Volatility

June 15, 2018

More Electoral Foolishness

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I voted No because I’m not yet in my grave. You voted Yes because because you’re buried in yours.

 
 
Ralph Nader, like Jill Stein before him, is sucking up to the Democrat Party establishment and parroting their Russia Derangement. No surprise there.
 
Nor is it surprising that he, like Stein and the rest of the so-called “alternatives”, understand nothing about the increasingly extreme political situation. They want nothing but a Dem do-over, with fake promises that they will be honest-and-for-true unlike those corrupted Democrats.
 
But the problem is with the liberal ideology itself, not with bad apples who were personally “corruptible”. The superficial de jure corruption follows from the systemic ideological corruption. The system evil is the necessary foundation for any personal venal evil.
 
“Trump believes, as president, he can fire anybody and pardon anyone, including himself.”
 
Trump, like any other president these days, can do this and much more as long as the people allow him to do it. Wonkish babbling about courts and constitutions is meaningless on the street.
 
“Remember the vestigial Electoral College that selected Trump against the popular voter’s verdict.”
 
Well, let’s consider the popular voters’ verdict.
 
1. The fake election was a plebiscite on the status quo corporate-technocratic productionist imperial system and its Corporate One-Party. 53% of the electorate trudged out to vote Yes. 47% voted No by shunning the fake election.
 
2. Of the Yes voters, 48% voted for the overt status quo candidate Clinton, 46% voted for the fake populist Trump, and 5% voted for various “alternative” scammers like Stein and Gary Johnson.
 
3. Therefore no candidate attained a majority even among the 53% of Yes voters. And when we consider the entire electorate, we find that Clinton got 25% of the vote, Trump 24%.
 
Hardly the kind of resounding voter acclaim and stark margin that would lead any sane person to waste energy whining about the Electoral College.
 
Speaking of remembering institutions that selected against the popular voters’ verdict, I also remember the vestigial Democrat primary system and convention which selected (rigged, cheated, stole) the establishment candidate Clinton over the popular vote for Sanders. Funny how those whining about the anti-democratic Electoral College have nothing to say about equally anti-democratic Party “super-delegates”.
 
Not that the con artist Sanders was worth supporting. He said explicitly from day one that he was a loyal Dembot soldier and would do all he could to deliver his supporters to Clinton, and he lived up to that promise with gusto.
 
Nevertheless, Sanders probably would have beaten Trump. Meanwhile while all sentient observers, including myself, anyone who didn’t listen to the fake media, predicted a Trump victory over Clinton. That’s for anyone who regarded the defeat of Trump as the Alpha and Omega. The Dembots claim this has been their all-encompassing focus, yet their actions in 2016 and since have indicated otherwise.
 
In 2016 the Democrat Party and the Dembot horde preferred to lose, even to Trump, with their hard-right corporate status quo candidate rather than win with their pseudo-socialist. This tallies with their consistent record: They hate progressives like sin and would rather lose elections with corporate candidates than win even with fake progressives. Hillary Clinton was unequivocal: She wasn’t willing even to pretend to care about the voters, but openly, unequivocally said: “If you’re not rich, drop dead.” Her party cheered her on precisely because of this psychopathy, not in spite of it. Hatred of the people clearly is a matter of ideological principle to the Party.
 
And since then they’ve learned nothing and forgotten nothing. They are hunkered in the bunker and are dead set on repeating every stupidity. The Democrats clearly are anti-human, anti-Earth on principle, every bit as much as the Republicans. The Democrat destruction principle merely is more politically incompetent and stupid than the Republican version.
 
 
Just a casual survey of how absurd US electoralism has become. There’s no there there, and no way forward there.
 
Don’t vote – it only encourages them. (H/T Terry Pratchett)
 
 
 
 
 
 
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June 10, 2018

Self-Destruction: The Faster the Better

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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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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May 25, 2018

Death Juice

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Today they cut the coal barges loose. This is to poison the water, poison the river ecology, poison the people’s drinking water. Just as every step of the fossil fuel caldera, from its conception in psychotic minds to the emission of carbon dioxide and toxic air pollutants, is fully toxic in intent and action.
 
“The Department of Environmental Protection said coal does not post an imminent threat to downstream water intake or aquatic life, but it will continue to monitor the situation as cleanup begins. The DEP is assisting local emergency responders in the effort.”
 
We’ve heard that before. Just selecting one of the host of atrocities, they said the same thing about the 2014 coal poison dumping into the Elk River. The immediate result was an epidemic of acute sickness among anyone who drank the water. Months later the water was still so toxic even the government was still calling it undrinkable. The long term health effects can only be the subject of speculation until they manifest. Same for the massive destruction aquatic life, which also began immediately and whose long run ecocide we can only guess. As we know, we cannot look to science to give us accurate projections since establishment science is ideologically committed to productionism and technocracy, as well as absolutely corrupt in all the regular venal ways. For both reasons we know scientists are fundamentally dishonest where it comes to anything which could compromise these ideological and sordid commitments. No, science is no help to beleaguered humanity. Our only options are abolitionist action, or passive waiting for the collapse of the congenitally toxic civilization, tallying the destruction along the way. The one thing which is impossible is to find any sanctuary of health, well-being, peace, and humanity within the framework of a civilization based on total war at every point.
 
 
Back in the old days James Hansen denounced coal death trains. The whole basis of life on Earth is targeted for deportation. He was much lambasted, including among “environmentalists”. Perhaps with the increasingly frequent detonation of oil train bombs, Hansen’s comparison no longer looks so far-fetched even to them.
 
Here too Monsanto’s in on the explosive pyromaniac action.
 
 
What are oil and gas pipelines? To convey the extracted product of massively genocided lands (for example, the Alberta tar sands extraction zone is one of the vastest deathscapes on Earth, a land which not long ago was one of the most bountiful and beautiful bases of life on Earth); to slash through forests, wetlands, communities (including militarized police assaults); then continually to leak with locally devastating effects; and on to the final usage of fossil fuels: To poison farmland and food, continue mass murder on the roads, and drive climate chaos on to its ultimate cataclysm.
 
The tar sands give death in so many ways. They too are dumped into rivers to poison the people and everything that lives in water.
 
 
 
 
 

May 23, 2018

The Climate Crisis Goes Vastly Beyond Any Notion of “Rights”

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“While scientists and climate negotiators mostly speak in terms of human impacts, we must begin to see the planet and its atmosphere as an ecosystem unto itself, worthy of being accorded the highest rights and protections….”
 
I’ve long respected the basic strategy of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and consider this community rights strategy to have promise against such specific physical assaults as fracking, pipelines, highways, CAFOs, etc. But I fear even they must falter where it comes to the vision necessary to come to grips with the climate crisis.
 
They’re correct to dismiss the “scientists and climate negotiators [who] mostly speak in terms of human impacts…”, primarily because these speak fraudulently even in those terms. None of them comes close to calling for the one and only meaningful response to the climate crisis: Stop emitting*, stop destroying sinks, rebuild sinks.
 
And it’s pure truth that “we must begin to see the planet and its atmosphere as an ecosystem unto itself” within which we ourselves are inextricably wound, bound, dependent.
 
But when they go on to say Gaia is “worthy of being accorded the highest rights and [legal] protections” I reply that we must get past the “rights”-speak which is yet another figment of the modern civilization dedicated to murdering Gaia. No great spiritual/cultural movement in its ascent and prime ever spoke of “rights”, only of power and responsibility. We do need a cultural campaign for a sea change in the human view of nature; this is a necessary part of spurring the necessary action. But to call for this change in terms of according liberal bourgeois “rights” to nature would be insufficient even if such rights were to be technically enacted. (Itself an extreme long-shot.) We’ve long seen how well legal rights actually protect us. We’ve seen how well blacks’ being accorded full civil rights has eradicated systemic racism. But what we’re up against here is the equivalent of systemic racism, albeit on a vastly greater, vastly more aggressive level. (Besides, the very liberals who would have to get behind it tend to be hostile toward the idea. Which is what one would expect, since by definition liberals are pro-capitalist, pro-property, pro-civilization; these are core principles of liberalism upon which the ideology’s adherents would never accept significant constraints. But any move to respect, let alone restore Gaia on any significant level automatically must mean the most extreme constraints on these forces of destruction.) The fact is, while notions of fighting for the legal rights of nature may sound good superficially**, they’re really another example of seeking reform within the congenitally destructive framework, a project self-evidently foredoomed to failure.
 
 
 
*Let’s be clear on what “stop emitting” means: It means STOP EMITTING, completely, NOW. It does not mean “a slight reduction in emissions by 2050,” such as envisioned (and falsely, at that) by the Paris Accord. That’s a contemptible dodge, a lie as bad as any which has wafted from ExxonMobil. If your spouse was a terrible drunk who lost their job, beat you, wrecked the car, set the house on fire, would you ask them to moderately reduce their drinking by 2050? Or would you demand they totally stop, NOW?
 
Of course the real reason the fraudulent climate crocodiles prefer the 2050 notion is that they themselves love getting soused, and they cherish all the same destructive actions. That’s why they refuse to acknowledge what’s necessary, for the climate crisis and every other ecological crisis. Only the total collapse of this “civilization” will change anything, and that’s the correction Gaia ultimately will impose.
 
To recap the fact, there is one and only one way to avert the worst consequences of climate change: Stop emitting, stop destroying carbon sinks, rebuild sinks on a massive scale.
 
All else is a lie. Especially, any version of claiming the crises can be met within the framework of productionism and capitalism is the most odious lie of all.
 
 
**I myself have found the rights-for-nature idea attractive at times. But I still always thought my way to what’s truly necessary:
 
“This judgement is nothing new but restates the truths of natural law, the moral and biological truth known to all of us..This tribunal has only restated the eternal truth. What’s lacking is the will to exercise this truth in reality…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.
 
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…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 destroyers, 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 [and destruction for the sake of destruction] 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.”
 
 
 
 

May 2, 2018

Jesus is Coming Back THIS Time, Honest and For Sure!

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We’ll all be gods, we’ll all be billionaires, we’ll all have infinite cars and fast food and video games and porn, and we’ll do it all in perfect harmony with the Earth and all her waters and forests and species. The day is nigh.

 
 
We can assume automatically that anyone who says anything other than “stop emitting, stop poisoning, stop destroying sinks, start rebuilding sinks” is running a con. Often they’re explicit about it, as the wingnuts who actually call upon this deranged species to use more energy. As if the obscene amount hominids already use hasn’t already proven enough to massacre Gaia’s ecology and destroy the human soul.
 
The “ecomodernists”, like corporate environmentalists in general, are nothing but another kind of climate-denialist, eco-denialist liar, promising capitalism’s omelette will come tomorrow, and that the high-consumption civilization will become ecologically sustainable tomorrow. They really want nothing but continued mass murder and mass enslavement, and their only audience is those desperate to keep the party going while continuing to believe that the eco-capitalist version of Jesus will return tomorrow.
 
The false religion of scientism, technocracy, and Mammon is based on nothing but lies, greed, and most of all the will to kill and destroy. Its preachers in every form are nothing but false prophets. More mundanely, they’re nothing but another gang of paid liars.
 
 
The great crisis of civilization and ecology is civilization’s campaign to destroy Earth’s environment, Gaia’s water, air, soil, all life, including all human life, our bodies, our souls. Congenitally it drives only toward goals of disaster, profit, power, control, war. Its attitude toward human beings and the Earth as a whole is identical to that of the Nazis toward the Jews: Exploitation, persecution, death. The “environmentalists” who think it possible to enact reform and true conservation within the framework of the productionist civilization are exactly those Germans who, according to their post-war mea culpas, “joined the Nazi Party because I was hoping to be a moderating influence from within.” We see how moderate this influence has been. We see every day how moderate goes the destruction of rivers and forests and species and biodiversity. We see especially how thirty years of eco-signalling about climate change has moderated the emissions, moderated the destruction of the GHG sinks of forest and grassland and wetland. Their latest trumpet call hailing the millennium of moderation, the Paris Accord, is indeed the climax of all moderation and promises the consummation of all moderate policy.
 
Actually, the purpose of mainstream environmentalism is at best to manage ecological destruction, negotiating how much is to be destroyed at what rate, in much the same way the Judenrate negotiated with the Nazis over how many Jews were to be killed how quickly. In both cases the conscious end goal is total destruction.
 
Given this context the mainstream environmentalists have set up for us, this context of seeking a “better productionism” and doing it via technocratic “management” which assumes total destruction from the start, it was inevitable that there would arise a gang of false prophets who would preach ecological salvation directly through doubling down on the technosphere and its infinite rapacity.
 
This ideological campaign has many advantages: It hooks up seamlessly with both corporate power and the scientism religion. It flatters the slobbish consumerism of the Western middle class which always wants to “have it all”, total crapulence along with ecological and moral integrity. It promises that “growth” can continue. It promises that the Progress religion will come true. It promises all these things with a shiny techno-sheen, so attractive to all the permanently retarded infants of this madhouse: GMOs (who cares that they’ve already proven to be an absolute fraud in every way), geoengineering, biofuels, fracking, the electric car, the “space” meme, all these genocidal-ecocidal frauds will turn magically into salvation at the ultimate moment of the Armageddon they’re currently generating, if only Homo domesticus stays the course, doubles down on the destruction, becomes ever more murderous and wasteful. As Stalinist doctrine had it, the class struggle reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of communism. As Christian doctrine has it, the struggle of God vs. Satan reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of Jesus over death. And now we have the terminal doctrine of civilizationism, the same among all strains of its ideology, now including the “eco”-movement: The struggle of man vs. nature reaches its most extreme level of violence right before the complete victory of a suddenly sustainable and free civilization, where human lion will lie down with human lamb and civilization’s lion will lie down with the ecological lamb. Finally we have the true guarantee of when and how Jesus will return, and unlike all such previous promises, this one is honest and for true.
 
The environmental movement began with the primal alarm of many people at a level of destruction they no longer could dissonate away. Within a few years this movement began to professionalize and domesticate itself (institutions like the EPA and NEPA handed the movement the government’s directives for how to go about this) and to seek a management role alongside the captains of destruction, with whom the increasingly professional technocratic environmental cadre felt an increasing affinity (since they’re the exact same social type). By the time of the climate change era this transformation to Big Green was complete; productionist civilization now had its own in-house corporate environmental movement, its own version of the Judenrate dedicated to helping the corporations manage the murder of Gaia in the least culturally and politically dangerous way.
 
The next logical step has been to extrude a strain of environmentalists who preach that the only management needed is the most extreme and destructive technological deployment possible. Destroying the environment will save it. These are the “eco-modernists”. And although the Big Green groups run a modest spectrum of support or opposition to this or that campaign of destruction (the existence of this spectrum helps with the illusion that real opposition actually exists), the extreme pro-corporate side of this spectrum (the World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy, EDF, LCV etc.) already meshes near-seamlessly with the eco-modernists themselves. Since the entire trend of establishment environmentalism has been toward greater identification with the total destruction imperative, we can expect that the “spectrum” will accelerate its movement in this direction.
 
 
Productionism wants the total destruction of the Earth. As the transhumanist apostle Frank Tipler put it, the Earth ultimately must be literally dismantled, every possible molecule put to use build to build a self-running space-floating machine which then will begin the dismantling of other planets. (Cf. his book The Physics of Immortality). Does this sound insane? Logically it’s nothing but the culmination of every aspect of productionist civilization’s actions. I defy anyone to name a counter-action within civilization.
 
Productionism wants total domination and control of people, land, resources, and genetics. It wants the total destruction of everything it doesn’t fully control, and eventually of everything it didn’t fabricate itself. It drives toward the permanent eradication of everything that makes us human: The questing mind, our existence as part of the ecology, our community life, our ability to perform meaningful work for ourselves, our families, our communities, our physical and psychological well-being as healthy symbiotic organisms. Along the way it afflicts us with cancer, birth defects, autoimmune derangment, and decimates our microbiome.
 
Like I said above, the new eco-modernists are mostly a gang of liars, with tints of religious fanaticism. They politically and culturally organize according to the exaltation of the idea of technology over conservation and socioeconomic actions. Not the reality; the fact that literally every technology they tout is proven not to work and to be purely expensive, wasteful, and destructive is meaningless from this perspective of militant religious consciousness and organizing. That’s why technospheric activists are so impervious to evidence, that’s why they’re so shameless about endlessly regurgitating hundred-times disproven lies, that’s why STEM culture as such is primarily a culture of the lie. Their core faith is that given enough deployment of money, lab time, and ideological militancy, they’ll empirically reach the point where, by brute force, they’ll be able to deploy enough technospheric force to completely subjugate the Earth and humanity. This goal, this religious fantasy, they christen “science”, “truth”. The only fillip the eco-modernists add is the promise that this subjugation itself will result in ecological well-being.
 
Like the GM cultists’ “feed the world” lie, eco-modernism is the cult’s version of the miracle of the loaves. It’s the idea of the miraculous bread amid an industrially scorched wasteland of poison and death, this idea rendered earthly, provided magically by technology.
 
This sacralizing of poison and murder is also their way of preaching that people should feed physical and spiritual poison to their own children, that poison isn’t poison, that poison is beneficial. They substitute destruction and death for heavenliness.
 
 
While eventually Gaia shall put an end to this biological infestation which toxifies its environment, as she does for all other such vermin infestations, this may not come soon or comprehensively enough to save humanity. If we wish for a human future for our children and grandchildren, we must become fully ecological in every way including religiously, culturally, politically. This necessarily includes organizing on behalf of humanity and the Earth to abolish the cult.
 
 
Meanwhile Gaia and her New City are here now, have always been here, as soon as we decide to stop wandering and come home.
 
 

March 22, 2018

“Golden Rice”, Case Study in the Propaganda Function of Regulators

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Can you spot the truth in this picture? Those who spewed the fog try to make sure you can’t

 
 
A major role of regulatory agencies is to serve as corporate propaganda outlets. Specifically, the regulator places its imprimatur on the alleged safety of a corporate product whose safety was never really confirmed at all. Indeed, as with the cancerousness of glyphosate, the regulator has prior knowledge of the harmfulness of the product but helps the corporation suppress this knowledge. This imprimatur is the third part of what I’ve long called the corporate regulatory template.
 
Today we have a particularly clear example of this propaganda process. Health Canada, as well as the regulators of Australia and New Zealand, are putting their safety imprimatur on “golden rice”, even though golden rice doesn’t exist in any commercial-ready form and therefore couldn’t possibly be safety-tested even in principle. Of course in practice no actual scientific tests were done at all, same as for every other GMO.
 
Health Canada was unusually frank in explaining its propaganda services: “Developers often choose to seek authorization in Canada as a first step in their regulatory plan even if they do not plan to sell the product in Canada.” This regulatory plan of course is to get corporate-friendly Western regulators to lend their imprimatur to the product. This often is sufficient to then force other countries to accept the product; globalization pacts often require such cross-acceptance. And where this isn’t in force, the imprimatur still serves the corporation in its pressure campaigns against resistant countries: If it’s safe enough for Canada, how can you say it’s not safe enough for here?
 
(Meanwhile there’s good reason to doubt the safety of golden rice. The food safety concern is especially critical here since golden rice, if it ever were deployed the way the pro-GMO activists claim to intend, would be the first GMO ever deployed as a staple direct food.)
 
This propaganda role is inherent to regulatory agencies in any productionist system, for example any capitalist system. It’s not an “abuse”, and you can’t “reform” it. It’s inherent to the regulatory model itself, which is dedicated to helping to foster maximal production for the sake of maximal production, inducing or forcing “demand” for this production, and managing any problems along the way. This “management” includes every kind of management, most obviously the management of how rapidly the system physically poisons humanity and the Earth, but not least the political management of any political problems the corporations encounter. From the inception of GMOs the regulators have performed this political service on behalf of the corporations. Today’s regulatory PR campaign on behalf of the idea of “golden rice” is a clear example.
 
I stress, the idea of golden rice. The real thing doesn’t exist as any kind of finished product. As the GMO regime of lies diverges ever further from reality, it’s fitting that the regulatory propaganda fog machine is being deployed on behalf of this longest-running media hoax. Golden rice itself is nothing but a dirty-yellow smog.
 
 
 
 
 

March 6, 2018

“Experts” and “Intellectuals”: Throw Out the Bums

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What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence and hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them…Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism — in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science…

The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago…

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited…

He doesn’t know that there is no difference between “pseudointellectual” and “intellectual” in the absence of skin in the game.

 
– Nassim Taleb on Intellectuals-Yet-Idiots
 
 
Today’s public life gives quite a spectacle. For example, when we see the hyper-educated “experts” and “intellectuals”, all pompously proclaiming their participation in this or that millennial intellectual paradigm, whether it be scientism, technocracy, neoliberalism, establishment versions of environmentalism, feminism, and other causes, while their social and political vision invariably boils down to the same flat-earth worship of the system based on capitalism, money, “jobs”, temporal power, including regurgitating the same lies any half-assed mainstream media columnist is paid to spew. It’s axiomatic that 99.9% of Mensa members have utterly mainstream, mediocre political opinions. (Opinions, not even thoughts, let alone values.) Almost without exception these geniuses submit to the exact same bounds of political partisanship dictated by the mainstream media as the unwashed masses do. All their learning, all their alleged intellectual principles, do nothing to give them even a single new idea.
 
This applies to the great majority of self-alleged “radicals” as well. They too constantly renew their devotion to all the main ideas and institutions of productionism and consumerism, however much it pleases them to sneer at “bourgeois” ideology and arbitrarily to separate productionism into the two flavors of “capitalism” and “socialism”.* And then most of them, come time for the kangaroo election (they also have no ideas beyond electoralism), tell the people to vote Democrat. But it never required intensive study of Marx to reach the position of “Hope and Change…I’m With Her”. I personally know plenty of uneducated people who reached the same position, or its “Make America Great Again” flip side, with zero effort.
 
Of course, most of these pseudo-educated elites are actually mediocrities who had the grinder aspiration and the money to go to school. When I refer to elitism I’m thinking more of the intellectuals’ grandiose ideological pronouncements than of their mediocre selves. The point is that such grand intellectual projects, if these really possessed any of the integrity, profundity, and altruistic impulse their adherents claim for them, ought to better the minds and spirits of those who participate. But we see every day how there’s almost an inverse relationship between the grandiosity of the ideal and the gutter quality, intellectual and moral, of its practitioners and fanboys.
 
Even where it comes to the few writers today capable of the true eagle’s eye perspective, those who speak profoundly about this civilization’s unsolvable crises of economics, energy, and ecology, most of them still insist on self-indulging in “topical” political commentary where they then immediately regress to the level of cranky right-wing bloggers, including all the standard incoherency, self-contradiction, and refusal to engage with rational argument which is characteristic of such types.** Here again, more overtly conformist minds reach those same positions with much less effort. (For real criticism of the left as offering no alternative to productionism and technocracy, one has to come to a site like mine.)
 
Perhaps the greatest irony of this culture is how the “Progress” ideologues are the most hidebound, intellectually stagnant, politically retarded epigones who are congenitally incapable of ever actually progressing to a new idea, a new vision. For them the laws of the world are never anything but the status quo forever. In many ways “progressives” are, objectively speaking, reactionaries in how they desperately cling to revanchist fantasies for things which long ago were disproved and/or destroyed forever, not to mention how meager their fantasies usually are. To fixate on “bring back Glass-Steagal” manages the feat of being simultaneously nostalgic and lame.
 
This puts in perspective the value of today’s university education. All that investment of money, time, effort, all that “thinking”, and look at what the modern intellectual/political class comes up with: Straight parroting of all the most gutter “values”, lies, and ideological precepts of Mammon and the corporations, every last one of these a thousand times refuted. (And still so many still think they ought to voluntarily submit to debt slavery for the sake of this “education”!) The modern intellectual is hidebound, stagnant, and stupid. The modern expert is a prostituted liar. I say we the people can do better.
 
 
In denouncing the morbid state of today’s intellectuals I’m not being anti-intellectual. On the contrary, it’s our establishment intellectuals who refuse to do any thinking at all, other than in a purely instrumental way in their unquestioning service of productionism, technocracy, the extreme energy civilization, and most of all corporate imperatives. Today’s pseudo-intellectuals “think” only this way, and they advocate only the fake politics which go along with this corporate status quo ideology. They’re propagandists, which means one is the worst kind of criminal. In the same way, this site is one of the few on the internet which respects true science. Contrary to the lies of the STEM establishment, it’s the establishment types themselves, with their slavish instrumental adherence to the corporate science paradigm, who are anti-science.
 
In case anyone thinks I’m exalting novelty or radicalism for their own sakes, I’m not. My total opposition to thoughtless reckless promiscuous technological deployment sufficiently refutes that. Nor is that the case with ideas. I call for propagating and enacting the new and necessary ideas. What’s wrong with productionism isn’t that it’s an old idea and institution, but that it’s proven destructive to humanity and the Earth. What’s wrong with “progress” isn’t that it’s antiquated, but that it’s long been disproven as at best a religious fantasy, more often an ideological lie. What’s wrong with liberalism and “vote Democrat” isn’t that it’s the same old thing, but that it’s long been proven ineffective and a malign scam. Those who still adhere to these disproven notions, claiming to be finding something new and possible in them, are idiots or liars.
 
The necessary new ideas, most of all the great need to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and globally transform to agroecology, are those needed to overcome and transcend these failed and destructive old notions and actions. That’s the one and only real kind of progress.
 
 
*Consider the standard left perspective on the culture wars of “science”. It usually means one denounces Trump and is indistinguishable from a partisan liberal. For them as well as for the liberals, what’s wrong with de jure climate denial is that it’s an affront to the authority of “Science”, a kind of lese majestie. In reality, what’s wrong with any kind of climate denial isn’t that it’s intellectually “wrong”, let alone that it insults the alleged majesty of science. (The very belief in such majesty and authority indicates one knows and cares nothing for real science, but on the contrary is a scientism cultist.) What’s wrong is that climate chaos already is profoundly destructive of humanity and the Earth and will become far worse. Denial of this and obstruction of real mitigation and adaptation measures comprise a crime against humanity and the Earth. That’s what’s wrong with it, not the liberal vs. conservative culture war part of it.
 
Such misdirection highlights how the de jure deniers are just one minority faction among the deniers. Far greater in number are the de facto deniers, who may “believe in” anthropogenic climate change and often claim to care about it, but whose actions prove they want no change in the status quo paradigms which drive climate change. They only tell various lies and propagate various scams in order to pretend they care and are doing something. These are the climate crocodiles, crying crocodile tears over climate change. They include the liberal hand-wringers as well as the scientific establishment and its fanboys. All these persons and institutions systematically do their worst to drive climate chaos even as they deplore it with empty words. This kind of denialism is far more pernicious than the de jure kind, since it reflects a much more profound Earth-destroying inertia.
 
For the climate crocodiles this hypocrisy driven by destructive inertia causes them to fixate on “Trump” even though ecologically destructive policy and ideology is the realm where, more than anywhere else, Trump is nothing but the continuation of the Clinton-Bush-Obama paradigm. And here is the best example of the pathology I mentioned above, where “leftists” decompose to become indistinguishable from liberals, often to the point of touting the Democrat Party, thus demonstrating their own indelible bourgeois character, to use one of their own favorite curse words.
 
All that education and ideological pomposity, and one still decries Trump’s affront to the fake Paris accord or the “corruption” of the previously public-spirited EPA. So-called lesser minds usually reach those positions with much less effort. It’s taken a bit more effort to work out the new and necessary ideas for a human future. We’ll see how much effort it takes to propagate and then realize them.
 
**These days there’s a whole genre of writers who are at heart run-of-the-mill timid conservatives, but who for whatever reason are unable to find solace in the regular corporate propaganda. So they acknowledge this or that existential crisis, such as Peak Oil, climate chaos, looming ecological and agricultural collapse, or the totalitarianism of globalization, often including various esoteric tie-ins. But all this is just window dressing for what’s always in the end the same snowflake “conservative” presentation. Jordan Peterson might be the most faddish example of this today, but there’s lots of such writers. Here again the pro-capitalists are out ahead of the anti-capitalists, who mostly remain mired in regressive “political” ideology.
 
 
 
 
 

February 23, 2018

Today’s Inversion of Yeats

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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 15, 2018

The Action Spirit of King

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 19, 2017

The Dicamba Crisis (Part 1)

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Decades of experience prove the model of agriculture based on pesticides doesn’t work and is unsustainable. A rational, honest person would long ago have rejected poison-based agriculture in favor of agroecology. They would have had a “Show Me” attitude toward Missouri-based Monsanto’s proposition that the GMO version of this poison model would be any different, and they quickly would have realized it’s the same failure.
 
That’s how we know support for GMOs, and continued support for pesticides, has zero to do with reason and science. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of the resurrection of such herbicides as 2,4-D and dicamba which the GMO paradigm previously declared obsolete. Nowhere is the big lie more obvious than in the case of how dicamba’s new GMO-based escalation immediately precipitated the most acute American agricultural crisis since the Southern corn leaf blight epidemic of 1970.
 
In the 1990s Monsanto rolled out its glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready product line of GM crops. One of the big selling points was that glyphosate allegedly was less harmful to human health, the environment, and other crops than dicamba and 2,4-D. Monsanto and the USDA promised Roundup Ready would permanently supersede these bad old poisons. Monsanto and the USDA also promised weeds never would become resistant to glyphosate.
 
As anyone could have predicted and many did, these were both lies. Within a few years Roundup-resistant weeds began to proliferate. Soon the same old arms race was on between ever more commonplace and resistant weeds and escalating glyphosate applications. A few more years and Roundup Ready was in ruins, glyphosate near worthless, glyphosate-resistant weeds on a triumphal march across America’s farmland.
 
Monsanto was lying when it claimed Roundup Ready was the final word on weed control. On the contrary, as per the standard corporate program of planned obsolescence the company developed a new type of herbicide tolerant GMO in anticipation of the obsolescence of Roundup Ready. Monsanto’s new flagship product, designed to rescue the company from its Roundup dependency and lift it to new heights of dominion and profitability, is the Xtend system of dicamba herbicide and dicamba-tolerant GM cotton and soybeans. In 2015 Monsanto put Xtend cotton seed on the market, in 2016 Xtend soybeans. The EPA was uncharacteristically slow and didn’t approve the new Monsanto and BASF dicamba formulations until autumn of 2016. In 2017, in tandem with the new and allegedly improved brand-name dicamba, Monsanto was able significantly to escalate the acreage of Xtend soybean sales.
 
Knowledgeable commentators long forsaw problems. Pesticide drift has always been a problem, and this problem is especially acute with dicamba. Prior to the advent of the Xtend system dicamba was used only early in the season before crops had sprouted and under weather conditions which didn’t maximize its drift potential. As early as 2011 farmers, scientists, and industry figures warned that any large-scale spraying of dicamba under the warm, humid conditions of late spring onward was likely to maximize drift and the damage to other crops and plants this drift would cause. Dicamba kills all broad-leaf plants. Soybeans are especially sensitive to it, but it easily damages and kills most crops, ornamentals, and trees.
 
Right on schedule, as dicamba began to be sprayed during the growing season the drift damage to innocent bystander crops began to be reported. There was significant damage in 2015 and far more in 2016 as the acreage sprayed greatly increased. But this was only the prelude to the full blown disaster of 2017. By May a flood of damage reports was coursing in to the agricultural departments and university extensions of the major soy producing states, especially Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee. Soybeans everywhere not engineered to be tolerant of dicamba were sustaining often lethal damage, along with peanuts and vegetable crops such as tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and leafy greens. Arkansas’ largest peach orchard was decimated for the second straight year. Symbolically, the University of Arkansas test plot where researchers were studying the drift potential of name-brand dicamba succumbed to drift and was wiped out.
 
By July Arkansas and Missouri issued emergency bans on further spraying of dicamba, but Missouri quickly backpedaled under Monsanto pressure. The damage reports continued to pile up across more than twenty states. By season’s end weed scientist Kevin Bradley of the University of Missouri tallied 3.6 million acres of non-Xtend soybeans damaged or killed by drifting dicamba.
 
Throughout the destructive year Monsanto ran its standard campaign of denial, lies, and scapegoating. Forced to take some kind of action the EPA announced a voluntary agreement with Monsanto and BASF to impose new certification requirements for dicamba applicators. More substantially, the Arkansas Plant Board unanimously recommended that its existing emergency ban be made policy for 2018, banning dicamba use from April 16th through October 31st. (This proposal is currently in limbo as Monsanto-subservient state legislators are trying to gut the ban. Monsanto also has sued to prevent its enforcement.)
 
 
Dicamba can move off site in several ways. One typical way for pesticides to drift is when applicators are careless about spraying under windy conditions and the poison immediately is wafted away on the wind. This is what is properly called “drift”. But dicamba has a far more insidious and destructive mode of drifting. Under common conditions of warmth and humidity liquid dicamba resting on plants and soil is prone to volatilize, turn into a gas, lift off the surfaces, and float on the air often many miles from the site of spraying before weather conditions change and cause it to resettle on whatever plants are in the vicinity. The more dicamba is sprayed in a region, the more all-pervasive the suffusion becomes. This is called atmospheric loading.
 
Dicamba’s volatility effect is well known. Monsanto and BASF promised that their new dicamba formulations, XtendiMax and Engenia, had solved the problem and would not be volatile. But Monsanto immediately signaled it was lying when it forbade university researchers pre-market access to XtendiMax in order to test it for volatility. They were allowed to test only its herbicidal capability.
 
Sure enough, in 2017 when researchers were able to purchase XtendiMax and Engenia at the store and test it themselves they found that these brand name formulations are nearly as volatile as the earlier cheap formulas. The fact is that all dicamba is volatile. It’s impossible to use it under warm humid conditions, i.e. the way it’s intended to be used under the Xtend system, and not have it promiscuously volatilize, move off site, and kill any broad leaf crops and plants it resettles upon.
 
Many farmers already have filed suit against Monsanto and BASF, as individuals and in class actions, seeking to hold these poison-peddlers accountable and make them pay for the damage they willfully have caused.
 
 
The Xtend/dicamba GMO series is the most extreme manifestation yet of what is typical of all commercial GMOs. They’re pesticide plants designed to escalate poison use and escalate the futile arms race between pesticides and the resistant pests and weeds. This absurd and destructive treadmill clearly is, in itself, the purpose of poison-based agriculture and especially its GMO-based incarnation. The pesticide treadmill ensures incessant product obsolescence, constant escalation of the potency and amount and cost of the pesticides which must be deployed, maximal dependency of farmers on the most artificial, vulnerable mode of agriculture which requires the maximum of the costly inputs supplied by agribusiness.
 
In this way agribusiness consolidates maximum control over farming and the food supply and launches a general assault on the ecology, all toward the goal of maximizing human and ecological monoculture. This is the scorched-earth terrain which provides the best habitat for pest, weed, and disease infestation, and therefore the maximum ideological and political habitat for the power claims of agribusiness, the scientism cult, and all who hate humanity and nature and who seek total domination. Poisonism therefore generates the maximal habitat for the propaganda campaign of lies, fear-mongering, and fraudulent promises that the solution is right around the corner if farmers and society only stay the poison course. This is proven every day in a hundred new articles and press statements from corporations, governments, Wall Street, academia, and the mainstream media, all speaking as one proclaiming that the only solution to the escalating crisis is to escalate the poison.
 
 
This doesn’t cause those of the true faith to falter, because beyond mundane profiteering poisonism is an ideological cult. Monsanto of course has responded with a campaign of lies. They openly deny that brand name dicambas are volatile and instead blame farmers for improper application which leads to regular wind drift, and for using older dicamba blends which are volatile.
 
The response of pro-dicamba activists across the board has been to promulgate new certification requirements and restrictions on how and when dicamba can be sprayed, in accord with the right wind conditions, temperature, time of day, and the right equipment. The EPA’s voluntary agreement with Monsanto and BASF enshrines these kinds of restrictions which allegedly will solve the problem.
 
But the whole notion of new regulations is based on the false premise that volatility isn’t the main cause of the off-target damage. This already has been proven false. The 2017 research demonstrated that no amount of care in the application can prevent dicamba from volatilizing and moving off site. Therefore the entire campaign for new restrictions is conjoined with Monsanto’s primary lie. In other words the entire campaign is bogus, nothing but a sham. As usual, EPA is the lead government propagandist backing up the corporate lies.
 
The most direct proof that these restrictions don’t work comes from Missouri. I mentioned earlier how in July Missouri instituted a temporary spraying ban but quickly lifted it. At the same time it rescinded the dicamba ban Missouri imposed the now standard set of new restrictions on its use. But this accomplished nothing: Within weeks the damage reports surged anew. This is the most proximate proof that the extra regulations don’t work.
 
But then we didn’t need that extra proof. Contrary to Monsanto’s lies, most farmers who spray dicamba do their conscientious best to spray so that it doesn’t spread beyond their farms and damage their neighbors. (Besides, if you’re going to pay to spray a pesticide, of course you’re going to do your best to keep the maximum amount on your site in order to get the full extent of what you think is the benefit.) In spite of this dicamba has drifted promiscuously, in many cases miles away from where it was sprayed. This is in spite of every care taken, and it certainly will continue in spite of any added care short of a ban on spraying past mid-April.
 
This proves that all dicamba is highly volatile and nothing can prevent it from moving off site and killing other crops and plants. Co-existence with the Xtend system is impossible. If dicamba continues to be deployed the way it was in 2017 (and Monsanto is projecting a doubling of the Xtend soybean acreage in 2018, from 20 million acres to 40 million), all soy farmers will have no choice but to buy Xtend GM seeds, while much vegetable farming and gardening as well as the existence of many other plants and trees will become impossible in the soybean zones. This proves that Monsanto’s goal remains the same as it’s always been, the goal it enshrined in what it calls its “Expanded Trait Penetration” program. Monsanto’s goal always is to force farmers to buy as many stacked GM traits as possible. Xtend is the most extreme version yet of this program. Monsanto’s goal is to extort all soybean farmers, under threat of the drift destruction of their crop, into buying the Xtend seeds and the XtendiMax herbicide (along with Roundup; Xtend is tolerant of both dicamba and glyphosate).
 
 
We see their wickedness. The dicamba crisis is the epitome of all that’s bad about GMOs as such and herbicide tolerant GMOs in particular. Agronomically this system shackles farmers to a destroyed soil and weak, denuded crops which constantly must be goosed with fertilizer, irrigated water, and an ever greater slathering of pesticides. It drives the monoculture of crop varieties as Monsanto seeks its goal of forcing seed growers to increase and farmers to buy only the few varieties into which the Xtend trait has been crossed, as only these will be viable in an atmospheric zone suffused with dicamba vapors. Weeds are guaranteed to evolve to resist dicamba, indeed already are doing so. This will require an even more complex, expensive, toxic brew to be deployed. Sure enough, in 2017 the corporations already were touting the poison plants slated to replace Xtend in a few years.
 
Socioeconomically the herbicide tolerance GMO model is designed to destroy hand-weeding jobs and force farm consolidation by driving out smaller farmers and rendering giant plantations more easy to manage. In this way agribusiness works to attain domination over farming. The fewer and bigger the farms, the easier they are to control.
 
Ecologically this poison-based monoculture wipes out habitat for monarch butterflies and many other animals and plants, kills honeybees, and directly poisons the soil, water, and air, causing havoc among these ecosystems. During spraying season humans and animals continually breathe the atmospheric load of vaporized dicamba. This aggravates dicamba’s known irritant effects on the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Dicamba causes cancer and birth defects. We can expect to see a spike in birth defects in the dicamba zone in 2018. Along with glyphosate and 2,4-D dicamba, as a grossly abused antibiotic, drives antibiotic resistance among many strains of harmful bacteria, thus contributing to the general campaign of corporate industrial agriculture to wipe out antibiotics as a medically effective treatment.
 
These crises are endemic to massive herbicide use in general. Dicamba, by spreading beyond where it’s sprayed to a far greater extent than other herbicides, represents a great escalation of all the crises of agronomy, farm economy, ecology, and public health.
 
 
The system offers no solution, whether it be to the acute dicamba crisis or the general chronic crisis of corporate industrial agriculture. Even the weed scientists who have been doing the volatility research, tallying the destruction, and sounding the alarm offer nothing but the meek suggestion that poison use, while “necessary”, should be reformed and limited. In a mass manifestation of Stockholm syndrome damaged farmers still say the same. But the scientists’ own research demonstrates that the standard reforms can accomplish nothing, while the corporations will never accept such limits. Even as Monsanto pretended to endorse the EPA-brokered voluntary agreement it continued defiantly to assert there should be no restrictions beyond its own label.
 
Nothing within the system can meet the challenge of a crisis inherent to the core premises of the system itself. Poisonism has no future. The only way forward for weed and pest control is soil-building combined with organic pest management. The health of the soil, so ravaged by industrial agricultural practice, is the foundation of all sustainable agriculture and agriculture’s entire future. Everything else is a footnote.
 
Only a new movement built completely from outside the corporate agriculture system can meet the challenge of the day. This movement must be based on the rising ecological, agronomic, cultural, spiritual paradigm centered on the necessary transformation to agroecology and food sovereignty and the necessary abolition of poison-based agriculture.
 
 
We started by pointing out that anyone motivated by reason and the scientific mindset would long ago have concluded that poison-based agriculture doesn’t work, does far more harm than good, and should be rejected in favor of agroecology. They would have been skeptical of GMOs based on escalating this already disproven agricultural model. They would’ve found quickly that the GMO version of this model is no different and simply intensifies the same failure while rendering it even more destructive.
 
The continued denial and defense of the dicamba outbreak on the part of the pro-poison activists proves that for today’s cultists reason is the last thing any of them care about, and actual scientific evidence a close second to last. It proves that support for GMOs has zero to do with reason and science and everything to do with religious/ideological wingnuttery, where it’s not just a gutter profiteering motive. They have proven this true with every step of the genetic engineering deployment. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the way they’ve seized upon the collapse of Roundup Ready, by any rational measure a catastrophic discrediting of the entire GMO and pesticide paradigm, as an opportunity to exalt an even more destructive poison product, one which they themselves started out promising Roundup Ready would render obsolete, and whose doom at the stems and vines of the same resistance-evolving weeds is already on the horizon.
 
The already disastrous advent of the dicamba GMOs, and the fanatic will of the GMO cultists to push forward such an insane, disproven, short-sighted, destructive project, is the best proof that the scientism/technocracy cult, just as much as the poison corporations, is the enemy of humanity and the Earth. Humanity must organize against this cult as surely as against the corporations themselves, as a key part of the corporate totalitarian cabal against humanity and the Earth. The ecocidal and genocidal monoculture aspiration of this cabal is self-evident, as is clear from the dicamba onslaught.
 
 
 
 
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