[permaculture] Capitalism works fine, I just don't want it.

John Schinnerer john at eco-living.net
Mon Jul 21 12:53:27 EDT 2003


> This is where I disagree. I think that the current social and economic
> systems are doing precisely what they are designed to do. They aren't
> flawed designs -- they work. I don't want these designs, but that doesn't
> mean they are flawed.
> Analogy: I don't want nuclear bombs, precisely because I know that they
> do what they were designed to do. They aren't flawed design -- nuclear
> bombs work... but I don't want them.
> Robert Waldrop made some good points about markets and violence.

Yep, they do what they're designed to do very well, namely centralize
money and power to a few people via divide and conquer.
Herewith, an example of how democracy and capitalism work in the USA:

> >
> > Monsanto is suing Portland, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy for labeling
> > their milk "Our Farmers' Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones."
> > According to Monsanto, manufacturer of the genetically engineered
> > recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (known as rBGH or rBST), Oakhurst
> > Dairy does not have the right to let its customers know whether its
> > milk is laced with genetically engineered hormones. Oakhurst says
> > they've been labeling their products like this for four years, in
> > response to consumer demand.
> >
> > Although rBGH has been banned in every industrialized nation in the
> > world except for the United States, Monsanto continues to claim that
> > rBGH-derived milk is no different from the natural stuff, despite
> > documentation that rBGH milk contains substantially higher levels of
> > a potent cancer tumor promoter called IGF-1. Monsanto sued two
> > dairies and threatened several thousand retailers in 1994 for
> > labeling or advertising milk and dairy products as "rBGH-free."
> > Despite Monsanto's intimidation tactics, more than 10% of U.S. milk
> > is currently labeled as "rBGH-free," while sales of organic milk and
> > dairy products (which prohibit rBGH) are booming.
> >
> > In recent months a Monsanto-funded front group, the Center for
> > Consumer Freedom, has launched a smear campaign against organic
> > dairies, including Organic Valley, claiming they are defrauding
> > consumers. http://www.organicconsumers.org/rbgh/071303_rbgh.cfm
> >
> > For a full discussion on the rBGH controversy, see the rBGH section
> > on the OCA website: http://www.organicconsumers.org/rbghlink.html
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
> > Question: How is it that every industrialized nation in the world has
> > banned Monsanto's rBGH as unsafe, but it's legal (and unlabeled) in
> > the United States?
> >
> > Answer: In order for the FDA to determine if Monsanto's growth
> > hormones were safe or not, Monsanto was required to submit a
> > scientific report on that topic. Margaret Miller, one of Monsanto's
> > researchers put the report together. Shortly before the report
> > submission, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA. Her first
> > job for the FDA was to determine whether or not to approve the report
> > she wrote for Monsanto. In short, Monsanto approved its own report.
> > Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan
> > Sechen. Deciding whether or not rBGH-derived milk should be labeled
> > fell under the jurisdiction of another FDA official, Michael Taylor,
> > who previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto.

For a more complete understanding of how well democracy and capitalism
work (especially on behalf of the people behind the legal entities known
as 'corporations'), see George Draffan's new book "The Elite Consensus:
When Corporations Wield the Constitution."

John Schinnerer, MA
- Eco-Living -
Cultural & Ecological Designing
People - Place - Learning - Integration
john at eco-living.net

More information about the permaculture mailing list