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

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Mon Nov 27 07:25:11 MST 2000



>>Well taking you literally, this is exactly the language of the fear and
dislike of the urban proletariat. Criticizing 'excessive' working class
consumption is never far away from the surface in environmentalist
discourse.<<

That is certainly true in many cases, but I think it is also true that in
advanced capitalist economies, and especially in the United States,
consume-ism can and should be considered a genuinely social psychosis.
Hundreds of millions, perhaps a trillion dollars or more, are poured every
year into "creating" needs and brainwashing the population in general that
the way they should express themselves and find fulfillment is through
consumption. There is an unending race to create fashions and fads which
have nothing to do with the functionality or even (IMHO) aesthetics of the
product involved. Madison avenue hucksters work overtime to "morally
depreciate" yesterday's latest and greatest thingamablob because this year's
thingamablob has the cool purple racing stripe, or whatever.

In the United States, for vast layers, "things are in the saddle and they
ride mankind." The population has been massively brainwashed and enslaved to
fetishistic and compulsive consumption.

I had not fully realized how STRONG this push is until I went for a visit to
Cuba for several weeks. Upon returning, as soon as I stepped off the plane
at Miami International, I felt as if I was being assaulted by a barrage of
advertisements and all sorts of other consume-consume-consume messages.

Then some time later I lived in Nicaragua for a few years during the worst
of the civil war and economic catastrophe. And upon returning to live in the
states, it was striking how different the psychology of people in the states
was to that of people in Nicaragua.

In my opinion, the relatively more privileged section of the U.S. population
has reached and in many cases  exceeded the limit of the consumption level a
rational person in a rational society would subject themselves to. All these
"things" need taking care of and looking after, and at a certain point, they
start to become more trouble than they are worth.

José

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Welch" <david.welch at st-edmund-hall.oxford.ac.uk>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2000 9:25 AM
Subject: RE: Food Biotechnology: Promising Havoc or Hope for the Poor? [was:
Re: Rain]




On Fri, 24 Nov 2000, Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:
>
> Well, we down here use to confuse sarcasm with humor, but at least we
> do not predate on other peoples, a quite humorless activity.
>
'Up here', we do not identify with the native capitalist class so
completely that what they do is what 'we' do.

>
> (a) what does the following
> >
> > > Long live giant factories and cities, long live irradiated meat, long
> > > live large export estates!
>
> have to do with this outburst of yours:
>
Well taking you literally, this is exactly the language of the fear and
dislike of the urban proletariat. Criticizing 'excessive' working class
consumption is never far away from the surface in environmentalist
discourse.

>
> And, (b) whether you are suggesting that large estates for export of
> cheap and bad quality agricultural produce do entail massive misery
> and a setback to economic development in the Third World, or not.
>
No, but nor do I believe the solution lies in universalizing these
conditions or returning to some agrarian utopia, rather in liberating
production and the distribution and development of technology from the
limitations of capitalism.












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