What Do You Get If You Splice A Fish Gene Into A Tomato?
You might get a longer lasting tomato.
Or you might just get a red herring.
Because it’s not about technology, or genetics, or health.
It’s about control.
How Good People Do Bad Things And Don’t Even Know It.
(FORTUNE Magazine) – Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro was ambling through a Sheraton Chicago ballroom at the finale of a three-day company offsite not long ago when an employee named Rebecca Tominack walked up and startled him with a tribute: “I want you to know I am with you. As a pledge of loyalty, I’d like to give you this.” Removing a nametag from around her neck, she placed it over his head. Her gesture, a response to Shapiro’s vision for Monsanto’s future, prompted first a trickle, then a stampede, of imitators. Today the mementos are enshrined atop a glass-enclosed wooden pedestal in his office. They symbolize, he says, “something I want so deeply and I care so much about.”
What Shapiro cares about is transforming Monsanto into a biotech powerhouse capable of helping feed the planet’s exploding population at the same time it heals a damaged environment. “If Monsanto and other companies can get environmentally better products that people want to market faster at lower costs, we will kick butt in the marketplace.”.
The passive conspiracy is people helping people. To his employees he’s a hero. To the farmers his company ruins, something else. And, to anonymous grandparents whose pension plan includes Monsanto stock, he’s a godsend. Not because he makes them money, but because whatever he does, for better or for worse, is washed clean by the anonymity of the marketplace: The Passive Conspiracy. His crimes, and there are certainly crimes in the Monsanto playbook, will be written off as failed attempts to do good. His successes will buy a grandson a new bicycle.
And he’ll kick butt in the marketplace.
It’s about Truth:
If Monsanto was forced to tell the truth about what they do, they’d be out of business in a month.
Those employees will never understand why we might want to have labeling laws which warn us of possible harm. They can’t understand farmers in the Punjab who want to harvest their own seeds as they have done for centuries. They really believe that organic food will ruin the world. But they’re responsible for what they believe. Believing a lie doesn’t make you a liar, but it makes you part of the passive conspiracy.
Perhaps there are many truths, but none of them end in the suicide of 250,000 ruined farmers at the hands of Monsanto and the business strategies of global food concerns.
The mechanisms which have allowed the world to devolve into a chaos of ugliness and fear are no more random than an earthquake; each seismic thrust follows laws of motion and time and are predictable, if concealed.
Every insult to our well-being is as predictable, as concealed. We look on crime, corruption, hatred, any manifestation of human frailty, as we would watch a television show, and express our helplessness. In reality, they’re woven into the fabric of our lives with the inevitability of our next breath.
Fear, dosed with the precision of a chemist, seeps in to our souls, and molds our lives into fear-shaped blocks of anonymity, conformity, dependence.
We’re just following orders. But we’re still responsible.
Those in charge of designing our fear take their jobs seriously.
The passive conspiracy rewards those who do not question. It rewards those who act out of self interest, and delight in progress and success. The passive conspiracy is about winning.
It’s evolution: survival. It is the evolution of thought, the natural selection of the choices we make to survive. Incremental reward systems calibrated to the breath of fools: Fear can control any human impulse. Bucking the conspiracy is not an option. Those who design our fear have on their palette the spectrum of human emotion, and their assignment is an ever shifting collage of dubious choices.
Brillat Savarin said in 1820: The destiny of a nation depends on how it nourishes itself. In 1970, Henry Kissinger updated the idea with the phrase: To control the people, control the food. By turning the words on themselves, he was turning plowshares into swords; just what you might expect from a man whose acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize was shadowed by the threat of his arrest for war crimes.
We’re at the heart of many conspiracies, by food producers, the giant agricultural Mega-corporations, and the laws passed against our freedoms of choice. But to those who live from them, these aren’t conspiracies, they’re business plans, or even salvation of some sort. Meanwhile a conspiracy is taking place not only under our noses, but all around our noses: by our noses. The conspiracy of tastes, of temperaments, of economics and of a hundred private motivators which influence our decisions:
The Passive Conspiracy
These are the engines of social consent, complacency, and desire. If the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing, imagine the fireworks of victory which commemorate every descent into the hells of junk food, TV commercials, and obedience to the hardened rituals of market conformity.
58% of children under 6 believe that Ronald McDonald knows what’s good for them to eat.
The passive conspiracy pulls and twists us into compliance with the desires of people who have no needs, only the will and the force to crush all that is unlike them.
But remember one thing, the reason it’s a passive conspiracy is that the mass of conspirators have no say, and have no say over the outcome. They’re along for the ride, and when things go sour, they’re off the bus.
Chris Hedges quoting Hannah Arendt:
“Arendt relates a story of a Jew who is released from Buchenwald. The freed Jew encountered, among the SS men who gave him certificates of release, a former schoolmate, whom he did not address but stared at. The SS guard spontaneously explained to his former friend: “You must understand, I have five years of unemployment behind me. They can do anything they want with me.”
Arendt also quotes an interview with a camp official at Majdanek. The camp official concedes that he has assisted in the gassing and burying of people alive. But when he is asked, “Do you know you will be hanged?” he bursts into tears. “Why? What have I done?” he says.”
But the hood, that we put on ourselves.
Blindness is convenient. The mechanisms of our domination and control have been engineered, passively, by our own inaction, our complicity in this bizarre dreamworld where you go to jail for using a white powder and get rich with a franchise for another, equally dangerous, white powder.
But if you’re too busy to think, don’t worry, others will think for you. And if you’re too tired to use your tastes, there will always be people to use them for you.
BYOB! Join The Party!
And if all this doesn’t sound good to you, come to the party. It’s going on all over the planet. It’s strictly BYOB: Bring your own brain. Bring your own mind and laugh at those miserable grey phantoms who live only for the most soulless of all monocultures: The monoculture of money. They live to control others, but while they’re doing that their lives are melting away. There’s only one reason to live and that’s for freedom.
When slaves are freed, masters are liberated too, and they fear that too.