Capital Likes It Dirty

In Big Wind Farms Cost More than Small Ones we learn why US capital opposes renewable energy: Green technologies can’t feed monopoly capital like polluting technologies can. And baby, capitalism’s all about capital accumulation; and not so much about happiness after all. Good try, though, Smith et al.


 This good article swiftly explains the US’s premier agro-conservation program. Where the US farm bills once either paid farmers to blanket chemo-monocrop their land from property boundary to property boundary or–as “conservation,” leave their land untended, now the program pays farmers to use ecological approaches to farming.

 Paying for stewardship isn’t cheap — the government spends about $600 million on the conservation program yearly

What this means is that to farm food sustainably is not compatible with the profit model.

Be very clear: Now we spend even more massive public money on subsidizing toxic agroindustry in North America (including direct subsidies, R&D, tax incentives, environmental remediation, addressing the health costs arising from consumption of industrial chemo sub-food, and the bureaucratic and military costs of forcing other countries’ markets open to subsidized North American industrial sub-food), in large part to promote the ideological capitalist illusion that food can and should be subsumed by the profit motive.

If we can understand that ecologically-sound food production is not compatible with the profit model, we can see the path to fighting the huge, expensive public subsidies for toxic agroindustry that corrupt and reduce food–a human need and right–to 1) a source of profit and power-hoarding for toxic agrobusiness like Monsanto, and 2) a commodity weapon for destroying other countries’ peoples’ food production systems.

Since healthy food production isn’t compatible with the profit system, we need to be and should be spending public money on subsidizing food production–for healthy food for us and for clean environments, not for Monsanto executives’ power, environmental destruction, and warfare on other peoples’ capacity to feed themselves.

Looking at public subsidies to ag, the USDA does not promote healthy diets.

Lo-till/no-till is a farming practice that only makes sense with organic agriculture, not with industrial agriculture. According to Rodale’s research, the average net return for organic systems, which rely on no- or low-till practices as an important part of an overall system of pest and soil management, was $558 per acre per year. Conventional no-till corn, which by definition means planting genetically engineered crops and growing them with the assistance of chemicals, brought in just $28 per acre per year (not counting conservation subsidies, of course).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s