Archive for greenwashing

Impermissible Exchange

Posted in Ecological resilience, Revolution with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2017 by rgwallace

Rich Skeleton 1The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.” –Philip K. Dick (1969)

For some, Jean Baudrillard writes in postmodern twaddle. I recommend reading him first as heady science fiction that suddenly rewards that suspension of disbelief. After all, even a scientist in the age of agribusiness R&D, freighted with the humiliation of the end of curiosity-driven science, must retain a morsel of self-respect.

While Karl Marx illuminates the capitalist machinery in–as Francis Wheen pointed out–the surrealist digressions of Tristam Shandy, a favorite novel, and István Mészáros in commodization’s epistemological costs, I find Baudrillard’s enigmatic aphorisms debone some of the metaphysical gobbledygook even modernity’s opposition accepts.

Don’t get me wrong, some Baudrillard is outright bullshit. His quantum physics envy is the hiding place of every pseudoscientific quack with an exit through the gift shop. I once walked out of a rapt Bay Area screening, wallet intact, for that cheap scam.

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Inception Deception

Posted in Ecological resilience, Organic agriculture, Revolution, Sustainable farming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2011 by rgwallace

In Inception Leonardo DiCaprio plays Christopher Nolan’s postmodern spy-for-hire, extracting real-world corporate secrets out of the phantasmagoria of fitfully sleeping executives, until one day he is himself maneuvered into a trap of his own making: he must implant an idea into one executive’s head for the benefit of another.

But off-camera the real DiCaprio, the actor, the man, the quintessential Hollywood liberal, driven from one sound stage to another even between films, appears caught in a dream within a dream. An active environmentalist and creative force behind a documentary on climate change, DiCaprio serves as a board member for World Wildlife Fund, whose aim ostensibly is to save the biosphere. In reality the conservation NGO is spearheading convoluted efforts to destroy it.

WWF has organized a heinous line-up of agribusiness under the presumption those who own the world’s food value chains are the only ones who can ecologically modernize them.

It turns out merely an effort to greenwash the pith helmet: Environmental crises and threats to biodiversity, of agribusiness’ own making, are laundered inside a declensionist colonial narrative. Agribusiness must take over African farmland or Indonesian rain forest to save it, the argument goes. It’s an environmentalism which serves only as due cause for expanding dispossession, pushing subsistence farmers and the indigenous off their lands. Only another iteration of the neoliberal program, which brought about the environmental crises in the first place.

If only DiCaprio would turn into an old man, filled with regret.  Some  sudden sentience somehow. Two years after Nolan’s set wrapped, DiCaprio’s totem spins on. Like many a bourgeois environmentalist he’s still stuck in capital’s inception.