With heart and soul they went about their business, and the name of it was power, domination over spirit and flesh, orgy of unchecked self-expression.
-Jean Amery, At the Mind's Limits
Our survival demands that we make a transition from vicious cycles of violence to virtuous cycles of nonviolence; from negative economies of death and destruction to living economies that sustain life on earth and our lives; from negative politics of corruption and fascism to living democracies which include concern for and participation of all life; and from negative cultures that are leading to mutual annihilation to positive and living cultures based on caring, compassion, and conservation.
-Vandana Shiva, Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace
It the same story: “occupiers” hallucinate and see intruders everywhere. Intruders are a threat to the existence of the occupiers; intruders must be killed. The narrative legitimizing this practice has proven to be lucrative. Killing is big business. A kill culture makes for a profitable enterprise.
Kill, kill, kill…for the good of the invaded species. Kill!
While the U.S. government spends trillions to kill humans and other species in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Libya, it also funnels billions to Monsanto, a police-like force that, in turn, hires troops of scientists and workers to deploy its chemical weaponry, glyphosate and imazapyr (weed killers) around the world.
Monsanto’s “aggressive marketing” and sometimes-illegal maneuvering (Haiti Grassroots Watch, May 2011) includes “creating a potential worldwide monopoly by buying up all competitors, bribes, infiltration of farmers' associations through the use of mercenaries and ‘ruthless legal battles’ including lawsuits against farmers.”
But did I mention how profitable it is to kill in a kill culture? What do peasant farmers, activists, lawyers, and even independent scientists know? Monsanto, says Monsanto, is a successful business. As the world’s largest seed company and one of the largest pesticide companies, Monsanto, “dominates [the world’s] proprietary seed market, a market worth almost $32 billion in 2010, up 10 percent from the previous year” (Haiti Grassroots Watch).
Monsanto is a god-sent! Who eradicates species that invade other species better than Monsanto? Its weed killer targets terrorizing species, violent species, invaders - in the same way the president of the U.S. can order a hit on any citizen or “terrorist” anywhere around the world.
Monsanto is powerful!
It is Homeland Security for it SAVES and PROTECTS occupiers from intruders. This is the narrative it offered the residents of Willapa Bay, Washington, who, whether or not they knew it or not, were being invaded by a terrorizing species! This dangerous, life-threatening, anti-Earth - breed of grass - caught the attention of the U.S. government. Spartina or alterniflora, grass - must be killed! Go for it, Monsanto! And yes, according to Truthout Fellow, Mike Ludwig, the weed killing corporation sent boats and helicopters to spray “thousands of gallons of herbicides into the bay’s shallow waters” to kill - that is, to save Willapa Bay (“Special Investigation: The Pesticide and Politics of America’s Eco-War,” Truthout, June 9, 2011).
It is the American Way! (Ain’t no new thing, as poet Gil Scott-Heron would say).
(Willapa Bay is polluted now….shhh…). The U.S. government’s effort to save and protect communities around the world from invading species is known as “species eradication” (“Special Investigation”). (Ain’t no new thing - species eradication!). Only in the margins of the world is there talk of another more life-threatening danger: Monsanto’s chemical weaponry is not only toxic to oysters while polluting the bay, it is also harmful to humans as well. Independent scientists, Ludwig writes, “have discovered potential links among the widespread use of glyphosate-based herbicides and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, birth defects and even attention deficit disorder.”
Collateral damage! The incidental death of neighboring species, including humans from cancer or other illnesses can’t be avoided!
“Research also shows that additives like surfactants in glyphosate in herbicides like Roundup are more toxic than glyphosate itself and can increase the toxicity of glyphosate.”
“Every time you hear the term 'invasive species,' think Monsanto,” biologist David Theodoropoulos said at an environmentalist conference in Oregon (“Special Investigation”). Ludwig summarizes Theodoropoulos’ position: “the idea that a wild plant or animal can be invasive is a myth. Species have moved, adapted and changed in different ecosystems for millions of years. ‘Change and movement are natural.’”
But Monsanto cannot become part of the military-industrial-complex by arguing that “change and movement are natural.” Ludwig’s report continues:
The war on invasive species is a war on a fact of life. Humans have caused or exacerbated these species ‘invasions’ by changing habitats and introducing species to new areas, and now we are trying to turn back the clock in an attempt to prevent nature from taking its new course. As long as people attempt to dominate the land, extract its resources and shape it to their liking, there will be money to be made and dramatic consequences for other livings things.
But Monsanto wants the world to ignore this non-knowledge and to remember that it is a giver of gifts to living things!
Monsanto sent the Earthquake ravished nation a “gift” of “hybrid maize and vegetable seeds,” some “505 tons of seed” (Haiti Grassroots Watch) to help in the reconstruction of that country. But how will Monsanto’s genetically modified weeds reconstruct Haiti’s food economy? Who really benefits from converting “peasant agriculture to corporate agriculture,” to use environmental activists Vandana Shiva’s words (Earth Democracy), with these hybrid seeds - the Haitians or the giant corporation, Monsanto?
(Hush, dissent is not welcomed!).
Monsanto democratizes poverty! Our weed killer or modified seeds will make you rich! Peasant farmers left with high levels of debt, writes Vandana Shiva, find themselves “deeper in poverty” (Earth Democracy). “Poverty is revealing itself in farmer suicides and the emergence of hunger for the first time in independent India.”
But the killing and suffering is all legal because “there will be money, and since there will be money, scientific data, Shiva writes, is given to scientists by Monsanto “and they publish it.” Monsanto does not lie - the caring corporation simply tinkers with the statistics - a little, because “informed citizens make free choices” and making free choices - well - that is too much like that other version of democracy.
That is not the American Way!
Monsanto’s story (operating as it does on the bodies of the poor, displaced, and dead) is that its uncompromising stance ensures “better things for better living.” It can and it will continue its good deeds because it is closely aligned with that privileged narrative - the one that promotes killing.
Monsanto’s narrative is a narrative of violence, a narrative, of warfare!
When you are a kill culture, warfare is big business!