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December 7, 2017

Mammon and the Great Bottleneck

Filed under: Dance of Death, GMO-Based Poison Infliction — Tags: , , — Russ @ 6:16 am

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The root of all evil

 
 
Bitcoin hysteria!
 
It’s telling when theological disputes arise among the Mammon theocracy. These factions all remain fully committed to the animism and worship of money and the totalitarian determination to reduce all human-to-human and human-to-nature relations to purely money relations. Yet they squabble like Nicaean Christians over what kind of money should rule.
 
 
The essence of Mammon is those things I just mentioned, not greed which is just one part of it. Contrary to Gordon Gekko, greed is more a tool than a theological fundamental of Mammon.
 
Greed is part of human nature. Mammon, like its capitalist mode, maximizes all the worst elements of human nature: Greed, hate, fear, sadism, power-lust, contempt, disregard, apathy. In these ways it uses humans as a particular kind of puppet. Meanwhile Mammon suppresses all the best elements of humanity. Yeats’s poem, incoherent if applied to individuals and mere politics (by definition “the best” are active toward the good, while by definition those who “lack all conviction” are sheep), becomes true if applied to the way Mammon mobilizes the worst in human nature and crushes the best.
 
Thus Mammon and capitalism work to maximize greed and suppress generosity. This goes heavily against the human grain, since the evidence of history, anthropology, sociology, and everyday life even today strongly suggests that generosity is naturally a far stronger human element than greed.
 
It has to be. Humans are social primates, naturally evolved to cooperate. Only recently in history, and especially under the extreme ahistorical circumstance of fossil-fuel modernity, has it been possible for the greedy, sociopathic impulses to accumulate wealth and power. It started with agriculture, which was the original sin enabling the accumulation and manipulation of surplus wealth and power.
 
But accumulation naturally indicates an ecological bottleneck. Accumulation equals waste. It is pollution. Those who manipulate such wastes are merely using poison as a weapon. The modern agrochemical onslaught is the latest, worst, most literal use of poison to destroy the Earth in order to hoard power.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 
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November 23, 2017

Ecological Thanksgiving

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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 19, 2017

Trickles and Blasts

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Life is complete right here

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

November 6, 2017

Another Day, Another Monsanto Poisoning, Another Streicherism in the Media

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Monsanto admits it’s delaying the commercial deployment of a nematocide after the poison caused skin rashes among users in field trials.
 
In its report Reuters takes the poisonist paradigm as given and therefore suppresses the context that nematodes can sustainably be controlled only through soil-building and other agroecological practices. The poison treadmill has been a proven failure for over 60 years. By now the continued media and academic campaign on poisonism’s behalf is, by Nuremburg standards, a willful campaign of crimes against humanity.
 
The campaign continues to advocate the wholesale poisoning of the ecology and destruction of biodiversity. Poison-based agriculture long has been proven an agronomic failure, and it’s long been proven to increase hunger rather than alleviate it. Therefore we know Monsanto, regulators, and the mainstream media don’t advocate poisonism for agronomic reasons. We know they’re willfully, intentionally committing ecocide and giving people cancer for the sake of nothing but power, profit, and destruction of biodiversity for the very sake of this destruction, since monoculture in itself (political, cultural, and biological) is a totalitarian goal of the system. In 2017 the Monsanto Tribunal condemned Monsanto for these crimes, including ecocide.
 
 
The proposition that ecosystems have the same rights as humans, long touted by pioneering thinkers including supreme court justice William O. Douglas and more recently by the community rights movement, has not gained much ground within the system’s legalism. But rationally it follows from any coherent concept of human rights, such as that upon which the Nuremburg tribunal based its jurisprudence. This is because humanity is inextricably part of the overall ecology. Therefore it’s both rationally and morally meaningless to conceive any human right, on a community or individual level, other than as part of a combined human-ecological right. (Meanwhile “the individual” is a false construction in itself, but also can exist only within ecological and community contexts. So individual rights can exist only within the context of ecological rights.)
 
(Douglas also pointed out that unlike purely artificial, government-created corporations, which have had legal and constitutional rights bestowed upon them by the system, ecosystems and natural features actually exist. This total inversion of all reason and morality, where everything that truly exists, including flesh-and-blood human beings, is denied all rights or effectively stripped of what rights they nominally have, while the most totally fake things like money and corporations are empowered with all the “right”, practical and legal, the system can give, gives us profound insight into the elemental falsity of corporate technocracy and scientism, its culture of the lie, and its will to eradicate all naturally evolved reality and replace it with a purely static artificial one. As I said above, this is the totalitarian goal of the monoculture campaign in agriculture and every other form of culture and ecology.)
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 

October 27, 2017

“Competition” as Ideological Proxy for Biological Warfare

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“Although there are many examples of such mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationships, an intense competition occurs among the diverse organisms in healthy soils.”
 
Building Soils for Better Crops, p. 38
 
Where it comes to a naturally evolving ecosystem like soil, what one chooses to see as competition as opposed to cooperation is mostly a matter of ideology and one’s view of individual death. Are soldiers in combat cooperating or competing? Consider the two armies together: Are they competing to kill one another, or cooperating to carry out the war?
 
The Spencerist/Darwinist presentation, with its emphasis on competition and “survival of the fittest”, was adapted from the capitalist ideology of 19th century Britain. All of Darwin’s observations and the theory he induced from them he could have written up at least as easily in terms of cooperation. Darwin simply chose not to, for reasons of ideology which is prior to science.
 
Now consider the balanced soil ecosystem: Are predators and prey in competition or cooperation? Are two organisms which feed on the same resource competing for that resource or cooperating to process that resource as part of the flow of the ecosystem?
 
 
It seems to me that cooperation better describes the fundamental units (for example, animal-bacterial and plant-bacterial symbioses) and the overall holism, and that this is good reason to consider cooperation the better basic description of the ecology. This is according to the same logic whereby the Copernican description is preferred over that of Ptolemy. This is not because the Copernican is more “true”; neither is “true” or “false”, they’re just different depictions of the same observations. The Copernican presentation is preferable because it accounts for the most important observations in a simpler and more coherent, more logically cogent way than that of Ptolemy.
 
 
When does competition prevail? At the human level, tribes naturally cooperate within themselves but sometimes undergo intertribal competition, even to the point of warfare. As hierarchies develop, as power centralizes, as natural use-based economies become engulfed in larger-scale supply-driven commodity-based economies, human community aggregates dissolve, the people atomize, and they become subject to the competition of class war from above and intense pressure from above to tear into each other. In these ways criminals who have organized to maximize power strive to force competition upon humanity and to repress natural cooperation.
 
Yet the strongest proof that humans are naturally cooperative is the fact that, despite the power elites’ having had hundreds of years of total power to inflict their indoctrination, propaganda, inducements, threats, and violence upon humanity with all the massive, relentless force at their disposal, they still need to renew this massive barrage every day in order to get people to act in an even semi-competitive way. Self-evidently, if this daily infusion ever were to flag, people quickly would revert to their cooperative default.
 
Meanwhile, as anarchism always points out, capitalism and the state depend utterly on massive unpaid cooperation on the part of workers and citizens. If the people ever were to go on a work-to-rule general strike, which simply means working to the letter of one’s job description and not one jot more; and if the people were to obey the absolute letter of the law, not one jot more or less, the whole structure of capitalist society would collapse within days, so dependent is it upon the creative cooperation of workers and citizens vis their workplaces and the mores of social life.
 
 
At the ecological level, what we could call competition comes in where for some reason an imbalance in the system temporarily allows a species to get out of control. Industrial agriculture generates the most extreme artificial imbalances by eradicating as much biodiversity as possible and seeking to impose a strictly regimented goose-stepping monoculture regime. In practice this generates the best terrain for pests, weeds, disease, and such vermin as rats. Since this is the invariable primary result of the monocultural agriculture system, we know that this is the primary intent and goal of the governments, corporations, academics, and journalists who work to enforce this system. Related and parallel examples, part of the same ideological and paramilitary structure, are the systematic overuse of antibiotics (intended to generate resistant microbes and wipe out antibiotics as a medically effective technology) and pasteurization (intended to wipe out diverse microbial communities which keep pathogens in check, in order to create an open frontier for those pathogens; just as pesticides are intended to maximize opportunities for pests and disease by wiping out all counterbalancing diversity).
 
Another example of the artificial imposition of competition over cooperation is where an invasive species becomes able quickly to debouch through an ecosystem, rather than gradually assimilate over time and through the mediation of evolutionary safeguards. The most extreme example is technocracy’s campaign to deploy GMOs as globally as possible as fast as possible with as brutal a suppression of evolutionary safeguards as possible.
 
This campaign is intended to be an even more total, more biologically eliminationist extension of the first “green revolution” of a monoculture paradigm based on poisons, machines, and enclosed seeds. Modern industrial agriculture is the most extreme anti-evolutionary campaign in history (and its cadres and ideologues the most extreme cohort of evolution deniers). GMO-based agriculture, the “Green Revolution II”, is in turn the most extreme version of this competitive/destructive debouchment.
 
 
The surest way to tell an imbalance is gathering force and ecological/economic flows are being blocked, even more sure than tangible destruction, is any buildup of waste, and any tangible accumulation which automatically is a form of pollution.
 
This is the closest we can come to an objective definition of cooperation as opposed to competition: Does the system embody Nietzsche’s idea of the Ubermensch, does it keep everything in motion and use, does it organize itself in motion at every moment? This is the mutual cooperation of all with all, and it is the normal state of nature. Or is the system becoming hobbled and unbalanced with accumulation and waste? This is the mutually destructive competition of atom against atom, with no possible result other than mutual destruction and death.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new 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 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 11, 2017

No Gene, and No Individual (Fake People, Part Two)

Filed under: Agroecology, American Revolution, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 8:37 am

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(Part one.)
 
Here we refer to the false notion of the “individual”. This ideological concept is false in two ways.
 
1. There is no “gene” (“selfish” or otherwise). There is only DNA amid the four-billion-years-evolving genetic and cellular structure on the one hand, and on the other the combined holistic organism inextricably part of the ecology.
 
2. There is no “individual”. There is only the symbiotic bacterial-human collective organism on the one hand, and human society, the human community, on the other. The “human” part of this combined organism is dependent upon and interdependent with its bacterial counterpart, and both are dependent upon and interdependent with a healthy, intact, diverse ecology. This human being, a social primate as much as it is a combined organism, is as dependent upon and interdependent with the community as it is with the biodiverse ecology. And this community is dependent upon and interdependent with the ecology.
 
 
It’s clear that the only ideas which can be part of a human future are ecological, communal ideas and acts. All anti-ecological ideas and acts, most of all those redolent of the false and destructive notion of the “individual”, must be purged from our Earth if we are ever to make it back home.