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Ending a Century of Ecocide and Genocide, Seeding Earth Democracy


#1

Ending a Century of Ecocide and Genocide, Seeding Earth Democracy

Vandana Shiva

For more than a century, a poison cartel has experimented with and developed chemicals to kill people, first in Hitler's concentration camps and the war, later by selling these chemicals as inputs for industrial agriculture.

In a little over half a century, small farmers have been uprooted everywhere, by design, further expanding the toxic fields of the industrial agriculture.


#2

That's a depressing report - in my opinion, because it is true.

We are also washing our soils into the sea - 60 years left until they are largely gone, according to one report. That's so terrifying I can hardly write coherently.

That is an issue which is right alongside and contemporaneous with climate change, the ongoing and accelerating sixth extinction, the growing threat of pandemic disease, artificial intelligence, the pervasive security state, the new cold war, the prediction from the 90 percent paper of the complete crash of the world ocean fisheries by 2048, and on and on...

These thoughts haunt many of my waking moments, and are always somewhere in the background of my mind.

I imagine I am not alone in this.

A "Peoples Assembly" - the United Nations - where to turn?

The courts?

Maybe - but since Magna Carta in the 1200 England they too have been largely neutralized, the primary right of the people on a jury to decide first and foremost on the "justice" of the contravened law itself having been long ago done away with, by the modern equivalent of King John - the capitalist kings of the world today - and most egregiously - enacted by the many career oriented up and comers we call mangers and politicians and engineers and scientists and on and on - accomplices in the undoing of the world.

The primacy of justice rather than "laws" must somehow become our guiding principle.

In his book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", Pirsig asks through an ancient Greek dialogue:

"And what is good Phaedrus - and what is not good ?
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

I think not.

Like the "pure democrats" - the Apaches in John C. Cremony's book "Life Among the Apaches", each citizen must know their own heart, and act accordingly.

You don't have to be an investor you know - it really is an individual decision.

While I think these grand initiatives such as the UN and this People's Assembly might be good - even necessary - I remain unconvinced of their ultimate efficacy.

Somehow, children must be raised who believe in themselves - who know their history and pre-history - who know how to eat - who know how to think for themselves - who understand that:

"perfection is achieved - not when there is nothing more to add - but when there is nothing more to take away"

  • Antoine de Saint - Exupery in "Wind, Sand and Stars"

#3

Thank you Vandana Shiva,

I have a hunch you perceive democracy as a vital tool to focus distributed intelligence, something like a the lens for modern information theory.

Here is a new online voting tool to assist. Yes, there are many online polling techniques. The difference here is an attempt to include nuance beyond binary. It is a simple start; the choice mechanism is functional and actual recording of choices in a data base is very close to complete.

Please check back if you like the idea. http://www.autonomousdemocracy.org


#4

Thanks for the outline, and the Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote.

Along these lines, as i've written here before - while "What are you willing to do?" is an important question in regard to addressing the panoply of accelerating and synergistic mega-crises that you outline - "What are you willing to do without?" is perhaps the more important, and more powerful, question.


#5

I'm not an expert at all but CRISPR technology seems petty exciting to me and seems to avoid many of the issues people have with transgenic modification (ie it's more precise and more predictable and involves editing genes rather than mashing different genes together).

The patent situation is a legal/economic problem and really should be separated intellectually from the scientific question. Especially since this is a genie which will not go back into the bottle.

I'm a major supporter of organic agriculture and I'm not in favor of GMOs as currently practiced. But gene modification isn't going away. The problem is largely the corporate capitalist economic system and the anti-social practices of multinationals like Monsanto and Bayer.

Monsanto's merger with Bayer is a good move. Just like Philip Morris becoming the Altrira Group (now one of the largest food distribution companies in the world), with a wave of a pen they will shed the horrible reputation they have earned for themselves over decades of shameful practices, but the practices will remain the same. We need to continue building the movement for organic practices and to call out the villains, whatever they name themselves.


#6

Sowing the seeds of survival


#7

No Seed

Some flower
no seed
no bulb
no pod

my children draw old dreams
in the dirt
their hands remember
letting go

seed
no bean
no pit
no wings with a sliver of life

I had a voice of wind
the water washed
the start of trees
to every corner
of the known seas

no island
no coast
the rice sinks
the tubers blacken

We lose our ways to speak
to give directions
to ask about home

the rain
means flood
the rivers suck the coasts
into fire

whole mountains
burn
or dump their trucks of dirt
into the fingers
of the breath
of the world

seed lost
seed sewn into a seam

seed with mold
one old seed
almost forgotten
performs miracles

a secret hard to keep.


#8

"Most of the 300,000 farmers suicides are in the cotton belt."

That doesn't mean there is a direct causal relationship. And Shiva used to be unabashed in claiming there was a direct link, but now she's scaled back to a more technically defensible claim that just implies causation. That sure looks like she now realizes she cannot back up her previous contentions.

http://issues.org/30-2/keith/


#9

Hi Dr. Shiva!

Someone should organize Mesoamerican governments to get together and file an international law suit against any companies like Monsanto and others that have patented any Corn-Maize, Tomato, Squash, and Peppers seeds (to name a few) because after all it was the Mesoamericans who after thousands of years of artificial selection of grass seeds, became to create what we now know as corn (Matsuoka et al., 2002).

In my humble view no patent on corn should have any legal value because the original seed was domesticated by Mezoamerica to begin with. At the very least they should get some royalty on any corn production for having invested ten thousand years in inventing and perfecting it. Anyway the whole idea of seed patenting is simply absurd, but while the system is still in place we can use the same legal system against them.

Best,
Alex
AgroMe Inc.
Toronto, Canada


#10

Thank you for publishing this article.

Agree. Here in the U.S. Jill Stein (Green Party), is the only presidential candidate who will rein in GMO/Pesticides (Monsanto) and likely to begin trials.


#11

I'm glad you like Exupery.

And I like your handle - 'webwalk'.

I keep looking for the 'place to stand' which will enable sufficient change to prevent annihilation.

Best guess right now - Rights for the Environment - as outlined in the legal argument ca 1972 by Professor of Law Christopher Stone:

"Should Trees Have Standing"

and more recently, at the People's Conference on Climate Change in Bolivia in 2009.

Perhaps, if this 'just' law were adopted, perhaps as a constitutional amendment, or even as a statement of principal by Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, the legal apparatus might be able to immediately constrain currently unconstrained corporate entities from operating as pathological 'persons' - until we eventually find a way to curtail their depredations of both the human and the natural world - which I suppose are really the same thing.

"Should Trees Have Standing" is available I believe on the internet for free (in rudimentary form). Any good law library will also have a copy.

Ciao 'webwalk'


#13

OK - I'm all ears !