All corporate security is the same.
is true, spoken by an EU Green Parliament member against the European Food Safety Agency: “It is not your destiny to be independent. You rely on studies by industry. You have no means of commissioning independent studies….Stop pretending you are an independent institution.” That’s about the best we can expect from electoral representatives within the corporate system, from parties dedicated to “reforming”, i.e. preserving, the corporate system. In the end the goal of electoralism is the same as the goal of regulatory agencies, to ensure that all possible destinies remain within the bounds of corporate domination.
One of the tasks of the abolitionists, and of all who seek a human destiny free of corporate rule is to use such facts (the EFSA’s complete subservience to industry, as detailed for the millionth time in the piece linked above; here’s more
) and such testimony to go one better and speak, not within the elitist framework as those already within it always do (the above quote is not packaged rhetorically for the people but was directed at the EFSA’s chief), but directly to the people, speaking the much greater truth: We must renounce and obliterate religious faith in agencies like the EFSA or EPA
and the inherently pro-poison regulatory model upon which they’re founded.
Unfortunately, system NGOs have an opposed ideology. GMWatch testifies:
GMWatch and many other NGOs, however, advocate that regulatory and expert advisory bodies like EFSA should not rely on studies directly sponsored by industry – but they also insist that the public should not pay for them.
The groups have long advocated a system whereby money for safety studies is provided by the industry that wishes to bring a product to market. The money would be paid into a publicly administered fund, which would use it to commission independent laboratories to carry out safety studies.
All results would have to be published on the Internet before the product came to market, putting an end to the current system whereby the studies are the proprietary data of industry and are kept secret.
Both EU laws and international agreements reached under the auspices of the OECD would need to be changed to accommodate the new system. But it is the bare minimum of reform that is needed to restore public trust in the regulatory framework for risky substances such as pesticides and GMOs.
And I wish I had a billion dollars. Indeed this goes into the territory of infantile fantasy. Where has this ever been done? Where has there ever existed such a political campaign, which would be designed like these NGOs and share their ideology, but be rather more assertive in action. Here’s the traits of such an organization:
**Pro-capitalist, pro-corporate, wanting to co-exist with poison-based agriculture but wanting really to regulate it, wonkish, enamored of complex funding and assessment mechanisms which nevertheless would maintain integrity, believing in the essential goodness of people even within the framework of profit-seeking and “competition”, possessing the political and cultural skill to communicate all this coherently to enough people to muster broad, active political support for this system, and most of all having the organizational strength, relentlessness, ruthlessness, and force of will necessary to remain permanently vigilant and at a state of high alert against the attrition and corruption of this bureaucratic system.**
Most astounding of all, many who believe in this fantastic Millennium (which has been disproven by the facts over and over) then turn around and claim they’re being “practical” while abolitionism is “unrealistic”. Nowhere has the insanity of modern politics more profoundly turned truth upside down and forced words to mean the opposite of what they really mean than where liberal and reformist types invert the words “practical” and “pragmatic” to mean their exact opposite, the most extreme, impossible fantasies.
In fact such fantasy isn’t the real goal of these NGOs, but merely is religious cant they ritually recite. If you have any doubt about how NGOs like GMWatch consider their mission really to be propping up faith in the corporate system, Monsanto and all, whether they’re conscious of this or not, read again the final line in that quote: “[I]t is the bare minimum of reform that is needed to restore public trust in the regulatory framework for risky substances such as pesticides and GMOs.”
Quite a peculiar way of putting things, isn’t it? (And it’s not unusual; on the contrary it’s a desire they frequently express.) You might think the primary goal is the health of the people and environment, the safety of our food and water, with “the regulatory framework” being just one of many possible strategies toward this goal, to be assessed and used or not used depending upon whether or not it works. You might think “public trust in the regulatory framework” can be good or evil depending on what this framework really is and what it does, and must never be a goal in itself.
But this was not a mistaken formulation on their part. As the quote expresses, system NGOs truly do believe their primary goal is to keep the corporate project going, as I have written so many times in describing the corporate-technocratic regulatory template (most recently here
). Therefore where it comes to regulation the number one priority of system NGOs is to prop up faith in the regulatory framework as such. Meanwhile the number one priority of the regulator is to ensure that the corporate project goes forward. The regulator may curb or more often only pretends to curb the worst “abuses”, while the NGO pretends to be vigilant in ensuring the regulator carries out its own pretense. Then both assure the public that everything is fine, the system is working as it should, corporate poisons are being deployed only in “safe” ways, and that everyone can go about their private lives and forget about public matters. Most of all, everyone can stop even thinking about politics. The regulator vouches for the corporation and, for the constituency among the people for whom the regulator’s word isn’t enough, the NGO vouches for the regulator. Thus the regulator is running a scam and the NGO is running a meta-scam, a scam squared. The goal is to ensure that all possible destinies remain within the corporate-normative paradigm.
We can go further. The system NGOs work to set up a technocratic, “expert”-brokered paradigm of “politics”, wherein the people are supposed to do nothing but assimilate the news as provided by the NGO, do politically only what the NGO tells them to do (usually sign petitions and sometimes “call your Congressman”), and of course keep sending money. The goal is to ensure that all possible political destinies remain within the corporate-normative framework.
We see how for system NGOs the regulatory model is the object of religious worship and its perpetuation the focus of all their activity. Thus, as GMWatch says here, the most important thing is to prop up public faith in the regulator at all costs and without reference to whether or not this system “works” toward any other goal. The formulation is clear: The regulatory system’s existence is the priority, what it actually does
is of secondary importance at best. This follows perfectly the regulatory template I’ve discussed dozens of times. For recent discussions see here
, and here.
And then this strain of the technocratic religion goes hand in hand with the religion of electoralism, “voting” as an object of religious worship rather than just a tactic toward a concrete goal. We see how in both cases the pseudo-political religion is ultimately opposed to abolitionism and to any movement which is honest, which has a concrete goal, and which embraces this goal as the non-negotiable priority, placing all else in the realm of tactics to be assessed in a purely practical, rational way.
We see the extreme difference and opposition between movements whose goal is concrete, and status quo religions like electoralism and regulator-ism whose non-negotiable goals are nothing but fog and diffusion: Voting as such, the regulatory model as such. For these the only real goal is to ensure that all possible political destinies remain within the corporate framework.
And then both of these cults are part of the broad infamy of neoliberalism, whose ideology is corporate-technocratic domination and whose strategy is to use the forms of democracy, not just to come to power in the first place as in the case of classical fascism, but to maintain power and become ever more totalitarian while using a minimum of direct, overt coercion and violence.
We see how electoralism turned out to be a world-historical mistake on humanity’s part. At least for the duration of the fossil-fuel era, we must understand that it can never be a value or goal in itself but only a tactic to be used or not according to circumstance.
As for the regulatory model, it always was transparently a fraud, and in any event the history of over a century is unequivocal. That’s especially true of the regulation of broadly deployed corporate poisons like agroechemicals. It’s been a long, long time since anyone could claim to be innocently mistaken about the likes of the EPA or EFSA. To still espouse faith in this model can only be terminal conformism, stupidity, and corruption. Most of all, it reveals that one is indelibly a technocracy believer and a believer in corporate rule. One believes only in destinies that are encompassed within the death zone of corporate dominion. That says it all, and whether or not one’s petty preference is then to attempt to “regulate” some “abuses” is just a minor detail, a consumerist lifestyle ornament. It has no political substance, and no relation to any reality-based, concrete, necessary goal such as the great need to abolish agricultural poisons. But only those who follow the paths of necessity can even envision a destiny independent of corporate domination and all its evils.
Help propagate the necessary ideas.