June 5, 2017

The Regulator/Corporate Interest vs. the People’s Interest


The Greens/EFA faction of the European Parliament is suing the EFSA because the agency refuses to release secret documents from its 2015 glyphosate review. The EFSA always has proclaimed openly that it depends upon secret documents it is fed by the corporations. In other words, the regulator openly admits that it uses no science in its reviews, but only corporate innuendo. This is in complete contrast to the WHO’s IARC cancer research agency, whose guidelines require it to use only published studies. The IARC requires itself to stay within the bounds of legitimate science, while the EFSA and EPA explicitly disavow science and stay within the bounds of secret corporate decrees.
Under public pressure the EFSA did release a fragmentary, heavily redacted version of the corporate materials, and did find collaborators willing to provide political cover for this fraudulent “disclosure”. The EFSA now says no public interest would be served by full disclosure. In addition to being an explicit abdication of the canons of science, which by definition requires public perusal, this is the EFSA’s open admission that it does not view itself as acting in the public interest, since it explicitly avows that the public interest, at best, must be limited by the corporate interest. The Greens/EFA statement partially endorses this, agreeing that there’s a “balance that should be struck.” We abolitionists of course recognize no such fraudulent “balance”, but will never settle for anything less than the full public interest and the full publicity of anything claiming to represent “science”.
Once again we have the standard state of things:
1. The myth of the public interest regulator.
2. The reality of the regulator controlled by the corporation and ideologically committed to serving the corporation.
3. The regulator lies, claiming to be trying to “strike a balance”. This already partially abrogates the myth of the public interest. In reality, the regulator recognizes no public interest at all, except insofar as this may trickle down from corporate domination.
4. “Reformers” have already surrendered that far, and they abet that extent of the lie. So we can assume that over time they’ll continue to surrender ground and abet further lies as the corporate assault advances.
As the piece points out, the EFSA could, if it really were under legal constraint with regard to publicizing its alleged data, ask the court to order it to publish the data. But of course no regulator would ever make such a request, because they lie about being under such constraint. No regulator ever has its hands tied by intellectual property law. On the contrary, they ardently, actively, ideologically support the poisoner project and all its elements. This includes the “secret science” the regulators require in order to perform their sham reviews.
As I’ve written many times before, this strong regulator bias on behalf of the corporations and against the public good and against science does not arise primarily from superficial venal corruption. It arises from a far more profound existential corruption, a corruption of all canons of human morality and reason. While de jure corruption is common, it’s epiphenomenal compared to the overall ideological and methodological framework of technocracy and the corporate science paradigm. Cadres of an agency like the EFSA or ECHA, or the US EPA, FDA, and USDA, operate according to the corporate/technocratic template. Its three components are:
1. The corporate power/profit project is normative. It is the primary purpose of civilization. Under no circumstance can any other value or alternative project be allowed significantly to hinder the corporate project.
This has profound implications for actions like a pesticide cancer review. For technocratic regulators to acknowledge the fact that all synthetic pesticides cause widespread cancer would significantly hinder the corporate project. Therefore even the prospect of such acknowledgement is ruled out a priori. By definition it cannot be part of the review. Only the most grossly excessive and obvious cancerousness on the part of a particular chemical could be acknowledged even in principle. When outfits like the US EPA or the EU’s EFSA claim to believe that glyphosate is not cancerous, this is not according to any rational or scientific canon of evidence, and reformers who interpret it this way make a mistake about the fundamental character of these organizations.
Rather, technocratic regulators apply the canon of the corporate paradigm. According to this canon “causes cancer” is defined as: “So grossly carcinogenic that it’s politically impossible to deny it, to the point that lack of action would in itself be significantly bad for business.” For the government, just as much as for the corporation, cancer is purely political.
This leads to the template’s second component.
2. Given the strictures of (1), the regulator may if absolutely necessary impose limits on the most excessive harms and worst abuses. More often, it only pretends to do even this. Which leads to the template’s third component.
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project as having been sufficiently regulated for safety. According to the ideology of technocracy and bureaucracy, the people are supposed to believe implicitly in the competence, rigor, and honesty of the regulator. They’re supposed to believe this for all measures of safety, public and environmental health, political and socioeconomic benefit and lack of harm.
All this is based on a Big Lie, since as we described above the regulator actually functions only according to the normative values of corporate power. But it fraudulently claims, always implicitly and very often explicitly, that it has acted on behalf of human values and to protect and serve the people. Therefore, the ideology goes, the people should repose implicit trust in the regulator rather than assert themselves democratically in any kind of grassroots way. Most of all, the people must not start to think in any political terms which would be based on fundamentally different values and goals, values and goals opposed to those of corporate rule and technocracy.
Thus we see how technocracy is an ideology, method, and form of government which is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-political as such since it is dedicated to the proposition that the people should relinquish all political activity and passively receive and believe the judgements of technocratic regulators. This system is based fundamentally on the Big Lie that it actually is a form of democracy and a form of society which encourages the political participation of the people. But in fact it conjures only sham versions of these and seeks aggressively to discourage and suppress any true politics.
This ideology and method is especially critical for the poisoner campaign, whose continued domination depends upon the people’s opposition remaining strait-jacketed within the bonds of regulator-based reformism. It’s essential that no significant number of people attain an abolitionist consciousness and commit to the abolitionist goal.
We see how the corporate state and technocracy, along with their allied economic ideology of neoliberalism, exist as species within the same genus as classical fascism. This is the genus of pseudo-democratic forms bled of all real political content which then stand as cultural facades behind which exists only state tyranny. Today’s corporate state is the most fully evolved form of this tyranny.
Help propagate the abolitionist idea.

June 1, 2017

Fighting the CRISPR Lie


Meet the new GM, same as the old GM.

Here’s the latest addition to the already substantial evidence of the danger and shoddiness of the CRISPR “gene editing” technique. In a medical research study the researchers wanted to find out how many mutations CRISPR really causes. Therefore they sequenced the entire genomes of the mice subjects instead of the usual procedure of sampling them according to a computer algorithm which predicts where mutations are likely to be. They found thousands of mutations not predicted by the algorithm.
The algorithm procedure is typical crackpot reductive science with little or no validity for the real world:

“These predictive algorithms seem to do a good job when CRISPR is performed in cells or tissues in a dish, but whole genome sequencing has not been employed to look for all off-target effects in living animals,” says co-author Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa….

“Researchers who aren’t using whole genome sequencing to find off-target effects may be missing potentially important mutations,” Dr. Tsang says. “Even a single nucleotide change can have a huge impact.”

We see how different the result is when the study focuses on something closer to reality, the whole genomes of test subjects.
Here’s the takeaways and talking points.
1. This is just the latest proof that gene editing causes an extreme number of mutations and therefore is unsafe.
The health dangers of the “new” GMOs are the same as for the old GMOs. Scrambled genomes, insertional and tissue culture mutations, and the effects of these: A gene producing too much or too little of a protein with toxic or other ill effects, producing the wrong protein with toxic effect, producing a misfolded protein with toxic effect (Mad Cow disease is caused by a misfolded protein), toxically excessive or foreign metabolites, gene or cell damage leading to cancer or any number of other severe and lethal diseases.
2. This is just the latest proof of how gene editing is highly imprecise.
Once again we see how any claim to precision will never be anything more than one of the standard lies of genetic engineering. And make no mistake – this is a willful, deliberate campaign of lying on the part of the scientific establishment, government regulators, and the mainstream media. We’re far past the point of it being possible to be honestly mistaken about any of this. Everyone knows “precision” was a lie from the beginning, so even those who willfully choose not to look at the specific evidence in the case of CRISPR still knows its alleged precision is being touted by the same old liars. We’re long past the point where it’s possible to have good faith trust in any corporation, or to advocate such trust. On the contrary, anyone from government or media who says or implies that we the people should trust any corporation is acting in the worst of bad faith.
3. In both these ways the “new” GMOs are nothing new. On the contrary they’re the same old GMOs. That’s why we should call them retread GMOs.
4. As in every other case, retread GM products like the Simplot potato and the botox apple are nothing but an inferior, more complex and expensive, less safe version of already existing non-GM varieties which are better, safer, and less expensive. Those are RNAi products; any future CRISPR products would be no different. We see how the retread GMOs, just like all previous GMOs, have no redeeming agronomic or social purpose. On the contrary their only purpose is corporate profit and control, and to feed the idiot fantasies of the scientism cult which worships inferior high-maintenance technology for its own sake. They believe because it’s absurd.
5. We must stress that there is nothing at all “unintended” about these effects. The effects of genetic engineering are grossly unpredictable, but this unpredictability is known and embraced ahead of time. “Unpredictable” has nothing conceptually in common with “unintended.” We can compare the typical operations of poison-based agriculture to spinning a roulette wheel where the various colors and numbers indicate various chaotic effects, many of them to be a surprise. Which number will come up is unpredictable, but one spins the wheel with full malice aforethought, full intent to trigger the chaos.
Genetic engineers and breeders involved in developing GM crops for commercial release have full knowledge of their inability to predict anything, therefore they intend chaotic results, just as they do with their broader mandate to drive climate change and pump as much synthetic poison into ecosystems as possible. The pro-GMO activists simply lie about all this when they make any claim to “precision” or predictability. No one who wanted stable, predictable results would still be working with genetic engineering. Where it comes to our food, agriculture, and environment, we’re not just spinning the roulette wheel. We’re playing Russian roulette, as Black Swan author Nassim Taleb put it.
Therefore I recommend to anyone interested in conceptual and terminological discipline that we discard the whole false notion of “unintended” effects of GMOs, pesticides, climate change, etc. This is factually wrong and morally far too lenient. Chaos is the predictable effect of genetic engineering, therefore the pro-GM activists intend chaos. That’s one of the purposes of this massive uncontrolled human feeding experiment, to log the unpredictable effects of the globally promiscuous deployment of GMOs in the environment and diet. They premeditate the chaos so they can hope someday to understand it, toward vastly further-reaching eugenic goals.
6. As a group the retread GMOs must be seen and publicly branded as nothing but a propaganda campaign trying to revamp the tattered image of GMOs, which are increasingly being seen in their true light as a shoddy, backward, regressive, reactionary technology dedicated to propping up the antiquated, proven failure of the paradigm of pesticide-based agriculture. Objectively, the retread campaign adds nothing new in any way at all.
The retreads also enable the legalistic and propaganda campaign of regulators like the USDA who want to abdicate all responsibility for GMO oversight. Lately I’ve been writing often about the need to relinquish all faith in government regulators and that this movement has the task of demolishing all public trust in regulatory agencies. Here’s yet more proof that the regulators are not on our side, serve no constructive purpose, and that we don’t need them: By the regulators’ own testimony they have no reason for being, since they themselves openly abdicate all responsibility for GM oversight.
Help propagate the abolitionist ideas.

May 12, 2017

“Fake People”

Filed under: Corporatism, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 8:44 am


Real life, according to technocracy. Ecology and evolution are unreal.

For example, look at the bubble of pure fakeness people allegedly want to live in, at least according to the corporate marketing department:

..a 2,000 square foot ‘Home of the Future,’ created by News Corp. and ad tech company Unruly in partnership with marketers including Amazon Launchpad, PepsiCo, Heineken, eBay, Unilever, HTC, Nokia Health, and Tesco. The installation opening today in London has been created to give marketers and agencies a first-hand experience of the connected home, and a chance to think about how they might use it to engage consumers.

“Artificial Intelligence is hardest at work in the kitchen, which is stocked with brands from Unilever and supermarket chain Tesco. In this room you can give your AI system a budget and a license to search for deals from different brands and supermarkets. And cooking becomes simple, as your fridge talks you through every step of a recipe and then alerts the family when dinner’s ready. You might find a new item in your shopping basket that’s been placed there as a free sample, based on your preferences, and then let the AI assistant know whether you like it and if you would recommend it to friends.

(Some of those same corporations are part of the US government/Gates/Monsanto “New Alliance” assault in Africa.)
The scientism cult ardently aspires to a complete detachment from physical reality and complete dependency upon a literal ICU. Hannah Arendt commented on the deepest fantasy of the technocracy cult:

Every progress in science in the last decades, from the moment it was absorbed into technology and thus introduced into the factual world where we live our everyday lives, has brought with it a veritable avalanche of fabulous instruments and ever more ingenious machinery. All of this makes it more unlikely every day that man will encounter anything in the world around him that is not man-made and hence is not, in the last analysis, he himself in a different disguise. The astronaut, shot into outer space and imprisoned in his instrument-ridden capsule where each actual physical encounter with his surroundings would spell immediate death, might well be taken as the symbolic incarnation of Heisenberg’s man — the man who will be the less likely ever to meet anything but himself and man-made things the more ardently he wishes to eliminate all anthropocentric considerations from his encounter with the non-human world around him.

Indeed they hate humanity and wish with all their being to overcome and discard the species. Yet as Arendt points out, the more aggressively the corporatists and the technocrats try to eradicate humanity, the more starkly they’re confronted by their own image, humanity in its most infinitely vile and disgusting manifestation, humanity seeking to destroy itself.
Unfortunately the corporations seem not to be mistaken in thinking there’s a constituency of aspiring bubble boys who want to cease from all organic functions and who want for “humans” to exist only as pure vegetable appendages of machines. The fantasy of a GMO crop grown in a purely sterile medium is a fantasy both for its own sake and as symbolic of the existence they fantasize for themselves and for all of “transhumanity”. Don’t be distracted by any of their religious sermons about artificial sentience and virtual reality. The whole transhuman concept makes sense only if what we know as human consciousness is eradicated completely and superseded by unconscious data bit processing. The cultists feel worshipful toward their machines as a new pantheon of gods and demigods, not because they really dream of these machines becoming sentient, but because they themselves dream of becoming functional without sentience, and of exterminating all sentience. The only technical problem, as they see it, is how to render the machines sustainable. That’s the main reason they want to enslave humanity first before exterminating it, as a slave class to service the machines during the transformational period toward pure machine self-sufficiency.

May 11, 2017

The “New” Old Monsanto, Attempting a Cult Revival


For all its current power Monsanto has a bleak future. In a sector scrambling to consolidate because its real opportunities for the future are increasingly constrained, Monsanto is especially vulnerable. The company is dependent upon Roundup for about 70% of its revenues. Roundup accounts for half its sales, while GMOs dependent upon it make up much of the rest. That’s why Syngenta had little interest even in Monsanto’s GMO business. In 2015 the entire world learned for keeps what campaigners, Monsanto, and regulators have long known, that glyphosate causes cancer. With the WHO’s announcement the clock is now ticking, counting down the rest of glyphosate’s legal life. The people will now slowly but surely force the complete ban of glyphosate-based poisons. The bell is tolling for Roundup, Monsanto knows it, everyone knows it. They must find new products or die. They’re hyping everything in sight, from slapping new ad slogans on old, pointless, narrow-market products to touting the idea of RNA interference GMOs. But if these ever came to market they’d still be the same kind of shoddy insecticidal GMOs which in Bt form are already a failure with a gradually diminishing market.
The structural reason driving the current consolidation is that GMOs are a shoddy product and don’t have much of a market or a future in themselves. On the contrary, there’s a growing consensus inside and outside the sector, including on Wall Street, that the pesticides remain primary, with the GMOs being secondary to these and dependent upon them. Their fundamentals are bad. In other words the finance sector now agrees with what GMO critics have said from the start, that GMOs in the real world are nothing but pesticide plants, poison plants. Although Wall Street is poor at acknowledging its own pyramid schemes, it knows how to call them out in other sectors. GMOs are a scam.
By now all the GMO cartel has is the hype and hoaxes of the pro-GM activists and the corporate media. Monsanto in particular is desperate to tout its new GMO campaign, and with media fanfare is licensing two CRISPR “gene editing” processes. Monsanto’s Roundup business is seen as having a highly questionable future, and in all the merger talk the only thing which has really interested anyone is the company’s potential to develop GM traits other than those based on glyphosate. Here we see Monsanto desperate to reassure skeptical Bayer shareholders. Indeed, the hype over “new GMOs” may continue fooling the business world for awhile, but hype is all it is. As a practical way for the GMO project to get on track and start delivering on its promises, the retread GMOs are a vain ploy and a malign lie.
Here’s all anyone needs to know about CRISPR etc., the whole false notion of a retread “second generation” of GMOs based on “gene editing”, RNA interference, and similar tricks: These retreads are the same failed technology, the same failed GMOs, the same failed mode, the same failed agricultural paradigm based on poison, guaranteed to have the same result as all prior pesticides and GMOs. Pests will quickly overcome it, it will function only on the same ever-accelerating pesticide treadmill which already spins endlessly, it will poison people, animals, and the environment, and it will contaminate non-GM crops and wild plants. It’s not possible to be mistaken about any of this. Indeed, these are proven to be intentional primary effects of every technology deployed as part of poison-based agriculture. As its name says, this is the project of maximizing the production and use of poisons in order to maximize the poisoning of people and the Earth. All of this is being done for its own sake, as well as for the sake of profit and power. All of it is disguised with the lie that any of it has anything to do with producing food.
By now all we have are conscious, willful liars on the one hand, vast amounts of gratuitous, self-willed ignorance on the other, with a few scattered truth-tellers who recognize the clear facts.
The health dangers of the retread GMOs are the same as for the old GMOs. Scrambled genomes, insertional and tissue culture mutations, and the effects of these: A gene producing too much or too little of a protein with toxic or other ill effects, producing the wrong protein with toxic effect, producing a misfolded protein with toxic effect (Mad Cow disease is caused by a misfolded protein), toxically excessive or foreign metabolites, gene or cell damage leading to cancer or any number of other health destructions, “silencing” the genes of humans who come into contact (topical, inhaled, ingested) with the RNAi pesticide, and any number of other predictably unpredictable chaotic effects. The retread GMOs are the same as the old GMOs.
In the same way the health dangers are the same as for any other pesticide. The engineers and propagandists have no more idea how genotoxic, hormone disrupting, neurotoxic, organically toxic, and carcinogenic the RNAi pesticides will be than they originally had for the other classes of pesticides, all of which proved to be lethal to humans in all these ways. To put that another way, they know perfectly well that the RNAi pesticides will almost certainly have the same effects that all other pesticides have. The new pesticides are the same as the old pesticides, and will fail against pests and poison people in the same way the old ones always do.
It’s not possible to be mistaken about any of this. These are all known facts.
Of course the “new” retread GMOs are designed to aggravate the socioeconomic and political evils of corporate agriculture and commodity-based production the same way all previous GMOs were designed. Just like all prior GMOs, the goal of the retread GMOs is to starve the world in order to feed a handful of gluttons.
All the hype surrounding the new GMOs is based on the junk science of genetic determinism, same as for the old GMOs. In both cases the facts are:
1. On the most basic factual level, the engineers and their supporters have no idea what they’re doing. Jonathan Latham writes,

[The industry and media’s] exposition is belied by the evidence. If CRISPR were already precise, accurate and specific there would, for example, be no publications in prominent scientific journals titled “Improving CRISPR-Cas nuclease specificity using truncated guide RNAs“. And these would not begin by describing how ordinary CRISPR “can induce mutations at sites that differ by as many as five nucleotides from the intended target”, i.e. CRISPR may act at unknown sites in the genome where it is not wanted (Fu et al., 2014).

…[I]t is technically not possible to make a single (and only a single) genetic change to a genome using CRISPR and be sure one has done so (Fichtner et al., 2014). As Fichtner noted “in mammalian systems Cas9 causes a high degree of off-target effects”…There is, furthermore, no guarantee that more precise versions of CRISPR are even biologically possible. Technically therefore, precision is a myth: no form of genome editing can do what is currently being claimed.

2. In addition to their complete ignorance of ecology and agronomy, they know nothing about the science of genetics or biology. To believe in genetic determinism requires ignorance of even the most basic elements of the state of the science. Here’s Latham again.

[A] defined, discrete or simple pathway from gene to trait probably never exists. Most gene function is mediated murkily through highly complex biochemical and other networks that depend on many conditional factors, such as the presence of other genes and their variants, on the environment, on the age of the organism, on chance, and so forth. Geneticists and molecular biologists, however, since the time of Gregor Mendel, have striven to find or create artificial experimental systems in which environmental or any other sources of variation are minimised so as not to distract from the more “important” business of genetic discovery.

But by discarding organisms or traits that do not follow their expectations, geneticists and molecular biologists have built themselves a circular argument in favour of a naive deterministic account of gene function. Their paradigm habitually downplays the enormous complexities by which information passes (in both directions) between organisms and their genomes. It has created an immense and mostly unexamined bias in the default public understanding of genes and DNA.

Where this isn’t willful lying, it’s the common mode of being seduced by a crackpot version of “scientific method”. They reify these ivory tower experimental conditions of limited usefulness into the lie that these are real conditions which give real knowledge.
The primary lie making up the marketing campaign for the retread GMOs is that they’ve been made with extra-special “precision”. The propaganda theme that the retread GMOs have been engineered with precision is the exact same lie as the theme that the old GMOs were the result of precision engineering. In reality all genetic engineering is an extremely sloppy, wasteful, scattershot empirical process relying on brute force and massive reiteration to produce an adequate result once in awhile. Genetic engineering and its results is best represented by the proverbial stopped clock which is correct twice a day. So it’s been for all GMOs to date, and so it is for the “new” GMOs.
In itself, precision is only as intelligent or moronic as allowed by the extent of one’s knowledge. Latham gives a good analogy: “Suppose, as a non-Chinese speaker, I were to precisely remove from a Chinese text one character, one line, or one page. I would have one hundred percent precision, but zero control over the change in meaning. Precision, therefore, is only as useful as the understanding that underlies it.” In reality, even legitimate science knows little about the details of genomes and next to nothing about the chaotic genome effects of genetic engineering. When we add to this ignorance of the details and repercussions the engineers’ junk science of biological determinism and their complete ignorance of the state of genetic and biological science, we see how even if they did have a precision technique they’d still have absolutely no idea what they were doing. They’d be firing with good marksmanship into a soundless, pitch black void. But to say again, they have no precision technique either. They’re really hurling handfuls of gravel into that void.
The “precision” lie is a core article of the religious faith of scientism, going back centuries to the de jure Christian roots of the engineering ideology. Although engineers and scientists have never had such precision control of anything, they’ve always prayed to themselves and lied to the world that they did possess such precision knowledge and control. Here again, the hype about CRISPR is just the latest incarnation of the most hackneyed lies. Here too it’s not possible to be mistaken. Anyone familiar with the history of science and engineering, especially the history of pesticides and GMOs, knows the lie by heart.

Technologies based on the reductive, poisonist junk science like genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, synthetic “life”, robotics, nanotech, geoengineering and others share the fantasy of the engineer exercising total control through the precision use of control technologies and engineering techniques. Science has seldom been more than a servant of this cult religion of control. More often than not the process by which these technologies are developed has little to no “precision” involved, but is a very messy process based on profligate, wasteful deployment of brute force empiricism toward whatever approximate result is “close enough” in practice as long as it can be transformed through the fantasy into an idea of precision. In the same way, as a rule these technologies don’t work in the real world. The real world performance of GMOs ranges from temporarily adequate as long as supported by the most lavish, expensive panoply of inputs – bank credit, machinery, fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides – to a complete disaster from the start. Nowhere on Earth have GMOs ever consistently performed as well as the much healthier, much less expensive true crops. But as long as cheap oil, industrial inputs, and corporate welfare can provide enough brute force to keep GMOs in the field at all, this is enough for the scientism cultists and their fanboys to fetishize GMOs into a transcendent religious ideal.
When we consider the origin and circumstances of the STEM cadre this cultism isn’t surprising. STEM disciplines attract the most hierarchically-oriented, authoritarian, reductive, order-obsessed types who are also the most alienated from physical (ecological) reality and at the same time possessed of the most intense religiosity. In the modern era scientism and “Progress” have presented themselves as secular civil religions, but this pseudo-secularity is just a temporary variation on the Christian millennarian roots of technology worship and science ideology. For over 900 years inventors and practitioners of engineering and science explicitly saw themselves as imitating Adam in the Garden of Eden, creating in the image of the Creator, becoming co-Creators with God, and as preparing the human condition for the Second Coming. To this day these apocalyptic religious themes remain explicit and normative among aerospace and weapons engineers. It’s also standard rhetoric among AI cultists and “transhumanists”.
The explicit Christian rhetoric is also common among genetic engineers and GMO cultists, and the transcendent tone, evangelical attitude, and warnings/hopes of the imminent apocalypse are exactly the same. It’s the same millennarian Christian religiosity, even where temporarily submerged by civil religious ideology.
Given this extremist interior, the fact that the engineers usually must function as lower-level cogs in the corporate machine, obeying the dictates of executives and marketers, the whole endeavor just a subdivision of the much more comprehensive Mammon religion, must bother them. To give just one example, Lords of the Harvest describes the initial cultural conflict at Monsanto between the high-flown fantasies and pretensions of the genetic engineering division and the agrochemical division, which the genetic engineers at first disdained as a gang of backward luddites. It was only after the GE division put up a perfect record of failure over years of very expensive confusion that they finally lowered their sights and began working on poison plants. (They failed at this too; one day soon I’ll write a piece documenting Monsanto’s near-perfect record of failure and theft.)
When we put all this together, it’s no wonder the techno-cultists exalt the fantasy of precision and control and keep telling themselves and the world lies about it. And although they continue to tell these lies about the GMOs which have been deployed so far, at the same time they implicitly admit they were always lying about these when they hype the alleged “new” kinds of GMOs, even going so far as to deny these GMOs are GMOs, which also disparages the existing types. They’re trying first to convince themselves that this time the “precision” really is precise, the “control” real control. But it’s all nothing but a retread of the same old lies, same old failures, same old bottleneck.
Most profoundly, we see in these phenomena some of the sources of the indelible culture of the lie among technocrats and scientism cultists. Humanity should have demanded of the very first scientist, “What is Truth?” The idealization of some notion of Truth, which is touted as the ultimate justification of science, originated in Christian theology and to this day remains a religious justification. Scientific “Truth” is therefore Truth as revealed by religious transcendence. As the engineers and scientists constantly say, with their technology they seek to transcend reality – the environment, biology, mortality, the irrationality and emotionality of human beings, the physical Earth. Their will to truth means the will to another world, an otherworld, an afterworld. Their will to truth must go hand in hand with the cult of technology. This means their “Truth” has always been purely instrumental. So from both directions – Truth as a theological article, and Truth as whatever idea of control technology is able to effect, right down to boosting profit margins – the culture of the lie is inherent in the technological version of Truth. As with all fundamentalist cults, the scientism cult recognizes only its transcendent ideal and its day to day empirical work, but displays absolute faithlessness toward any and all day to day measures of fact or truth. As for science itself, for the STEM cult this is nothing but an appendage of instrumental engineering. At best it can sometimes serve as a methodological guide, but is most commonly a propaganda facade. Just as the pseudo-democratic, pseudo-political ideology which has supplanted classical liberalism is called “neoliberalism”, so bona fide science has become a fraudulent “neoscience” completely engulfed within the corporate science paradigm of today’s STEM establishment. Between this mercenary hijacking and the religious basis of science as such, there’s little left of the exalted, allegedly rationalistic Enlightenment mythology. It’s the practicing engineers and scientists themselves who present the most extreme manifestation of human irrationalism and human emotionalism, as well as malignity, faithlessness, and absolute practical nihilism. But in their minds they dwell in a cloud city presided over by their own god. They see their task as to wipe out the ecological reality of the real Earth and humanity and replace it with a technology-dominated co-Creation between themselves and this god. If humanity is to survive, we must put a stop to them.
Thus Monsanto’s media advertorials for its future CRISPR projects are more than just typical corporate media hype. Underlying this is the will of the cult to arise from the muck of the bogged-down GMO/pesticide project and transcend on the wings of the gloriously retreaded “new” version of the same old anti-scientific, failure-mongering notions. In the end the CRISPR hype is still just hype, still just the same old lies. But the goal is far more than just propping up the stock price. The goal is to reinvigorate the flagging religious crusade. In the end, since Monsanto has no practical basis for future profit and power, it hopes to harness the power of religion to keep itself on top.
Help propagate the necessary actions.

May 10, 2017

GMO Field Trials and the Deliberate Contamination Campaign


Corporate agriculture sows disorder and chaos.

The British government has approved the Sainsbury lab’s application for open air field trials of GM potatoes which not only have not been subjected to controlled greenhouse tests but don’t yet even exist.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, Sainsbury’s application for an as yet nonexistent product, and its invitation to the regulator to assure the public of the safety of this product which doesn’t yet exist, is the best commentary on the fact that everything the corporate system tells us about GMOs, in addition to being always a lie, is always a pure fabrication. The corporations and governments tout nothing but the idea of “GMOs” as such, while in reality the actual GM crops are always poorly-designed, shoddy, backward, failure-prone products.
This is also the best commentary on the fact that field trials have no scientific basis or purpose, but rather are propaganda exercises. They propagate the fraud that GMOs are tested for environmental safety and agronomic performance when in reality the tests are designed to give no meaningful information on either of these, just as corporate feeding trials test nothing but industrial parameters irrelevant to food safety.
Therefore field trials are designed to serve as propaganda vehicles. They’re meant to normalize the GMO ideology as such and to impress upon the people the sense of the alleged ubiquity and necessity of GMOs and the alleged inevitability of GMO domination.
We see how GM field trials serve as a stage of the GM propaganda process just as they comprise a stage of the GM crop development process. This parallel is poetically appropriate since GMOs as such serve only fictive purposes, including an overall propaganda function. Their ultimate purposes – profit, power, control – have nothing to do with natural reality, but only with the totalitarian will to obliterate existing reality and replace it with a malign, ideologically determined reality. And thus it’s also appropriate, and was always inevitable, that all of the real-world effects of GMOs – environmental, health, agronomic, economic – are purely destructive.
Therefore the GM regime won’t be content with just the verbal propaganda threatening total GMO domination. Propaganda is never separable from action, and GM propaganda always accompanies the aggressive campaign physically to propagate GMOs as far and wide across the surface of the globe as possible. This includes not just the legal deployment of commercial GMOs but illegal deployment as well as the systematic contamination of non-GM crops and wild relatives with GM genetics.
We can sum up what we know:
1. GMOs in the open environment cannot be controlled. They automatically contaminate non-GM crops and wild relatives. This is true of field trials as well.
2. The intent and goal of corporations and government regulators is maximal contamination. This is proven by the systematic illegal cultivation of GMOs by corporations such as Monsanto and the way the briar-patched governments such as those of Brazil and India then legalize this illegal campaign. It is proven also by the consistent pattern of action of regulators.
3. We know field trials have the propaganda goals I described above.
4. So we can deduce that, although the experimentalists may not yet have used field trials this way, they hold in reserve the intent to launch new experiments in GM contamination by turning “field trials” (always a pretext and proxy) into a general, uncontrolled environmental release.
Consider the example of a joint corporate-university algae agrofuel experiment. Agrofuel GMOs are most symbolic of how wasteful and worthless GMOs are, and therefore are emblematic of the overall destructive goal of the corporate-technocratic project.
Here the experimenters tout how the GM algae “disperse[s] from the cultivation ponds” though they claim they’ve been unable to document aggressive “colonization…with increasing distance.” But they’ll keep trying. If the reader is in any doubt about the kind of language used in this study, consider this proclamation: “[T]he gains in productivity measured in GE terrestrial crops are predicted to be mirrored in GE algae..” Since these gains are known to be zero, indeed negative, here’s the experimenters acknowledging that the GM algae project is part of the project of waste and destruction, and broadcasting the Orwellian character of their communication throughout. We must apply this knowledge to our assessment of their real purpose in gauging the what the experimenters themselves call the “colonial” potential of their monster. Did any monarch ever send out a colonial expedition without intending far-reaching violent conquest? We already know that this algae is intended to be deployed worldwide. Only a fool thinks the difference between controlled and uncontrolled deployment, legal and illegal, is anything but purely methodological in the minds of the experimenters.
For another key example, the USDA’s ongoing GM grass approvals in the aftermath of the permanent escape of GM creeping bentgrass from a field trial and its subsequent environmental colonization proves:
1. The USDA agrees with the corporations and experimenters that all GMOs should be given full release with zero regulation and zero concern for the consequences except insofar as these provide data toward future controlled experimentation.
2. The USDA wants to maximize GM contamination. This is its intent and goal.
3. This is the ideology of regulators, prior to any mundane corruption and revolving door careerism.
This regulator consciousness, this willful intent, is proven by the fact that even as the USDA washes its hands of the earlier disaster it is allowing new releases. This proves that the regulator actively, consciously wants total contamination. Therefore “co-existence” is a lie, and not just physically. In cases like GM grass, alfalfa, canola, maize, cotton, and many others, where the physical impossibility of controlling the spread of the transgene is proven, regulator actions prove that governments want the eradication of all non-GM crops.
It’s appropriate that so many of these trials and releases are for products that are worthless even by GMO standards – crops for fuel, herbicide tolerant grass for golf courses. It goes to the core of the culture of the lie incarnated in the very idea of GMOs: The most ardently touted GM products are those which most directly, in principle, contradict the #1 GMO lie, that they’re supposed to help “feed the world”.
And this in turn exposes the entire GMO endeavor as having literally zero to do with anything which could ever benefit humanity. On the contrary genetic engineering is a campaign of corporate and government power and the object of religious worship by a particularly noxious strain of vermin, the scientism cult.
Therefore all the pro-GM activists cherish the program of spreading GM contamination as such. It forces corporate power upon agriculture and food, it concentrates government power, it destroys the integrity of communities and the environment, it’s a campaign of uncontrolled human experimentation as a step toward controlled eugenic experimentation and technological development, and it’s a form of fundamentalist proselytization, propaganda by deed.
GM field trials offer great opportunities for expansion of this deed of deliberate contamination. This campaign which transforms propaganda into action is the logical extension of the general propaganda character of the whole field trial endeavor.
The contamination campaign has the goal of finally forcing through attrition the mindset of “you just sort of surrender” which Monsanto long ago verbalized as the mindset it works to force upon humanity. But this is just the beginning of its goals. All totalitarians regard the initial physical conquest as just the beginning of their aggression and violence.
The pro-GM activists are betting that the result of their contamination campaign will be to sow this surrender mentality rather than to spur real movement resistance and counterattack.
Co-existence with GMOs is physically impossible. The goal of government regulators, corporations, and GM farmers is total contamination of all crops. Therefore co-existence is politically impossible as well, and the only viable political position and goal is total abolitionism.
For as long as the GMO deployment continues the contamination will become worse and worse, and the chances of it becoming indelible, with all the agronomic and ecological destruction that will follow, will increase. Which is all the more reason to Abolish GMOs Now.
Help propagate the necessary actions.

May 6, 2017

There Was Never a Housing Bubble, and Beware the Fake News of Those Who Say There Was


1. “In the 17 years I’ve spent covering Silicon Valley, I’ve never seen anything shake the place like his victory. In the span of a few months, the Valley has been transformed from a politically disengaged company town into a center of anti-Trump resistance and fear.”
They can’t really fear Trump, a regular status quo neoliberal politician continuous with the Clinton-Bush-Obama lineage, this way. There’s no objective correlative, as a literary critic would say. Made-up fears like this are always a proxy for something else.
What does Silicon Valley fear, and why is Facebook’s proximate response to pay lip service to the old corporate media establishment? On the surface it sounds like agoraphobia. As the authority of the conventional mainstream media collapses, the techno-totalitarians may be feeling some fear over the prospect of really leaving the old establishment behind and having to take the lead in their own right. Where it comes to political Leadership, the technocratic instinct is to hide behind a conventional political and media facade. That’s part of why neoliberalism has been their preferred organizational and propaganda model.

During the U.S. election, propagandists — some working for money, others for potentially state-sponsored lulz — used the service to turn fake stories into viral sensations, like the one about Pope Francis’ endorsing Trump (he hadn’t). And fake news was only part of a larger conundrum. With its huge reach, Facebook has begun to act as the great disseminator of the larger cloud of misinformation and half-truths swirling about the rest of media. It sucks up lies from cable news and Twitter, then precisely targets each lie to the partisan bubble most receptive to it.

After studying how people shared 1.25 million stories during the campaign, a team of researchers at M.I.T. and Harvard implicated Facebook and Twitter in the larger failure of media in 2016. The researchers found that social media created a right-wing echo chamber: a “media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyperpartisan perspective to the world.” The findings partially echoed a long-held worry about social news: that people would use sites like Facebook to cocoon themselves into self-reinforcing bubbles of confirmatory ideas, to the detriment of civility and a shared factual basis from which to make collective, democratic decisions.

In other words, Facebook and social media are a more potent version of what the corporate media does. Crack to the NYT’s cocaine. Social media mostly transmits the same hyperpartisan perspective as the US government, the NYT, CNN: Pro-capitalist ideology, pro-corporate ideology, mainstreamed Randroid “wealth creator” ideology, Hobbesian lies about human nature and Malthusian lies about food and natural resources, the ideology that the problems of society and the environment are technical engineering problems rather than cultural and spiritual crises, and most of all the fundamentalist religion of civilization based on high-maintenance technology and extreme energy consumption.
But the conventional corporate media believes it was already performing its Goebbels Ministry role adequately, and its fear is that because Facebook and social media are so potent, they may give new and opposing ideas a way to wedge into the public consciousness. The mass hysteria among status quo cultists over “fake news” really means that the mainstream media’s fake news flock fears competition, in exactly the same way a big mainstream church will disparage a newer or more obscure, at any rate smaller, religion as a “cult”.
Therefore the Leaders among mainstream corporate media are attempting to impose their gatekeeper role upon Facebook, and according to Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony Facebook wants to become part of a propaganda continuity with the NYT model rather than any kind of break with it.

Scholars and critics have been warning of the solipsistic irresistibility of algorithmic news at least since 2001, when the constitutional-law professor Cass R. Sunstein warned, in his book “Republic.com,” of the urgent risks posed to democracy “by any situation in which thousands or perhaps millions or even tens of millions of people are mainly listening to louder echoes of their own voices.”

I’m sure Sunstein makes a point of reading the latest criticism of capitalism each day in order to ensure that his position remains correct.
But the rest of those in the media who propagated their consensus that there was no housing bubble and that housing prices literally would rise forever are now arguing among themselves about what constitutes “fake news”. These same commentators said Wall Street had to be bailed out, and today say there’s no stock bubble and no fracking bubble and that there never really was a housing bubble. In 1929 they all said there was no stock bubble. They all say climate change can be solved by emitting more greenhouse gases and destroying more carbon sinks. They say all currently deployed industrial poisons are safe for people and the environment. They say that the US government’s military presence in the Middle East is a normative law of nature and that Arab and Muslim resistance to this presence has some arcane, perverse basis. They say that the hundreds of times the US has interfered in foreign elections and overthrown elected governments is all normative and above discussion, while the thinnest rumor about Russia influencing a US election is a world-historical crime. They all said Iraq had WMDs and therefore had to be invaded. They still call the general US war around the world a “war on terror” and advertise this as necessary and indeed as a permanent law of nature. Most of them agree there is no US empire, and they all agree this empire is self-evidently good and at any rate a law of nature. They say globalization works for humanity and at any rate is a law of nature. They all agree that health care should be controlled by the profit motive and they all deny that the rest of the industrialized world does things differently and better. They all continue to insist with the strongest emphasis that young people should go into debt to get higher education and they continue to promise good, secure jobs to those who go into debt to obtain these degrees. They all deny that these are all political choices, they say that all these things are laws of nature, and most of all that there is no alternative to any of them.
There’s just a small sampling of Truth according to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Snopes, just to name some of the leading establishment media outlets who comment about Facebook and the news in this NYT piece. They call all this “good information”. Bad information is anything which questions or contradicts this corporate and militarist party line.
Therefore, much of this is the mainstream media’s angst over its imploding authority and its looking for racketeering-style ways to get it back. Here we have the sclerotic Mafia trying to intimidate the rising Colombian and Russian gangsters into some sort of deal.
4. And Zuckerberg says he agrees, in a new “manifesto”:

[Facebook’s] next focus will be developing the social infrastructure for community – for supporting us, for keeping us safe, for informing us, for civic engagement, and for the inclusion of all….

There are questions about whether we can make a global community that works for everyone…Giving everyone a voice has historically been a very positive force for public discourse because it increases the diversity of ideas shared. But the past year has also shown it may fragment our shared sense of reality.

This is nothing more or less than the standard authoritarian Volksgemeinschaft boilerplate which goes back thousands of years. Feel free to read it as par for the mainstream course and/or as portending incipient fascism. Either is correct. It all means reinforcing the corporate mainstream monoculture and suppressing diversity, alternatives, dissent.
The piece goes on to describe Facebook’s commitment to “news literacy” according to the corporate party line and Zuckerberg’s avowal that “a common understanding needs to exist.” To paraphrase Chicago’s mayor Chuck Daley, what Zuckerberg really means is that a common misunderstanding needs to exist. That’s the business of the mainstream media, including social media like Facebook.
5. All this is in the service of the same status quo insanity and evil.

“We’re getting to a point where the biggest opportunities I think in the world … problems like preventing pandemics from spreading or ending terrorism, all these things, they require a level of coordination and connection that I don’t think can only be solved by the current systems that we have,” Zuckerberg told me. What’s needed, he argues, is some global superstructure to advance humanity.

All this, it generally goes without saying in the mainstream media, must be done under corporate control and toward corporate profit goals, from which every other good allegedly will trickle down.
In truth, trickle-down, together with the infinity of fossil fuels and the infinite capacity of the environment to assimilate our assaults upon it, comprise the three core lies of modern civilization. Modern media is dedicated to propagating these three lies and suppressing all news of the reality which contradicts them.
More importantly, everyone knows that systemic risk is maximized by such “global coordination and connection”, and that the inevitable conclusion of globalized corporate civilization is general famine and chaos as industrial agriculture, and everything else which is 100% dependent upon finite fossil fuels, enters its predestined collapse. We also know that neither regional ecosystems nor the global ecology shall stably sustain much more of the destruction this mode of civilization inflicts upon them as its systematic policy. We know that the inevitable kinesis of all this destructive potential shall return the chaos and destruction a hundred-fold upon the head of the civilization which launched the campaign of waste and destruction.
There’s no doubt about the deliberate character of the campaign of destruction or the fact that waste and destruction as such are the intentional goals. For we also know that the only way to lower risks and vulnerability and to preserve stability is to decentralize power and control, build resiliency, build redundancy, build diversity, all in harmony with the natural decentralization, resiliency, redundancy, and diversity of ecology and evolution.
Thus Zuckerberg regurgitates the foundation lie of the extreme destruction model of “civilization”.
The NYT concludes with an approving nod: “This is not an especially controversial idea; Zuckerberg is arguing for a kind of digital-era version of the global institution-building that the Western world engaged in after World War II.”
All we need to change there to make it true is: What the Western world engaged in as its continuation of World War II.
And this globalization war has worked so well for humanity, as the “news” of the likes of the New York Times repeats every single day.
As for abolitionists and any other kind of true dissident, anyone who cares about the future of humanity and the Earth and hears the mission call to propagate the necessary ideas, we see how Big Propaganda, old and new, is trying to come together to suppress us. Part of our mission is to see to it that we exploit every tool social media affords us and seize every opportunity it opens up, but without being co-opted by it or succumbing to the many pathologies inherent to it.
We must do this in a disciplined, coordinated, cumulative, relentless way, according to a coherent strategic and tactical doctrine and always keeping the clear concrete abolition goal directly before our eyes.
Help propagate the necessary ideas.

May 2, 2017

Non-GM Supply Chain Reforms, Their Potential and Their Limits


Cargill is among the most powerful of the commodifiers who receive grain shipments from farmers, variously process the grains, and sell the grain products to food manufacturers. Commodifiers and input suppliers (sellers of seed, fertilizer, and pesticides, such as Monsanto) together maintain control of agriculture and have great power over the food supply. Therefore Cargill’s increasing participation in building a non-GMO supply chain is an important expansion of the restoration of the non-GM conventional sector. Food manufacturers and retailers increasingly have wanted to provide non-GMO products, but theirs is a relatively weak position. It’s very difficult for them to enforce changes in the supply chain from the buyer side. But when key elements of the supply side itself, commodifiers like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, are doing structural work toward building the alternative supply chain, it’ll become much easier for more manufacturers to choose this in deference to the demands of consumers.
This is an example of capitalism trying to save itself by reforming itself. Most of the corporate food chain, at least from manufacturer to end consumer, regards GMOs as a worthless, gratuitous, costly, politically inflammatory imposition upon them. From their point of view Monsanto is nothing but parasitic and predatory.
The response of Monsanto and its cultist fanboys proves once again that they are nothing more or less than religious fanatics and gangsters. They’re capitalists who in their shrill and feverish rhetoric turn against capitalism itself the moment other capitalists, who don’t share their religious commitment to this worthless technology, try to make a profit without it. Cargill’s CEO is quoted: “There’s a growing group of people who don’t want GMO ingredients. So let’s develop a supply chain for that, rather than say, ‘You’re wrong if you don’t want GMOs.’ Our mind-set is we’re going to empathize and understand the consumer on what they want in their food.”
As we’ve long known, “capitalism”, “property”, “contracts”, “satisfying the customer” are not values for the corporations and mean nothing to them. The ideology of these is only a set of lies they use and abuse as convenient toward their real goals of religion and power. We see this with Monsanto in its attacks on Chipotle, Dannon, and others who act in a truly rational capitalist way toward GMOs, treating these merely from the point of view of their profitability. Meanwhile the attitude of the pro-GMO capitalists is one of the best examples of how, contrary to its propaganda, capitalism usually is non-rational and irrational. Of course Cargill is doing this now only from this profit-seeking perspective, and only extreme naivete would see them as “good guys” or something, the way so many did with the Campbell’s PR scam.
(As for the “farmers” whose tweets are quoted in Ken Roseboro’s piece on Cargill, they’re likely paid trolls who may not even be farmers at all. Nor should humanity have any tolerance for the kind of farmer who willingly injects poison into our food, water, and environment. As for the content of their whining, how are they “suppliers” or anything else which implies agency? They’re slaves, 100% of their own volition. They’re willing slaves to Monsanto as well as to commodifiers like Cargill. So if they’re ever discomfited by a difference of opinion among their masters, they have no one to blame but themselves. Meanwhile anyone with a true farmer ethic supports anything which helps break the stranglehold on our food – first abolishing GMOs, then poisons as a whole, and then corporations as a whole. Any true farmer realizes the overriding importance of conserving and rebuilding the non-GM grain supply sector and improving its economy of scale. This is critical for non-GM farming, the organic sector, and most of all the rising community food sector.)
Roseboro’s piece finishes well: “The simple reason is that more and more people don’t want foods containing GMOs. If GMO technology is so great proponents should proudly feature it on food labels instead of trying to hide it and attacking companies and people that don’t want to use or eat the technology’s dubious fruits.” This is self-evident and indisputable. The pro-GMO activists claim to be so proud of their product in theory, yet in practice they’re obviously deeply embarrassed by it and ashamed of it to the point that they don’t want people to know when it’s there. Imagine if what you considered your great affirmative endeavor were so slimy that you had to skulk around in disguise like a pervert in a raincoat slinking into a porn theater.
Strategically, it seems superficially that the labelists are making progress toward their goal of reforming corporate industrial agriculture to purge it of GMOs. By the same token, corporations from Cargill to Dannon to McDonald’s evidently believe that the consumer movement against GMOs really is nothing more than a narrow-minded consumerist campaign, and that the labelists and “anti-GMO” people really don’t care about Food Sovereignty or the community food sector, at best care about the industrial organic sector, and really don’t care about pesticides either, but are just targeting this one product genre and can be appeased by giving them “non-GM” alternatives.
Indeed, a Bloomberg headline goes against common sense when it calls the Non-GMO Project an “anti-GMO group”. Since the Project, along with the rest of the testing sector, depends for its own rationale and funding upon the existence of GMOs and widespread contamination by them, by what logic could they be considered “anti-GMO”? The whole testing sector, and the whole complex of NGOs dedicated to seeking GMO labeling, depends upon co-existence, to use the cartel’s own term. This is simple capitalism and bureaucratic self-perpetuation as well, along with an ingrained ideological tendency inherent to reformism as such. (And of course even this bare minimum of reform has to assume: That it’s possible even now to sustain a non-GM supply chain, given how rampant contamination already is; how with many crops it’s impossible to prevent contamination; and how the very term and concept “non-GMO” keeps being diluted as the allowed level of “adventitious presence” mechanically and inexorably is increased. This is a fraud built into the whole notion of the co-existence of GMOs with non-GM products.)
We who work to abolish corporate industrial agriculture and build Food Sovereignty understand that no reformism within the corporate system or within industrial agriculture is possible or desirable. Therefore while we stand ready to use every opportunity to build community food and to condemn the evils and lies of the corporations and the technocratic cult, we must never be lulled into thinking reform is working well toward the necessary goals, or that it can become a goal in itself.
It’s not possible for corporate industrial agriculture to save itself. Industrial agriculture is doomed physically to collapse. At the same time, in spite of whatever short run calculations are shared by Cargill, the Non-GMO Project, and the labelist faction, in the long run GMOs as a primary mode of control over agriculture, food, and from there all of civilization, are too important for the corporate system to let them go without a war. So while the delays and obstructions forced by the reform campaigns are good, in the long run these won’t suffice. The system will, for as long as it has the power, force GMOs into our food supply and into agricultural and ecosystem genetics.
GMOs are physically totalitarian and politically totalitarian. For both these reasons humanity cannot co-exist with them, and therefore they must be abolished completely. And because industrial agriculture also is physically unsustainable and is guaranteed to collapse completely, even if GMOs could be abolished via the reform route while leaving conventional industrial agriculture in place, this would solve nothing toward the great looming food crisis and the great affirmative need for the global transformation to agroecology.
It’s true that the eventual physical collapse will bring an end to further GMO deployment once and for all and “abolish” them in that way. But until then they will wreak physical and cultural havoc, with incalculable reverberation effects long after Monsanto is dead and buried. Their existential presence will be much like the long run reverberation effects of extreme greenhouse gas concentrations, long after humanity’s artificial emissions have stopped. That’s why it’s insufficient for humanity to wait for the system to collapse. By then the contamination chaos will be wreaking dire, extreme harm, just as with climate chaos. These are among the practical reasons humanity must take its fate in its hands and build the transformation movement of its own free will and abolish corporate agriculture of its own agency, rather than waiting passively for the collapse. That’s in addition to the spiritual need freely and affirmatively to undertake the transformation work.
Unless we want the worst for ourselves and our progeny, we must affirmatively transform. This movement action must go hand in hand with the abolition action. Only this synergy will galvanize our spirit and provide the political basis for the affirmative work to go on in the face of the enemy’s obstruction and repression attempts. The squabbling in the media over “non-GMO” consumerist projects are just that, squabbles within consumerism over petty consumer “choices”. This is a tiny ripple amid the rising flood. Much bigger forces drive and comprise the flood tide, and much bigger forces must be deployed in order for us to swim amid it.

April 30, 2017

The Attack on the Leopold Center and the Destruction of Science


Power dictates what kind of science is done. Most often, research which could benefit humanity is never funded in the first place, and scientists are indoctrinated against seeking to perform such research. Of the potentially infinite number of lines of scientific inquiry, humans can choose only a tiny fraction to pursue. This choice is almost never made on rational/scientific grounds. On the contrary, the choice is made on political and economic grounds and according to political and economic goals. Especially in the modern era of scientific professionalization and specialization, this choice is almost always made by existing political/economic elites. The axiom, “In any era the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class”, is nowhere more true than where it comes to how technology and science are chosen. STEM education takes place within the framework that considers corporate control and corporate profiteering to be normative. This is the water in which it swims, and it’s a rare cadre who even becomes conscious, let alone asks questions.
Less commonly, the system does provide some resources for true scientific inquiry. By this I mean, research which is neutral from the point of view of whether its results will support or condemn capitalist activity. Of course this institutional support is never more than pennies compared to the billions of dollars of public money distributed for avowedly pro-corporate research, i.e. “science” as corporate welfare. But even this piddling amount, which nevertheless is consistently the best investment the establishment ever makes from any objective point of view, is always at great risk of assault by the representatives of corporate power. Today Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is slated to be killed off by rerouting most of its funding.
The Iowa state legislature, owned by agribusiness and presiding over the complete destruction of the state’s communities, economy, soil, and environment, just voted to starve the Leopold Center this way. Advocates of sustainable agriculture and real advocates of science are now trying to get the governor to veto the bill.
The modest amount of legislated funding for the Center will instead be redirected to agribusiness interests. This is typical of the massively lopsided funding structure which is dominant everywhere. Few universities have anything remotely like a Leopold Center in the first place but have always been 100% pro-corporate in their funding and research. The Gates Foundation is typical of pro-corporate “philanthropy” in giving a measly few dollars for what are allegedly “sustainable agriculture” projects. It then touts these for propaganda purposes in order to make its actions look scientific and responsive to the public good even as the vast majority of its disbursements are for pro-corporate projects. In a typical example, in the form of Cornell University’s “Alliance for Science” corporate philanthropy and a corporatized university collaborate to set up a junk science propaganda bureau on behalf of the corporate product genre, GMOs. Much of the funding comes from the Gates Foundation. With such gambits they’re following the longstanding pattern of the US government’s foreign aid scams. Almost all USAID money and “food aid” policy goes to pro-corporate and pro-globalization initiatives. USAID funds cosmetically “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” projects only for propaganda purposes, and once they’re away from the media eye these projects are often scams and always come under agency pressure to conform to corporate norms. See Food First’s World Hunger for copious details of USAID’s chicanery.
What does all this mean? Monsanto and the other giants of agribusiness have extracted massive profits. Why do they need a cent of publicly funded R&D help, let alone such a monumental level of corporate welfare? What’s more, in recent years these corporations have been dismantling their own research programs. This is in fact an admission of the intellectual and scientific bankruptcy of the entire industrial agricultural endeavor. In every reality-based way corporate industrial agriculture is a complete failure at every good it promised to deliver, is obscenely wasteful, and is horrifically destructive of human communities, real economies, the environment, and the soil and genetic basis of all future agriculture.
The only thing propping up the whole destructive mess is the current regime of entrenched power. Governments and corporations have enough concentrated power to enforce the domination of corporate industrial agriculture through economic and physical brute force, and that’s all they have. Even this system of force keeps faltering, and the elites keep being forced to concentrate power even further in order to maintain their brute momentum.
Clearly the day has come where actual technological research has reached the point of total attenuation and diminished returns, while science long ago disavowed industrial agriculture as a destructive failure. The day has come where the elites of the system no longer have any use at all for actual science. When an Iowa legislator flippantly says that the Leopold Center “has completed its mission” he’s speaking far more broadly and profoundly than he knows. Indeed from the corporate point of view all of science has completed its mission. At the same time their use of the idea of “science” as a fraudulent theme for propaganda and organization is becoming increasingly critical. This corporate propaganda project goes with the attempts of the scientism religion to sustain and aggrandize itself. Here we see the core of how corporate power and pseudo-science fundamentalism increasingly find their interests and goals to be identical.
Since power dictates what kind of science is done, it also dictates how truly rational and rigorous the practices are, and how honest and forthcoming the practitioners are about the results. The result is the same age-old practice of power: Establishment “science”, having been chosen to protect and increase the power of elites, is also practiced in order to bring about the elites’ desired result, not the result that rationality in search of truth would attain. The result is then publicized, not in an open, honest, descriptive way, but as a form of political propaganda, with all the usual propaganda methods applied to it, from suppression to secrecy to cherry-picking to distortion to tendentious interpretation to flat-out lies.
Therefore the Cornell Alliance’s pseudo-science is far more typical of today’s corporate science establishment than is any legitimate scientific research. The astronomically lopsided funding imbalance reflects this, assaults on the few legitimate scientific institutions like the Leopold Center reflect this, and most of all the near-consensus among system types that there’s simply no science left to be done at all wherever corporate PR themes are normative reflects this. Cornell and Gates, and the cultist fanboys who sign on to the lists circulated by the Cornell website, are smug in their fundamentalist assurance that whatever the Monsanto PR department decrees is the essence of science, no more and no less.
This is also the religious faith of the pro-corporate cadres and fanboys who “marched for science”. Where are they when it comes time to fight for a beleaguered practitioner of science like the Leopold Center? They’re nowhere to be seen because they’re part of the corporate consensus which believes that science = money and money = science. They’re part of the corporate science paradigm which decrees: Science is nothing more or less than whatever the corporations say it is. By now all of corporate science, which means almost all institutional science, including all research programs, is nothing but propaganda, part of a massive lie machine.
We see the basic fact. Where it comes to agronomic and ecological science, at the very least they don’t want to know. The corporate-dominated system doesn’t want to know, the average scientist and “marcher for science” doesn’t want to know, the average voter doesn’t want to know. If they wanted to know, the Leopold Center wouldn’t be getting the axe. If they wanted to know, the Leopold Center would be far more lavishly funded, and there would be hundreds of university centers just like it. If they wanted to know, they wouldn’t be actively or tacitly supporting Big Ag’s publicly funded lie machine. And this leads us to the fact that the system goes far beyond not wanting to know. It actively, systematically suppresses truth and all legitimate inquiry which would seek truth. The corporate system and the scientific establishment which is its helpmate together comprise a complete culture of the lie.
Therefore it’s easy to see why the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is so odious, not just to corrupt legislators but to the whole culture of scientism and corporate “science”. Its founding mission, as encoded in the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act, is triply scientific in the true sense of the term and therefore abhorrent to corporate science and those who are religiously committed the paradigm:

(1) Identify the negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts of existing agricultural practices, (2) research and assist the development of alternative, more sustainable agricultural practices, and (3) inform the agricultural community and general public of the Center’s findings. It is important to recognize that this mandate creates, by design, a dynamic tension between conventional and alternative forms of agriculture. This tension is a healthy part of the Center’s work; it does not indicate the Center is failing to fulfill its mission or communicate effectively. The Center has a particular responsibility to focus on the environmental problems of agriculture and their solution.

According to the concept of the scientific method there is in fact supposed to be intense, thorough-going dynamic tension within the scientific community as everyone always works to see if they can falsify the work of everyone else. The fact that today’s corporate and scientific establishment and their parrots in the media and among techno-fanboys find such tension and falsification work to be intolerable is proof that there’s little left of legitimate science within the system framework. Within the limits of establishment research and publicity frameworks, we’re currently in a post-science and pre-science era where actual science has no room left. Only when the forces of human and ecological opposition become kinetic and destroy this destructive system will they open up the space for human innovation, including scientific innovation, to resume. But today we live in the time of the total bottleneck. The corporate system will do all it can to prevent every human and ecological attempt to restore the balance and resume human and evolutionary freedom.
Therefore, the Leopold Center is being targeted in part because it challenges the culture of lying and debunks the lies. It debunks the lies of industrial agriculture and exposes its failures and destructiveness. But we can’t stress enough that the Leopold Center’s primary activity is not this direct debunking. Rather, the Center assists and helps fund the rising community food sector which Big Ag rightly sees as its mortal enemy. The Center is targeted for assassination not because of its criticism, but because of its affirmative role toward the necessary great global transformation to agroecology.
Help propagate the necessary ideas.

April 29, 2017

Note on the Rising Ecological Science and Practice


An example of the right idea and correct design.

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

April 28, 2017

You Can’t Keep Scamming People Who Don’t Want to Be Scammed


Corporations and reformers always come together for what matters most.

(This is just a short piece. It’s a foretaste of a longer treatment I have in the works dealing with the pathology of hankering for “more and better testing.”)
We see where the seemingly permanent rut of fetishizing “more data” and “more testing” gets one. After endless begging by people who aren’t capable of understanding what the EFSA’s cover-up means and going from there, the EFSA finally, grudgingly, released a portion of its hitherto “secret science” to a few carefully selected scientist and public advocate recipients. The result, according to Corporate Europe Observatory’s survey of the collaborating scientists:
“The data is very difficult to handle and cannot be used for publication, making it impossible for scientists to use.”
In other words it’s a scam which has found all too many voluntary collaborators and all too few intelligent and principled denouncers. This was predictable and predicted. Any scientist with integrity would boycott this fake “disclosure” and publicly denounce it as a scam, for the exact reasons detailed in this piece.
Here’s a brief description of the EFSA’s “disclosure”: The documents are image PDFs which cannot be machine-searched or used with other software; the documents are grossly redacted, including the summary, methodology and conclusions; the release came with a threat that any recipient who publishes any part of it might be sued by the industry for violating intellectual property law. “So we did not publish it for now…”
To correct the headline, this most definitely is not “better than nothing”, it is worse, nor “could [it] in principle allow limited scrutiny on the agency’s glyphosate assessment work, and some insights”. Why anyone would be willing to settle for “limited scrutiny” is beyond me, but at any rate we see how it doesn’t allow even that, but rather scrutiny skewed according to Monsanto’s specifications.
But instead of dealing with this as the self-evident fraud it is, the piece and the collaborating scientists treat it as some kind of brain teaser.
What’s truly disturbing about even the seemingly more honest and socially responsible scientists isn’t just their bottomless political naivete which allows them to be so easily manipulated this way, but the way incidents like this highlight how existentially corrupt even they are. Any true scientist automatically rejects “secret science” as inadmissible by definition and rejects anything short of 100% public disclosure as unacceptable. This is non-negotiable, and no true scientist or public advocate would collaborate in any kind of fraud which flouts this non-negotiable baseline. But here we see yet again how our “reformers” endorse secret science, consider its existence negotiable and acceptable, and merely decry some “excesses”. Many of them see themselves as part of the technocratic elite and merely want to be accepted by the corporate establishment. That’s why they’re willing to serve as specially selected recipients of otherwise still secret information instead of demanding full public release as non-negotiable. To use a metaphor commonly used by political traitors to describe themselves, they merely want “a seat at the table” and nothing more. This is yet another proof of wanting to make a deal to co-exist with Monsanto.
I’m not aware of any of the specially selected recipients who rejected the release on the grounds I cite here. Evidently Monsanto selected the recipients well.
And to repeat the obvious fact of rationality and political tactics, secret science and covering up the facts is strict automatic proof that whatever evidence the corporations and regulators have is adverse to the product. Therefore the very fact that Monsanto and the EFSA have felt the need to resort to secrecy is proof that they know or suspect glyphosate causes cancer. It’s a clear admission of guilt on their part.
The tactical implications are obvious for anyone who’s really serious about abolishing these poisons and not just blowing smoke. We relentlessly denounce the system for its secrecy and, as I just did here, emphasize how secret science in itself is proof of the harmfulness of the product. As a matter of course we demand complete publication and a complete end to the cover-up. But since we know from history that any concession from the regulator and/or corporation will be fraudulent, we pre-emptively reject, on principle, anything short of full, 100% uncensored public disclosure, and we refuse any cooperation with any such scam. On the contrary, we redouble the condemnation. The EFSA’s fake disclosure only proves further that whatever they’re hiding damns glyphosate.
To restate the basic fact: We have far more than enough evidence which rationally proves that glyphosate causes cancer. By the strict proof of the system’s cover-ups and secret science and systematic refusal to conduct legitimate safety studies we also have proof that governments and corporations know or believe that glyphosate causes cancer. We don’t need more evidence, we need much better and more relentless, disciplined, cumulative communication of the evidence we do have.
This is also true of all other pesticides, all of which are cancer agents. And it’s true of glyphosate’s many other health ravages. And it’s true of GMOs. In these cases as well, the rote call for “more testing”, “better testing”, is at best procrastination on the part of those who have no idea what to do. In many cases it’s worse than this, intentional delaying and gate-keeping tactics.
The only thing the EFSA’s fake disclosure accomplished was to provide yet another lesson in how lukewarm most critics of poisonism still are. The EFSA hopes it’ll also allay some of the weaker-minded criticism and reassure the public. Those who collaborate are trying to assist the EFSA and Monsanto in this.
I’ll close with the observation that this isn’t just about the abolition struggle. Anyone who cares about the integrity of science itself must regard the campaign of secret science as an abhorrent scourge. Here too one must be an abolitionist. At the very least, one must never be weak, wavering, willing to compromise and collaborate on such a fundamental point. This point on secret science is so fundamental that anyone who would compromise here certainly would compromise anywhere and has no firm principle at all. It’s clear, on both practical and principled grounds, that the one and only valid position on “secret science” is total rejection and refusal to countenance anything short of 100% public transparency.
Have I been too severe in this piece? Well, we’ll see if anyone learns a lesson from the incident and publicly expresses that lesson. But if they persist on their “more and better testing” co-existence course, we already know the truth. Persistence Proves Intent, always.
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