April 29, 2017

Note on the Rising Ecological Science and Practice


An example of the right idea and correct design.

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

April 19, 2017

The Call to Justice is the Call to Build a Movement for Justice


Only we the people can fight back and win.

The Monsanto Tribunal has rendered its verdict condemning Monsanto for crimes against humanity and the Earth. The verdict also criticizes the existing institutions of international law for their insufficiency against the great crisis we face. As the judges point out, the existing system is designed to maximize corporate power and action and gives short shrift to all other values. Implicitly the existing systems of politics and international law are designed, not to prevent and punish crimes against humanity and the Earth, but to abet them. This judgement is more profound and vast in its implications than the specific judgement against Monsanto, which is just one example of the vastly greater system of corporate organized crime and the crises caused by it.
The tribunal’s findings are clear and stark:
1. Monsanto systematically attacks the health of our food, human access to food, the health and robustness of the environment, human health and well-being in general. Monsanto systematically attacks and degrades the integrity of science and freedom of scientific research and works to suppress freedom of thought and expression in general. In these ways Monsanto violates existing international human rights law.
2. The tribunal finds that ecocide should be encoded in international law as a crime, and that if it were Monsanto’s anti-ecological campaigns would be formal crimes. This includes defining Monsanto’s propagation of Agent Orange and other herbicides as war crimes. (The tribunal punted on the war crime question relative to existing international law. But it’s clear that military use of herbicides in Vietnam, Colombia, Palestine and elsewhere comprises the use of chemical weapons. Going further, there’s never been a clear dividing line between chemical weapons in war, military use of herbicides, and their “civilian” use. Same personnel, same mindset, same ideology, ultimately the same goals. Only criminal hypocrisy would cherry-pick a few uses or alleged uses of chemical weapons but give a legal and moral pass to such vastly larger WMD deployments as the Vietnam Agent Orange deployment, or today’s massive intentional poisoning of human food, drinking water, ecosystems, and arable soil with pesticides.)
3. The tribunal makes special note of the tremendous imbalance between law and enforcement regarding human rights, vs. the enforcement of globalization “law” where it comes to corporate “rights”, which means lawless corporate prerogative and license. The tribunal holds that corporations should be held to the same standards of international law as government, political, and military cadres who are sanctioned by human rights tribunals.
In its ruling the Monsanto Tribunal has followed the premise and procedure of the 1946 Nuremburg Tribunal which dealt with similar criminals against humanity. The two tribunals conceive human rights the same way and condemn in the same way the crimes of those who assault humanity. The Monsanto Tribunal’s call to apply the rule of law to the crimes of corporations is the same as Nuremburg’s condemnation of the SS, Gestapo, and Nazi Party leadership as criminal organizations dedicated to committing crimes against humanity. This call applies even more profoundly to the very essence of a profit-seeking corporation, which is anti-human, anti-social, and a mode of organized crime in principle.
This judgement is nothing new but restates the truths of natural law, the moral and biological truth known to all of us, even those who sin against these truths. (The culture of the lie endemic to technocracy proves that the technocrats know deep down they are criminals and therefore are driven to lie about their crimes. They lie to the world and most of all to themselves.) This tribunal has only restated the eternal truth. What’s lacking is the will to exercise this truth in reality. One obvious problem is that the reason Nazi leaders or cherry-picked defendants like Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein were put on trial for their crimes is that they had run afoul of the US- and corporate-dominated globalization system. But multinational corporations like Monsanto comprise the core of this system, which is dedicated to aggrandizing these criminal organizations. So there’s an obvious contradiction in calling for Monsanto’s own lawyers, bagmen, and thugs to arrest and prosecute it. The same goes for corporate rule as such.
To apply law and order to the crimes of ecocide and to all crimes against humanity cannot be done within the framework of a civilization dedicated to exploitation, waste, and destruction. The laws of such a civilization and the way these laws are enforced always will follow from this underlying dedication. Even the Nuremburg Tribunal was lenient with corporate criminals and didn’t dare to ask whether particular corporations were criminal organizations. Even the break-up of the IG Farben cartel was done in a way assuring the continuation of its constituent companies including today’s agrochemical giants BASF and Bayer. The latter which currently is in the process of buying Monsanto. We see how the unfinished business of Nuremburg merges seamlessly with today’s business of the Monsanto Tribunal. Indeed a living holdover of the Nazi era (and of the general history of chemical warfare, in which IG Farben and Bayer as well as Monsanto play a big role) is now merging with Monsanto to formalize this historical continuity. WWII never ended but only was transposed temporarily to agriculture and genetic engineering.
To make the call to justice real requires the movement dedicated to realizing these truths and values. We cannot carry out the tasks of necessity and justice within the framework of a system dedicated to every anti-human and anti-ecological action and institution. We can do it only through the action of a movement dedicated to abolishing these crimes and abolishing their ideological and institutional basis. This means above all the total abolition of corporate industrial agriculture and all of its poisons. The Monsanto Tribunal, in its compilation and assessment of the evidence and the history, has only provided the latest demonstration that humanity and the Earth cannot “co-exist” with these poisons, and therefore cannot continue with a regulatory and legal model dedicated not just to this co-existence, but to co-existence on the basis of corporate profit as the great normative purpose. The Tribunal itself identifies this as the core of the crisis, even if it doesn’t draw the necessary strategic and organizational conclusions.
Morally, rationally, and legally the ruling of the Monsanto Tribunal is true and follows from the ruling of the Nuremburg Tribunal. The only difference so far is the force to put the truth into effect. Only the abolition movement can muster and organize the strength and the will to realize all the necessary truths. We have to begin.
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.

April 16, 2017

The System is Founded on “Rejected Energy”


Here’s some suggestive flow charts depicting US energy production, consumption by broad sector, and how much of this consumption is purely wasted (“Rejected Energy”), as opposed to how much provides what the system calls energy services. (H/T Death by Car.) According to the US Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, well over two thirds of energy consumed in the US is simply lost into the environment as heat and pollution. The great bulk of rejected energy comes from electricity generation and transportation. So right there we see the fraudulence of anyone who talks about climate change or the environmental ravages of energy extraction but who does so within any framework which assumes: Licentious electricity consumerism, globalization, the personal car. Industrial energy consumption also wastes over 50% of what it consumes. (See here for the LLNL’s measures of carbon emissions, which correlate well with energy wastage.)
As insane as this level of waste is, it’s still merely the US government’s own public depiction of how wasteful and destructive the extreme energy system is and incorporates all the most optimistic and manipulative methods of measure. The real number no doubt is much worse. By one alternative measure the level of energy actually used serviceably is only 13%, with the rest being pure waste.
But it gets worse. Those compiling and measuring this data are themselves believers in the essential goodness of the corporate-technocratic system and define “energy services” according to metrics of the Mammon religion like GDP. This means, for example, that a rocket fired by the US military which blows up dozens of women and children celebrating a wedding is counted as having provided excellent energy service, while the rejected energy is only whatever proportion of the rocket fuel’s energy dissipated as stray heat instead of helping to power the missile, along with the waste embedded in extracting the fossil fuel for the rocket’s tank and generating the energy for the electrical systems. (The drone’s fuel energy wastage would be calculated separately.)
In the case of corporate industrial agriculture, the bulk of the rejected energy spews from its industrial processes and globalized commodity transportation (“food miles” as well as input miles; the global South is forced to import the vast bulk of the industrial seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, and machinery required to grow the commodity crops globalization has forced upon it), though Western-style retailing and end-consumer food preparation also uses a large amount of energy. All these processes also are dependent upon the electricity generated with such extreme wastefulness.
The astronomical amount of industrial agriculture’s rejected energy is all from a sector which in its so-called “services” as well is only inefficient, wasteful, and destructive.
(When we consider the massive contribution of corporate industrial agriculture to the climate crisis, as always we must add that in addition to being the number one emitter of greenhouse gases it is by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks, and one of its primary political campaigns is to prevent the necessary massive rebuilding of carbon sinks. It’s a fact that there is one and only one solution to avert the worst of climate change: Greatly reduce emissions, completely stop destroying sinks, and rebuild sinks on a massive scale. Each of these three necessary elements requires, first and foremost, the abolition of corporate industrial agriculture and the global transformation to agroecology.)
These typical examples demonstrate how the measure of Rejected Energy only scratches the surface. This is the corporate globalization system itself admitting how grossly wasteful it is according to its own measure of what comprises a “service”: The same measure which values a death camp according to the construction work performed and the volume of Zyklon B sold, and values at zero the care a mother provides for her infant. As grotesque as the amount of the system’s officially acknowledged rejected energy is, the measure becomes even more profoundly abysmal when we ponder the “services” the non-rejected energy actually provides: According to any human measure, the great bulk of these as well are not just a waste, but deeply destructive of humanity and the Earth.
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.

April 14, 2017

Globalization’s Goal


Globalization is the fully rationalized and systematic expansion worldwide of supply-driven productionism and the use of economic and military muscle (i.e. racketeering) to bolster it. It has little to do with legitimate demand-based trade. Via the WTO and the even more radical and aggressive ISDS pacts it enshrines the direct political rule of multinational corporations. It tries to maintain political stability among the main powers, like how Cosa Nostra was supposed to maintain peace among rival Mafia gangs. Like what the EU was set up to do, the same EU which enacted the CETA and which currently is trying to enact the TTIP. (The EU is a globalizing venture, and the fact that today’s “leftists” support it and oppose its breakup is one of the many perfect examples demonstrating that “the left” is offering no alternative to corporate-controlled productionism.)
This universal corporate capitalist economic alliance is designed to be a more effective totalitarian system than that of competitive and confrontational nation-state alliances under the old balance of powers concept. This original imperial set-up was blown up in 1914 and even more definitively in 1939.
The updated neoliberal globalization imperialism is designed to unify 100% of global power on one side, with no “other” side at all, just humanity and the Earth lying prone. That’s how this war is supposed to go. Therefore globalization is not a treaty system to prevent war, but an agreement among militarists on how to wage war. At first, and by preference, the war is waged economically and through environmental destruction (direct destruction as of the rain forests; poisonism; climate chaos) and through the sublimated chemical and biological warfare of poison-based agriculture. But the invaders and occupiers will escalate to de jure shooting wherever they deem necessary.
We see how corporate industrial agriculture is the linchpin of globalization, both as the most pivotal economic sector (i.e. the most potent vector of economic war) and as the main mode of physical aggression and destruction. Agriculture is the primary physical war going on today, worldwide.
Globalization’s primary imperative to maximize industrial agriculture is also the best example of how “comparative advantage” is a lie. If this was real, industrial agriculture wouldn’t exist at all since nowhere does it have any reality-based “advantage” comparative to food-based systems. On the contrary, industrial agriculture invariably requires massive government subsidies in order to exist at all. So it exists only as the ultimate case of powerful countries and corporations seeking absolute advantage, might makes right.
The fact that globalization’s forced-trade policy seeks aggrandizement of industrial agriculture as one of its primary goals is proof that:
1. Globalization is not efficient in any reality-based sense.
2. Globalization has nothing to do with efficiency.
3. Globalization is about nothing but power for a handful of kleptocrats and religious zealots, toward however they plan to use that power.
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 extracted from Western taxpayers, 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.
When we consider the proven failure, wastefulness, and destruction caused by poison-based agriculture; and we consider these in combination with the proven history of the eugenic religion and political totalitarianism; and we place these in the context of the radical aggression of today’s corporate globalization, we gain a clear picture of the trajectory and the goal of corporate/technocratic domination.
This is what humanity and the Earth must overcome.

April 9, 2017

Politics is Dead


1. As the first great round of imperialism girdled the globe with chains it carried out the real capitalist program of its age.
Capitalism is the modern mode of organizing an elite hierarchy to administer the rampage of productionism and consumptionism. These comprise the only way humanity can burn up the obscene amount of energy potential it discovered pent up in the fossil fuel heritage. It was impossible for humanity to regard this incredible energy potential in any kind of rational way. History has proven that reason was vastly too weak in the face of such an abundance of energy. It was a given that humanity would embark upon a radical, irrational binge, and it was highly likely that this binge would develop its own momentum toward the most extreme wastefulness and destruction, eventually for the sake of nothing but wastefulness and destruction. It was likely that modern politics would reflect this biological debouch, often thrashing amid the most hideous extremes of violence and war. This is how it has played out, and today the Extreme Energy Civilization is entering its endgame.
During this first stage of capitalist imperialism all the economic classes cast off antisocial human debris which cohered as the declassed mob, while the spiritual chaos drove the rise of ideological anti-Semitism. The ideologies of Social Darwinism and scientific racism organized the religious impulse toward scientism which always accompanies the exaltation of science and technological development, especially under the conditions of the fossil fueled industrial rampage. Scientism always needs to be organized politically, either directly from above (as an astroturf, via corporate projects like genetic engineering or artificial intelligence, and the corporate Gleichschaltung of government research money, government agency research, and the research programs of the universities) or laterally (by ideological elements within the STEM framework). All this dovetailed well with imperialist ideology and the chauvinist/militarist perversions of nationalism. These features are not always directly controlled by capitalism, but capitalism tries to use them wherever it deems such use desirable or necessary.
2. As Marx forecast, capitalism reached its economic limits: First within the borders of the modern nation-states, then at the limits of the imperial globe insofar as 19th century capitalism was able to organize and exploit the globe’s resources and the ideas of modernity. This drove the imperialist competition to such extremes of intensity that it triggered a thirty year imperialist civil war which mustered all the debris and negative religious elements mentioneded above.
Leftist pressure and the communist specter drove capitalism to enlist the aid of fascism. Fascism was a more coherent and energized synthesis of the debris elements of the the class war, in terms of people and ideas. It wasn’t organized by capitalism, and capitalism everywhere preferred to fight leftist movements and deal with its own inner contradictions through conventional conservative class war measures. But where this seemed to become untenable, the “legitimate businessmen” enlisted the partnership of the de jure political gangsters.
3. Today humanity and the Earth endure the crisis of the second, vastly more ponderous and profound round of imperialism. Globalized corporate neoliberal capitalism, including neoliberal ideology, is the capitalist program of today.
Today’s fascistic features are similar to the old ones: The new declassed mob all over the world and increasingly in the modern Western economies, the scientism/technocracy cult, the nostalgia of the liquefying middle classes of the West (Americanism and the perverted American chauvinism). These are features corporate capitalism is using already and will try to use in a more intense way as the great crisis proceeds.
4. Globalization and the civilization of extreme energy consumption is reaching the limits of deployable fossil fuels (Peak Oil) along with the limits of all other natural resources, and the limits of what the environment can sustain.
The near universal consensus of all existing politics, all affiliations, all governments, all media, all NGOs, is to deny these two facts in various ways. The mode of denial is the only significant distinction among the otherwise undifferentiated factions: “conservative”, “liberal”, “radical”.
All existing political groupings agree on the following fundamentalist religious axioms:
One: This extreme level of energy consumption must and will continue forever.
Two: The environment must and will sustain this level of energy consumption. This includes any version of the fantasy of lifting oneself and one’s energy consumption “out of” the environment, or substituting “another” environment. The twin Raptures of Christian dispensationalism and space colony dispensationalism are the most extreme versions of this fantasy. Less extreme versions include any fantasy of maintaining the productionist and consumptionist level including energy consumption but in a more “renewable”, “climate friendly”, “eco-friendly” way. These too boil down to fantasies about going “outside the environment”. The only difference is that a fracking car or a CSP monoculture only ideologically, fictively removes one outside the environment, not physically the way a spaceship promises to. Of course the spaceship also is nothing but an ideologically determined fiction, while a hybrid car is still a personal car – highly consumptive, highly wasteful, highly destructive. The personal car as such, of course, is the problem which has no solution short of abolition.
Three: Therefore the Extreme Energy Civilization must and will continue forever, and all ideas and modes of action must be defined according to this framework.
These three propositions sum up every existing political identification and faction.
From there we have the three-part corporate normative template which I’ve described in dozens of pieces, most recently here. To reprise, this time fully equating corporate rule with corporate administration of productionism, consumptionism, and extreme energy consumption:
First: The project of extreme productionism, extreme consumptionism, extreme energy use, is normative and must continue at all times. (This continuation is called “Progress”. Progress is a vague religious idea which has zero principled content and can include everything from civil rights and video games to the forced immiseration and hunger of billions across the global South driven permanently off their land and out of the human condition to make way for corporate commodity productionist agriculture and the vile gluttony of moneyed Western food consumptionism. “Progress” is in fact nothing but this continuation. Morally it has no content and never was intended to have any. It’s simply a hypocritically moralized reflection of the fossil fuel binge itself.)
Productionism means maximizing production for its own sake. It means maximizing the quantity of production, without reference to quality of the product or any use value, social well-being, human happiness, public health, any harmful or destructive effect. Consumptionism is maximal consuming in the same self-driving and destructive way. Production and consumption are to be maximized in the most wasteful, destructive way possible. This is the only way it’s possible to concentrate power amid the storm and riptide of fossil fuels, and the only way profit is possible amid this infinite volatility. Profit is only a measure of power accumulation. It has zero use value in itself. No one seeks profit in order to enjoy the proceeds in some human way, to live better, to be happy. The profiteer seeks profit only as a stage toward greater profit, greater power. Even the power almost never is used for anything, but only as a stage toward greater power.
Capitalism is the most potent form of productionism. Corporations are the mode of organization which capitalism chose though other modes were possible. But corporate domination is the least efficient, most wasteful, most destructive, and therefore most potent mode for concentrating power.
Productionism, consumptionism, extreme energy consumption, are values in themselves and are undertaken without reference to any other value, and least of all any value having anything to do with human well-being and happiness.
Second: All existing political factions, for example Left and Right, conservative and liberal and everyone else, fully affirm (1) in practice. But they assume different attitudes and strike different poses regarding which aspects of the extreme productionism and destruction they most explicitly affirm and which they pretend to condemn. From there they engage in a fraudulent internecine conflict. But they’re just different colors running the same race and celebrating the same festival of destruction.
Conservatives, liberals, leftists/radicals, incarnate nothing but different styles of this productionism.
Leftism never offered an alternative to productionism, or even to capitalism. (Communism is just capitalism with the state as monopoly capitalist.)
Today leftism isn’t even political and has renounced all its analytical aspirations. Figments of these remain only as ornamental attitudes. The best example of this is how almost all leftists, including Marxists and anarchists, renounce all historical materialist analysis (and in the case of anarchists, all analysis of authoritarian structures) where it comes to the science and technology they identify with productionism and the Extreme Energy Civilization.
Instead they regress to straight bourgeois mystification and straight authoritarian pleading, positing science and technology as “neutral in themselves”, and therefore as self-realizing mystical forces. But in reality science and technology always have been primarily tools of power concentration. Today they’re organized and deployed almost exclusively for this purpose.
Agroecology is the main exception, which is why the system will do all it can to prevent the necessary global transformation to agroecology.
Third: Each faction then claims best to represent humanity and the Earth and demands the submission of humanity to its authority, and license to control the demolition of the Earth.
This is the hard limit of all existing politics, and therefore the temporary dominion of anti-politics, since by definition politics has to mean true diversity, true options, true cultural color. This hard limit is the reason why we already experience complete political monoculture. It is in anticipation of future challenges to this hard limit that the scientific and technological establishment, powered by governments and corporations, has embarked upon its program to destroy physically all human and ecological biodiversity and replace these with a totalitarian blank slate upon which it can enforce total physical monoculture. At this level of total control, the system believes, it will be able to sustain the existing level of energy consumption.
The existing level of energy consumption is the core imperative of all modern power. Capitalism’s profit imperative is just an economic reflection of this. Mammon’s worship of money is a proxy for it. Today Mammon is really the worship of the fire for the fire’s own sake. Not for the warmth, not for the cooking of food, not for the poetry of the flickering. Preferably the flame is cold and invisible, and with no food to eat.
Politics is Dead because all existing political factions are completely committed, psychologically, ideologically, materially, organizationally, to this kamikaze death dive.
But the claim of all factions to represent humanity and to dispose of the Earth is a lie in every case. There is no representation and no disposal, only manipulation and violation. There does not yet exist the direct political manifestation of humanity itself, and the politics of the Earth itself which shall be one with the politics of humanity, for humanity is nothing but earth.
5. This second and final time round there will be no leftist pressure, no pressure from below, as far as this pressure coming from within the framework. Thus the great questions for the second 1914 cycle and the Great Civil War of the Extreme Energy Civilization become:
1. How will capitalism respond to Peak Oil?
I’ve been describing their plan in my writings: Drive all people off the land, liquidate the middle classes (who are not likely to respond with any kind of opposition movement; the Western/globalized middle class has no spirit or philosophy to generate any kind of new consciousness and galvanization), shantytowns and permanent immiseration, forced famines and pandemics and the overall degradation of health, all this coupled with the militarized police and surveillance/data/prison/debtor state, along with various techno-opiates including the religion of scientism/technocracy, and eventual restored serfdom and/or de jure slavery.
(In all this, everything I’m writing, I’m not saying that most corporate and technocratic cadres are conscious of these crises and goals of their system, or that these goals are coherently formulated by de jure cabals. I’m speaking of the inertia and imperatives of history, these imperatives driven by mass psychology, the psychology of power structures, the psychology of religious fanaticism, the physical limits of modern civilization’s energy and resource deployments, and the astronomical energy potential of all this waste and destruction being forced upon the global ecology, this potential soon to go fully kinetic.)
2. Can there be any kind of opposition/affirmation movement, a primalist movement, Earth movement. What forces can it muster?
And how will capitalism respond to it.
The time will come when the masses shake as a global earthquake. The fault lines will slide. Any new configuration will be possible.
We primalists cannot bring that day, cannot determine when it will come. (Perhaps we can predict when, and perhaps we can hasten it.) But we can and must organize toward that day, preparing everything to the point that:
1. The people already are aware of the ideas and what can be done.
2. We have a coherent organization in place ready to go into action, ready to take on the job, ready to organize the people now desperate to be organized toward the great transformation they now realize must be undertaken for survival and for the future of our well-being, strength, and freedom.
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.

March 19, 2017

Climate Chaos Requires A New Paradigm for Human Action


The Only Home

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

March 3, 2017

The “Drought” Lie, Amid Power Struggles in Kenya


Set up to die of thirst

Set up to die of thirst

GMO field trials are part of a power struggle among Kenyan officials. The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) gave the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) the go-ahead for open-air field trials of GM maize. These are publicly funded organizations which perform corporate research on the taxpayer dollar, with the product then privatized at the juncture most profitable for the corporations. The AATF is funded by the Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and USAID. The first two of these specialize in transforming public money into corporate welfare. USAID is a de jure government body explicitly dedicated to capitalist goals.
Health and environmental officials have blocked the approval on the grounds that Kenya’s existing ban on GM imports applies to field trials within the country as well. Evidently they have enough clout to force a deadlock. I’m not well enough versed in internal Kenyan politics to know the underlying issues of the power struggle, but our default always is to assume no government official has any principled objection to any GMO deployment. Our attitude toward any such delay must be to do what we can to encourage and support it but never to regress to any faith-based view of government.
The US government will be displeased. The US has been pressing Kenya to commit to the GMO campaign for many years, since the inception of its “New Alliance” plan for a “second Green Revolution in Africa”. This is a typical US-fomented “color” revolution indeed. (The “green” revolution was so-named in the 1960s in contradistinction to “red” rhetoric. It’s a Cold War propaganda term.)
(I stress, the US government, which remains the same no matter which criminal heads it up. Many people seem especially confused about that these days. But in 2009 the Obama/Clinton state department, in one of its first memos to department personnel defining the new administration’s priorities, included using US muscle to force “Government acceptance of genetically modified food and propagation of genetically modified crops” at the top of its list of the attacks it planned in Africa.)
The article says Kenya has been importing maize from Mexico and Ukraine “because of drought.” Maize yields in Kenya have been halved “because of drought.”
This is standard deceptive framing. “Drought” almost always is an artificial problem. Drought happens when a society deploys modes of cultivation and grows crop varieties which aren’t well-suited to the rainfall conditions of the region. Historically, drought was seldom a problem for traditional agriculture, and today it’s seldom a problem for agroecology, for these are designed to be diverse and resilient in the event of dry seasons. It’s only industrial commodity monoculture which is designed to be highly vulnerable to drought.
What’s more, today’s increasingly volatile rainfall patterns and periods of low rainfall are features of the climate chaos being driven most of all by that same industrial agriculture. This sector is the worst greenhouse gas emitter and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
In both these ways “drought” is a man-made, intentional crisis. And as we see here, in classic exploitation manner the drought which is driven intentionally by corporate agriculture then is used as a propaganda pretext on behalf of GMOs. These would only escalate the crisis since GMOs do nothing but escalate every pathology of corporate industrial agriculture. GMOs require even more water and synthetic fertilizer (the primary source of nitrous oxide emissions, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) than non-GM crops.
The solution to all these artificially and intentionally generated problems – food insecurity, drought, climate chaos, hunger – is one and the same solution, and it is the only solution. Humanity must abolish corporate agriculture and transform its food production to agroecology. Even amid such a hostile political environment agroecology is accomplishing great things already in Africa. Agroecology is a fully demonstrated science and set of practices and is ready today for full global deployment, wherever humanity has the wisdom and will to do it.
Meanwhile everyone knows the quote: Insanity/stupidity/evil is doing the same thing over and over while expecting/claiming to expect a different result. Nowhere is this more true than with GMOs.
Please propagate these pieces.

March 2, 2017

The Scourge of Bt Cotton


Humanity’s struggle against corporate agriculture, especially in the form of GMOs, becomes increasingly fierce around the world. One of the most critical and infamous battlegrounds is India. Here, Bt cotton is the locus of the struggle over commodification, the agronomic performance and socioeconomic character of GMOs, and this false crop’s role in history’s greatest suicide epidemic. It failed immediately for the small farmers of India and Africa. More recently it failed for the better-equipped farmers of the South. It soon will fail completely for all cotton farmers everywhere. India’s ongoing sea change against Bt cotton and against commodity cotton in general is only the tip of the iceberg. The consensus is changing. This most typical of GMOs is nearing the end of its time as a marketable product and useful propaganda item.
Bt cotton is one of the most notorious examples of how GMOs and the propaganda campaigns that tout them comprise a massive hoax and fraud on farmers and society. India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture found in its 2012 report that “After the euphoria of a few initial years, Bt cotton cultivation has only added to the miseries of small and marginal farmers”. In 2014 this committee followed up with the finding that government claims of rising cotton farm income are false. Only debt and risks have risen, giving “ample proof to show that the miseries of farmers have compounded since the time they started cultivating Bt cotton”.
GMOs are a rich man’s technology. This is true of the corporations which control and distribute them, tightening their control of agriculture and food. It’s true for the farmers themselves. The only way GMOs may work temporarily as advertised is in the context of high-input industrial agriculture. GMOs require lavish external inputs and best case scenarios. They need to be supplemented heavily with irrigation, synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, and mechanization. GMO seed sellers are also sellers of agricultural poisons such as herbicides and insecticides. The corporate goal always is to maximize both seed revenue and poison sales. That’s what GMOs are designed to do. They’re very costly to grow and require either huge cash reserves or that farmers go into debt. Only rich growers who can afford these expensive inputs can have any hope of getting GM crops to perform in the field as advertised so they can turn a profit on these very expensive crops. That’s why GMOs are an abject failure everywhere they’re not propped up with massive government subsidies.
In spite of these facts, corporations and governments consistently have targeted small farmers for GMO marketing. These farmers, who comprise the great majority of food producers worldwide, lack the resources to get the crop to grow as advertised or to render it economically viable. Across the global South the pattern has always been the same. Corporations and government launch a propaganda blitz targeting small farmers, promising high returns and threatening with economic extinction those who are slow to adopt the technology. The marketing campaigns promise lower pesticide costs, more effective pesticide coverage, and higher yields and revenues. Governments promise subsidies and generous credit. Lacking independent sources of information, often following local leaders in the pay of the cartel, small farmers buy the GM seeds. The GMO corporations use every tactic, from buying seed companies to imposing contracts on seed growers and sellers to having governments offer temporary subsidies to having “unapproved” seeds outlawed, in order to drive non-GM alternatives out of the market.
The farmer pays far more for this seed with its added “technology tax”. He quickly finds he must increase fertilizer application. Pesticide savings never materialize. He must go into debt to procure the expensive inputs he now needs. His farming dependent on rainfall, he learns too late that the Bt crop needs artificial irrigation to get enough water. Pests and diseases ravage the GMO crop in a way they hadn’t with conventional crops. The harvest is poor. Meanwhile the same corporate system is dumping globalized commodity crops on the market. The harvest price plummets. The farmer is wiped out. He’s driven off his land and into a shantytown. In India, he may kill himself by drinking his own pesticide. This individual tragedy is multiplied over hundreds of thousands, millions of small farmers. These millions are economically destroyed, forcibly subject to a mass expulsion from the land, one-way tickets to the terminal slums thrust into their worn hands. These slums have sprawled out from the fringes of the Southern cities in proportion to the intensifying death grip of corporate agriculture, their inmates the cast-off human destruction of this corporate assault.
This pattern has been unbroken wherever corporate agriculture has gone. Wherever commodity cropping has prevailed its primary effect has been to destroy community farmers and drive the people off their land. GMOs reinforce and intensify every pathology of corporate industrial agriculture and especially are evil in how they aggravate this social carnage. Today the goal of corporations and governments in pushing GMOs upon small farmers is to squeeze them for every cent possible, then drive them out. For small farmers and for society as a whole, GMOs are history’s most monumental socioeconomic fraud. That’s why the 2009 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) rejected GMOs as unable to play any constructive role in the future of farming and food.
Bt cotton is the best-documented example of this pattern of fraud, failure, and human destruction. In India a human drama unequaled in history has been playing out, with millions of small farmers under economic assault by globalized agriculture. They’ve been viciously duped by Monsanto and the Indian government. They’ve been subject to a “ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops”. The story begins in the mid 1990s. Under economic pressure and in thrall to commodification propaganda, small cotton farmers began switching from their traditional diversified polycultural practices, which included intercropping with food and other crops for personal use and local sale, to monoculture based on hybrid varieties and destined for global markets. This first put them on the treadmill of rising input costs, pesticide use, and debt. According to government data, 75% of rural debt in India is from the need to purchase farming inputs. The seed dealers themselves double as moneylenders at usurious rates, thus repeating the 19th century American tragedy of impoverished sharecroppers and “the man”. The suicide epidemic is caused by this vicious circle. In Maharashtra state, ground zero of the epidemic, 2.8 million of 3.6 million farmers were in debt in 2006.
Hybrid varieties are highly vulnerable to insect pests. Each year farmers had to invest more borrowed money, time, sweat, and anguish into applying an ever more prodigious and complex mix of poisons. As if their situation wasn’t parlous enough, in 2001 the US radically stepped up the dumping of its own heavily subsidized cotton on the Indian market, causing the price to collapse. For all its cotton production, third in the world, India became a cotton importer on account of the low global price. India’s small cotton farmers were desperate.
This was the context for the commercialization of Bt cotton. It was first grown illegally in the Gujarat province starting in the late 1990s, then launched legally across the whole cotton belt in 2002. The first legal varieties were a joint project of Monsanto and its Indian subsidiary Mahyco. Farmers, trapped on the treadmill paying ever more for pesticides that worked ever more poorly, were desperate for a solution. It’s no surprise that they ardently listened when the massive Mahyco advertising blitz, bolstered with bullish government and media testimonials, promised them a Bt panacea. Bt cotton came from “magic seeds” which would solve all their problems and give them a prolific, profitable crop. It would rout pests once and for all, cost less to grow, yield better, and gross more at harvest time. Bollywood stars toured the countryside exhorting farmers to get on board. The government promised support and lenient credit.
Small farmers faced this marketing offensive with few independent sources of information. “There are no independent expert agencies in this country”, according to a 2014 panel report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. There’s practically no one but industry and its government flunkeys to advise farmers. Because of this, the adoption of Bt cotton has had little to do with knowledge and experimentation but was mostly a social response. In a time of agricultural deskilling and economic uncertainty, farmers fell back on following a leader or following their neighbors. This environment was rich to be manipulated by Monsanto/Mahyco’s propaganda blitz.
Most Indian cotton farmers heard about Bt cotton through word of mouth, from neighbors who had been tapped by Mahyco to serve as proselytizers, or from advertising coordinated by seed dealers. In Maharashtra 79% of farmers said they’d heard of it from seed dealers. These Mahyco-licensed dealers are often also peddlers of the expensive inputs needed as accessories to Bt crops and loansharks offering the credit needed to buy this expensive apparatus.
This information problem is aggravated by the fact that Bt seeds have been highly unreliable in germination, Bt expression, and yield. This again is a function of how lavishly expensive external inputs are applied, but is also inherent to the shoddy GMO seed itself. If small farmers who are unable financially to deploy the whole input apparatus follow the lead of a local bigshot who can afford it, or believe the lies of government and industry, this is a recipe for economic self-destruction.
Throughout its history the private seed business has been about nothing but marketing, trivial “product differentiation” which even the National Academy of Sciences derided as “pseudo-varieties” representing no kind of actual improvement, destroying farmer choice through enforcing monopoly, and fiercely resisting attempts to enforce transparency and quality control. Jack Kloppenburg’s First the Seed gives an excellent historical account. Just from this historical record it was easily predictable that GMO seeds would comprise a shoddy, fraudulent product. This prediction has been borne out. Bt cotton may be the best case study of how high maintenance GM crops are, how they require a vast, exorbitantly expensive apparatus of inputs and optimal conditions in order to work as advertised, and therefore how inappropriate they are for small farmers. GMO agriculture and smallholder agriculture are antithetical and cannot “co-exist”, to use the GM cartel’s favored propaganda term. Any assertion or advertisement to the contrary is perpetrating a hoax and a fraud. It’s a Nuremburg level crime. As is Monsanto’s aggressive campaign to impose a near-monopoly on cotton seed in India.
The lies were aggressive and virulent from the start and remain so to this day. “Bollgard protects you! Less spraying, more profit! Bollgard cotton seed: the power to conquer insects!”, blared an early poster. “Our products provide constant and significant benefits to both large- and small-holder growers. In many cases farmers are able to grow higher quality and better-yielding crops.” That’s from Monsanto’s “Pledge Report” for 2006, which was the exact time it was rolling out Bollgard II with two Bt toxins. This was in response to the collapse of the original Bollgard on account of bollworm resistance to its single toxin. Clearly the only “constants” are the ever-escalating pesticide treadmill, the ever-rising Tower of Babel as GMOs have to incorporate more and more stacked poisons, and Monsanto’s revenue from this business model of captive markets and planned obsolescence. The other constants are the vicious circles of farmer struggles, debt, misery, exodus from the land and into slums, and suicide. And the lies march on, as the Advertising Standards Council found when it recently flagged Monsanto-Mahyco’s campaign for falsely claiming “Bollgard boosts Indian cotton farmers’ income by over Rs.31,500 crores” (over 315 billion rupees, which is around $4.725 billion as I’m writing this but was much more at the time).
Taking advantage of Indian cotton farmers’ parlous economic circumstance and their lack of information, the propaganda campaigns worked. In spite of the unprecedented high price of the seeds, farmers began planting Bt cotton. By the time they realized the debt and monopoly trap they were in, it was too late. The result has been a disaster.
We’ll survey in detail the real world performance of Bt cotton in India. This is in contrast to the “studies” of Monsanto flacks like Matin Qaim, much touted in the corporate media. Qaim, who barely set foot outside the Mahyco greenhouses and field test sites during his few visits to India (he’s based in Germany), simply propagates corporate-asserted numbers based on secret data from the corporate trials. There’s no reason to trust these numbers in the first place, and even if they were true they’d be valid only for the ivory tower conditions of the trial sites. Either way these figures have zero validity for real world agriculture of any sort, let alone that practiced by small farmers. Yet this person is the main “scientific” source for the corporate media and pro-GMO activists everywhere. Since we can assume Monsanto provides the best flackery it can, in dismissing Qaim we can dismiss the entire pro-Bt “side of the story” as fraudulent and invalid. Now let’s move on to what reality testifies.
*In reality Bt cotton never improved yields. Data compiled by government and trade groups tells a stark story: The great bulk of the yield increase (measured by nationwide average kilograms per hectare) of the commodity cotton era in India occurred from the 2000-01 to the 2004-05 seasons, at which point only 5.6% of cotton acreage was planted to Bt varieties. During the Bt acreage surge from 2005-06 (18% of cotton acreage) to 2008-09 (84%) yield increased only a slight amount, then stagnated and declined. In the ensuing years as Bt acreage crept up above 90%, yields have declined. Overall, yield increased 70% from 2000-01 to 2004-05 when Bt acreage was negligible, and increased only 2% from 2005-06 to 2011-12, with a decline since the 2007-08 peak.
This proves that the entire increase was from other causes and had nothing to do with the GMO. The real cotton yield surge came from the switch from traditional polyculture-based cotton farming to hybrid monoculture deploying massive, expensive inputs – irrigation, fertilizer, pesticides. This is only monocultural yield, not food for people or farmer income. “Yield” by itself is a crackpot measure with no inherent meaning. It can have meaning only within some socioeconomic, political, or environmental context.
In fact almost the entire yield increase came from improvements in conventional hybrids and expanded irrigation. As for pesticides, Keshav Kranthi of the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) scoffs at the notion that Bt crops can hold their own. On the contrary, he attributes the viability of any kind of hybrid cotton, Bt or conventional, versus a wide range of what from the Bt point of view are secondary pests (Bt cotton’s target pest is the bollworm; secondary pests include whiteflies, jassids/leafhoppers, mealy bugs, mirid bugs, thrips, stink bugs, and many others), to the standard seed treatment with the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. This too is a deadly poison we need to abolish, and jassids increasingly are resistant to it. Therefore, to the extent poisons contribute to yield at all, this non-GM poison is far more important than genetically engineered Bt. The great increase in the years of low Bt acreage and stagnation of the years of Bt domination prove that this GMO offers no yield benefit whatsoever and is actually inferior to conventional cotton hybrids.
These numbers, damning as they are, actually exaggerate GMO performance since they’re skewed by the relatively better results from Gujarat state. Gujarat is an outlier in that its agriculture is dominated by fewer, bigger, richer farmers than is typical in other states. Gujarat is far better served by irrigation projects and fertilizer subsidies. Its more capital-rich farmers can better afford the expensive inputs Bt cotton requires. The better Bt cotton production in this state therefore confirms the thesis that GMOs work only for rich growers who can afford lavish outlays for irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides. Take Gujarat out of the equation and Bt’s performance for small farmers across the cotton belt has been dismal and worsening.
Besides its overall poor yield, Bt cotton (and Bt crops in general, everywhere on earth) has performed in an extremely variable way. There have been several regional crop failures, most recently in Karnataka in 2014. In general the national and state averages obscure extreme local variability. As a rule, how the GM crop will perform is a crapshoot and will vary from farmer to farmer. Seed quality is often poor and Bt expression in the crop is highly variable. Is this caused by the chaotically modified genetics, by agronomic factors like watering levels or soil quality, by environmental factors like temperature? Who knows? No government or corporation has ever studied this in Bt cotton. Not Monsanto, not the US government, not the Indian government, no one. An independent study of Bt expression in GM maize, however, found great variation depending on climatic conditions. We see how climate chaos driven by the corporate system is intended to maximize the chaos of all aspects of agriculture, right down to the performance of the corporate flagship product.
At the farm level, Bt cotton intrinsically yields less than conventional hybrids. Given high inputs it may have better operational yield for the first few years until the bollworms develop resistance. Given the low inputs which comprise the limit for indebted small farmers, Bt always yields much less, along with many acute failures. Yields have always been far less, often by more than half, than what Monsanto’s advertising promised. Poor yields continue to this day. The meager overall numbers conceal a vast number of individual tragedies.
For the individual farmer, growing Bt cotton is like “playing Russian roulette in order to get out of poverty”, as Nassim Taleb put it regarding civilization and GMOs as a whole.
*Here’s a good place to add a critical point. While the individual small farmer crushed by commodity agriculture is often impoverished, the opposite is true of agriculture as a whole. Here we’re talking about cotton, which isn’t directly a food although the seeds are pressed into oil which is used in processed foods. Nevertheless in any discussion of GMO yields we must always stress the fact that industrial agriculture produces far more than enough food for everyone on earth today, and more than enough even for the highest future population projections. The fact is that there’s zero problem with the quantity of food produced, today or at any time in the future for as long as industrial agriculture persists. (It won’t for much longer. Humanity must transform to agroecology and food sovereignty if we want to continue eating.) Therefore there’s zero need to increase yields in order to “feed the world”. Feed the World is a classical Big Lie. The world currently produces enough food for 10 billion people, yet of the 7 billion here, one billion go hungry (and another 2 billion suffer from dietary diseases such as malnutrition or obesity, often both at the same time). This is caused purely by pathological economic and political systems for maldistributing the cornucopia we have. For example, India has vast food stocks, indeed it allows vast amounts of stockpiled food to rot, yet 250 million go hungry. The problem, today and tomorrow, is 100% from corporate maldistribution, 0% from insufficient production. It’ll be a great leap forward for civilization when we can completely purge the “Feed the World” notion from rational and moral discussion as the criminal Big Lie it is.
*Perhaps the core lie Monsanto-Mahyco and the Indian government told cotton farmers is that Bt cotton is suitable for rainfed cultivation. In reality Bt cotton is dependent upon artificial irrigation. In fact Bt cotton requires as much as twice the water needed by conventional hybrids and cannot be effectively grown without expensive artificial irrigation. The vast majority (70%) of India’s farmers depend completely upon rainfall. In Karnataka state where yields collapsed in 2014, most cotton cultivation is rainfed. Gujarat is the exception again, reversing the proportions of irrigated (65%) and rainfed (35%) farms. Here the irrigated area has accounted for 84% of the state’s cotton production, 689 lint kg/ha, while the rainfed area produces only 247 kg/ha. That’s a typical yield difference between Bt cotton grown with irrigation vs. rainfall.
To try to sell Bt cotton, or any GMO, to a rain-dependent farmer is criminal fraud. Investigative journalist PJ Sainath went further – “promoting [Bt cotton] in a dry and unirrigated area like Vidarbha [ground zero for the cotton farmer suicide epidemic] was murderous. It was stupid. It was killing.”
*Another core lie is that the Bt technology can be a permanent panacea against insect pests. On the contrary, Monsanto knew from the start that pests would develop resistance to any Bt toxin just as they do with any other pesticide. This is elementary knowledge of how evolution works. Monsanto built the planned obsolescence of each GMO variety and its being superceded by ever more complex and expensive “stacked” varieties into its business strategy. They called this marketing plan “expanded trait penetration”. But in the early 2000s Monsanto was promising the opposite, that single trait Bt cotton would maintain its potency versus the bollworm indefinitely.
Farmers who believed the lies were quickly disabused. Overall there was never a real decline in pesticide use in Indian cotton farming. Indeed, nationally pesticide use went up 10% during the peak years of Bt expansion. This was despite the increased use of lower-volume, higher-toxicity poisons during these years. In some regions Bt may have used less pesticide than conventional hybrids for the first few years, with a difference range from minuscule to significant. It’s a function of how much water and fertilizer the crop gets. (As always, every possible agronomic benefit of a GMO is dependent upon lavish and expensive artificial inputs. To spend less on pesticides you need to spend more on water and fertilizer.) Any temporary relief also depends upon high-quality trait expression. But many varieties are inconsistent, shoddy, or just fraudulent. There’s never a lasting decline. After four years at most the pesticide use and cost equals out. A few more years and Bt cotton needs more applied pesticides than non-GM conventional cotton. In terms of aggregate poison use and environmental and health hazards all the numbers comprise a false accounting because they don’t account for the Bt endotoxins themselves. But these too are pesticides and must be counted as such.
Meanwhile all commodity cotton, even Bt cotton, always needs sprayed and seed-treated pesticide since cotton is attacked by the widest array of insect types. In the case of anti-bollworm Bt cotton, secondary pests quickly move in to fill any temporary void left where the Bt toxin has temporarily killed the target pest. As I mentioned above, according to the CICR’s Kranthi without neonic seed treatments Bt cotton would be routed by whiteflies, jassids, mirids, aphids, thrips, and many others. As Monsanto’s own propaganda often emphasized, Bt adoption has to be put in the context of the failure of earlier pesticides. Since the same companies propagate both kinds of poisons, applied and GMO endemic, it’s obvious that the poison treadmill culminating in stacked Bt poisons is planned obsolescence, a form of disaster capitalism.
In some cases the Bt cotton never worked against the target bollworms at all. In every case bollworms developed resistance within a few years. In 2006 Monsanto introduced Bollgard II containing two Bt toxins, the original Cry1AC plus Cry2AB, thus admitting that the original Bollgard no longer worked. Bollworms have since developed resistance to Cry2AB. This is standard for the GMO pesticide treadmill.
The result of all this has been that farmers found any reduced-pesticide dividend to be minimal and temporary at best. While pesticide use and cost may have declined by a small amount at first, within a few years these were back to pre-Bt levels. Today Bt cotton farmers have to spend more on pesticides than farmers growing non-GM conventional hybrids. And to correct the false accounting again, the great expense of Bt seeds has to be entered as a pesticide cost, since farmers are purchasing the Bt endotoxins the crops allegedly will produce.
This ongoing pesticide disaster of insurgent secondary pests, resistant target pests, and soaring pesticide use and costs has reached new levels of infamy since 2015, as Bollgard II is collapsing in the face of resistant bollworms even as secondary whiteflies decimate the crop in many states. There’s a rising consensus among Indian farmers, agronomists, and even officials that the Bt cotton experiment has been a disaster India needs to purge.
*As Monsanto flooded the market with its seeds it pressured seed growers and sellers to stop producing and offering non-GM seeds. Monsanto calls this tactic “seed replacement”. Once enough farmers had adopted Bt cotton and GM seeds had attained a dominant market position Monsanto jacked up the price to astronomical levels. Here too there has been great variation over time and across regions, but distilling from many sources tells us that seed prices soared to 2-10 times as much as the price of non-GM hybrids. Prices have run from 700-2000 rupees per packet. For contrast, the original Desi varieties cost 5-10 rupees a packet. The bulk of this price explosion is Monsanto’s technology tax. By one estimate, by spring 2014 Monsanto had extracted 5000 crore in taxes (50 billion rupees; c. $810 million in contemporary dollars) from Indian cotton farmers. Imagine what this wealth could have accomplished if Indian society had invested in agroecological food production instead of throwing it down a corporate commodification rathole.
This extremely high priced seed input and accompanying tax is unique to the GMO varieties and therefore piles a new burden on the backs of already beleaguered farmers.
Various Indian state governments and some central government officials have made half-hearted attempts to relieve the crisis. In 2005 the government of Andhra Pradesh banned three Monsanto-Mahyco varieties for poor performance and sought in vain to force Mahyco to compensate farmers. In 2006 the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) issued an anti-monopoly pricing order against Monsanto-Mahyco, which Mahyco has done all it can to flout. The central government in 2008 as well as the state governments of Maharashtra in 2008, Maharashtra again in 2011 and 2012, and Karnataka in 2014 undertook regional farmer bailouts in response to atrocious Bt performance and crop failures. At various times Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have banned Mahyco seeds for bad performance and fraudulent sales practices. But these ad hoc, piecemeal measures have been utterly insufficient. In 2016, even as Karnataka geared up for its second farmer bailout, the Indian central government ordered price caps on cotton seed and the tax Monsanto imposes on the seeds. The government also threatened to revoke the Monsanto’s Bollgard II patent on the grounds that the product is a failure and a fraud.
The result of these escalating input costs has been that Bt cotton is considerably more expensive to grow than non-GM hybrids. At the same time cotton prices forcibly have been depressed and kept low by US dumping of heavily subsidized cotton. The result is that even for the best-equipped farms, Bt cotton’s profit margin is razor-thin, worse than for non-GM conventional. For small farmers, it’s a wipeout. It’s near impossible for them to do anything but lose even more and sink deeper into debt each year.
As all this has been going on India’s conventional agricultural credit structure, based on nationalized banks and lenient payment terms (obviously the right way for society to handle its food producers if it’s to force them to incur debt at all, which of course it should not), has been gutted by the same globalization process which has driven first monoculture hybrid commodification and then Bt commercialization. As a result farmers have been forced to turn to usurious “microlenders” and the seed and poison dealers themselves who often double as loansharks. This sinks them even deeper in the quicksand.
Around the world this pattern has held everywhere, from the richest countries like the US and Australia (both suffered yield declines and subsequent reduced Bt plantings during the drought of 2013) to Asia to Latin America. In Argentina the same pattern of partial but fleeting success for wealthy growers, failure and bankruptcy for small farmers, prevailed. The Colombian government fined Monsanto for the awful performance of its Bt cotton seeds. It was the same story: for small farmers Bt cotton didn’t perform well against pests, didn’t reduce pesticide use or costs, yielded poorly.
Returning to Asia, Chinese production, long afflicted by the secondary mirid bug, is suffering from surging bollworm resistance. Chinese problems with Bt cotton aren’t new. A 2006 Chinese/Cornell study already documented the standard pattern: Seven years of Chinese Bt cotton cultivation had seen a temporary decline in pesticide use and rise in income, then the surge of secondary pests drove farmers back to spraying as much as 20 times a year. Soon they were paying more for pesticides and making less money than non-GM conventional farmers. In Pakistan pesticide use and costs are rising steeply on account of the rampant fraud and the generally dismal performance of the seeds against pests. In Africa’s Burkino Faso farmer success or failure with Bt cotton has been a function of farmer access to credit on rational terms and the ability of farmers to pay for expensive inputs.
African cotton farmers, like the small farmers of India, are especially devastated by US dumping of its heavily subsidized cotton. The same US government which touts GMOs around the world as a great bet for small farmers is ruthlessly dumping its corporate welfare crops on the heads of those same farmers like hot coals. China and the EU also subsidize cotton.
Second to the Indian debacle, the most infamous Bt cotton rollout was the abortive deployment in the Makhathini Flats region of South Africa from the latter 1990s to 2005. In Makhathini, the neoliberal government deployed the same kind of propaganda campaign, promised loans and subsidies, told the same high-flying lies. This propaganda was directed at the international community and world media at least as much as at Makhathini’s farmers. (The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization bit. Its 2004 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report swallowed the lies whole and has been a favorite citation of corporate and media flacks to this day.) The seed cartel enlisted local leaders to attest to the alleged benefits of Bt cotton. Economically beleaguered small farmers responded by adopting the Bt technology with the same result as in India – increased costs, crop failure, the poison treadmill, the debt trap, ending in their being driven off the land. Some were able to stick around as laborers on land they’d once stewarded. Most survivors abandoned cotton completely. By the late 1990s over 90% of Makhathini cotton farmers had adopted Bt varieties. By 2004 drought (lack of irrigation), pesticide costs (secondary pests and then target resistance), depressed cotton prices (US dumping), and impossible debt had caused most farmers to abandon cotton completely.
The worldwide evidence record of the agronomic and environmental performance of Bt cotton has been the same everywhere. It has always led to failure and disaster for small farmers. The fact that Monsanto, governments, academia, and the media continue to hype Bt cotton as appropriate for small farmers constitutes one of history’s ultimate frauds. It “works” for no one but the destructive, parasitic elites who profit off it and use it to exert ever greater control over agriculture. By Nuremburg standards it’s a crime against humanity.
From this history we see how Bt cotton has aggravated the poison/debt agronomic treadmill and economic trap which enclose small farmers in hopelessness and misery, to the point that in the end their only avenues of escape are suicide or to flee the land for the terminal shantytown slums. Bt cotton has turned an agricultural crisis into a catastrophe.
This result was no accident, nor was it unforeseen. On the contrary, it’s simply an escalation of standard “green revolution” phenomena: The replacement of food-based (or in this case textile-based) agriculture with a poison and commodity basis; the enclosure and concentration of agricultural power and profitability on an elitist basis; the forced mass expulsion of the people from the land. The fact that government, corporate, academic, and media elites touted Bt cotton to small farmers knowing it could lead only to their destruction comprises a great crime against humanity. The same is true of all GMO deployment.
It’s clear that Bt cotton is a product which, where it works at all, works only for a brief period and only where supplemented by an expensive, cumbersome apparatus of artificial inputs. Like all other GMOs, it’s an extremely high maintenance hothouse flower. Industrial agriculture as such is highly destructive, wasteful, and unsustainable. GMOs represent an escalation of all the worst aspects of corporate industrial agriculture while conferring no benefits. As a whole GMOs are the extreme manifestation of a backward, economically cramping, agronomically destructive, retrograde technology and mindset. Collectively GMOs are a hoax and a fraud, and most of all where touted for small farmers. The goal of marketing GMOs to small farmers is to destroy them economically and drive them off the land so that large-scale corporate industrial plantations can more “efficiently” enclose and monopolize agriculture. In First the Seed Jack Kloppenburg discusses how the corporations faced barriers to the full commodification of farming itself (as opposed to the system of agricultural inputs and processing). Here we see the answer: One of the basic purposes of GMOs is to drive up the costs of farming to the point that it becomes economically impossible for small independent farmers to exist. Bt cotton provides one of the best case studies.
In fact, the failure of Bt cotton and the great fraud it incarnates are typical of the insecticidal and herbicide tolerant GMOs in general. These essentially are the only two types of GMOs. Both are literally poison plants. They’re engineered to produce their own endemic Bt insecticide and/or to tolerate copious slatherings of herbicide, usually Monsanto’s Roundup. The herbicide is taken into the crop itself and suffuses all its cells. Therefore GMOs add two completely new, massive, indelible presences of extreme poison in our food.
In both cases the poison treadmill and the business strategy of planned obsolescence are fully operational. Except for a few trivial exceptions like the small and declining acreage of MON810 cultivation in Spain, no single-trait Bt maize variety has been effective for years. They’ve been replaced by stacked varieties which produce as many as six Bt toxins. Varieties which produce even more are in the pipeline, as pest resistance escalates and accelerates. Meanwhile the Roundup Ready GMO regime no longer works, as over a dozen glyphosate resistant superweeds rampage across North America, Brazil, and elsewhere. The only solution the system offers is to stack herbicide tolerances. Monsanto originally touted Roundup Ready GMOs as rendering even more toxic poisons like 2,4-D and dicamba obsolete while glyphosate (the main ingredient of Roundup though not the only actively toxic ingredient) would never suffer weed resistance.
Today Roundup Ready is in ruins, and the cartel and governments are pushing GMOs tolerant of the exact same ultra-toxic 2,4-D and dicamba which those same corporations and governments promised us would be a thing of the past if we just believed them about Roundup Ready. The results with each of these shall be exactly the same total failure, but with even worse socioeconomic, agronomic, environmental, and health destruction wrought along the way. This is why the Technical Expert Committee appointed by India’s supreme court to advise it on GMOs recommended, among several other important restrictions, that herbicide tolerant GMOs never be commercialized because of how badly they would aggravate the ongoing socioeconomic carnage by wiping out vast numbers of agricultural laborers. Economically, herbicide tolerant crops are meant to be standard “labor-saving”, job-destroying devices. They’re also designed to save time so the farmer can expand his acreage, thus feeding the classical vicious circle of agricultural overproduction and trying to “make it up on volume”. This of course also adds to the Get Big or Get Out pressure.
We can see how both the insecticidal and herbicide tolerance genres as a whole are massive frauds of the exact same character as Bt cotton. Bt cotton just provides the most clear example of how GMOs as such comprise a monumental fraud and crime.
GMOs are worthless, wasteful, counterproductive, and destructive. They impose a severe constraint and bottleneck on all attempts to innovate and advance in agriculture, farming, and food. They are designed and intended to drive out all small and independent producers and, through attaining total corporate control of agriculture and food, impose such a strangulation grip on the throat of humanity that we’ll never break free.
GMOs must be completely abolished.
If you agree with the ideas in these posts, propagate them.


February 12, 2017



We see how Trump has made hay out of xenophobia. His appeal is only a more overt form of the standard bipartisan xenophobia. Obama/Clinton and the Democrats similarly comprise a xenophobic party. Trump has done nothing and proposes nothing qualitatively different from the status quo embraced by the Democrat Party and its voters.
Mass migration, of course, is driven by the corporate globalization forced upon the world by the US government. No other power would have been strong enough to force the World Bank, IMF, WTO upon the world. No other power could have forced NAFTA upon itself and its continent, none could have forced CAFTA upon its hemisphere, none could force the same pattern across both oceans in the form of the TPP and TTIP. Again, this is the policy of what’s objectively a one-party system, the Corporate One-Party. “Republicans” and “Democrats” are nothing but two identical gangs within this monolithic system, and they share consensus on always escalating corporate and technocratic domination, always destroying all they can of humanity and the Earth.
Forcing people off their lands, out of their home economies, rendering them homeless and stateless, forcing them into regional and global mass migrations, has always been a primary intent and goal of globalization. The corporations force this migration to drive down wages in some places and to clear others completely of human beings. This was a core purpose of NAFTA, to drive Mexican farmers off their land to clear it for industrial plantations, and to drive them into the US to drive down wages there.
The xenophobia of US conservatives and liberals reflects their ambivalence toward globalization and corporate rule. They want to believe the corporate system will continue to maintain them as a parasite class and for this reason they support the crimes of globalization. But at the same time they sense how they too are being liquidated, how the same bell tolls for them. If more gradually, nevertheless just as surely the shantytown and hunger are their ultimate destination as well. They struggle to relieve these fears through such expedients as xenophobia.
Similarly, they believe “Islamists” are aliens who are obstructing the full boons of globalization. The Middle East is the geopolitical center of global war, so Islamophobia and “war on terror” fantasies become proxies of ambivalence. The US middle class wants to continue to enjoy the parasitism afforded them by cheap oil, but they sense the fact that the cheap oil is just about spent, only the far more expensive (in every way) remains, the massive subsidies aren’t sustainable, and most fearful of all, the hype touting substitutes for cheap fossil fuels is nothing but a mirage, nothing but a scam.
This in turn is an example of the broadest ambivalence, the fantasies of technophilia and scientism bound up with the rising subconscious realism of skepticism about all this. The political parallel is the fantasy of total control over people and earth through technocracy, vs. the sure knowledge that this system is trying to destroy humanity and the earth once and for all.
We come full circle. The “civilized” hate the earth, hate the human body, hate that we’re physically forced to eat food which comes from the soil, hate every part of physical reality. The most perfect, most distilled example of this is the American combination of promiscuity and puritanism about sex. This extreme ambivalence is the perfect symbol of Americanism, and of the civilized mindset as such.
So it goes for all of reality. That’s the psychological basis of the scientism religion, the technocracy cult. They worship the idea of what they call “high-tech”. They worship only this idea, no matter how much high-tech really means nothing but high-maintenance, no matter how shoddy, inefficient, malfunctioning, wasteful, and destructive this technology really is in practice.
This religious ambivalence is how corporations have gained so much power. On a subconscious level the civilized literally worship this corporate person they created, as a kind of demon-worship. This is the objective character of the actions of the Western masses. (In the mass media this corporate worship often becomes nearly overt and self-aware.)
But at the same time they hate these fantasies. They know it’s all impossible, they know it’s all lies. They know there’s no way out – the Earth’s patience is at an end. They know the corporations mean to crush them once and for all. They know the STEM establishment is a collective Mengele viewing them literally as a mass of captive test subjects to be manipulated, tormented, controlled, and killed. They know technocracy exalts nothing but the most extreme anti-human, anti-ecological evil.
But like the monkey who stuck his arm into the jar to try to pull out the banana, they can’t bring themselves to let go, even though the ground around them is covered with fruit for the taking. That’s how deep the indoctrinated horror of physical life has gone. Today’s “civilized” Babylonian captives would rather starve to death than pack up and return to their Jerusalem, return to the Earth.

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.
Older Posts »