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July 29, 2018

Notes on the Industrial Organic Sector

 
 
1. A few years back there were some false rumors, which may have started as satire, that Monsanto was buying Whole Foods Market. This stemmed from the fact that Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield and others joined with Obama’s secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack to try to make a “co-existence” deal with Monsanto over Roundup Ready alfalfa. This was a backdoor way to try to water down organic standards. The USDA always has wanted to include GMOs within the organic standards, and the industrial organic sector, reliant as it is on the “natural” label scam, has no objections. Lots of rhetoric followed which eventually led to the false rumors. The prosaic truth is that industrial organic is industrial first and organic a distant second. The sector is not committed to anything beyond what it sees as effective marketing and profiteering. WFM’s CEO at the time Jeff Mackey openly said that WFM touts “organic” and “natural” purely as a marketing gimmick, and he explicitly repudiated any ecological or public health philosophy beyond that. This mirrors the USDA’s appraisal of its own organic certification program: According to the agency organic food is no better or healthier than poison-based food, but is merely a kind of lifestyle ornament.
 
What’s not a rumor is the fact that BASF and Cargill are members of the Organic Trade Association. Nor is this a surprise, as the OTA represents the industrial sector and shares the USDA/WFM view of organic agriculture and food as merely a branding device. That’s why the OTA consistently has worked to water down NOSB standards, and that’s why it supported the 2016 DARK Act which put a stake in the heart of the GMO labeling movement by co-opting it in a sham fashion, as I predicted for years would happen.
 
2. Many system NGOs are dedicated to performing a pro-corporate, pro-globalization triangulator role. Some oppose pesticides and GMOs but want FDA control of produce, or of GMO labeling. Some oppose pesticides and GMOs but support expanded use of synthetic fertilizers, themselves a major pollutant, driver of climate change, and basis of pesticide monoculture. In reality it’s not possible to support synthetic fertilizers and not effectively support the entire apparatus of agribusiness and poison-based agriculture. Even the USDA organic certification acknowledges this.
 
In the guise of debunking some pro-GMO lies they reinforce others and in general reinforce the lies of corporate industrial agriculture, commodity farming, and globalization. In the course of it they implicitly attack Food First and other organizations truly dedicated to fighting hunger, and who document and publish the truths of food production and economics. Just like how industrial organic’s lobbying arm Just Label It stressed labeling but supported GMOs on other points, as well as supporting corporate agriculture and food as such, with the eventual result I predicted for years: In 2016 the labeling strategy reached its logical end with the passage of what I called DARK Act Plan B.
 
This reflects the industrial organic agenda. This globalized commodity sector: 1. Opposes food-based agriculture, just as much as the GM cartel and any other commodity sector does. 2. Joins hands with Monsanto in trying to suppress the facts and propagate lies about food production, the environment, and hunger. 3. It diverges from the GM/pesticide cartel on some specifics regarding GMOs. (But not on fertilizer.) These seem to be chosen cynically, with an eye toward continuing to receive some corporate funding. Thus EWG refutes the “feed the world” lie where it comes specifically to GMOs but supports this big lie in general, while Just Label It supported the lie that GMOs have been tested and found to be safe.
 
All this is intended to serve a gate-keeping function, since any real abolition movement would be a threat to: 1. Industrial organic’s leadership of the food movement, 2. The sector’s very existence, which after all is just as dependent on corporate welfare, the parasite paradigm, the whole globalization system.
 
As far as the official certification, organic is nothing more or less than what the USDA says it is, by definition. When the USDA issued its original proposal for an organic certification in the 1990s, this proposed rule would have allowed GMOs to be certified “organic”. Only massive pressure from farmers and consumers forced them to back down and rewrite the standard to exclude GMOs. But the agency has not changed its mind about thinking they should be allowed, just as it has never changed its official opinion that organic agricultural practices and food are no safer or healthier but just add up to a set of “lifestyle” products. The USDA’s basic position on GMOs is that they’re not only safe but normative, and that the environment and food system should maximally be contaminated and transformed. (They would say “improved” or something similar; they call GM seeds “improved seeds”.) They’ve not only approved every GMO application without exception but are doing all they can to declare whole classes of GMOs to be outside their jurisdiction and unregulatable. It’s not every day you see a bureaucracy voluntarily giving up vast swathes of its power. Only extreme ideology could drive such a thing.
 
So much for the USDA. As for industrial organic, the likes of Jeff Mackey openly say that they subscribe to no organic philosophy but view the whole thing as a marketing ploy. Gary Hirshberg never misses a chance to try to euthanize activism, like with his endorsement of the QR code as an allegedly acceptable labeling compromise*. And although the Fabers were unable to reach a deal with Vilsack and the GMA in January 2016, they rushed out to justify the basic paradigm of secret elite conclaves toward some “compromise” which then can be handed down to the people. So there’s the basic attitude of the economic and cultural elites of the movement. As for standard practice, just look at the “natural” scam which is near-universal among them. If they’re willing to surreptitiously sell you GMOs and Roundup in your food (at a premium, no less!) while calling it “natural”, they’d certainly love to do the same by calling it “organic”. They’ve already slipped such poisons as gut-busting carrageenan into the certification standards.
 
Their most clear-cut political ploy was the attempted “co-existence” deal over GM alfalfa which Vilsack tried to broker between the industrial organic sector and Monsanto. The USDA itself in its Environmental Impact Review admitted that over the long run GM alfalfa cannot co-exist with non-GM. This means that legalizing the GM product is tantamount to rendering much of certified organic meat and dairy untenable – unless the standard is changed to allow some level of GM presence in the hay. Obviously Vilsack, WFM, Stonyfield, etc. knew this when they tried to make the deal. So unless one thinks they want certified organic meat and dairy to cease to exist, the only alternative is that they want to see the organic certification standard changed to allow GMOs.
 
Why would industrial organic do such things? In their perfect world, they could sell the same industrial junk but slap the “organic” brand on it and charge a premium. They already do exactly that with the term “natural” (which is why they’re hostile toward any labeling policy like Vermont’s which would end this terminological scam). They cherish the same desire as that of the USDA, to allow GMOs under the “organic” name. That’s why they always felt dissonance and ambivalence toward the idea of GMO labeling. They got involved only as a PR campaign. But as we saw with the history of JLI, AGree, etc., what they really wanted was to control and manage the labeling campaign, in the same way EPA “manages” Roundup and dioxins, and mainstream environmental groups help the corporations manage ecological destruction. They want to control it in such a way that they get the PR benefit while forestalling any reality of a strong, honest labeling policy. JLI, Hirshberg and the GMA are Roundup-burnt peas in a pod.
 
We’ve seen how in response to the Steve Marsh lawsuit there was a major propaganda campaign to the effect that Australia’s organic standards are too strict and need to be relaxed to allow some level of “adventitious presence”. The OTA and the industrial organic sector are leading same campaign in the US. Anywhere this relaxation is enacted, the level of contamination allowed under the standard then will begin a mechanical upward creep, in exactly the same way that pesticide “tolerances” are mechanically raised by regulators as more pesticides are used.
 
That exact same mechanical raising of the allowed level of GM presence also will occur with any labeling policy which is ever enacted, which is one of the reasons why labeling was the wrong idea in the first place. In Europe the 0.9% standard is under strong pressure from the industry to be raised.
 
*The whole attitude that “compromise” is possible and desirable is the same as to say that “co-existence” with Monsanto and GMOs is desirable, and that it’s physically possible at all.
 
3. Some people are more interested in premium niche marketing than in the food sovereignty and abolition imperatives. In many cases it’s obvious, as in the long and ongoing history of small organic companies selling out to big conglomerates. No doubt they’d often claim they were under financial duress and had no choice, and maybe once in awhile that’s true. The system is heavily stacked against healthy, ecological farming and food.
 
But far more often it’s simply taken for granted on an ideological level that a successful entrepreneur sells out at some point to a big corporation. Most entrepreneurs seem to regard this as a “natural” part of some kind of business life cycle, in the same way we physically go from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. But this conventional capitalist mindset cannot coexist with the ecological philosophy and imperative, any more than non-GM crops can coexist with GM for long in the most physical sense.
 
4. Is the USDA organic certification a decadence?** People with money are willing to pay more for what’s good (or at least better) while tolerating the general deterioration, rather than resolving to put an end to what’s bad so we can all have what’s good? I’m fighting to abolish poison-based agriculture and build food sovereignty. I regard the place of organics only from a strategic and tactical point of view. But I’m certain that the goal itself isn’t to expand organics alongside the poison system. That’s impossible anyway. Coexistence is impossible, and if the poison system continues, the organic sector must eventually cease to exist in all but name, if that.
 
Foodies and corporate executives and shareholders alike (often the same people) think humanity (at least moneyed humans) can co-exist with GMOs, pesticides, climate change, etc. For them organic food, electric cars, etc. add up to an island. Monsanto’s CEO thinks he and his people eat separate food, drink separate water, breathe separate air, inhabit a separate ecology. But Certified Organic is not an island, it cannot co-exist (physically or politically) with poison-based agriculture and a poisoned environment, steadily it will be eroded, degraded, corrupted, and soon will cease to exist except in name only, if things keep going the way they are.
 
**There are several attempts underway to promulgate non-governmental organic standards which improve upon the USDA certification. These include the Real Organic Project (designed to overcome many of the abusive features of the USDA standards) and Certified Naturally Grown (designed to be more affordable for small direct retail organic farmers; the USDA system is geared to the big industrial operators). Whether any of these is a big improvement depends on the good faith of all the participants, from farmer to certifier to customer.
 
5. I write mostly about a general mindset and strategy. Most of what I write is geared to organizational and philosophical matters, not as much directly to consumer matter. But for the kind of buying follows from that, I practice and recommend doing the best one can within that framework. Buy the best you can afford, the rules being that local is better than commodified, smaller better than bigger, committed to real values rather than mercenary (especially insofar as you can perceive the mentality and goals of a producer and/or seller – is it a way of life or do they have a mini-Monsanto mentality?), organic/agroecological better than not.
 
It’s true that big corporate buyers can help all producers of non-GM crops, for food and feed, scale up to the necessary level where the products are broadly affordable for the community food sector. In other words, the more non-GM corn is bought for a big retailer’s store brand processed stuff and for their CAFO sourcing, the more affordable it will also become for small direct retail farmers to use as feed. So if producers of non-GM grain etc. saw themselves as just using the corporate sourcing toward the real goal of community sector rebuilding and stuck with that goal without becoming corrupted, the corporate sourcing would be a helpful springboard. On the other hand the more everyone, including “organic” types, see themselves as part of the same commingled commodity economic paradigm as the corporate system, the more they’ll obey the dictates of the big buyers, and the more they’ll have the time-serving house-flipping mindset that they’re only doing this for a period before they get to sell out. In that case the corporate ideology and commodity practice will completely dominate, the community food sector’s development will be hindered rather than boosted, and in the end the quality of the organic consumer product will be degraded completely like I described above.
 
6. If there arose a real movement to rebuild healthy, democratic agriculture and food, the Community Food movement and economic sector as I call it, this sector could use corporate sourcing to help scale itself up to the necessary level where wholesome food became affordable for everyone, and non-GM feed was readily affordable to direct retail farmers. The sector could build out the input and processing infrastructure it mostly lacks and badly needs. I stress, the necessary level of scaling up and building out and no bigger, based on sustainability and distribution within its own watershed and foodshed. That’s a core measure of whether such a movement exists: Is the goal to produce affordable real food for human beings, while seeking revenue only in order to support this goal and support oneself? Or is it the same old capitalism, with profit and “growth” for their own sakes (and eventually cashing in, selling out to a big buyer) the real goal, while participants just pretend to do the best they can as far as the product?
 
Obviously the big corporate buyers don’t care about these goals and want to prevent all this from being built. Which leads to the corollary that if the movement I described above doesn’t exist, if people don’t have that mindset, then not only will corporate control of the organic sector (and of much of the organic movement’s politics as well) continue to escalate, but the depressing pattern of small organic producers offering themselves to be bought up will continue. In that case the big corporate controllers eventually will erode and then gut the organic standards themselves, and that will be the end of the whole thing. They’ll do that as soon as they’re able. We already know, for example, that industrial organic is industrial first and organic second, and that they share the USDA’s goal of allowing GMOs to qualify under the “organic” standards.
 
7. Therefore I’m also not sure about even the industrial organic brands. To the extent the mindset of Food Sovereignty and building the Community Food sector actually exists, and to the extent that the growth of the organic sector helps expand and render economically more viable non-GMO sourcing for animal feed and similar staples which can then be used to build the Community Food sector – its inputs, products, and processing infrastructure – to the extent these are true, industrial organic can be a stepping stone for us.
 
But this boils down to the first question, to what extent does the Food Sovereignty mindset, as part of the public citizen mindset, actually exist, as opposed to the same old private-individual-is-an-island mindset which, even where it comes to organic and localized agriculture and food, thinks primarily in terms of “growth” and eventually selling out to a buyer.
 
And since that’s the primary question, it follows that the first necessary priority of a Food Sovereignty movement is to build this mindset, propagate knowledge of it, encourage it, recruit to it, organize on the basis of it.
 
 
 
 
 

January 11, 2018

“Heal the World” is Nothing But Camouflage for Eugenics

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They do like the word “medical”

 
 
British environmental secretary Michael Gove publicly calls for animal eugenics. This is often disguised by rhetorically masking the straight eugenic aspirations with alleged “medical” applications. In Gove’s case he’s explicit about the eugenics as well:
 
“Gene editing technology could help us to remove vulnerabilities to illness, develop higher yielding crops or more valuable livestock…Food in abundance, improved health, greater longevity.”
 
We see in just a few words: The “Feed the World” big lie, its companion “Heal the World” lie, and the intrinsic affinity of supposed medical goals of high-maintenance technology with the most far-reaching eugenic goals. Animal eugenics is a midpoint in technocracy’s plan to move from the deployment of agricultural GMOs to genetically modifying animals for “medical” and eugenic purposes (technocracy never pretends to recognize a dividing line here) to alleged medical treatments for humans based on genetic modification to a full-scale campaign of human eugenics based on genetic engineering. These comprise a seamless continuum.
 
But many critics of agricultural GMOs on the one hand and eugenics on the other nevertheless think you can mix and match parts of this unitary plan.
 
“The backlash to Mr Gove’s speech continued with campaign group GM Watch accusing him of ‘disingenuously’ mixing medical applications of genome editing for curing diseases with editing of animals.”
 
Lukewarm outfits like GMWatch think you can separate the alleged “medical applications” of technocracy from eugenics. But history proves this is impossible, and the engineers themselves often have admitted that the propaganda of the former is just a stalking horse for the latter.
 
“Heal the World” is the exact same lie, in the exact same form, as “Feed the World”. Just as with food, we already have sufficient medical knowledge and production. The only problem is lack of access to health care because people lack money and have lost the skills to tend to their own health. Here in America, single payer would do infinitely more good for human health and well-being than billions more $ spent on hi-tech treatments which even if they worked could benefit only a handful. The Goves of the world are abetted by general adherence, even on the part of most spot critics of things like GMOs*, to the technocratic ideology which believes humanity needs extremely expensive high-maintenance technology for everything. It’s bizarre to see those who oppose agricultural GMOs turn around and support the scam of “medical” GM even though it’s based on all the same lies and the same pernicious ideology.
 
[*This is one of several indications that most “anti-GMO” people are similar to what the pro-GMO activists say about them, that they’re motivated not by any coherent philosophical principle but by a flukish emotional reaction. The best evidence of this is how the movement always has had a strong tendency to remain within the bounds of consumerism and has been “political” only within those bounds. Just Label It had to do relatively little gatekeeping.]
 
“Heal the World” is part of the ideology that medicine isn’t supposed to prevent illness and promote health, but rather is supposed to wait for illness to happen (which fits perfectly with the agrochemical agenda) and then “cure” or “manage” it in the most expensive, high-maintenance technological way possible. Indeed when we recognize the promiscuous deployment of GMOs in the environment and food as a massive uncontrolled feeding and exposure experiment, we must go further and conclude that the scientific establishment actively is seeking to cause epidemics of cancer, birth defects, autoimmune diseases, and other maladies in order to gather data toward its projected future controlled eugenics experiments.
 
At the core of scientism ideology remains the belief that there’s really no such thing as “health” vs. “ill-health”, and that cancer is just a different state of an organism, not “worse” than lack of cancer. This article of faith hasn’t recently been so explicit as it was in the 19th century, but it remains one of the fundamentals of the scientism-technocracy cult.
 
The faith of the lukewarm GMO critics that one element of the genetic engineering crusade, alleged medical treatments, can be removed from its ideological and institutional context (we see how the anti-GMO people themselves tend to be the same mirror-image reductionists as the pro-GM activists) and serve as a constructive part of a medical system still based on managing disease dovetails well with their worship of regulators. Technocratic regulatory agencies also want to “manage” the deployment of poisons and the amount of human cancer and ecological destruction these cause instead of preventing all this in the first place. With this affinity, faith in the technocratic medical model and faith in the technocratic regulatory model, in both cases faith in the model of managing poisons rather than abolishing them, we see what’s fundamentally a statist religion. This explains the limits of most anti-GMO/pesticide thought and action so far, and why it seems impossible even to get small abolitionist propagation organizations going.
 
 
Meanwhile we must take our health into our own hands. The corporate-technocratic system based on extreme energy consumption and extreme assaults on the environment soon will collapse from the unsustainability of both of these campaigns. The system also is economically liquidating the people, so even if medical treatments based on high-maintenance technology and high-energy consumption were physically sustainable, the vast majority of us are or soon will be financially excluded from these.
 
What can we small mammals do for our health while dodging the dinosaurs?
 
1. Any of us could take our health into our own hands to a large extent with some affirmative and preventative education and effort. Eating wholesome food, living a physically active lifestyle (sedentarism combined with going to the gym is a poor substitute at best), renouncing the artificial stress inherent to the consumption-based lifestyle, knowledgeable use of medicinal herbs for prevention and treatment, use of other alternative and traditional medicine, are key elements of tending to our own health and well-being and that of our communities. (This dovetails with the necessary work to abolish the most health-destructive industrial projects, none of which are necessary for any aspect of human well-being, all of which are 100% destructive of it.)
 
2. Much of the treatment necessary we also can do for ourselves and one another, where necessary in tandem with the basics of modern medicine where these are still available.
 
3. These basics include basic sanitation, regular doctor practices, low-tech medicines, etc. To say again, all these easily and inexpensively could be arranged with a single payer system, or by restoring the original fee-for-service patient-doctor relationship. That’s just a reminder that to the extent one remains politically active as a would-be reformer, here too the real solutions are always basic and low-tech.
 
4. By contrast, the truly expensive, “hi-tech” treatments become necessary only in a small number of cases, and mostly for conditions that could have been prevented in the first place. For example, the need for ever more high-maintenance antibiotics and vaccines is driven by the corporate system’s deliberate creation of pathogens resistant to these. The whole notion that health care needs to be expensive, bureaucratic, controlled by any kind of insurance model, is the hi-tech tail wagging the social dog. But this is for the benefit of Wall Street, agribusiness, Big Drug, biotech, the health insurance racket, and government control over the people. It’s for the aggrandizement of technocracy as such.
 
 
While the eradication of disease will never be possible, if we use all we’ve learned of basic public health principles, the nutritional and medicinal uses of food and herbs, and and if we put a stop to those poisoning our environment, we certainly can greatly minimize it.
 
All the good and necessary measures are low-energy, low-tech. These also will be the only possible measures going forward. The lie of “healing the world” with high energy high-maintenance technology like gene editing is nothing but smoke covering technocracy’s control and domination agenda. Needless to say, eugenics for animal agriculture is the same as GM crops in having no constructive use and no future.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

January 9, 2018

Japan is Buying at the Peak of the Bubble

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

November 23, 2017

Ecological Thanksgiving

Filed under: Agroecology, American Revolution, Dance of Death, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , — Russell Bangs @ 10:58 am

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The Earth is a fount of great abundance.
 
Human ingenuity can render this fount even more abundant. Agroecology is the supreme example, the greatest human accomplishment.
 
Nature’s bounty augmented by human thought and labor provide all that humanity needs and all it can sanely want.
 
The only problem, ever, is human insanity, human depravity, which convinces itself it wants more than the abundant Earth ecologically offers. This has always been the source of all human evil and all human destructiveness. This insanity is pure nihilism, pure loathing of the womb and of oneself.
 
Temporarily aided by the one-off fossil fuel binge, this anti-human loathing of humanity and the Earth has been able to ramify itself in the form of the corporate-technocratic extreme energy civilization. As if their insanity and evil weren’t enough, they even whine that not everyone shows sufficient “gratitude”.
 
On the contrary, it’s these traitors against Gaia and humanity who incarnate the blackest ingratitude, the most capital treason, against all that this wonderful, beautiful, magical Earth has offered us. If only all people had been willing to live in peace, we could all know peace and happiness. But there are such vermin who refuse to live in peace, and humanity and the Earth will never know peace until Earth is purged of this infestation.
 
 
Ecological history will prevail, and Gaia shall impose the correction she always does in the end. Humanity can participate by building the abolitionist movement.
 
We can best live our thanks to Earth by propagating the necessary new ideas and building this movement. This is the great focus of human life for the next two centuries.
 
On this day of Thanksgiving we can thank abundant Earth and consecrate our lives to our gratitude. Earth is the basis of life itself. Only those who choose to march with death deny this.
 
There’s nothing left but to reclaim the land, build the soil, and fight for life. This is the only positive action left in the terminus of the extreme energy civilization where Politics is Dead.
 
This action is the expression of thanks, today and every day. This is the way to make every day a thanksgiving, and to prepare a world where humanity finally shall live its great gratitude in faith, every day, in all the peace, prosperity and happiness Earth’s abundance can provide. That’s why I write, in prospective thankfulness for this coming movement and this coming ecological peace.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

November 3, 2017

The Need to Renounce All System Hierarchies (EPA-Monsanto Example Again)

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Basically a symbiotic creature.

 
 
The notions expressed in this article aren’t factually false, but it remains amazing that anyone ever could have been surprised, as these authors profess to be, at such a phenomenon as “When questions have been raised about [glyphosate’s] safety, Monsanto has ensured that the answers serve its financial interests, rather than scientific accuracy and transparency.”
 
The system based on productionism, technocracy, and in particular the capitalist mode of these chose to develop profit-seeking corporations as the main organizational mode for this paradigm of civilization. Corporations, a creation and extension of government, were explicitly designed to be sociopathic and totalitarian, exalting profit as the one and only value. They were designed to enshrine a Mammon theocracy, which means the total domination of all human-to-human and human-to-ecology relations by reducing these to monetary exchanges.
 
Implicitly, corporations were designed to become the repository of all real economic and political power, while nominal “public” government is retained only as a facade. That’s the procedure and goal of neoliberalism as a system of power, while the ideology of neoliberalism is based on the notion that this is how things should exist, and the only way they can exist. The historical record is unequivocal.
 
Therefore it’s also no surprise that the EPA consistently has covered up and lied on behalf of Monsanto and other poisoner corporations, or that
 

The record suggests that in 44 years — through eight presidential administrations — EPA management has never attempted to correct the problem. Indeed, the pesticide industry touts its forward-looking, modern technologies as it strives to keep its own research in the closet, and relies on questionable assumptions and outdated methods in regulatory toxicology.

 
But the authors are naive to attribute this to “capture”, as if there was ever a pristine morning where the EPA was born innocent and pure of heart. On the contrary, regulatory organizations like the EPA are designed to serve corporate imperatives, organizing the government subsidies and exemptions from legal responsibility upon which all corporate sectors are 100% dependent, and helping to pilot them through any hazardous political shoals. Of course the strong pro-corporate bias is hard-wired into the very principles of regulatory ideology, based as they are on “managing” poisons and ecological harms, always assuming one can find the right “tolerances” for these. To put this in perspective, all one need to ask is what’s the right tolerance level for child molestation, rape, murder? Do we assume there’s a non-zero “tolerance” for these? In action, yes, the US system assumes exactly this. But not in principle. Yet the regulator ideology assumes in principle that every corporate action has its proper tolerance. This tendentious ideology, in turn, is then stretched and “abused” in practice the ways this article describes. But these pro-Monsanto EPA actions aren’t really abuses; they follow logically from the original principle.
 
Anyone interested in the history of the EPA would do fine to start with E. Vallianatos’ Poison Spring. Vallianatos was an EPA cadre who for years was maverick enough actually to try to carry out a public health mission, and his book details the institutional rejection of any such mission. For example, he describes how, when the EPA was originally founded with such fanfare in response to public outcry about several high-profile environmental disasters, it was staffed by imports from the USDA in order to ensure that it understood its real pro-corporate mission, which had nothing to do with the pro-environment, pro-public health propaganda.
 
Because people refuse to understand these realities, we continue to be mired in the slough of such reform prescriptions as this:
 

The only way to establish a scientific basis for evaluating glyphosate’s safety, as a group of 14 scientists suggested in 2016, would be to make proprietary industrial studies public, put them up against the peer-reviewed literature and conduct new studies by researchers independent of corporate interests—in other words, force some daylight between regulators and the regulated.

 
But the scientific establishment is no more capable of avoiding “capture” than the regulator. Parallel to the inherently pro-corporate, pro-poison regulatory ideology, system science is completely beholden to the corporate science paradigm which directs it to the exact same biases, cover-ups, frauds, political lying, and similar “abuses”.
 
Therefore it’s of no avail to correctly renounce the regulator but immediately repose the same vain faith in the scientific establishment. When you finally realize this establishment is equally pro-Monsanto, to which system hierarchy will you turn next? And how many times must you repeat the religious experiment before you realize the evil (the corruption, the capture, or however you choose to see it) is congenital and universal to the corporate-technocratic system?
 
The only solution is to renounce this system completely, based as it is upon a totalitarian will to destroy humanity and the Earth, and commit to the abolitionist necessity in thought and deed.
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 

October 25, 2017

Using the Enemy’s Own Terms Helps the Enemy

Filed under: Freedom, Globalization, GMO Hoaxes, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 7:12 am

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Scientism and technocracy depend upon the people’s tacit acceptance of their authority and legitimacy. Although this patina of authority has been tarnished, it’s still mostly intact. Part of the job of we who oppose corporate-technocratic rule and poisonism is to keep undermining, subverting, eroding this perception of legitimacy. But this mission undermines itself when anti-poison people denote the enemy using the enemy’s own fraudulent term, such as “skeptic”, which the enemy adopted in the first place in order to bolster its perceived authority.
 
Scientism cultists are religious fundamentalists. By definition a fundamentalist can never be any kind of skeptic. A fundamentalist is someone who believes, in an absolute, rote, mechanical manner in one or more “fundamentals”, and who rejects in the same absolute rote mechanical way anything which is at odds with these fundamentals. At both ends there is zero room for skepticism, since there’s zero room for thought. It’s impossible for a fundamentalist to be a skeptic.
 
These fundamentalists call themselves skeptics because it falsely makes a claim to have looked honestly at the evidence and rationally concluded that something is implausible. It also has a general, positive connotation of free thinking (although even many bona fide skeptics are really cynics rather than free thinkers). When the corporate media calls someone a “skeptic” (it’s almost always someone shilling for the system line), they mean “here’s someone who is cutting through all the nonsense of the obstructionists and naysayers, and who will give you the straight talk explaining why to believe the government and the corporations”. And this is what the cultists want the people to think when they call themselves “skeptics”.
 
That’s one example of dissidents using the enemy’s own terms in the same way the enemy uses them, thereby reinforcing the enemy’s propaganda campaign. Perhaps the most common example of this is how often anti-globalists and anti-imperialists still use the term “free trade”, and often “free market”, without even the sarcastic quotation marks. “Free” trade of course is extremely anti-freedom: Globalization is a planned economy, completely dependent upon government subsidies and externalization of costs and risks, and it seeks total coerced participation and to eradicate all alternatives. But capitalism has systematically propagated the term since the 19th century for the obvious reason that people respond in a vague but strongly positive way to the words “free” and “freedom”. That’s why they continue to propagate the term today, because it still has that effect on the great mass of the people who don’t understand globalization and who might be inclined to fear and doubt it (to be truly skeptical of it).
 
So it’s counterproductive and stupid when even the opponents of globalized supply-based coerced trade adopt the enemy propaganda term “free trade”. They’re doing the enemy’s work for him.
 
It’s unfortunate that we have so many people who claim to be activists of a sort, who have a cause and say they want this cause to triumph, yet who so frequently reinforce the enemy’s own propaganda terminology. When I see such harmful sloppiness, and especially when I point it out and they don’t change this self-destructive pattern, I tend to assume that intellectually and philosophically the person is a slob who will never be reliable, since they can’t even impose the most basic terminological discipline on their thinking and communication. Someone like that is ripe to be manipulated and co-opted by every kind of enemy scam.
 
 
This goes for the term and concept science itself. There’s no such mystical thing as “science”, only the people who practice it and the structure of their actions. In principle science is just one of many philosophical tools which helps these people to perform these actions. Today in practice these actions and the way they’re structured and directed comprise only the corporate science paradigm. This corporate directed and controlled paradigm is the everyday practice, funding, and career structure of science.
 
And yet too many anti-poison people implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) endorse scientism’s lie that science is the most important tool, even the only tool. This is even though the deployment of pesticides and GMOs has zero to do with science, while genetic engineering itself has very little scientific theory. It depends almost completely on genetic determinist junk science and brute force empiricism. More importantly, today’s scientific establishment and mass media have only one system and depiction of science, and this is the corporate science paradigm. Any scientific fact or knowledge which contradicts this paradigm is ruled out by the system as unscience.
 
So the fetish of “always stick with the science”, standard among anti-GMO people who are both politically and scientifically naive, not only accepts the enemy’s fraudulent choice of battleground but it demonstrates a confusion about what the mainstream is willing to accept as being part of science in the first place. It’s not just bringing a knife to a gunfight, it’s bringing a chicken to a chess game.
 
Perhaps some of the anti-poison people see themselves as working to compile the factual evidence for some future day when a new scientific paradigm which accepts such facts will exist. (But I’ve never encountered anyone who said anything indicating such a consciousness.) That’s fine, but it has little to do with fighting to abolish poisonism here and now.
 
We who truly are abolitionists, as well as those who truly want to fight for reformist goals, have to understand that this is a struggle of politics, economics, history, philosophy, culture, religion, and biology, not of science; that there is no mainstream battleground of science, so that even if your fight is for the true science you can commence this fight only from outside the system and against it. We have to understand this, and act accordingly.
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

October 21, 2017

The Primal Mammalian Movement

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From the smallest beginnings, and the power of a seed.

 
 
One of the mainstream media’s primary tasks is to convince each individual media consumer that he’s all alone with any critical or dissenting thought he might have, so it’s best to suppress those thoughts. It’s part of the “softer” neoliberal alternative to fascism: Rather than de jure censorship and violent repression of dissent, get the mass of atomized individuals each to censor himself, use crimestop, never listen to thoughtcrime or entertain any cognitive dissonance.
 
Hierarchical, professionalized science, including its hyperspecialization, is inherently authoritarian and pro-status quo. This is especially true of the technocracy paradigm under which science is assumed by almost all practitioners and fans to be equivalent to the development of technology. Under this paradigm, science = engineering. Most of all it’s true under the corporate science paradigm where this tech development mission automatically is assumed to be in the service of profit-seeking corporations. Putting that together, we have the modern scientific paradigm where what Kuhn called “normal science” quite simply is what otherwise would be called “corruption”.
 
I propose to overthrow this scientific paradigm and replace it with a paradigm of science rededicated to seeking knowledge for its own sake and for the well-being of humanity and the Earth. In the same way that every branch of politics must be socialist if it’s to have any legitimacy at all, so all branches of science must become the ecological versions of their respective disciplines. Therefore the ecological sciences, inflected by chaos theory, must become paramount. In the same way, technological design must adhere to the ecology rather than strive for domination and control. In particular, only agroecology offers a way for humanity to restore the soil, avert the worst of climate chaos and all other environmental crises, eat sufficiently and well, and organize society in a way combining the best of reason, humaneness, and ecological holism. This is the vision of food sovereignty.
 
There’s lots of people already doing good work toward that eventual goal. We need to scale that up, first as a campaign of ideas. As for our personal lives, the Earth’s call to anyone is to commit your life to the cause. That’s a very hard sell in this Mammon theocracy where even among the people who superficially have the right ideas and good intent, most still are objectively Randroids in the way they view the world. Even fellow travelers of the necessary ideas fundamentally don’t understand the concept of having no private existence, existing fundamentally as a political animal, a public citizen. All we can do for starters is to keep propagating ideas which are fundamentally against the whole grain of this theocracy, and try to find fellow atheists versus the superstitions of Mammon, technocracy, scientism, productionism who want to work on that atheism-propagation project. This is one of the basic building blocks necessary to build a true cultural, spiritual, existential movement dedicated affirmatively to the necessary agroecology/food sovereignty transformation, negatively to the total abolition of poison-based agriculture.
 
That’s the ultimate need. What individuals and small groups can do right now:
 
1. Take on as much of the propagation work as one can.
 
2. Become active building up the community food sector as much as one can. Growing some of one’s own food in a garden is a good first step, and the actions quickly scale up from there.
 
3. In one’s personal lifestyle get as independent of the system, as “off-grid” (using that term both literally and metaphorically) as possible.
 
4. To the extent one has to remain enmeshed in the system for the time being, at least be clear in thought and word that this is under duress. I still have to drive a car, but I never think or say anything other than that the car as such has to go. This is contrary to the climate crocodiles who wring their hands and then tout hybrids and electric cars (i.e. fracking cars, nuke cars, coal cars) as some kind of answer. No, that’s just a more pernicious form of climate denialism.
 
5. In general: Do the most good you can and never do evil. I have never once heard of an example of an evil action that was necessary in any way. That’s always a lie.
 
Much of this focuses on ideas and propagating ideas. I’m forced to be a writer since for now I lack any greater scope for action. In Eric Hoffer’s terminology, I’m an activist by nature who’s been forced into the role of the “man of words”. For now there really is no greater scope for action in America, since the necessary movement doesn’t yet exist in any tangible, coherent form. Or, any rudiments which may be cohering are not yet visible to the general culture of dissent.
 
So it follows that the first, prerequisite step toward building this movement is to propagate the necessary ideas for this movement. Not even at first to convince people, but to force the existence of truly alternative and practicable ideas into the public consciousness so that, when the cultural tipping point suddenly comes (history demonstrates that we have no idea when it will come or what proximate cause will trigger it) and lots of people are suddenly looking for a new idea, this set of ideas will be one of the sets laying around ready to be taken up.
 
Toward that great goal, the second necessary preliminary step is to form at least the nucleus of a future mass movement in the form of coherent organizations, of whatever size attainable, which will undertake whatever wedge actions are possible for the time being but whose primary action will be to propagate the ideas as far and wide as possible.
 
 
And then all this must take place in tandem with building up the community food sector. We especially need more local retail producers, and processing infrastructure, and political organization against the state’s repressive campaigns. The community food movement already exists as a vibrant movement with great scope for all the action one could desire (in addition to my so far intermittent market gardening, I’ve worked at a farmers’ market, herbal medicine garden, and am director of two community gardens). We need for the whole thing, from organic horticulture to market gardening to abolition of pesticides/GMOs to a global agroecology transformation, to evolve into one coherent cultural force.
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 
 
 
 

October 19, 2017

The “Green Revolution” and the Food Weapon

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

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

October 14, 2017

Monsanto Stole Everything, Innovated Nothing

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There’s many reasons to abolish Monsanto and GMOs. They’re agriculturally and environmentally totalitarian. They inevitably contaminate all other crops and the environment. They accelerate soil, water, air, and habitat destruction. They aggravate and accelerate climate change and every other environmental crisis. The more that GMOs are field tested and commercialized, the longer they exist at all, the worse their ecological ravages shall become, and the more we’ll pass points-of-no-return where the contamination shall become significantly malign and irreversible.
 
GMOs are economically and politically totalitarian. The GMO cartel is leader of the corporate agricultural onslaught dedicated to driving all people off the land. The cartel is escalating what’s already a non-competitive monopoly concentration in the seed sector. It aggressively uses this position to build horizontal and vertical monopoly power, enforce its dictates up and down the food production and distribution chains, drive non-GM seed varieties out of the market and out of existence, greatly jack up seed prices, force obscenely lopsided “contracts” upon farmers, persecute farmers with harassment, thuggery, and lawsuits, and get governments to enact repressive seed laws designed to escalate and accelerate this whole process.
 
That’s just one way the agribusiness cartel has seized control of governments around the world. Under capitalism, governments intrinsically are controlled by corporate power such as the kind of control being exercised by the GMO corporations. The unique threat to humanity and the Earth posed by such corporate control over agriculture and food render corporate control over government particularly nefarious. People can waste time trying to argue about the malevolence of corporate power in other sectors, but there can be no argument here: Humanity must purge this clear and present danger to our freedom, our democracy, and our literal survival.
 
Pesticides/GMOs also present a clear and present danger to our health. All independent studies, as well as almost all the corporations’ own rigged studies, find reason for concern or alarm. The genetic engineering process itself, and the massive pesticide residues in our food and water, wreck our microbiome (our internal gastrointestinal microbial community which with our bodies comprises as symbiotic joint organism cooperating for mutual health), cause gastrointestinal inflammation which leads to every kind of disease, trigger escalations in allergies, asthma, autism, and every other kind of autoimmune disease, cause cancer, organ damage, infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects. These are just the best documented effects. Glyphosate-tolerant crops also are nutritionally denuded. To ingest the processed foods made from these merely adds to the nutritional deficiency already inherent in diets centered on such “foods” and adds to the many diseases this can cause or aggravate.
 
Most of all, the fact that governments and corporations always have refused to perform legitimate full-length scientific safety studies on GMOs is strict proof that governments and corporations believe the results of such studies would be devastating to the GM products. In the same way that Monsanto and the US government have known since the early 1980s that glyphosate causes cancer, so they’ve always known or suspected the severe health dangers of GMOs. That’s why they’ve systematically refused to test them and disparaged the very idea of testing them. That’s proof of bad faith which can come only from the worst suspicions of the worst. Here we must agree with Monsanto, any real safety test of any GMO would give evidence of the worst.
 
The most amazing thing is how all this is over such a pathetic, worthless product. GMOs are cheap, shoddy, worthless, highly expensive products which don’t work for any purpose which could actually help people. Their yield is poor, no improvement over non-GM conventional agriculture; they require far more pesticides than conventional agriculture; they systematically help weeds and insect pests build resistance to pesticides, and thus resistance to themselves, uncontrollable by the same poisons which were alleged to be the reasons for having these GMOs in the first place; the “special” GMOs – those for drought resistance, vitamin fortification, nitrogen-fixing, etc. – are all media hoaxes.
 
 
Another big hoax is that Monsanto and other agrochemical corporations have accomplished any of this so-called “innovation”. In reality, the existence of GMOs, for worse or worst, has been the work of not-for-profit operatives who then had their work stolen or otherwise lifted by the big corporation. I’ll list some examples which include all the big milestones in the development of the main GMO types. My main source is the pro-Monsanto corporate history, Lords of the Harvest by NPR corporate-liberal columnist Dan Charles (page numbers will be tagged DC), with some additional information from The World According to Monsanto by French investigative journalist Marie-Monique Robin (MMR).
 
1. The most commonly used vehicle for insertion of the transgene into the target genome is to attach it to a plasmid from the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens which in nature is a parasite that inserts itself into the DNA of plant hosts. The extracted plasmid with an attached transgene can accomplish the same genetic transfer with many kinds of plant cells. Monsanto did nothing to come up with this idea or to figure out how to do it. Instead, Monsanto took the basic idea of using A. tumefaciens and some DNA snippets from a hired consultant from academia, Mary-Dell Chilton (DC 18).
 
2. Once a mess of transgenes has been shotgunned into tissue cultured plant cells (no matter which insertion method used, bacterial plasmid or gene gun, it’s a purely brute forcible, messy, wasteful, scattershot process with no hint of “precision” about it), the engineers need a way to identify which cells have successfully received the transgenic insertion. The most common way to do this is to include within the “gene cassette” (the transgenic material being inserted) an antibiotic resistance gene which was extracted from another bacterium. (Thus genetic engineering contributes to the corporate campaign of antibiotic abuse and intentional spread of antibiotic resistance, all dedicated to eradicating antibiotics as an effective medical treatment.*) The engineers then douse the lot with the antibiotic, usually kanamycin. The cells which survive are those which successfully received the insertion.
 
But it was technically difficult getting the bacterial gene to work in the recipient plant cells. Monsanto couldn’t figure it out themselves. In order to render the kanamycin antibiotic resistance marker active, they took the idea of using the promoter and terminator sequence from A. tumefaciens itself, along with some more genetic snippets, from another consultant, Michael Bevan (DC 18-19).**
 
3. Early in 1983 Monsanto rushed to patent the A. tumefaciens insertion process even though they knew it was prior art. Charles quotes Monsanto patent lawyer Patrick Kelly: “We knew that Schell and Chilton were going to be [at an upcoming conference], and they were going to generate a set of publications which would be held as prior art.” In the demented world of intellectual property, a patent usually is awarded not to whoever can prove they were the first inventors of something, but merely whoever gets their patent application in first. (This time Monsanto didn’t get things all their own way. It turned out Chilton and Schell had also filed patent applications, and multi-decade litigation ensued.) (DC 21-2)
 
4. In nature, genes will be actively expressive or not (“switched on” or “off”), and at varying levels of expression, depending on timing and environmental conditions. This is an exquisitely developed evolutionary mechanism. In defiance of evolutionary safeguards, and therefore existing in a state of evolution denialism, in contempt of evolution, genetic engineering is dependent upon artificially forcing the transgene to be switched on at full power at all times, 24/7. This requires that the transgene for the particular trait have a special genetic promoter harnessed to it. The main workhorse promoter used in genetic engineering is the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter (CaMV35S). Once again Monsanto couldn’t figure out any of this, the idea or how to do it. For the idea to snip and deploy the CaMV promoter they engaged in corporate espionage. They lifted ideas and data from Calgene and from a Rockefeller Institute consultant. Monsanto then used laboratory brute force to get the thing to work, and in 1984 they patented it (DC 34-5).
 
5. Consultant Roger Beachy was studying viral cross-protection among plants, wherein a plant exposed to one virus may develop resistance to others. Although in the long run little came of it, at the time the idea of using viral transgenes to induce broader viral resistance seemed to be a promising line of research. Monsanto didn’t know how to do it, but they were able to exploit Beachy’s work. (DC 35-6)
 
6. Everyone had the same idea for a synthetic Bt gene. Only Monsanto had the financial resources for the laboratory brute force to do it quickly (DC 46). Any other mode of social organization besides the private corporate person could have done so just as easily.
 
7. Hired consultants did all the work engineering bovine growth hormone (BGH), which became the Monsanto product Posilac (MMR 91).
 
9. Monsanto’s flagship product since the 1970s has been the herbicide Roundup, and its primary GMO product has been the Roundup Ready line. To this day, despite desperate hype campaigns, Monsanto remains financially dependent upon the Roundup Ready system. Yet Monsanto never was able to isolate and engineer glyphosate tolerance. (Calgene did figure out how to do it (DC 67).) This was in spite of years of extremely expensive, futile attempts. But in the end nature handed them the genetic tolerance as a gift which had evolved among bacteria in the polluted ponds surrounding a lowly glyphosate factory. (DC 68-9)
 
 
We see how it was nature, messed with by consultants dependent upon the socially built infrastructure of technical research and development, who did all the work. Monsanto, evidently, did nothing but reap the right to tax all this. So who created GMOs? In descending order of importance, each standing atop the foundation of the previous levels:
 
1. Nature, which always provides the near-absolute basis and resources for all human endeavor. That right there absolutely demolishes any claim that profit ever can be justified.
 
2. The common project of society, which completes this basis. No “individual” (let alone any corporate “person”) ever has accomplished anything requiring the existence of any infrastructure, other than as a networked part of the ecological and socio-ecological basis.
 
3. Farmers carried out the empirical practice of ten thousand years of selecting seeds, developing crop types, breeding landraces. Empirical farmers built 100% of this foundation. Empirical farmers are 100% responsible for developing agricultural crops in the first place and deserve 100% of whatever credit this warrants. And these farmers largely were dependent upon the social structures of those ten thousand years, albeit not as much as modern industrial agriculture and corporations are dependent upon the modern social structure.
 
4. The modern science of plant breeding, completely developed and almost completely practiced by public sector plant breeders.
 
5. The public funded most research in genetics and genetic engineering. The public paid for the corporate state to construct the planned economy of industrial agriculture and food. The public has always funded most of the propaganda for this system. All corporate sectors are elements of a planned economy of neoliberal globalization wherein all the corporations are completely dependent upon corporate welfare, starting with the planned monetarist system itself, in order to exist at all. Big Ag is second only to the finance sector itself in this absolute dependency.
 
6. Within the sector itself, the corporation seldom does any actual work, but exploits a galaxy of consultants and contractors (cf. Naomi Klein’s No Logo). Monsanto exemplifies this paradigm to perfection.
 
7. I can’t figure out what Monsanto contributes at the end.
 
 
So there we have it. Monsanto and corporations like it do nothing but steal and enclose natural and human resources, usually perverting and destroying them along the way, and use these to build massive power for nothing but to escalate their campaigns of robbery and destruction.
 
Genetic engineering (and poison-based agriculture as such) is a shoddy, hyper-expensive, destructive technology which doesn’t work and was never necessary for any human purpose. Corporations also are extremely expensive and destructive, a pure loss and plague on civilization. The Big Ag corporations like Monsanto therefore redouble the evils they perpetrate, the thefts (public domain crops) and enclosures (the goal is to drive non-“protected” varieties out of the market and eradicate all crop biodiversity and bio/cultural diversity as such), the destruction (the agricultural and wild germplasm; and as always everything which is destroyed by poison-based agriculture – the soil, the air, the water, forests, the environment, human and livestock health), all toward their goals of power and control.
 
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas. Only these can be the seeds of the next ten thousand years.
 
 
 
 
*Remember this next time you see someone shrieking about the alleged threat to public health from a handful of non-vaccinators. Demand to know what he’s doing about the systematic campaign of governments and corporations to wipe out antibiotics via their profligate abuse in CAFOs and genetic engineering. This is a campaign which intentionally generates maximal antibiotic resistance among pathogens. Of course the cultists do nothing and say nothing about this. On the contrary, they actively support all the crimes of corporate agriculture including the campaign to wipe out antibiotics. This proves that they couldn’t care less about public health, and that their hysteria and hatred toward non-vaccinators has zero to do with public health. Rather, as authoritarian cult members they’re enraged by this form of civil disobedience as an affront to their statism and scientism. These fundamentalists see non-vaccination as blasphemy against their religion. So the surface arguments about vaccination are just a proxy for a religious culture war. That’s why the techno-cultists, insofar as they shriek about non-vaccinators, should be called proxxers. Always let your first thought be: “These supporters of the CAFO/GMO system want to eradicate antibiotics. They want antibiotics to cease to exist.”
 
 
**This business of hiring consultants brings us to a far bigger truth. We’re often told that society has to allow profiteering and intellectual property and corporate personhood in order to encourage necessary innovation. Now, much so-called “innovation” is worthless and destructive and humanity would be much better off without it. But let’s say for the sake of argument that a given innovation is worthwhile. Similarly, corporate personhood is perhaps the worst idea humanity has ever had: It serves zero purpose but legally to shield criminals from liability for their crimes, and gamblers from having to take losses. But’s let’s say for the sake of argument that even the corporate form is worthwhile. Still, must this corporation be allowed to own patents and profiteer?
 
Monsanto never thought so. That’s why they felt they could do just fine hiring consultants for nothing but a fee, no percentage at all. And they turned out to be right: Consultants were willing to work, to “innovate”, for nothing but the fee.
 
Given that fact, if society decides that it does need corporations to perform certain tasks, why shouldn’t society hire these corporations in the exact same way, as consultants, as contractors, for a fee, while retaining control of society’s own common property? We have the incontrovertible testimony of the corporations themselves, led by Monsanto, that this would work just fine. So why is anyone stupid enough still to believe that society must offer “personhood” and “property rights”, profiteering sovereignty, the right to tax, to private actors in order to get them to innovate? The fact is, even if you think the services and products of corporations are worthwhile, and even if you think only corporations can most effectively deliver them (another disproven lie), that’s still no reason to give them a cut of what only nature and the common labor produces. You can just hire ’em for a fee. Does Monsanto believe this? They’ve counted on it!
 
 
 
 
 

October 4, 2017

The Anti-Spirit of Poison

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Humans, get off our land, says the cult. Only corporate persons and elite technocrats are authorized personnel.

 
 
The most typical and extreme element of the great crisis of civilization and ecology is the technocracy’s campaign to pump maximal poison into our bodies, our environment, our food, water, air, and soil.
 
Poisonism is biological and chemical warfare. It drives toward the secular goals of disaster, profit, power, control, war. Unlike previous campaigns seeking domination, exploitation, enslavement of people, this campaign only wants to drive the people out. Capitalism’s attitude toward human beings is identical to that of the Nazis toward the Jews: One way or another, they’re supposed to just go away, permanently.
 
Instead of domination of people, corporate-driven productionism wants domination of land, resources, and genetics. The campaign drives toward the permanent eradication of everything that makes us human: The questing mind, our existence as part of the ecology, our community life, our ability to perform meaningful work for ourselves, our families, our communities, our physical and psychological well-being as healthy symbiotic organisms (in addition to afflicting us with cancer, birth defects, and other harms, poisonism wants to sterilize our microbiome).
 
Thus the industrial “food” disseminated by the corporate Feed the World paradigm is poison to us in every way including to our souls. This reveals how poisonism is a religious war. It becomes easier to understand the cultist drive to poison us when we understand that for the scientism religion poison is a sacrament. “I force you to eat poison because it’s poison” is the equivalent of “I believe because it’s absurd.”
 
The intrinsic authoritarianism of STEM types is mundanely careerist, but more profoundly it’s a manifestation of their religious statism and scientism. They worship the corporate technocratic state. This is why they define science as “the research and development of technologies which increase corporate power.” That’s the essence of the corporate science paradigm.
 
The cultists fear for the future of this technocracy, as they sense its physical and cultural unsustainability. The extreme energy system soon will run out of sufficient energy, and humanity increasingly realizes that this system meets no human needs but only destroys all hope for a human existence at all. Earthly and political upheavals threaten to destroy all that the technocrats worship. Therefore they seek an organizational principle, a way to bolster their own assurance and organize to crush humanity and Gaia. They’ve bet everything on the most typical and extreme manifestation of high-maintenance technology, the pesticide/GMO complex.
 
They politically and culturally organize according to the exaltation of the idea of this technology. Not the reality; the fact that pesticides and GMOs don’t work and are purely expensive, wasteful, and destructive is meaningless from this perspective of militant religious consciousness and organizing. That’s why pro-GMO activists are so impervious to evidence, that’s why they’re so shameless about endlessly regurgitating hundred-times disproven lies, that’s why STEM culture as such is primarily a culture of the lie. Their core faith is that given enough deployment of money, lab time, and ideological militance, they’ll empirically reach the point where, by brute force, they’ll be able to deploy enough poison to completely subjugate the Earth and humanity. This goal, this religious fantasy, they christen “science”, “truth”.
 
Thus “feed the world” via poison-based agriculture is the cult’s version of the miracle of the loaves. It’s the idea of the miraculous bread rendered earthly, provided magically by GMO/pesticides. This is really a decadent simulacrum of the Christian notion of the heavenly bread. In every way the “secular” scientism religion is an epigone of Christianity, a direct descendant of certain Christian tendencies as documented by David Noble in The Religion of Technology.
 
This sacralizing of poison is also their way of pretending, where necessary (for example, where they feed poison to their own children), that poison isn’t poison, even that poison is beneficial. They seek to substitute poison for heavenliness. Their cult is a metastasis of Christian snake-handlers and venom-drinkers. On this level they must believe that poison is not really poison. This is how they seek power and dominion, how they inflict poison (power) upon others while believing themselves immune. This is how they believe they experience specially “created” food, water, air, environment, which somehow has not been toxified by their poison onslaught. Yet at the same moment they exalt the GMO/pesticide food as the highest form of food and must ingest it as a sacrament. This is their test of strength, and just as with the Judeo-Christian god, so here they believe that those who falter, those whose “free will” isn’t strong enough to prevent cancer, have been judged and are rightfully condemned.
 
Thus we have the striving for a much greater, if more gradual, Jonestown anti-miracle.
 
For the scientism religion, descended from Christianity, the pesticides and transgenes are the equivalent of the body and blood of Christ, all the more to be exalted as these physically have been synthesized by the miraculous rituals of technological development. As always, the fact that these are shoddy products which don’t work and are only destructive is irrelevant from the militant cult perspective. They have their great leading idea and believe because it’s absurd. They’ve merely extended the mysticism of the Eucharist to the mysticism of the laboratory. The reality-based result is just as meaningless to them.
 
We reach the conclusion: For the scientism/technocracy religion and ideology, poison is a sacrament. Poisonism, the idea and deployment of the GMO/pesticide product, is the core sacrament of this religion, and fighting to maximize this deployment and its destructiveness of all of Gaia and humanity is the core organizational principle and goal of this religion.
 
To render this more tangible to the flesh, this religion’s anti-sacrament is literal poison, which is symbolic of its anti-miracle of corporate industrial food. The actual food is loaded with poison which gives us cancer and is intended physically to kill us.
 
 
While eventually Gaia shall put an end to this biological infestation which toxifies its environment, as she does for all other such vermin infestations, this may not come soon or comprehensively enough to save humanity. If we wish for a human future for our children and grandchildren, we must become fully ecological in every way including politically. This necessarily means organizing on behalf of humanity and the Earth to abolish poisonism, to abolish the scientism cult.
 
 
Help propagate the necessary ideas.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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