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May 30, 2017

For Educational Use, Portier/EFSA Example

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People keep out. Corporate Exclusion Zone.

 
 
We continue to compile information about the fraudulence of the European glyphosate reviews. Chris Portier, a cancer expert who has served with the IARC and participated in its 2015 review confirming that glyphosate causes cancer, has analyzed the EFSA’s partial release of the information upon which it based its review, as well as a 2015 paper disseminated by the industry’s Glyphosate Task Force (GTF). He finds that the German Agency for Risk Assessment (BfR, the agency which carries out Germany’s role as the EU’s “rapporteur state” for glyphosate), the EFSA, and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) all distorted their interpretations of the industry’s own glyphosate studies in order to suppress the studies’ evidence that glyphosate causes tumors in rodents. In fact, the EU agencies now follow the BfR in simply regurgitating the GTF’s talking points where it comes to distorting and suppressing the data.
 
Portier details several elements of fraudulent methodology.
 

* EFSA’s classification of the human evidence as “very limited” is not a valid characterization under the relevant EU law (the CLP guidelines) and fails to properly address the strength of the available evidence;
* Both EFSA and ECHA dismissed positive findings because they fell inside of the range of the historical controls (this is an improper use of historical control evidence);
* Both EFSA and ECHA compared findings across different animal strains and different study durations to conclude that studies were inconsistent (this is not scientifically justifiable); and
* Both EFSA and ECHA characterize the evidence for genotoxicity (DNA damage) as negative, yet a review of the evidence released by EFSA and the open scientific literature suggest there are many studies demonstrating genotoxicity.

 
These are typical of the way regulators distort and suppress the science. As is also typical, the regulatory agencies followed the lead of Monsanto’s GTF in deploying these fraudulent methods. The corporation typically is the mentor and teacher of the regulator
 
 
Therefore we have the latest information for the ongoing political struggle to ban glyphosate, as part of the greater imperative to abolish all synthetic pesticides. Here’s the takeaways.
 
1. All the evidence, including that compiled by the industry’s own tests, consistently finds that glyphosate causes cancer.
 
2. This comes through even in the distorted releases of industry and regulators.
 
3. The regulators regard corporate control of science as normal and normative.
 
4. This includes the new paradigm of “secret science”. But according to the canons of scientific method, science by definition is public. Therefore secret science is a contradiction in terms. If it’s not publicized, it’s not part of the scientific record, period.
 
5. The corporate and regulator lust for secrecy proves, among other things, that the real evidence is even worse than they’ve been forced to let out. The existence of secret science in itself is strict proof that the governments and corporations know or believe that to perform and publicize real science would bring results damning to their products, pesticides and GMOs. It proves that whatever evidence they have condemns these poisons.
 
6. Regulators are not public servants but corporate servants. These agencies are indelibly pro-corporate and always serve the corporation, never the people. This is their real job, while propaganda about public service is just a lie.
 
 
We depart from Portier in the prescription, of course. As an establishment scientist he’s committed to endlessly proposing reforms, i.e. begging the criminals to stop committing crimes. We abolitionists, by contrast, take his findings as further proof that these regulatory institutions are indelibly criminal organizations which never can be redeemed, nor their mandate to “manage” poisonism be reformed. On the contrary, the poisons these agencies “regulate” must be abolished. We’ve had enough of these poisons’ agronomic failure and destruction, enough of their health and environmental devastation, and enough of the political sham.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

May 29, 2017

Abolitionism Part One – The Need for the Movement

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1. People who are serious about agricultural and industrial poisons and who acknowledge that humanity and the Earth cannot “co-exist” with them must commit to the abolition of poison-based agriculture and the global transformation to agroecology and food sovereignty. That means building a true movement, and the first step in such movement-building is propagating the new and necessary ideas. My site is dedicated to these propositions.
 
By contrast we usually see only the call to reform existing corporate institutions, and to do so only within the existing framework of petitioning the government and corporations in various ways, including begging corporate regulatory agencies to change their mandates and become responsive to the people. We have a welter of writings fitting the same pattern. They give what’s often a decent overview of the health, economic, agronomic, and ecological crises being driven by poison-based agriculture.
 
But this almost always leads up to the same anticlimactic, lukewarm conclusion. A typical example runs: “Action is urgently needed to regulate and monitor corporate power to ensure that food sovereignty, the environment, and public health are not further compromised.”
 
Each time this is a call for reformism within the corporate framework, and implicitly against the necessary call to a fully committed abolition movement. Reformism is the call to “co-existence”, which we all know is impossible in the long run. Worse, it validates the corporate framework. I’ve described in dozens of pieces what I call the corporate triangulation template of regulators, the scientific establishment, NGOs, reformists in general. And as we see in the quote above, this reform call always implicitly is willing to grandfather in the existing level of how compromised those values and needs – food sovereignty, environment, public health – already are. This means so-called reformism always accepts the compromised status quo where humanity and the Earth have already lost so much ground, figuratively and literally, and it remains on the defensive. This means reformism always will accept further defeats and at best wants to slow the rate of defeat. This means in the end reformism offers no alternative to complete surrender and destruction. Are they waiting for a god to descend to save them? There will be no such unearthly god. The only salvation will come from within, from the abolition movement.
 
2. “Regulate and monitor” is the ideology and strategy of system NGOs which focus on petitions and public comments to regulators, lawsuits, and the apparently permanent and permanently vague campaign of “public education”. This has been ongoing for decades.
 
But look at the facts: At best this strategy has slowed down the corporate poisoner assault in America, but nowhere has it halted it and started rolling it back. On the contrary, slowly but surely the enemy gains ground.
 
Obviously the status quo is untenable as well as unacceptable on any agronomic, ecological, public health, economic, or political level. Ipso facto, any position thinking in terms of preventing “further compromise”, even if that were possible, is insufficient.
 
3. Therefore regulate-and-monitor could not be effective even if this seemingly lukewarm call really could muster a fighting movement.
 
But more importantly, this is not a call to battle which will resonate with anyone. The evidence is that this is the kind of call which, by its nature, implies that everyone should remain in their pre-assigned positions and roles within the corporate capitalist framework. Therefore it never can muster and organize the latent energies which sometimes inspire large numbers of intrepid, determined people to break out of these pre-assigned roles and form movements in opposition to the existing system.
 
4. Based on my knowledge of history, I forecast that if the deployment of such a critically important sector as agropoisons ever were to be hindered severely enough (i.e., once Monsanto and the US government become fed up once and for all with the obstructionism of regulate-and-monitor), the system will become far more aggressive and lawless than it’s already been in forcing its poisons into the food and ecology. We already see the USDA in the process of abrogating the entirety of its oversight authority toward expanding ranges of poisons.
 
The Trump administration, as part of its continuity with the Reagan-Clinton-Bush-Obama line, is stepping up the aggression and lawlessness. The EPA is being further geared for escalated pro-corporate action. The FDA is being given a pro-GMO propaganda mandate. (This is a far more congenial task for the inherently pro-corporate FDA than the fantasy, so cherished by “anti-GMO” people, of stringent FDA labeling of GMOs. Of course the FDA’s sham GMO regulatory procedure in itself always has comprised pro-GM propaganda.) Reformism brought you Trump in the first place. It will not be sufficient for resisting his escalation of the longstanding corporate campaign. You really don’t like Trump? Then you probably need to change your thinking and your actions.
 
As this continues, regulate-and-monitor will become increasingly untenable even according to its own diminished criteria. At that point the only options left will be a full-scale abolition movement, or else surrender.
 
 
By then it’ll be late in the game to start building such a movement. The time to start is now, among those who can learn from history and prepare ahead of time for its cycles. Indeed the time was years ago, just as I’ve been saying all this for many years now.
 
There was a time for lawsuits and labeling campaigns. (Ironically, the European example labelists like to cite proves something different from what they think: The time for those was in the 1990s, at the outset of the deployment; America missed the boat where it comes to that.) There was a time for exalting the precautionary principle and calling for more and better testing. There was a time for educating the public within the framework of regular system politics and media. And there was a time for campaigners to educate themselves about all the facts of agropoisons and their role in agronomy, politics, economy, religion, science, ecology.
 
But today all these tasks either are complete, or are obsolete, or have been demonstrated to be ineffective, or need to transcend the prior political and philosophical frameworks.
 
Today and going forward is the time wherein humanity must find its soul and its will to organize and fight this global attempt to force an apocalypse of poisoning upon us, our children, our children’s children, and upon the entire life system of the Earth. From a purely secular point of view, not to mention the various religions, we see how the axis of corporate power, government power, and the scientism cult wish to turn the 21st century into a veritable end time for humanity and the Earth. Poisonism, extermination of biodiversity, and forced climate chaos combine to form what’s indisputably a willful, intentional campaign of global destruction for the sake of power. This century will decide once and for all the final question of power. Will humanity redeem itself, or will the corporate persons be the infinite tyrants of tomorrow?
 
Make no mistake: If you’re a flesh-and-blood human being, then a corporate person regards you as literally nothing but a resource to be exploited where profitable, cast out to die where unprofitable, actively killed where a danger. It’s no longer possible for anyone to be innocently ignorant of this, only willfully stupid about it.
 
And therefore we have the absolute need for a full scale social and political movement dedicated to the clear goal of abolishing corporations. This is necessary against every corporate sector. A movement to abolish agropoisons looks like the obvious place for abolitionists to commence and to set the standard for all the necessary action going forward. As for the public education, we see the great need to transcend anything redolent of “regulating and monitoring” so-called “abuses” perpetrated by alleged “bad apples” among a corporate system otherwise inertially and implicitly taken as normal and normative. By now this inertia and implication kills more surely than any physical poison.
 
On the contrary, the message which begins, suffuses, and concludes all thought and communication must be the need to abolish corporate power, in this context starting with poison-based agriculture, before it succeeds in its campaign to destroy us all.
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary abolitionist idea.
 
 
 
 

May 25, 2017

Abolition vs. Regulation

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We have the latest detail in the ongoing exposure of the indelible collaboration of the EPA and Monsanto. The EPA provided talking points to the EFSA to help it dismiss as irrelevant a study showing that glyphosate causes cancer in mice. The EFSA could then rule the evidence out of its glyphosate review. An EFSA officer admitted this in a letter to glyphosate critic Peter Clausing, who has been denouncing the EFSA’s sham “regulation” of glyphosate. Thus we see how the EPA and EFSA work together to defend what they see as Our Thing, the poisons propagated by their corporate clients.
 
Just another stone to add to the Everest of proof that the regulators are inherently pro-poison. This particular act, like almost all such acts, was not “corruption”. It was standard, everyday, banal procedure, in accord with the institutional ideology and mandate. The only corruption we can meaningfully speak of is the fact that, relative to all canons of human morality and reason, pro-corporate regulation is existentially corrupt. But as for de jure “corruption”, that’s nothing more than a drop in the ocean.
 
 
As for those who retain faith in the idea of such regulation, it’s bizarre how someone can, day after day, read and comment on pieces, each of whose content boils down to “the EPA is fundamentally pro-pesticide and pro-GMO” or “the FDA is pro-GMO”, and yet simultaneously hold the faith that such regulatory agencies are basically good, sound institutions, there to serve the people, institutions which humanity needs to have. Underlying this is the prior, unspoken assumption that the thing being regulated, such as pesticides and GMOs, also is something basically good, just in need of regulation. Faith in the regulator is a manifestation of wanting to co-exist with Monsanto and its poisons.
 
Abolitionism denies this implicit, primary proposition, renders it explicit, and from there denies the secondary, surface, “political” proposition. Therefore we reject today’s political configuration and call for a new one.
 
We recognize that it’s impossible to “regulate” poisonism, impossible to “manage” it, there can be no “tolerance level” of it, and therefore it’s intrinsically impossible for an institution dedicated to such regulation, management, setting of tolerances, to play any constructive role.
 
We cannot “regulate” agricultural poisons, we need to abolish them completely.
 
 
 
 

May 13, 2017

The Corporations are Driving Forced Migrations and Genetic Contamination

Filed under: GMO Contamination — Tags: , , — Russ @ 8:13 am

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Long ago the US government and Western corporations launched their attack on the human innovation, freedom, and ecology of Latin America. NAFTA was a significant escalation of this war of aggression. Mexico’s courts remain a rare support for resistance to this assault, though we abolitionists must never count on any court.
 
Independence is not the opposite of community, but a precondition of it, where it means the lack of dependency upon distant, unaccountable, alien entities. People who are dependent on centralized hierarchies whose interests and knowledge are alien to the community can never be free or secure within that community, but every day face centrifugal pressures driving them away from one another and into conflict with one another. These forces often physically destroy the community and drive the people literally off their land.
 
There’s another kind of relationship, interdependence, where we work with the land and its fruits which sustain us. The stability of this relationship is a precondition for broader political and economic independence. Only where we control the land and the food it produces can we enjoy political and economic independence. At the opposite extreme, no dependency could be more productive of absolute helplessness than to lose our ability to control and rely upon the land, instead being forced into thralldom to a centralized agricultural and food system which has no knowledge of agriculture or food and cares nothing about them, which cares for nothing but its own power and profit. To be dependent upon such a system is slavery.
 
Mexico is reeling from the blows of corporate assaults in many sectors. US agribusiness has been the most aggressive in its drive to commodify Mexican agriculture, seize control of the land, and drive the millions of small farmers who depend upon this land off of their land and into a vastly more profound dependency upon the pure whims and chance of a cruel, vicious globalization system.
 
One of their core tactics is the forced colonization of GMOs around the world. Land-grabbing and commodification is the primary operational assault of technocracy. GMOs are designed to render land-grabbing and commodification quickly profitable within the government subsidy framework. As the most exalted and idolized technology of governments today GMOs are the recipients of complete subsidy and policy protection. This complete subsidization by the taxpayers is the only thing which renders this otherwise unprofitable and worthless product viable at all.
 
Mexico, ravaged by NAFTA, has been relatively resistant to GMO proliferation. In spite of the support of several government agencies, citizen campaigns have won public support and court victories which have so far staved off the commercialization of GM maize.
 
Maize is a storied crop in Mexico, prominent in mythology and folklore and central to the Mexican national vision. A popular saying goes, “Sin Maiz, No Hay Maiz”: “Without Corn, There is No Country”. Maize is the core food and retail crop for millions of small farmers and their families who depend upon it for their food, livelihood, freedom, and community.
 
Because maize is a wind-pollinated crop, it is one of the crops most easily cross-pollinated by other varieties. To maintain the genetic integrity of a landrace or variety requires strict precautions on the part of the farmer and a relative lack of cross-pollinating influences. Even though GM maize has not yet been legally approved in Mexico, transgenic contamination of indigenous varieties began quickly following NAFTA, from GM seed which was mixed into the maize shipments the US immediately began dumping in Mexico. This infiltrated seed was planted and its pollen then spread with the wind, contaminating ears of other varieties, whose seed was then planted, and so on in a gradually expanding process of contamination.
 
This demonstrates two truths. One, within a commodification framework it’s impossible to keep supply chains segregated. The commercial debacle with Syngenta’s Viptera maize contaminating US maize shipments to China, resulting in the loss to US traders and farmers of billions in sales, legally is an ongoing case. Two, once GM varieties of a crop like maize are released into the environment, it’s impossible to prevent their contaminating non-GM varieties. These are two proofs that “co-existence” is physically impossible. It’s also politically impossible, which is demonstrated here by the relentless struggle on the part of the cartel to force this product upon a society which does not want it.
 
Ignacio Chapela and David Quist first documented this contamination in 2001. The Mexican government confirmed the contamination shortly afterward. In spite of this documentation, the corporate flacks and their fanboys have never stopped slandering Chapela and telling the direct lie that there’s no GM contamination of maize in Mexico. This is an excellent example of how all pro-GM activism is based on nothing but bald-faced lies, and more profoundly on an absolute contempt for the very idea of truth or falsehood, fact or fiction. This contempt for fact is rampant among engineers and even among scientists ever since the corporate science paradigm, which can be summed up as “science, and truth itself, are nothing but what the corporate marketing department says they are”, has become dominant over organized science and technology development.
 
Subsequent studies have traced the spread of transgenic contamination across large swaths of the country (see p. 17 of the link). This gradual genetic corruption and depletion has been ongoing while no GM maize is being legally grown. This is thanks to the citizen campaign organized by Accion Colectiva (Collective Action), an alliance of farmers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, consumers, and civil society advocates, all acting cooperatively as public citizens. Their suit argues that the government allowed field trials and is rushing to approve commercialization without having conducted the safety and contamination tests and environmental reviews required by Mexican law and the constitution, Article 27 of which requires protection of genetic biodiversity as a common good.
 
 
Mexico is one of the world centers of maize origin and diversity. The future of the crop depends to a great extent on the genetic integrity of the maize landraces of Mexico and other parts of Latin America, as well as the integrity of teosinte, the wild relative from which maize evolved. The maize independence of humanity is dependent upon this genetic spring, while the corporate stanching of this spring would kill all food independence.
 
Transgenic contamination is a major problem and is getting worse. But we must place it in the context of the bigger, longer arc of the genetic depletion of agriculture. The genetic diversity of maize has been steadily suffering constriction and depletion over the last century.
 
The more narrow and depleted a crop’s genetic range becomes, the more vulnerable the crop is to pests, weed pressure, disease, drought, flooding, adverse soil conditions, weather, and climate. An early disaster was the 1970 Southern Leaf Corn Blight which wiped out as much as 50-100% of the crop in regions of the US. A subsequent National Research Council investigation pegged the precarity of the maize gene pool as the cause of the wide vulnerability of the crop. Specifically, a gene for male sterility (the T cytoplasm gene) bred extensively into most varieties of the crop (as a “labor-saving”, i.e. job-destroying, feature for the harvest of seed corn) had the collateral effect of rendering plants which carried the gene more vulnerable to the blight. In spite of this early warning shot over the bow, the genetic uniformity and depletion has only gotten worse since then.
 
The 1970 episode also provides a stark demonstration of what can happen if a particular crop gene is bred into the bulk of the crop varieties and deployed very quickly over a vast geographic range without any precautionary assessment of possible harmful collateral effects. In fact by the late 1960s many agronomists were becoming uneasy about the ubiquity of the T cytoplasm gene, and some were predicting a pandemic like the one that hit in 1970. Here the gene was conventionally bred. But the same principles apply even more ominously in the case of GMOs, since the transgenic insertion process is far more likely than conventional breeding to generate harmful mutations. GMOs, combining the worst of both worlds – pivotal conditions of genetic uniformity along with uniquely chaotic genetic unpredictability – are recklessly being deployed as fast as possible over unprecedented geographic ranges.
 
Like with most other evils of GMOs, transgenic contamination is an escalation of an existing malign trend in corporate agriculture, the depletion of agricultural germplasm. Corporate control of agriculture was endangering the future of humanity in this way prior to GMOs and would be doing so in their absence. GMOs are just making it worse.
 
All this is just one refutation of the standard lies that GMOs are supposed to comprise a solution to pests, drought, and other crop afflictions. On the contrary, by accelerating the process of genetic narrowing and depletion GMOs render agriculture ever more vulnerable to every kind of affliction.
 
The GMO biological assault on maize is part of a wider economic assault on small farmers and their communities. GMOs accelerate the corporate agricultural process of driving great masses of people off the land. The goal is corporate enclosure and control of the land in order to eradicate regionally based production of food for human beings and replace it with globalized commodity production for profit. GMOs are intended to aggravate and accelerate this great evil of corporate agriculture.
 
In Mexico, the process of land-grabbing, dumping, and enclosure of the land in favor of vast commodity plantations is forcing the migration northward of effectively stateless economic refugees. This process too has been ongoing for decades and was escalated by NAFTA. The commercialization of GM maize would escalate it further. I’ve written extensively about how GMOs are an impossible technology for small farmers, which for them can never be anything but an assault and an often deadly trap.
 
Whenever you see someone in America complaining about the northward migration of Mexicans, remind them that this is a forced migration driven by US globalization policy. The big corporations profit in two ways: The agribusiness corporations seize control of the land in Mexico, while by forcing this migration all corporate sectors benefit from how it further drives down wages in the US. As always and everywhere, the corporation is the enemy of humanity.
 
I briefly traced here a few of the long arcs of the corporate threat to humanity’s future. The biological and genetic threats posed by GMOs and the broader genetic engineering project are among the most dire. Those fighting in Mexico are fighting for the independence, freedom, and health of us all. Such grassroots groups, organizing people from every walk of life as public citizens to fight corporate power and thwart the attempt to impose corporate domination, are the only groups fighting today for freedom and community. The bell tolling for the assassination attempt on Mexican community independence, via assault on the genetic basis of our food, is tolling for all of us, everywhere, as we face the same assault wherever we are, whatever we eat. We must abolish corporate agriculture.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

May 12, 2017

“Fake People”

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

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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

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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

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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 8, 2017

You Can’t Get There With Existing Electoralism

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People who say they want radical change are complaining about the French election. But why would you expect any such change via electoralism? Electoralism is an entrenched institution and establishment religion which inherently encourages a conservative mindset and attracts conservative people.
 
(Here I’m using the word “conservative” not to denote a particular political ideology, but rather the overall mindset which is timid, fears change, and above all doesn’t want to rock the boat. Of course today’s liberals and “progressives” are by definition conservative in this way, as well as sharing the same ideology and policy array as the nominal conservatives. And the actions of self-described “leftists” and “radicals” proves that most of them as well are such conservatives.)
 
This is part of why superficial alternatives such as Melenchon or Corbyn or Sanders have the system stacked against them. There’s a mismatch between the self-claimed will to disruption and the inherent conservatism of today’s electoralism as such. It’s why such alleged alternatives are likely to be frauds, as Sanders telegraphed from day one of his campaign with his unconditional pledge to support Clinton and to work to deliver his supporters to her. And it’s why even where the alternative wins an election, such as Syriza in Greece, they turn out to be a combination of con artist and coward: They can “come to power” in the first place only through such a compromised and compromising process, and almost no one has the single mind, the will, and the guts to use a compromised tool to get part of the way toward where they need to go and then discard it as soon as they reach that intermediate goal.
 
As always, we see again that it’s impossible to build a truly revolutionary political party other than by growing it from the soil of an ongoing, coherent, active cultural and spiritual movement.
 
This is why there will never be an authentic candidate of change arising from the existing system. I’ve always said this, for both “left” and “right” alternatives, and I remain perfect in my record of predictions.
 
 
 
 
 

May 6, 2017

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

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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.
 
 
2.

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.
 
 
3.

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

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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.
 
 
 
 
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