August 3, 2018

How the Supply-Driven Economic Society Works

Filed under: Dance of Death, Globalization, Mainstream Media — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 3:58 am


How the economic society works. This describes all societies based on productionism, which means all of modern civilization.
1. Get subsidies to build a factory and to destroy parts of the Earth by extracting “resources” and/or spewing poison.
Meanwhile productionist-consumerist indoctrination begins early in childhood and never lets up. The supplementary propaganda also begins early and never lets up. (It’s telling how relentlessly the dose needs to be repeated to keep humans within this mindset. That’s strong evidence that none of this is a major part of human nature.)
2. Overproduce. Destroy parts of the Earth with pollution.
3. Launch a propaganda campaign (i.e. advertising) to convince consumers that they need and want the thing you overproduce.
4. Use the revenue to further concentrate your wealth and power.
5. Use this wealth and power to lobby for further subsidies, to destroy more earthly “resources” and build more factories, to overproduce more, and to directly destroy parts of the Earth purely for the sake of destruction.
I can’t think of any aspect of the economic society, any corporate sector, which isn’t summed up here.

July 23, 2018

This Civilization is Collective Murder-Suicide


The end point for everything the extreme energy civilization is doing: The Earth nothing but a desert with ruins.

1. Civilization is destruction. For humanity and the Earth it is death. We’re bogged down in it. It’s driving us to the brink of nuclear war at the same time it’s giving us all cancer. Most civilized people want the missiles to fly, and most want cancer for themselves and their children. Their actions prove it.
“Growth”, the idol of fundamentalist worship by all the civilized, including “environmentalists” and the climate crocodiles, is physically unsustainable and must collapse with unfathomable consequences. It is cancer as well. Symbolically growth is directly analogous to cancer metastasis, and growth’s reality depends upon physically killing us with cancer, starvation, bullets.
Look everywhere Western globalization has spread, look at any government, any Leader, any journalist, any academic, any NGO, see what they unanimously say: If you’re not rich, then die.
It is self-evident that anyone who thinks this way also will think murderously, though few are as honest as the Canadian bankster who openly says, “There are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline.”
What this means is, “We should kill anyone who is in the way of our tyranny, whether as activists or simply as obstacles.” This means the entire 99%. All system cadres think this way and intend to act on this. This is the intended consummation of modern civilization, the total murder of the Earth and murder-suicide of humanity.
Smash the bottlenecks.
2. Politics is dead. Electoral democracy is a proven failure and by now a fraud. We’re bogged down in it. Its partisans – “voters” – aren’t political at all but rather are rival mobs cheering on entertainers and wrestlers, like the Blues and Greens of ancient Constantinople. Most of all they’re chanting for the missiles to fly. Only the most cloddish and inertial still dream of “alternative parties”, which invariably turn out to be new glosses on the same scam. Humanity and the Earth need something vastly greater than paltry reforms. The need is a movement and spiritual way dedicated to joining Gaia in destroying the stale and toxic anti-culture and building a whole new vision, a whole new culture.
Smash the bottlenecks.
3. Ecological catastrophe is rampant, still gathering tremendous force, and accelerating. The consequences are unfathomable but will include mass starvation and mass cancer. The campaign of destroying the Earth and provoking Earth’s kinesis in response has been deliberate on the part of all governments, corporations, the entire political and media class, the scientific establishment, all of academia, all system NGOs. It’s the intended action and goal of globalization, capitalism, technocracy, scientism, productionism, the economic/commercial civilization as such.
The catastrophe deniers are merely witting or unwitting tools of these destroyers of the Earth. Worst are the de facto deniers with their crocodile tears and fake “solutions”. All deniers are peas in a pod.
The climate chaos driven by civilization’s greenhouse emissions and destruction of sinks is gathering momentum to destroy us all unless we take action against the monstrous machine itself.
Here most of all we see the affinity of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans (that is, identical Party-mongers). Both want humanity to sit still while the death machine devours us all.
Keep Shopping! That’s the prescription for the climate crisis propagated by liberals and scientists. This also is their prescription for all the other ecological crises. Keep Shopping. And of course Keep Driving.
Just shut up, sit still, stay the course. Keep voting when told. Believe your Party Leaders, and your media and academic betters. Yes, the two types of denier are peas in a pod. Just as the Dembots and Repbots are peas in a pod in every other way.
4. Democrat Party partisans are the most vile of all. Anti-ecology, anti-human, pro-destruction, pro-Mammon, pro-famine, pro-war, pro-police, pro-corporate, pro-technocracy – there’s not a single evil on earth the liberal Democrats aren’t doing all they can to drive to its worst.
That applies to America. A similar anti-political process has transpired in most or all other Western countries.
By now we have to give up on the Party people, the terminally inert, stupid, and malign. Those who even at this late date still receive their marching orders and their very ideas and words from Party Leaders, from corporations, from academic/scientific nabobs. These are nothing but purely inertial conformist non-entities.
The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
Do you feel ill, or your children or pets? Do you fear sickness? Do you feel financially secure? Secure in your job? Are you optimistic things will change for the better? Do you know who has destroyed all security? Do you know what’s making us sick? Do you feel safe when you look at the news from America and around the world? Do you know why the world is going insane?
You’re feeling the great bottleneck. Our health, our security, our peace of mind, our work, our culture, our spirit, our freedom, all are bottled up. You feel the fear, you sense our psychological, spiritual, cultural, economic bottleneck.
To anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, you must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
All of this civilization’s bottlenecks boil down to the simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation must be accompanied by an equal level of physical, economic, spiritual, cultural, and ecological destruction. Modern civilization’s accumulation of wealth and power, which has not and will not trickle down to us even if we wanted it to at the price of murdering humanity and the Earth, equals our destruction.
Smash the bottlenecks.

June 16, 2018

The Roots of Nuke War Fever are in Ecophobia and Ecocide


It’s evident that the US political establishment, media establishment, academia, and all liberal Democrats as well as many Republicans either actively want nuclear war or at any rate demand that the US empire continue on the trajectory which near guarantees nuclear war in the not distant future. Their Russia Derangement proves it, their extreme pro-Zionism proves it, their response to the Korean declaration proves it. The Democrats are so incensed at even the prospect of lowering the chance of war that they want to overthrow the constitution and install a partial military dictatorship (to prevent the constitutional commander in chief from withdrawing US imperial troops from the Korean peninsula). Their generally deranged bellicosity proves it. The US empire truly is in its stage of barbaric, berserk decadence. The elephant with a bullet in its brain may run amok for quite a while.
Even so, how can it be that so many people who, as individuals, don’t normally seem to be clinically insane, nor grotesquely stupid, could be yearning so ardently for the missiles to fly?
The fact is that they think of war, up to and including nuclear war, as normal and normative in the same way that they think the total ecological destruction of the planet, which is their primary everyday activity, is normal and normative.
Their comfort with ecological destruction has done much to make them comfortable with the thought of even nuclear war. In the same way they evidently believe that they can poison and destroy the soil, water, air, biodiversity, without poisoning their food, water, air, the places they live, so by the same token they think nuclear war might be destructive to other people, but that they themselves are somehow immune.
It’s the flip side of the American “I’m going to win the lottery” pathology: “I can destroy the environment in general without destroying my own environment.” The former is socioeconomically suicidal, the latter is infinitely worse.
In the same way, the alienation of humans from Gaia, begun in ancient religion and brought to its most extreme dementia in modern religion (scientism/technocracy/”progress”), is a mental illness, and the most extreme manifestation of this insanity is the berserk will to destroy the Earth which is the primary action of modern civilization. The now terminal lust for nuclear war, the civilizational death wish taken to its ultimate extreme, is the most stark symptom of this insanity. That’s where the sundering of humanity from the Earth has gotten us.
Repent now and join those of us preparing to return home to Earth, or else you might as well join the cheerleaders awaiting the missile trails and mushroom clouds. By now it looks like there’s not going to be a middle ground available. Modernity’s totalitarians will insist, and only the Earth itself will be able to put a stop to them.

June 11, 2018

Life or Death

Filed under: Disaster Capitalism, Globalization — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 4:40 am


A center being destroyed cannot hold.

Today the great destroyer comes not from within, as with the Hadean volcanic era, nor from without, as with the Cretaceous asteroid, but from parasites squatting on the surface, and they way they’ve organized their infestation into a “civilization”.
Trump blew up the G7 conclave and threatens civil “trade war”? (That is, trade war among the globalizers, as opposed to the aggressive economic war they as a group wage against all of humanity.)
This, like Korea, like Iran, like Jerusalem, is what we hoped for from Trump. This kind of destruction verily is creative destruction, since it’s toward the destruction of the US empire and the basis of industrial civilization.
Here’s the facts:
1. Fossil fuels are finite and production has peaked. They cannot be replaced. The fossil fueled basis of modern civilization cannot be sustained. All must come crashing down.
2. Modern civilization is driven by a congenital death wish and total hatred for humanity and the Earth. Its ultimate goal is to kill everything that lives and destroy everything that naturally exists, replacing all with purely artificial technology. Modern civilization is irredeemably evil. Spiritually, culturally, morally, it cannot be redeemed. All must come crashing down.
3. There will be no mass movement to lessen the impact of the crash. There will be no movement to mitigate abrupt and total catastrophe. Some of us have tried to propagate the ideas for such a movement and heard only crickets.
Therefore it follows that we want the collapse as soon as possible, as fast as possible, as total as possible without doing extra ecological harm beyond the damage the civilization’s already doing. (This last part is unlikely though, and we have to be prepared for the worst there as well.) Whatever happens, the only prospect of a recognizable ecological future, a future which could possibly include a chastened humanity, depends upon the speedy and total destruction of modern civilization.
Civilization is the death of all life, and its death is the only prospect for life. You must choose: Life or death.

June 10, 2018

Self-Destruction: The Faster the Better


Their nice little china shop is getting wrecked. The horror!

Any revolutionary, anyone who shares Earth’s need, has always understood that the system must destroy itself completely, with whatever help we can add along the way. Therefore we have always wanted the system’s leadership to be as brutal and stupid as possible, since this hastens a system’s self-destruction. Today we’re talking about the US empire and the overall regime of productionism and globalization driven most of all by the US corporate state. Donald Trump just gave a superbly destructive performance at the imperialist G7 conclave, even promising to throw a trade war monkey-wrench into the globalization mechanism.
So far Trump is living up to my hopes for him. While Obama and the Clintons are at least as brutal as Trump, they are perhaps less aggressively stupid in how fast they drive everyone on Earth to the conclusion that US power must be destroyed one way or another. Korea, Iran, Palestine, Europe, everyone knows the US corporate state is the planet’s great evil which has to be overcome at all costs.
Well, the poodles of Europe aren’t yet willing to pay all costs as we see from their so far abject obedience to the Iran sanctions. But their pathetic G7 experience can only help wake them up to reality.
Part of the reason Europe is unable to quit the US is that, whatever style differences there may be, there’s no difference between the goals of US elites and the goals of Eurotrash elites. Trump left early prior to the G7’s sessions on the climate crisis and the destruction of the oceans because, like everyone else in the Western political class, he regards the total destruction of the Earth as non-negotiable.
That’s why the G7 sessions themselves, just like the Paris accord, will be a fraud: Because no one in the West actually wants to do what’s necessary: Stop emitting greenhouse gases, stop destroying carbon and methane sinks, start rebuilding sinks.
Trump is simply more openly aggressive (more de jure “stupid”) about his climate denial. But in substance his kind of denial is identical to those who cry crocodile tears over the environment and tout fake “solutions” like Paris but don’t actually want to do anything real. Because that would crimp their junk-based, destruction-based lifestyle.
You don’t like Trump, because he’s a lout? Where it comes to the substance, look to the beam in your own eye.
The climate-whining link includes this sub-heading:
“Trump is the only world leader at the G7 who fails to grasp the basic science, and the urgent threat, of the climate crisis.”
Actually Trump is at one with all world leaders (and all previous US presidents) in refusing to do anything about the threat. Instead they do all they can to ratchet up the destruction regardless of what they “believe” about the science or the threat, which they see as purely abstract.
I can see why liberal imperialists hate Trump and his “reckless tariffs”. They see how he is, in spite of his own pro-empire self, sawing off the branch they’re all sitting on.
As an anti-imperialist who hates the corporate-technocratic empire and wants its total destruction, I’m enjoying everything Trump’s doing.
To say again: De facto climate denial, any version of “we can avert the worst of the climate crisis (and all the other ecological crises) within the framework of capitalism, within the framework of productionist civilization”, is a vastly worse and more destructive lie than de jure denial.
To say again: There is one and only one way to avert the worst: Stop emitting greenhouse gases, stop destroying carbon and methane sinks, start rebuilding sinks.
You’re either for climate destruction or against it.



May 9, 2018

Their City Wants War

Filed under: Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Globalization, Mainstream Media — Tags: , , , — Russell Bangs @ 1:35 pm


7 And when you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in many places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
— Mark 13.7-8
So it goes in the Middle East as the US once again abrogates its bond for the sake of war. The US government, the entire US political class (Dembots and Repbots alike, and the entire corporate media and academia) and the Zionists must have total war, and so total war they shall have.
We must endure and look to the hastening end. Every aggravation only grips them more fastly in the mire, further constrains their sword arm (physical and economic) and brings their downfall closer.

May 1, 2018

Gates Foundation Assault on Africa, Cracking from Within


The Gates Foundation/Monsanto’s plan for the land: Stay OUT of the land, stay IN the shantytowns, unto death: First in Africa, then everywhere

Since its inception in 2012 I’ve written many times in condemnation of the Gates Foundation-coordinated “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition”. The New Alliance is the campaign of the Gates Foundation, USAID, several Western governments, such multinational agribusiness corporations as Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, and Unilever, with the assistance of corrupt African governments, to dominate and control Africa’s land and agriculture and drive its millions of community farmers and villagers off their land. The campaign attempts a far more vicious and total reprise of the 19th century wave of African colonization. It’s the escalation and extension to Africa of the modern agricultural imperialism campaign dubbed the “green revolution”. (So-called because it’s superficially about money, though really about total power and domination.)
In 2018 the Alliance has suffered two major blows.* The World Bank itself was forced to admit that its accounting procedure for analyzing the effects of pro-corporate policies enacted by target governments is corrupt and manipulated in order to obtain the desired propaganda result. Shortly after, the French government announced that it was ending its financial and propaganda support for the Gates/USAID/Monsanto program. That leaves just the US and its poodle UK still directly funneling taxpayer money to the corporate assault. (Of course literally all money funding industrial agriculture as such is direct or indirect corporate welfare. Just to give one prominent example, every cent funneled through the Gates Foundation is paid for by the taxpayer.)
Like the rest of humanity, Africa does not need the “help” of corporate technocracy, its poisons, or its dominion of Mammon. Like the rest of humanity, and as already proven by the mass destruction of much of the global South by this same system, Africa will be much better off going into the future beyond the extreme energy civilization if it fights off this Western attempt to destroy its food production. So although the New Alliance campaign is showing signs of cracking up from within, this only confirms the need to step up the fight against it to smash it from without. Africa can ensure the best future possible, the only good future possible, if instead it works to preserve its community food heritage and supplement this with the science of agroecology. Just like the rest of humanity will be forced to do, one way or another.
*The piece goes into wonkish detail and adopts wholesale the enemy’s propaganda term “reforms” for these pro-corporate policy assaults. Now, we anti-globalization campaigners are familiar with this Orwellian use of “reform”, and to the extent we’re radicals the term “reform” is generally a bad word anyway. But unless writers want to preach only to the most narrowly selected choir, they would be aware that to most people a “reform” is a vaguely good-sounding thing. That, of course, is why the globalizers developed this Orwellian use of it in the first place. So sincere anti-globalizers would never use the enemy’s own term this way. The worst examples of what seems like a symptom of Stockholm syndrome are the wholesale adoption of the enemy propaganda terms “free trade” and “free market” on the part of those who claim to oppose what these terms really stand for.
Unfortunately I no longer think this standard affinity for the enemy’s own terms is an accident or the result of sloppiness. Rather, I think it’s typical of the fact that just as with industrial communism before, so today’s allegedly more eco-conscious “radicals” really still offer no alternative to the Earth-murdering, humanity-enslaving productionist-technocratic civilization. They still want productionism, consumptionism, technocracy, but just as with the communists before so they make the same false promise to “do better”. But it’s the civilization itself which is inherently genocidal-ecocidal, inherently destructive of all life and all human feeling and value. To claim one can run the productionist-technocratic civilization in a more eco-friendly, human-friendly** way is the same as claiming one could have run Auschwitz in a more humane way. This analogy is direct and precise in every way.
So our socialists and anti-globalizers and most of all our environmentalists continue to talk like corporate propagandists because they share the deepest substantive affinity with them. The dispute between them and the corporations is nothing but a squabble over tactical means, emphases, tempos. They agree on the end goal of total destruction. Exactly as industrial capitalism and industrial communism had almost everything in common and were merely disputing which kind of power body, nominal “public” government or government-created corporations, should control the wealth and power which were the by-product of destroying the Earth and humanity. This total destruction has always been the shared primary goal.
**I often feel the need to double what’s really a single term, since humanity is inextricably part of the ecology. Thus “eco-friendly, human-friendly” is redundant. On the contrary, the notion that humanity is or ever could be (or should be) separate from nature, let alone at war with it, is by far the worst idea ever, by far the worst psychosis humanity ever invented. Yet even I feel the language has so internalized this notion of a distinction that I use the redundancy. And also to emphasize that even on humanist terms, civilization has been a disaster, while the vast majority of human beings always, at all times including the modern era, would have been much better off without it.

April 18, 2018

CRISPR: Utopian Religious Fantasies, Shoddy Reality


In their fantasies and propaganda, it’s a palace

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

March 18, 2018

Russia Derangement Syndrome

Filed under: Dance of Death, Disaster Capitalism, Globalization, Mainstream Media — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 4:20 am


The US corporate globalizers hallucinate their own image as a new “Red Menace”

The “bipartisan” insanity over Russia (just a typical example of how Democrats and Republicans are identical in all their evils and mental illnesses), and its counterpart insanity in Europe, is easy to explain.
Russia was supposed to remain permanently subdued after being raped by Western globalization in the 1990s. The fact that Russia has undergone a resurgence and is now reasserting itself against US-driven corporate tyranny is therefore deeply disturbing to the Western elite class. There’s also the psychology of the bully who feels entitled to hit his victim and is genuinely outraged when his victim gets up and hits back.
This explains the entirety of Russia Derangement Syndrome. It’s the reaction of pro-corporate elites and elitists to a challenge to their criminal regime. This also explains their absurd and malign obsession with North Korea. From any rational point of view North Korea is nothing but a minor nuisance to Western power.
But in both cases, if there remain any sane, rational people out there, always keep in mind and never forget: These psychopaths in the US government and media, and the psychopathic Rep/Dem political class which follows them, all are trying to drive the world into nuclear war. It’s as I’ve always written: The corporate globalization regime absolutely will prefer the complete destruction of humanity to losing its power, and will do its best to bring this about. You can see examples of it every day in every government statement and on every show on every news network. These are the most vile criminals who have ever existed.

February 25, 2018


Filed under: Globalization, GMOs Cannot "Feed the World", Land Reform, Peak Oil — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 3:56 am


The problem with Malthus isn’t that he was wrong but that he gave wrong and pernicious explanations for the things he described, and ever since he’s given aid and comfort to anyone who wants to blame the poor and hungry for their own predicament.
In modern reality there’s no such thing as “natural” hunger and famine, driven by some inertial depravity of people recklessly reproducing themselves. On the contrary, hunger and famine invariably are caused artificially, by depraved systems of agricultural production and distribution which turn food into commodities, which require money in order to access food, which dispossess and impoverish vast numbers of people by driving them off their land, rendering them unable either to grow their own food or to get the money to buy it, and which concentrates these masses in slums and shantytowns where they’re then dubbed “overpopulated”.
But they never were naturally overpopulated in the first place, they only artificially became so when they were driven off their land and concentrated. And they never were naturally hungry, they only artificially became so when they were rendered unable to produce their own food.
That’s one main artificial reason for modern hunger and famine. The other is the ecological onslaught of modern productionism which, through climate change and related environmental assaults renders much of the subsistence farmland still in the hands of the people increasingly vulnerable to drought, desertification, and flooding. Of course agribusiness locks up all the best land, driving subsistence farmers onto ever more marginal land which is less productive and more vulnerable.
Those are the reasons Malthus was a liar when he blamed the poor for their own hunger. He fails where it comes to why people become overpopulated and hungry. This doesn’t mean he’s ultimately wrong about what the end results will be. Industrial agriculture is unsustainable in multiple ways: Dependency on finite fossil fuels; dependency on finite aquifer water; dependency on finite mined phosphorus; dependency on increasingly denuded soil; dependency on increasingly weak crops and depleted crop gene pools; dependency on a pesticide arms race which inevitably will be won by the weeds, insect pests, and disease. Any of these or more likely a combination of some or all guarantees the collapse of industrial agriculture and subsequent mass famine. The Earth will restore the balance. But this too is an artificially chosen outcome which has nothing to do with Malthus’s explanations.
The point here is that if you identify the symptoms but make a completely wrong diagnosis, your prescription also will be wrong and probably make things worse. Just look at an idiot like Bono, or his hero Bill Gates who’s a combination of conscious willful predator and true-believer fanatic. That’s why I’ve always scorned Malthus.
No discussion of this subject is complete without one more point. There is one group which is grossly overpopulated and grossly gobbling up its resources, is doing so voluntarily, and is doing so out of nothing but sheer depravity. But this group isn’t from among the poor. On the contrary, this is the group of those living the extreme-footprint Western middle class lifestyle. (You know, the group which spawns the overwhelming majority of “Malthusians”.) This group, indeed, already has vastly overshot any capacity of the Earth to sustain it and will be reduced with extreme prejudice (if their corporate masters don’t liquidate them first). So if you want to engage in Malthusian moralizing, there’s the right place to look.
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