From this post.
After years of writing across many topics as a general anti-corporatist, I’ve become a focused GMO abolitionist. How did I end up here?
1. Food production and distribution is the primary economy of humanity. We need to focus ideology and strategy here.
2. Conversely, food corporatism is the core battleground for corporate rule as a whole, where its war to impose total domination will be won or lost.
3. Specifically, the goal of corporatism is to overcome the final limits to capitalism’s accumulation process and therefore the end of its ability to profit.
How can capitalism overcome the limits of the earth? Only by becoming able to wipe out large swaths of its resources and synthetically replace them with its own enclosed proprietary products. This is the reason for the corporate state’s GMO project. If it works the way corporations and governments hope, the core human economy, physically and organizationally, will become a synthetic corporate product under the total control of the technocratic elites. They will be able to manipulate the entirety of its production and distribution mechanisms with precision control, allowing or denying food to any individual, group, or region, every crumb of it a pure profit-generator (on paper), every crumb of it firmly enclosed within the patent regime, this regime ruthlessly enforced by the full might of the police state.
Best of all from the corporate point of view, since agriculture will be under total technical control, the technicians will be able to wipe the slate clean at will. Is a particular set of GMOs no longer expedient for whatever reason? Discontinue it and replace it with a brand new set.
The ongoing fiasco with herbicide tolerant and Bt-expressing varieties increasingly unable to cope with the superweeds and superbugs they generate against themselves, and the need to add 2,4-D and dicamba tolerance on top of glyphosate tolerance, and the need to stack six Bt insecticides where one used to suffice, is just an early, very clumsy form of this planned obsolescence.
Meanwhile the elites also hope this will eventually allow them to realize the old dream of human domination over nature itself. Although so far GMO contamination of wild plants is happening in an ad hoc, uncontrolled manner, the elites hope someday to strategically inject genetic modification into the environment at large in order to sculpt it the way they desire. This will also further enclose the entire surface of the earth as “property”, since in addition to the legal ownership of land, there will be proprietary control of the flora, as well as the water and air which carry the proprietary genetic material. Wherever convenient for the elites this proprietary control will supersede “ownership” rights. “Libertarian” types gripe about government bureaucracies today allegedly interfering with enjoyment of one’s property, but that’s nothing compared to the control Monsanto has in mind, once everything on your land carries its patented genes.
How do they plan to do all this? No doubt this whole plan is still mostly hazy and theoretical. But the corporatists think that once today’s level of mechanization becomes impossible (on account of there being insufficient economically extractable fossil fuels), they’ll be able to keep industrial agriculture going through the increasing use of slave labor. This is expected to overcome, for a while at least, the declining ability of fossil fuels, aquifers, synthetic fertilizers, industrially mined phosphorus, and the ravaged soil to sustain production. In this way the elites hope to gradually wind down the industrial civilization and return to some de-industrial mode of empire while keeping their power intact and without suffering a non-linear collapse along the way.
That’s the corporate end goal. GMOs are intended to serve as the linchpin holding together and enforcing this system.
This is insane, of course. It’ll never be possible to sustain industrial agriculture this way. But if things continue the way they’re going, the corporate system will push as far as possible toward this goal, causing inconceivable destruction, suffering, and death along the way, and perhaps rendering humanity’s recovery permanently impossible.
4. It’s to try to avert this outcome that I became a GMO abolitionist, and why I think anyone who wants to fight corporate rule, capitalism, statism, elitism, tyranny, should also focus on this fight.
5. In spite of the corporations’ insane plan, and in spite of various utopian notions, industrial agriculture is unsustainable for the reasons I already mentioned above. Post-oil, the earth still can sustain a population even greater than today’s, but only if humanity switches in an organized way from industrial, corporate agriculture to decentralized, low-external-impact polyculture agroecology, along with food sovereignty as the free, rational and democratic mode of political and economic organization. If we do this, we can all feed ourselves well and live prosperously. If we don’t, the collapse of industrial ag will result in mass famine.
GMOs comprise a doubling down on all the worst aspects of industrial ag, as well as the system’s most vicious attempt to forestall the agroecology/food sovereignty solution.
Food sovereignty and agroecology vs. corporate agriculture is the most critical war of ideas humanity has ever undertaken. GMO abolitionism, first to discredit and then to obliterate GMOs totally, is a critically important part of this war.
6. As a strategic matter, GMO abolitionism focuses on a clear, non-negotiable operational goal. Organizational, strategic, tactical questions can then be answered according to this goal.
I think as a general proposition that part of the problem with “the left” has been its focus on excellent but vague aspirations like “social justice”, “ending inequality”, “fighting capitalism”, etc. These are all noble goals, but they’re not very clear, and don’t answer for themselves questions like, “What to do?” “Where should we be heading?” Thus it’s no wonder that so many people do nothing but keep spinning in place on a hamster wheel, or go off on corrupting, co-opting tangents.
But if we commit to a specific operational goal and then measure our activist lives according to what we’re doing toward that goal, we have a much better chance of getting somewhere. I’d recommend this to anyone. The core conflict of our age is humanity vs. corporatism. Since the corporate assault cuts across all pre-existing definitions, identifications, dichotomies, rendering all of these obsolete, where they weren’t scams from the beginning, it follows that all meaningful action must be one form or another of corporate abolitionism. Corporations themselves must be abolished completely.
Therefore, we must all, in our own ways, seek such abolitionist goals, wherever these are possible.
7. One of the great advantages of fighting food corporatism is that here we can actually build our own alternative right here and now. We can grow our own food, economically and politically support our local farmers, build our own local/regional processing and distribution infrastructure. While where it comes to other sectors it’s often hard to figure out what we can actually DO, here the work is obvious, it’s everywhere around us, and we can achieve great results immediately. Here, far more than in any other sector, we can vigorously build the new within the old, in the process making ourselves politically and economically stronger, more politically self-confident, building our movement as a general fortress of communities, a strong point for all counteroffensives against corporate rule.
Community Food and Food Sovereignty are the currents which comprise this great affirmative movement. GMO abolitionism is its great and necessary negative corollary.
8. Finally, we must shed belief in the false dichotomies – left/right, public/private, science/religion, liberal/conservative, socialism/”free market”, protectionism/”free trade”, republican/democrat, many others. These are false spectra and need to be replotted along the real spectrum of our time, humanity against the corporations. To what extent is one for or against corporate domination? Today all political questions boil down to this one, or are superseded or rendered obsolete by it.
Concern over our food (and water, air, etc.), corporate domination of our food, and in particular GMOs being forced into our food, is a concern that cuts across all identifications. Therefore these kinds of issues, and GMO abolition in particular, can serve as a potent wedge slicing through lots of calcified dogmatic structures, perhaps breaking them open completely. This is an ideological sweet spot.
Since one of the worst problems we face is every kind of calcified, sclerotic division which doesn’t reflect any sort of reality but serves only the divide-and-conquer purposes of the corporations, anything which helps slice through these divisions is a potent weapon. I think GMO abolitionism can serve as such a wedge.
9. All GMOs are probably poisonous, Bt-expressing ones certainly are (by definition), and they’re designed to cause a massive escalation in the use of horrific environmental poisons like glyphosate and 2,4-D.
We also face the contamination crisis and the crisis of the destruction of agricultural genetic diversity. GMOs in the economy will continue to drive the narrowing of the agricultural germplasm, GMOs in the environment will continue to contaminate crops and wild relatives, with dire consequences for the future of agriculture and ecosystems. Nothing short of total abolition can prevent the worst.
Nothing in humanity’s history has been as insane and evil as this plan, undertaken by the mainstream of modern elites, to undertake the wholesale poisoning of our food, water, soil, and environment. Nothing in history has even come close to the insanity and evil of this.
So those are the reasons I became a GMO abolitionist, and why I call upon others to join in this work.