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GM Crops & the Agrarian Crisis

Father of Green Revolution in India Rejects GM Crops as Farmers Demand Justice in Delhi

Colin Todhunter

Farmers Protest march in Delhi

Genetically modified (GM) cotton in India is a failure. India should reject GM mustard. And like the Green Revolution, GM agriculture poses risks and is unsustainable. Regulatory bodies are dogged by incompetency and conflicts of interest. GM crops should therefore be banned.

You may have heard much of this before. But what is different this time is that the claims come from distinguished scientist P.C. Kesaven and his colleague M.S. Swaminathan, renowned agricultural scientist and geneticist and widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution in India.

Consider what campaigner and farmer Bhaskar Save wrote in his now famous open letter in 2006:

You, M.S. Swaminathan, are considered the ‘father’ of India’s so-called ‘Green Revolution’ that flung open the floodgates of toxic ‘agro’ chemicals, ravaging the lands and lives of many millions of Indian farmers over the past 50 years. More than any other individual in our long history, it is you I hold responsible for the tragic condition of our soils and our debt-burdened farmers, driven to suicide in increasing numbers every year.”

Back in 2009, Swaminathan was saying that no scientific evidence had emerged to justify concerns about GM crops, often regarded as stage two of the Green Revolution. In light of mounting evidence, however, he now condemns GM crops as unsustainable and says they should be banned in India.

In a new peer-reviewed paper in the journal Current Science, Kesaven and Swaminathan state that Bt insecticidal cotton has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers. These findings agree with those of others, many of whom the authors cite, including Dr K.R. Kranthi, former Director of the Central Institute for Cotton Research in Nagpur and Professor Andrew Paul Gutierrez and his colleagues.

The two authors conclude that both Bt crops and herbicide-tolerant crops are unsustainable and have not decreased the need for toxic chemical pesticides, the reason for these GM crops in the first place. Attention is also drawn to evidence that indicates Bt toxins are toxic to all organisms.

Kesaven and Swaminathan note that glyphosate-based herbicides, used on most GM crops, and their active ingredient glyphosate are genotoxic, cause birth defects and are carcinogenic. They also note that GM crop yields are no better than that of non-GM crops and that India already has varieties of mustard that out-yield the GM version which is now being pushed for.

The authors criticise India’s GMO regulating bodies due to a lack of competency and endemic conflicts of interest and a lack of expertise in GMO risk assessment protocols, including food safety assessment and the assessment of environmental impacts. They also question regulators’ failure to carry out a socio-economic assessment of GMO impacts on resource-poor small and marginal farmers.

Indeed, they call for “able economists who are familiar with and will prioritize rural livelihoods, and the interests of resource-poor small and marginal farmers rather than serve corporate interests and their profits.”

In the paper, it is argued that genetic engineering technology is supplementary and must be need based. In more than 99% of cases, the authors argue that time-honoured conventional breeding is sufficient. In other words, GM is not needed.

Turning to the Green Revolution, the authors say it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts. Some have argued that a more ‘systems-based’ approach to agriculture would mark a move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking and would properly address concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution.

In fact, Kesaven and Swaminathan note that a sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’ based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’ would guarantee equitable food security by ensuring access of rural communities to food.

There is a severe agrarian crisis in India and the publication of their paper (25 November) was very timely. It came just three days before tens of thousands of farmers from all over India gathered in Delhi to march to parliament to present their grievances and demands for justice to the Indian government.

According to the Charter of Indian Farmers, released to coincide with the farmers’ march in Delhi:

Farmers are not just a residue from our past; farmers, agriculture and village India are integral to the future of India and the world.”

Successive administrations in India have however tended to view Indian farmers as a hindrance to the needs of foreign agricapital and have sought to run down smallholder-based agriculture – the backbone of Indian farming – to facilitate the interests of global agribusiness under the guise of ‘modernising’ the sector, thereby ridding it of its ‘residue’ farmers.

To push this along, we now have a combination of World Bank directives and policies; inappropriate commodity cropping; neoliberal trade and a subsequent influx of (subsidised) agricultural imports; and deregulation, privatisation and a withdrawal of government support within the farm sector, which are all making agriculture economically unviable for many farmers.

And that’s the point, to drive them out of agriculture towards the cities, to change the land laws, to usher in contract farming and to displace the existing system of smallholder cultivation and village-based food production with one suited to the needs of large-scale industrial agriculture and the interests of global seed, pesticide, food processing and retail corporations like Monsanto-Bayer, Cargill and Walmart. The aim is to lay the groundwork to fully incorporate India into a fundamentally flawed and wholly exploitative global capitalist food regime.

And integral to all of this is the ushering in of GM crops. But as Kesaven and Swaminathan imply, GM agriculture would only result in further hardship for farmers and more difficulties.

Of course, these two authors are not the first to have questioned the efficacy of GM crops or to have shown the science or underlying premises of GM technology to be flawed. Researchers whose views or findings have been unpalatable to the GMO industry in the past have been subjected to vicious smear campaigns.

Despite the distinguished nature of the two scientists (or more likely because they are so distinguished and influential) who have written this current paper, we may well witness similar attacks in the coming days and weeks by those who have a track record of cynically raising or lowering the bar of ‘credibility’ by employing ad hominem and misrepresentation to suit their pro-GMO agenda.

And that’s because so much is at stake. India presents a massive multi-billion-dollar market for the GMO industry which already has a range of GM crops from mustard and chickpea to wheat, maize and rice in the pipeline for Indian agriculture. The last thing the industry wants is eminent figures speaking out in this way.

And have no doubt, GM crops – and their associated chemical inputs – are huge money spinners. For example, in a 2017 article in the Journal of Peasant Studies, Glenn Stone and Andrew Flachs note that Indian farmers plant the world’s largest area to cotton and buy over USD 2.5 billion worth of insecticides yearly but spend only USD 350 million on herbicides. The potential for herbicide market growth is enormous and industry looks for sales to reach USD 800 million by 2019. Moreover, herbicide-tolerant GM traits are the biotechnology industry’s biggest money maker by far, with 86 per cent of the world’s GM acres in 2015 containing plants resistant to glyphosate or glufosinate. However, the only GM crop now sold in India is Bt cotton.

If we move beyond the cotton sector, the value capture potential for the GMO biotech sector is enormous. Clearly, there is much at stake for the industry.

The negative impacts of the Green Revolution can be reversed. But if commercial interests succeed in changing the genetic core of the world’s food supply, regardless of warnings about current failures of this technology and its unintended consequences at scientific, social and ecological levels, there may be no going back. Arrogance and ignorance passed off as ‘scientific’ certainty is not the way forward. That was a salient point when Bhaskar Save outlined his concerns about the impacts of the Green Revolution to Swaminathan back in 2006.

Scientists can and do change their views when presented with sufficient evidence about the flaws and negative impacts of technologies. This is how science and debate move forward, something which seems lost on the industry-backed scientists and ideologues who tout for GM.

It also seems lost on politicians who seem more intent on doing the bidding of foreign agricapital rather than listening to Indian farmers and following a more appropriate agroecologically-based route for rural development.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

Filed under: agriculture, GMO, India, latest, multipolar world

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Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

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vexarb

http://thesaker.is/vesti-special-report-incredible-year-of-harvests-in-russia-as-country-tops-world-grain-markets/

Bumper Year of non-GMO Harvests in Russia as Country Tops World Grain Markets

Frankly Speaking
Frankly Speaking

Releasing GMO into the wild has to be the single most reckless action ever undertaken by humans in our long existence. We have no idea how this will pan out for the future of life on our planet, even when we’re no longer around once we’ve nuked ourselves or been exterminated by AI.

Badger Down
Badger Down

“evidence that indicates Bt toxins are toxic to all organisms”
All organisms except humans,right? They can’t be suggesting that we wear toxic T-shirts and eat toxic food!?

Brozza
Brozza

To quote the Aussie rock band Midnight Oil, “Who can stand in the way, when there’s a dollar to be made”

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson

GM crops are a symptomatic treatment for the underlying problem, low soil fertility. Not growing GM crops does nothing about the underlying problem. Improve the soil fertility and there is no need for GM crops. So simple.
There is only one dumb species when it comes to nutrition. When they have the choice, all other species choose their food according to the soil that grows it, not according to the type of plant. Soil fertility is the ability of the soil to produce protein.

jag37777

Despite common public perception, the so called Green Revolution was a massive failure if measured against the stated aims and claims.

And yes, it is still killing today.

kevin morris
kevin morris

Brings to mind the sacking of Dr Pusztai, the GM researcher who warned on TV of the potential dangers of GM potatoes and was sacked on the direct instigation by Tony Blair. The people of Europe have been unequivocal on the dangers of GM food, but Europe, HM Government and the BBC keep on trying. God forbid that we should end up like the Yanks who consume this junk by the shovel full and pay the price in the deterioration of their health.

olavleivar
olavleivar

Recently I received a similar update on the Situation of Farming in India form an EXCELLENT INDIAN Blogger >

https://wideawakegentile.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/indias-existentialist-agrarian-crisis-and-the-nwo/

Reading this an Old treatise on the Situation of Agriculture in India came to my Mind > “The Restoration of the Peasantries With especial reference to that of India” By G.T. Wrench, M.D. (Lond.)

http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/Wrench_Rest/RestToC.html

… where the Author reminds about the Importance of preservation of a Healthy Soil using ancient wellknown Methods …

Secondly ofc there is the method of FINANCING where the Thoughts of another Economic Thinker may be of Value >
“The Manifesto for the Abolition of Enslavement to Interest on Money” by Gottfried Feder

https://archive.org/details/manifesto-for-abolition-enslavement-interest-on-money-gottfried-feder

and finally it may be prudent to shoot some of the Agents of the Globalist Cartels and their GMO retailers ..in order to create the necessary FEAR and thereby RESPECT … before the Corrupt Political Apparatus will listen

writerroddis
writerroddis

An excellent, soberly reasoned piece. To pick up on just one point, Colin says:

“And that’s the point, to drive [small farmers] out of agriculture towards the cities, to change the land laws, to usher in contract farming and to displace the existing system of smallholder cultivation and village-based food production with one suited to the needs of large-scale industrial agriculture and the interests of global seed, pesticide, food processing and retail corporations like Monsanto-Bayer, Cargill and Walmart.”

Indeed. With the added bonus, for imperialism’s extraction of super profits from the global south – an exploitation on which capitalism’s ability and willingness (both declining) to buy off workers in the global north is premised – of depressing wages even further in the factories of Gujerat and, this being a far from exclusively Indian phenomenon) of Dacca.

See in this respect John Smith’s also excellent, Imperialism in the Twenty-first Century, reviewed at:

http://steelcityscribblings.uk/wp/2017/08/17/how-imperialism-works/

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Instead of ‘Would you like fries with that?’
It’s become ‘You’ll NEED poison with that!’
It’s Capital$chi$m feeding itself.
It’s American style exploitation.
Corporate avarice knows no bounds.
Sustainability and justice are here>>
https://permaculturenews.org/what-is-permaculture/

frank
frank

Johnson & Johnson may have known about ‘carcinogens’ in baby powder since 1971
https://www.rt.com/usa/446510-johnson-baby-powder-asbestos/

“Johnson & Johnson knew “for decades” that their talcum baby powder contained asbestos and worked to conceal it from federal regulators and the public, an investigation by Reuters has found.”

Antonym
Antonym

Old fathers can be wrong too; here a reply full with arguments in the Hindu newspaper: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/dont-believe-the-anti-gmo-campaign/article25712235.ece

BigB
BigB

Antonym

Corporate scientists don’t understand the climate, but the lobby research scientists DO understand transgenic crop issues: which one is it?

This is a propaganda piece written by a former director of the Indian Institute of Science, citing the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, the U.S.’ National Academy of Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences and the Indian National Science Academy in cherrypicking data support of GMO.

On the issue of “abiotic problems like drought flood, salinity, etc” he mentions that GE crops are the solution; without reference to the issue of rainfed v irrigated GMOs, which may well be causal. Asiatic cotton produces similar yield to bt cotton under rainfed conditions. I would say ‘natural’ rainfed conditions, however, I am no longer sure what is natural and what is anthropogenic.

Here are some of the studies the venerable professor didn’t have access to at the time of writing:

http://indiagminfo.org/bt-cotton-official-reports/bt-cotton-civil-society-other-reports/

Here are 750 more:

http://contraosagrotoxicos.org/sdm_downloads/transgenic-crops-hazards-and-uncertainties-more-than-750-studies-disregarded-by-the-gmos-regulatory-bodies/

Apparently, glyphosate is good to drink. I’ve heard it tastes like Kool Aid, doesn’t it? 😉

axisofoil
writerroddis
writerroddis

Well that goes without saying, axisofoil 😉

bevin
bevin

The problem is capitalist agriculture which demands constantly increasing commodity production while labour inputs decline. The purpose of agriculture under capitalism is not to produce food but to instill, in commodities, such as cotton, wheat, hemp and rice, both labour and natural fertility. These can then be mobilised, through the market, and turned into capital.

India’s agricultural problems can all be traced back to imperialism as the British rulers, intent on maximising their revenues, experimented with various ways of turning the peasant’s land and labour into loot. Inevitably this meant commodity production for the market. Ir is exactly the same system as that which led to the obscenity of barges overflowing with butter and meat , bound for foreign markets passing crowds of starving communities on the banks of Ireland’s rivers and canals. India lives in a permanent famine in which the poor, including primarily the cultivators and their families, starve while the fruits of their labour and the lands which clearly belong to them,-whatever the law may hold- are whisked off to markets for sale.
It is an old story- large tracts of land historically dedicated to mixed ‘farming’ producing, subsistence crops and animal fodder as well as other crops, such as opium poppies, cotton etc, are turned into commodity plantations producing export crops at the lowest possible cost in terms of labour. The country people are discovered to be surplus and consigned to the slums there to sell themselves or die, while the products of the land are consumed far away.
The problem with GM cotton is, in the first place, why should the country people be employing their land to grow cotton, which they cannot eat or sell? It is not because they use it to make cloth with. Any more than they use poppies to serve as soporifics and painkillers.
The problem with the Green Revolution is that it was designed to turn the environments of millions, the descendants of those who had lived there since time immemorial, into plantations in which a few men on tractors. leased, as are the fertilisers and seeds, from usurers produce crops for the market. The locals, if they can do so, buy their food, often cheap, imported and over refined, at the shops also owned by the usurers.
Never mind the idiocy of the Generic Modification of seeds or the poisons dumped on land in place of the manure which is causing diseases in the city, consider, rather, the criminality of taking the gardens and-God given- allotments of the people and using them to produce cut flowers for European supermarkets and dope for gangsters to sell in schoolyards and pubs. While of those who inherited the land, a few are retained to dive machines and die of chemical poisons, the luckiest live out their lives as debt peons and the great majority are driven into the cities there to be devoured by capitalists.

writerroddis
writerroddis

I don’t do God myself, bevin, and can’t be sure from that “God-given”, whether you do or are simply being rhetorical. In any case, an admirably well informed comment.

Slightly off topic, I wonder whether whoever disliked it would care to man up and say why …

Badger Down
Badger Down

I didn’t vote it either way. But saying “India’s agricultural problems can all be traced back to imperialism” is just stupid.
India’s agricultural problems include droughts in Rajasthan, floods on the west coast and Bengal delta, poor soil on the Deccan, and a bunch of others.
True, the Brits and the Jewish East India Company created more problems.

Badger Down
Badger Down

Oh yeah, and this movie (Le Fleuve, dir. Jean Renoir) is drop-dead awesome:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043972/

bevin
bevin

“..he Jewish East India Company.”- Now that is stupid.

As to the origins of India’s agricultural problems lying in imperialism: India had lived with droughts and monsoons and the vagaries of soil distribution for many years before the systematic plundering of revenues and the consequent necessity of tightening control over the land led to the imposition of private property regimes after the Cornwallis Settlement in Bengal.
A recent study guesses (conservatively, in my view) that the UK extracted a net in excess of $45 trillion in the period between Plassey and 1948. And most of that came from the sweat of the village cultivators.

BigB
BigB

Bevin

The humble cotton plant: source of human enslavement and violent exploitation wherever it is grown. Source of wealth for slave traders from the Mughal Empire, the East India Company, the trans-Pennine cotton (dark Satanic) mills, the Deep South. Kickstarter of the UK/US Industrial Revolution, from water to coal, so that they could speed up the dehumanisation process. Cause of tariffs and protectionism that meant it was ‘cheaper’ for India to export raw cotton and re-import the fabric and textiles: from the aforementioned subsidised mills – where women and children were worked to death in completely unregulated conditions …for a tidy protectionist profit, of course. The exploitation and degradation, human and environmental, inspired a young Engels to write “The condition of the working class in England in 1844” …the alienation contributed to Marx and Engels “Communist Manifesto”.

The humble cotton plant: the story of which is symbolic of the industrialisation of capitalism and the inherent dehumanisation. Now we have new, improved-beyond-nature, scientifically-engineered transgenic dehumanisation: symbolised by ‘W129 Bt Cotton’. Some label this technocratic civilisational ‘progress’. It seems to me nothing much has changed.

BigB
BigB

More excellence from Colin. It is, of course, self-evident that we need a “sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’ based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’ [which] would guarantee equitable food security by ensuring access of rural communities to food.” Only, why stop there?

The current hegemonic ideological hypothesis of humanity is profoundly Cartesian. It presents (as a universalised system of Natural Laws) an instrumental non-integrative reductionist manifesto for all we do. All human meta-systems, such as agriculture, rely on a readily definable set of assumptions about how we relate to the environment. They constitute a Cartesian-Newtonian-Darwinian mechano-mathematico-logic or empirico-rational synthesis. In short: it is a profoundly ‘disembodied’* instrumental Separationist thesis.

[* defined below]

An ” ‘Evergreen Revolution’ based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture” represents a paradigm shift to a new model of mind: hence the clash of two world views …the Dominant and the Heretic. The Dominant hegemonic model has accrued the relevant institutionalised power architecture to impose its Cartesian quasi-theocratic ‘Will’ and ‘Dominion’ to assume ‘Status Hierarchy’ over the Heretic. Agriculture is reductively compartmentalised; linearised; and instrumentalised by the extended institutional agency of the Dominant. The Heretic – represented herein by the systems based Evergreen Revolution – represents a challenge not just to the agriculture subset of the Dominant. It represents a challenge to the whole Dominant paradigm. It is a profoundly Integrationist (emergent, interactional, inter-relational, ’embodied’) rationale which poses a ‘model crisis’ threat to the instrumental rationale of the Dominant.

Hence, the broader significance of the struggle that the Indian farmers face. The ‘Indian farmers’ should perhaps be legitimated and integrated as a spearpoint of ‘Humanities Vanguard’ against the dehumanising, exploitative, violent racist, instrumentalised, profit-motivated, institutionalised ways of the past. Ways which are the violent apogee of expression of a dominant, imperial, globalised, urbanised, socio-politico-cultural, ideological hypothesis that I could name a ‘Dis-Embodied Anthropogenic THeology’ …or pan-historic way of DEATH.

‘Disembodied’: I would define as a hypothesis of separation and Otherisation (objectification). Wherein, reality is ‘mind-independent’; and ‘mind’ is the kernel of a Self that is independent of even action – hence, ‘disembodied’. Mind alone is real: everything else (including body) is mind-approximated and Other …unknowably Other. This is the extremisation of Cartesianism that results in a hermeneutically-sealed (a closed meaning cycle) of the individuated mind. This is the DEATH cell which views the world as a transference object: a less-than-living inferiority and an affordance of only profit motivation…not primary meaning.

If we start to take a systems Evergreen Revolution approach – the farmers eye-view – that human fertility and meaning are interwoven and integrated into the village ecosystem; which is nested in the ecosystemic inter-relation of humanity, soil, plant, water table; waterways; hydrological cycles; seasonal weather cycles; the broader biotic life cycles and their inter-communities …we risk creating a broadly interactive, relational web of interbeing and a living planet ontology. If we were to conclude that this living planet was not a community that entailed a dubious externality to us …we might have to interactively participate in the broader biodiverse communities of life: as life participating celebrationally in the diversity and integrity of life. If we were to celebrate our existence as equal partners and co-creators of the bio-communities of life: where every living expression – from the microbe to the ‘macrobe’ – was celebrated as a unique individual patterning with ontological relevance to the whole: a ‘meaning’ and a viable ‘ends’ in its own living uniqueness …would we not have to incorporate this truly individuational view as a reflectance in our socio-politico-cultural systems? Perhaps as a non-hierarchical, nondual, integrated egalitarian systems approach … an ‘Evergreen Revolutionary’ integration of life-systems modelled on life-systems*?

[* An integrative system of nested ‘autopoietic’ community subsystems – that is systemic self-contained units that are the productions of their own production (autopoiesis = ‘self-making’) – which integrate to contribute to the emergence of a self-generative, self-regulating living system. LIFE generates life: where LIFE is also a systemic acronym for a Living Interconnected Formula of Embodiment …where embodiment is the nondual interaction (enaction) of organism and environment – LIFE is bio-cognisant, ‘eco-literate’ and the embodiment of all biotic life].

As a co-creational, co-evolutionary, participatory and celebratory community partner in life: you are right. Who would want to live like that? And where would the profit lie?

writerroddis
writerroddis

I agree with pretty much all of this, BigB. Where we might differ is in my insistence that these life negatiing affronts are all premised on the operation of the law of value under the criminal insanity of capitalism.

Shit, I really must knuckle down and write that defence, of Marx’s labour theory of value, I’ve been threatening for at least two years! One reason being that said LoV is widely (mis)understood in narrowly economistic terms. Marx was pointing not only to the material but also the mental and spiritual liberation of humanity, very much in the ways you allude to. Indeed, though Marx the man was limited of course, as all of us are, by the outer edges of what it’s possible even to imagine in any given epoch, his dialectical method has continuing – nay, continually expanding – implications way beyond what Cartesian duality can reckon with. I’d better shut up though as I’m skiing way off piste …

milosevic
milosevic

If workers in the First World are paid 25 dollars per hour to produce bombs, which are dropped on workers in the Third World to ensure that they continue to be paid 25 cents per hour, what then remains of the Labour Theory of Value?

BigB
BigB

Phillip

It’s not “off-piste” for me, but then I’m way off piste most of the time myself. The LoV is entirely apposite: but it is itself an observation of the externalised effects of a mind separated from reality. It is an extremised root dualisation of the exploitation of the primary self (the capitalists) violently imposed on the (inferiorised, infantilised, dehumanised) Other (the proletariat workers). The dialectical inherence is the sense of alienation experienced by the Other. Alienation from work (the products of their own labour); the environment; each other (social essence); and last, but definitely not least – from their own humanity (Gattungswesen: species essence or being). Both groups (classes) develop a mutual antipathy – a vicious dialectical looping – to the overall detriment of our society and universal humanity. The historical dialectic is the result of co-mutual objectification (Otherisation) of different (hierarchical) classes.

This is causal of a totalised global human alienation and anomie (social and environmental dukkha): but it is not the root of the root cause – the self-view (atma-drsti) is. A consistent criticism of Marx is that he relegates the importance of the subjective self identity for the identity developed in social relations: human nature is mutable and epochal. As we (unconsciously) change our environment, we change ourselves (unthinkingly toward our own nihilation or anti-Being (of Nothingness)). We cannot even begin to know our true nature (species-being): we can only know the epochal self-view under the global extraction of surplus value …destined to be the ‘Accursed Share’ forcefully exploited beyond our actual spiritual sufficiency (via the creation of false consciousness wants, needs, and desires) …only to be wasted (creating false scarcity which multiplies the continuation of false want and desire). We are what we have globally become.

The global epochal archetypal man (and it is a definitively male effigy) is a subjectivised-Ubermensch of Homo Economicus …the unhuman self-maximising machine-age consciousness. This is not a person: it is the alter-ego totemic model our societies serve to idolise …to venerate, valorise, and unconsciously sacrifice our humanity to. The individual identity, under our current regime of material relations, is an eroticised uber-individuated false consciousness of grasping greed and desire (pancha upadana skandha: lit. – ‘five bundles of grasping fuel’ (the Buddhist ‘Big 5’ psychology)). Again, this is not a personality as such, but an ingroup mentality (adherence to, and success within the possessing ingroup can be predicted by a certain index profile of the Western ‘Big Five’ personality traits). This is the epochal primary self: to which all else Other (the possessing ingroup is so monopolised – the 1-5% – that the entirety of humanity and environment is now Otherised). Much as the LoV predicted it would.

I’m way off-piste on a black run now, but if you will indulge me just a little longer. We (the global Other) need to reclaim the process of individuation – and thus our social anthropology – back. What does it mean to be human? What is our Gattungswesen? How do we harness our collective productive forces to thrive without destroying the very fabric of our survival? How do we consciously learn to regeneratively shape our environment and rehabilitate our alienated selves? Why the fuck are we still asking the questions in the 21st century, when we know the answers, and should be harmoniously living the biocentric dream by now?

To do this, we need a new theory of individuation, that shifts the onus from false-want Having (pancha upadana skandha) to Being (bodhicitta;Gattungswesen): from a conceptual reality no one wants to this very singlepoint penetration (ekagrata) of unique meaning we co-create here-and-now. Having is the psychological proxy and displacement of denied (alienated) Gattungswesen. No amount of proxy wealth or ersatz-immortality power can compensate the loss, denial, and alienation from Gattungswesen.

The thing is, Phillip, we know all this; intuitively …no one has to be told. We know what is real and meaningful: what has value is in our socialisation, not our atomisation. We are a Gattungswesen: a species-being who thrives from the life, love, music, art of empathetic interbeing. There is no reason, other than our received and internalised abstract conception of self, that our ‘forces of production’ (or better still, our play of production, or creative love or art of production (poiesis – making: autopoiesis – regenerative self-making)) cannot be organised around the valorisation of a Universal Humanism? Once we reclaim our humanity.

The greatest story never told is that we can live in abundance by switching our values from without (cognising fetishised objects; commoditising Gattungswesen) to within (de-objectifying and re-sacralising Gattungswesen) as the existential lived experience. Capitalism creates a false consciousness narrative model of individuation which is a mass-reproduced one-dimensional deteriorated copy of the real thing. The paradox is: it is not individual at all …we are unique and singular (to differentiate from false-promise of capitalist individuality).

To paraphrase Paulo Freire: it is the oppressed Other alone that has the opportunity to liberate both the oppressed and oppressor. As Marx said before him (in Estranged Labour):

Man is a species-being, not only because he practically and theoretically makes the species – both his own and those of other things – his object, but also – and this is simply another way of saying the same thing – because he looks upon himself as the present, living species, because he looks upon himself as a universal and therefore free being

Time to claim our uniqueness and freedom back.

milosevic
milosevic

Both groups (classes) develop a mutual antipathy – a vicious dialectical looping – to the overall detriment of our society and universal humanity. The historical dialectic is the result of co-mutual objectification (Otherisation) of different (hierarchical) classes.

stupid workers — if only they had the sense to love their oppressors, all these problems would immediately disappear.

This revelation is one of the eternal Moral Truths, as propounded by the sages of the Roman Empire. It’s characteristic of the Lower Orders in all societies, that they’re too morally debased to understand the wisdom of their Betters, whose only intentions are benevolent.

BigB
BigB

So the workers hate their bosses, and the bosses hate their workers …that’s natural. Then by some happenstance, the workers get to be bosses, and utilise their shiny new power ethic to oppress new workers… So the workers hate the new bosses ……you get it. It’s the pan-historic generation of oppression.

How do we break the cycle? What Freire pointed out is unnatural: it is only the oppressed who can divest the inheritance and internalisation of the will to oppress. The power elite of oppression won’t do it. Maybe love is too strong, but a hatred of oppression strong enough to transcend the will to oppress. Strong enough to open the space to create a new set of altruistic values: not received or internalised oppressive values. The will to peace, not power. Created dialogically from the willingness not to repeatedly repeat the historical normative of oppression.

It’s a novel ideal: maybe humanity will try it one day?

writerroddis
writerroddis

Definitely to be continued, BigB. Have yourself a merry Christmas.

BigB
BigB

And you. Don’t really do Christmas, the pagan festival of consumerism… but I will celebrate peace and goodwill for all humanity. Happy Winter Solstice!

State Sposored Terrorism Takes Many Forms
State Sposored Terrorism Takes Many Forms

open the floodgates of toxic ‘agro’ chemicals, ravaging the lands and lives of many millions of Indian farmers .. driven to suicide in increasing numbers every year

And the Empire has done so without dropping a single bomb.

Treaties behind closed doors can do wonders. The Empire managed to get the victims themselves to pay real money and real blood for a behemoth catastrophe –for the destruction of their livelyhood.

You can’t call Uncle Sam dumb on this one.

milosevic
milosevic

What, exactly, would prevent individual Indian farmers from telling Monsanto to just f*** off?

State Sposored Terrorism Takes Many Forms
State Sposored Terrorism Takes Many Forms

– Trade treaties that ban protests
– Outright misleading and shoddy promises about outcomes/end results
– Debt bondage
– Small prints in contracts
– Normalising predatory practices

– The complexities of the games makes any sane person go numb/insane/berserk/snap.

Badger Down
Badger Down

Clever marketing. Fake research. College-educated salespeople. Actors in white coats on the TV and billboards.