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Mickey Monsanto the Sorceror’s Apprentice

By On

I’ve been meditating recently on the dominionist model - as concisely laid out in Genesis:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”

Dominionism is deeply embedded in our culture - and that of all the “people of the book” - Christians, Muslims, and Jews. So deeply embedded that it’s not examined - it’s just how we look at the world, as our property, for us, in God’s image, and thus higher and more important than any other creature, to control and use for our benefit and our benefit alone. And it’s implicit in the capitalist worldview, which is based on a model of continuous growth - as if the planet and its resources were infinite, by virtue of our assuming it to be so.

And we have institutionalized dominionism in strange and perverse ways. Consider the “War on (some) Drugs” - its model is to define some drugs, all either plant-based or out of patent, and therefore yielding no potential for rent extraction, as “bad”, and the people who use them, generally marginal people, musicians and such, also as “bad”. Thereby, prohibition as the cure for these “bad” drugs protects the markets for pharmaceutical drugs still within patent, and a means to oppress the marginal and socially undesirable. Further, the prohibitionists figured out how to make the “War on Drugs” an instrument of US power and dominion in foreign lands. Consider Plan Colombia, under which the US committed $7.5 billion to arm and train Colombian military personnel to “interdict” coca crops in that country. Essentially, to use US military funding to destroy coca plants and the livelihoods of the peasants who grow the stuff. During the years 2000-2003, US-funded aerial spraying programs sprayed almost a million acres of Colombian farmland with Roundup, in order to eliminate coca plants and hence the supply of cocaine. The result? An increase in coca production, as farmers just moved their operations into areas not previously sprayed. And, proof that Mother Nature bats last, there is now a Roundup-resistant coca variety, Bolivian Negra.

Which is to say that dominionism, as in all plans of mice and men, “gang aft agley”. A consolation, to be sure, in a world where man’s power to destroy far exceeds his ability to understand. Like the sorceror’s apprentice, we are playing with things we only dimly understand - just ask the people of Fukushima how they feel about nuclear power - and ignoring the fundamental fallacies of our worldview. Examples abound - recently, GMO grass seed developed by Scott’s (makers of Miracle Grow) has escaped from test beds and is now threatening Oregon’s billion dollar grass seed industry. Why? Because many countries where the government is not controlled by corporatist interests, GMO seed is prohibited, and will no longer buy seed from Oregon if the GMO seed infects other varieties. Even though Scott’s has backed off from commercializing this GMO grass variety, the genie is already out of the bottle. I suppose that leaving farmers to deal with the GMO seed infecting their crop to deal with it is better than what Monsanto “convinced” the Tanzanian government to do - to make laws that jail farmers for twelve years and fine them $210,000 for what? For daring to save seeds from their crops and trading them with their neighbors, as they have done for thousands of years, because Monsanto owns the patent and therefore has dominion over the entire process.

I’m not optimistic that the dominionism inherent in our corrupt federal system will change any time soon. As Zephyr Teachout points out, corruption is bi-partisan. But it’s like any bad idea - reality will prevail eventually.

This article is copyright by the author under Creative Commons License CC BY 3.0 – Share with attribution.

About David Camp

Writer • Member since Jul 12, 2009

David Camp is a cpa (Canada'86; USA'96) and MBA (Schulich'88) who toiled thirty years in the corporate salt mines, counting beans and telling stories to the auditors and whatnot. Now [...]

Comments by Readers

Carol Follett

Feb 04, 2017

Thanks, David for exposing these practices. As you point out, humans have been doing this for a long time, and now this dominanism behavior is promising to extinguish us with global warming and uncontrolled genetic engineering. I wonder if there is any chance we may find a new way of thinking to respond to the greed and arrogance that controls how we “do business.” Do you have any idea of what kind of new thinking we need?

 

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David Camp

Feb 04, 2017

Thanks, Carol. I sure do and thanks for asking!

Organic Farming from Sea to Sea

A massive program of civil works, designed by competition from the best engineers, to build sea walls against sea level rise, incorporating wind-powered pumps, and creative design n different areas of the coast. For an example of a far-out, moon launch idea, I’d propose a project to build a barrage across the Golden Gate, creating a massive fresh-water reservoir in the SF Bay and Delta. (same idea as what the Dutch did damming the Zuider Zeee which is now the freshwater Ejsel Meer). As the amount of water retained as Sierra snowpack diminishes with higher winter temeperatures, more freshwater storage is needed - which this project answers. Anyway, the number and size of the projects which will be necessary will put everybody to work, including perhaps re-purposing the military to civil defense works and construction.

And to support this, re-institute a year of service for 18-19 year - olds. Could be served in military, o could be served in civil defense works - building dikes and dams and watergates and so on.

As a nation we could certainly do the first - our land resources are sufficient to accomodate the sometimes lower yields from organic farming practices (although I know organic farmers who claim higher yields, nonetheless). But the political reality is that there are powerful vested interests in continuing agribusiness as usual. So really we are talking about something that requires generational education. Because there are still people who say “I don’t do organic” and think this makes them better.

HOwever, I think a program of civil works that employs youg people in a year of service is an idea that people on right or the left can agree on.

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Carol Follett

Feb 05, 2017

I have been reading about resilient communities, and I think this may be useful in planning for the changes that are well on their way: http://www.transitionus.org/sites/default/files/Overview of Community Resilience Models and Toolkits (1).pdf  I agree that we are soon going to reach a crises point if we do not adress these issues now.

I would hesitate to demand another group, like our youth, to do mandatory service; if such a need is agreed upon, we should all be required to participate within our range of abilities. After all, many hands (and minds) make light work :)

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