among all honest commentators.
 
Today we need to build new food systems in light of this knowledge. Where the age-old organic practices persist as in Africa, farmers need to sustain and enhance them in light of modern agroecological knowledge. Where these have been marginalized or obliterated, they need to be rebuilt. The people of Africa have a great opportunity. Instead of going further down the destructive and self-destructive corporate path, they have a golden opportunity to fully embrace agroecology. All of African agriculture has this opportunity to reject the evils of corporate poison-based agriculture and instead undertake the natural and rational transition from their traditional agriculture to scientific agroecology. This is the path to food security, economic stability and prosperity, human and ecological health, and political freedom. The same is true throughout the world. All the world must answer this great call to human and ecological necessity.
 
 
 
 

February 4, 2017

The Agricultural War in Africa

>

The IDEA of food is the weapon.

The IDEA of food is the weapon.

 
 
Since the age of exploration sub-Saharan Africa has received almost zero benefit from its contact with Western imperialism, only harm. From the slave trade to the age of direct imperial domination to decolonization carried out amid a resentful Western campaign of vandalism and chaos to the West’s use of the continent as a Cold War proxy, we have an unbroken and unmitigated record of the purely exploitative attitude and action of the West.
 
Globalization has been as evil as the previous assaults. Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way, and Africa has already been subject to the IMF and World Bank’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).
 
All this has been accompanied by the systematic ravaging of African 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. Climate change 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. According to this pattern of disaster capitalism the corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all. Today Africa is its primary new target.
 
Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. In accordance with its food weapon the US government systematically has waged economic, political, chemical, biological, and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, corporate agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground as well as its aggrandizement being a constant goal.
 
Corporate 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 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.
 
In spite of how grossly inefficient and destructive of actual food production it is, corporate industrial agriculture has attained domination over most agricultural land. It has been sustained only by temporarily plentiful and heavily subsidized fossil fuels, massive subsidies of other sorts, monopoly muscle, and where necessary direct political and military aggression. Corporate industrial agriculture could never have existed other than as this massive program of central planning and social engineering. The core propaganda campaign on behalf of this onslaught has been called the “Green Revolution”. Green Revolution propaganda has been nothing but lies, as proven by how it has done nothing but increase hunger in the core zones of its conquest, Latin America and India.
 
Unfortunately for this insatiable shark which must keep swimming or die, corporate industrial agriculture is reaching the point of physical, economic, and political saturation across most of its domain. GMOs, to give just the latest pseudo-“hi-tech” example of the same old oil-based, poison-based agriculture, reached market saturation several years ago.
 
Only sub-Saharan Africa largely has been spared full corporate agricultural Gleichschaltung. This was because during the heyday of Green Revolution I Africa was less accessible to global markets, globalization’s whole structure of subsidies and coercion hadn’t yet been fully developed, and the CAFO system as an artificial market for what are otherwise grotesquely overproduced grain commodities hadn’t yet fully been ramified.
 
These problems gradually have been solved, and since the 1990s corporate flacks have issued the call for Green Revolution II, a “second Green Revolution in Africa.” The goal of this second poison crusade is the same as that of the first: Seize control of the land, destroy all food production and replace it with industrial plantations to produce export commodities, and drive all the people off their land and into shantytowns. Globalization pacts will force African governments to construct all necessary export infrastructure and enforce all corporate prerogatives defined by the pacts, all at the expense of the people of Africa. All other subsidies will be provided by American and British taxpayers. The entire corporate profiteering project is being publicly financed, including via tax scams like the Gates Foundation.
 
The propaganda claims the goal is to “feed the world”, but we already know the real goal is to destroy food and increase hunger, as the Green Revolution already done for decades in Latin America and south Asia, as corporate industrial agriculture already has done everywhere it has prevailed. In reality the project does not intend to provide one calorie of food to Africans. The goal, as Monsanto repeatedly has assured its shareholders, is to turn Africa into one big grain plantation to send animal feed to Asian CAFOs producing heavily subsidized meat for the Asian middle class which allegedly soon will be rising. (It won’t, but that’s another story.)
 
The destruction of the African people, their starved immiseration in shantytowns and refugee camps, which the Western corporate system assumes will never have to be paid for by anyone but the targets themselves, is the most outrageous and horrific of these subsidies. But there are many, many others. And, as I’ll be detailing, this piper won’t long be paid only across the South so that the West and its parasite class can enjoy “cheap” albeit poisoned food at the retail checkout. Westerners already pay with their taxes and their own increasingly gutted economies and communities. The corporations see their way to taking far, far more, and thus they will do their all to take all in the end. That’s what totalitarianism is, and in case you didn’t notice, corporations are totalitarian organizations that will never stop and can never stop. Humanity cannot coexist with them.
 
Today Africans are fighting to preserve control of their lives and food, as they realize what’s at stake is their freedom and their very ability to eat. The people are organized into a coalition of hundreds of democracy networks, tribal alliances, and groups representing real farmers and pastoralists. These comprise the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and include the African Center for Biosafety, the African Biodiversity Network, the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations (a member of the worldwide Via Campesina, the Farmer Way), the NGO Federation of Collectives, the Coalition for African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), the Food Sovereignty Campaign, Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUM), the Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum, People’s Dialogue, Rural Women’s Assembly, Food Sovereignty Ghana, GMO Free Malawi, and many others.
 
In direct contrast to the failure, destruction, and organized crime which is the proven pattern and intention of corporate industrial agriculture, the true way forward is already operating and achieving great things in Africa and around the world. This is the path of Food Sovereignty and agroecology. This is the way human beings produce abundant food for themselves and their communities without massive, expensive, destructive inputs of fossil fuels and poisons, in harmony with the greater ecology, toward the greatest freedom, democracy, security, and happiness. The Food Sovereignty movement must be based upon the great class of small community farmers who have always been the food producers for humanity and always will be, and upon agroecology, the fully demonstrated science and set of practices ready for full global deployment any time humanity wishes to embrace them. Agroecology is already accomplishing great things in Africa, and I’ll be going into far more detail about it. This is our first step toward understanding what must be done everywhere, and how we must bring it all home to the West itself.
 
There’s zero problem where it comes to the sheer amount of food produced. Humanity produces far more than enough food for everyone. This is true globally and it’s true in every region of the world. And that’s speaking only of the highly inefficient and wasteful industrial agriculture. Even during the fossil fuel era, decentralized low-input polyculture produces more calories and nutrition per acre than industrial commodity monoculture. Since the latter must fall with the end of the fossil fuel era, its production cannot be sustained regardless. Agroecology, already proven to produce enough food to feed everyone on earth even now, will then be not only the much better alternative but the only choice regardless.
 
Short of the ultimate unsustainability of industrial agriculture, the only problem anywhere is with the corporate distribution system. Anyone who truly wants to feed people has to want people to be able to feed themselves. We have to change the distribution of the food we have, not struggle to produce “more” within a framework which has already proven it won’t distribute that food to humanity. Food production and distribution naturally comprise a local/regionally based system. Only alien, artificial, unsustainable authoritarian systems can ever twist and contort these into a globalized framework. Anyone who truly wants the world to have food must fight to abolish corporate agriculture, abolish the enslavement of food production to the commodity system, rebuild socially and economically natural food systems, build and propagate the rising agroecology paradigm, build Food Sovereignty. This is the movement call to build the new era as the toxic old one is perishing. The call is binding upon us all.
 
The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out. This has always been the ultimate goal of all imperial conquest: To render all land terra nullius, empty space to be subjugated, exploited to the hilt, wrung out like an old rag, left for dead. Today is humanity’s last and greatest chance to halt this corporate campaign of total destruction of our agriculture, our environment, our society. We have our great chance to halt it and roll it back. This is what is necessary if we hope to have any agriculture and ecology, any human community, to build upon going forward beyond the fossil fuel age. The land is still there for us if we wish. We must save it and cherish it.
 
 
 

January 25, 2017

Reformation and Revolution

>

This is the 500 year anniversary of the year 1517, traditionally seen as the onset of the Reformation in Europe. 1517 is chosen because it was the year of Martin Luther’s famous challenge embodied in his Ninety-Five Theses. With this public challenge Luther gave stark, concrete form to a hitherto inchoate but rising mass of ideas and feelings of discontent and the hope for a great change, and galvanized these into into a protest and movement of revolution and renewal.
 
Luther was motivated by the extreme contrast between his personal spiritual crisis and the universal epiphany it led him to, and the entrenched practice of the Latin church. Luther’s attack on the longstanding church practice of selling indulgences for remission of sins and the shortening of sentences in Purgatory wasn’t primarily on account of the tawdriness and corruption of what the institution had lately become. For Luther this was a relatively minor objection.
 
Luther’s main motivation was the fact that, corrupt or not, the institution of indulgence directly contradicted Luther’s great redeeming idea and faith, the justification of humanity before God by faith only, never by works. Luther had been tormented by the belief that he and all people are so irredeemably sinful that no amount of good works could ever justify any of us before God. For Luther personally, and he believed for all of humanity, the faith that God can only impute righteousness to us and redeem our sin as a free gift of grace, and that all we can do is have faith in this grace, was of such overwhelming importance that he could view the church’s entrenched system of salvation through works only as the most extreme and satanic heresy. This drove him to such a relentless, passionate indictment that he captured the imagination of great numbers of people who were feeling similar crises and discontent, and galvanized the many trends of ferment and dissent into a mass movement which transformed the spirit of the age and overthrew the power of the church over part of Europe.
 
The idea of justification by faith alone was not new. On the contrary Luther received it across the span of more than a thousand years, from Augustine who in turn received it from Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul in turn quoting from the even earlier Hebrew prophet Habbakuk. For Luther, and subsequently for the millions who followed his lead, to return to the stark teaching of Augustine from the laborious apparatus of church works not only made things seem much easier, relieving a great burden (and expense). It could be a great spiritual liberation for those who, for all their church-prescribed works, were having increasing trouble sustaining faith in this system, and as a result despaired for their souls. All at once they could embrace the clear, stark, simple faith of the indelible sinner who can do nothing but throw himself on God’s mercy. This is why the idea was so potent for so many.
 
Justification by faith was familiar to anyone who could read the Bible and Augustine, though perhaps less so to those who had to rely on their priests to mediate scripture for them. But even for the educated class who had read of this idea, for centuries it had had little purchase on hearts and minds. The church systematically, if implicitly, denigrated the theology of Paul and Augustine. In place of this the church elaborated its vastly ramified theology and organizational infrastructure of justification through works of ritual, penance, and monetary payments. Thus literate people knew the idea of justification by faith, paid lip service to it, but implicitly regarded it as irrelevant.
 
We can compare it to, for example, the words of America’s Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Every American knows these words and this idea by heart. (We adjust “men” to “all people” which much better captures the meaning.) Yet almost no one believes in it or regards it as relevant to modern life. On the contrary, almost everyone agrees that money transforms natural equality into natural inequality, and that this is right and just. Almost everyone tolerates or actively supports the existence of corporate persons who automatically are considered superior to human persons. These are the tenets of a religion called Mammon, which has supplanted the Declaration’s equality proclamation and so much else of what makes us human.
 
But what would happen if there was a groundswell of the spiritual, moral, psychological need to reject Mammon, passionately to embrace a new idea of equality and justice and freedom which revolves back to the original founding idea, a new beginning which revolves back to the original beginning, in the course of which we overthrow the whole unbearable burden of corruption and decadence and anxiety and unfulfillment, breaking out of all the bottlenecks which generate our ever more intense claustrophobia and desperation?
 
Could 2017 see the beginning of a new 1517, a revolution back to the great reformation, this time ramified throughout our vastly greater intellectual, political, cultural, and spiritual vistas? The reason I ask, is because it’s happened before.
 
 
 

January 3, 2017

For An Introduction, Poison vs. Evolution

>

The law and culture of Gaia’s ecology is the framework for human citizenship on Earth. Civilization enhances ecology where it upholds this law and embodies this culture. Today humanity and ecology alike stagger as slaves in a wilderness, beaten and insulted by the barbarism of a civilization berserk in its rebellion against the very womb which feeds it. This is a civilization gone mad.
 
This madness is driven by humanity’s depraved creation of “corporate persons” and the exaltation of these entities as tyrants over all actual human beings. By any measure, religious or secular, this has been a summoning of demons, and for as long as humans believe in them and worship them the demons are real with incredible power for evil. The evil they’ve done has been devastating, and the evil they yet intend is unfathomable.
 
Today the true human and citizen of the Earth is a voice crying out from the wilderness of barbarism. Today there can be only one call: Prepare the way of the Earth. Because all which is sustained by the finite and fleeting fossil fuel hoard, the entirety of the fossil fuel civilization, its energy and agriculture, cannot be sustained. All must soon collapse and destroy itself forever. If the faithful remnant of humanity prepares nothing, builds nothing in anticipation, the final immolation will leave nothing but the ashes.
 
What is fossil-fueled corporate civilization doing to Gaia’s ecology? We humans have always modified our environments with predictable as well as predictably incalculable direct and reverberation effects. Indeed, the grammar which makes us tend to separate “the organism” from “the environment” is scientifically and philosophically wrong. There’s no such delineation. Organisms interact with and change and are changed by their environments, which are inextricable working parts of “the” environment as a whole. Each species is an active participant in its environment, a participatory citizen of this ecological polity, an integral action amid the vast commonwealth of the Earth.
 
But the modification which industrial civilization has been able to undertake, afforded by the one-off spending of our inheritance, the fossil fuel residue of billions of years of extremely refined sunlight, is at such a higher order of magnitude than the historical norm as to be qualitatively different from this norm. The “Anthropocene” scam is designed to absolve industrialization and capitalism of any absolutely unsustainable level of destructiveness, and to justify continuing with business as usual. But to leap from a thousand foot cliff is very different from undergoing a two foot drop.
 
What are we doing to Gaia, this Earth, our only womb and home for the rest of our human journey? The environmental chaos of climate change is already rending the Earth and will only get much worse. This is the thrashing of a body trapped in an oven while the temperature rises and rises and rises. The physical and psychological agony is profound, and the potential chaos can only become more kinetic in every way as the system is ever more energized by the embodied violence our fuel-burning and soil-ravaging corporate industry keeps pumping into it.
 
All the networked organisms of the ecological system are always reacting to changes in temperature, and climate change has always occurred naturally. The organic reactions generally sum up to relative stability over evolutionary time, and this is part of the process of evolution. This evolutionary process, in climate and ecology, would have proceeded naturally in recent centuries as well.
 
But where the change radically overleaps the dampening effect of evolutionary time including its many safeguards and diminishing feedback loops, especially where this radical change is combined with many other drivers of chaos and destruction, the network becomes overstressed as many component organisms find it difficult or impossible to adapt. Civilized humans, and people subject to corporate imperial civilization, are the most vulnerable of these organisms. The emission waste from the industrial burning of fossil fuels and destruction of carbon sinks (natural processes generate little or no waste) comprises an absolutely different order of magnitude and a qualitative difference in the speed and extremity of modern artificial climate change.
 
Those who deny this, who deny the time element of evolution’s process of simmering and adjustment, are the most irrational and destructive kind of evolution denier, far worse and more ignorant than religious creationist types.
 
(Whether or not a process generates waste, defined here as a by-product the ecological system cannot readily assimilate, is a criterion for distinguishing ecological vs. anti-ecological processes. The more usual attempt to distinguish “natural” vs. “artificial” is an unfruitful diversion. While as a rule there cannot persist a natural process which is anti-ecological, artifices can be ecological or anti-ecological. As examples of the latter, human-artificed industrial processes often produce massive, toxic waste. Agroecology is the best example of an ecological artifice.)
 
Industrial consumption of water, especially for industrial agriculture, and personal luxury consumption are rapidly depleting the fossil aquifers which originally filled over geologic time. This depletion proceeds in the same way we’re depleting the fossil fuel principal. Since the water cycle can recycle only a finite amount of water, far less than we use, the rest is effectively lost to us after at most a few usages as it empties into the oceans.
 
Those who deny this, or who deny fossil fuel depletion, are simply denying the very existence of geologic time. They blaspheme against the actual Gaian creation with the exact same mindset as those who believe the Earth is 5000 years old. They’re the Oil Creationists, the Water Creationists. Again, their version of creationism is the most ignorant, irrational, and destructive. We do indeed need an evolution education movement, and its main target must be the false teachings of those who deny evolution because of corporate and techno-cultist faith.
 
We are decimating Gaia’s biodiversity and habitats. At any ecological level, from the microscopic to the global, from the most pristine wilderness to agriculture (these are all interlinked and are divided here only into broad, convenient conceptual groupings), the more diverse and multi-linked the networks, the more resilient, robust, complex, adaptable, and therefore healthy the organic network is. As we started out saying, the network itself is a collective organism. By contrast, the more denuded and simplified the interconnections become, the more they become vulnerable, inflexible, calcified, maladaptive, inherently unhealthy and exposed to predation and disease.
 
There’s another kind of Creationist (usually the same person, of course) who believes there’s the water he poisons, and a “different”, separate, Specially Created Water which is reserved for himself, his kind, their families. Same for the air they poison and the Specially Created Air, the Specially Created Food, the Specially Created Soil, and in general the Specially Created Earth, which is different and separate from the Gaia these Poisoners ravage and are attempting to murder.
 
Indeed they are attempting universal murder by poison. The entire corporate industrial system has a poison mandate at its core. Its core goal is to supply poisons and generate, by force where necessary, markets for these and deployment of them. This has many metaphorical applications, but today I’m speaking in the most physical sense. Poison-based agriculture is the core activism of corporate globalization, and in the end the entire structure will stand or fall based on capitalism’s ability to sustain this poison imperative. The proximate goal is to destroy everything which lives on Earth, figuratively and physically, except what’s functional toward corporate domination.
 
We’re already seeing the physical ravages, as the ever-compounding poison load destroys human, animal, and environmental health. Everywhere these poisons are deployed we see the surge of cancer, birth defects, every kind of reproductive and developmental disease, neurodisease, allergies and other autoimmune disease, respiratory and digestive ailments, hormonal and neurotransmitter chaos, genetic damage, and myriad acute symptoms. All these are iterated at every scale, from the bacterial, where antibiotic-resistant pathogens are boosted, beneficial gut and soil bacteria suppressed; to the complex organic, where the networked diversity of life has more and more of its bonds frayed and broken completely as the poison load accumulates in organic tissues and, as an expanded mutation load, in the genes, as well as wreaking havoc with the endocrine, neurotransmission, and immune systems of organisms; to the global, as vast amounts of arable soil and groundwater are toxified, their microbial ecosystems decimated, the oceans are blemished with dead zones expanding from the great estuaries, as just the most visible leading edge of the oceanic toxification, and all the ecosystems which ramify from these are crippled by the poisoning of the foundation.
 
All environmental crises and all hunger on Earth are driven completely by globalization, and most of all by commodity agriculture. There is no human or environmental problem which would not disappear completely or be greatly mitigated if humanity were to abolish corporate industrial agriculture. And we would prosper in every physical, psychological, and spiritual way. The abolition of the corporate demons is the great necessity, preliminary to the great affirmative preparation of the Earth for the ecological human age to which we must evolve or perish completely.
 
Corporate industrial agriculture seizes all the best land, drives the people and their food production onto marginal lands and into forests, or else off the land completely into shantytowns. Corporate agriculture is the worst emitter of greenhouse gases and destroyer of carbon sinks. Along with industrial loggers it destroys the rain forests. It destroys the grasslands. It is dedicated to maximizing the use of poisons which toxify the soils, waters, air, and food. Poison-based agriculture is the worst driver of climate change, the worst destroyer of forest and grassland and all other habitats, the worst destroyer of biodiversity and driver of the modern era’s mass extinction, the worst poisoner of every element of the environment right down to our very bodies. Poison-based agriculture is pure evil, has zero purpose, zero rationale, zero redeeming qualities. It must be abolished completely. There is no goal as critical, no need as pressing, no imperative as severe. This abolition imperative encompasses all other goals, all of which are in line with it or would be meaningless without it. Only the parasite squatters on the planet’s surface, those who have renounced their ecological and therefore human citizenship, would dispute this.
 
Capitalist industrialization, globalization, corporate rule, scientism and technocracy, most of all where these crystallize as the Poisoner and monoculture campaigns of corporate industrial agriculture, systematically and willfully destroy all biodiversity and the entire basis of organic resiliency and health. This will to destruction and monoculture has always been characteristic of tyranny, but only in the modern era have the aspiring tyrants been able to deploy such destructive force with the hope of wiping out everything which is not under the most physical direct control and manipulation of the tyrants and their engineer lackeys.
 
In all these ways corporate barbarism pumps ever more potential energy into the system. It pumps its poison, its greed, its powerlust, its gluttony, its violence, its sadism, its hatred, its anguish, its despair.
 
This, most of all, is the joint assassination attempt upon humanity and the Earth being conducted by the corporate and techno-cultist Poisoners. Humanity must act in the same self-defense vs. this murder attempt as any intrepid individual or group would against any other.
 
They are cancer.
 
What do you do when you’re suffering heat exhaustion? First thing, you stop throwing fuel on the bonfire. What do you do when you’re dying of thirst in the desert? You stop pouring your water out onto the sand. What do you do when you’ve ingested poison and become violently ill? You stop drinking the poison. When you’ve damaged or destroyed so many of the things you depend upon for your very life? And all the things you love? You stop destroying, and start fixing what you broke. And you seek the antidote for the poison. And you drink salubrious refreshing water. And you douse the flames and welcome a cool breeze.
 
These are what humanity must do in order to save the Earth for our time and prepare for the next age, the age of Gaia, the ecological age. This salvation is necessary for the entire weave of life, but most of all for its most frayed, vulnerable thread – our own species. In the long run Gaia will recover from us and continue as she was, whether we save ourselves or not. But unless we take the necessary cooperative action now, we shall not be part of this recovery. As I’ve written of many times before, the first step toward ultimate destruction will be the full dominion of the corporations. This will be political tyranny and economic enslavement. But this will be followed shortly by physical death.
 
Let us change from this future. We start by changing our minds. From there, as Shakespeare wrote it, “All things are ready if our minds be so.” All the ideas, the entire system of reason, science, and morality, starting with agroecology and food sovereignty, are fully demonstrated and ready for the entire human and ecological deployment all over the world. All the resources for today and the future are available and waiting. All that’s been lacking is sufficient will and organization. All that’s lacking is the spirit, the faith, the action of faith.
 
 
 
 
 
.

December 21, 2016

The Abolition Movement is Needed

>

1. This morning for the thousandth time I read a piece giving a decent overview of the health, economic, agronomic, and ecological crises being driven by poison-based agriculture.
 
The conclusion was lukewarm as always: “Action is urgently needed to regulate and monitor corporate power to ensure that food sovereignty, the environment, and public health are not further compromised.”
 
And thus we can chalk up another one for reformism within the corporate framework, and implicitly against the necessary call to a fully committed abolition movement. Reformism is the call to “co-existence”, something we all know is impossible in the long run. Worse, it validates the corporate framework. I’ve described in dozens of pieces what I call the corporate triangulation template of regulators, the scientific establishment, NGOs, reformists in general. And as we see in the quote above, this reform call is always implicitly willing to grandfather in the existing level of how compromised those values and needs – food sovereignty, environment, public health – already are.
 
2. “Regulate and monitor” is the ideology and strategy of system NGOs which focus on petitions and public comments to regulators, lawsuits, and the apparently permanent and permanently vague campaign of “public education”. This has been ongoing for decades.
 
But look at the facts: At best this strategy has slowed down the corporate poisoner assault in America, but nowhere has it halted it and started rolling it back. On the contrary, slowly but surely the enemy gains ground.
 
Obviously the status quo is untenable as well as unacceptable on any agronomic, ecological, public health, economic, or political level. Ipso facto, any position thinking in terms of preventing “further compromise”, even if that were possible, is insufficient.
 
3. To be clear about my position: I’m a skeptic as to whether regulate-and-monitor could be effective even if this seemingly lukewarm call really could muster a fighting movement.*
 
But more importantly, this is not a call to battle which will resonate with anyone. The evidence is that this is the kind of call which, by its nature, implies that everyone should remain in their pre-assigned positions and roles within the corporate capitalist framework. Therefore it never can muster and organize the latent energies which sometimes inspire large numbers of intrepid, determined people to break out of these pre-assigned roles and form movements in opposition to the existing system.
 
4. Based on my knowledge of history, I think if the deployment of such a critically important sector as agropoisons were ever to be hindered severely enough (i.e., once Monsanto and the US government become fed up once and for all with the obstructionism of regulate-and-monitor), the system will become far more aggressive and lawless than it’s already been in forcing its poisons into the food and ecology. We already see the USDA in the process of abrogating the entirety of its oversight authority toward expanding ranges of poisons.
 
We can expect the Trump administration to step up the aggression and lawlessness.
 
When this starts, regulate-and-monitor will become untenable even according to its own diminished criteria, and the only options left will be a full-scale abolition movement, or else surrender.
 
By then it’ll be late in the game to be getting started building such a movement. The time to start is now, among those who can learn from history and prepare ahead of time for its cycles. Indeed the time was years ago, just as I’ve been saying all this for many years now.
 
There was a time for lawsuits and labeling campaigns. (Ironically, the Europe example labelists like to cite proves something different than what they think: The time for those was in the 1990s, at the outset of the deployment; America missed the boat where it comes to that.) There was a time for exalting the precautionary principle and calling for more and better testing. There was a time for educating the public within the framework of regular system politics and media. And there was a time for campaigners to educate themselves about all the facts of agropoisons and their role in agronomy, politics, economy, religion, science, ecology.
 
But today all these tasks are either complete, or are obsolete, or have been demonstrated to be ineffective, or need to transcend the prior political and philosophical frameworks.
 
Today and going forward is the time wherein humanity must find its soul and its will to organize and fight this global attempt to force an apocalypse of poisoning upon us, our children, our children’s children, and upon the entire life system of the Earth. From a purely secular point of view, not to mention the various religions, we see how the axis of corporate power, government power, and the scientism cult wish to turn the 21st century into a veritable end time for humanity and the Earth. Poisonism, extermination of biodiversity, and forced climate chaos combine to form what’s indisputably a willful, intentional campaign of global destruction for the sake of power. This century will decide once and for all the final question of power. Will humanity redeem itself, or will the corporate persons be the infinite tyrants of tomorrow?
 
Make no mistake: If you’re a flesh-and-blood human being, a corporate person regards you as literally nothing but a resource to be exploited where profitable, cast out to die where unprofitable, actively killed where a danger. How is it even possible for anyone to be so willfully stupid that in this day and age this isn’t universal knowledge?
 
And therefore we have the absolute need for a full scale social and political movement dedicated to the clear goal of abolishing corporations. This is necessary against every corporate sector. A movement to abolish agropoisons looks like the obvious place for abolitionists to commence and to set the standard for all the necessary action going forward. As for the public education, we see the great need to transcend anything redolent of “regulating and monitoring” so-called “abuses” perpetrated by alleged “bad apples” among a corporate system otherwise inertially and implicitly taken as normal and normative. By now this inertia and implication kills more surely than any physical poison.
 
On the contrary, the message which begins, suffuses, and concludes all thought and communication must be the need to abolish corporate power, in this context starting with poison-based agriculture, before it succeeds in its campaign to destroy us all.
 
 
 
 
*To clarify another point about my position: Although I reject liberalism/reformism on principle for many reasons, the main reason I reject it is that it’s cowardly and fraudulent even where it comes to fighting on the line it proclaims for itself. In theory it’s possible to have a “moderate” position but be a ferocious, uncompromising fighter at that moderate line. But in practice almost all moderates where it comes to theory are moderate really because they’re craven in action. The first example that always jumps to mind is the “Progressive Block” scam during the Heritage/Obamacare debacle. The “progressives” in Congress swore they’d reject anything without a “public option” (another scam), then unanimously reneged on their solemn promise. This kind of lying and cowardice is typical of progressives. That is, they become progressives in the first place because as people they are indelibly liars and cowards. They’re also not very bright, which is why they seem congenitally incapable of breaking free of the cult of electoralism, learning what corporate rule is, what the corporate state is, how it works, what it does, and how to fight it. That’s why we have the typical phenomenon among “anti-GMO” people of a progressive who actually does come to understand some aspects of corporatism where it comes to food and agriculture, but remains utterly incapable of inducing a general idea and applying it across all corporate sectors and to the US government and media as such.
 
 
 

November 15, 2016

Break the Mammon Mindset

Filed under: American Revolution, Freedom — Tags: — Russ @ 12:57 pm

>

The standard mindset among system NGOs is: “First we need funding in order to subsist, then we need the mainstream media to take us seriously, then we need to get the establishment to listen to us.” The same is true of established churches and many other kinds of organizations, and this mindset percolates to individuals who become interested in politics. This mindset is part of the Mammon ideology, also called the “bourgeois” ideology.
 
Instead, picture this affirmative mindset: First we need to hold a true idea and commit to a real goal and must never waver from this core commitment. Then we seek whatever we can get in order to subsist and be heard and fight along the line to which we committed.
 
Compare the difference between the Mammonist “bourgeois” mindset and that of a public citizen. The former, whatever he superficially claims about his focus, really places his “job” and his car at the center of his life. Then everything else, including his political interests, is really a hobby at best. On the contrary, the affirmative citizen and faithful of God places her commitment and her faith-in-action toward this commitment at the center of life. And then a “job”, if one’s part of the majority who can’t “make a living” directly through our commitments, is just a way to pay the bills.
 
If everyone who claimed to care about certain ideas and to want certain outcomes were to liberate their minds from the Mammon mindset and live the affirmative faithful mindset, we’d have a very different political and cultural scene. It really is true that the first proximate obstacle is in our own minds.
 
 
 
 
 
 

November 12, 2016

What is “States’ Rights”?

>

And so once again we see lots of rhetoric about “states rights”. What does this term mean? I’ll begin by describing the principle of it, insofar as I can deduce any principle from the rather inchoate rhetoric of its proponents. Of course what it’s really supposed to mean in practice is something different, i.e. the usual collaboration with corporations.
.
1. It makes a fetish of lines drawn on a map rather than any value derived from morality or reason.
.
2. It does not want to be rational and base political units on watersheds or foodsheds.
.
3. It is a form of pure statism which wants arbitrarily to centralize beyond rationally defined boundaries for no purpose other than to concentrate power.
.
4. It differs from other pure statists in that it wants arbitrarily to halt the centralization at some point rather than expand this indefinitely. Lacking any other basis for where to call a halt, it chooses the arbitrary borders* of US states as the place to do this.
.
[*There’s a few state borderlines which run along the crests of mountain ranges where streams divide, and thus in themselves are rational. But these are never organically part of any larger rational system of borders. Meanwhile far more common is the actively irrational practice of using rivers themselves as legal-political borders. This is worse than purely arbitrary; it aggressively splits reason in half.]
.
.
So there it is. States rights ideology is based on two arbitrary leaps. First, it arbitrarily wants to centralize beyond rational boundaries and without regard for any rational or moral value. It has this in common with other forms of statism. Second, and contrary to conventional statism, it arbitrarily wants to halt the centralizing process somewhere short of however far power can concentrate itself.
.
Some may say I’m leaving something out, that states rights does have a value, the value of constitutionalism. Allegedly, in exalting the tenth amendment this is trying to recapture the true spirit of the 1788 constitution.
.
The most obvious refutation of this is that states righters, like everyone else who claims the constitution as a value, seem to care little to nothing about other core elements of the constitution such as those which would make the imperial army, the police state ,and the prison-industrial complex impossible, nor do they seem concerned to take back the constitution from corporate abusers. (For this, one must look to the community rights movement.) So in idolizing the constitution the states rights types are really just cherry-picking.
.
And indeed, should the 1788 constitution, conceived by elites for the avowed purpose of quashing the American Revolution and building a continental empire (both Hamilton and Madison say so in the Federalist papers), be an object of idolatry in the first place? The fact is that constitution-worship is no value in itself for anyone, but rather is always a stalking horse for other, usually pro-corporate agendas. Of course the constitutional conventioneers accepted the Bill of Rights in the first place only under duress and only because they were confident that the authoritarian centralizing campaign enshrined in the main articles of the document wouldn’t unduly be hindered by what they saw as a pointless sop. And so it has been.
.
Nor do I see any reason to think the states rights people have any greater respect than conventional centralizing statists do for the vastly more rational and morally coherent philosophy of community rights. If anything, the states rights types might be even more aggressive in wanting to allow/help corporations to devastate communities.
.
Obviously in practice the notion of state rights is just like the constitution, or law, or property, or “free trade”, or “science”, or “the free press” or what have you. It’s propagated by corporate elites and meant to be used and abused, regarded and disregarded, in a purely cynical, tactical way according to whatever maximizes corporate domination.
.
By fetishizing a purely arbitrary legally-defined border and caring zero for reason or any moral value, the “state rights” notion is especially useful for this corporate purpose. In this way it goes well with the most vile feral scam of all, “libertarianism”, which wants direct corporate dictatorship and uses the rhetoric of “freedom” to mean “freedom from all mutual responsibility, freedom from all human community, from all moral and rational values, license for total exploitation and theft, for those who are already rich.” Of course corporations are nothing more or less than creations and extensions of government, so to be for corporate power is by definition to be for big government, while to be against big government has to mean wanting to abolish government’s corporate power. That’s why it’s called the corporate state, a monolith. How in principle libertarians can be simultaneously for and against the most vile extremes of big government remains one of the mysteries of the universe. Of course the simple truth is that they’re liars. If they weren’t they’d be anarchists.
.
Getting back to the state righters, I suppose many of them have the temperament which, among national groups, tends to manifest as nationalism. But, in spite of lots of idiotic rhetoric from conservatives and liberals alike, there is so far no such thing as an American nation, nor can a new nation ever cohere under the conditions of corporate globalization. Indeed, globalization’s basic thrust is to eradicate all human modes except that of the atomized individual, all alone in body and soul, facing the awesome might of the corporate demon. Never forget, anyone who in any way speaks against movement solidarity and organization as such is doing the work of the corporate Satan. (It should be needless to say that any political philosophy which explicitly or implicitly says voting is the be-all and end-all is part of this corporate assault.) Anyone who dreams of an American nation must commit to the total abolition of corporate rule as a prerequisite.
.
It’s possible such an abolitionist movement itself can be a strong point where such a national consciousness can begin to cohere.
.
Humanity and the Earth need a new movement based on a complete organic embrace of human values and reason, on the new idea necessary for a new beginning as natural history soon resumes after the berserk digression of the fossil fuel binge. And we need a movement basis which totally rejects and condemns all the lies and stupidities of the corporate global “order”. We must form the adamant core of the affirmation and the inexorable force of the negation. Anything which can be used toward these great goals may be used, but only in the right ways. The wrong ways also are for the flames.
.
We have a long, hard road ahead. The necessary work is only beginning. It will continue at its necessary pace without regard for the idiocies of superficial “politics” and false “culture”. There we see nothing but decadent barbarism. The corporate age was always evil, and now it becomes ever more rancid. Sometimes it seems human beings need gas masks. It’s hard to tell what’s worse, the physical poisons or the spiritual ones.
.
But the eternal wind, the wind of the spirit which nourishes and cleanses and carries us always between and through the home to which we’re heading and the home we never left, never stopped flowing. Briefly amid the din of Babylon we were unable to hear it and lost knowledge of whence and where it blows. But the strains of the new song are starting to come through.
.
.
.
.
.
.

November 11, 2016

“No Place to Go With Your Vote”

Filed under: American Revolution, Freedom — Tags: , — Russ @ 4:19 am

<

Where can I GO with this thing?!

Where can I GO with this thing?!

.
.
Here’s a quote I saw in an internet comment: “I have to say that I think the duopoly is also part of the problem with holding politicians accountable, sometimes there is no place to really go with your vote.”
.
That’s a common sentiment and superficially seems reasonable enough, but even so it strikes me as peculiar.
.
By now such a thought reads to me as if it’s meant literally: One’s vote is a physical thing one is carrying, like a bomb with a lit fuse, and one must physically go somewhere safely to dispose of it. Thus if there’s only two or three bomb-proof receptacles where you can deposit your bomb, you must choose one of them. Or it’s like a barrel of toxic waste one accumulated which one has to dispose of somewhere.
.
I’ve never thought of my vote, or anyone’s vote, in such a way. It’s only a potential, and if there’s no way to render it kinetic, it doesn’t exist anyway. In that case to go through the ritual anyway is just idle fantasizing or entertainment or whatever.
.
No place to go with your vote? But that doesn’t exist as any real thing, so you don’t need to go anywhere with it. Free yourself. Let it go.
.
The fact is, electoralism under corporate rule has zero to do with democracy and political participation. On the contrary, corporate electoralism is anti-political, the consumerist version of politics. It is to true participatory politics and democracy what McDonald’s is to fine cooking and cuisine. Electoralism has been the subject of systematic indoctrination and propaganda precisely in order to help discredit and suppress true politics and democracy. By now it’s succeeded even in eradicating the very idea of these, and almost everyone inertially, without a thought, takes it for granted that voting is the essence of democracy, the beginning and the end. But this is nothing but one of the biggest of big lies.
.
Freeing our minds is the first step toward liberating our actions toward the goal of true freedom. We can start by taking it as axiomatic that anything the government, corporations, mainstream media, mainstream churches, academia, NGOs, celebrity flacks, or anyone else “respectable” wants us to do, is absolutely something we mustn’t do. Or, in such a case as belief in the electoral cult, which we must stop doing.
.
In saying this I don’t mean there’s never a context for voting. I mean that voting can be meaningful only as the tactical extension of a fully coherent and strategized anti-corporate movement and campaign which exists and operates from outside the system.
.
Only when we have created the place where we are, will we then have a place to go.
.
.

November 9, 2016

Kangaroos

<

As always, I voted No in yesterday’s plebiscite, as I vote against corporate rule every day of my life. That’s part of my whole way of life, my life of faith-in-action.
.
But, if I’d been forced at gunpoint to vote Yes in the plebiscite, this is the outcome I would’ve picked. It’s the “lesser evil”, to use the favored formula of the wingnuts.
.
Here’s the speculative reasons why the idiot Trump is a better outcome than the idiot Clinton:
.
1. With any luck we’ll get the most extreme strife and mutual reviling among the Clinton wingnuts, the Sanders wingnuts, and the Stein wingnuts that at least some of them will wake up to the fact that the entire electoral concept is rotten to the core and that the whole thing needs to be blown up completely.
.
I stress, maybe some of them will wake up, though I have very low expectations of any of those three sects.
.
2. If the previous pattern holds, a Republican administration will bring out more active resistance and protest against the imperial war and other corporate aggressions. As we saw during the Bush years, there were many who opposed the war and corporate assaults on the environment, not because they really oppose those as such – when it became Obama’s war and Obama’s assaults, these persons then supported those crimes – but because they oppose them when it’s Republicans doing them.
.
So now that it’ll be Trump’s war, Trump’s pipeline, Trump’s Monsanto rather than Obama/Clinton’s war, Obama/Clinton’s pipeline, Obama/Clinton’s Monsanto, maybe more bodies will get out there to oppose in some way.
.
I say this not because I think it’ll directly have a great effect to get such an influx of such worthless hypocrites, but because just the fact of there being far more people out there doing something, with greater volume than before, may help encourage more conversions to the real anti-corporate philosophy and action.
.
But as I said, this is speculative, and any such action dividend will depend on the ability of real abolitionists, real revolutionaries, real prophets, to force the true word home among this resistance.
.
Of course the corporate media and the Clinton wingnuts will do all they can to propagate the exact opposite of this, that the reason Clinton lost is that she wasn’t right wing enough. I don’t see how it’s possible to be further to the right than Clinton – the only difference between her and Trump is communication style, not ideology or policy – but that’s what Democrat establishment criminals and cultists always do.
.
Most of all, the absolutely necessary prerequisite for anything to change in this world, is that the Democrat Party, the single most malign and vile obstacle to change, must be completely blown up and destroyed. So anything which escalates and intensifies the hostility and conflict among those who support the Party, especially those who fantasize moronically about “redeeming” it in some way, is a pure good. That’s why if I had to choose an outcome, this is the one I would have chosen.
.
.
.
.

November 1, 2016

Free As A Bird

Filed under: Agroecology, American Revolution, Freedom — Tags: , , — Russ @ 6:05 am

>

Freedom is the most ambivalent ideal. It offers the great promise. (The promise of what? This by definition, or lack of definition, can never be answered. The very mutability is the promise and the source of what warmth it has.) It also promises danger. It often brings persecution. Freedom is so ambivalent that almost no one truly loves it, but only for himself and those he identifies as his, and will persecute the freedom of others. Most of all those who hate all freedom but Mammon’s devilish perversion of freedom, which is the license extended only to those who accumulate sufficient markers of the beast, money and property, which then become the intoxicants and weapons of this perversion of freedom. But in fact this is not freedom at all but universal enslavement to the markers.
 
Yet even those who love some measure of freedom, and even the few willing to go all the way and truly be anarchists, must love with ambivalence. The truly free are always doomed to some measure of outlawry, and indeed the outlawed of medieval times were often called “free as a bird”. Is an outlaw, is a runaway slave “free”? In the end the exercise of freedom, the faith-in-action of freedom, is always the quest to attain freedom. Freedom can never be a noun, only a verb. It is never a place, only a striving.
 
This recently has been borne in most unequivocally, there’s no there here and no striving to get to any other “there”. The vileness of the circus, everyone reveling in dementia, with even those who affect superiority over it really doing this only as their pose in the thick of it, their own cultism/fandom demonstrated by their fixation, indistinguishable from that of a paid hack….
 
It’s horrible to have it flaunted constantly even when you’re making the effort to avoid it. It’s horrible forcibly to be made aware of the basic evil of those you know personally and who you’d normally think are better than that. But few, if they can’t be good, at least have the decency to be “apathetic”, as the term goes…
 
To be sure, most of them exemplify the “banality of evil”, and their cheering for the Democrat (or in a few cases Republican) Party is based on stupidity, short-sightedness and ignorance more than conscious malignity. But that doesn’t change the fact that, at least among middle class Westerners with formal education and internet access, all ignorance is willful ignorance. Whatever they don’t know is because they don’t want to know and don’t care.
 
This is what Nietzsche thought was the most excruciating evil of all, the day to day petty evil of an atomized society completely submerged in Mammon and suffused to the core with the ideology and temperament of Mammon. (Or, as it is called in economic history, the bourgeois ideology.)
 
Well, at least this situation has the virtue of clarity. To take another point from Nietzsche, try to prove your enemies did you some good. So in one sense I owe a debt to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and the whole vomitous crew. They, and the lunacy they’re still capable of generating amid a modern civilization after all these years of their self-evident insanity, failures and crimes, is the final proof that this is a terminal case. There’s nothing left but evil and what’s been co-opted by evil in any institution, any idea that has anything to do with this civilization. I no longer believe we can redeem from this shipwreck the idea of democracy the way I used to believe. Whatever may exist of positive democracy and participatory politics in a post-oil, post-capitalist world will have to evolve anew with no taint carried over from the modern Babylon’s funhouse mirror images of “democracy”. Those who want to be agents of this evolution will have to write and preach this way.
 
The only thing we can redeem from the wreckage is the science of agroecology, though this exception proves the rule since it is not new but rather the form contemporaneous with modernity of the evolution of thousands of years of human ingenuity in getting our daily bread. It turns out that agriculture as commonly known was wrongly seen as the final form rather than perhaps a necessary transition. The final form, which offers the only solution for bread, health, freedom, and happiness, is agroecology’s middle form between agriculture and horticulture, its fruitful melding of empiricism and science.
 
And so the great task is neither to “reform” modernity nor even to explore its alleged transition to new forms. Physically, culturally, spiritually, the great fossil fuel binge has been a unique, ahistorical experience which temporarily broke with the normal path of evolution. This normal path is now about to resume. Therefore the task requires a much greater arc of thought and word and action which will survey the greater evolution, make history its province, and search out the true threads which flow unhindered from the best aspirations of the past to the best ambitions for the future. This is the only reformation, redemption, renaissance, revolution, and restoration. Those who will be part of this true natural, historical, spiritual evolution will write and preach from the aspect of a thousand years hence, and a thousand years ago.
 
To be sure, the fundamentalist cult of false election is an aspect of modern Mammon. This cult didn’t exist prior to the advent of fossil fueled modernity and the rise of capitalism. Thankfully we can expect it will perish with these.
 
As Jesus said, it is impossible to worship God and Mammon, the murderer of all human values and holy faith. We add, it is impossible to exalt freedom and Mammon, the murderer of all freedom and exalter of psychopathic license for those who have sufficient money. Finally, it is impossible to cherish the good and Mammon, the murderer of all love, all friendship, the killer of all that makes us human.
 
Well, if a prophet is doomed to have no honor in his own country, then it’s no surprise I have no honor or help or support or friendship in the depths of modern America, Babylon, the ground zero of Mammon. Here I must accept that I’m alone. My time and place is only there and there, where “there” exists. Not here.
 
 
 
.
.
.
.
Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.