November 27, 2012

Notes for Community Food Movement

Filed under: Civil Disobedience, Food and Farms, Freedom, Peak Oil, Relocalization — Tags: — Russ @ 12:19 pm


In recent months persecuted raw milk farmers Vernon Hershberger and Alvin Schlangen have enjoyed courtroom victories which are in part the result of massive community support. That customers and friends are willing to give real support and engage in defiance of the system is key to a farmer’s being able to engage in civil disobedience and put up a fight in the first place.
But we can’t rely on the ad hoc flowering of such community cohesion. If such groups are going to spread and become exemplary of a broad Food Freedom movement, then such willingness to resist top-down attacks has to be placed within an affirmative Community Food context.
This movement must do all it can to spread the ideas:
To farmers – The switch away from commodity agriculture and toward local food is physically necessary (Peak Oil, soil exhaustion, general environmental exhaustion), and they’ll be economically and politically better off that way, and as part of such a movement.
To customers – Buying local food, learning cooking and food preservation, becoming food growers themselves, is necessary for our health, the key to rebuilding our local economies and redeeming our local self-rule, and necessary in light of the looming collapse of industrial ag.
To the public in general – Community Food is the core of rebuilding our local economies and regaining control of our politics and thereby our self-determination.
This affirmative basis will then be the strongest foundation for the civil disobedience of farmers and customers, and for communities to come together to support beleaguered farmers, in whatever way the system assaults them, from direct food police attacks to bank foreclosures to economic policies that harm local agriculture in general.

November 6, 2012

Draft Notes for A Raw Milk Presentation


[This is a first draft, and will use tinkering, maybe some shuffling, and a source list for the evidence.]
[[1. Introduction and Plan – Raw Milk as an Economic and Health Imperative.]] 
*[Open with one’s personal story], and it’s very important to me that I feed my family healthy, nutritious food. I also want as much as possible to buy and eat locally, because this helps me really know my food, my farmer, and helps rebuild the local economy and community.
*I want to include cow’s milk in their diet, but I was suspicious of pasteurized industrial milk. I’d heard that pasteurization destroys many of the beneficial parts of the milk and may have bad health effects. I was also suspicious of the fact that raw milk has been criminalized in many states like New Jersey and is the subject of federal persecution, even though almost all food outbreaks are caused by the very same corporate Big Agriculture system the government does all it can to force upon us. I decided that as a citizen I needed to research this for myself. This presentation sums up what I learned.
*I learned a lot about the economics of the food system, about food safety, and how the government and the corporate media turn ideas about food safety upside down, in order to further the brutal economics of corporate food system, and to suppress our attempts to learn about our food and to find healthy alternatives to the unhealthy system. There are many ways to analyze this subject. Today I’ll discuss as it relates to raw milk.
*Under pressure from the industrial dairy system and systematic government policy, tens of thousands of small dairies have been destroyed since the mid 20th century. New Jersey used to have thousands of dairies which marketed locally, such as the renowned Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm in Plainsboro. Now only a handful remain, none of them marketing to the community. They’re all just cogs in the globalized corporate dairy system. This is one example of how the corporate assault has gutted our local economies, rendering us dependent upon an alien system, degrading our quality of life, driving up our cost of living, and making us and our children sick. In light of energy supply crunches, the escalating price of energy and food, the way the industrial system poisons us, and all the evils of our dependency upon the corporate system, we need to rebuild our local and regional economies.
*The most important part of this is restoring the food economy to its natural local and regional character. A revived network of small dairies serving local and regional markets is a key part of the economic rebuilding. Reviving the traditional raw milk economy can be the road to rebuilding our own dairies.
*This is also a key battleground, in substance and symbol, in our fight for Food Freedom, for freedom against corporate domination and government tyranny in general.
*Raw milk is legal to buy from farms in 26 states. Various kinds of retail sales are legal in 10 states. The result is that a few states have regular legal sales, others allow sales from the farm, others explicitly or implicitly allow cow shares. This is where the customers are part-owners of the cow, and the farmer is just a manager. There’s never any significant safety issue with raw milk in these states. The record proves that raw milk is wholesome and safe. Since it’s legal to buy in many states, it should be legal to buy in all states.
*Although there’s no safety reason why milk should be criminalized, for economic and political reasons it’s currently illegal in New Jersey. In 2011 a bill to partially decriminalize it had majority support and was voted out of the Assembly with a huge majority. That’s why a Senate committee let it die on the vine without bringing it up for a vote. The same bill was reintroduced in 2012*************************
*Why was raw milk outlawed in New Jersey and many other states, and why is it the target of a federal government assault? In spite of government and media lies, it’s not a food safety issue. As we’ll see, the evidence proves this to be a lie. I just gave the real reason – the goal of government pasteurization mandates and its attacks on alternative milk economies is the same as its goal for Big Ag in general and its general attack on all alternative food economies. It’s to enforce total corporate domination of the food supply and destroy all Food Freedom, which means crushing all human freedom.
*In New Jersey, this artificial barrier is why more and more people are traveling to New York and Pennsylvania to get milk, instead of buying it at our choice of New Jersey dairies, thereby helping to rebuild our farming economy and keeping our dollars in our local economies. They’re doing it because they know that raw milk is a safe, nutritious whole food, that it contains a natural mix of nutrients and beneficial bacteria, and that pasteurized milk is nutritionally sterile, causes or exacerbates many illnesses, and is likely to contain harmful bacteria.
[[2. Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized – Health Facts.]]
*Raw milk is a wholesome, beneficial, nutritious, safe food. Like any whole food, it has the right natural balance of proteins, fats, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and micro-organic communities.
*Raw milk has the perfect balance of protein to fat, by natural design. It’s rich in healthful Omega-3 fats and in the fatty acid CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent cancer fighter.
*Raw milk has more nutrients than pasteurized. It has high levels of whole vitamin A, the B-complex, D, and E. These are all degraded or destroyed in pasteurization. Today’s factory farm cows are crammed full of hormones and drugs to maximize production, which dilutes the milk’s nutritional content. Pasteurization then further destroys what’s there. That’s why pasteurized milk has to be “enriched” with synthetic versions of these vitamins. These synthetics are potentially harmful, as in the case of synthetic vitamin D which has been linked to heart disease.
*Raw milk is great for the digestive tract. Its proteins, fats, and lactose are easily digested. Beneficial micro-organisms help with this. Meanwhile, pasteurization kills these micro-organisms and changes the molecular structure of many proteins, fats, enzymes, and nutrients in the milk, rendering many indigestible, others digested in potentially harmful forms. Its lactose is indigestible to more and more people.
*Raw milk is also has its vitamins and minerals in an easily digestible form. Calcium and phosphorus absorption are highest with raw milk. The whole vitamins A and D in butterfat are needed for the assimilation of calcium and protein. Milk’s beneficial bacteria help with the uptake.
*These beneficial bacteria also help to enhance the immune system, as a recent study demonstrated. [AMISH] Beneficial micro-organisms contribute over 70% or our protective immunity. By natural design, raw milk is one of the main sources of those natural immunofactors.
*Another new study [CALIFORNIA] provides further reinforcement for the fact that the control of harmful bacteria is a function of natural balances of micro-organisms. In a symbiotic microbial environment, as with raw milk, beneficial micro-organisms compete with potentially harmful ones and secrete antimicrobial factors against them. By natural design, raw milk contains antibodies against potentially harmful bacteria.
*Raw milk is a key part of the diet that’s best for dental health. In the 1930s, studies by Dr. Weston Price established that where tribes had cuisines based on raw milk, the people were healthy and had near-perfect teeth. Meanwhile cavities and other dental problems are associated with processed foods including pasteurized milk.
*The nutritional, molecular, and microbial distortion and destruction caused by pasteurization creates a kind of food which is hard to digest and contains many potentially harmful adulterants. This is why pasteurized milk is associated with causing or aggravating a long list of diseases and other ailments, while switching to raw milk leads to the alleviation or complete cessation of these illnesses. Such studies as [********], as well as the testimony of millions of raw milk drinkers, attests to this. In general, most diseases are directly or indirectly associated with the industrial food system, and their cure or alleviation is associated with switching to a traditional diet of healthy whole foods. The case is especially clear with natural raw milk vs. pasteurized industrial milk.
*Food allergies are a clear-cut disease of industrial food. They’ve especially skyrocketed in recent decades. Pasteurized milk is the #1 most allergenic food in America. Studies have documented how milk allergies cause nasal congestion, asthma and other chest infections, skin rashes, vomiting and diarrhea, and many other digestive and other problems. For many of these sufferers who would otherwise have to give up milk completely, switching to raw milk cures the illness.
*Pasteurized milk is the cause of lactose intolerance, an ailment so common as to be practically endemic to our society. The reason for lactose intolerance is that pasteurization destroys lactase, an enzyme necessary for the digestion of lactose.
*Pasteurized milk is associated with arthritis, while raw milk is associated with its remission[, especially rheumatoid arthritis in children].
*Rates of autism have also skyrocketed, and here too there’s a clear link with diet, and with pasteurized milk in particular. Pasteurization destroys many enyzmes in the milk necessary for its proper digestion and renders the key protein casein indigestible. The milk is then digested in such a way that naturally occurring opiods and other factors which would normally be broken down are instead directly assimilated. This aggravates autism symptoms. But many parents of autistic children testify that switching to raw milk has greatly alleviated their children’s symptoms.
*Infants show reduced growth and health on pasteurized milk vs. raw breast milk.
*Those are some of the most important examples. A partial list of the ailments where the same pasteurized vs. raw milk dynamic has been observed includes multiple sclerosis, Attention Deficit Disorder, prostate and urinary tract problems, obesity, diabetes, thyroid conditions, osteoperosis, and kidney disease. 
[[3. Food Safety and CAFOs.]]
*What about the safety issue? The government and the mainstream media claim that raw milk is unsafe. But the numbers don’t bear this out. In fact, the numbers show the opposite. Dairy products in general are responsible for far fewer acute outbreaks than meats or salad greens. And pasteurized milk has caused far more outbreaks than raw milk.
*There have been few illnesses attributed to raw milk. Those which have been are often attributed through a fraudulent epidemiology which performs extensive tests only where the patient has ingested raw milk, and which assumes the raw milk as the cause, but which doesn’t bother with the tests or with further inquiry into the cause where the patient did not drink raw milk. It’s easy to see how under such a procedure raw milk’s outbreak record will be falsely inflated and will be inflated relative to all other foods. 
*The Centers for Disease Control itself counts 422,000 cases of illness from pasteurized milk since 1973, including 20 deaths (80 counting miscarriages). in the most recent fatal case, in 2007 three people died in Massachusetts from listeria-contaminated pasteurized milk. This is compared to 1100 cases and zero deaths from raw milk. All salmonella outbreaks from milk in recent decades were from pasteurized milk. Both in absolute numbers and compared to the proportion of people drinking pasteurized vs. raw milk, these data demonstrate that industrial pasteurized milk is not the “safe food” the government claims it to be, and is far less safe than raw milk.
*These numbers involve acute outbreaks of food-related illness. When we get to chronic illness we get into a whole new realm of difference between harmful industrial foods like pasteurized milk and healthful whole foods like raw milk.
*Industrial milk is produced in factory farms, or CAFOs, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. That name’s more honest than “farms”, hmm? Thousands of animals are packed into small enclosures under horrific and filthy conditions where they can be most “efficiently” fed synthetic food, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and have their products harvested.
*CAFOs are cesspools of germs and filth. The animals are permanently sick. The system requires massive injections of antibiotics and other drugs just to keep the animals alive and producing. Dairy cows also receive antibiotics and hormones to boost their milk production. This use of antibiotics is reckless and against medical science. The milk is produced under such filthy and germ-infested conditions that it’s badly contaminated. It’s laden with the residues of all the chemicals injected and force-fed into the animal. On account of the stress on the animal’s system, as much as 30% of CAFO milk is pus. That’s what an open sore a factory-farmed dairy cow is.
*The residues of the antibiotics are in the milk, and this reckless and unmedical use of antibiotics generates antibiotic resistant bacteria which are also in the milk. Pasteurization doesn’t always kill all of these harmful CAFO bacteria. We then drink these antibiotic-resistant microbes, which can transfer their resistance to other microbes in our bodies. This makes it less likely that antibiotics will work if we get sick from bacteria. That’s how CAFOs are a public health ticking time bomb for all of us. Drinking pasteurized milk may render us more vulnerable on the level of our individual health.
*CAFOs are cesspools, where animal products including milk are produced in a filthy manner. The milk is full of CAFO germs, fecal particles, drug residues, pus, and other pollutants. The industrial system then uses pasteurization as a panacea.
*Raw milk dairies are by their very nature small and for local and regional distribution. In spite of government and media lies, raw milk dairies are far more clean and safe than those for pasteurized milk. Proper inspection can confirm this. (Incidentally, the government makes almost no effort to inspect CAFOs. What would there by to inspect anyway? It’s government policy to allow industrial milk to be produced under cesspool conditions.) 
*Pasteurization as a practice is part of the false ideology that proper sanitation and safety measures means total sterilization. In truth sterilization of food is impossible, unnatural, and unhealthy. In truth natural whole foods include communities of micro-organisms where beneficial and neutral microbes tend to keep naturally harmful ones in check. [CALIFORNIA study] But quasi-sterility, as is temporarily generated by pasteurization, is a monoculture, and monocultures are always bad for biodiversity and favorable to vermin and pathogens. Pasteurized milk, even if the pasteurization does initially kill all the bacteria, becomes over time a favorable environment for harmful bacteria to return and proliferate, while the organic bacteria communities in raw milk tend to maintain their bacterial balance over time. That’s why raw milk sours over time, while pasteurized milk rots.
*The facts, contrary to the sterilization ideology and pasteurization practice, are that we depend upon beneficial bacteria and that it’s not possible to destroy only harmful bacteria. The fact is that imbalances of harmful bacteria are rare in nature but common in CAFOs, and that an imbalance can infect an entire commingled industrial batch. Pasteurization was a response to this need of industrial milk production and corporate distribution systems. It has nothing to do with the inherent safety of natural milk or of local production and distribution.
*Pasteurization is a scorched earth tactic in the form of scorched milk. It’s the equivalent of wiping out a whole ecosystem to get rid of one intermittent pest, which wouldn’t be a pest if you worked in harmony with that ecosystem instead of against it.  
*The CAFO system incubates the MAP bacteria, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, which causes Johnes’ disease in cattle and Crohn’s disease in humans. In addition to its faulty record in eradicating other harmful bacteria, pasteurization often does not kill the MAP bacteria, according to [European studies] which found that 5-20% of pasteurized milk contains this potentially harmful bacteria. The surge in Crohn’s disease has occurred in the age of filthy factory farm production and the pasteurization necessary to make this filthy milk consumable by humans.
*We already discussed the vast array of chronic diseases which are caused or aggravated by consumption of pasteurized milk, but which are alleviated or not affected by consuming raw milk.
*The CDC counts 5000 deaths per year from food-borne disease. This does not include deaths from MRSA, Crohn’s, cancer linked to pesticides, diabetes or asthma linked to diet, Mad Cow disease, all the chronic diseases caused by the factory farm cesspool and GMOs. Then we must add the chronic diseases and acute afflictions of the industrial food system in general – heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, many cancers, high blood pressure, obesity and its related maladies.
*All this proves once and for all that the government lies when it claims to care about food safety at all. No one who cares about food safety would build a planned economy around commodity grains and “food” processed from them. No one who cares about food safety would have commercialized GMOs with zero safety testing. No one who cares about food safety would allow the practice of nonmedical antibiotic use. No one who cares about food safety would be doing anything but fighting to abolish all these. Anyone who’s involved in these policies, or supports them, has zero credibility to then turn around and claim to be concerned about raw milk.
*And then we see the government’s overwhelming record of neglect, lassitude, cover-ups, and obstruction where it comes to outbreaks caused by big corporations like Wright Eggs, or Cargill, or Taco Bell, or Westco Peanuts.
[[4. The Real Political Import and Conclusion.]]
*The government’s real interest is not food safety, or serving the public in any way. The government’s real interest is Big Dairy’s interest. That’s why the government imposed industrial pasteurization in the first place, and why it wants to outlaw raw milk. As I mentioned earlier, pasteurization was never a response to a naturally occurring safety problem, but a special response to the special problems generated by the industrialization of milk. It has nothing to do with the needs or issues of natural milk production or the natural economy of milk.
*This is a microcosm of how all government policy has the solitary goal of further centralizing, further consolidating, further concentrating the corporate food system, increasing corporate profits, and maximizing corporate enclosure and domination of food and of everything else.
*In response to this joint corporate-government onslaught, the people are rising with a new movement to take back our Food Freedom and rebuild our local economies. The raw milk movement is part of this. As with every other aspect of the local food movement, its dual goal is healthy food instead of the toxic food of the industrial system, and healthy local economies instead of the toxic and tyrannical corporate economy.
*This is the real reason for the government’s assault on raw milk. This is a microcosm of and template for the government’s assault on all alternative food production. As we speak, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act is planned to be the centerpiece coordinating legislation for the total domination of food. It’s meant to use the “food safety” scam we’ve been highlighting here to impose upon the produce sector the same level of corporate concentration and government control as already exists in the meat sector. As we’ve seen with meats, the government policy does not make the food more safe, instead makes it less safe, but does serve to bring it more firmly under the control of a handful of big corporations. This is the federal government’s one and only imperative where it comes to all food policy.
*Raw milk isn’t an isolated food issue, but is in many ways the most typical food issue of all. It perfectly crystallizes all the aspects of Food Freedom against corporate totalitarianism; and real nutrition, health, and safety against the toxic opposites of these being forced upon us by the industrial food system. On the broader level Food Freedom crystallizes all the aspects of nature vs. corporate industrialism, individual and community freedom vs. tyrannical government, prosperity based on productive local economies vs. the stagnation, sterility, dependency, and despair of the corporate global economy being imposed upon us by government policy.
*Raw milk is a wonderful food. It’s good for us. It’s a delicious, nutritious whole food. It helps build our immune system. It helps cure or alleviate many of the diseases caused by industrial food. It’s economically and politically beneficial. It’s part of the social movement toward getting to know farmers and real food, and becoming producers of such food ourselves. It’s good for us, body and soul.
*So the fight for raw milk freedom is the fight for our individual liberty and health. It’s the fight for Food Freedom. Beyond this it’s part of the fight for human freedom itself. 
*STUFF ON RM OUTBREAKS, RECALLS, SLANDERS – FOR SUPPLEMENT – The government does not publicize these systemic figures. It does try to turn each alleged raw milk incident into a three ring circus. But alleged raw milk outbreaks are seldom well documented, often simply invented by the fraudulent epidemiology we discussed earlier. And in many cases the government retracts its initial allegations, as in the case of some illnesses in California in 2006 which were initially blamed on Organic Pastures Dairy, but which turned out to have nothing to do with raw milk.
*(insert somewhere?) They’re literal cesspools when you include the vast manure lagoons which spread out from any big CAFO, toxifying the entire landscape and atmosphere. 

February 9, 2012

Food Sovereignty, Raw Milk, and the Commerce Clause


I’ve written previously about the totalitarian implications of the central government’s commerce clause power.
To review, the government claims a prerogative to impose any and every kind of regulation and mandate upon so-called interstate commerce. “Interstate commerce” can mean any activity which crosses state lines, but it also means, according to SCOTUS rulings, any activity which by any stretch of the imagination could be said to affect this cross-border commerce.
Thus in the case of Wickard v. Filburn, among others, the court found for the government that not only selling something into the commerce stream, but withholding something from it, falls under the government’s power prerogative. This logic has recently been extended further. Since the passage of the health racket bailout, there have been several court challenges to the poll tax it imposes in the form of a mandate to buy worthless insurance policies. There have been conflicting decisions in the lower courts, but those who found for the rackets did so on the basis that the commerce clause power extends not just to activity withheld from the economy, but to inactivity, to mere existence itself.
We see how the term “totalitarian” is not hyperbole. According to the system’s laws, courts, and constitutional interpretations, there is literally nothing the government cannot order us to do or not to do under the commerce clause, as long as the activity or inactivity can by any stretch of the imagination be linked to the economy. Obviously, anything can be so linked.
(Of course commodification and globalization, chosen and imposed by government policy, render all activity “interstate”. We also see how the existence of the states themselves, which are for the most part arbitrary according to any geographic or political measure, is used to aggrandize central government power. Federalism was never anything but a scam. The goal from the 1788 start was centralized empire. So we see how the commerce clause was a ticking time bomb from day one. It’s now being exercised according to its full tyrannical logic.)
I’ve written before about how this weapon can be used against Food Sovereignty:

Revolving door corporate bureaucrats could issue fiats banning medicinal herbs or vitamin supplements, while requiring all growers right down to the backyard gardener to use any kind of synthetic fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide, hormone in an animal, or GMO seed. As always in this connection, let me remind the reader that if Obama’s health racket mandate is allowed to stand, that will provide another precedent for any and every corporate mandate. The exact same logic will allow the FDA or even the WTO to “constitutionally” force us to buy, for example, GMO seeds.

A more “conventional” use of the power, meanwhile, is the FDA’s claim that it can criminalize individual consumption of raw milk (that is, milk) if the citizen crosses one of these phony borders in the course of getting the milk.
Under pressure of direct action by the Raw Milk Freedom Riders, who have publicly and defiantly crossed state lines with their milk, the cowards at the FDA have announced, in all their elitist magnanimity, that they won’t seek to prosecute individual citizens for such acts, for now.
But the government continues the assault on dairy farmers, as in the persecution of Amish farmer Dan Allgyer for running a milk buying club, many of whose customers cross a bogus state line to get the milk. And this persecution in turn maintains the principle of total prerogative, as a federal judge just stipulated in a ruling permanently forbidding Allgyer to sell milk to any citizen whose “state” status is from outside Pennsylvania.
The judge stipulated that the FDA can and should prosecute individual citizens as well.

14 A provision of the FDCA, 21 U.S.C. § 321(b), defines “interstate commerce” to mean “(1) commerce between any State or Territory and any place outside thereof, and (2) commerce within the District of Columbia or within any other Territory not organized with a legislative body.” Courts have interpreted the purpose behind the FDCA’s interstate commerce regulation to be to “safeguard the consumer from the time the food is introduced into the channels of interstate commerce to the point that it is delivered to the ultimate consumer.” United States v. Wiesenfeld Warehouse Co., 376 U.S. 86, 92 (1964).

Thus, the purchase of raw milk by one who traveled between states to obtain it, or traveled between states before consuming it or sharing it with friends or family members, implicates “commerce between any State . . . and any place outside thereof,” see 21 U.S.C. § 321(b), “introduction of [raw milk] into the channels of interstate commerce” before delivery to an ultimate consumer, see Wiesenfeld Warehouse Co., 376 U.S. at 92, and “the interstate flow of goods” prior to delivery to an ultimate consumer, see United States v. Sullivan, 332 U.S. 689, 696 (1948). Such conduct plausibly involves “causing [raw milk] to be delivered into interstate commerce.” 21 C.F.R. § 1240.61.

So here we come back to the totalitarian commerce clause ideology.
We must be clear that this jurisprudence is not “radical” by the measure of the system courts. Few judges disagree with it at all, and those who do tend to do so only in partisan contexts. (Thus the judges who reject the health racket Stamp mandate tend to be Republican judges who have it in for Obamacare. But they don’t reject Wickard in principle.) The courts are loaded against the 99% and against any attempt by the people to take back our economies and polities. Needless to say, the same goes for the executive and legislative branches.
Trying to reform the system, or to beg for better outcomes within it, won’t work. We see the system’s terminally tyrannical and criminal intent. The commerce clause is just one example. If we want our freedom, our prosperity, our democracy, our citizenship, our human birthright, we’ll have to seize them ourselves. We’ll have to do so in spite of the system, in evasion of it and resistance to it, and where necessary in direct conflict with it.


January 10, 2012

Raw Milk, Decriminalization/Legalization, Public/Private, Property


After a year’s journey through the New Jersey legislative process including a 71 to 6 passage in the Assembly last spring, the raw milk partial decriminalization bill was allowed to die on the vine at the end of the Senate’s session this week. Big Dairy was putting pressure on key senators throughout the process. It looks like their failsafe all along was to prevent a Senate vote, and that they succeeded in this. Now the process needs to start all over again.
I doubt I need to tell the readers of this blog how this is a perfect example of the futility of “working within the system” and expecting “reform”. If I were still inclined to let myself get angry about stuff like this, I’d want to use a copy of the senate register to crack the skull of the next person I see lecturing us about “voting” and “getting the law changed”. It’s long been impossible to be aware of current events and not see how this is a kleptocracy where the only system action will be to further gut what’s left of society and further entrench organized crime. Just look at the work of the NJ senate here as a typical example, and you’ll see how there were plenty of bills passed, all of them worthless, most of them destructive.
Sure enough, there was plenty of time for votes on gutting water protections, urban school privatization, and extending legalized gambling. With “privatization” and “legalization” we see two typical elements of corporatism.
I wouldn’t mind seeing gambling decriminalized, but I don’t want it legalized as a state-sanctioned numbers racket or betting parlor. In this form gambling is a far worse scourge on the community than if it were merely neutral from the point of view of the law. Worst is how the ubiquity of gambling propaganda helps entrench the something-for-nothing desperation of the culture. Legalized gambling is the biggest part of what the finance sector does. Derivatives, securitization, credit default swaps, currency and commodity speculation are all such back-alley bets enshrined as state-enforced and media-exalted “contracts”. A sincere and non-cowardly reformist would demand nothing less than one big bucket law to de-legalize these, outlaw them in the technical sense of placing them outside the law. Without government thug backing for these phony contracts, the finance tyranny would collapse immediately. That’s just one way in which the banksters would cease to exist without massive government interference in the market.
The fact is that you can’t legalize unnatural things according to some ivory tower ideal and then expect their artificial reality to conform to the fictive notion. I’ve written before about how property is a good example of this legalization scam. True believers in property rights like Hernando de Soto expect the state to enshrine and enforce this fiction, and are then dismayed to see the concept and practice deployed in typical Might Makes Right fashion. But it should be obvious that property, just like representation, law, and rights themselves where these are developed, elaborated, administered, and enforced by a centralized system dominated by obscenely concentrated wealth, will exist in all these ways only as a weapon on behalf of the 1%. It cannot exist otherwise. If something doesn’t exist in nature, and is fabricated by an aggressive interest system, then it will never exist other than as the weapon of that interest. Nothing outside nature “is”. Everything is always on a vector. To expect these fictive legalizations to exist on anything but a class war vector is delusional.
Meanwhile, if the 99% abolishes the system as such, all these vectors disappear, as well as the fraudulent rationales for the fictions.
That’s a good example of how the decriminalization vs. legalization distinction is usually intertwined with the scam distinction of “public vs. private”. In a corporatist system (and all large structures inherently tend toward corporatism), there is no such distinction in substance. Government and private rackets comprise one whole, with the former serving as thug and bagman to the latter. The ornamental fictions “public” and “private” are merely a typical pretext for empty divisive propaganda, to artificially divide people into corporate tribes and set them against one another.
Meanwhile “privatize” doesn’t mean what the English language might cause you to think. It doesn’t mean the private sector takes on the costs, risks, responsibilities, and rewards. No, the risks and responsibilities remain with the taxpayer. The costs are covered by corporate welfare. The only thing that changes is that a private corporation now gets to steal directly from the government system, while this incorrigibly criminal system becomes even more corrupt.
To take the example of the schools, you either maintain the system schools or you don’t, but the alleged public-private distinction is a scam. I want community schooling and support home schooling. I’d like to see the abolition of the system schools. But the worst of all worlds is to maintain the system schools but “privatize” them. This maintains and aggravates everything that’s bad about them, while adding new racketeering pathologies and cons. (I saw that the Republican thug Santorum was involved in a typically sordid “charter school” rip-off. As usual, none of these thieves is going to prison, because such crimes are the proper use of privatization, not at all an “abuse” the way liberals would claim.)