February 25, 2018


Filed under: Globalization, GMOs Cannot "Feed the World", Land Reform, Peak Oil — Tags: , — Russ @ 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.

February 23, 2018

Today’s Inversion of Yeats


The consummation of civilization

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

January 9, 2018

Japan is Buying at the Peak of the Bubble


In spite of the US having temporarily pulled out of the TPP negotiations, Canada, Japan, Australia, and several Asian countries are going ahead (obviously expecting the US to adhere later on).
For the sake of tilting at this windmill Japan is scrapping what’s left of its classical public agricultural infrastructure, the same way the US and other Western countries did over the course of the 20th century. In the 1980s globalization’s debt terrorism was used to force most third world countries to scrap their public agriculture systems, as part of the IMF’s “structural adjustments”. India dismantled its system in the 1990s, immediately triggering a suicide epidemic among small commodity farmers which rages to this day. (The US stanched the beginnings of a similar epidemic among American farmers at the same time by greatly increasing Big Ag subsidies, many of which are laundered through the farmers in the form of crop insurance and direct payments. Without this massive planned-economy program of corporate welfare, commodity farming in the US would be economically impossible for the farmers.) Today the corporate “New Alliance” project, spearheaded by the Gates Foundation and USAID for the benefit of Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, Yara, Unilever and others, is targeting African countries trying to force them to scrap what’s left of their public agricultural systems.
This a particularly stupid and short-sighted move for Japan at this late date. As the extreme energy civilization enters the era of Peak Oil and energy descent, as climate chaos drives sea-level rise and hyper-destructive Pacific cyclones, and as ecological collapse avalanches, it becomes all the more imperative for every society to wean itself from globalization, especially from commodity industrial agriculture, and to restore its food security on an agroecological basis. This is sanity, while any other course of action is insane.
This is especially true for Japan, a country whose classical problem has been to make the most of a small amount of land. The US always has had tremendous leeway to be stupid and wasteful because it was blessed with such a vast abundance of land and resources. Japan has no such cushion. It needs to be smart or perish. So it doesn’t bode well for Japan’s future well-being that it’s choosing now of all times to dismantle its public seed programs and other agricultural programs for the sake of propping up its exports of consumer junk. On the contrary, of all industrialized countries Japan ought to be one of the first to detach its food production from the globalized system and restore it to its natural, rational condition. Food production and distribution naturally and logically is regionally-based, as a rule concurrent with a watershed. Historically only a few luxury imperishables were traded extensively over long distances.
The modern era of extreme energy consumption which made it physically possible to globalize food systems has been an ahistorical blip based on the one-time draw-down of the unique, non-renewable fossil fuel hoard. At the same time this era’s obscene insult to the ecology is reaching its breaking point, and wholesale ecological collapse will make all human activities increasingly difficult or impossible.
For both these reasons, resource limits and ecological limits, Babylon’s ahistorical binge is coming to an end and soon humanity shall be forced to return to historical patterns whether it wants to or not. That means the relocalization of food production and distribution. At this site I’ve long called for the necessary abolition of industrial agriculture and the transformation to agroecology. This transformation is physically and scientifically possible, right up to the global scale, and lacks only the cultural and political will to do it. Humanity still can choose the agroecological transformation.
But there’s no choice as to the ultimate destination. If humanity refuses the route of chosen abolition and transformation, which would be the least hard way, then nature will impose both by force. And this will be the very, very hard way. It looks like Japan is choosing the hardest of all ways, and given its weaker position to begin with, nature’s correction is likely to be hard indeed.
Propagate the necessary new ideas.

November 19, 2017

Trickles and Blasts


Life is complete right here

Picture a steady trickle of water from a faucet. Now picture this trickle, over hundreds of millions of years, filling a cistern whose walls gradually close in. Eventually the water would be so compressed that if you could insert a pipe the water would blast out with great force.
So far the analogy with an oil well is fairly direct. And for the sake of argument let’s go further and say the compressed water could be extracted and its force used in all kinds of ways. So we have an analogy with fossil fuels.
Now instead let’s say we want to go directly to the trickle and extract force from it. Immediately we see the problem. Yet the cultists of industrial renewables – industrial wind farms, concentrated solar panels, the whole notion of using solar power for consumerist electricity generation – think that the concentrated solar energy of hundreds of millions of years, compressed into fossil fuels (and of course it took vastly greater energy to concentrate fossil fuels in the first place than is contained in the fossil fuels themselves), can be replaced by tapping the present trickle. This is an example of the religious insanity of the modern ideological complex of productionism-consumerism-technocracy-scientism-progress-corporate rule.
It’s no wonder the apostles of a renewables-based “future” always support the fossil fuel status quo in the present. Just as almost all who verbally deplore climate change support this climate-wracking status quo. And as a Green Queen might say, it’s “fossil fuels today, renewables tomorrow, never renewables today!” Because deep down they know that the great renewables Millennium, like all utopian techno-hype, is a pipe dream. The idea of powering the extreme energy civilization on renewables is only that: An empty idea, a propaganda campaign. Like all other such propaganda, its purpose is to prop up faltering faith in the model of civilization based on fossil fuels, extreme energy consumption, productionism, and high-maintenance technology. Its purpose is to keep the gate against any thought of an ecological future. Keep “civilized” (i.e. technocratic) thought and action in, keep ecological thought and action out.
But the faith continues to falter, because deep down everyone knows fossil fuels are finite, these cannot be replaced, the Earth is not an infinitely disposable waste dump, Gaia shall impose its correction, there will be no technological savior and there are no “stars” to go to (i.e., no god will descend to save us, which is what both of these really mean). 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.
Anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, 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.
There’s only one liberation, for all of us, for humanity, for the hope of an ecological civilization. This is to liberate ourselves from the decadent barbarism of the corporate-technocratic extreme energy Babylon. We must liberate ourselves first in thought, and propagate the necessary new ideas. Then we must organize, taking all actions possible within the existing framework, while preparing for the coming physical, political, and spiritual tribulations as the extremist civilization begins its collapse in earnest.
Renewable energy offers great benefits for the coming transformation. We must think in terms of passive solar heating, rebuilding and improving wind energy for pumping water and other on-site and local uses, small-scale electrical generation, and similar uses. In the same way many of us are working on agroecology, many are working on a truly rational theory and practice for renewable energy, starting with off-grid development today. These are thoughts and actions toward a human ecological future.
But typically extreme, gigantist, megalomaniacal notions of renewables powering vast cities floating on the sand are nothing but typical desert mirages, as often occur in the minds of those crazy from the heat. We must renounce such dinosaur notions ourselves and counteract them by propagating the necessary new ideas, the ideas of an ecological way of life, which is the only possible human way of life.
The trickle is indeed more than enough for all we need and all we could sanely want. For four billon years now it’s been more than enough for all life on Earth. All we need is to give up the insanity of thinking we need the blast.

October 19, 2017

The “Green Revolution” and the Food Weapon


From the IMF-imposed debt hole to the literal excavation of the continent for commodity soil mining.

1. Corporate agriculture’s global liquidation campaign must be seen in the overall neoliberal context. In the 1970s Western banks were shocked by the first realization that fossil fuels are finite and that the Extreme Energy Civilization soon will collapse for lack of sufficient fuel, if it doesn’t destroy itself sooner some other way. The first political manifestation was the OPEC crisis, which threatened both physical fuel stocks and the power of the petrodollar. The finance sector roused itself to offer cheap money across the global South to buy fossil fuel energy and the agricultural system based on extreme energy consumption. The Cold War political term for this agricultural strategy was “green revolution”. It really meant nothing but high-energy-consumption revolution, and the only green was the dollars it was designed to empower. US and Western corporate elites bribed and induced Southern elites into running up odious debts payable by “the country”, i.e. the people. To the extent anyone in the South actually believed the lies and false promises, it’s just like the US student debt scam.
2. Having attained this power position through predatory lending and the threat of military intervention, the US corporate state then ordered the countries of the South to eradicate food production and independent community farmers in order to earn currency via cash cropping. In huge numbers the people were driven off their land and into shantytowns. Southern governments were supposed to get dollars by exporting agricultural commodities. But the price plummeted because everyone was exporting the same commodities, including heavily subsidized Western dumping. Meanwhile the forced migrants could “be fed” only by importing Western food commodities. This opened up the range for more dumping, which destroyed the vast majority of Southern food processing and manufacturing. From every angle the agricultural globalization campaign of the US government, the agribusiness cartels, and rich ideologues from the Rockefeller brothers to Bill Gates who coordinate the whole onslaught, is designed and deployed to eradicate all food security of a society. This has been deployed most fully in Asia and Latin America, the main targets of the first “green revolution”. Today Africa is the main target of the “second green revolution” based on GM seeds. Eventually the same total liquidation process is slated to be brought home to the West.
3. This aggravates the target countries’ debt crisis. The intended result always was an even worse debt hole. The money was stolen by Southern elites (often parked back in the same Western banks which lent it, ergo the term “petrodollar recycling”), the alleged responsibility for the debt was imposed on the people. Then the IMF swooped in to demand a “structural adjustment” of the debt. Under the auspices of this sham, the criminal government of the country collaborates with the criminal Western globalization administrator to gut every public institution, every element of civil society, leaving nothing but scorched earth to be ravaged by Western corporations. This was never any solution but only a radical escalation of the predations of the Western finance and agricultural sectors, among others. The abstract structural adjustment (which can exist only because the minds of the people are so self-enslaved, they allow it to exist) has its exact physical analogue in monoculture commodity agriculture for globalized commodity export. The Western goal is the general liquidation of these countries as such. They work to turn the entire country into nothing but a scorched-earth “free trade zone”, a country-wide food desert. That’s the eventual end goal for America itself.
4. From the point of view of the corporate neoliberal system, the people of the targeted country are completely superfluous and can only be a danger. The globalized commodity agricultural system structurally is set up for maximum vulnerability. The elites have the ability, they have the motive. And while no acute genocide event, such as a directly forced mass famine, has been perpetrated yet, the chronic escalation of hunger, malnutrition, poison-induced illness is a long-running willful campaign. No criminologist would have any problem recognizing the latter as a deliberate crime against humanity, nor the fact that the systemic potential for the former is a state of things which is deliberately sustained and intensified, with the possibility of going into acute genocidal action always a possibility.
5. Leaving aside consciously evil motivations, corporate industrial agriculture guarantees mass famine, pandemics, and eventual complete collapse.
6. Humanity has only two possibilities for a future: We mammals can do our best to survive and keep for salvage some worthwhile things while the dinosaurs still dominate. Or, humanity can organize to build a cultural, spiritual, economic, eventually political movement to abolish corporate rule and deploy food sovereignty.

October 16, 2017

“Is There Any Good Use for Biotech?”


Question I saw in a comment thread: “Is there any good use for biotech at all?”
Answer: No.
Even if we had that mythical beast, a truly socialist yet hi-tech society which was truly based on egalitarian principles dedicated to human and ecological well-being, where all hierarchies and surplus value extraction* truly were based on reason and the good of the people (we’re piling up lots of “trulys” here, none of which are possible in reality), it would still be a fact that there’s nothing biotech can achieve which agroecology cannot achieve less expensively, more robustly, more securely, more safely. Therefore such a society would still reject biotech on rational grounds.
And then biotech isn’t just “hi-tech” but most of all high-maintenance tech which means it depends absolutely on cheap, plentiful fossil fuels. Therefore like all other high-maintenance tech it will become unsustainable and cease to exist as the fossil fuel binge fades out. So it has no future regardless. Only agroecology has a future.
We can answer the same question in the same way for all other forms of high-maintenance technology.
*Biotech, like all high-maintenance tech, requires hierarchy, surplus value extraction, and democratically unaccountable expert cadres in order to exist. Therefore by definition it’s incompatible with anarchism. The fact that so many self-alleged “anarchists” still directly contradict themselves with dreams of space travel, industrial renewables deployment, even a socially and ecologically responsible deployment of biotech, just to give a few examples of highly elitist, hierarchical techno-deployments, is simply proof of how stupid techno-cheerleading makes one, and what frauds even the vast majority of our anarchists are. That’s one reason I gave up on anarchism as offering no solution.

October 12, 2017

Calling All Mammals


In his essay on the story of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, D.H. Lawrence expressed his belief that not everyone can look directly at the sun. Rather, humanity needs “nature-heroes” to mediate the overwhelming light. Thus Lawrence agreed with the Inquisitor’s credo of Miracle, Mystery, Authority. Plato, too, believed only a few were capable of rousing themselves from a bemused contemplation of the shadows on the wall of the cave in order to emerge into the full light of truth.
All our political struggles are more or less mundane manifestations of this circumstance. Everyone claims to want freedom, along with any number of alleged political desires. But almost everyone’s actions directly contradict this. On the contrary, almost all people seek Leaders. The Fuhrerprinzip is the most universal trait among all whose mode of social organization has ramified beyond the primal tribe. Authoritarian followership of every type, celebrity-worship and fundamentalist cults of scientism and technocracy, have almost completely replaced whatever once existed of politics in the true sense of positive community democracy. Politics is Dead. Instead the masses look for the hero who will mediate reality, which means help them escape from reality. This is the reality for which even the physical sun has become nothing but a post-modern metaphor. But the true political need is to Occupy the Sun.
The false version of the sun is to mediate it through fossil fuels and greenhouse gases. Humanity wants to warm the Earth, however ultimately destructive this is. The idea of physical warmth seeks psychological comfort, the simulation of psychological, spiritual warmth, just as poison-based junk food, and the idea of technocratically guaranteed food security, is superficial comfort food. This is how the desperate masses try to fill the void inside, where we’re sundered from our home the Earth.
(In the same way, via fraudulent notions of “democracy”, the people struggle to maintain the illusion of control and stability. Thus the corporate system’s indoctrination and propaganda entice regular Americans vicariously to feel part of the elite technocratic project. This is supposed to prop up the idea of security, stability, even as this same corporate neoliberal project eradicates all safety, security, stability, control, independence, freedom.)
Ecological destruction, such as the systematic and deliberate campaign of climate change, also is nihilism out of resentment. It expresses hatred of the home we abandoned.
All that’s left is the brain-dead lust for material stuff, and the vicarious ideal of control. For this vain pursuit we sundered ourselves from our home, ripping open the void we never can fill.
We struggle to use the worthless material stuff to fill the void, but this never can work.
Therefore we also try to fill the void with sanctimony and hypocrisy, which are the ways we try to maintain some sense of self-respect even as we vicariously live through dreams and fears of the uncanny power the corporate technocracy has amassed and will hold for as long as the cheap fossil fuels keep flowing.
This is what Marx called the alienation from our species-being. And today is any action beyond Mammon even possible? Or, like Lawrence also feared in his Grand Inquisitor essay, must all action and the very idea of action exist only within this Mammon framework? We see how almost all thought and action, even the most allegedly “radical”, is completely submissive and subservient to the productionist, extreme energy, high-maintenance technology, Mammon framework. It sure seems like all remaining “politics” is just attitudinizing and play-acting, nothing but a decadent consolation fetish.
Why is civilization infested with the climate crocodiles, to give the most typical example, those who cry false tears and wring false hands over the climate crisis even as they enact and avow the extreme energy civilization which drives all climate change and forcibly represses all attempts at mitigation and adaptation? They are rampant because of this ambivalent extreme. This is the most extreme example of the general hypocrisy and fraud everyone evinces toward all the environmental and socioeconomic crises, every so-called “progressive” cause and idea and value.
We have sundered ourselves, or let ourselves be sundered, from our home the Earth. This places us in decadent limbo where we have no peace and nowhere to turn, which results in the frantic restlessness and thrashing and wasting and destroying which is the typical day to day activity of “civilized” humanity. All the (corporate) king’s (technocratic) horses and men never can offer sustenance to fill the void. It’s all a bottleneck, all shoddy, all fake, all wicked. Inequality and organized crime erodes what gains civilization temporarily made, even for the rich. But since all are the equivalent of meth addicts, they can’t relinquish productionism/consumerism. Nor is any political action possible, as the system forestalls it in thought and deed. (An example of the masses’ being forestalled in thought is how I can find no one who even understands what I’m talking about when I call for movement-building, even though this was a standard concept in political writing just a few decades ago.) In this decadence the only thing left to try to fill the void is hypocrisy, the ultimate death of all human integrity.
Therefore we have:
*Climate change and the industrial food system = Decadent comfort and false warmth to fill the void inside where we threw away our ecological and spiritual holism.
*Climate chaos and poisonism = Destruction out of nihilistic resentment and denial of what we know we threw away.
Now we look at the eclipsed sun (but must wear glasses), want to look, but need the mediator, the “Leader”. We incarnate the ambivalence of finding the sun riveting and bearable only where mediated, only where eclipsed. We see only shadows and cannot distinguish good from evil.
All this is from the perspective of the false individual, the fake people who threw away all biological and social holism, all that’s ecological, artificial as well as natural; and embraced anti-ecological individualism amid totalitarian massification, all of which is humanly false and which doesn’t work from any practical point of view: Socially, economically, for public health, social stability, peace and safety, anything humans ever could truly want and need. This is the great bottleneck, the monumental dead end the human project has reached. All that exists today, including and especially everything touted as most “modern”, “progressive”, “scientific”, “hi-tech”, is antiquated, backward, cramping, derelict, the luddite province of the dinosaurs. None of it’s new, and none of it works. It’s all one bottleneck forestalling all human aspirations and attempts to think and build something new and constructive. The necessary first step for anyone, any individual, any group, any organization, any small mammal in the underbrush pondering the passage of geologic/historical periods, is to break completely in mind and soul with this bottleneck, burn your ships once and for all, and think only the necessary new idea.
In desperate decadence modern dinosaur civilizationists look everywhere for a replacement for what they threw away, the home they forsook. But there is no substitute. The only new road is the highway home.
The obscuring symbol crawls the sky
As if to abnegate,
Spots the blaze too bright directly to see.
Only plastic eyes mediate the light.
We want to see but cannot see direct,
The better to brush in evasion
The mystery the symbol fathoms,
The best to look most ardent just where we can’t.
Just as,
We work more frenetic than ants,
More angry and toxic than wasps,
To crank the blaze of the star’s heat.
We lust for the warmth we can’t survive,
Therefore invent mediating fantasies,
The confections and mirages of rhetoric and technology
To shield us from our yearning for warmth
And free us to stoke the inferno forever.
This ambivalent extreme,
Destruction we know and desire,
Scorch and poison, is to kill ourselves to feel alive.
What void do we strive to fill.
What did we throw away and now dream of darkly.
And now behind shields we yearn for that same ray
We throw up the shield against.
Our eyes strive to see what would blind us direct,
Our souls build an oven around ourselves.
We then encase us in asbestos,
And hope for: the best?
Hope for nothing.

September 1, 2017

What Can Follow the Modern Age


“Post-modern”: This means that modern civilization is purely nihilistic in the full Nietzschean sense. In the human mind there is no longer any such thing as fact or fiction, truth or falsehood, no moral values, no aesthetic values, no spiritual values, no philosophical values, no political values, no version of what Nietzsche called an order of rank. No religious values; God is Dead.
The vast majority of people still claim to have such values, but all groups and almost all individuals are liars and hypocrites about this. In practice they cherry-pick, self-contradict, and flat out lie according to whim or perceived advantage.
This doesn’t change the physical facts. The main facts are that fossil fuels are finite, and there is no substitute for them; and that civilization cannot indefinitely rape the environment without inevitably provoking a severe correction of itself.
But no one believes in these facts. This collective unbelief is the one stable religious fundamental of modernity. Even those who identify themselves as environmentalists don’t really believe it, just as those who call themselves anti-capitalist aren’t really any such thing.
So then those academics who call themselves “post-modern” study this culture of elemental falsity, their study itself being an example of unbelieving, uncommitted pop culture trivia. Same as everything else in modern culture.
Meanwhile we few who believe in physical, biological reality, we primal mammals laying low in the underbrush while the doomed giant reptiles still lumber about, we know that the reality beyond the modern mass suicidal delusion will never be “post” modern, but the combined restoration of history’s natural course with what’s true and humanly useful from modern philosophy and science: Agroecology, and then a few things worth salvaging. This Renaissance is the only possible future reality, if there’s to be a human future at all.

August 21, 2017

Politics is Dead, Only the Movement Can Bring Life


It’s wishful thinking to believe that all the systemic horrors will, in the near future, quickly collapse. It’s equally wishful to believe that if everyone just sits passively, doing nothing more than “prepping” on an atomized individual level (and usually not even doing that, just talking about it on the internet), the rising turbulence is likely to bring down the elites before it first further guts the people. On the contrary, it’s far more likely that those peak oil Galtians will hang separately because they refused to hang together.
That’s why I insist that the only way we the people can navigate this turbulence with the best chance of adapting to the crises and minimizing the damage is to build the movement which will be simultaneously self-defense, preservation of what little can be salvaged from modernity, and most of all the vehicle of the necessary transformation on the basis of agroecology and other ecological evolutions which are necessary if humanity is to have a future at all. Right now humanity is reduced to the level of the original mammals skulking in the underbrush while giant reptiles still ruled the Earth. So far it looks like no one has any idea other than the remain in that state, even once the reptiles are gone.
It’s also true that the stronger this human movement, the more effectively it can help hasten the downfall of the productionist corporate system. In the same way that economic factors will limit how much fossil fuel ultimately will be extracted and burned, so political factors can, if organized and deployed the right way, also limit this and other aspects of corporate power and ability to sustain itself. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve been so emphatic about the possibilities of fighting it out in the food and agriculture sectors. (Of course I don’t say that political factors have been well organized and deployed so far. On the contrary, almost all “political” people in the West today are morbid cultists of historically disproven electoralism. This is a core reason why Politics is Dead.)
When I ponder the low traffic and sparse comments this site currently receives, I recall how I used to do much better when I wrote about Wall Street. That was also in the years immediately following the 2008 forced crash. More people were more radical, and it’s easier to condemn Wall Street than to think about our food and feel obligated to actually do something about it, where there’s so many opportunities for constructive action even right now. That’s by contrast with opposition to the finance sector, where it’s difficult to see where one could even get started with action.
The other problem is how self-imprisoned everyone has become by social media. It’s a mass disease. But there’s enough of an historical record already to prove that no meaningful thought or action can get off the ground from social media. It can be used as a supplement to thought and organization cultivated elsewhere, as publicity media only. But ideas and initial attempts at organization can only be strangled in the cradle, if they try to arise on social media in the first place.
But try telling that to people, try deprogramming them to get them off Facebook or Twitter and onto more human media platforms. It’s literally like talking to a wall: They won’t even reply to such a proposal, let alone try to make a rational argument. But then, that’s standard for all cultists today. I say this in the knowledge that the blogosphere missed its first big chance to be an incubator of new ideas, mostly because it too became dominated by system “reformists”. But I think the potential remains. I do think the internet has one last chance to be constructive for humanity, while there’s still enough grid electricity to power it and still enough flexibility and open space in the structure for independents and dissidents to evade censorship like Google’s and still effectively propagate a message so that large numbers of motivated users, and in certain cases like food even the unmotivated, can register it. But this space, this frontier, is closing rapidly.

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.
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