Mon(ster)santo: Past, Present, Future
Off the keyboard of William Hunter Duncan
Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 5, 2012
Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner
Few institutions typify the urge to dominate, the urge to control, more than the corporation known as Monsanto. Incorporated early in the age of chemical optimism, 1901, the chemical incarnation Monsanto-of-old, is best known for it’s production of DDT, PCB’s and Agent Orange. If that sounds like a list of weapons of mass destruction to you, like a list of crimes against humanity, then you will not be surprised necessarily, to find that Monsanto is now a “bio-tech” company more or less in charge of the global food supply, more responsible than any other entity, for the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO). That Monsanto is located pert’ near the geographical center of the contiguous 48 American States (St Louis), at the center of America’s “breadbasket”, should not be surprising, if you understand modern America as a fascist construction. But then, if you think of Monsanto and America generally as a fascist construction, you probably are growing at least some of your own food, and tend to avoid GMO’s to the extent you can, and probably are in favor of labelling. In which case, if GMO’s make you uncomfortable, Monsanto thinks you are an elitist condemner of the poor, and more or less an Enemy of the State/eco-terrorist/luddite scrum. LOL. (Notice the above corporate emblem has nothing to do with health, food or people. Though Monsanto otherwise bills itself as a “Sustainable Agriculture Company”.)
How inverted has the totalitarianism of the West become, that this guy is able to make an argument about caring for the poor, and get away with it? This guy eats children for breakfast, with a side of puppy dogs and a garnish of baby rabbit balls (oops, jackass, that was not a child, that was a young woman lol.) This guy never met a fascist he wouldn’t plot the rape of the planet with, over $500 martinis. And yet America defers to clowns like this as if they are the pinnacle of evolution/imperialism, as if the requisite evil of uber-success is no barrier to gross admiration, genuflect before the gods of rapacious greed and crass materialism, all. In a just society a guy like this doesn’t exist. In this society, where corporations like Monsanto rule the roost, he gets to be a host of one of the most highly rated television shows on the mob-neutering boob-tube, (where he glories in raising the bar of cynicism in the most cynical mean-spirited nation there ever was.) Seriously, how does this Monsanto/GMO shill even get to go on television to call this principled young woman a shill, and not be widely denounced, unless this is something very like the fascist North America I claim it to be? This guy would put DDT/PCB/AGENT ORANGE in your breakfast cereal, if he thought he could make a buck and get away with it.
The interviewer here should probably be delivering these questions on his knees. Listening to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, one might be reminded of Hannah Arendts’ statement that the most common characteristic of fascism is it’s general banality.
One might better know the character of the thing, by the actions of it’s principle henchmen (less it’s public face.) For instance, the Supremacist Court (aka Supreme supporter of corporate/gov/banking rights) says if you plant non-GMO soybeans in a field next to Monsanto GMO soybeans, you cannot plant your non-GMO second-generation seeds, because of genetic drift. See, beans cross-pollinate quite easily, over long distances. So it is fairly well guaranteed, the regular soybean in one field is going to be contaminated by the GMO next door, genetically. That should be cause to say that GMO is a kind of monopolistic tyranny. But when Monsanto has more rights than people, plants or the land, the Supreme Court is just an elevated version of pit viper Monsanto lawyers glorying in the dressing-down interrogation of gentle old farmer/seed savers. This is an older piece worth reviewing. specifically 16:30-18:10
Which of course if there were any real farmers left, pit vipers like these might get a pitchfork through the heart. But most of what is left of farmers are Archer-Daniels-Midland/Cargill/Monsanto tenant agri-businessmen, who for the most part care about the health and welfare of land and people about as much as Monsanto cares about labelling GMO. Such an amoral people cloaking themselves in the morality of “feeding the world” should be repulsive; but then, in a nation ever at war, upon invasion, ordering it’s soldiers to shoot on sight every male between the ages of 16-65, spraying depleted uranium bullets all over the countryside, lecturing other nations about war crimes, the stench of hypocrisy is so thick as to choke a devil.
Clarence Thomas recently ruled in Bowman vs Monsanto , a case that basically put the final nail in the coffin of seed saving of soybeans, or even the growing of non-MonsantoGMO soybeans. He might have recused himself, being a former Monsanto lawyer, if he were a good man and not a fascist, but it hardly mattered as the decision was 9-0 in favor of Monsanto. Michael Taylor (pit viper extraordinaire), who was instrumental in assuring that GMO’s would not be labelled, and in allowing bovine growth hormones into the food supply, is Obama’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods @ the FDA (a goddamn lawyer!). Perhaps if you voted for Obama and are disappointed with his drift toward all things totalitarian, he will treat you like a spy and charge you under the espionage act for uttering in jest, the word Hope; such is the nature of governance in this age of imperial rot. As far as these people are concerned, you might as well be an Indian subsistence farmer.
So the situation as it stands, is that we in America have handed over the production of food to the enemy’s of all that is good, amoral socio-paths, psychopaths and war-criminal makers of weapons of mass destruction. America, where 200 years ago nearly everyone was engaged in the growing of food, presently a mono-cultural food desert, 2013, in thrall to warmongers. Next time someone says to you that we are feeding the world, ask them how many more desperately poor people living in abject poverty there are, than there were in 1800? The answer is, about 2-3 billion. Combined with a near complete dependence on fossil fuels in food production, and increasing Geo-political instability, that is a holocaust in the waiting, enough to make Adolf Hitler look like a pissant school yard bully.
Where do you suppose the executives of Monsanto are going to be, as that plays itself out? What about the leadership of the FDA and USDA, who have sanctified this hideous arrangement? A Congress that has allowed Monsanto GMO to proceed into the food supply without ANY human trials (the same Monsanto that was responsible for DDT, PCB’s and Agent Orange,) and minimal testing generally?
One does begin to wonder, if GMO’s are a not-so-subtle, not-so-unconscious plot to rid the world of it’s “useless eaters” ie regular people. There is an easy solution to overshoot, don’t you know? At the very least, what is the food equivalent to Goldman Sachs shorting (betting against) the toxic mortgage securities they sell to “muppet” clients? Or “defense” contractors paying politicians to talk about “humanitarian” war? Government fraternizing with al Qaeda in Syria/Libya, which “terrorists” were otherwise the impetus for eviscerating the Constitution, setting up of the total surveillance state?
Monsanto executives investing in the Health Care industry. Which you can bet they do, every single one of them, seeing as Health Care is about the only industry (other than war making) that is growing, in an economy that is otherwise stagnant. Make ’em sick and profit bookoo, off both sides of the proverbial coin.
All this focus on Monsanto, though. Don’t forget about Syngenta, or Dupont, or Dow.
I was in my local grocery store recently, and I thought to myself, is there anything in here that isn’t genetically modified, including the people?
The primary feed animals – pigs, chickens and cattle – are almost all being fed some GMO corn and soybeans. The list of additives in non-animal food products, derived from GMO corn and soybeans is extensive; effective as sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservers, etc, and so cheap (because of industrial scaling and government bias), that nearly every food product on the shelf, is likely to contain one or more on this list (I would list them all here but the list would be longer than the article.)
Which is why “they” won’t label GMO food-products as such, why they resist so intensely, the fight to inform people about what we are eating. Because if they had to label products that contain GMO, people would realize the extent to which we have been duped, treated as guinea pig science experiments. Many would be horrified, to realize virtually everything on the shelf is GMO. There would be an exodus away from GMO product, and even perhaps a kind of legal retribution, cutting severely into the profits and even freedom of those who create and use GMO to feed animals and people.
Maybe there would be an exodus. Maybe not. It is also a truism, the degree to which the mob has been neutered. While Continental Europe on the whole has refused GMO, there is nary a movement in America to require labelling, let alone cut GMO from the food supply. Whatever people like to say about corrupt corporations/gov, our faith in Authority and Expertise is overshadowed only by our Techno-narcissism. This being so strong as to be unimpeachable, no matter how fat and sickly the average American becomes, no matter to what extent our industrial/corporate “Health Care” system is bankrupting us. We are the least healthy, most doctored people on earth.
Seriously, it is impossible to imagine a more effective system of tyranny than to compromise food (and water), while providing unsustainable over-abundance, while offering up an endless banquet of entertainments. All the better to harness the power of the mob, for the purpose of the ruling of the world, and the ruling of the world is what the corporations and banks and government of America do. That is the “they”, who operate most effectively in the dark, the elite players, who resist at every turn the free flow of information about what is really going on.
At the Doomstead Diner, we have been working on something we call the Sun Project (Sustaining Universal Needs), a land acquisition non-profit. We are hoping to acquire approximately 100 acres, on which to build a self-sustaining, eco-technic permaculture farm, to sustain approximately 150 people. Long term, we hope to set up a network of such farms.
Rotational grazing of cows/cattle, pigs and chickens, value added meat and dairy products; market gardening; beer, wine and mead production; off-the-grid building/training; campgrounds; festivals. A self-sustaining and to a degree self-organizing model of neo-tribal living, combining the best and most responsible of the culture we inhabit, and the best of those cultures that were here when Europeans landed.
Permaculture is a design concept, melding the wild and the domesticated, first outlined by Bill Mollison of Australia, expanded here in America by many, including Toby Hemenway: “[Permaculture] gardens…a riotously abundant landscape in which all the pieces work together to yield food, flowers, medicinal and edible herbs, even craft supplies and income for the human inhabitants, while providing diverse habitat for helpful insects, birds and other wildlife…where nature does most of the work, but where people are as welcome as the other inhabitants of the earth.”
There is a surpassing genius inherent in nature, that Humanity has been attempting to subdue and destroy for most of the last 5000 years, accelerated especially since the “enlightenment” following the work of Bacon, Newton, Descartes et al and the birth of Science. That has come to a kind of terminus. We are 7+ billion now, at the precipice of one last desperate attempt to exploit and mine the resources of the earth to sustain a growth pattern and a way of life that is unsustainable, potentially destroying the capacity of the earth to sustain anything like our current numbers, or humans at all, or even life above the single-celled.
There is no more clinging to the status quo that is not doomed. Adapt, as nature so eloquently teaches. Seek harmony with the earth. Heal the body, heal the biosphere. Become like the waterbearers… in the coming of a new Aeon.