Food Biotechnology: Promising Havoc or Hope for the Poor? [was: Re: Rain]

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Nov 24 05:50:23 MST 2000

>Marx was writing in the 19th century. The "metabolic rift" he refers to,
>the separation between man and nature created by capitalism, is one of
>the foundations of the modern world, including the 6 billion and rising.
>How do we go about fixing this metabolic rift without jetisoning that
>which is largely its consequence--the good stuff I mean, like lots of
>ordinary people, urban living and freedom from toil? We have to look
>beyond Marx and the methods of his day on this one.
>Brian James

Urban living? Sorry, old bean, it will have to be altered radically. If you
really want to get a handle on the ecological contradictions imbedded in
late capitalist urban life, I recommend Mike Davis's "Ecology of Fear"
about Lost Angeles.

Freedom from toil is another thing entirely. That is doable. Typically
we'll be living in cities of perhaps 100,000 revolving around some
interrelated industries and farming. Doo-doo will be recycled, of course.
Everything you eat will be in season and free of poisons. My dad had a
fruit store in the good old days and everything he sold was in season. I
have never eaten a peach as good as those he sold back in 1953. Of course
you can only get them 2 or 3 months out of the year, but that's just as well.

In the early transition period to communism, you will regrettably have to
work at least 20 hours a week. In your free time you will have to occupy
yourself by bike-riding, fishing, folk-dancing and other pasttimes.

Louis Proyect
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