Volatility

July 31, 2018

Strict Mores

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The record is clear that the USDA and EPA intend and desire all the harms and failures of poison-based agriculture. Pretending to deal with the dicamba crisis the EPA explicitly endorsed part one of my corporate template with this quote: “We’re committed to taking appropriate action for the 2018 growing season with an eye toward ensuring that the technology is available, number one, to growers but that it is used responsibly.” Throughout the crisis the agency has provided Monsanto with its imprimatur, as per part three of the template. The EPA itself refused to perform or require volatility testing in the first place. Therefore both Monsanto and the EPA strictly admit the volatility of Monsanto’s XtendiMax. Such an admission is always implicit where those with the resources and responsibility to test refuse to do so and work to prevent anyone else from doing so. In the broad sense this is Strict Proof that the corporations and governments know or believe pesticides and GMOs to be harmful to human health. If they didn’t believe this they certainly would have performed legitimate safety tests instead of promulgating the religious lie of “substantial equivalence” along with a passel of methodologically fraudulent tests and rumors of “secret science”, a contradiction in terms. We know that the worst we can speculate is in fact true. The corporations and governments themselves admit this, proven by their consistent pattern of action.
 
In the same way, any consistent course of action on the part of those who can choose a different course proves their Strict Intent to cause all the consistent significant effects of their consistent course of action. Here we see the intent of Monsanto and the US government to wipe out all non-GM soy, as much of any other kind of farming, gardening, ornamentals, and wild plants as possible, and along the way to poison the soil and environment as totally as possible. Whatever human and animal health effects soon arise from the atmospheric suffusion of the dicamba zone also have been intended by these organizations.
 
Monsanto and the US government want to maximize dicamba use. The corporations of course want to maximize sales, from a mundane profiteering point of view. But far beyond mundane profits, maximal poison deployment is intended to masximize monoculture power and control. The corporate-technocratic system seeks this regardless of destructive effects, and intentionally to maximize the destruction. By Strict Intent there’s no practical difference between willful premeditated nihilism and the active will and premeditation to destroy. Therefore there is no moral difference, and there should be no difference from the perspective of the law or policy. This doctrine is necessary especially in a case like poison drift where it’s difficult to impossible to pinpoint responsibility for specific damage and where, even if this circumstance of non-responsibility hadn’t been anticipated and pre-planned, all the perpetrators rush to take advantage of it in a deliberate, systematic way.
 
Therefore it follows that abolitionist doctrine must be to impose Strict Liability upon all participants in the poison racket, from developers to sellers to users. It’s the same principle as for any other criminal conspiracy: The guy driving the getaway car is just as guilty of murder as the robber inside the bank who pulls the trigger, even though he never left the car. Everyone knows how toxic and destructive all these chemicals are, the corporations and regulators most of all, so no one can claim innocent ignorance. This is a core movement principle and the movement must promise to put this into effect wherever it gets the power. This principle follows practically from the principles of Strict Proof and Strict Intent.
 
The same principle applies to all programs of ecological and social destruction, all the actions of the economic civilization. If there was ever a time when anyone could claim to be innocently mistaken about the consequences of Mammon, of capitalism, of empowering corporations, most of all the consequences of treating our only home the Earth as a resource mine, waste dump, and subject of sadistic vandalism; if there ever was such a time (I doubt it myself), that time is in the distant past. No one has been innocent for a long, long time. Most of all, it’s beyond any dispute that the cadres of government, corporations, academia, and media are fully conscious, or willfully ignorant, of all the primary consequences of the system’s anti-ecological and anti-human assaults. They are all Nuremburg criminals to their rotted soulless core. We can no longer think in terms of questions or doubt. The crimes and the culpability are existential.
 
Everyone, abolitionists and reformers alike, should take up these doctrines, make them mainstays of philosophy and political communication, and promise to make them the law of the land.
 
 
To prevent confusion, I’m not saying there’s a master cabal somewhere consciously plotting out all the evils, though for example in the case of poison agriculture Monsanto certainly is conscious of much of it. I’m describing an existential inertia and a biological campaign. Therefore we’re only dealing proximately with conventional moral philosophy. Rather, we’re dealing with an elemental process whose morality we must view more primally in terms of its consistent action rather than foolish speculation about the “consciousness” of the creatures driving it. You might as well speculate about the consciousness of corporations, patents, and dollars while you’re at it. Anyway, in this case the primary organisms involved are Agrobacterium tumefaciens; soybeans, corn, and cotton; weeds like Palmer amaranth; pathogens like salmonella and botulins. The humans involved behave according to the same patterns. The technocratic propagandists who exalt corporate personhood, artificial intelligence, and robots are similarly disparaging their own role on the other, “post-human” end.
 
We see how inadequate conventional moralizing is to the crisis. Rather we need the strict morality of Strict Intent, Strict Proof, Strict Liability. We must apply it to the corporations, the regulators, the scientific establishment, academia, the mainstream media, the technocratic political class in general.
 
 
Adapted from part four of my series on the dicamba crisis.
 
 
 
 
 

July 29, 2018

Notes on the Industrial Organic Sector

 
 
1. A few years back there were some false rumors, which may have started as satire, that Monsanto was buying Whole Foods Market. This stemmed from the fact that Whole Foods Market, Stonyfield and others joined with Obama’s secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack to try to make a “co-existence” deal with Monsanto over Roundup Ready alfalfa. This was a backdoor way to try to water down organic standards. The USDA always has wanted to include GMOs within the organic standards, and the industrial organic sector, reliant as it is on the “natural” label scam, has no objections. Lots of rhetoric followed which eventually led to the false rumors. The prosaic truth is that industrial organic is industrial first and organic a distant second. The sector is not committed to anything beyond what it sees as effective marketing and profiteering. WFM’s CEO at the time Jeff Mackey openly said that WFM touts “organic” and “natural” purely as a marketing gimmick, and he explicitly repudiated any ecological or public health philosophy beyond that. This mirrors the USDA’s appraisal of its own organic certification program: According to the agency organic food is no better or healthier than poison-based food, but is merely a kind of lifestyle ornament.
 
What’s not a rumor is the fact that BASF and Cargill are members of the Organic Trade Association. Nor is this a surprise, as the OTA represents the industrial sector and shares the USDA/WFM view of organic agriculture and food as merely a branding device. That’s why the OTA consistently has worked to water down NOSB standards, and that’s why it supported the 2016 DARK Act which put a stake in the heart of the GMO labeling movement by co-opting it in a sham fashion, as I predicted for years would happen.
 
2. Many system NGOs are dedicated to performing a pro-corporate, pro-globalization triangulator role. Some oppose pesticides and GMOs but want FDA control of produce, or of GMO labeling. Some oppose pesticides and GMOs but support expanded use of synthetic fertilizers, themselves a major pollutant, driver of climate change, and basis of pesticide monoculture. In reality it’s not possible to support synthetic fertilizers and not effectively support the entire apparatus of agribusiness and poison-based agriculture. Even the USDA organic certification acknowledges this.
 
In the guise of debunking some pro-GMO lies they reinforce others and in general reinforce the lies of corporate industrial agriculture, commodity farming, and globalization. In the course of it they implicitly attack Food First and other organizations truly dedicated to fighting hunger, and who document and publish the truths of food production and economics. Just like how industrial organic’s lobbying arm Just Label It stressed labeling but supported GMOs on other points, as well as supporting corporate agriculture and food as such, with the eventual result I predicted for years: In 2016 the labeling strategy reached its logical end with the passage of what I called DARK Act Plan B.
 
This reflects the industrial organic agenda. This globalized commodity sector: 1. Opposes food-based agriculture, just as much as the GM cartel and any other commodity sector does. 2. Joins hands with Monsanto in trying to suppress the facts and propagate lies about food production, the environment, and hunger. 3. It diverges from the GM/pesticide cartel on some specifics regarding GMOs. (But not on fertilizer.) These seem to be chosen cynically, with an eye toward continuing to receive some corporate funding. Thus EWG refutes the “feed the world” lie where it comes specifically to GMOs but supports this big lie in general, while Just Label It supported the lie that GMOs have been tested and found to be safe.
 
All this is intended to serve a gate-keeping function, since any real abolition movement would be a threat to: 1. Industrial organic’s leadership of the food movement, 2. The sector’s very existence, which after all is just as dependent on corporate welfare, the parasite paradigm, the whole globalization system.
 
As far as the official certification, organic is nothing more or less than what the USDA says it is, by definition. When the USDA issued its original proposal for an organic certification in the 1990s, this proposed rule would have allowed GMOs to be certified “organic”. Only massive pressure from farmers and consumers forced them to back down and rewrite the standard to exclude GMOs. But the agency has not changed its mind about thinking they should be allowed, just as it has never changed its official opinion that organic agricultural practices and food are no safer or healthier but just add up to a set of “lifestyle” products. The USDA’s basic position on GMOs is that they’re not only safe but normative, and that the environment and food system should maximally be contaminated and transformed. (They would say “improved” or something similar; they call GM seeds “improved seeds”.) They’ve not only approved every GMO application without exception but are doing all they can to declare whole classes of GMOs to be outside their jurisdiction and unregulatable. It’s not every day you see a bureaucracy voluntarily giving up vast swathes of its power. Only extreme ideology could drive such a thing.
 
So much for the USDA. As for industrial organic, the likes of Jeff Mackey openly say that they subscribe to no organic philosophy but view the whole thing as a marketing ploy. Gary Hirshberg never misses a chance to try to euthanize activism, like with his endorsement of the QR code as an allegedly acceptable labeling compromise*. And although the Fabers were unable to reach a deal with Vilsack and the GMA in January 2016, they rushed out to justify the basic paradigm of secret elite conclaves toward some “compromise” which then can be handed down to the people. So there’s the basic attitude of the economic and cultural elites of the movement. As for standard practice, just look at the “natural” scam which is near-universal among them. If they’re willing to surreptitiously sell you GMOs and Roundup in your food (at a premium, no less!) while calling it “natural”, they’d certainly love to do the same by calling it “organic”. They’ve already slipped such poisons as gut-busting carrageenan into the certification standards.
 
Their most clear-cut political ploy was the attempted “co-existence” deal over GM alfalfa which Vilsack tried to broker between the industrial organic sector and Monsanto. The USDA itself in its Environmental Impact Review admitted that over the long run GM alfalfa cannot co-exist with non-GM. This means that legalizing the GM product is tantamount to rendering much of certified organic meat and dairy untenable – unless the standard is changed to allow some level of GM presence in the hay. Obviously Vilsack, WFM, Stonyfield, etc. knew this when they tried to make the deal. So unless one thinks they want certified organic meat and dairy to cease to exist, the only alternative is that they want to see the organic certification standard changed to allow GMOs.
 
Why would industrial organic do such things? In their perfect world, they could sell the same industrial junk but slap the “organic” brand on it and charge a premium. They already do exactly that with the term “natural” (which is why they’re hostile toward any labeling policy like Vermont’s which would end this terminological scam). They cherish the same desire as that of the USDA, to allow GMOs under the “organic” name. That’s why they always felt dissonance and ambivalence toward the idea of GMO labeling. They got involved only as a PR campaign. But as we saw with the history of JLI, AGree, etc., what they really wanted was to control and manage the labeling campaign, in the same way EPA “manages” Roundup and dioxins, and mainstream environmental groups help the corporations manage ecological destruction. They want to control it in such a way that they get the PR benefit while forestalling any reality of a strong, honest labeling policy. JLI, Hirshberg and the GMA are Roundup-burnt peas in a pod.
 
We’ve seen how in response to the Steve Marsh lawsuit there was a major propaganda campaign to the effect that Australia’s organic standards are too strict and need to be relaxed to allow some level of “adventitious presence”. The OTA and the industrial organic sector are leading same campaign in the US. Anywhere this relaxation is enacted, the level of contamination allowed under the standard then will begin a mechanical upward creep, in exactly the same way that pesticide “tolerances” are mechanically raised by regulators as more pesticides are used.
 
That exact same mechanical raising of the allowed level of GM presence also will occur with any labeling policy which is ever enacted, which is one of the reasons why labeling was the wrong idea in the first place. In Europe the 0.9% standard is under strong pressure from the industry to be raised.
 
*The whole attitude that “compromise” is possible and desirable is the same as to say that “co-existence” with Monsanto and GMOs is desirable, and that it’s physically possible at all.
 
3. Some people are more interested in premium niche marketing than in the food sovereignty and abolition imperatives. In many cases it’s obvious, as in the long and ongoing history of small organic companies selling out to big conglomerates. No doubt they’d often claim they were under financial duress and had no choice, and maybe once in awhile that’s true. The system is heavily stacked against healthy, ecological farming and food.
 
But far more often it’s simply taken for granted on an ideological level that a successful entrepreneur sells out at some point to a big corporation. Most entrepreneurs seem to regard this as a “natural” part of some kind of business life cycle, in the same way we physically go from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. But this conventional capitalist mindset cannot coexist with the ecological philosophy and imperative, any more than non-GM crops can coexist with GM for long in the most physical sense.
 
4. Is the USDA organic certification a decadence?** People with money are willing to pay more for what’s good (or at least better) while tolerating the general deterioration, rather than resolving to put an end to what’s bad so we can all have what’s good? I’m fighting to abolish poison-based agriculture and build food sovereignty. I regard the place of organics only from a strategic and tactical point of view. But I’m certain that the goal itself isn’t to expand organics alongside the poison system. That’s impossible anyway. Coexistence is impossible, and if the poison system continues, the organic sector must eventually cease to exist in all but name, if that.
 
Foodies and corporate executives and shareholders alike (often the same people) think humanity (at least moneyed humans) can co-exist with GMOs, pesticides, climate change, etc. For them organic food, electric cars, etc. add up to an island. Monsanto’s CEO thinks he and his people eat separate food, drink separate water, breathe separate air, inhabit a separate ecology. But Certified Organic is not an island, it cannot co-exist (physically or politically) with poison-based agriculture and a poisoned environment, steadily it will be eroded, degraded, corrupted, and soon will cease to exist except in name only, if things keep going the way they are.
 
**There are several attempts underway to promulgate non-governmental organic standards which improve upon the USDA certification. These include the Real Organic Project (designed to overcome many of the abusive features of the USDA standards) and Certified Naturally Grown (designed to be more affordable for small direct retail organic farmers; the USDA system is geared to the big industrial operators). Whether any of these is a big improvement depends on the good faith of all the participants, from farmer to certifier to customer.
 
5. I write mostly about a general mindset and strategy. Most of what I write is geared to organizational and philosophical matters, not as much directly to consumer matter. But for the kind of buying follows from that, I practice and recommend doing the best one can within that framework. Buy the best you can afford, the rules being that local is better than commodified, smaller better than bigger, committed to real values rather than mercenary (especially insofar as you can perceive the mentality and goals of a producer and/or seller – is it a way of life or do they have a mini-Monsanto mentality?), organic/agroecological better than not.
 
It’s true that big corporate buyers can help all producers of non-GM crops, for food and feed, scale up to the necessary level where the products are broadly affordable for the community food sector. In other words, the more non-GM corn is bought for a big retailer’s store brand processed stuff and for their CAFO sourcing, the more affordable it will also become for small direct retail farmers to use as feed. So if producers of non-GM grain etc. saw themselves as just using the corporate sourcing toward the real goal of community sector rebuilding and stuck with that goal without becoming corrupted, the corporate sourcing would be a helpful springboard. On the other hand the more everyone, including “organic” types, see themselves as part of the same commingled commodity economic paradigm as the corporate system, the more they’ll obey the dictates of the big buyers, and the more they’ll have the time-serving house-flipping mindset that they’re only doing this for a period before they get to sell out. In that case the corporate ideology and commodity practice will completely dominate, the community food sector’s development will be hindered rather than boosted, and in the end the quality of the organic consumer product will be degraded completely like I described above.
 
6. If there arose a real movement to rebuild healthy, democratic agriculture and food, the Community Food movement and economic sector as I call it, this sector could use corporate sourcing to help scale itself up to the necessary level where wholesome food became affordable for everyone, and non-GM feed was readily affordable to direct retail farmers. The sector could build out the input and processing infrastructure it mostly lacks and badly needs. I stress, the necessary level of scaling up and building out and no bigger, based on sustainability and distribution within its own watershed and foodshed. That’s a core measure of whether such a movement exists: Is the goal to produce affordable real food for human beings, while seeking revenue only in order to support this goal and support oneself? Or is it the same old capitalism, with profit and “growth” for their own sakes (and eventually cashing in, selling out to a big buyer) the real goal, while participants just pretend to do the best they can as far as the product?
 
Obviously the big corporate buyers don’t care about these goals and want to prevent all this from being built. Which leads to the corollary that if the movement I described above doesn’t exist, if people don’t have that mindset, then not only will corporate control of the organic sector (and of much of the organic movement’s politics as well) continue to escalate, but the depressing pattern of small organic producers offering themselves to be bought up will continue. In that case the big corporate controllers eventually will erode and then gut the organic standards themselves, and that will be the end of the whole thing. They’ll do that as soon as they’re able. We already know, for example, that industrial organic is industrial first and organic second, and that they share the USDA’s goal of allowing GMOs to qualify under the “organic” standards.
 
7. Therefore I’m also not sure about even the industrial organic brands. To the extent the mindset of Food Sovereignty and building the Community Food sector actually exists, and to the extent that the growth of the organic sector helps expand and render economically more viable non-GMO sourcing for animal feed and similar staples which can then be used to build the Community Food sector – its inputs, products, and processing infrastructure – to the extent these are true, industrial organic can be a stepping stone for us.
 
But this boils down to the first question, to what extent does the Food Sovereignty mindset, as part of the public citizen mindset, actually exist, as opposed to the same old private-individual-is-an-island mindset which, even where it comes to organic and localized agriculture and food, thinks primarily in terms of “growth” and eventually selling out to a buyer.
 
And since that’s the primary question, it follows that the first necessary priority of a Food Sovereignty movement is to build this mindset, propagate knowledge of it, encourage it, recruit to it, organize on the basis of it.
 
 
 
 
 

January 17, 2018

The Dicamba Crisis Part Four: The Strict Intent of the Destructive System

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Parts one, two, three.
 
Monsanto dubbed the 2017 dicamba disaster a “tremendous success” with “wonderful results.” What does it mean when Monsanto proclaims success?
 
Monsanto’s commitment in the face of disaster to push on aggressively with the Xtend expansion, to double down, proves that disaster is a core goal for them. In 2015 Monsanto marketed Xtend cotton seed in the absence of regulatory approval for any of the allegedly “improved” herbicide formulations. Xtend soybeans followed in 2016, still no brand-name dicamba. Therefore from the start it was evident that the company envisioned off-label use of the cheapest, most volatile dicamba formulations. This didn’t matter because Monsanto and BASF knew their own brand-name formulations also were highly volatile. In 2015-2016 Monsanto merely was setting up one of its future alibis, the lie that farmers were illicitly using cheap formulations. The company secured any future plausibility of this lie by ensuring it would be true for Xtend adopters in 2016.
 
The 2017 crisis of volatility and destruction of non-Xtend soybeans and all other broad-leaf crops and plants followed like clock-work. It was predicted, it was forecast, it was intended by the sellers of dicamba and dicamba-tolerant seeds. Anyone who now wants to continue with business as usual, full speed ahead, self-evidently is a conscious criminal. Monsanto is ardent to expand at the most breakneck speed in the most reckless way. The company proclaims its goal to go from 20 million acres of soybeans planted to Xtend in 2017 to 40 million in 2018 and 55 million in 2019.
 
Monsanto’s campaign is classic disaster capitalism: Intentionally generate a disaster then use it to maximize your profit and power. Dicamba’s volatility is a campaign of extortion designed to force all soy farmers to buy Xtend seeds. More broadly the goal is to render food production as tenuous as possible. The worst part of dicamba’s ravages is that it’s destroying produce farms and vegetable gardens, it’s destroying actual food production. If the Xtend system continues to expand it will render everything but commodity dicamba-tolerant soybeans impossible to grow across the range of the Xtend deployment. This is a case study in the real goal of poison-based agriculture. The will to continue this deployment on the part of Monsanto, the US and state governments, academia and the mainstream media proves that this destruction is the goal.
 
The evidence for these truths is patent throughout the historical record. We see it with Monsanto’s scorched-earth resistance to all temporal, geographic, and temperature limitations, and to all application restrictions except those of its own label. We see it in their systematic campaign of lies, blaming everything imaginable except the inherent volatility of their product. We see it in their campaign of lawsuits and corruption against even the most moderate, rational response to the crisis. We see it in their rebate plan for farmers who buy Xtend seeds and XtendiMax dicamba herbicide. This is the carrot to go with the Xtortion stick. Both are toward the same goal of seizing and holding arable territory, market share. The goal is to entrench the Xtend system to the point that it would be impossible to dislodge it within the context of commodity agriculture.
 
From the start Monsanto refused to allow study of the volatility of its brand-name dicamba herbicide. Weed scientists had to wait until they could purchase XtendiMax at the store in order to subject it to scientific purview. In a perfect symbol of Monsanto’s scorched-earth anti-science policy the University of Arkansas soybean test plot was wiped out by volatile drift from outside.
 
Nevertheless researchers soldiered on and proved that all dicamba is volatile, including the alleged “improved, non-volatile” formulations like XtendiMax. They uncovered another example of the fraudulent “science” typical of the corporations. The claims of Monsanto, DuPont, BASF were based on perfunctory tests performed in ivory tower labs. When weed scientists tested the same formulations in the field, i.e. under real world conditions, they found significant volatility for all the formulations. This is to be expected, since volatility is a function of atmospheric suffusion and weather conditions. How is it possible to test dicamba volatility in a lab? Only in the world of corporate fake science, the kind exalted by the STEM establishment, academia, and media. (The same scam was used by Matin Qaim to claim good yields for Bt cotton. This scientific fraud is still often cited in the mainstream media.) This also is emblematic of the limitations of lab-controlled experiment even if it were to be undertaken in good faith. Of course the corporations and government regulators never have any but bad faith.
 
In reality, dicamba is so volatile that in a normal year there wouldn’t be enough appropriate spraying days even according to the bogus regulations Monsanto “voluntarily” agreed to with the EPA and Monsanto’s own impossible label restrictions.
 
Anyone familiar with the history of bureaucracy and legalistic Catch-22s designed to turn everyone into a potential lawbreaker knows what’s going on here. Monsanto, with EPA connivance, intentionally designed the label to be impossible to faithfully adhere to. That way in every case of drift or volatilization they can play “Gotcha” and blame the farmer for improper application. This also proves Monsanto and the EPA fully anticipated the epidemic of off-site damage.
 
This proves that the product is impossible to use safely. The state regulations are bogus and that Monsanto does not intend for farmers to abide by them (just like with Bt refuges). It proves the only purpose of the regulations is as a political ploy to buy time against public unrest, and to play Gotcha with even the most scrupulous dicamba users, to keep them ready to become scapegoats.*
 
[*Poison farmers are criminals as well, but low-level ones. Monsanto and the EPA give the orders and control everything. Monsanto would prefer to maintain industrial farmers as a united pro-poison front, submissive to corporate control and working to poison the people. But setting farmers at one another’s throats as they’re doing here isn’t bad either. Note that all calls for compromise, unity, reconciliation are only on corporate control terms and implicitly assume submission to Xtend, continued submission to herbicide-tolerant GMO-poison systems as such. Also, it seems that Monsanto is being intentionally confusing in order to force farmers to sign up for its otherwise unnecessary Climate Corporation subscription.]
 
 
All this is proof of the systemic destructive totalitarian intent of the corporate-technocratic system. On Monsanto’s part this intent indisputably is conscious and willful. All their actions, most of which are premeditated, prove this.
 
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 using 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.
 
Today it’s universally acknowledged that soybean co-existence is impossible. The volatility is too extreme for even the most conscientious sprayers to prevent it. Where it comes to planting dicamba-tolerant seeds, it’s all or nothing. “We can’t co-exist. It’s so volatile and unpredictable.”
 
At the same time Monsanto also is driving the pesticide treadmill as hard as it can. The more total the Xtend deployment, the more volatility/drift/atmospheric loading with dicamba, the faster Palmer amaranth and other weeds will resist. This proves Monsanto’s strict intent to generate dicamba-resistant superweeds as fast and expansively as possible.
 
The corporations like the pesticide/superpest arms race for obvious reasons: It’s the most potent fuel driving the machine of ever more extravagant GM stacks and multi-product pesticide slatherings. This maximizes profit, control, power, and destruction. Again, the lies, extortion, rebates, legal and political lobbying, and refusal to allow study all prove the intent.
 
The USDA and EPA also intend and desire all this. The EPA explicitly endorsed part one of my corporate template with this quote: “We’re committed to taking appropriate action for the 2018 growing season with an eye toward ensuring that the technology is available, number one, to growers but that it is used responsibly.” Throughout the crisis the agency has provided Monsanto with its imprimatur, as per part three of the template. The EPA itself refused to perform or require volatility testing in the first place. Therefore both Monsanto and the EPA strictly admit the volatility of Monsanto’s XtendiMax. Such an admission is always implicit where those with the resources and responsibility to test refuse to do so and work to prevent anyone else from doing so. In the broad sense this is Strict Proof that the corporations and governments know or believe pesticides and GMOs to be harmful to human health. If they didn’t believe this they certainly would have performed legitimate safety tests instead of promulgating the religious lie of “substantial equivalence” along with a passel of methodologically fraudulent tests and rumors of “secret science”, a contradiction in terms. We know that the worst we can speculate is in fact true. The corporations and governments themselves admit this, proven by their consistent pattern of action.
 
In the same way, any consistent course of action on the part of those who can choose a different course proves their Strict Intent to cause all the consistent significant effects of their consistent course of action. Here we see the intent of Monsanto and the US government to wipe out all non-GM soy, as much of any other kind of farming, gardening, ornamentals, and wild plants as possible, and along the way to poison the soil and environment as totally as possible. Whatever human and animal health effects soon arise from the atmospheric suffusion of the dicamba zone also have been intended by these organizations.
 
The refusal of government and private insurers to cover off-target dicamba damage is further proof that this is a comprehensive campaign to drive out all non-Xtend soy farming. It’s government/insuser collusion against farmers.
 
 
What recourse does the imputation of justice have, what course the law? There’s a welter of lawsuits arguing correctly that the product is impossible to use safely, that the damage is the result of negligence or malice on the part of Monsanto and BASF, and that the dicamba sellers colluded to form an extortion racket.
 
We know this is true. Xtortion plus rebate is meant to add up to an offer you can’t refuse if you’re a soy farmer. Monsanto wants to maximize dicamba use (sales, from a mundane profiterring point of view; but maximal poison deployment has implications for power and control far beyond mundane profits) regardless of destructive effects, or intentionally to maximize the destruction. It makes no difference since by Strict Intent there’s no practical difference between willful premeditated nihilism and the active will and premeditation to destroy. Therefore there is no moral difference, and there should be no difference from the perspective of the law or policy. This doctrine is necessary especially in a case like poison drift where it’s difficult to impossible to pinpoint responsibility for specific damage and where, even if this circumstance of non-responsibility hadn’t been anticipated and pre-planned, all the perpetrators rush to take advantage of it in a deliberate, systematic way.
 
Therefore it follows that abolitionist doctrine must be to impose Strict Liability upon all participants in the poison racket, from developers to sellers to users. It’s the same principle as for any other criminal conspiracy: The guy driving the getaway car is just as guilty of murder as the robber inside the bank who pulls the trigger, even though he never left the car. Everyone knows how toxic and destructive all these chemicals are, the corporations and regulators most of all, so no one can claim innocent ignorance. This is a core movement principle and the movement must promise to put this into effect wherever it gets the power. This principle follows practically from the principles of Strict Proof and Strict Intent.
 
Everyone, abolitionists and reformers alike, should take up these doctrines, make them mainstays of philosophy and political communication, and promise to make them the law of the land.
 
To prevent confusion, I’m not saying there’s a master cabal somewhere consciously plotting all this out, though Monsanto certainly is conscious of much of it. I’m describing an existential inertia and a biological campaign. Therefore we’re only dealing proximately with conventional moral philosophy. Rather, we’re dealing with an elemental process whose morality we must view more primally in terms of its consistent action rather than foolish speculation about the “consciousness” of the creatures driving it. You might as well speculate about the consciousness of corporations, patents, and dollars while you’re at it. Anyway, in this case the primary organisms involved are Agrobacterium tumefaciens, soybeans and cotton, and weeds like Palmer amaranth. The humans involved behave according to the same patterns. The technocratic propagandists who exalt corporate personhood, artificial intelligence, and robots are similarly disparaging their own role on the other, “post-human” end.
 
We see how inadequate conventional moralizing is to the crisis. Rather we need the strict morality of Strict Intent, Strict Proof, Strict Liability. We must apply it to the corporations, the regulators, the scientific establishment, academia, the mainstream media, the technocratic political class in general.
 
 
Herbicide-tolerance is a proven failed technology. Xtend and Enlist are as doomed as Roundup Ready. Any support for the continuation of this genre is automatic bad faith and automatic support for all the worst effects of the deployment. Therefore all harms caused by it are willful, deliberate, malicious.
 
The system has literally zero ideas beyond poison plants, which is all GMOs are. Literally no amount of failure and destruction could cause these creatures to think in any terms other than betting even more of the future of humanity and the Earth on an already busted hand. They are criminally insane, or analogous to pathogenic microbes, and can be dealt with only as such.
 
As for soybeans, we have to purge them from processed food and from animal feed. Once again we see the critical need to abolish factory farms.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 

January 13, 2018

Dicamba Crisis Part 3: Bottleneck

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Parts one and two.
 
The common contrast of “natural” and “unnatural” is not untrue but is hard to define. Like with “terrorism”, everyone agrees it exists but finds it hard to give a definition which isn’t to some extent arbitrary. Almost all definitions of terrorism are fraudulent since each bogusly excludes things which by all rights ought to be included and includes things that ought to be excluded. So it is often with the natural-unnatural contrast.
 
As I’ve written before, a more fruitful distinction is ecological as opposed to anti-ecological because this gives us a clear criterion: Are accumulation and waste building up? Whether or not a process generates waste, defined here as a by-product the ecological system cannot readily assimilate, distinguishes ecological and anti-ecological processes. Any such build-up indicates an anti-ecological bottleneck. In a healthy ecology accumulation is rare and quickly generates the means to put it back in motion. Real bottlenecks almost always are man-made; offhand I can’t think of any species which can generate a bottleneck on its own. (Under man-made bottleneck conditions other species can participate, such as the algae which directly generate dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere. These dead zones are man-made, driven by nitrogen run-off from massive overuse of synthetic fertilizer in industrial agriculture.)
 
Anti-ecological bottlenecks often boil down to a simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation, itself an emitter of noxious political, social, cultural pollution, must be accompanied by an equal level of physical/ecological destruction.
 
The primary reason industrial agriculture (especially its GMO model) is unsustainable and must be abolished isn’t because it’s unnatural, though it is this too, but because it’s radically anti-ecological in all the bottlenecks it generates and the way its accumulations and waste poison the Earth.
 
This is the fundamental paradigm of industrial agriculture. It denudes the soil and renders it near-sterile, imports artificial fertility and poisons (the corporations accumulate the pollution of concentrated wealth and power), and exports the combination of these inputs with sunlight as a form of pollution (commodities in order to accumulate and concentrate more wealth, cheap food for biologically and ecologically worthless parasites). The great majority of the synthetic nitrogen runs off or leaches. The pesticides pollute the crop, the soil, the water, and the air. In the case of dicamba the air becomes the most acute crisis point. The nitrogen is transferred into groundwater as a form of poison and down the rivers into the gulfs and bays in order to generate dead zones. Every step of the industrial agricultural process burns vast amounts of fossil fuels and further destroys carbon and nitrogen sinks. The warmer air in turn aggravates the volatilization of dicamba, the quintessential anti-ecological, anti-agronomic disaster capitalist pesticide.
 
The herbicide tolerant GMO model is perhaps the most extreme distillation of the industrial paradigm. It’s designed directly to accelerate human and ecological harm, job destruction, farm consolidation, and the evolution of pest resistance driving the pesticide treadmill ever faster and most intensely.
 
We see another extreme example of the participants in man-made anti-ecological bottlenecks: The pesticide treadmill, and monoculture cultivation in general, provide the best terrain for the most aggressive and hardy weeds, insect pests, and disease organisms.
 
Dicamba’s intrinsic volatility renders it the most potent driver of these phenomena. Most directly, dicamba’s volatile drift is destroying all other soy crops, vegetables, fruits, and many trees, thus generating an intense wastage. The more herbicide volatilization, the more drift, the more atmospheric loading, the faster Palmer amaranth and other potent weeds will develop resistance. We see the Strict Intent of Monsanto and the EPA and USDA to drive the pesticide resistance treadmill as hard as they can. In general monoculture cultivation, as a simple application of plowing and poison, provides the best terrain for pests compared to the complexity of agroecological pest control based on biodiversity and a diversity of tactics. The model of herbicide tolerant GMOs is the most pure manifestation of this weed-maximizing terrain.
 
Therefore in addition to the great accumulations and waste inherent to industrial agriculture we have the build-up of pest resistance to pesticides which drives further escalations of the poison paradigm and all its bottlenecks. Dicamba’s volatility and suffusion of the regional atmosphere comprise an acute poisoning crisis, an acute crisis of waste buildup. The land is condemned to sterile production of commodity soybeans. This really is designed to be a waste dump for surplus fertilizer and pesticide, which are generated in the first place as a by-product and weapon of the system whose real action is to generate money and power for those who control it. By striving to force all soy farmers to buy Xtend seeds if only in self-defense against the deliberate toxic suffusion of the poison, Monsanto and the US government are trying to further strangle the already threadbare diversity of soybean varieties and farming diversity in general, thus further intensifying the genetic bottleneck the monoculture commodity system has been ruthlessly imposing for decades.
 
The land is condemned, fossil fuels pointlessly are extracted and burned, generating carbon and nitrogen pollution in the air and fertilizer and pesticide waste to be dumped into the soil, dumped in the water, dumped in the air, driven into our bodies.
 
Dicamba is designed to suffuse the air and resettle on all broad-leaf crops and other plants as destructively as possible. This is an extreme anti-ecological bottleneck. Look at all it destroys: Food production, human and animal health from wholesome food, the spiritual and cultural work of growers, the aesthetic love of trees and flowers. All these already are bottled up by the corporate-technocratic civilization. Specific extreme outbreaks like the dicamba crisis make these bottlenecks even worse.
 
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, forcing all human beings off the land and enclosing it within a system of a few big corporate-controlled robot-managed plantations. As I said earlier, 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, Monsanto’s 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 is also preparing famine.
 
As Howard Vlieger points out, the worst part of the dicamba GMO system is how it’s destroying actual food production at fruit orchards and vegetable farms and gardens, rendering anything but commodity soybean production more and more difficult. 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.
 
Here we have the full consummation of the inherently destructive character of industrial soybean production in general. All land planted to commodity soybeans is condemned, lost to us. Soybeans aren’t food; they’re used only destructively, for CAFOs, biodiesel, and processing; a diet loaded with processed soy is hormonally unhealthy even leaving aside the soybeans’ GM character and high pesticide residues; a soy-based economy is a plunder economy which offers nothing to the people but only ravages the countryside for the benefit of the corporate criminals. Soybean cultivation is ground zero for all the pathologies, and dicamba-tolerant Xtend soybeans are most extreme. The land is bottlenecked; the economy is bottlenecked. Industrial soy itself must go. (And as for so many other reasons here too we see the critical need to abolish CAFOs.)
 
 
The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
 
Do you feel ill, or your children or pets? Do you fear sickness? Do you feel financially secure? Secure in your job? Are you optimistic things will change for the better? Do you know who has destroyed all security? Do you know what’s making us sick? Do you feel safe when you look at the news from America and around the world? Do you know why the world is going insane?
 
You’re feeling the great bottleneck. Our health, our security, our peace of mind, our work, our culture, our spirit, our freedom, all are bottled up. You feel the fear, you sense our psychological, spiritual, cultural, economic bottleneck.
 
To anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, you must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
 
All of this civilization’s bottlenecks boil down to the simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation must be accompanied by an equal level of physical, economic, spiritual, cultural, and ecological destruction. The elites’ wealth and power equals your destruction.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

December 16, 2017

Community Food Movement: Maine’s Food Sovereignty Act

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“Certified organic” increasingly becomes a farce as it comes to equal industrial “organic”. The latest degradation: Hydroponics now can be certified “organic”. On its face that’s absurd and Orwellian. What could possibly be called organic about growing vegetables in fortified water? You might as well allow synthetic fertilizer of every sort. The industrial organic sector is industrial first, organic second.
 
The organic certification was never more than a second-best stopgap. The only real solution is the Community Food movement, the relocalization of food production and distribution. As much as possible, buy local from farmers you know. But just buying local as a consumer isn’t enough. Community food is a rising alternative economic sector. We need to continue building and defending this rising economic and agronomic movement.
 
Toward this goal, campaigners in Maine worked for years and finally attained a legislative victory as the state passed its Food Sovereignty Act in 2017. This Act makes Maine the first state in the country to have such an ordinance. The Act frees municipalities to regulate their own local food systems if they choose to pass an ordinance taking on such responsibility. The Act applies only to food produced and sold directly to consumers within the town. Anything produced for wholesale or retail distribution remains subject to state regulation (so Big Ag can’t use this as a loophole to find a corrupt town and set up shop there).
 
Since production and sale must take place within the town, the geographical scope is more narrow than the average farmers’ market. (Although many Maine towns are quite large geographically.) Nevertheless this is an example of the kind of act the Community Food movement must fight to enact in every state, as a way to boost local food production, processing, and distribution.
 
No surprise, the thugs at the USDA insisted that if the state relinquishes authority over meat and poultry to towns, that only means the feds will have direct authority over it. This forced Maine to enact an emergency amendment to the Act stipulating that meat and poultry remain under state regulatory authority. This power play gives a perfect example of what we’re up against.
 
 
It also demonstrates the limits of legislative action.* Campaigning for food sovereignty laws, just like campaigning for GMO labeling and/or GMO/pesticide bans, is at best a supplement to the work of building the affirmative movement. In the case of community food, this includes building the economic and physical infrastructure of relocalized food production and distribution.
 
There’s lots of people already doing good work toward that eventual goal. We need to scale that up, in tandem with escalating the campaign of ideas. As for our personal lives, the Earth’s call to anyone is to commit your life to the cause. That’s a very hard sell in this Mammon theocracy where even among the people who superficially have the right ideas and good intent, most still objectively adhere to Mammon in the way they view the world. Even fellow travelers of the necessary ideas fundamentally don’t understand the concept of subordinating one’s “private” existence and existing fundamentally as a political animal, a public citizen. All we can do for starters is to systematically propagate ideas which are fundamentally against the whole grain of this theocracy and try to find fellow atheists versus the superstitions of Mammon, technocracy, scientism, productionism, who want to work on that propagation project. This is one of the basic building blocks necessary to build a true cultural, spiritual, existential movement dedicated affirmatively to the necessary agroecology/food sovereignty transformation, negatively to the total abolition of poison-based agriculture. This campaign of ideas is the necessary counterpart to the intertwined actions of building agroecological science and food sovereignty practice.
 
That’s the ultimate need. What individuals and small groups can do right now:
 
1. Take on as much of the propagation work as you can.
 
2. Become active building up the community food sector as much as you can. Growing some of your own food in a garden is a good first step, and the actions quickly scale up from there. In my case, in addition to my intermittent market gardening I’ve worked at a farmers’ market, herbal medicine garden, and am director of two community gardens.
 
3. In your personal lifestyle get as independent of the system, as “off-grid” (using that term both literally and metaphorically) as possible.
 
4. To the extent you have to remain enmeshed in the system for the time being, at least be clear in thought and word that this is under duress. I still have to drive a car, but I never think or say anything other than that the car as such has to go. This is contrary to the climate crocodiles who wring their hands and then tout hybrids and electric cars (i.e. fracking cars, nuke cars, coal cars) as some kind of answer. No, that’s just a more pernicious form of climate denialism.
 
5. In general: Do the most good you can and never do evil. I have never once heard of an example of an evil action that was necessary in any way. That’s always a lie.
 
Much of this focuses on ideas and propagating ideas. I’m forced to be a writer since for now I lack any greater scope for action. In Eric Hoffer’s terminology, I’m an activist by nature who’s been forced into the role of the “man of words”. For now there really is no greater scope for action in America, since the necessary movement doesn’t yet exist in any tangible, coherent form. Or, any rudiments which may be cohering are not yet visible to the general culture of dissent.
 
So it follows that the first, prerequisite step toward building this movement is to propagate the necessary ideas for this movement. Not even at first to convince people, but to force the existence of truly alternative and practicable ideas into the public consciousness so that, when the cultural tipping point suddenly comes (history demonstrates that we have no idea when it will come or what proximate cause will trigger it) and lots of people are suddenly looking for a new idea, this set of ideas will be one of the sets laying around ready to be taken up.
 
Toward that great goal, the second necessary preliminary step is to form the skeleton of a future mass movement in the form of coherent organizations, of whatever size attainable, which will undertake whatever wedge actions are possible for the time being but whose primary action will be to propagate the ideas as far and wide as possible.
 
All this must take place in tandem with building up the community food sector. We especially need more local retail producers, and processing infrastructure, and political organization against the state’s repressive campaigns. The community food movement already exists as a vibrant movement with great scope for all the action one could desire. We need for the whole thing, from organic horticulture to market gardening to abolition of pesticides/GMOs to a global agroecology transformation, to evolve into one coherent cultural force.
 
 
Propagate the new and necessary ideas.
 
 
*As a general rule within-the-system action is worthless, especially at the higher levels of government and especially where people seek positive policy, as opposed to resisting bad policy. But there are some wedge issues which cut across the system’s calcified political lines, where especially at lower levels of government dedicated pressure groups can get action. I argue that food is one of these potential wedges, and that organizations dedicated to the right kind and mode of food action can get good results, both directly and in terms of driving a broader cultural wedge. That’s the wager I make with my writing.
 
 
 
 
 

June 5, 2017

The Regulator/Corporate Interest vs. the People’s Interest

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The Greens/EFA faction of the European Parliament is suing the EFSA because the agency refuses to release secret documents from its 2015 glyphosate review. The EFSA always has proclaimed openly that it depends upon secret documents it is fed by the corporations. In other words, the regulator openly admits that it uses no science in its reviews, but only corporate innuendo. This is in complete contrast to the WHO’s IARC cancer research agency, whose guidelines require it to use only published studies. The IARC requires itself to stay within the bounds of legitimate science, while the EFSA and EPA explicitly disavow science and stay within the bounds of secret corporate decrees.
 
Under public pressure the EFSA did release a fragmentary, heavily redacted version of the corporate materials, and did find collaborators willing to provide political cover for this fraudulent “disclosure”. The EFSA now says no public interest would be served by full disclosure. In addition to being an explicit abdication of the canons of science, which by definition requires public perusal, this is the EFSA’s open admission that it does not view itself as acting in the public interest, since it explicitly avows that the public interest, at best, must be limited by the corporate interest. The Greens/EFA statement partially endorses this, agreeing that there’s a “balance that should be struck.” We abolitionists of course recognize no such fraudulent “balance”, but will never settle for anything less than the full public interest and the full publicity of anything claiming to represent “science”.
 
 
Once again we have the standard state of things:
 
1. The myth of the public interest regulator.
 
2. The reality of the regulator controlled by the corporation and ideologically committed to serving the corporation.
 
3. The regulator lies, claiming to be trying to “strike a balance”. This already partially abrogates the myth of the public interest. In reality, the regulator recognizes no public interest at all, except insofar as this may trickle down from corporate domination.
 
4. “Reformers” have already surrendered that far, and they abet that extent of the lie. So we can assume that over time they’ll continue to surrender ground and abet further lies as the corporate assault advances.
 
 
As the piece points out, the EFSA could, if it really were under legal constraint with regard to publicizing its alleged data, ask the court to order it to publish the data. But of course no regulator would ever make such a request, because they lie about being under such constraint. No regulator ever has its hands tied by intellectual property law. On the contrary, they ardently, actively, ideologically support the poisoner project and all its elements. This includes the “secret science” the regulators require in order to perform their sham reviews.
 
 
As I’ve written many times before, this strong regulator bias on behalf of the corporations and against the public good and against science does not arise primarily from superficial venal corruption. It arises from a far more profound existential corruption, a corruption of all canons of human morality and reason. While de jure corruption is common, it’s epiphenomenal compared to the overall ideological and methodological framework of technocracy and the corporate science paradigm. Cadres of an agency like the EFSA or ECHA, or the US EPA, FDA, and USDA, operate according to the corporate/technocratic template. Its three components are:
 
1. The corporate power/profit project is normative. It is the primary purpose of civilization. Under no circumstance can any other value or alternative project be allowed significantly to hinder the corporate project.
 
This has profound implications for actions like a pesticide cancer review. For technocratic regulators to acknowledge the fact that all synthetic pesticides cause widespread cancer would significantly hinder the corporate project. Therefore even the prospect of such acknowledgement is ruled out a priori. By definition it cannot be part of the review. Only the most grossly excessive and obvious cancerousness on the part of a particular chemical could be acknowledged even in principle. When outfits like the US EPA or the EU’s EFSA claim to believe that glyphosate is not cancerous, this is not according to any rational or scientific canon of evidence, and reformers who interpret it this way make a mistake about the fundamental character of these organizations.
 
Rather, technocratic regulators apply the canon of the corporate paradigm. According to this canon “causes cancer” is defined as: “So grossly carcinogenic that it’s politically impossible to deny it, to the point that lack of action would in itself be significantly bad for business.” For the government, just as much as for the corporation, cancer is purely political.
 
This leads to the template’s second component.
 
2. Given the strictures of (1), the regulator may if absolutely necessary impose limits on the most excessive harms and worst abuses. More often, it only pretends to do even this. Which leads to the template’s third component.
 
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project as having been sufficiently regulated for safety. According to the ideology of technocracy and bureaucracy, the people are supposed to believe implicitly in the competence, rigor, and honesty of the regulator. They’re supposed to believe this for all measures of safety, public and environmental health, political and socioeconomic benefit and lack of harm.
 
All this is based on a Big Lie, since as we described above the regulator actually functions only according to the normative values of corporate power. But it fraudulently claims, always implicitly and very often explicitly, that it has acted on behalf of human values and to protect and serve the people. Therefore, the ideology goes, the people should repose implicit trust in the regulator rather than assert themselves democratically in any kind of grassroots way. Most of all, the people must not start to think in any political terms which would be based on fundamentally different values and goals, values and goals opposed to those of corporate rule and technocracy.
 
Thus we see how technocracy is an ideology, method, and form of government which is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-political as such since it is dedicated to the proposition that the people should relinquish all political activity and passively receive and believe the judgements of technocratic regulators. This system is based fundamentally on the Big Lie that it actually is a form of democracy and a form of society which encourages the political participation of the people. But in fact it conjures only sham versions of these and seeks aggressively to discourage and suppress any true politics.
 
This ideology and method is especially critical for the poisoner campaign, whose continued domination depends upon the people’s opposition remaining strait-jacketed within the bonds of regulator-based reformism. It’s essential that no significant number of people attain an abolitionist consciousness and commit to the abolitionist goal.
 
We see how the corporate state and technocracy, along with their allied economic ideology of neoliberalism, exist as species within the same genus as classical fascism. This is the genus of pseudo-democratic forms bled of all real political content which then stand as cultural facades behind which exists only state tyranny. Today’s corporate state is the most fully evolved form of this tyranny.
 
 
 
Help propagate the abolitionist idea.
 
 
 

May 29, 2017

Abolitionism Part One – The Need for the Movement

Filed under: American Revolution, GMO Corporate State, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 11:12 am

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1. People who are serious about agricultural and industrial poisons and who acknowledge that humanity and the Earth cannot “co-exist” with them must commit to the abolition of poison-based agriculture and the global transformation to agroecology and food sovereignty. That means building a true movement, and the first step in such movement-building is propagating the new and necessary ideas. My site is dedicated to these propositions.
 
By contrast we usually see only the call to reform existing corporate institutions, and to do so only within the existing framework of petitioning the government and corporations in various ways, including begging corporate regulatory agencies to change their mandates and become responsive to the people. We have a welter of writings fitting the same pattern. They give what’s often a decent overview of the health, economic, agronomic, and ecological crises being driven by poison-based agriculture.
 
But this almost always leads up to the same anticlimactic, lukewarm conclusion. A typical example runs: “Action is urgently needed to regulate and monitor corporate power to ensure that food sovereignty, the environment, and public health are not further compromised.”
 
Each time this is a call for reformism within the corporate framework, and implicitly against the necessary call to a fully committed abolition movement. Reformism is the call to “co-existence”, which we all know is impossible in the long run. Worse, it validates the corporate framework. I’ve described in dozens of pieces what I call the corporate triangulation template of regulators, the scientific establishment, NGOs, reformists in general. And as we see in the quote above, this reform call always implicitly is willing to grandfather in the existing level of how compromised those values and needs – food sovereignty, environment, public health – already are. This means so-called reformism always accepts the compromised status quo where humanity and the Earth have already lost so much ground, figuratively and literally, and it remains on the defensive. This means reformism always will accept further defeats and at best wants to slow the rate of defeat. This means in the end reformism offers no alternative to complete surrender and destruction. Are they waiting for a god to descend to save them? There will be no such unearthly god. The only salvation will come from within, from the abolition movement.
 
2. “Regulate and monitor” is the ideology and strategy of system NGOs which focus on petitions and public comments to regulators, lawsuits, and the apparently permanent and permanently vague campaign of “public education”. This has been ongoing for decades.
 
But look at the facts: At best this strategy has slowed down the corporate poisoner assault in America, but nowhere has it halted it and started rolling it back. On the contrary, slowly but surely the enemy gains ground.
 
Obviously the status quo is untenable as well as unacceptable on any agronomic, ecological, public health, economic, or political level. Ipso facto, any position thinking in terms of preventing “further compromise”, even if that were possible, is insufficient.
 
3. Therefore regulate-and-monitor could not be effective even if this seemingly lukewarm call really could muster a fighting movement.
 
But more importantly, this is not a call to battle which will resonate with anyone. The evidence is that this is the kind of call which, by its nature, implies that everyone should remain in their pre-assigned positions and roles within the corporate capitalist framework. Therefore it never can muster and organize the latent energies which sometimes inspire large numbers of intrepid, determined people to break out of these pre-assigned roles and form movements in opposition to the existing system.
 
4. Based on my knowledge of history, I forecast that if the deployment of such a critically important sector as agropoisons ever were to be hindered severely enough (i.e., once Monsanto and the US government become fed up once and for all with the obstructionism of regulate-and-monitor), the system will become far more aggressive and lawless than it’s already been in forcing its poisons into the food and ecology. We already see the USDA in the process of abrogating the entirety of its oversight authority toward expanding ranges of poisons.
 
The Trump administration, as part of its continuity with the Reagan-Clinton-Bush-Obama line, is stepping up the aggression and lawlessness. The EPA is being further geared for escalated pro-corporate action. The FDA is being given a pro-GMO propaganda mandate. (This is a far more congenial task for the inherently pro-corporate FDA than the fantasy, so cherished by “anti-GMO” people, of stringent FDA labeling of GMOs. Of course the FDA’s sham GMO regulatory procedure in itself always has comprised pro-GM propaganda.) Reformism brought you Trump in the first place. It will not be sufficient for resisting his escalation of the longstanding corporate campaign. You really don’t like Trump? Then you probably need to change your thinking and your actions.
 
As this continues, regulate-and-monitor will become increasingly untenable even according to its own diminished criteria. At that point the only options left will be a full-scale abolition movement, or else surrender.
 
 
By then it’ll be late in the game to start building such a movement. The time to start is now, among those who can learn from history and prepare ahead of time for its cycles. Indeed the time was years ago, just as I’ve been saying all this for many years now.
 
There was a time for lawsuits and labeling campaigns. (Ironically, the European example labelists like to cite proves something different from what they think: The time for those was in the 1990s, at the outset of the deployment; America missed the boat where it comes to that.) There was a time for exalting the precautionary principle and calling for more and better testing. There was a time for educating the public within the framework of regular system politics and media. And there was a time for campaigners to educate themselves about all the facts of agropoisons and their role in agronomy, politics, economy, religion, science, ecology.
 
But today all these tasks either are complete, or are obsolete, or have been demonstrated to be ineffective, or need to transcend the prior political and philosophical frameworks.
 
Today and going forward is the time wherein humanity must find its soul and its will to organize and fight this global attempt to force an apocalypse of poisoning upon us, our children, our children’s children, and upon the entire life system of the Earth. From a purely secular point of view, not to mention the various religions, we see how the axis of corporate power, government power, and the scientism cult wish to turn the 21st century into a veritable end time for humanity and the Earth. Poisonism, extermination of biodiversity, and forced climate chaos combine to form what’s indisputably a willful, intentional campaign of global destruction for the sake of power. This century will decide once and for all the final question of power. Will humanity redeem itself, or will the corporate persons be the infinite tyrants of tomorrow?
 
Make no mistake: If you’re a flesh-and-blood human being, then a corporate person regards you as literally nothing but a resource to be exploited where profitable, cast out to die where unprofitable, actively killed where a danger. It’s no longer possible for anyone to be innocently ignorant of this, only willfully stupid about it.
 
And therefore we have the absolute need for a full scale social and political movement dedicated to the clear goal of abolishing corporations. This is necessary against every corporate sector. A movement to abolish agropoisons looks like the obvious place for abolitionists to commence and to set the standard for all the necessary action going forward. As for the public education, we see the great need to transcend anything redolent of “regulating and monitoring” so-called “abuses” perpetrated by alleged “bad apples” among a corporate system otherwise inertially and implicitly taken as normal and normative. By now this inertia and implication kills more surely than any physical poison.
 
On the contrary, the message which begins, suffuses, and concludes all thought and communication must be the need to abolish corporate power, in this context starting with poison-based agriculture, before it succeeds in its campaign to destroy us all.
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary abolitionist idea.
 
 
 
 

May 10, 2017

GMO Field Trials and the Deliberate Contamination Campaign

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Corporate agriculture sows disorder and chaos.

 
 
The British government has approved the Sainsbury lab’s application for open air field trials of GM potatoes which not only have not been subjected to controlled greenhouse tests but don’t yet even exist.
 
As I wrote a few weeks ago, Sainsbury’s application for an as yet nonexistent product, and its invitation to the regulator to assure the public of the safety of this product which doesn’t yet exist, is the best commentary on the fact that everything the corporate system tells us about GMOs, in addition to being always a lie, is always a pure fabrication. The corporations and governments tout nothing but the idea of “GMOs” as such, while in reality the actual GM crops are always poorly-designed, shoddy, backward, failure-prone products.
 
This is also the best commentary on the fact that field trials have no scientific basis or purpose, but rather are propaganda exercises. They propagate the fraud that GMOs are tested for environmental safety and agronomic performance when in reality the tests are designed to give no meaningful information on either of these, just as corporate feeding trials test nothing but industrial parameters irrelevant to food safety.
 
Therefore field trials are designed to serve as propaganda vehicles. They’re meant to normalize the GMO ideology as such and to impress upon the people the sense of the alleged ubiquity and necessity of GMOs and the alleged inevitability of GMO domination.
 
We see how GM field trials serve as a stage of the GM propaganda process just as they comprise a stage of the GM crop development process. This parallel is poetically appropriate since GMOs as such serve only fictive purposes, including an overall propaganda function. Their ultimate purposes – profit, power, control – have nothing to do with natural reality, but only with the totalitarian will to obliterate existing reality and replace it with a malign, ideologically determined reality. And thus it’s also appropriate, and was always inevitable, that all of the real-world effects of GMOs – environmental, health, agronomic, economic – are purely destructive.
 
 
Therefore the GM regime won’t be content with just the verbal propaganda threatening total GMO domination. Propaganda is never separable from action, and GM propaganda always accompanies the aggressive campaign physically to propagate GMOs as far and wide across the surface of the globe as possible. This includes not just the legal deployment of commercial GMOs but illegal deployment as well as the systematic contamination of non-GM crops and wild relatives with GM genetics.
 
We can sum up what we know:
 
1. GMOs in the open environment cannot be controlled. They automatically contaminate non-GM crops and wild relatives. This is true of field trials as well.
 
2. The intent and goal of corporations and government regulators is maximal contamination. This is proven by the systematic illegal cultivation of GMOs by corporations such as Monsanto and the way the briar-patched governments such as those of Brazil and India then legalize this illegal campaign. It is proven also by the consistent pattern of action of regulators.
 
3. We know field trials have the propaganda goals I described above.
 
4. So we can deduce that, although the experimentalists may not yet have used field trials this way, they hold in reserve the intent to launch new experiments in GM contamination by turning “field trials” (always a pretext and proxy) into a general, uncontrolled environmental release.
 
 
Consider the example of a joint corporate-university algae agrofuel experiment. Agrofuel GMOs are most symbolic of how wasteful and worthless GMOs are, and therefore are emblematic of the overall destructive goal of the corporate-technocratic project.
 
Here the experimenters tout how the GM algae “disperse[s] from the cultivation ponds” though they claim they’ve been unable to document aggressive “colonization…with increasing distance.” But they’ll keep trying. If the reader is in any doubt about the kind of language used in this study, consider this proclamation: “[T]he gains in productivity measured in GE terrestrial crops are predicted to be mirrored in GE algae..” Since these gains are known to be zero, indeed negative, here’s the experimenters acknowledging that the GM algae project is part of the project of waste and destruction, and broadcasting the Orwellian character of their communication throughout. We must apply this knowledge to our assessment of their real purpose in gauging the what the experimenters themselves call the “colonial” potential of their monster. Did any monarch ever send out a colonial expedition without intending far-reaching violent conquest? We already know that this algae is intended to be deployed worldwide. Only a fool thinks the difference between controlled and uncontrolled deployment, legal and illegal, is anything but purely methodological in the minds of the experimenters.
 
For another key example, the USDA’s ongoing GM grass approvals in the aftermath of the permanent escape of GM creeping bentgrass from a field trial and its subsequent environmental colonization proves:
 
1. The USDA agrees with the corporations and experimenters that all GMOs should be given full release with zero regulation and zero concern for the consequences except insofar as these provide data toward future controlled experimentation.
 
2. The USDA wants to maximize GM contamination. This is its intent and goal.
 
3. This is the ideology of regulators, prior to any mundane corruption and revolving door careerism.
 
This regulator consciousness, this willful intent, is proven by the fact that even as the USDA washes its hands of the earlier disaster it is allowing new releases. This proves that the regulator actively, consciously wants total contamination. Therefore “co-existence” is a lie, and not just physically. In cases like GM grass, alfalfa, canola, maize, cotton, and many others, where the physical impossibility of controlling the spread of the transgene is proven, regulator actions prove that governments want the eradication of all non-GM crops.
 
It’s appropriate that so many of these trials and releases are for products that are worthless even by GMO standards – crops for fuel, herbicide tolerant grass for golf courses. It goes to the core of the culture of the lie incarnated in the very idea of GMOs: The most ardently touted GM products are those which most directly, in principle, contradict the #1 GMO lie, that they’re supposed to help “feed the world”.
 
And this in turn exposes the entire GMO endeavor as having literally zero to do with anything which could ever benefit humanity. On the contrary genetic engineering is a campaign of corporate and government power and the object of religious worship by a particularly noxious strain of vermin, the scientism cult.
 
 
Therefore all the pro-GM activists cherish the program of spreading GM contamination as such. It forces corporate power upon agriculture and food, it concentrates government power, it destroys the integrity of communities and the environment, it’s a campaign of uncontrolled human experimentation as a step toward controlled eugenic experimentation and technological development, and it’s a form of fundamentalist proselytization, propaganda by deed.
 
GM field trials offer great opportunities for expansion of this deed of deliberate contamination. This campaign which transforms propaganda into action is the logical extension of the general propaganda character of the whole field trial endeavor.
 
The contamination campaign has the goal of finally forcing through attrition the mindset of “you just sort of surrender” which Monsanto long ago verbalized as the mindset it works to force upon humanity. But this is just the beginning of its goals. All totalitarians regard the initial physical conquest as just the beginning of their aggression and violence.
 
The pro-GM activists are betting that the result of their contamination campaign will be to sow this surrender mentality rather than to spur real movement resistance and counterattack.
 
 
Co-existence with GMOs is physically impossible. The goal of government regulators, corporations, and GM farmers is total contamination of all crops. Therefore co-existence is politically impossible as well, and the only viable political position and goal is total abolitionism.
 
For as long as the GMO deployment continues the contamination will become worse and worse, and the chances of it becoming indelible, with all the agronomic and ecological destruction that will follow, will increase. Which is all the more reason to Abolish GMOs Now.
 
 
 
Help propagate the necessary actions.
 
 
 

March 24, 2017

The USDA Honors National Poison Prevention Week

Filed under: GMO Corporate State, Mainstream Media, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: , , , , — Russell Bangs @ 9:43 am

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We should’ve known those jokers at the USDA were yanking us.
 
In honor of National Poison Prevention Week (March 19-25), the USDA has declared that its promise to begin testing US foods for glyphosate residues on April 1st, 2017, was of course an April Fools prank.
 
They reverted to their previous position, dictated to them by Monsanto since the 1970s, that such testing would be too expensive. What this really means, of course, is too politically expensive. It wouldn’t do for the people to know from systematic government testing (as opposed to the ad hoc, self-selected testing of NGO programs) how rife their food is with this deadly cancer agent. (Last autumn the FDA also suspended its own alleged plan to test for glyphosate.)
 
Of course the notion of expense is self-evidently absurd. If capitalism worked the way the good civics primers claim then Monsanto would have to pay the cost of all such testing, performed by truly independent laboratories. If the expense of this would render the product unprofitable, then the product shouldn’t exist, ipso facto. That’s in addition to the truly scientific safety tests which would be required, and the hard ban which would be imposed as soon as the product is found to cause cancer.
 
But now I’m the one telling jokes. Of course everything the primers and mainstream media say about capitalism is a lie, capitalism does not work, and nothing rational or sane can exist wherever these would conflict with the corporate imperative. The regulators are full partners in this great campaign of organized crime and poisonism.
 
 
 
 
 
 

March 9, 2017

Glyphosate Reviews Within the Corporate Science Paradigm

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One World

 
 
Greenpeace is accusing the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), whose opinion on the cancerousness of glyphosate is supposed to be imminent, of “conflict of interest” because its panel members also operate as “risk assessment consultants” for the industry.
 
As a system NGO, when Greenpeace says “conflict of interest” they’re referring to conventional corruption of “public servants” who are paid also by the industry they’re supposed to be regulating in accordance with scientific method.
 
Our abolitionist analysis is much deeper and more comprehensive than this, of course. While this kind of corruption is common, it’s epiphenomenal compared to the overall ideological and methodological framework of technocracy and the corporate science paradigm. Cadres of an agency like the ECHA, or the US EPA, FDA, and USDA, operate according to the corporate/technocratic template. Its three components are:
 
1. The corporate power/profit project is normative. It is the primary purpose of civilization. Under no circumstance can any other value or alternative project be allowed significantly to hinder the corporate project.
 
This has profound implications for actions like a pesticide cancer review. For technocratic regulators to acknowledge the fact that all synthetic pesticides cause widespread cancer would significantly hinder the corporate project. Therefore even the prospect of such acknowledgement is ruled out a priori. By definition it cannot be part of the review. Only the most grossly excessive and obvious carcinogenicity on the part of a particular chemical could be acknowledged even in principle. When outfits like the US EPA or the EU’s EFSA claim to believe that glyphosate is not cancerous, this is not according to any rational or scientific canon of evidence, and reformers who interpret it this way make a mistake about the fundamental character of these organizations.
 
Rather, technocratic regulators apply the canon of the corporate paradigm. According to this canon “causes cancer” is defined as: “So grossly carcinogenic that it’s politically impossible to deny it, to the point that lack of action would in itself be significantly bad for business.”
 
This is the template’s second component.
 
2. Given the strictures of (1), the regulator may if absolutely necessary impose limits on the most excessive harms and worst abuses. More often, it only pretends to do even this. Which leads to the template’s third component.
 
3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the corporate project as having been sufficiently regulated for safety. According to the ideology of technocracy and bureaucracy, the people are supposed to believe implicitly in the competence, rigor, and honesty of the regulator. They’re supposed to believe this for all measures of safety, public and environmental health, political and socioeconomic benefit and lack of harm.
 
All this is based on a Big Lie, since as we described above the regulator actually functions only according to the normative values of corporate power. But it fraudulently claims, always implicitly and very often explicitly, that it has acted on behalf of human values and to protect and serve the people. Therefore the people should repose implicit trust in the regulator, not assert themselves democratically in any kind of grassroots way, and most of all not start to think in any political terms which would be based on fundamentally different values and goals, values and goals opposed to those of corporate rule and technocracy.
 
Thus we see how technocracy is an ideology, method, and form of government which is fundamentally anti-democratic and anti-political as such since it is dedicated to the proposition that the people should relinquish all political activity and passively receive and believe the judgements of technocratic regulators. This system is based fundamentally on the Big Lie that it actually is a form of democracy and a form of society which encourages the political participation of the people. But in fact it conjures only sham versions of these and seeks aggressively to discourage and suppress any true politics.*
 
We see how the corporate state and technocracy, along with their allied economic ideology of neoliberalism, exist as species within the same genus as classical fascism. This is the genus of pseudo-democratic forms bled of all real political content which then stand as cultural facades behind which exists only state tyranny. Today’s corporate state is the most fully evolved form of this tyranny.
 
This site’s ultimate project is to oppose this tyranny. One prerequisite for such opposition is to understand what modern regulatory agencies truly are, and to renounce all faith in and support for them. As abolitionists one of our goals is completely to demolish all claims to legitimacy and authority of such agencies as the ECHA or US EPA. The destruction of such misguided faith is necessary for the people to conceive and commit to the necessary new ideas.
 
Toward that necessity, we need to substitute the more comprehensive analysis for the superficial and shallow “conflict of interest” and “corruption” notion. Corporate regulators, by their inherent nature, do not have conflicts of interest because their one and only interest is the corporate client. Everything else they claim about themselves is a lie.
 
The same Big Lie encompasses their ideology and propaganda of “science”. To take today’s example, the Greenpeace indictment specifically focuses on the ECHA panelists doubling as industry “risk assessment” consultants. We can leave aside the more vulgar modes of corruption though these too are common. Far more important, the entire concept, ideology, and methodology of “risk assessment” is based on the corporate profit endeavor as normative and therefore thinks, at most, in terms only of worst-case scenarios, never the omnipresent, chronic, daily harms and crimes of the corporate project. The official ideology of the US EPA is based on managing the human cancer and other tortures it and its corporate client inflict, via the concept of pesticide and cancer “tolerances”. This word should be taken literally: It means how much cancer can the corporate system cause before the magnitude becomes politically dangerous enough that the regulator needs to take evasive action, starting with sham reviews and lies meant to put the people back to sleep.
 
The European and US government establishment, along with the corporate media, reached this crisis point with glyphosate in 2015 because of the rogue action (from the corporate system’s point of view) of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC, like some individual scientists, acted according to canons of the scientific method instead of the corporate science paradigm. This caused them to issue the scientific judgement that glyphosate causes cancer. The EFSA and EPA since then have carried out their propaganda function. They’ve lied about the evidence and lied about their canons of evidence.
 
(Although the WHO as a whole has been consistently pro-corporate, the IARC is out of step with the dominant corporate/reductionist ideological framework, instead emphasizing environmental factors in cancer causation: “Emphasis is placed on elucidating the role of environmental and lifestyle risk factors and studying their interplay with genetic background in population-based studies and appropriate experimental models. This emphasis reflects the understanding that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.”
 
The proposition that cancer is preventable runs directly counter to the dominant “science” ideology which views cancer as arising from genetic determinism and which conceives the acceptable response to be massively expensive and interventionist cures supervised by Big Drug and other corporate sectors. This ideology is driven by the need of the poison-peddling corporations to obscure and deny the fact that profitable products like glyphosate are in fact major cancer drivers. The corporate flacks are abetted by scientism’s religious zealots who refuse to hear any evil spoken of their technological objects of cult worship.)
 
The IARC also is a pro-science renegade in that it assesses only the scientific public record, which according to Popperian canons is by definition the only scientific record. But the EFSA, EPA, and (we can expect) the ECHA adhere to an exactly upside-down, anti-scientific canon of “secret science”. Secret science of course is a contradiction in terms. By definition, if it’s not part of the public record and open to public perusal, analysis, and debate, it’s not part of science.
 
Today’s corporations, governments, universities, the mainstream media, and the scientific establishment all exalt the perverse notion of “secret science”. This means that we can reject their entire paradigm as, by definition, anti-science and not part of science. This underlies any specific evils of the lies being protected by the secrecy.
 
We abolitionists, in response, assume that anti-scientific secrecy automatically indicates the corporation and/or regulator has zero scientific evidence which supports them, and that what evidence they do have must prove the extreme harmfulness of the corporate product. In this case, the evidence for glyphosate’s cancerousness which Monsanto and the EPA actually possess is likely far worse even than the conclusive amount which has leaked out.
 
 
We see how technocratic regulators, in general and where it comes to specifics such as “risk assessment”, the cadre as a whole as well as specific agents, whether or not particular agents have conflicts of interest and/or are conventionally corrupt, all are part of the corporate science paradigm and therefore are anti-science and anti-democracy, according to Popperian canons of scientific method and the open society.
 
 
*This same corporate-technocatic template can be applied to the STEM establishment, the mainstream media, much “alternative” media, system NGOs, system political parties, and electoralism as such. The details may vary, never the broad function: To conserve the indoctrination that corporate rule is normative, as much as possible to render this water in which we swim implicit and imperceptible, where necessary to reinforce the indoctrination with propaganda, where necessary to offer sham “reforms” and sham pseudo-political “options”, all toward the goal of rendering truly political thought and action extremely difficult, preferably unthinkable.
 
 
 
 
 
Help propagate these ideas.
 
 
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