Volatility

July 26, 2018

The Dicamba Crisis Part 5: Waging War to Seize Territory

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Parts One, Two, Three, Four.
 
1. There’s never been a clear line of demarcation between chemical weapons in war, civilian use of such weapons, and agricultural use of poisons. In World War I poison gas weapons were developed while the Haber-Bosch process was used to manufacture explosives. Following the war these technologies were seamlessly refurbished to manufacture pesticides and synthetic fertilizer. The militaristic rhetoric didn’t change at all: Pesticides were advertised as enabling the farmer and society to wage war on pests, which were demonized as evil.
 
In World War II the same factories went back to producing munitions and herbicides for military use. After the war the factories were retooled for a massive new agricultural poison onslaught which eventually developed into the “green revolution”. War use never ceased. From Vietnam to this day in Colombia and elsewhere Agent Orange and other poisons are used for military and paramilitary purposes, for war and police action. Chemical weapons always have been used for tyrannical political goals.
 
This conjunction of poisonism and militarism occurs in the context of the religious separation of “man” from “nature” and the false doctrine that these are adversaries. Man vs. nature in turn is an extension of man vs. man. Ecological domination always has been conjoined with social domination, and the former never occurs except as part of a strategy toward the latter. The war on nature always is the war on humanity. In the end, ecophobia, biophobia, are expressions of misanthropy. Civilization can be defined as a system which enables a cadre of elites to force surplus production and steal it in order to build structures and organizations which maximize their own wealth and power. This system always has been totally destructive toward humanity and the Earth. Agriculture always has been designed for enclosure, dispossession, physically destroying the land through denuding and poisoning the soil, desertification. Modern poison-based agriculture is one of the most extreme manifestations of this total destructive assault on people and ecology.
 
Agribusiness consolidates maximum control over farming and the food supply and launches a general assault on the ecology, all toward the goal of maximizing human and ecological monoculture. This is the scorched-earth terrain which provides the best habitat for pest, weed, and disease infestation, and therefore the maximum ideological and political habitat for the power claims of agribusiness, the scientism cult, and all who hate humanity and nature and who seek total domination. Poisonism therefore generates the maximal habitat for the propaganda campaign of lies, fear-mongering, and fraudulent promises that the solution is right around the corner if farmers and society only stay the poison course. This is proven every day in a hundred new articles and press statements from corporations, governments, Wall Street, academia, and the mainstream media, all speaking as one proclaiming that the only solution to the escalating crisis is to escalate the emissions and the poison.
 
2. One way to write the history of the 20th century is to trace the history of the Rockefeller Foundation and similar organizations, culminating today in the Gates Foundation, as the bodies which coordinate de jure war and sublimated agricultural war, with the close cooperation of corporations and the military.
 
As we said there never was a clear distinction between massive use of chemical weapons in Vietnam and elsewhere and massive use of chemical weapons in the green revolution. In both cases Western globalization has treated the global South as a free-fire zone, wherever a vacuum exists.
 
The corporate-technocratic elites have brought this war and its ideology back to the home countries. The pesticide/fertilizer onslaught has engulfed the West itself. Based on this historical record we know the corporate state considers America itself a free-fire zone for every kind of weaponized assault, from militarized police to militarized agriculture, wherever the state considers necessary.
 
What’s the objective difference between the Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam and today’s defoliation campaign in America based on dicamba and 2,4-D (itself one half of the Agent Orange blend)? We recognize the dicamba campaign as at least intermediate between a “regular” agricultural poison campaign and a de jure war defoliation campaign.
 
Corporate agriculture’s mass expulsion of farm communities from their land, part of the US “food weapon” strategy, is sublimated war. There is no logical difference between driving people off their land and into slums where they are utterly dependent, and physically killing them. Anyone willing to do or tolerate the former is willing to do and tolerate the latter.
 
The Rockefeller Foundation played a major role in coordinating the green revolution, pesticide/fertilizer deployment, and the development of GMOs ancillary to the poison regime. The Gates Foundation subsequently has taken the lead in aggrandizing the GMO/pesticide poison project. Gates provides organizational leadership and fraudulent “philanthropic” propaganda cover for what’s nothing but brutal corporate colonialism. This colonialism is also a testing ground for other totalitarian assaults.
 
In spite of its “humanitarian” lies (always embellished with Randroid spin that all good things can come only from total corporate control), the Gates Foundation really stands for total corporate control of agriculture and food on a monoculture commodity export basis. For decades this has been proven to do nothing but increase hunger, famine, and disease. The Gates Foundation is an extreme activist on behalf of globalization export agriculture and seeks systematically to eradicate African food production, and therefore to maximize food insecurity, hunger, and famine. Africa and elsewhere in the global South also serve Gates and Monsanto as testing grounds for ecological domination technology designed to be deployed in the Western countries as well. All of humanity which lacks monetary wealth, not just the people of the South, are slated for liquidation.
 
Today the Gates Foundation is the primary propaganda coordinator on behalf of these ideological and anti-political assaults. It’s the main coordinator among the various branches of the corporate state – the US and UK governments, the Big Ag corporations, the G7, the universities, the corporate media, and various system NGOs.
 
Economically, politically, ecologically, the corporate-technocratic state works to impose maximum monopoly monoculture control with minimum real-world apparatus or indeed contact with physical reality at all. The sector comprising corporate agriculture and food, along with its lead enablers from the state like USAID and the USDA, all coordinated by the quasi-governmental Gates and Rockefeller Foundations, thinks exclusively in terms of Mammon’s fictive numbers. The measure of agriculture is never food for human beings but sanctified fake numbers like GDP, trade balances, sovereign debt, commodity and stock prices, corporate profits, money as such. These pure fictions are rendered real only by the corporate state’s violence and the tolerance of the people. Thus the corporate/government/NGO structure is able globally to impose and enforce the agricultural model which conforms to these measures and eradicates, as much as possible, all actual food production for human beings. This physical control and destruction without responsibility is the grail of all corporations.
 
In these ways the goal is to render it as literally true as possible that food is produced by money, that food comes from the supermarket.
 
3. The military-agricultural complex I describe here is best epitomized in the Gates/DARPA joint project to develop gene drive technology. This is the most extreme example yet of a dual use military/agricultural weapon. In general, genetic engineering is becoming increasingly militarized.
 
This is the context for the propaganda campaign for gene drives being deployed against so-called “invasive” plants and animals such as rats. “Rats” should be taken as a symbolic place-holder for more far-reaching land-cleansing plans. Consider the Nazi propaganda films which equated Jews with rats, then compare the coupled campaigns of gene drive deployment vs. rats and other “invasives”, and GMO deployment as part of corporate agriculture’s onslaught seeking to drive all of humanity off the land. When we compare these we start to get a picture of where all this is heading.
 
DARPA often has partnered with Monsanto, from the deployment of Agent Orange to research into robotic bees. Continuing this partnership, Monsanto has been a key player in the anti-“invasive” propaganda. The theme of glyphosate being ecologically necessary to combat “invasive” weeds laid the propaganda groundwork for the gene drive strategy. With the collapse of glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D are being deployed as the “new”/old weaponry allegedly necessary to wage this allegedly necessary war.
 
Gates teams with Monsanto, Gates teams with the military, Monsanto teams with the military, we have consensus on intent and goal.
 
4. The primary agronomic feature of poison-based agriculture is the arms race between the ever escalating, ever more toxic brew of pesticides, and the resistance evolution keeps producing in the weeds, insects, fungi, and other so-called “pests”. This arms race, which in civilian language is also called the pesticide treadmill, is the context in which Monsanto and its Gates/military allies are resurrecting two obsolete herbicides, dicamba and the Agent Orange constituent 2,4-D, for a renewed assault. Monsanto, the USDA, and the media originally promised that these poisons, even more toxic and destructive than glyphosate, would be rendered permanently obsolete by the Roundup Ready GMO system. These herbicides are indeed obsolete from any sane ecological and agronomic point of view, but of the corporate-technocratic system is not sane, nor is it honest. The corporations and the US government always were lying about dicamba and 2,4-D, and in recent years they’ve been bringing them back on a massive scale, with GMOs engineered to accompany them: Monsanto’s dicamba tolerant Xtend soybeans and cotton, and Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant maize, soybeans, and cotton. The result has been the ongoing dicamba disaster. As the Enlist system is more widely propagated a 2,4-D disaster will join the dicamba disaster.
 
The dicamba GMO crisis 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. Dicamba-resistant weeds already are on the rise. The greater the atmospheric suffusion of volatile dicamba vapor, the faster it’ll drive weed resistance along with every other ecological and health harm. Monoculture as such, by its very simplicity, drives the development of resistance, accelerates the arms race.
 
The deliberate goal is to render all agriculture which is not engineered to resist dicamba and/or 2,4-D impossible. Both herbicides are extremely volatile and inevitably will attack and kill all other plants – row crops not engineered to resist; fruits and vegetables (commercial growing and personal gardens); trees; ornamentals; as much as possible all wild plants. This extreme volatility renders the GMO/herbicide tandem an effective weapon for area denial, seizure and domination of territory. Monsanto is succeeding in driving out all non-Xtend soybean production in the main production zones. Monsanto and Dow intend the same result for maize and cotton. 2,4-D intrinsically contains dioxins as part of the manufacturing process. (Called “by-products” or “impurities”, really premeditated and therefore deliberate.) The end goal: Vast landscapes where literally nothing grows but these three crops in their Xtend and Enlist versions. The GM seed is the vehicle to force full-season deployment of this volatile chemical warfare.
 
Volatility is dicamba’s most insidious and destructive mode of drift. Under common conditions of warmth and humidity liquid dicamba resting on plants and soil is prone to volatilize, turn into a gas, lift off the surfaces and float on the air often many miles from the site of spraying before weather conditions change and cause it to resettle on whatever plants are in the vicinity. The more dicamba is sprayed in a region the more all-pervasive the suffusion becomes. This is called atmospheric loading.
 
Dicamba’s volatility effect is well known. Monsanto and BASF promised that their new dicamba formulations, XtendiMax and Engenia, had solved the problem and would not be volatile. In 2017 when university researchers were able to purchase XtendiMax and Engenia at the store and test it for volatility (Monsanto forbade them pre-market access to XtendiMax, thus proving it was lying about the product) they found that these brand name formulations are nearly as volatile as the earlier cheap formulas. The fact is that all dicamba is volatile. Indeed there’s evidence that dicamba’s volatility is essential to it having any proximate herbicidal effect on weeds in the first place. It’s impossible to use dicamba under warm humid conditions, i.e. the way it’s intended to be used under the Xtend system, and not have it promiscuously volatilize, move off site, and kill any broad leaf crops and plants it resettles upon.
 
This proves that by design all dicamba is highly volatile and nothing can prevent it from moving off site and killing other crops and plants. Co-existence with the Xtend system is impossible. This has been a deliberate campaign. In 2018 all soy farmers have had no choice but to buy Xtend GM seeds or run the great risk of having their crop destroyed by chemical warfare. In the same way much vegetable farming and gardening as well as the existence of many other plants and trees is becoming impossible in the dicamba free-fire zones. This proves that Monsanto’s goal remains the same as it’s always been, the goal it enshrined in what it calls its “Expanded Trait Penetration” program. Monsanto’s goal always is to force farmers to buy as many stacked GM traits as possible. Xtend is the most extreme version yet of this program. Monsanto’s goal is to extort all soybean farmers, under threat of the drift destruction of their crop, into buying the Xtend seeds and the XtendiMax herbicide.
 
In turn, the dicamba offensive is the most potent assault yet seeking to bring all land and ecology under technocratic dominion. It’s an expression of the fanatical monoculture mentality which wants to wipe out all natural plant growth and reduce all cultivation, all plant growth as such, to corporate-controlled industrial monoculture. 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 physical, to force their nightmare vision of technocratic “progress” onto natural succession.
 
5. This is a campaign to seize land: Economically (maximum acreage) and through physical assault. The poisoners must drive out non-Xtend/Enlist crops; drive out all food production, thus all fruit and vegetable production, because this kind of farming is closer to being actual food production for human beings; seize the land for consolidation, monoculture, and power. In this way agribusiness works to attain domination over farming. The fewer and bigger the farms, the easier they are to control.
 
They’re also looking ahead to when money will be worthless and land paramount. To forestall competition they’re not only locking up legal control of land through land-grabbing, but through poisons and soil-mining they’re destroying the land for any use but their industrial monoculture. This is a contingent salting of the earth.
 
So-called “off-target” destruction is really the destruction of a different kind of target, indeed a more important target than the weeds themselves, which are privileged plants because they provide the pretext for the whole paramilitary campaign against the real targets. By strict intent we know this is all deliberate and premeditated. (Pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and botulins also are privileged organisms under this system: Dicamba, 2,4-D and glyphosate are antibiotics which selectively kill beneficial bacteria while sparing pathogens and creating good terrain for their proliferation, as well as helping to drive the evolution of antibiotic resistance among these bacteria. Thus the GMO herbicide campaign takes its place alongside gross antibiotic abuse in factory farming and genetic engineering as part of corporate agriculture’s deliberate campaign to foster resistant pathogens, eradicate antibiotics as a medically effective treatment, and generate lethal pandemics. This too is part of clearing the land of its human inhabitants. To say again, this is war in the most literal sense even if most people can’t yet fathom it.)
 
The entire system of poison-based agriculture is designed to bottle up and destroy the entire ecology replacing it with a technologically controlled monoculture. In this way the biotech/agrochemical cartel joins the finance sector and other core corporate sectors working to bottle up all elements of nature and the real economy, replacing these with the purely fake economy of money, corporate personhood, finance, and patents. The corporate-technocratic accumulation of wealth and power directly corresponds with the technosphere’s physical poisoning and destruction of the Earth. Accumulation naturally indicates an ecological bottleneck. Accumulation equals waste. It is pollution. Those who manipulate such wastes are merely using poison as a weapon. The modern agrochemical onslaught is the latest, worst, most literal use of poison to destroy the Earth in order to hoard power.
 
And this goes with the legal and physical condemnation of the land. The corporate agricultural campaign ultimately is a campaign of land seizure whose goal is to force all human beings off the land and enclose it within a system of a few big corporate-controlled robot-managed plantations. Herbicide tolerant GMOs are a milestone in the corporate enclosure program, designed directly to eliminate all hand-weeding jobs while enabling farmers to manage much greater acreage, thus accelerating farm consolidation and the forced exodus of humans from the land. By rendering impossible all competing forms of soybean farming and many other kinds of farming, the Xtend-dicamba system is designed to escalate this totalitarian process. The systematic refusal of government and private insurers to cover drift damage, a massive consumer fraud, is another example proving that this is economic warfare against all but the biggest farmers. As is the concurrent campaign, even among the same state governments and weed scientists who deplore the dicamba crisis, to force 2,4-D tolerant crops upon agriculture. The clear goal is an agriculture where no crop (or any other plant) not resistant to both dicamba and 2,4-D will be able to exist at all.
 
The industrial monoculture and land enclosure system also is meant to render food production as tenuous as possible by forcing all people into a condition of complete dependency upon money and the corporate system while deliberately rendering food production as vulnerable as possible to drought, erosion, pest ravages, soil degradation, intrinsic crop failure, and ultimately the guaranteed shortages of necessary fossil fuels. The corporate food system already systematically generates hunger. It also is preparing famine.
 
The dicamba GMO system seeks to eradicate actual food production at fruit orchards and vegetable farms and gardens, all of which the corporate-technocratic system views as the real “weeds”. It wants to render anything but dicamba-based commodity soybean production impossible. This is a case study in the real goal of poison agriculture. The will to continue this onslaught on the part of the corporations, the US and state governments, academia and the media proves their Strict Intent to reach an outcome of total destruction.
 
The pesticide model of agriculture is conjoined with the GMO ideology of technologically overriding and obliterating 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 dicamba crisis is the latest and most extreme example yet of how co-existence with GMOs is impossible. It’s obviously impossible for organic farming. It’s impossible for non-GM conventional farming. With Xtend Monsanto has upped the ante, stepping up the assault on organic and non-GM farming and even rendering all previous GM soy varieties untenable. This is the first effective example of what the cartel projects as an indefinitely re-writable blank slate it can force to be continually wiped clean and rewritten, a process of destruction and re-destruction redolent of waging war to destroy in order to generate space profitable to rebuild. This is the essence of disaster capitalism. Monsanto dreams of an agriculture totally subjugated by the most profitable GM varieties, until these too are rendered obsolete and wiped out by even higher-stacked, more expensive, more extreme varieties. The technocratic civilization wants an entire planet brillo-scrubbed this way.
 
This is a modern replay of the legendary Roman salting of the Carthaginian earth. This too is a scorched-earth act of war. The system’s vision is to turn Earth into a desert and call it civilization. This requires the total deployment of the monoculture and Humanfrei imperatives. Regimentation and order, death and destruction, are the desiderata. Anathema is lack of control, wildness, diversity, beauty, freedom, “anarchy”, “chaos”.
 
(The psychotic hatred of trees and drive to murder them, from the institutionalized logging sector to the average suburban parasite, is part of this overall religious psychosis. Dicamba takes its place here as a systematic mass murderer of trees.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

May 1, 2018

Gates Foundation Assault on Africa, Cracking from Within

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The Gates Foundation/Monsanto’s plan for the land: Stay OUT of the land, stay IN the shantytowns, unto death: First in Africa, then everywhere

 
 
Since its inception in 2012 I’ve written many times in condemnation of the Gates Foundation-coordinated “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition”. The New Alliance is the campaign of the Gates Foundation, USAID, several Western governments, such multinational agribusiness corporations as Monsanto, DuPont, Cargill, and Unilever, with the assistance of corrupt African governments, to dominate and control Africa’s land and agriculture and drive its millions of community farmers and villagers off their land. The campaign attempts a far more vicious and total reprise of the 19th century wave of African colonization. It’s the escalation and extension to Africa of the modern agricultural imperialism campaign dubbed the “green revolution”. (So-called because it’s superficially about money, though really about total power and domination.)
 
In 2018 the Alliance has suffered two major blows.* The World Bank itself was forced to admit that its accounting procedure for analyzing the effects of pro-corporate policies enacted by target governments is corrupt and manipulated in order to obtain the desired propaganda result. Shortly after, the French government announced that it was ending its financial and propaganda support for the Gates/USAID/Monsanto program. That leaves just the US and its poodle UK still directly funneling taxpayer money to the corporate assault. (Of course literally all money funding industrial agriculture as such is direct or indirect corporate welfare. Just to give one prominent example, every cent funneled through the Gates Foundation is paid for by the taxpayer.)
 
 
Like the rest of humanity, Africa does not need the “help” of corporate technocracy, its poisons, or its dominion of Mammon. Like the rest of humanity, and as already proven by the mass destruction of much of the global South by this same system, Africa will be much better off going into the future beyond the extreme energy civilization if it fights off this Western attempt to destroy its food production. So although the New Alliance campaign is showing signs of cracking up from within, this only confirms the need to step up the fight against it to smash it from without. Africa can ensure the best future possible, the only good future possible, if instead it works to preserve its community food heritage and supplement this with the science of agroecology. Just like the rest of humanity will be forced to do, one way or another.
 
 
*The piece goes into wonkish detail and adopts wholesale the enemy’s propaganda term “reforms” for these pro-corporate policy assaults. Now, we anti-globalization campaigners are familiar with this Orwellian use of “reform”, and to the extent we’re radicals the term “reform” is generally a bad word anyway. But unless writers want to preach only to the most narrowly selected choir, they would be aware that to most people a “reform” is a vaguely good-sounding thing. That, of course, is why the globalizers developed this Orwellian use of it in the first place. So sincere anti-globalizers would never use the enemy’s own term this way. The worst examples of what seems like a symptom of Stockholm syndrome are the wholesale adoption of the enemy propaganda terms “free trade” and “free market” on the part of those who claim to oppose what these terms really stand for.
 
Unfortunately I no longer think this standard affinity for the enemy’s own terms is an accident or the result of sloppiness. Rather, I think it’s typical of the fact that just as with industrial communism before, so today’s allegedly more eco-conscious “radicals” really still offer no alternative to the Earth-murdering, humanity-enslaving productionist-technocratic civilization. They still want productionism, consumptionism, technocracy, but just as with the communists before so they make the same false promise to “do better”. But it’s the civilization itself which is inherently genocidal-ecocidal, inherently destructive of all life and all human feeling and value. To claim one can run the productionist-technocratic civilization in a more eco-friendly, human-friendly** way is the same as claiming one could have run Auschwitz in a more humane way. This analogy is direct and precise in every way.
 
So our socialists and anti-globalizers and most of all our environmentalists continue to talk like corporate propagandists because they share the deepest substantive affinity with them. The dispute between them and the corporations is nothing but a squabble over tactical means, emphases, tempos. They agree on the end goal of total destruction. Exactly as industrial capitalism and industrial communism had almost everything in common and were merely disputing which kind of power body, nominal “public” government or government-created corporations, should control the wealth and power which were the by-product of destroying the Earth and humanity. This total destruction has always been the shared primary goal.
 
 
**I often feel the need to double what’s really a single term, since humanity is inextricably part of the ecology. Thus “eco-friendly, human-friendly” is redundant. On the contrary, the notion that humanity is or ever could be (or should be) separate from nature, let alone at war with it, is by far the worst idea ever, by far the worst psychosis humanity ever invented. Yet even I feel the language has so internalized this notion of a distinction that I use the redundancy. And also to emphasize that even on humanist terms, civilization has been a disaster, while the vast majority of human beings always, at all times including the modern era, would have been much better off without it.
 
 
 
 

October 19, 2017

The “Green Revolution” and the Food Weapon

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

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

March 3, 2017

The “Drought” Lie, Amid Power Struggles in Kenya

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Set up to die of thirst

Set up to die of thirst

 
 
GMO field trials are part of a power struggle among Kenyan officials. The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) gave the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) the go-ahead for open-air field trials of GM maize. These are publicly funded organizations which perform corporate research on the taxpayer dollar, with the product then privatized at the juncture most profitable for the corporations. The AATF is funded by the Gates Foundation, Cornell University, and USAID. The first two of these specialize in transforming public money into corporate welfare. USAID is a de jure government body explicitly dedicated to capitalist goals.
 
Health and environmental officials have blocked the approval on the grounds that Kenya’s existing ban on GM imports applies to field trials within the country as well. Evidently they have enough clout to force a deadlock. I’m not well enough versed in internal Kenyan politics to know the underlying issues of the power struggle, but our default always is to assume no government official has any principled objection to any GMO deployment. Our attitude toward any such delay must be to do what we can to encourage and support it but never to regress to any faith-based view of government.
 
The US government will be displeased. The US has been pressing Kenya to commit to the GMO campaign for many years, since the inception of its “New Alliance” plan for a “second Green Revolution in Africa”. This is a typical US-fomented “color” revolution indeed. (The “green” revolution was so-named in the 1960s in contradistinction to “red” rhetoric. It’s a Cold War propaganda term.)
 
(I stress, the US government, which remains the same no matter which criminal heads it up. Many people seem especially confused about that these days. But in 2009 the Obama/Clinton state department, in one of its first memos to department personnel defining the new administration’s priorities, included using US muscle to force “Government acceptance of genetically modified food and propagation of genetically modified crops” at the top of its list of the attacks it planned in Africa.)
 
 
The article says Kenya has been importing maize from Mexico and Ukraine “because of drought.” Maize yields in Kenya have been halved “because of drought.”
 
This is standard deceptive framing. “Drought” almost always is an artificial problem. Drought happens when a society deploys modes of cultivation and grows crop varieties which aren’t well-suited to the rainfall conditions of the region. Historically, drought was seldom a problem for traditional agriculture, and today it’s seldom a problem for agroecology, for these are designed to be diverse and resilient in the event of dry seasons. It’s only industrial commodity monoculture which is designed to be highly vulnerable to drought.
 
What’s more, today’s increasingly volatile rainfall patterns and periods of low rainfall are features of the climate chaos being driven most of all by that same industrial agriculture. This sector is the worst greenhouse gas emitter and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks.
 
In both these ways “drought” is a man-made, intentional crisis. And as we see here, in classic exploitation manner the drought which is driven intentionally by corporate agriculture then is used as a propaganda pretext on behalf of GMOs. These would only escalate the crisis since GMOs do nothing but escalate every pathology of corporate industrial agriculture. GMOs require even more water and synthetic fertilizer (the primary source of nitrous oxide emissions, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) than non-GM crops.
 
The solution to all these artificially and intentionally generated problems – food insecurity, drought, climate chaos, hunger – is one and the same solution, and it is the only solution. Humanity must abolish corporate agriculture and transform its food production to agroecology. Even amid such a hostile political environment agroecology is accomplishing great things already in Africa. Agroecology is a fully demonstrated science and set of practices and is ready today for full global deployment, wherever humanity has the wisdom and will to do it.
 
 
Meanwhile everyone knows the quote: Insanity/stupidity/evil is doing the same thing over and over while expecting/claiming to expect a different result. Nowhere is this more true than with GMOs.
 
 
 
 
 
Please propagate these pieces.
 

February 4, 2017

The Agricultural War in Africa

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The IDEA of food is the weapon.

The IDEA of food is the weapon.

 
 
Since the age of exploration sub-Saharan Africa has received almost zero benefit from its contact with Western imperialism, only harm. From the slave trade to the age of direct imperial domination to decolonization carried out amid a resentful Western campaign of vandalism and chaos to the West’s use of the continent as a Cold War proxy, we have an unbroken and unmitigated record of the purely exploitative attitude and action of the West.
 
Globalization has been as evil as the previous assaults. Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way, and Africa has already been subject to the IMF and World Bank’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).
 
All this has been accompanied by the systematic ravaging of African ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western industrialized productionism and consumerism. Climate change is caused by these actions. Since corporate state elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. According to this pattern of disaster capitalism the corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all. Today Africa is its primary new target.
 
Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. In accordance with its food weapon the US government systematically has waged economic, political, chemical, biological, and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, corporate agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground as well as its aggrandizement being a constant goal.
 
Corporate agriculture has been by far the worst destroyer of local and global environments. Most of all, corporate industrial agriculture is the worst driver of the climate crisis which in recent years has been wreaking havoc on African farming and food harvests. Today, after years of widespread drought and collapsed harvests, large parts of sub-Saharan Africa are on the verge of famine. This famine, like all previous modern famines, is completely artificial, completely man-made, caused by corporate agriculture and now by the climate change driven by this agricultural sector.
 
The proof that all these outcomes are intended by the Western corporate system and its supporters is that they persist in the patterns of action which are historically proven to produce these outcomes. This is called Strict Proof of Strict Intent. It’s the moral baseline which sums up the modern age. What distinguishes modern crimes against humanity and the earth from all previous crimes, besides their sheer magnitude, is that with modern science, modern information systems, and modern communications, it’s no longer possible to be innocently unaware of these crimes. Today all ignorance is willful ignorance and therefore culpable. So philosophically we can dispense with the concept of “ignorance”. Climate change, other crimes against ecological and public health, the economic and political destructiveness of globalization, these all are no longer in question, nor is there any question about guilt. The one and only question left is the question of power, and the question of which judgement shall prevail, that of the targets who only now are beginning to fight back, or that of the criminals. Today everywhere only the judgement of the criminals prevails. Tomorrow it shall be different.
 
In spite of how grossly inefficient and destructive of actual food production it is, corporate industrial agriculture has attained domination over most agricultural land. It has been sustained only by temporarily plentiful and heavily subsidized fossil fuels, massive subsidies of other sorts, monopoly muscle, and where necessary direct political and military aggression. Corporate industrial agriculture could never have existed other than as this massive program of central planning and social engineering. The core propaganda campaign on behalf of this onslaught has been called the “Green Revolution”. Green Revolution propaganda has been nothing but lies, as proven by how it has done nothing but increase hunger in the core zones of its conquest, Latin America and India.
 
Unfortunately for this insatiable shark which must keep swimming or die, corporate industrial agriculture is reaching the point of physical, economic, and political saturation across most of its domain. GMOs, to give just the latest pseudo-“hi-tech” example of the same old oil-based, poison-based agriculture, reached market saturation several years ago.
 
Only sub-Saharan Africa largely has been spared full corporate agricultural Gleichschaltung. This was because during the heyday of Green Revolution I Africa was less accessible to global markets, globalization’s whole structure of subsidies and coercion hadn’t yet been fully developed, and the CAFO system as an artificial market for what are otherwise grotesquely overproduced grain commodities hadn’t yet fully been ramified.
 
These problems gradually have been solved, and since the 1990s corporate flacks have issued the call for Green Revolution II, a “second Green Revolution in Africa.” The goal of this second poison crusade is the same as that of the first: Seize control of the land, destroy all food production and replace it with industrial plantations to produce export commodities, and drive all the people off their land and into shantytowns. Globalization pacts will force African governments to construct all necessary export infrastructure and enforce all corporate prerogatives defined by the pacts, all at the expense of the people of Africa. All other subsidies will be provided by American and British taxpayers. The entire corporate profiteering project is being publicly financed, including via tax scams like the Gates Foundation.
 
The propaganda claims the goal is to “feed the world”, but we already know the real goal is to destroy food and increase hunger, as the Green Revolution already done for decades in Latin America and south Asia, as corporate industrial agriculture already has done everywhere it has prevailed. In reality the project does not intend to provide one calorie of food to Africans. The goal, as Monsanto repeatedly has assured its shareholders, is to turn Africa into one big grain plantation to send animal feed to Asian CAFOs producing heavily subsidized meat for the Asian middle class which allegedly soon will be rising. (It won’t, but that’s another story.)
 
The destruction of the African people, their starved immiseration in shantytowns and refugee camps, which the Western corporate system assumes will never have to be paid for by anyone but the targets themselves, is the most outrageous and horrific of these subsidies. But there are many, many others. And, as I’ll be detailing, this piper won’t long be paid only across the South so that the West and its parasite class can enjoy “cheap” albeit poisoned food at the retail checkout. Westerners already pay with their taxes and their own increasingly gutted economies and communities. The corporations see their way to taking far, far more, and thus they will do their all to take all in the end. That’s what totalitarianism is, and in case you didn’t notice, corporations are totalitarian organizations that will never stop and can never stop. Humanity cannot coexist with them.
 
Today Africans are fighting to preserve control of their lives and food, as they realize what’s at stake is their freedom and their very ability to eat. The people are organized into a coalition of hundreds of democracy networks, tribal alliances, and groups representing real farmers and pastoralists. These comprise the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and include the African Center for Biosafety, the African Biodiversity Network, the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations (a member of the worldwide Via Campesina, the Farmer Way), the NGO Federation of Collectives, the Coalition for African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), the Food Sovereignty Campaign, Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUM), the Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum, People’s Dialogue, Rural Women’s Assembly, Food Sovereignty Ghana, GMO Free Malawi, and many others.
 
In direct contrast to the failure, destruction, and organized crime which is the proven pattern and intention of corporate industrial agriculture, the true way forward is already operating and achieving great things in Africa and around the world. This is the path of Food Sovereignty and agroecology. This is the way human beings produce abundant food for themselves and their communities without massive, expensive, destructive inputs of fossil fuels and poisons, in harmony with the greater ecology, toward the greatest freedom, democracy, security, and happiness. The Food Sovereignty movement must be based upon the great class of small community farmers who have always been the food producers for humanity and always will be, and upon agroecology, the fully demonstrated science and set of practices ready for full global deployment any time humanity wishes to embrace them. Agroecology is already accomplishing great things in Africa, and I’ll be going into far more detail about it. This is our first step toward understanding what must be done everywhere, and how we must bring it all home to the West itself.
 
There’s zero problem where it comes to the sheer amount of food produced. Humanity produces far more than enough food for everyone. This is true globally and it’s true in every region of the world. And that’s speaking only of the highly inefficient and wasteful industrial agriculture. Even during the fossil fuel era, decentralized low-input polyculture produces more calories and nutrition per acre than industrial commodity monoculture. Since the latter must fall with the end of the fossil fuel era, its production cannot be sustained regardless. Agroecology, already proven to produce enough food to feed everyone on earth even now, will then be not only the much better alternative but the only choice regardless.
 
Short of the ultimate unsustainability of industrial agriculture, the only problem anywhere is with the corporate distribution system. Anyone who truly wants to feed people has to want people to be able to feed themselves. We have to change the distribution of the food we have, not struggle to produce “more” within a framework which has already proven it won’t distribute that food to humanity. Food production and distribution naturally comprise a local/regionally based system. Only alien, artificial, unsustainable authoritarian systems can ever twist and contort these into a globalized framework. Anyone who truly wants the world to have food must fight to abolish corporate agriculture, abolish the enslavement of food production to the commodity system, rebuild socially and economically natural food systems, build and propagate the rising agroecology paradigm, build Food Sovereignty. This is the movement call to build the new era as the toxic old one is perishing. The call is binding upon us all.
 
The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out. This has always been the ultimate goal of all imperial conquest: To render all land terra nullius, empty space to be subjugated, exploited to the hilt, wrung out like an old rag, left for dead. Today is humanity’s last and greatest chance to halt this corporate campaign of total destruction of our agriculture, our environment, our society. We have our great chance to halt it and roll it back. This is what is necessary if we hope to have any agriculture and ecology, any human community, to build upon going forward beyond the fossil fuel age. The land is still there for us if we wish. We must save it and cherish it.
 
 
 

February 1, 2017

The Green Revolution and Corporate Agriculture Drive Hunger and Famine

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Philanthropy, corporate style.

Philanthropy, corporate style.

 
 
 
History is repeating itself as Africa, so many times in the past the target of colonial depredation, is today the target of a new dual campaign of aggression. The first prong of this campaign is the new colonialism based on land-grabbing and export commodity agriculture. The goal is to seize control of the land, destroy all food production and replace it with industrial plantations to produce export commodities, and drive all the people off their land and into shantytowns. The second prong is the already turbulent climate chaos which has been driven most by the same industrial agriculture, and which in recent years has been wreaking havoc on African farming and food harvests. Today, after years of widespread drought and collapsed harvests, large parts of sub-Saharan Africa are on the verge of famine. This famine, like all previous modern famines, is completely artificial, completely man-made, caused by corporate agriculture and now by the climate change of which this agricultural sector is the main driver.
 
This latest food crisis follows upon the purely financial food crisis of 2008-2009 which was triggered by rising commodity prices. This was part of the finance sector’s war of speculation and its intentional crashing of the global economy in 2008. In all these ways – financial crisis, land crisis, climate crisis – we have corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. The corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. This is called disaster capitalism. All corporate sectors practice it, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all.
 
In the classic disaster capitalist manner today’s corporate imperialists are using the crisis and the famine they have systematically caused as the pretext to call for the escalation of their campaigns of finance speculation, land-grabbing, and food destruction. They call their plan a “second green revolution for Africa.” Toward this goal they have set up a propaganda and organizational apparatus funded by American and British taxpayers and administered by a coalition led by USAID and the Gates Foundation. They call the plan the “New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition” (NAFSN), and the Gates cadre which serves as overall coordinator is called the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” (AGRA). The goal of this campaign is to induce and force upon African countries the whole standard globalization package which has already ravaged Latin America and Asia – privatization of tribal land, publicly-funded export and import infrastructure, eradication of all “trade barriers” which are defenses against Western subsidized dumping, corporate-dictated intellectual property policy, tax abatements and removal of all environmental and labor protections, removal of all currency expatriation restrictions, and in general the complete submission of African countries to the domination of Western-based corporations. The NAFSN seeks to impose all this on behalf of Western agribusiness corporations which have signed up with the plan. They pledge pennies to the public dollar of both Western and African taxpayers; they get to extract 100% of the profit and take it back home. The beneficiaries include pesticide and seed sellers Monsanto, Syngenta, and DuPont, traders Cargill and ADM, synthetic fertilizer manufacturer Yara, food manufacturers Unilever and Diageo. These and more will get special deals via the usual “public-private partnerships” which place all the cost and risk on the public and hand all the profit and control to the corporation.
 
The physical goals of the plan, which are always the real goals, are to seize control of all good farmland, wipe out all food production, drive out the people, divide the land into big corporate industrial plantations growing export crops, and use as much GM seed, synthetic fertilizer, and pesticide as possible. The goal is to be as destructive as possible of the soil’s capacity ever to grow food again, of African ecosystems, and of African communities and economies. Beyond a small collaborator faction which can be maintained as an urban middle class, the goal is to wipe out the African people completely. According to the US/Gates/corporate vision, these people have no purpose existing. There’s not even a plan to exploit them, just to drive them out. They call this the Second Green Revolution.
 
Does this description sound exaggerated? Not to anyone familiar with the record of failure, destruction, and corporate crime wrought by the original Green Revolution.
 
The best introduction to the facts about the Green Revolution and world hunger, and Africa’s alleged need for a second revolution, is the fact that contrary to media depictions, by the 1990s most of the hungry people of the world were not in Africa, which had been represented in Western media for much of the 1980s as the ultimate hunger disaster zone, but in the prime land of the Green Revolution, southern Asia. (Unless otherwise indicated, these numbers are compiled from government and UN sources by Food First in its magisterial World Hunger.)
 
In truth all the numbers which have been touted incessantly for the Green Revolution have been false accounting and lies. The figures claiming that hunger declined during the twenty year period from 1970 to 1990, the heyday of the Green Revolution, are based on the inclusion of figures from China, not a Green Revolution recipient. If China is left out of global figures, then during this period the number of hungry people in the world increased 11%, from 536 million to 597 million, even as food production significantly increased.
 
We can be more specific and focus especially on the two regions most intensely subjected to the Green Revolution. In Latin America during this period per capita food supplies went up 8% while the proportion of the hungry increased 19%. This is an 8% increase in per capita food even as the number of those going hungry leapt significantly. This means that population increase had zero to do with rising hunger, contrary to the claims of the corporate media and Malthusian commentators.
 
In the same way, in South Asia food available per person increased 9% while the hungry increased by 9%. This proves that hunger has nothing to do with the gross amount of food produced and everything to do with its distribution. It proves that any production increase attained by Green Revolution methods is irrelevant since the corporate distribution system which is indelibly conjoined with these production methods acts ruthlessly to make all food less available to people. This proves that corporate agriculture and its Green Revolution automatically and inexorably increase hunger and render increasing numbers vulnerable to famine.
 
And so it has gone. Under the corporate agricultural paradigm, by the latter 1990s there were over 800 million hungry in the world. By 2009 the number exceeded one billion, and continues to rise. This is never under any circumstance because there’s physically not enough food. Without exception hunger is caused by the artificial withholding of food from people to whom it would otherwise be available. Only on account of the artificial constraints, inefficiencies, and rituals of capitalism can food which physically exists, effectively cease to exist, because of the purely arbitrary reason that people lack the money to buy it. The historically proven fact is that as a rule hunger is caused only by inequality and poverty.
 
These are the same people who used to be able to produce more than sufficient food for themselves and their communities when they lived holistically on the land. Their way of life was socioecologically integrated with the Earth. They worked, the Earth produced, the people had food. And this productive balance must be restored if any significant number of people intend to eat in the post-fossil fuel age, since industrial agriculture is 100% dependent upon cheap, plentiful fossil fuels. But the cheapness and plenty are nearing their end, and the industrial paradigm inevitably must collapse.
 
But for now the onslaught continues. With some non-perishable and luxury exceptions, food production and distribution is naturally a local/regional physical and economic system. Corporate agriculture seeks to destroy all food production by forcing all production and distribution into a globalized commodity system. The only way to do this is to force economic structures upon the sector which economically destroy the viability of community food production and, through the enclosure of land, render it physically impossible. This then encloses all food production within the monetized framework and renders that food destroyed and nonexistent from the point of view of people. The “food” now exists only as a globalized commodity which is transported to wherever money is already concentrated. The rich get richer and literally fatter, while an ever rising mass of human beings gets poorer and more hungry. This is the indelible mathematical calculus of corporate agriculture and the Green Revolution, as well as the evil intent of its architects and cadres. It will never and can never have any result but to increase poverty, misery, and hunger.
 
The historical record has long been conclusive that increasing food production cannot reduce hunger because it doesn’t improve access to good land or the money to buy food, and therefore it does not increase access to food. On the contrary, it inexorably makes all these worse, and therefore makes hunger worse. In the same way, the introduction of any agricultural technology into an unjust, unequal system, without a prior social revolution to render that system just and egalitarian, inevitably increases the inequality and poverty and from there the hunger. (Indeed, this is a law of technology as such.)
 
And so we have the incontrovertible record of the Green Revolution and corporate control of food and agriculture. It was based on wheat, rice, and maize seeds specially adapted to high-input monoculture production. The goal was to maximize use of fossil fuels in order to industrialize agriculture and bring it under full capitalist control for maximum profit and power. The campaign did drive up “official” production, measured in commodities, while destroying much community food production and driving much of the rest off the official tally. (This is in order to suppress knowledge of how capable the people are of feeding themselves if they’re left alone and unassaulted.)
 
By official measures food available per capita went up everywhere, and hunger went up everywhere. Corporate agriculture and its Green Revolution act systematically to destroy all production of food which would be available for human beings while applying massive resources to drive up production of agricultural commodities to be exported for luxury use, especially for cheap meat and processed goods for Westerners. This, self-evidently, does not exist as food for the people of these places. On the contrary it represents nothing more or less than the destruction of their ability to produce food and their ability to eat.
 
By 1990 at the latest it was clear that the Green Revolution had no goal of decreasing hunger and helping farmers, but on the contrary was dedicated to economically destroying the farmers and driving them and their people off the land and into the terminal poverty of the shantytowns. Corporate agriculture is dedicated to increasing hunger and bringing famine. This is its systematically attained result, therefore this is its strictly proven intent and goal.
 
Today Africa, so many times ravaged by Western predation, is again under the gun. This time nothing less than the control of its very ability to farm and eat, today and for the future, is at stake. The “Second Green Revolution” already underway in parts of Africa is the greatest crime of our age.
 
The people of Africa are opposing this plan to destroy them. The people are organized into a coalition of hundreds of democracy networks, tribal alliances, and groups representing real farmers and pastoralists. These comprise the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and include the African Center for Biosafety, the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations (CNOP, a member of the worldwide Via Campesina, the Farmer Way), the NGO Federation of Collectives (FECONG), the Coalition for African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), the Food Sovereignty Campaign, Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUM), the Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF), People’s Dialogue, Rural Women’s Assembly, Food Sovereignty Ghana, GMO Free Malawi, and many others.
 
In direct contrast to the failure, destruction, and organized crime which is the proven pattern and intention of corporate industrial agriculture, the true way forward is already operating and achieving great things in Africa and around the world. This is the path of Food Sovereignty and agroecology. This is the way human beings produce abundant food for themselves and their communities without massive, expensive, destructive inputs of fossil fuels and poisons, in harmony with the greater ecology, toward the greatest freedom, democracy, security, and happiness.
 
There’s zero problem where it comes to the sheer amount of food produced. We produce far more than enough food for everyone. This is true globally and it’s true in every region of the world. The only problem anywhere is with the corporate distribution system. Anyone who truly wants to feed people has to want people to be able to feed themselves. We have to change the distribution of the food we have, not struggle to produce “more” within a framework which has already proven it won’t distribute that food to humanity. Anyone who truly wants the world to have food must fight to abolish corporate agriculture, abolish the enslavement of food production to the commodity system, rebuild socially and economically natural food systems (food production and distribution is naturally and logically done on a local/regional basis, and only authoritarian systems can ever twist and contort these into a globalized framework), and build the Food Sovereignty movement. This movement must be based upon the great class of small community farmers who have always been the food producers for humanity and always will be, and upon agroecology, a fully demonstrated science and set of practices ready for full global deployment any time humanity wishes to embrace them. Agroecology is already accomplishing great things in Africa.
 
The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out. This has always been the ultimate goal of all imperial conquest: To render all land terra nullius, empty space to be subjugated, exploited to the hilt, wrung out like an old rag, left for dead. Today is humanity’s last chance to halt this corporate campaign of total destruction of our agriculture and our environment. We have our great chance to halt it and roll it back. This is what is necessary if we hope to have any agriculture and ecology left going forward beyond the fossil fuel age. The land is still there for us if we wish. We must save it and cherish it.
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 24, 2017

Seeds of Doom vs. Seeds of Rebirth

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“These people think that Africa is a country of animals, that we do not think, that we know nothing, but they are wrong. We are human beings, we know what we want and we will fight on to victory.”
 
– Zimbabwean participant at the 2011 International Conference of Peasants and Farmers vs. Land-Grabbing
 
Tanzania’s new seed control law is the latest victory for Western agribusiness seeking dominion over Africa’s land, seed heritage, and commodity export potential. Conversely, it’s the latest blow to Africa’s fight for self-determination and food security.
 
To gain Western “developmental assistance”, which means Western “investment” toward the goal of transforming a country into a corporate export plantation, the Tanzanian government has enacted “reform” meant to ease corporate control of the land and now will try forcibly to destroy Tanzania’s ancient and socially and ecologically stable system of seed saving and distribution among the small farmers who grow food for their people. All this is to be wiped out and replaced by corporate-controlled export agriculture while all food production disappears from the country and is replaced by mass hunger and misery.
 
This is the most recent development in an ongoing globalization campaign to enforce corporate control of all seeds and all of global agriculture and food. In Africa this campaign has been elaborated into a vast formal project, the so-called New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN). The New Alliance is the corporate strategy for the recolonization of Africa led by Western agribusiness. Its goal is to drive millions of Africans off their land and gain full control of all arable land in order to convert it to export commodity production. African farmers, tribes, consumers, environmental and civil society groups are opposing this, with support from anti-corporate and democracy activists from all over the world.
 
The record of over fifty years of aggressive globalized corporate agriculture based on production for commodity export proves that corporate agriculture equals human hunger. Corporate agriculture generates mass hunger and seeks to perpetuate and maximize hunger. Its goal always is to destroy food production, seize the land for commodity production, and drive the people OUT.
 
The NAFSN is driven by the US and UK governments, paid for by US and UK taxpayers, and functions according to operational goals dictated by corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, Unilever, and others who have signed up for the program as part of various “public-private partnership” scams. The NAFSN operates officially under the auspices of the G8. The program is directly administered by USAID in its usual role as alleged “humanitarian” front group, public sector version, with the Gates Foundation and others serving as the “private”, so-called philanthropic counterpart. The Gates Foundation has set up its “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” as a key activist and propaganda weapon of the campaign. The corporate beneficiaries have signed “letters of intent” to join this so-called “investment” program. This means they put up pennies to the taxpayer dollar while being slated to extract 100% of the profits. An African fig leaf is provided in the form of the African Union’s Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). This is the Stockholm Syndrome blueprint African governments developed in the wake of the West’s “structural adjustment” assaults. The NAFSN is a typical vehicle wherein African governments beg for “investment” on the corporations’ terms. The New Alliance is a prime fruition of this radical corporate control of Western investment. Ten African governments have sold out: Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and Tanzania, Benin, Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal. (The US remains frustrated by the ambivalence of Kenya, which was supposed to be the crown jewel member by now.)
 
The people of Africa are opposing this plan to destroy them. The people are organized into a coalition of hundreds of democracy networks, tribal alliances, and groups representing real farmers and pastoralists. These comprise the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa and include the African Center for Biosafety, the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), the National Coordination of Peasant Organizations (CNOP, a member of the worldwide Via Campesina, the Farmer Way), the NGO Federation of Collectives (FECONG), the Coalition for African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN), the Food Sovereignty Campaign, Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS) Africa, the Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Association (PELUM), the Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF), People’s Dialogue, Rural Women’s Assembly, Food Sovereignty Ghana, GMO Free Malawi, and many others.
 
Here we have a clear black and white division between humanity and a criminal elite. We have the aggressive elite power of the US and other Western governments, corporations, the mainstream media and technocratic establishment, and other elitists including racist liberals and NGOs. The whole project has had zero input or representation from the people of Africa or the West. Even as they mouth platitudes about helping the small farmers of Africa, the roster of participants in the cabal’s conferences reads each time like a technocratic dream guest list – Western politicians, corporate agents, NGO operatives, motley “experts” and engineers. It includes every illegitimate elite which is alien to the Earth and excludes every representative of actual human beings. Those opposing this assault comprise a truly representative lineup of African farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, and the citizenry in general.
 
Even if one didn’t know the issues and facts, just from the order of battle it would be clear who’s right and who’s wrong, who represents human prosperity, security, democracy, and freedom, and who represents the destruction of all of these.
 
The goal of the New Alliance is the corporate Gleichschaltung (coordination) of African agriculture and trade practices and policies for maximum plunder and domination. Its main goals are to drive the people of Africa off their land and into shantytowns, seizing all the arable land for corporate commodity production for export. The goal, as with all agribusiness endeavor, is to wipe out all food production and replace it with commodity production. This is the same program of globalization and commodification which has already devastated much of humanity. African governments are to collaborate in dominating and exploiting the people and the land. The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out.
 
Here’s the main elements of the plan:
 
*The privatization of land. In Africa vast numbers of people still farm and graze the commons. This makes it difficult for the corporate state to impose dependency upon money and loans of indenture, to set up corporate infrastructure and distribution facilities for pesticides, proprietary GM seeds, synthetic fertilizer, industrial machinery, to impose commodity cash cropping, and to arrange the export of the entire production of the land, leaving the people with nothing. As a prerequisite, corporations which would dominate and exploit these people and their land first need government to enclose and parcel out the land. This has been a priority of the World Bank going back to the 1980s. Obama’s USAID chief Rajiv Shad emphasized that the goal is to accelerate land grabbing. As Via Campesina put it, “These policies aim to allocate title deeds to land in order to facilitate the purchase and sale of landed property. In the end, poor peasants and other rural people lose out to the benefit of those who have the means to purchase land.” Tribesmen and pastoralists who have farmed the land for generations suddenly are told that the land of their ancestors is “legally owned” by a Western speculator or the land-grabbing agent of a foreign government. The NAFSN is designed to escalate this colonial process of stealing the land. The only difference from the old-style conquistadors is that the direct gun and sword have been replaced by the fountain pen, backed by guns, drones, and cruise missiles.
 
*The formation of economic hierarchies to centralize and integrate production, processing, storage, and distribution. All this is to be done according to corporate specifications, toward the goal of forcing most farmers off the land and reducing the rest to indentured servitude and wage slavery within a cash-based commodity export regime. Today the farmers of Africa are smallholders and commons managers producing food for their families and communities. This is ideologically odious to Western technocracy and an obstacle to total corporate domination and exploitation. The goal of the New Alliance is to eradicate this human order and replace it with the corporate-controlled globalized commodity export system.
 
*Use propaganda to induce the beleaguered farmers to adopt commodity cropping themselves, then impose expensive industrial infrastructure on them. The NAFSN reprises the decades-old ploy of offering credit in order to indenture farmers and trap them on the cash-crop debt treadmill. The procedure is always the same everywhere, with only minor modifications. 1. Propaganda – you have no choice but to get on board with commodification, and you better do it fast or you’ll be left behind. 2. Enforce this with Western commodity dumping and general coercion into a cash economy. 3. Offer the necessary product (“improved”, i.e. corporate-controlled seeds, synthetic fertilizer, industrial herbicide and pesticide, machinery, oil) and the debt-mongering loan in order to buy it. 4. In this way destroy most independent farmers completely, turn the rest into indentured sharecroppers or wage slaves.
 
*A severe and rigorously enforced “intellectual property” regime for the benefit of the seed cartel and its patents. The Tanzanian law is the latest example. All intellectual property in seeds has been the result of biopiracy. All crops and landraces were developed by farmers selecting seeds over thousands of years in cooperation with nature, and all existing varieties have been developed by farmers in tandem with modern public sector breeding projects. The private sector has never contributed anything constructive at all. This is just as true in Africa as anywhere else. IP seed regimes are designed to expropriate a vast property interest of the people as a whole, in exactly the same way as land-grabbing.
 
*Selectively open borders for corporate dumping and looting. “Free trade” is the standard Orwellian term for this; a truthful term would be something like corporate command trade, forced markets, forced commodification. This so-called “liberalization” applies where it comes to the government-approved and licensed “formal sector”. Meanwhile traditional markets and actual free trading among the people would be criminalized and repressed, as we see in the case of corporate seed regimes like that being imposed upon Tanzanians.
 
*”Free trade” zones, tax-free zones, laws licensing the total repatriation of profits by Western “investors”. These ravages of Latin America and Asia are set to be reproduced in Africa.
 
We already know the end result of this because we’ve seen it play out over sixty years in Asia, Latin America, and in South Africa which already has a near-fully corporate controlled regime. Seeds and the land are largely enclosed, farmers have been reduced to servitude, profits are ruthlessly extracted and removed from the country.
 
The program of the New Alliance is being called a “Second Green Revolution”, a “Green Revolution in Africa”. We already know the evils of the first Green Revolution. It drove the people off the good agricultural land, forcing them to struggle to grow food for themselves on worse, environmentally more fragile land. Meanwhile all prime agricultural land was enclosed for export production. The land is stolen and locked away. From the people’s point of view it’s as if all the best land literally was destroyed, while all the food they used to produce ceases to exist. This is the driver of all Southern hunger, just as forcing the people who used to support themselves across the land to become crowded into small desolate regions is the cause of so-called “overpopulation”. Thus the Green Revolution drives ever more people off the land and into urban slums and shantytowns. Shantytowns have always been the direct, intended result of this agricultural policy. The goal always is to further separate humanity from the land, assault human food economies, replace these with the global corporate commodity economy from which food is supposed to “trickle down” to those who have money to buy it, forcibly turn community farmers into “job”-seekers, generate population pressures and all the political divide-and-conquer gambits this enables, drive up the proportion of the population which is food insecure, drive down wages. In all these ways the Green Revolution increases desperation and infighting among the destitute masses and aggravates and accelerates the processes of colonialism and corporate rule in general. Today’s onslaught of corporate agriculture is an escalated version of all this.
 
Pro-technocracy, pro-corporate types still believe and propagate the lies of the Green Revolution. But it takes only a look at the historical record and current events to see that corporate agriculture has nothing to do with feeding people and everything to do with starving them for the sake of its profit and domination imperatives. How does it feed an African community to force it to stop feeding itself and start growing cash crops to be turned into cheap meat for Westerners and ethanol for Western cars? How does it feed people to drive them off the land they farm and into shantytowns? How does it feed people to impose artificial scarcity on the abundance their work coaxes from nature?
 
Let’s cut through all the lies. If you want human beings to eat, you want people to provide their own food for themselves, their families, their communities. If you want corporations and governments to crush this normal, natural food system and replace it with the corporate system of scarcity, coercion, domination, extraction, you want only those with money to feed. (As for the Western middle class among whom this attitude is common, the bell is tolling for them as well. If any among them ever wonders what the corporate and technocratic elite has in store for them, they need only look to the farmers of Africa now. In the end they’re slated to be liquidated the same way, even if it takes a little more time. But there’s already no lack of tent cities in America.)
 
The entire modern record of corporate agriculture and food proves that the corporate system does not want to feed the world and cannot do so, by its very nature. It takes a unusual form of stupidity to think that the way to end hunger is to take naturally abundant food and render it artificially scarce, as capitalism must do according to its nature. Just as it takes a special kind of arithmetic to think the way you end hunger is through a system whose primary action is to use ten calories’ worth of grain to produce one calorie of meat. This fact lays bare the entire truth about the corporate system, its goals, and the evil of anyone who supports it while even a single child goes hungry.
 
Corporate neoliberal ideology is a proven lie in every sector. There is no sector, especially food and agriculture, where corporate practice hasn’t brought oligopoly, inequality, deteriorating agronomic results, ever more frequent socioeconomic and environmental disaster, and mass hunger. All the while our prosperity, freedom, democracy, and happiness are destroyed. We know that agroecological production and distribution bring better practical results than the corporate system, we know that only it can sustain the environment, we know that all true innovation in agriculture throughout history has been the result of cooperative action in the public domain, and we know that corporate enclosure like the intellectual property regime has functioned only to smother true innovation. We know that the industrial food system is unsustainable in terms of energy consumption, we know it’s the worst driver of the climate crisis and other environmental crises, we know that even in the West it’s no longer keeping prices down, and we know that at every point it diminishes our freedom, autonomy, and community.
 
In direct contrast to the failure, destruction, and organized crime which is the proven pattern and intention of corporate industrial agriculture, the true way forward is already operating and achieving great things in Africa and around the world. This is the path of Food Sovereignty and agroecology. This is the way human beings produce abundant food for themselves and their communities without massive, expensive, and destructive inputs of fossil fuels and poisons, in harmony with the greater ecology, toward the greatest freedom, democracy, security, and happiness.
 
There’s zero problem with the sheer amount of food produced. We produce far more than enough food for everyone on earth and then some to fill their stomachs. This is true globally and it’s true in every region of the world. The only problem anywhere is with the corporate distribution system. Anyone who truly wants to feed people has to want people to be able to feed themselves. We have to change the distribution of the food we have, not struggle to produce “more” within a framework which has already proven it won’t distribute that food to humanity. Anyone who truly wants the world to have food must fight to abolish corporate agriculture, abolish the enslavement of food production to the commodity system, rebuild socially and economically natural food systems (food production and distribution is naturally and logically done on a local/regional basis, and only authoritarian systems can ever force the contortion of these into a globalized framework), and build the Food Sovereignty movement. This movement must be based upon the great class of small community farmers who have always been the food producers for humanity and always will be, and upon agroecology, a fully demonstrated science and set of practices ready for full global deployment any time humanity wishes to embrace them. Look at what agroecology is already accomplishing in Africa against such economic pressure and corporate and government hostility.
 
Meanwhile anyone like the elites and elitists of corporate domination and technocracy, who claims to want to “feed the world” but wants to do so by doubling down on the proven failure of a “Green Revolution” and corporate industrial agriculture is really a liar and a criminal.
 
The goal of corporate industrial agriculture, and the ultimate goal of all globalization, is to seize control of the land and drive the people out. This has always been the ultimate goal of all imperial conquest: To render all land terra nullius, empty space, to be subjugated, exploited to the hilt, wrung out like an old rag, left for dead. Today is humanity’s last chance to halt this corporate campaign of total destruction of our agriculture and our environment. We have our great chance to halt it and roll it back. This is what is necessary if we hope to have any agriculture and ecology left going forward beyond the fossil fuel age. The land is still there for us if we wish. We must save it and cherish it.

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