Volatility

October 11, 2018

Eugenic War II Proceeds According to Schedule

>

 
 
The First Eugenic War against humanity and the Earth was launched by ideologues of scientism and social Darwinism in the latter 19th century. In America and Europe eugenics quickly became one of the most popular cultural and political ideas among the entire educated and political class. Political progressives especially were enthralled and as usual joined hands with conservatives and militarists. In America only the churches and a small band of political and social critics opposed the cultural eugenic wave.
 
Although the movement failed to gain policy traction in Britain in spite of massive propaganda efforts, America quickly began enacting eugenic policies. California and other states were passing laws informed by eugenic notions early in the century. By the 1920s forced sterilizations of alleged inferiors, enshrined by the Supreme Court (“three generations of imbeciles is enough”, chirped Oliver Wendell Holmes for the 8-1 majority), were being performed on a large scale, while eugenic ideology played a large role in the crafting of immigration policy.
 
Europe’s big day came when the Nazis came to power. The Nazis warmly praised American eugenic policy and consciously adapted it. Nazi eugenics escalated in tandem with anti-Jewish policy. They eased their way from voluntary euthanasia of deformed infants to a full-scale policy of the murder of asylum inmates launched in tandem with the invasion of Poland in 1939. The program used both shootings and gassing. In this way Nazi eugenics both psychologically and in terms of technical experience prepared the Nazis to embark upon the vastly greater program of exterminating the Jews with poison gas. Genocide is the inherent goal of all eugenics.
 
Much to the chagrin of scientists and technocrats everywhere, the Nazi experience discredited the eugenic concept in the public mind. Eugenics had to go underground under the guise of regular genetic research. It eventually began to resurface in the 1960s in the form of reproductive assistance technologies marketed as mere medical treatments but whose practitioners actually had far-reaching eugenic goals. This stealth eugenics was accompanied by the development of genetic engineering technology. At the same time Arthur Jensen and Harvard University resurrected scientific racism. These three pathways have since intertwined and comprise an ever more aggressive propaganda and technological deployment. The Second Eugenic War was on.
 
 
I’ve been writing analysis and forecasts about this war for many years now. Just to select a few out of many pieces, see here, here, here, here, and here.
 
My basic point has been that agricultural GMOs, in addition their inherent uses as weapons of power, also are a stalking horse for GM animal eugenics and eventually GM human eugenics. The idea of so-called reproductive “medical” engineering treatments has run parallel in the propaganda and research.
 
It’s not necessarily the case that right at this moment there’s some master cabal somewhere which is consciously planning to repeat the Nazi experiment on a far more comprehensive technocratic basis, though they often informally talk about it quite openly. But the entire history of scientism and its eugenic preoccupation, and their entire pattern of action is trending toward this goal. The entire history of their type (the history of eugenics specifically, and the control ideology among engineers in general) proves that at some point they will consciously organize to attain this genocidal totalitarian goal.
 
Today Australian regulators have taken the latest step*. Out ahead of regulators anywhere else, they have endorsed the full deregulation of all GM eugenic animal research and deployment.
 
“A new report by Friends of the Earth reveals that scientists are using these new GM techniques, such as CRISPR, to develop more muscular and disease resistant livestock that can endure intensive conditions without getting sick; and to produce animals that don’t reach sexually maturity so they eat less food.”
 
Of course animal eugenics posits only goals which are purely instrumental for capitalist productionism. From the point of view of the economic civilization animals are nothing but a resource to be exploited. (In the same way, literally all alleged “safety tests” on GMOs which have been performed by corporations and governments have focused on nothing but whether factory farmed animals being fed on GM-based feed can reach their slaughter weight without dropping dead. Self-evidently this has zero relevance for testing the safety of GM-based foods in the human diet. Governments, corporations, universities, and the media systematically lie when they propagandize that GMOs have been tested and found safe.)
 
Economic exploitation is also the primary usage of human beings, and the primary way the consciousness of civilization views them. Today’s eugenic ideologues among scientists and social Darwinists also spew the same utopian fantasies of engineering a Master Race that the Nazis did, but since this is genetically impossible the main uses of genetic engineering technology will be to engineer more useful slaves and to use gene drives, along with biological weapons and artificial famines, to exterminate everyone else. Exactly as Hitler planned to exterminate all Germans and other “Aryans” who weren’t physically perfect once the war had been won, so that the end result would be a pure bifurcation of the alleged “Master Race” and the slave races.
 
 
To sum up the schedule:
 
1. Agricultural GMOs.
 
2. GM animals.
 
3. GM humans as “medical treatment”.
 
4. GM humans as “positive” eugenics, i.e. boutique engineering of the embryos of rich rubes stupid enough to think they can turn their brats into Mozarts and Einsteins and Michael Jordans that way.
 
5. Massive social pressure upon all expectant parents to have their embryos engineered.
 
6. Coercion and the revival of negative eugenics (forced sterilizations and so on).
 
7. The full Nazi euthanasia program via genetic modification.
 
I’ve been forecasting this for years and so far everything’s happening right on schedule.
 
 
*A striking feature of the corporate-technocratic onslaught is how regulators everywhere see themselves as nothing but servants of the big corporations and seek nothing but to divest all of their own powers. That’s not historically the usual behavior of bureaucracies. It goes to show what the true role of regulatory agencies is under capitalism, and how stupid it is for anyone to still look to regulators for any kind of action whatsoever which isn’t on behalf of the corporations. You can’t “take back” or “reform” these agencies any more than you can the corporate demons themselves. I’ve written innumerable pieces on this as well. Here’s just two of them.
 
 
 
 
To all mammals: Destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs every chance you get.
 
 
 
 

May 15, 2018

Bioweapons Next Door; You Voted for Them

>

 
 
“The most pressing worry is that someone somewhere will use the spreading technology to create a bioweapon.
 
Gene editing already is a bioweapon, in every conceivable application. Just as every GMO is a bioweapon in principle. What the corporate media means is, a bioweapon not controlled by the corporate state. This is its only concern.
 
But any GM bioweapon will be the child of technocratic civilization, whether this ultra-modern civilization acknowledges paternity or, as a reactionary, declares its child illegitimate. (That goes for all the reformists as well, with their pretty words, sordid actions, and malign neglect.)
 
This kind of garage eugenics is meant to be only the Peter the Hermit stage of the GM eugenics crusade.
 
 
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas. Destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs every chance you get.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

April 18, 2018

CRISPR: Utopian Religious Fantasies, Shoddy Reality

>

In their fantasies and propaganda, it’s a palace

 
 
BASF is announcing that it plans to use the CRISPR “gene editing” technology to engineer “crop protection”, i.e. the same old pesticidal GMOs.
 
This is just the latest proof that all the high-falutin’ advertising come-ons about “second generation” GMOs boil down to the same old poison plants and pesticides. That’s all agricultural GMOs in themselves were ever about and all they’ll ever be about.
 
This is just as true of hoaxes like “golden rice”. Even if golden rice ever were to be developed to the point that it could be commercially deployed, it would be deployed only in a Bt-expressing, herbicide-tolerant poison plant form. And while Syngenta has made propaganda hay out of its alleged “donation” of the beta carotene transgene (though the IRRI has reserved the prerogative of taking out its own patents on this technology), it certainly will not donate its pesticidal transgenes.
 
Agricultural GMOs do have two more profound long-run purposes. For the pro-GM activists of the scientism cult, the idea of GMOs and genetic engineering as such is far more important than the real thing. This manifests in two ways.
 
1. Agricultural GMOs are a stalking horse for animal and human eugenics on a GE basis. This is what the cult and the technocratic power structure really care about. Do you think the Western STEM fraternity really cares about a GM eggplant in Bangladesh for its own sake? They similarly don’t care how CRISPR actually is used in the short run, whether to engineer herbicide tolerance or glow-in-the-dark fish or bigger muscles for geeks or whatnot. These are all just practical and political experiments toward their goal of literally sculpting human bodies and minds according to corporate-technocratic specifications, for corporate-technocratic purposes.
 
2. The political/propaganda experimentation is part of the idea of GMOs serving as an organizational principle. “GMO” is a clarion call, a dog whistle, a way for every cadre and fellow-traveler of the scientism/technocracy cult to recognize one another, come together on a militant basis, and get used to waging fanatical culture war. This in turn is preparation for literal civil wars and escalated imperial wars as the eugenic control project gets fully underway. “GMO” is a fascist slogan in the most precise sense.
 
The goal of technocracy is the total blank slate, the total eradication of messy, hard-to-control wildness, indeterminism, freedom, all to be replaced by strictly engineered and controlled technological entities. The goal of replacing all human workers with robots is just the tip of the iceberg.
 
This is the ultimate culmination of the Judeo-Christian pathology which has sought relentlessly to sunder humanity from nature, depict humanity as being in a war with nature, and hail the destruction of nature as the ultimate goal. Ironically, this destruction has been called “reclamation”. The idea is that the wilderness is the domain of Satan, and destruction of the wilderness and its replacement with every kind of monoculture is a process of restoring the Garden of Eden.
 
But the truth is the exact opposite. The living Earth is Eden. Humanity is inextricably part of the Edenic ecology and can never truly be sundered from it. Humanity never was driven from the abundant Garden, but merely has embarked upon an infantile campaign of mutiny and vandalism within it. This death wish is more suicidal than homicidal, and it destroys freedom instead of attaining it. We had the freedom of the forage but chose the slavery of the tilled field. Industrial agriculture and its biotech escalation work to lock down this enslavement as permanent by physically eradicating all possible biological basis for truly reclaiming the Garden in all its biodiversity and freedom.
 
Of course the technocracy, according to its projections of a robot economy and agriculture, thinks it will need only a few slaves. The rest of humanity is, in the technosphere’s eyes, nothing but toxic waste which has to just go away, one way or another. The goal is to render the Earth Humanfrei, an exact reprise of the Nazi goal of rendering Europe Judenfrei.
 
Step One: Drive them out of the economy. We see the ongoing liquidation of all living-wage jobs and the campaign to replace workers with robots and other machines regardless even of profitability let alone any other value. The real goal of capitalism isn’t profit but control and domination. The profit system is just one mode of organizing power. We see the centuries-long aspiration of monocultural agriculture to drive all people off the land. And where were the people supposed to go from there? The system never had an answer to this. They briefly were supposed to go into the factories, but only until they could be replaced by machines. Today they’re supposed to go to ghettos and shantytowns where they’re supposed to rot and die. Exactly the original Nazi plan for the Jews.
 
Step Two: Drive emigration, if there’s anyplace for the dispossessed masses to go. As we see, globalization and its wars have set great masses of refugees in motion. The imperial countries who have destroyed the people’s homes refuse to accept any of these refugees except on an illegal basis, according to the cheap labor needs of the corporations. There’s nowhere the people can go where they can find security to build new lives. There’s noplace even to set up new ghettos. This too is exactly parallel to the Nazi persecution. They tried to force the Jews to emigrate but weren’t surprised to find that none of the sanctimonious Western countries wanted these refugees.
 
In both cases, the Nazi persecution and today’s corporate globalization persecution, we have a vast mass of people who the system considers worthless and dangerous. In both cases there’s nowhere for the people to go, no moderate “solution”.
 
We know what Step Three was for the Nazis. What do you think Step Three will be for the corporate technocracy, if they’re able to continue their onslaught?
 
The biotech deployment, and the ideological-religious propaganda of GMOs, are a key part of this onslaught. The “CRISPR” meme is the latest and most sleek propaganda model. The tawdry facts of its actual deployment are just as irrelevant to the true believers as the tawdry facts of the entire history of GMOs. That’s why pro-GMO activists do nothing but lie, like any other kind of religious fundamentalist: Facts mean nothing, only the fundamental faith.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 11, 2018

“Heal the World” is Nothing But Camouflage for Eugenics

>

They do like the word “medical”

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

November 4, 2017

The Lies of the CRISPR/Gene Editing Media Campaign

>

 
 
The allegedly “new” GMOs are nothing but retreads of the old in every way. This is the case no matter whether the flacks call them by a technical name like CRISPR or Zinc Finger Nuclease, “gene editing”, “new breeding techniques”, or the more internet-colloquial GMOs 2.0 or what have you. The alleged novelty of these retreads is just the latest lie designed to rehabilitate all the same stale old lies.
 
GMO critics often have noted the self-contradiction between the original lie that genetic engineering was “precise” and the more recent hype touting CRISPR as “more precise than earlier methods”, thus conceding that these methods weren’t all that precise. This Wall Street Journal piece goes further, openly acknowledging that the GMO cartel wants simply to start over and “reset” all the lies. It doesn’t even say “more precise” but that “gene-editing technology…enables scientists to make precise changes to plants’ existing DNA”, thus admitting the complete lack of precision of the earlier methods. They’re also simply starting over with the lie equating genetic engineering with conventional breeding. The idea, evidently, is to pretend they never deployed these same lies for the earlier generation of GMOs, and that these lies weren’t all completely debunked.
 
Of course the same liars who tout the alleged greater precision of the retread GMOs still claim in other contexts that the old GMOs are “precise”. So we have two mutually exclusive versions of the “precision” lie being double-thought at all times by the same pro-GM activist liars. Then there’s the stealth version of the lie where a pro-GMO activist, pretending to be reasonable, concedes the failure of GM-based agriculture and pays lip service to emphasizing better farming practices over technological magic bullets, but in the very course of this smuggles in “gene editing” as “…a very different thing to GM [which] will change the whole picture.” This is the furthest I’ve seen a pro-GMO activist go in denigrating earlier GMOs while stealth-touting gene editing as something completely different and with completely different future prospects. In the same way as the more brazen liars he’s trying to get a do-over, a new beginning, for the products of genetic engineering. This fits with my analysis of agricultural GMOs as a stalking horse and preliminary experiment toward GE human eugenics, with animal modification a mid-point. And indeed pseudo-precise gene editing already is being used in human eugenic experimentation.
 
There’s more propaganda along those lines in these pieces, including a typical, indeed standard example of the reporter himself asserting “CRISPR is a far more accurate method of modifying genes than scientists have had access to before” instead of reporting this as a claim being made by the developers and sellers, the way a bona fide journalist would. This and other installments comprise a coordinated mainstream media propaganda campaign dedicated to ensuring the retreads are exempt from the meager, usually farcical regulation earlier GMOs were subject to, and to persuading the public to rescind its suspicion of GMOs as such by trying to convince them of all the same “precision” lies which were so evidently false the first time around.
 
This campaign also is a good example of a much greater confusion and lie. In principle science and technological development (engineering) are two completely different, although often related, things. I stress often but not necessarily related, since in the case of genetic engineering we have one of the cases where the technical deployment has nothing to do with the state of the science and indeed runs counter to it. Genetic engineering is based on nothing but determinist junk science and brute force empiricism (best symbolized by the fact that they literally shoot the transgenes into tissue cultured cells with a gun; read Lords of the Harvest for the image of how gene gun experimenters literally got splattered with onion gore; “precision” indeed!) and has almost nothing to do with science. Indeed, the more the actual science of genetics learns, the more geneticists realize how basically ignorant they are about how the genome works, and how impossible it is to attain any kind of “precision” with artificial genetic manipulation. Here’s a recent book (published in 2016) on the state of genetic science, written by a geneticist who is typically pro-GM. That is, no one could accuse her of slanting anything in an anti-biotech way. And yet the book completely demolishes any claim that genetic engineers could ever have the slightest idea what they’re doing and what the effects will be. (The author seems unaware of this; she’s an example of the double-think I described above.) Yet the propaganda of genetic engineering always systematically has conflated engineering with “science”. The media’s propaganda campaign touting gene editing is a typical example.
 
This leads to one of my basic points, that today’s establishment “science” is indeed nothing but the corporate science paradigm. (Cf. Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions for his use of the terms “science paradigm” and “normal science”.) Under the corporate science paradigm, “science” is indeed defined as nothing more or less than the development of profitable technologies. From that point of view, GMO deployment would be called “science”. But this has zero to do with the mythology of the scientific method like we were taught in school, and in fact directly contradicts it. Yet the professional liars depend upon the average pseudo-educated reader to conflate the two in their mind.
 
The CRIPSR media campaign boils down to one of the fundamental political lies: [Insert failed policy] had this-or-that problem the hundred times we touted it before, but THIS time we really promise it’ll work, so believe us again and keep submitting. The most amazing thing is that this self-evident mode of lying works, so long as there’s enough people who are still desperate enough to believe the lie. In the case of genetic engineering, the idea and its toolkit of canned lies comprise a proxy for the crumbling, ever more desperate religious faith of middle class Westerners in technocratic “progress”. As I’ve long said, GMOs are most of all a propaganda campaign. Until enough Westerners are willing to face reality and psychologically burn their ships, the GMO idea, and from there the real-world deployment, will continue to have traction. That’s why the “anti-GMO” people as well are so peculiarly ambivalent and modest in their prescriptions: Most of them too are pro-technocracy consumerists whose opposition to one facet of that system (GM/pesticide food) is more a personal fluke than anything based in a coherent opposition to the system of which genetic engineering and eugenics comprise the supreme idea and product.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 

June 1, 2017

Fighting the CRISPR Lie

Filed under: GMO Corporate State, GMO Health Hazards, GMO Hoaxes, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 2:14 am

>

Meet the new GM, same as the old GM.

 
 
Here’s the latest addition to the already substantial evidence of the danger and shoddiness of the CRISPR “gene editing” technique. In a medical research study the researchers wanted to find out how many mutations CRISPR really causes. Therefore they sequenced the entire genomes of the mice subjects instead of the usual procedure of sampling them according to a computer algorithm which predicts where mutations are likely to be. They found thousands of mutations not predicted by the algorithm.
 
The algorithm procedure is typical crackpot reductive science with little or no validity for the real world:
 

“These predictive algorithms seem to do a good job when CRISPR is performed in cells or tissues in a dish, but whole genome sequencing has not been employed to look for all off-target effects in living animals,” says co-author Alexander Bassuk, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa….

“Researchers who aren’t using whole genome sequencing to find off-target effects may be missing potentially important mutations,” Dr. Tsang says. “Even a single nucleotide change can have a huge impact.”

 
We see how different the result is when the study focuses on something closer to reality, the whole genomes of test subjects.
 
 
Here’s the takeaways and talking points.
 
1. This is just the latest proof that gene editing causes an extreme number of mutations and therefore is unsafe.
 
The health dangers of the “new” GMOs are the same as for the old GMOs. Scrambled genomes, insertional and tissue culture mutations, and the effects of these: A gene producing too much or too little of a protein with toxic or other ill effects, producing the wrong protein with toxic effect, producing a misfolded protein with toxic effect (Mad Cow disease is caused by a misfolded protein), toxically excessive or foreign metabolites, gene or cell damage leading to cancer or any number of other severe and lethal diseases.
 
2. This is just the latest proof of how gene editing is highly imprecise.
 
Once again we see how any claim to precision will never be anything more than one of the standard lies of genetic engineering. And make no mistake – this is a willful, deliberate campaign of lying on the part of the scientific establishment, government regulators, and the mainstream media. We’re far past the point of it being possible to be honestly mistaken about any of this. Everyone knows “precision” was a lie from the beginning, so even those who willfully choose not to look at the specific evidence in the case of CRISPR still knows its alleged precision is being touted by the same old liars. We’re long past the point where it’s possible to have good faith trust in any corporation, or to advocate such trust. On the contrary, anyone from government or media who says or implies that we the people should trust any corporation is acting in the worst of bad faith.
 
3. In both these ways the “new” GMOs are nothing new. On the contrary they’re the same old GMOs. That’s why we should call them retread GMOs.
 
4. As in every other case, retread GM products like the Simplot potato and the botox apple are nothing but an inferior, more complex and expensive, less safe version of already existing non-GM varieties which are better, safer, and less expensive. Those are RNAi products; any future CRISPR products would be no different. We see how the retread GMOs, just like all previous GMOs, have no redeeming agronomic or social purpose. On the contrary their only purpose is corporate profit and control, and to feed the idiot fantasies of the scientism cult which worships inferior high-maintenance technology for its own sake. They believe because it’s absurd.
 
5. We must stress that there is nothing at all “unintended” about these effects. The effects of genetic engineering are grossly unpredictable, but this unpredictability is known and embraced ahead of time. “Unpredictable” has nothing conceptually in common with “unintended.” We can compare the typical operations of poison-based agriculture to spinning a roulette wheel where the various colors and numbers indicate various chaotic effects, many of them to be a surprise. Which number will come up is unpredictable, but one spins the wheel with full malice aforethought, full intent to trigger the chaos.
 
Genetic engineers and breeders involved in developing GM crops for commercial release have full knowledge of their inability to predict anything, therefore they intend chaotic results, just as they do with their broader mandate to drive climate change and pump as much synthetic poison into ecosystems as possible. The pro-GMO activists simply lie about all this when they make any claim to “precision” or predictability. No one who wanted stable, predictable results would still be working with genetic engineering. Where it comes to our food, agriculture, and environment, we’re not just spinning the roulette wheel. We’re playing Russian roulette, as Black Swan author Nassim Taleb put it.
 
Therefore I recommend to anyone interested in conceptual and terminological discipline that we discard the whole false notion of “unintended” effects of GMOs, pesticides, climate change, etc. This is factually wrong and morally far too lenient. Chaos is the predictable effect of genetic engineering, therefore the pro-GM activists intend chaos. That’s one of the purposes of this massive uncontrolled human feeding experiment, to log the unpredictable effects of the globally promiscuous deployment of GMOs in the environment and diet. They premeditate the chaos so they can hope someday to understand it, toward vastly further-reaching eugenic goals.
 
6. As a group the retread GMOs must be seen and publicly branded as nothing but a propaganda campaign trying to revamp the tattered image of GMOs, which are increasingly being seen in their true light as a shoddy, backward, regressive, reactionary technology dedicated to propping up the antiquated, proven failure of the paradigm of pesticide-based agriculture. Objectively, the retread campaign adds nothing new in any way at all.
 
The retreads also enable the legalistic and propaganda campaign of regulators like the USDA who want to abdicate all responsibility for GMO oversight. Lately I’ve been writing often about the need to relinquish all faith in government regulators and that this movement has the task of demolishing all public trust in regulatory agencies. Here’s yet more proof that the regulators are not on our side, serve no constructive purpose, and that we don’t need them: By the regulators’ own testimony they have no reason for being, since they themselves openly abdicate all responsibility for GM oversight.
 
 
 
Help propagate the abolitionist ideas.
 
 
 
 

May 11, 2017

The “New” Old Monsanto, Attempting a Cult Revival

>

 
 
For all its current power Monsanto has a bleak future. In a sector scrambling to consolidate because its real opportunities for the future are increasingly constrained, Monsanto is especially vulnerable. The company is dependent upon Roundup for about 70% of its revenues. Roundup accounts for half its sales, while GMOs dependent upon it make up much of the rest. That’s why Syngenta had little interest even in Monsanto’s GMO business. In 2015 the entire world learned for keeps what campaigners, Monsanto, and regulators have long known, that glyphosate causes cancer. With the WHO’s announcement the clock is now ticking, counting down the rest of glyphosate’s legal life. The people will now slowly but surely force the complete ban of glyphosate-based poisons. The bell is tolling for Roundup, Monsanto knows it, everyone knows it. They must find new products or die. They’re hyping everything in sight, from slapping new ad slogans on old, pointless, narrow-market products to touting the idea of RNA interference GMOs. But if these ever came to market they’d still be the same kind of shoddy insecticidal GMOs which in Bt form are already a failure with a gradually diminishing market.
 
The structural reason driving the current consolidation is that GMOs are a shoddy product and don’t have much of a market or a future in themselves. On the contrary, there’s a growing consensus inside and outside the sector, including on Wall Street, that the pesticides remain primary, with the GMOs being secondary to these and dependent upon them. Their fundamentals are bad. In other words the finance sector now agrees with what GMO critics have said from the start, that GMOs in the real world are nothing but pesticide plants, poison plants. Although Wall Street is poor at acknowledging its own pyramid schemes, it knows how to call them out in other sectors. GMOs are a scam.
 
By now all the GMO cartel has is the hype and hoaxes of the pro-GM activists and the corporate media. Monsanto in particular is desperate to tout its new GMO campaign, and with media fanfare is licensing two CRISPR “gene editing” processes. Monsanto’s Roundup business is seen as having a highly questionable future, and in all the merger talk the only thing which has really interested anyone is the company’s potential to develop GM traits other than those based on glyphosate. Here we see Monsanto desperate to reassure skeptical Bayer shareholders. Indeed, the hype over “new GMOs” may continue fooling the business world for awhile, but hype is all it is. As a practical way for the GMO project to get on track and start delivering on its promises, the retread GMOs are a vain ploy and a malign lie.
 
 
Here’s all anyone needs to know about CRISPR etc., the whole false notion of a retread “second generation” of GMOs based on “gene editing”, RNA interference, and similar tricks: These retreads are the same failed technology, the same failed GMOs, the same failed mode, the same failed agricultural paradigm based on poison, guaranteed to have the same result as all prior pesticides and GMOs. Pests will quickly overcome it, it will function only on the same ever-accelerating pesticide treadmill which already spins endlessly, it will poison people, animals, and the environment, and it will contaminate non-GM crops and wild plants. It’s not possible to be mistaken about any of this. Indeed, these are proven to be intentional primary effects of every technology deployed as part of poison-based agriculture. As its name says, this is the project of maximizing the production and use of poisons in order to maximize the poisoning of people and the Earth. All of this is being done for its own sake, as well as for the sake of profit and power. All of it is disguised with the lie that any of it has anything to do with producing food.
 
By now all we have are conscious, willful liars on the one hand, vast amounts of gratuitous, self-willed ignorance on the other, with a few scattered truth-tellers who recognize the clear facts.
 
The health dangers of the retread GMOs are the same as for the old GMOs. Scrambled genomes, insertional and tissue culture mutations, and the effects of these: A gene producing too much or too little of a protein with toxic or other ill effects, producing the wrong protein with toxic effect, producing a misfolded protein with toxic effect (Mad Cow disease is caused by a misfolded protein), toxically excessive or foreign metabolites, gene or cell damage leading to cancer or any number of other health destructions, “silencing” the genes of humans who come into contact (topical, inhaled, ingested) with the RNAi pesticide, and any number of other predictably unpredictable chaotic effects. The retread GMOs are the same as the old GMOs.
 
In the same way the health dangers are the same as for any other pesticide. The engineers and propagandists have no more idea how genotoxic, hormone disrupting, neurotoxic, organically toxic, and carcinogenic the RNAi pesticides will be than they originally had for the other classes of pesticides, all of which proved to be lethal to humans in all these ways. To put that another way, they know perfectly well that the RNAi pesticides will almost certainly have the same effects that all other pesticides have. The new pesticides are the same as the old pesticides, and will fail against pests and poison people in the same way the old ones always do.
 
It’s not possible to be mistaken about any of this. These are all known facts.
 
Of course the “new” retread GMOs are designed to aggravate the socioeconomic and political evils of corporate agriculture and commodity-based production the same way all previous GMOs were designed. Just like all prior GMOs, the goal of the retread GMOs is to starve the world in order to feed a handful of gluttons.
 
All the hype surrounding the new GMOs is based on the junk science of genetic determinism, same as for the old GMOs. In both cases the facts are:
 
1. On the most basic factual level, the engineers and their supporters have no idea what they’re doing. Jonathan Latham writes,
 

[The industry and media’s] exposition is belied by the evidence. If CRISPR were already precise, accurate and specific there would, for example, be no publications in prominent scientific journals titled “Improving CRISPR-Cas nuclease specificity using truncated guide RNAs“. And these would not begin by describing how ordinary CRISPR “can induce mutations at sites that differ by as many as five nucleotides from the intended target”, i.e. CRISPR may act at unknown sites in the genome where it is not wanted (Fu et al., 2014).

…[I]t is technically not possible to make a single (and only a single) genetic change to a genome using CRISPR and be sure one has done so (Fichtner et al., 2014). As Fichtner noted “in mammalian systems Cas9 causes a high degree of off-target effects”…There is, furthermore, no guarantee that more precise versions of CRISPR are even biologically possible. Technically therefore, precision is a myth: no form of genome editing can do what is currently being claimed.

 
2. In addition to their complete ignorance of ecology and agronomy, they know nothing about the science of genetics or biology. To believe in genetic determinism requires ignorance of even the most basic elements of the state of the science. Here’s Latham again.
 

[A] defined, discrete or simple pathway from gene to trait probably never exists. Most gene function is mediated murkily through highly complex biochemical and other networks that depend on many conditional factors, such as the presence of other genes and their variants, on the environment, on the age of the organism, on chance, and so forth. Geneticists and molecular biologists, however, since the time of Gregor Mendel, have striven to find or create artificial experimental systems in which environmental or any other sources of variation are minimised so as not to distract from the more “important” business of genetic discovery.

But by discarding organisms or traits that do not follow their expectations, geneticists and molecular biologists have built themselves a circular argument in favour of a naive deterministic account of gene function. Their paradigm habitually downplays the enormous complexities by which information passes (in both directions) between organisms and their genomes. It has created an immense and mostly unexamined bias in the default public understanding of genes and DNA.

 
Where this isn’t willful lying, it’s the common mode of being seduced by a crackpot version of “scientific method”. They reify these ivory tower experimental conditions of limited usefulness into the lie that these are real conditions which give real knowledge.
 
 
The primary lie making up the marketing campaign for the retread GMOs is that they’ve been made with extra-special “precision”. The propaganda theme that the retread GMOs have been engineered with precision is the exact same lie as the theme that the old GMOs were the result of precision engineering. In reality all genetic engineering is an extremely sloppy, wasteful, scattershot empirical process relying on brute force and massive reiteration to produce an adequate result once in awhile. Genetic engineering and its results is best represented by the proverbial stopped clock which is correct twice a day. So it’s been for all GMOs to date, and so it is for the “new” GMOs.
 
In itself, precision is only as intelligent or moronic as allowed by the extent of one’s knowledge. Latham gives a good analogy: “Suppose, as a non-Chinese speaker, I were to precisely remove from a Chinese text one character, one line, or one page. I would have one hundred percent precision, but zero control over the change in meaning. Precision, therefore, is only as useful as the understanding that underlies it.” In reality, even legitimate science knows little about the details of genomes and next to nothing about the chaotic genome effects of genetic engineering. When we add to this ignorance of the details and repercussions the engineers’ junk science of biological determinism and their complete ignorance of the state of genetic and biological science, we see how even if they did have a precision technique they’d still have absolutely no idea what they were doing. They’d be firing with good marksmanship into a soundless, pitch black void. But to say again, they have no precision technique either. They’re really hurling handfuls of gravel into that void.
 
The “precision” lie is a core article of the religious faith of scientism, going back centuries to the de jure Christian roots of the engineering ideology. Although engineers and scientists have never had such precision control of anything, they’ve always prayed to themselves and lied to the world that they did possess such precision knowledge and control. Here again, the hype about CRISPR is just the latest incarnation of the most hackneyed lies. Here too it’s not possible to be mistaken. Anyone familiar with the history of science and engineering, especially the history of pesticides and GMOs, knows the lie by heart.
 

Technologies based on the reductive, poisonist junk science like genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, synthetic “life”, robotics, nanotech, geoengineering and others share the fantasy of the engineer exercising total control through the precision use of control technologies and engineering techniques. Science has seldom been more than a servant of this cult religion of control. More often than not the process by which these technologies are developed has little to no “precision” involved, but is a very messy process based on profligate, wasteful deployment of brute force empiricism toward whatever approximate result is “close enough” in practice as long as it can be transformed through the fantasy into an idea of precision. In the same way, as a rule these technologies don’t work in the real world. The real world performance of GMOs ranges from temporarily adequate as long as supported by the most lavish, expensive panoply of inputs – bank credit, machinery, fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides – to a complete disaster from the start. Nowhere on Earth have GMOs ever consistently performed as well as the much healthier, much less expensive true crops. But as long as cheap oil, industrial inputs, and corporate welfare can provide enough brute force to keep GMOs in the field at all, this is enough for the scientism cultists and their fanboys to fetishize GMOs into a transcendent religious ideal.
 
When we consider the origin and circumstances of the STEM cadre this cultism isn’t surprising. STEM disciplines attract the most hierarchically-oriented, authoritarian, reductive, order-obsessed types who are also the most alienated from physical (ecological) reality and at the same time possessed of the most intense religiosity. In the modern era scientism and “Progress” have presented themselves as secular civil religions, but this pseudo-secularity is just a temporary variation on the Christian millennarian roots of technology worship and science ideology. For over 900 years inventors and practitioners of engineering and science explicitly saw themselves as imitating Adam in the Garden of Eden, creating in the image of the Creator, becoming co-Creators with God, and as preparing the human condition for the Second Coming. To this day these apocalyptic religious themes remain explicit and normative among aerospace and weapons engineers. It’s also standard rhetoric among AI cultists and “transhumanists”.
 
The explicit Christian rhetoric is also common among genetic engineers and GMO cultists, and the transcendent tone, evangelical attitude, and warnings/hopes of the imminent apocalypse are exactly the same. It’s the same millennarian Christian religiosity, even where temporarily submerged by civil religious ideology.
 
Given this extremist interior, the fact that the engineers usually must function as lower-level cogs in the corporate machine, obeying the dictates of executives and marketers, the whole endeavor just a subdivision of the much more comprehensive Mammon religion, must bother them. To give just one example, Lords of the Harvest describes the initial cultural conflict at Monsanto between the high-flown fantasies and pretensions of the genetic engineering division and the agrochemical division, which the genetic engineers at first disdained as a gang of backward luddites. It was only after the GE division put up a perfect record of failure over years of very expensive confusion that they finally lowered their sights and began working on poison plants. (They failed at this too; one day soon I’ll write a piece documenting Monsanto’s near-perfect record of failure and theft.)
 
When we put all this together, it’s no wonder the techno-cultists exalt the fantasy of precision and control and keep telling themselves and the world lies about it. And although they continue to tell these lies about the GMOs which have been deployed so far, at the same time they implicitly admit they were always lying about these when they hype the alleged “new” kinds of GMOs, even going so far as to deny these GMOs are GMOs, which also disparages the existing types. They’re trying first to convince themselves that this time the “precision” really is precise, the “control” real control. But it’s all nothing but a retread of the same old lies, same old failures, same old bottleneck.
 
Most profoundly, we see in these phenomena some of the sources of the indelible culture of the lie among technocrats and scientism cultists. Humanity should have demanded of the very first scientist, “What is Truth?” The idealization of some notion of Truth, which is touted as the ultimate justification of science, originated in Christian theology and to this day remains a religious justification. Scientific “Truth” is therefore Truth as revealed by religious transcendence. As the engineers and scientists constantly say, with their technology they seek to transcend reality – the environment, biology, mortality, the irrationality and emotionality of human beings, the physical Earth. Their will to truth means the will to another world, an otherworld, an afterworld. Their will to truth must go hand in hand with the cult of technology. This means their “Truth” has always been purely instrumental. So from both directions – Truth as a theological article, and Truth as whatever idea of control technology is able to effect, right down to boosting profit margins – the culture of the lie is inherent in the technological version of Truth. As with all fundamentalist cults, the scientism cult recognizes only its transcendent ideal and its day to day empirical work, but displays absolute faithlessness toward any and all day to day measures of fact or truth. As for science itself, for the STEM cult this is nothing but an appendage of instrumental engineering. At best it can sometimes serve as a methodological guide, but is most commonly a propaganda facade. Just as the pseudo-democratic, pseudo-political ideology which has supplanted classical liberalism is called “neoliberalism”, so bona fide science has become a fraudulent “neoscience” completely engulfed within the corporate science paradigm of today’s STEM establishment. Between this mercenary hijacking and the religious basis of science as such, there’s little left of the exalted, allegedly rationalistic Enlightenment mythology. It’s the practicing engineers and scientists themselves who present the most extreme manifestation of human irrationalism and human emotionalism, as well as malignity, faithlessness, and absolute practical nihilism. But in their minds they dwell in a cloud city presided over by their own god. They see their task as to wipe out the ecological reality of the real Earth and humanity and replace it with a technology-dominated co-Creation between themselves and this god. If humanity is to survive, we must put a stop to them.
 
Thus Monsanto’s media advertorials for its future CRISPR projects are more than just typical corporate media hype. Underlying this is the will of the cult to arise from the muck of the bogged-down GMO/pesticide project and transcend on the wings of the gloriously retreaded “new” version of the same old anti-scientific, failure-mongering notions. In the end the CRISPR hype is still just hype, still just the same old lies. But the goal is far more than just propping up the stock price. The goal is to reinvigorate the flagging religious crusade. In the end, since Monsanto has no practical basis for future profit and power, it hopes to harness the power of religion to keep itself on top.
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary actions.
 
 
 
 

April 6, 2017

Retread GMOs

>

 
 
The trendiest new lie about GMOs is the only thing new about them. This is the lie that there’s “new” kinds of what are really the same old GMOs.
 
Even the lie itself isn’t new. In form it simply repeats the hoary old debunked lie about the alleged “precision” of genetic engineering. The new version goes, “These new technologies really are precise, honest and for true this time!” These fake “new” versions of the same old extremely imprecise GMOs include CRISPR “gene editing” and similar “new breeding technologies”, RNA interference, gene drives, and synthetic biology. Sites like Independent Science News and SynBioWatch do excellent work describing in detail how these function and how scattershot and dangerous they are. As a group these need an appropriately informative and disparaging term like “retread GMOs.”
 
You don’t like GMOs? Look how they’re making GMOs even more radical, less precise, more chaotic, more potentially destructive. We already know there’s no overall precision and that genetic engineers have no idea what they’re doing. Therefore every time you hear anyone from the system say they’re becoming more “precise” you know this is nothing but a measure of their deepening delusion, and of their constant will to force their kind of manipulation and control over all of humanity and nature.
 
In general “experts” never sustain competence because their egomania and congenital drive toward ever greater manipulation and the idea of control always trump any desire they may have for true understanding and competence.
 
Thus, even if on rare occasions knowledge and practice actually were to stabilize, and the experts of the moment really did understand what they were doing, they could never remain stable at this position. They quickly would drive the situation into chaotic territory, and therefore they quickly would revert to incomprehension and incompetence. The more extremely high-energy and high-maintenance technology and its support structures become, the more wasteful and destructive the results of this incompetence become. The only thing reliably constructed is the further concentration of wealth and power, for as long as the corporate technocratic system exists, until its incompetence, wastefulness, and destructiveness become so extreme that the system consumes and destroys itself. Therefore a core task of the abolition movement is to conserve itself through this period of technocracy’s self-destruction.
 
If the Peter Principle is a law of system hierarchies (and goes some way toward describing the self-wastefulness and self-destructiveness), we can adduce a companion principle which applies to every type of technical expert: Their inertia always is strongly toward the zone of incomprehension and incompetence. Experts are not conservatives and never seek to conserve understanding and competence. They’re always nihilistic radicals, bomb-throwers. A core task of the abolition movement is to conserve real knowledge, real science, real competence, and abolish the fake versions along with the nihilism that drives them.
 
With the retread GMOs the engineers simply are retreading their previous paths of imprecision, incomprehension, willfully driven chaos, willfully driven waste and destruction. As with previous GMOs, they have no idea of the complexity of the effects of their “new” techniques. Even where the technical procedure seems superficially more “precise”, its chaotic effects are every bit as unpredictable as the most blunderbussing gene gun. Even the most precise cut can have extreme chaotic effects. Meanwhile, faster “sequencing” capabilities give engineers only the same small, uncontexted fragment of information they had before. It merely speeds up ignorance and enhances the arrogance of stupidity which is the defining trait of technocrats.
 
Genetic engineering aspires to bring all of life under technological control and eugenic manipulation. The escalated use of computerized mechanization to perform the engineering is designed to escalate this program of control and manipulation by further removing the concept of life from the realm of ecology and into the realm of software and data manipulation. This is the better to deny evolution and disparage ecology, and bring real life under the conceptual, and eventually the actual physical control of eugenic technology and legalistic computer and intellectual property fictions. This is another manifestation of Monsanto’s original plan to become the “Microsoft of agriculture”, with its transgenic traits serving as the hegemonic “software” controlling all the stupid “hardware” of agriculture and food. The ultimate goal of course is to attain this reified control over all of physical reality.
 
This notion of attaining physical dominion and control via computer data and its synthesized physical extension, including fantasies about artificial intelligence, is a typical fiction of the Mammon and scientism religions. Bits of code are just another fictive number, and all cults stemming from them are just another branch of numerology.
 
Mammon usually is conceived as greed or, more precisely, the belief that money is real, and the religious worship of this reified money. But this can be boiled down further to the belief that fictive numbers are real, and the worship of these numbers. Love of money is just the most common and visible form of this cult worship. But this kind of worship also is the core of the scientism/technocracy religion.
 
If science is the branch of philosophy that focuses on developing methods to produce precise numbers as a conception and reflection of the qualitative diversity of reality, then scientism is the religious cult which then is built by the practitioners of science and their followers. They reify these numbers, convince themselves the numbers in themselves are “real” rather than a philosophical abstraction, and turn reality completely upside down by convincing themselves that this superficial abstraction of reality is actually the true reality, and actual reality just the abstraction. (Thus they recapitulate the program of the British and German solipsistic philosophers.) They come to worship these numbers. And since they can manipulate the numbers at will, it follows that actual physical reality, to them a mere abstraction, also is infinitely manipulable at their command. In this way they use the religious vehicle of numerology to transform themselves, in their own minds, into gods. This sums up their religious belief system.
 
Their preferred propaganda term “new breeding technologies” (NBT) is a window into their mindset. They claim we need new techniques since sexuality within the framework of evolution is, according to technocracy, insufficient. This begs the question, “insufficient for what?” Self-evidently evolution is sufficient for the entire reality of humanity and the Earth. It could be insufficient only from the perspective of a radically anti-human, anti-ecological, anti-evolution agenda. This is indeed the totalitarian agenda of technocracy.
 
 
From there it’s easy to see how the worshipers of pseudo-scientific numbers join hands with the worshipers of monetary numbers, and how easily these fraternal sects always have worked together. They’re two shades of the same color. Because they share the goal of using their numbers to attain control of humanity and the Earth, they’ve always easily formed a strategic and tactical alliance for their political, economic, and ecological assaults.
 
 
It’s self-evident that such a monstrous campaign of religious fanaticism cannot be “regulated”. To use the terminology of the system regulation paradigm, it can’t be “managed”, can’t be “risk-assessed”, humanity cannot set “tolerances” for it. The fact is humanity and the Earth cannot co-exist with corporate scientism. We must abolish it, its mindset, its crimes. Therefore we need to propagate the abolition idea and build the abolition movement.
 
Unfortunately there’s another standard retread going on, and that’s the retread among critics of GMOs and poisonism who seem unable to liberate themselves from the “regulation” paradigm. Indeed, this paradigm is itself part of technocracy, and the unreconstructed pro-regulation types reveal themselves to be waging a campaign of reformism within the framework of corporate technocracy, including the framework of considering corporate dominion and genetic engineering to be normative. Indeed, by their own testimony many of these persons are pro-GMO. Often they openly admit their support for laboratory testing of GMOs and for fraudulent medical applications of genetic engineering. They oppose only specially selected agricultural applications, evidently on an arbitrary basis.
 
But this basis cannot provide the necessary philosophical and spiritual foundation of humanity’s great resistance and liberation movement. Worse, it seeks to keep all thought and action imprisoned within the framework of “co-existence” with poisonism within the technocratic framework. But co-existence is impossible, and propaganda for it is evil.
 
It often is worthwhile to condemn the system’s refusal to perform real safety tests, refusal to undertake real regulation, refusal to properly label GMOs, refusal to enforce existing laws which require banning cancer agents, and its general refusal to act according to the principles of need, alternatives, and precaution, when this criticism is undertaken within the context of an explicit abolitionist framework. (Most pertinently, these derelictions comprise strict proof that the system knows or believes pesticides and GMOs to be extremely harmful to human and environmental health. Therefore its motive in forcing them upon humanity and the Earth must be malignant.) But to cite these for their own sake automatically presumes the impossible and pernicious co-existence framework. And of course to still advocate, as one’s actual program, things like labeling, “better testing”, and the precautionary principle, all those ships that sailed so long ago, is by now nothing but reactionary.
 
Therefore the point no longer is to say “we need better EPA regulation of pesticides”, or “CRISPR needs to be regulated as other GMOs” (the same people who say this also acknowledge that regulation of regular GMOs was never adequate), but rather:
 
We know that all pesticides are cancerous, don’t work anyway, and never can be “regulated”. Therefore we must abolish them completely.
 
We know that all genetic engineering is extremely imprecise and chaotic, highly dangerous, has never worked for its avowed purposes, and has no constructive purpose. Therefore we must abolish it completely.
 
 
 
 
 
Help propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
 

April 27, 2016

The Whole False Notion: “Precision”, Genetic Engineering, and GMOs

>

Here’s all anyone needs to know about CRISPR etc., the whole false notion of a “second generation” of GMOs based on “gene editing”, RNA interference, and similar tricks: These are the same failed technology, the same failed GMOs, the same failed mode, the same failed agricultural paradigm based on poison, guaranteed to have the same result as all prior pesticides and GMOs. Pests will quickly overcome it, it will function only on the same ever-accelerating pesticide treadmill which already spins endlessly, it will poison people, animals, and the environment, and it will contaminate non-GM crops and wild plants. It’s not possible to be mistaken about any of this. Indeed, these are proven to be intentional primary effects of every technology deployed as part of poison-based agriculture. As its name says, this is the project of maximizing the production and use of poisons in order to maximize the poisoning of people and the Earth. All of this is being done for its own sake, as well as for the sake of profit and power. All of it is disguised with the lie that any of it has anything to do with producing food.
.
By now all we have are conscious, willful liars on the one hand, vast amounts of gratuitous, self-willed ignorance on the other, with a few scattered truth-tellers who recognize the clear facts.
.
The health dangers of the “new” GMOs are the same as for the old GMOs. Scrambled genomes, insertional and tissue culture mutations, and the effects of these: A gene producing too much or too little of a protein with toxic or other ill effects, producing the wrong protein with toxic effect, producing a misfolded protein with toxic effect (Mad Cow disease is caused by a misfolded protein), toxically excessive or foreign metabolites, gene or cell damage leading to cancer or any number of other health destructions, “silencing” the genes of humans who come into contact (topical, inhaled, ingested) with the RNAi pesticide, and any number of other predictably unpredictable chaotic effects. The new GMOs are the same as the old GMOs.
.
In the same way the health dangers are the same as for any other pesticide. The engineers and propagandists have no more idea how genotoxic, hormone disrupting, neurotoxic, organically toxic, and carcinogenic the RNAi pesticides will be than they originally had for the other classes of pesticides, all of which proved to be lethal to humans in all these ways. To put that another way, they know perfectly well that the RNAi pesticides will almost certainly have the same effects that all other pesticides have. The new pesticides are the same as the old pesticides, and will fail against pests and poison people in the same way the old ones always do.
.
It’s not possible to be mistaken about any of this. These are all known facts.
.
Of course the “new” GMOs are designed to aggravate the socioeconomic and political evils of corporate agriculture and commodity-based production the same way all previous GMOs were designed. Just like all prior GMOs, the goal of the new GMOs is to starve the world in order to feed a handful of gluttons.
.
All the hype surrounding the new GMOs is based on the junk science of genetic determinism, same as for the old GMOs. In both cases the facts are:
.
1. On the most basic factual level, the engineers and their supporters know vastly less than they claim to know. Jonathan Latham writes,
.

[The industry and media’s] exposition is belied by the evidence. If CRISPR were already precise, accurate and specific there would, for example, be no publications in prominent scientific journals titled “Improving CRISPR-Cas nuclease specificity using truncated guide RNAs“. And these would not begin by describing how ordinary CRISPR “can induce mutations at sites that differ by as many as five nucleotides from the intended target”, i.e. CRISPR may act at unknown sites in the genome where it is not wanted (Fu et al., 2014).

Thus CRISPR itself will need tweaking before it can be useful for safe commercial products, and that is the first error of the tweaking argument. So far, it is technically not possible to make a single (and only a single) genetic change to a genome using CRISPR and be sure one has done so (Fichtner et al., 2014). As Fichtner noted “in mammalian systems Cas9 causes a high degree of off-target effects”. And at least until modified versions come into use, this will limit the safety, and hopefully limit the application, of CRISPR and related biotechnologies. There is, furthermore, no guarantee that more precise versions of CRISPR are even biologically possible. Technically therefore, precision is a myth: no form of genome editing can do what is currently being claimed.

.
2. They know nothing about the science of genetics or biology. (Not to mention ecology and agronomy.) To believe in genetic determinism requires ignorance of even the most basic elements of the state of the science. Here’s Latham again.
.

[A] defined, discrete or simple pathway from gene to trait probably never exists. Most gene function is mediated murkily through highly complex biochemical and other networks that depend on many conditional factors, such as the presence of other genes and their variants, on the environment, on the age of the organism, on chance, and so forth. Geneticists and molecular biologists, however, since the time of Gregor Mendel, have striven to find or create artificial experimental systems in which environmental or any other sources of variation are minimised so as not to distract from the more “important” business of genetic discovery.

But by discarding organisms or traits that do not follow their expectations, geneticists and molecular biologists have built themselves a circular argument in favour of a naive deterministic account of gene function. Their paradigm habitually downplays the enormous complexities by which information passes (in both directions) between organisms and their genomes. It has created an immense and mostly unexamined bias in the default public understanding of genes and DNA.

.
Where this isn’t willful lying, it’s the common mode of being seduced by a crackpot version of “scientific method”. They reify these ivory tower experimental conditions of limited usefulness into real conditions which give real knowledge.
.
.
The primary lie making up the marketing campaign for the “new” GMOs is that they’ve been made with extra-special “precision”. The propaganda theme that the new GMOs have been engineered with precision is the exact same lie as the theme that the old GMOs were the result of precision engineering. In reality all genetic engineering is an extremely sloppy, wasteful, scattershot empirical process relying on brute force and massive reiteration to produce an adequate result once in awhile. Genetic engineering and its results is best represented by the proverbial stopped clock which is correct twice a day. So it’s been for all GMOs to date, and so it is for the “new” GMOs.
.
In itself, precision is only as intelligent or moronic as allowed by the extent of one’s knowledge. Latham gives a good analogy: “Suppose, as a non-Chinese speaker, I were to precisely remove from a Chinese text one character, one line, or one page. I would have one hundred percent precision, but zero control over the change in meaning. Precision, therefore, is only as useful as the understanding that underlies it.” In reality, even legitimate science knows little about the details of genomes and next to nothing about the chaotic genome effects of genetic engineering. When we add to this ignorance of the details and repercussions the engineers’ junk science of biological determinism and their complete ignorance of the state of genetic and biological science, we see how even if they did have a precision technique they’d still have absolutely no idea what they were doing. They’d be firing with good marksmanship into a soundless, pitch black void. But to say again, they have no precision technique either. They’re really hurling handfuls of gravel into that void.
.
The “precision” lie is a core article of the religious faith of scientism, going back centuries to the de jure Christian roots of the engineering ideology. Although engineers and scientists have never had such precision control of anything, they’ve always prayed to themselves and lied to the world that they did possess such precision knowledge and control. Here again, the hype about CRISPR is just the latest incarnation of the most hackneyed lies. Here too it’s not possible to be mistaken. Anyone familiar with the history of science and engineering, especially the history of pesticides and GMOs, knows the lie by heart.
.
Technologies based on the reductive, poisonist junk science like genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, synthetic “life”, robotics, nanotech, geoengineering and others share the fantasy of the engineer exercising total control through the precision use of control technologies and engineering techniques. Science has seldom been more than a servant of this cult religion of control. More often than not the process by which these technologies are developed has little to no “precision” involved, but is a very messy process based on profligate, wasteful deployment of brute force empiricism toward whatever approximate result is “close enough” in practice as long as it can be transformed through the fantasy into an idea of precision. In the same way, as a rule these technologies don’t work in the real world. The real world performance of GMOs ranges from temporarily adequate as long as supported by the most lavish, expensive panoply of inputs – bank credit, machinery, fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides – to a complete disaster from the start. Nowhere on Earth have GMOs ever consistently performed as well as the much healthier, much less expensive true crops. But as long as cheap oil, industrial inputs, and corporate welfare can provide enough brute force to keep GMOs in the field at all, this is enough for the scientism cultists and their fanboys to fetishize GMOs into a transcendent religious ideal.
.
When we consider the origin and circumstances of the STEM cadre this cultism isn’t surprising. STEM disciplines attract the most hierarchically-oriented, authoritarian, reductive, order-obsessed types who are also the most alienated from physical (ecological) reality and at the same time possessed of the most intense religiosity. In the modern era scientism and “Progress” have presented themselves as secular civil religions, but this pseudo-secularity is just a temporary variation on the Christian millennarian roots of technology worship and science ideology. For over 900 years inventors and practitioners of engineering and science explicitly saw themselves as imitating Adam in the Garden of Eden, creating in the image of the Creator, becoming co-Creators with God, and as preparing the human condition for the Second Coming. To this day these apocalyptic religious themes remain explicit and normative among aerospace and weapons engineers. It’s also standard rhetoric among AI cultists and “transhumanists”.
.
The explicit Christian rhetoric is also common among genetic engineers and GMO cultists, and the transcendent tone, evangelical attitude, and warnings/hopes of the imminent apocalypse are exactly the same. It’s the same millennarian Christian religiosity, even where temporarily submerged by civil religious ideology.
.
Given this extremist interior, the fact that the engineers usually must function as lower-level cogs in the corporate machine, obeying the dictates of executives and marketers, the whole endeavor just a subdivision of the much more comprehensive Mammon religion, must bother them. To give just one example, Lords of the Harvest describes the initial cultural conflict at Monsanto between the high-flown fantasies and pretensions of the genetic engineering division and the agrochemical division, which the genetic engineers at first disdained as a gang of backward luddites. It was only after the GE division put up a perfect record of failure over years of very expensive confusion that they finally lowered their sights and began working on poison plants. (They failed at this too; one day soon I’ll write a piece documenting Monsanto’s near-perfect record of failure and theft.)
.
When we put all this together, it’s no wonder the techno-cultists exalt the fantasy of precision and control and keep telling themselves and the world lies about it. And although they continue to tell these lies about the GMOs which have been deployed so far, at the same time they implicitly admit they were always lying about these when they hype the alleged “new” kinds of GMOs, even going so far as to deny these GMOs are GMOs, which also disparages the existing types. They’re trying first to convince themselves that this time the “precision” really is precise, the “control” real control.
.
Most profoundly, we see in these phenomena some of the sources of the indelible culture of the lie among technocrats and scientism cultists. Humanity should have demanded of the very first scientist, “What is Truth?” The idealization of some notion of Truth, which is touted as the ultimate justification of science, originated in Christian theology and to this day remains a religious justification. Scientific “Truth” is therefore Truth as revealed by religious transcendence. As the engineers and scientists constantly say, with their technology they seek to transcend reality – the environment, biology, mortality, the irrationality and emotionality of human beings, the physical Earth. Their will to truth means the will to another world, an otherworld, an afterworld. Their will to truth must go hand in hand with the cult of technology. This means their “Truth” has always been purely instrumental. So from both directions – Truth as a theological article, and Truth as whatever idea of control technology is able to effect, right down to boosting profit margins – the culture of the lie is inherent in the technological version of Truth. As with all fundamentalist cults, the scientism cult recognizes only its transcendent ideal and its day to day empirical work, but displays absolute faithlessness toward any and all day to day measures of fact or truth. As for science itself, for the STEM cult this is nothing but an appendage of instrumental engineering. At best it can sometimes serve as a methodological guide, but is most commonly a propaganda facade. Just as the pseudo-democratic, pseudo-political ideology which has supplanted classical liberalism is called “neoliberalism”, so bona fide science has become a fraudulent “neoscience” completely engulfed within the corporate science paradigm of today’s STEM establishment. Between this mercenary hijacking and the religious basis of science as such, there’s little left of the exalted, alleged rationalistic Enlightenment mythology. It’s the practicing engineers and scientists themselves who present the most extreme manifestation of human irrationalism and human emotionalism, as well as malignity, faithlessness, and absolute practical nihilism. But in their minds they dwell in a cloud city presided over by their own god. They see their task as to wipe out the ecological reality of the real Earth and humanity and replace it with a technology-dominated co-Creation between themselves and this god. If humanity is to survive, we must put a stop to them.
.
.