December 21, 2017

The Dicamba Crisis Part 2: GMO/Pesticides Vs. Evolution


The final step would be no plants and therefore no humans.

Part one, describing the crisis.
Contrary to modernist religion evolution does not “progress”, but barring extreme events it tends in a linear way toward greater diversity. It doesn’t make great leaps outside of its own limits and laws. This is why scientifically sound agriculture is based on soil-building, biodiversity, attracting beneficial insects and other organisms, and putting natural stress on pests. These are the basis of agroecology.
Poison-based agriculture comprises, in theory and practice, the radical repudiation of science and wisdom. Rejecting biodiversity in every way and exalting monculture, it is anti-evolutionary and counter-evolutionary. It seeks to break out of evolution and nature completely and replace these with a technological desert. We see this most clearly with the GMO campaign.
One of the core cult faiths of genetic engineering cultism is that the engineers can lift themselves and their product out of the framework of natural evolution, leap over all its processes and safeguards, and superimpose their own anti-evolved, non-contexted product over the entire globe in minimal time. The GMO ideology is based on a technological leaping-out of natural evolution, in the same way technocracy as an order of social engineering wants to leap out of human politics, indeed out of human nature as such. As we see with the unfolding dicamba crisis, the results are likely to be disastrous.
The networked organisms of the ecological system are always reacting to changes in their environment. Their organic reactions generally sum up to relative stability over evolutionary time, and this is part of the process of evolution. Where a change radically leaps over the dampening effect of evolutionary time including its many safeguards and diminishing feedback loops, especially where this radical change is combined with many other drivers of chaos and destruction, the network becomes overstressed as many component organisms find it difficult or impossible to adapt.
Naturally evolving organisms and the conventional crop breeding which necessarily is done within the framework of evolution must encounter the naturally evolved safeguards against mutation and ecological disruption. Changes need time and effort to run a gamut of naturally imposed challenges, or the challenges of breeder selection, to become established. Genetic engineering, on the contrary, aggressively seeks to override these safeguards and leap over these challenges. It seeks to deploy the infected genome in the environment over vast regions as fast as it can. This is such a difference of magnitude, speed, and geographical reach as to comprise a qualitative difference. It seeks to maximize mutations and chaotic effects in the environment, along with the great disruptions the impresarios deliberately premeditate.
Black Swan author Nassim Taleb co-authored a paper on the systemic risk of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering has zero in common with conventional breeding, physically or ecologically. The lies and denials of pro-GMO activists with regard to this fact demonstrate their general ignorance of evolution and flippant disregard for its implications. The most extreme manifestation of pro-GM evolution denial is this incapacity or refusal to recognize the great difference between adaptation to a wide range of natural environmental hurdles encountered over evolutionary time, as opposed to seeking to leap over all the hurdles in an instant, with the entire process from genetic extraction to insertion to breeding to distribution taking place in a totally artificial, hermetic, alien, non-contextual bubble, and from there to deploy a biological technology developed in this anti-environmental way all at once on a global basis in the real world. Under such circumstances a rational person would expect nothing but disaster.
No one even slightly familiar with ecology, biology, genetics, agronomy, or history could take this seriously for a moment. Any natural allele, mutation, horizontal genetic transfer, must run a long gauntlet of safeguards developed by evolution including the genome’s own repair mechanism, then the greater hurdles of the local environment, and must adapt and spread over millions of years. Farmer selection and conventional breeding have followed such a pattern for 10,000 years.
But the genetic engineering technique which has existed for just a few years now claims to supersede these thousands and millions of years. It claims to be able to leap over the evolutionary genetic hurdles using technology. This is impossible. Therefore the genetic engineering project implicitly seeks to maximize the harmful mutations, latent weaknesses, unfit traits, and hazards.
Similarly, genetic engineering and the political-economic GMO deployment system claim to be able to leap over the evolutionary environmental hurdles, as well as the geographic hurdles, using economic brute force. This means it wants to spread the infected, harmful genetic and biological material, and the agronomic and ecological destruction which follows from it, as globally as possible as fast as possible.
Genetic engineering ideology wants to leap over the entire evolutionary time and action during which all matters of fitness, quality, and toxicity are worked out by nature, or by human thought and labor in conjunction with nature. The hubris and contempt for science on display with these persons is staggering. Genetic engineering has nothing in common with conventional breeding. GMOs can be only a debilitating parasite free riding on conventional breeding and destroying its work.
Therefore with GMOs we have a phenomenon where politics and economics meld inextricably with ecology. Ecologists, and those whose science is sculpted by an ecological mindset, are the only scientists qualified to speak about GMOs. Beyond that this technology is fundamentally a political and economic phenomenon. GMOs as deployed in the real world, rather than in the depraved minds of their idolators, have very little to do with science. This renders it all the more ironic when the pro-GM activists go hysterically braying about how even the most modest questions or criticisms are “anti-science! anti-science!” We see the evolution denialism of the pro-GMO activists.
The pesticide model of agriculture is conjoined with the GMO ideology of technologically leaping out of natural evolution. Pesticides are dedicated to the scorched earth monoculture model of agriculture and the ideology which regards the natural world as something to be wiped out. Poisonism is a radical rejection of biodiversity in principle and practice and comprises the will to wipe out all life except that specially selected to be part of the technocratic socio-ecological engineering.
The primary privileged organisms in this anti-evolutionary order are the bacterium A. tumefaciens (used as the main insertion vector in genetic engineering, thus using the engineers for its own purposes) and the proprietary GM crops themselves, along with the corporate persons (dogmatically declared to be “real” life forms) and the few humans who are monetarily wealthy. Ironically, the other main group of life forms privileged under this system are the pests, weeds, and diseases whose eradication is the alleged reason for deploying pesticides in the first place.
Corporate industrial agriculture denies weed and pest resistance in principle, even as its monoculture provides the best terrain for these organisms to prosper. (It does the same for rats, now the subject of a pro-CRISPR propaganda campaign against “invasives”; more on how the corporate system deliberately privileges rats for its own purposes in an upcoming piece.) Where forced by reality to discuss resistance, the corporations and media blame farmers for sloppy pesticide application and thus pretend that proper application can forestall the development of resistance. But everyone knows the pesticide treadmill, the endless arms race between the escalation of poisons and the resistance the targets inevitably develop against these poisons, is an intrinsic element of the system. In fact this is deliberate planned obsolescence. Everyone knows that no poison works longer than a few years and then must be supplemented by additional, more destructive poisons. The entire model of agrochemicals and GMOs is based on this malevolent dynamic. Therefore weed and pest resistance is the phenomenon upon which they are completely dependent for their continued profit and power. By contrast, if farmers switched to agroecology and dealt with pests and weeds by balancing them out within the framework of evolution rather than a scorched earth arms race running directly counter to it, agriculture would be far more productive, constructive, efficient, and profitable for the actual growers, and it would be the end of the power of agribusiness.
We see the horror this prospect strikes in the minds not only of the corporate operatives and scientism cultists themselves, but of the entire governmental, scientific, academic, and media system. That’s why, in spite of some lip service here and there about mixed systems like integrated pest management (IPM), the only truly allowable response to the patent failure of each pesticide and pesticide/GMO system is to deploy even more and worse poisons. The deployment of the Xtend/dicamba system is in response to the collapse of the Roundup Ready system as glyphosate-resistant weeds make a mockery of even the most copious slatherings of the poison. Dicamba and 2,4-D (upon which Dow’s Enlist system is built) both, Monsanto and the USDA promised in the 1990s, would be rendered obsolete by the Roundup Ready system based on the allegedly less harmful glyphosate. All the weed scientists researching and publicizing the dicamba disaster nevertheless agree that the dicamba deployment is the necessary response to Roundup’s collapse, even as they acknowledge that dicamba inevitably will fail and, implicitly, that the herbicide-tolerance GMO model itself is a complete failure. Dicamba’s revival is just the latest proof. For the corporate-technocratic system the only allowed response to failure is to escalate on proven failure. Poison-based agriculture is the most clear and extreme example.
Sure enough, weed scientists already are touting the upcoming corporate poison escalations.

Scott talked about the HT3 soybean from Monsanto, a “triple stack” soybean that will tolerate three herbicide chemistries: glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. Glyphosate is known commercially as Roundup. Glufosinate is known as Liberty. Scott said these beans may be available as early as 2019, but likely in limited amounts.

“We observed very good pigweed control with these technologies”, he said.

Also on the horizon, possibly as early as 2018, are the Enlist soybeans. Scott said these beans are “only awaiting Chinese approval for their being legal to use in the U.S.”

Syngenta and Bayer are working on HPPD-tolerant soybeans, “which are further down the line.” The timeline for availability may be 2020 to 2023, Scott said, and the beans are likely to be stacked with other traits.

Still, the message was hopeful at a time when current weed management methods are dividing the farm community.

“This is the first time in a long time that I’ve heard the chemical companies say they’ve got some new tools in the pipeline,” he said.

And if these are commercialized, just as surely as glyphosate and dicamba before them these too inevitably will fail, causing even more extreme damage along the way. And so they ratchet from poison to poison, each allegedly representing the end of all other poisons.
This proves that the system’s mode of action systematically selects for weed resistance (just as the Bt refuge scam and the entire insecticide model select for insect resistance). This is the one and only point of contact between the poison system and evolution. The system denies evolution in principle and claims some magic combination of poisons will overcome it, even as in practice the system intentionally drives the evolution of resistance in order to sustain and increase its own political and economic power.
Therefore, just as monocultural cropping provides the optimal terrain for pests and weeds, the pesticide treadmill fosters their accelerated evolutionary resistance to poisons. In the same way dicamba, like all herbicides and like the entire industrial system based on CAFOs and the antibiotic resistance markers used in genetic engineering, drives the evolution of antibiotic resistant microbes. This too must be seen as an intended goal of the system, a way it manipulates evolution even while denying it. This affects most of all those people directly in contact with the herbicides – farmers, applicators, and in the case of dicamba’s atmospheric loading, all people who live in the dicamba zone. Herbicides decimate our microbiome, selectively sparing pathogens and boosting their resistance to antibiotics. The greater the drift effect, the greater the antibiotic resistance effect. Therefore the dicamba deployment, and the entire glyphosate/2,4-D/dicamba campaign, must be placed in the context of the systematic campaign of governments and corporations to wipe out antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. No one who understands and respects evolution could be in any doubt about this goal.
We understand the insanity of the dicamba GMO crisis. It builds on the failure of Roundup and of the pesticide model as such. It simultaneously denies evolution and drives a specially destructive mode of evolution. Herbicide tolerant GMOs systematically select for weed resistance. Sure enough, dicamba-resistant weeds already are on the rise. The greater the atmospheric loading of volatile dicamba vapor, the faster it’ll drive weed resistance along with every other ecological and health harm.
Dicamba’s inherent volatility renders it impossible to control even assuming the greatest care in spraying. Contrary to Monsanto’s lies, all dicamba is volatile including the name brand formulations of Monsanto and BASF. Indeed there’s evidence that dicamba’s volatility is essential to it having any proximate herbicidal effect on weeds in the first place. The more dicamba is sprayed under the warm, humid conditions which cause it to become volatile (i.e., the way it’s intended to be used with the Xtend system), the more the atmosphere in the dicamba zone will become suffused with dicamba vapor and the more completely it will settle over the entire countryside. Under those conditions it will become impossible for any other soybean variety, GM or non-GM, to exist. Farmers will be forced to purchase the few soybean varieties engineered with the Xtend trait. This is Monsanto’s deliberate campaign of biological extortion. (“Xtortion”, as many soybean farmers are calling it.)
Therefore Monsanto’s goal is to wipe out all non-Xtend soybeans and attain a monopoly. But that’s just the beginning. We also see the system’s implicit will to destroy vast swaths of vegetables, ornamentals, and trees. However senseless this might seem from the point of view of any textbook profit motive, it’s an expression of the fanatical monoculture mentality which wants to wipe out all natural plant growth and reduce all cultivation to corporate-controlled industrial monoculture.
What alternative intent can we infer from the system’s will to escalate the deployment in 2018 after 2017 already proved it so indiscriminately destructive? All USDA and Monsanto projections and proclamations continue to prove that their strict goal is to maximize dicamba’s use and destructiveness. If all goes according to corporate plan, by fall 2018’s seed increase 80% of the commercial soybean seed and 90% of the cotton will be engineered to maximize spraying of dicamba or 2,4-D. Monsanto’s rebate plan for 2018 is further proof that the goal is to attain a complete monopoly over soybean seed, and dicamba’s complete geographical and biological domination, as quickly as possible in order to forestall all social resistance and agronomic alternatives. Any advcacy of full speed ahead with business as usual proves the will to drive out all non-Xtend soybeans and from there all other broad-leaf plants, period. (Meanwhile 2,4-D threatens/promises to do the same for grasses.)
We see what an extreme renunciation of evolution’s process and diversity this campaign is. The ultimate monoculture goal is nothing less than to wipe out all biodiversity except for the pests themselves and replace it with a technocratic blank slate. The cultists and operatives first deny evolution in principle, then seek to wipe it out in practice. The goal is to use violence (technological and where necessary conventional) to force their nightmare vision of technocratic “progress” onto natural succession.
They cannot succeed because their program seeks to defy evolution. In spite of their pretensions to, as one of their leaders in the Bush administration said, “create our own reality”, they cannot do so. However grim things look right now, their anti-nature, anti-evolution program dooms them to destruction.
We mammals must wait it out, taking every opportunity to destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs.
Propagate the necessary new ideas.

October 27, 2017

“Competition” as Ideological Proxy for Biological Warfare


“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 14, 2017

Monsanto Stole Everything, Innovated Nothing


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!

April 27, 2017

The Corporate Science Establishment Vs. the Scientific Method


Conclusion first – experiment afterwards! In fact genetic engineering is nothing but mass non-consensual human experiment and religiously pre-determined “conclusion”, with zero concern for data which doesn’t fit the dogma. Nor is any hypothesis or scientific theory ever involved. There is no science of genetic engineering.
What is scientific method? Science is not qualitatively different from other belief systems, but is part of the same general complex as philosophy, political theory, and religion. Where actually practiced according to the theory of how it’s supposed to be practiced, science is a well-defined set of actions performed in accord with reason which attains a limited but reasonably reliable result. The rationality which prescribes the actions and the reliability of the result are sound within rationally circumscribed limits and as long as the practitioners and everyone else acknowledge these limits. Therefore science is a form of practical philosophy which is more applicable to physical objects and processes than most other kinds. According to the scientists themselves, as most fully elaborated by Karl Popper, explicator of “the scientific method”, what distinguishes science from other forms of philosophy is that its results must always be falsifiable. This means that at least in principle there must be an experiment which could generate data which disproves a scientific contention. If no such experiment can be conceived even in principle, a proposition automatically is supposed to be ruled out of science.
That’s how it’s supposed to work. Of course in reality people tend to conform, to seek agreement and consensus, and for several reasons STEM types are among the most congenitally conformist and authoritarian. So it was always dubious and indeed suspicious that the scientific fraternity exalted an ideal which is so uncongenial to human nature and especially to their own nature, this heroic notion of the eternal vigilance and critical nature of everyday science practitioners. The falsification ideal also goes against simple careerism. No rational person would expect eminent scientists with influence over research funding to prefer aspiring falsifiers of their work over aspiring conformists and reinforcements.
Any fraternity, especially one which combines such extremes of tribalism, arrogance, and persecution complex as the scientific fraternity does, generally seeks tribal compaction over assimilation to any idea which is more universal, or one which contradicts one of the tribe’s defining tenets. The Mafia calls this sticking up for Cosa Nostra, “Our Thing”. The average STEM cadre, as well as post-graduate types in general, is completely ignorant about genetic engineering and GMOs but does know that a hard core of the fraternity is fanatically in support of this campaign, and that’s all these authoritarian followers need to know: It’s Our Thing. So from the evidence of history we’d expect that, once the scientific fraternity has committed itself spiritually to the exaltation of genetic engineering, it would tend automatically to rally around the GMO rallying cry and to despise anyone with questions, criticisms or, most wickedly, falsifications.
Now we understand how the proposition that “GMOs are safe for human consumption”, while readily falsifiable in principle given sufficient research resources, became unfalsifiable in practice. What do we learn from the scientific establishment’s institutional obstructionism and refusal to fund whole genres of theoretically possible and morally imperative testing? This rationally implies that the obstructionists – corporations and governments – believe their theory is false and are using lies and obstructionism to shield it from the test of falsifiability.
The scientific establishment always has refused to perform scientific safety tests on GMOs. Instead:
1. They promulgated the religious dogma that GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to non-GM crops and foods. This is part of the prior religious Conclusion of genetic engineers and their cultists I cited above.
Of course this equivalence was always self-evidently a lie since plants suffused with herbicide and/or endemic Bt toxins automatically are very different from plants which are not poisonous in this way. And even according to the system’s own narrow, technical concept, the equivalence dogma has been disproven many times. But the scientific establishment continues to promulgate it as dogma.
2. The scientific establishment has systematically lied in representing industrial testing of such parameters as fast weight gain in CAFO inmates to be legitimate food safety tests relevant to human food safety. Corporations, governments, and the mainstream media then parrot these lies, but it’s the scientists themselves who design and initially propagate the lies.
3. They claim to possess evidence, e.g. that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer, but say they cannot show it to us. This alleged evidence must remain secret, and the world must trust the corporate science establishment on faith. What would Popper say about that?
4. They’ve presented a united front in trying to suppress actual scientists who attempt falsification on their own.
It’s clear that establishment science systematically has evaded its obligation to test GMOs for safety, systematically has lied about its dereliction, and systematically has sought to obstruct science and repress real falsification-seeking scientists. This proves the general malignity of this establishment and its complete lack of scientific credibility, authority, and legitimacy.
To say a few more words about secret science, its purpose is to exalt the corporate-technocratic establishment as an authoritative priesthood. This means that it must prefer assertion and obfuscation over rational argument and the presentation of evidence, since no one who wants to be seen as an authoritarian command figure can afford to let the peasants question his authority, for example by demanding rational debate and evidence. This is a major reason why genetic engineers and their fanboys historically never were willing rationally to answer questions and objections to their endeavor, but rather resorted from day one to vague utopian rhetoric, epithets, and insults. The other reason was that rationality and the evidence have always been strongly against genetic engineering.
From this perspective we see that the proximate reason given for the secrecy, intellectual property, is more a pretext than a cause. Both the patenting and the secrecy that goes with it are important for profiteering, but they’re more important for power as such. One must never be distracted by the kind of idiot who would rationalize secret science by invoking IP privilege. IP is a pure fiction which has no reality-based purpose, but which is only a weapon of corporate and scientism cultist power.
And as we see, IP cannot co-exist with the scientific method. You can have one or the other, never both. The entire Western political and STEM class, as well as the voters, have chosen to exalt corporate intellectual property and to degrade science. This is part of the complete enclosure of all of “science” within the corporate science paradigm.
The scientific method dictates that even in principle we never reasonably can conclude that “GMOs are safe”. The genetic engineering process guarantees that each “event” will have unique chaotic effects since there’s so many random mutations from each transgenic insertion and each tissue culturing.
Random variation and its sometimes major real-world effects is the first premise of Darwinism. Since genetic engineering ideology lies about its precision and dogmatically decrees that it generates no significant mutations, we see how this pseudo-science is denialist, not just of evolution as such but specifically of Darwinism.
The radical overall evolution denialism of the genetic engineers and their religious following is part of their eugenics agenda. They despise natural evolution and intend to break out of all of its mechanisms and leap over all of its safeguards. Their campaign to deploy GM crops as universally over the globe as possible, as quickly as possible, with an ostentatious contempt for the effects of this, is extremely reckless and dangerous from any rational or scientific point of view.
But we must understand that from the religious crusading point of view of eugenic scientism, the recklessness and danger of this deployment is precisely why it should be done, on principle. The massive non-consensual human feeding experiment ultimately has eugenic goals. In the same way, the so far uncontrolled experiment of the vast-scale environmental release of GMOs ultimately has the goal of forcibly overriding evolution and imposing technocratic creationism over the entire globe. This is the richer significance of the malign experimentalism of the STEM establishment. Both of these experiments are being carried out with the most extreme, radical, reckless indifference to human and ecological well-being, precisely because the technocratic mentality does not recognize such well-being as a value at all and has nothing but contempt for it. This goes to the core of why technology in general so seldom works to make our lives better: Such a value has always meant nothing to the scientists and engineers. They seek nothing but control for the sake of control. Therefore they campaign to impose their vast uncontrolled experiments upon humanity and the Earth toward the goal of one day turning these into controlled experiments, and eventually being able to enforce total eugenic control. At that point they’ll completely have eradicated nature and history and replaced these with divinely willed creationism. As insane and physically impossible as it is, this is their goal. They’ve hijacked science to serve this goal.
Thus, where it comes to genetic engineering where would you even get started with “scientific method”? There’s no theory, and the engineers despise observation. Otherwise they’d reject the project as having no possible benefit, only risks and harms. Rather, they start with the experiment itself, for its own ultimately eugenic sake and for corporate profit. If one makes a prediction it’s nothing but wishful thinking and not part of scientific method at all, since they have no theory or evidence upon which to base it. Therefore what they really do is invent the religious conclusion that GMOs are beneficial, indeed utopian, then embark upon the experiment, accompanied with lies and corporate hype. This is another reason genetic engineers started out with such a belligerent, anti-rationalist attitude – they had no other option.
Of course the proposition that GMOs as such are safe and that genetic engineering never has harmful effects already has been falsified many times: The lethal Showa Denko epidemic, the StarLink allergenic outbreak, allergenic GM soy engineered with a gene from Brazil nuts, GM corn which has toxic liver and kidney effects, just to name a few.
Thus we see how according to the scientific method, which the science establishment, the scientism cult, academia and the mainstream media all claim is the method they practice and/or consider legitimate, genetic engineering is anti-science and anti-evolution. And yet all these institutions don’t just support GMOs but ardently exalt them. This proves that they lie when they claim to practice and respect the scientific method.
There are many proofs that the modern corporate science establishment is systematically anti-science and has no credibility and should be accorded no legitimacy by humanity. The best proof is the STEM establishment’s bizarre love affair with this backward, shoddy, failed technology which never had any real-world purpose but to help a few agrochemical corporations sell more poison. It’ll go down as one of history’s great marvels of depravity that science threw it all away for the sake of something so stupid, worthless, and mean.
Help propagate the necessary ideas.

April 3, 2017

Intuitive and “Counter-intuitive”, According to the Poisoner Paradigm and the Organic Paradigm


A tale of two paradigms:
“Gill admitted it’s “counter-intuitive” that farmers who don’t spray wheat with a fungicide would have lower levels of fusarium and mycotoxins, but that may have been the case in 2016.”
Actually this is counter-intuitive only in the bizarro world where one religiously believes that the right way to do things is to destroy natural balances which evolved over millions of years, and then use violence to suppress elements which naturally would be held in balance by their ecological framework.
By contrast, anyone using reason and logic would presume that one should proceed in harmony with the well-evolved natural balances.
We see again that the preachers and the flock of the church of poison-based agriculture, including virtually the entire scientific establishment and “educated” persons in general, are evolution deniers and are anti-science.
Science, as an application of reason, would start with the default theory that since ecological evolution works, agriculture will work best in harmony with ecology, in harmony with evolution. And the evidence is unanimous that this is the truth.
Poison-based agriculture, by extreme contrast, has an unbroken record of failure and disaster. Since the great escalation of pesticide use in the mid 20th century crop losses to pests and disease have greatly increased, while like clockwork the pests, weeds, and diseases develop resistance and overcome each poison. It’s been well known since the 1970s and documented by scientific organizations such as Food First that if humanity zeroed out pesticide use this would have only minimal crop loss effects. And that’s assuming the continuation of pest-ridden industrial agriculture. Transformation to agroecology would overcome all pest losses.
Since the 1940s quantity and toxicity of pesticides has increased greater than tenfold while crop losses to pests have more than doubled. Less than .1% of poisons applied to crops reaches the target pests, while the rest poisons the soil, water, air, and food. US maize and wheat farmers would suffer only minimal additional losses if they ceased from all pesticide use. Almost all pesticide use has zero to do with food for human beings. Most pesticide use is to maintain certain cosmetic qualities of the crop rather than prevent pests from rendering it inedible. In other words the poisoner system chooses to destroy food safety and render a crop dangerous to eat over providing a safe, edible crop which sometimes falls modestly short of an artificial, perfectionist aesthetic ideal. Around the world, the vast majority of pesticides are used not for staple food crops but for commodity crops.
These are just a few of the facts on pesticides documented in Food First’s books. The overall fact is that the global pesticide campaign never had anything to do with producing food for human beings, and it never worked at doing so. On the contrary it has always been a failure, with each pesticide failing and having to be replaced by an even more toxic and expensive one. The entire paradigm of GMO crops is nothing but a radical escalation of this treadmill of failure, this campaign of planned obsolescence and maximal poisoning and destruction.
By now the facts are unanimous and incontrovertible. The fact that governments, corporations, universities, and the scientific establishment have chosen to continue with the Poisoner campaign in full knowledge of its unbroken record of agronomic failure, necessary escalation in gross use and expense, detrimental effects on crop breeding and crop biodiversity, destruction of community farm economies, and severe harm to human and environmental health, is proof that all of these are the intended, willful, premeditated effects and goals of poison-based agriculture.
We can go further. The industrial agricultural establishment as a whole chooses poison precisely because it destroys the natural ecological balance, including any agroecological balance which naturally keeps pests and disease in check (the superior performance of Saskatchewan’s organic wheat farming documented in the linked piece is just the latest of hundreds of proofs), replacing it with a monocultural dead zone.
In this way poison-based industrial agriculture systematically and intentionally generates the most favorable terrain for pests and disease, toward the goal of maximizing their action and destructiveness.
This is the core way the corporate-technocratic industrial agriculture system enforces the treadmill of ever-escalating poison use, which this system wants to maximize for economic, religious, ultimately for power-centered reasons.
These are the same reasons this system denies evolution, denies all science and reason, and seeks to eradicate all biodiversity including the agricultural biodiversity which is maximized by agroecology.
Humanity has a choice: To continue poisoning and exhausting itself, the ecology, the soil, and the very genetic basis of the crops themselves until either this Tower of Babel collapses of its own accord, or the increasing constraints on the physical availability of fossil fuels deals the whole system its death blow, and we all succumb to global famine.
Or, we can choose the path of sanity, science, and freedom. As part of our necessary resumption of the current of global evolution, which we must resume whether we choose it or not, the bountiful way or the hard way, since denying evolution is just a piece of stupidity which cuts no ice with long run reality, we can abolish corporate industrial agriculture and embark upon the global transformation to agroecology. This organic paradigm is fully conceived and proven by evolution itself, it is a fully demonstrated science and set of practices, it is ready for full global deployment the moment we choose to deploy it.
What’s truly intuitive is that what works is what works, and that what doesn’t work won’t work. What’s counter-intuitive is to flout and destroy what works, go directly against what works, and expect anything but failure. And sure enough, the evidence record of industrial agriculture is a perfect record of qualitative failure. Only pure brute force, powered almost completely by temporarily cheap, plentiful fossil fuels, and the willingness to be extremely wasteful and destructive, has kept it in the field at all. As I wrote in a recent piece, the only real product of this extremely wasteful and destructive system is concentrated power. This is why above all else the corporate system seeks and desires to maximize waste and destruction. That’s the core reason the fossil fuel inheritance, unearned and finite, was used up in such a wasteful and destructive way, when in theory so many alternative arrangements were possible, all of them vastly superior, rationally and morally. So it always has been, most of all with corporate industrial agriculture. Only in the intellectual insane asylum of their paradigm could any other mode of “intuition” seem possible.
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.

October 24, 2016

The True Power of Evolution vs. the False “Omnipotence” of Hubris


1. The Pope’s letter against corporate industrial agriculture on World Food Day includes his denunciation of those who “believe they are omnipotent, or able to ignore the cycles of the seasons and to improperly modify the various animal and plant species, leading to the loss of variety that, if it exists in nature, has and must have its role.”
This is a good brief description of the evolution denialism of the GM cultists, how one of their core cult faiths is that engineers can lift themselves out of the framework of natural evolution, leap over all its processes and safeguards, and superimpose their own anti-evolved, non-contexted product over the entire globe in minimal time, without the results being disastrous.
We see the fundamental affinity of the two classical types of evolution denier, religion-based creationists and scientism-based creationists. Both concur that nature is chaotic and ineffective left to itself, and that a god is needed to “create” and guide it. The only difference is whether one believes this creator god preceded and designed nature itself, or whether this god is supposed to come along later, via technology, to re-“create” nature and give “intelligent design” to the preceding alleged chaos.
Both types are equally unscientific and anti-scientific. Of course the technocratic type has vastly more power and is doing infinitely more damage.
2. The letter refers to how “genetic selection of a quality of plant may produce impressive results in terms of yield”. This is true of conventional breeding but should not be misunderstood as true of genetic engineering, which has not and cannot increase yield. In truth all industrial yield increases have come from conventional breeding and the profuse flow of fossil fuels. And yet acre for acre agroecology outproduces industrial agriculture even now in terms of calories and nutrition, i.e. in terms of producing food for human beings. Only by commodity metrics is corporate industrial production greater.
That’s only for today, while the cheap oil is still flowing. The moment that fails, industrial agriculture will collapse.
3. The letter includes the necessary call to action. “A mere evaluation is not sufficient”, but “it is necessary to act politically, and therefore to make the necessary decisions, to discourage or promote certain behaviours and lifestyles, for the sake of the new generations and those to come. Only in this way can we preserve the planet.” And this political organization and action cannot come first or last through established institutions, but by “those who are engaged in work…those who are in direct contact” with the Earth. It means, first and last, we the people, building the New City of the Ecotrinity in cooperation with God.
Thus we shall undergo the true natural evolution in political organization as well, overcoming the hubris and “omnipotence” of the failed conventional political ideas and forms.

September 30, 2015

The Historical Context of the “Genetic Engineering = Conventional Breeding” Lie


This piece places in historical context one of the primary GMO “science” lies, that genetic engineering is a form or extension of conventional breeding and natural evolution. My main source for the 19th century history is Philip Pauly’s Controlling Life.
This proposition is factually false, and in most cases we can be assured that those making this claim do so out of ignorance or intentional deception. As an ideological proposition, the notion that laboratory-generated artifices are not qualitatively different from the products of evolution goes back to 19th century German physiology. Among such physiologists as Carl Ludwig and Hermann Helmholtz there was a general neglect of Darwinism and a consensus that it was irrelevant. They tended to take the organism as given and focused on its current state. Physiologists posited a binary state of normality/health vs. pathology. Where a condition was seen as pathological, the goal was to learn how to manipulate in order to restore the organism to its “normal”, healthy condition. So physiologists would naturally tend toward seeking control since they undertook their work within the framework of this normal-pathological binary, with the focus being on pathology and the goal being to change this to the opposite state. This laid the groundwork for subsequent developments.
The lust for control above all other things loomed ever larger. Starting in the 1870s such practitioners as plant physiologist Julius Sachs, his student Jacques Loeb, and Justus Gaule rejected the normality/pathology binary and increasingly focused on physiological manipulation as such, without regard to whether it was in the direction of the organism’s better or worse health. Bolstered by the instrumental science philosophy of Ernst Mach and the techno-evangelism of Mach’s close associate Josef Popper-Lynkeus, researchers within this framework relinquished any concern for whether or not scientific research or technological development produced humanly beneficial results. Technological control and manipulation as such was religiously assumed to be its own self-caused primary value, with all other values subordinate to it. These researchers added to their negligent contempt for Darwinism the attitude that since health vs. sickness, comfort vs. pain, normality vs. pathology were meaningless distinctions, so it followed that natural evolution vs. technologically accomplished laboratory manipulation was also a meaningless distinction.
They were explicit that even what almost anyone would call a lab-created monstrosity was just as natural as a healthy, normally developed creature in the wild. Thus when Loeb crowed in a letter to Mach about having created in his lab two-headed tubularia (instead of their usual “head” and “foot”) through manipulation of stimuli, he went on to insist that to call such a lab creation a monster logically would be the same as to call inanimate technology like the telegraph “monstrous”. In accord with his denial of distinctions within the organic state, Loeb denied there was any difference between animate and inanimate matter. Therefore the engineer’s manipulation and control of life was indistinguishable from his manipulation of metals or stone, and the biological engineer was concerned with nothing more or less than developing a “technology of living substance.”
This was the commencement of a purely nihilist, instrumental, and ultimately mercenary trend which views biological science as nothing but the subordinate tool of engineering, and the goal of engineering to be nothing but maximizing biological control. This engineering goal was then read back into biological science itself, which the engineer defines simply as the description of the ways in which natural or engineered stimuli control the behavior of organisms. From this point of view knowledge and understanding in themselves are superfluous. These matter only insofar as they’re necessary to augment control. From there the goal is to maximize the “cultural power” (Loeb) of technology and, on the social and political level, to institute technocracy. This was the program Mach and Popper-Lynkeus laid out, what they touted as the true measure of bourgeois Progress. Practitioners like Loeb seek to develop science on this basis, not even as applied science, but the complete redefinition of science as a supplement to engineering. Within this paradigm, science and technology are not to be seen as tools for human benefit and well-being, but as a rationalized measure of Progress. This measure is nothing but Might Makes Right, the ability of engineers, as the elite torch-bearers of humanity, to exert power over nature, the power of control and manipulation without reference to any other measure or value. Just power as such. For these ideologues, nothing is real but the ability to control the behavior of organisms through the manipulation of stimuli and, today, the genetic structure of the organism.
In the 20th century this engineering ideology rose to become one of the main elements of scientism, and today we have the most extravagant manifestation of this instrumental mentality with genetic engineering. Here we have the most extreme juxtaposition of the mentality of control for control’s sake with an utter disdain for any underlying scientific knowledge and a complete contempt for fact or truth.
The preoccupation of genetic engineers with nothing but gutter control motivations stands out where we encounter their seeming lack of even the most basic knowledge of genetic science. If we accept their claims at face value, they seem completely ignorant of how genes work, how proteins are produced, how proteins function, or how environment affects genetic processes. For detail on this see my essay, “There is No Science of Genetic Engineering”.
What’s abundantly clear is that genetic engineering has nothing to with the precise application of scientific knowledge nor with precision techniques. On the contrary, it’s always been based on nothing but brute force empiricism. From the gene gun used to literally blast the transgenic material into the recipient cells to the sloppy application of antibiotics or herbicides to locate the transgene-infused cells to the extremely wasteful processes of tissue culture and greenhouse and field trials to the crackpot eyeballing involved in selecting the ancestral GMO plants from which all subsequent seeds are produced, the whole process is nothing but throwing gobs of money and energy at the problem to find a result which looks vaguely like the one the cultists and corporations then advertise.
It’s easy to see why genetic engineers have always disdained the admonition that they need to have any knowledge whatsoever of agronomy. For them the only meaningful “knowledge” is whatever is required for the laboratory engineering process. Their idiot arrogance assumes that this should be sufficient to subjugate nature in the crop and and in the field. This is a big part of the reason why GMOs are such inferior, shoddy, failure-prone products. The inferiority of the product is the logical outcome of the myopically reductive, anti-intellectual, anti-scientific ideology which went into engineering it. Garbage in, garbage out.
Given the engineer ideology, in conjunction with the sleazy profiteering of the corporations, it’s no surprise that the quality of the product doesn’t matter at all. The attitude that technological manipulation as such is the highest religious value implies that the product doesn’t actually have to work in any constructive way, just as long as it “works” in some abstract way, to the engineer’s satisfaction. As Loeb’s biographer put it, “The nature of the product was less important than the extent and ease of manipulation.” Consequently, the engineers and fanboys of GMOs join the corporate marketing bureau in having zero compunction about endlessly regurgitating basic empirical lies about the performance of the product: The fact that GMOs require increased pesticide use, that they yield less, that products like “golden rice” or “GM drought resistant maize” are hoaxes, etc. For devotees of the religion of technology-based control, the idea of GMOs is infinitely more important than the real world product itself. Since the lies only touch the real thing while the fantasies soar into the realm of the religious ideal, they see no ethical reason not to lie. This is a fundamental trait of their being.
In the same way, they tell such “science” lies as that genetic engineering has anything in common with conventional breeding or natural evolution. This overriding contempt for how evolution works adds up to what is, unlike prior strains, a systemically dangerous form of evolution denial. This is because the GMO ideology seeks to force upon the entirety of global agriculture a maladapted, dangerously narrow slice of agricultural genetics which is suffused with mutations which can manifest unpredictably at any time during the course of the transgenic crop’s generations if it meets a particular environmental challenge. The GMO cult wants to do this all at once, in an instant, without even the slightest allowance for evolution’s natural tempo and the challenges it normally poses to any new biological form. Such an agricultural system is cruising for a major fall which will dwarf the 1970 Southern Corn Leaf Blight pandemic, also caused by dangerously narrow genetics. If a cabal were to set out intentionally to render humanity vulnerable to the most dire extremes of famine, it could hardly do better than set up the conditions corporate agriculture, in conjunction with the GMO scientism cult, is currently trying to establish. None of this matters to the cultists since they’re in the tradition of the biological control process itself being the one and only value.
The influence of this ideology also explains the rampant confusion of science and technology, including the common misconception that the deployment of GMOs, and to a large extent their development, is a “science” matter, when in reality science has almost nothing to do with it. Where the hysterical shrieks of “anti-science!!!” aren’t just lies, it’s the confused engineers and their even more confused fanboys deluding themselves that engineers are scientists, and that science is a part of engineering and even subordinate to it. The phenomenon is basically a major trend of anti-intellectualism within the scientific and engineering establishment. Today’s paid liars, in turn, take advantage of this prior ideological confusion.
To sum up, the corporate subsidy system and brute economic muscle of the US, UK, Indian, and other governments are expended to make the GMO cartel profitable. Within this framework the engineering cult performs its religious rites for its own vanity and edification-via-manipulation. This is the only edification they desire, since they hold firm to the ideology that the description of the lab manipulation and its effects is the science. Control = Science = religious faith.
Of course, just as Loeb and his botanical teacher Sachs weren’t content sticking with plants, so today’s genetic engineering cultists regard agricultural GMOs merely as an intermediate step toward a full program of GE eugenics. There’s several practical reasons for this. Sachs consciously regarded his study and experimental control of plant tropism as preparation toward the same work with animals. Similarly, the genetic engineering of plants is, technically and politically, practice for doing the same with animals and humans. At least as important, agricultural GMOs are highly profitable and therefore research toward them brings lavish funding to control-fixated biological scientists and technicians. All this enables the general eugenic research work to go on with only moderate public concern and opposition.
But the basic logic is clear, and the engineers have always been upfront about it: Agricultural GMOs = animal genetic engineering = human genetic engineering. All of this is toward the goal of total control, both as a scientific/engineering imperative, and of course from the point of view of political and economic tyranny, with which today’s scientific establishment willingly has become conjoined.
If humanity is to overcome this great threat to its freedom, health, prosperity, and its very existence, we must overcome and replace not only the evil political and economic ideology of modern times, but the nihilist mercenary ideology which has hijacked science. True science benefits and upholds health and freedom. We must redeem it for our future.