Saturday, July 16, 2011
FINAL EMPIRE: Part 1: THE HISTORY OF DISINTEGRATION CHAPTER 1: PATTERN OF THE CRISIS Collapse on the Periphery Individual empires have suffered cyclical collapse since civilization began. The Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires are classical examples. These civilized empires initially expanded, funded by their base of arable land, grazing areas and forests. As they reached out, conquering new lands and peoples, their growth was fueled by slave labor and appropriated resources. Their growth continued until the ecological base of the empire was exhausted. At that point, the empires imploded. Sumeria and Babylonia stripped their lands through overgrazing and deforestation. This brought down huge amounts of erosion material that threatened the irrigation works. They also inexorably salinized their soil by irrigation. Early on, in the history of the Greek Empire, Plato complained of the ecological devastation in the area of Attica. By the end of that empire the ecology of the whole of Greece was severely injured. Both the Greek and Roman empires used North Africa as a “breadbasket” and by the close of the Roman Empire it was ecologically destroyed along with much of the rest of the Roman territories. Though the standard political and social histories of these empires do not stress an ecological view, there is certainly no question that at the end of their cycles these empires had little ecological energy remaining. Anywhere the culture of empire (a.k.a., civilization) has spread one finds devastated ecologies. The life is literally “rubbed out,” the original life is gone. Much of the living flesh of the planet does not now exist in those places. But, we know that it did exist. The life in those areas has suffered a die-back. The forests are gone, the topsoil is depleted and the land is eroded. The richness of the land has been used up. The wealth of the earth’s life has been spent by the extortion of empire. Empires implode. They collapse from within. This is beginning now on the edges of world civilization where the ecology has been stripped, the population is exploding and the resultant social turmoil insures further decline. These implosions of the colonies will eventually become general throughout the cultural system. Islands such as Madagascar, the Canaries, the islands of the Caribbean, many south sea islands and others have been ecologically stripped. In areas like Peru, whole mountainsides fall off because of the ecological devastation caused by deforestation and hillside farming. In Brazil’s Northeast, the coastal rain forest and the fertile areas further inland have been replaced by desert. In some areas of the former fertile southern interior of Brazil, coffee plantations have reduced the land to such eroded conditions that cows cannot even graze it for fear that they will fall into the canyons created by soil erosion. In Central Asia, many bodies of water such as the Azov, Caspian, Black Sea and Baikal are severely injured. The supply of caviar there has almost ceased because the waters are so polluted that the fish die. In Tibet where the Chinese Empire has invaded, devastation is spreading as trees are cut, steep areas are plowed and mines are begun. The story of the brief empire of Venice is instructive as to how the ecological base of empire injures the earth and how the culture of empire uses up the life of the earth to generate its ephemeral power. By the end of the fifteenth century the City of Venice was emerging as a sea-power. Venice traded all the way from the eastern Mediterranean to England. Galley ships were the power behind the merchant fleet. The oar-powered galleys ultimately depended upon slave labor. They were fast and could navigate where sailing ships could not. The whole arrangement was based on wood for ships, and in turn depended upon forests, which in the beginning were abundant near Venice. As the power of Venice was coming to an end, the City was obtaining ships in Barcelona built with lumber from the forests of northern Spain and finally from the Baltic region of northern Europe, which had not yet been stripped. By this time there were no forests anywhere in the Mediterranean that could fund a sea-faring empire. This phenomenon of implosion is occurring now in the present World Empire. The country of Bangladesh shows us one type of implosion. In the distant past the whole of the area was populated by forager/hunters such as those threatened tribes who live now in the Bangladeshi hills. As the waves of empire culture came, first with the Indo-Aryans thousands of years ago, the life of the area was progressively degraded. Bengal as it was formerly called, was conquered by the English early in the colonial period. Prior to the conquest it had been a fertile and self-sufficient area. When the English moved in they began to put heavy pressure on the organic fertility. They established the plantation system and mined the agricultural land to ship valuables to the “mother country.” Later, in the Twentieth Century when England was severed from its colonies on the Indian subcontinent, the region became part of Pakistan and finally an independent country. In the later years, Bangladesh has suffered flooding, a constant population explosion and periodic drought. Bangladesh is located on the delta of the Ganges River that drains the Himalayan range. With the Chinese now stripping Tibet, floods and erosion material race down out of central Tibet borne by the Bramaputra River that joins the Ganges and comes through countries that are being stripped along the southern tier of the range: Bhutan, India and in particular Nepal. Because the forests are being stripped, the land no longer can absorb water and the floods grow larger. The State of India’s Environment: 1982, a report by non-governmental groups, states: “From Kashmir (far west) to Assam (far east) the story is the same. Below 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) there are literally no forests left. In the middle Himalayan belt, which rises to an average height of 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), the forest area, originally estimated at being a third of the total area, has reduced to a mere 6-8 per cent.”1 A global environmental study, Gaia: An Atlas Of Planet Management, says that the erosion is so bad that an island of five million hectares (12,355,000 acres) of erosion material is beginning to surface in the Bay of Bengal. “Around one-quarter of a million tonnes (255,325 U.S. tons) of topsoil are washed off the deforested mountain slopes of Nepal each year, and a further sizable amount from the Himalayan foothills in India’s sector of the Ganges catchment zone.” The study notes that the countries of India and Bangladesh are geared up to contest possession of the island when it surfaces.2 Due to the periodic catastrophes of flood and drought the society of Bangladesh is beginning to disintegrate into a low-level warlord society where even the central government cannot exert control much distance from the capital city. One effort that the government is making to alleviate its population crush is an attempt to settle a relatively small “hill country” area with lowlanders. These hill areas contain remnant tribes of non-civilized people. The Bangladesh government has warred against these people for some years, attacking them with modern armies and rounding up the survivors into concentration camps. As the lowlanders invade into the vacuum, they level the forest and attempt to raise crops. On the lowlands, a large share of the population lives in the delta. Here the impoverished people fight each other for small plots of land. As the floods come and go, the islands and marshes change continually. As the above-water areas dry out following a flood, the people rush in to claim small plots on which they attempt to grow food before the next flood or drought. The combination of exploding population and ecologically based disasters is causing the society to disintegrate. This process which began years back in Bangladesh is one of the effects that we can expect to see in the years ahead in other parts of civilization. Writer Mohiuddin Alamgir, researching his report, Famine in South Asia; Political Economy of Mass Starvation, asked villagers in Bangladesh during a famine in 1974, about the reasons why people were dying around them. He found that the villagers had only a vague notion about the true cause. The villagers could see that people were dying of disease and that they had various symptoms but few villagers could see or admit that people were starving. The villagers were in a weakened condition, which allowed them to die of the first disease that came around. Death was the end result of the steady social deterioration that they had experienced. “Once people ran out of resources to buy food grains, they sold or mortgaged land, sold cattle and agricultural implements, sold household utensils and other valuables (such as ornaments), and, finally their homesteads,” says Alamgir.3 When there is nothing left and people are starving, they leave and wander aimlessly about the country of Bangladesh. Many of the uprooted households that Alamgir studied had begun to disintegrate, with members of the same household wandering off in different directions toward separate areas of the country. Deserted children, deserted wives, deserted husbands and deserted elders are becoming commonplace. Bangladesh society has gone over the brink. The centralized control by the wealthy elite and the military has broken down. The population is destined to continue as a wandering, increasingly hungry mass until, sometime in the future, all coherent human society and culture dies and human cooperation and optimistic effort disintegrates. It is this condition, as shown by Bangladesh, which is the ultimate end of a culture that eats up its survival systems. We need keep in mind that forager/hunter populations lived in stability in this area for hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of years because they did not destroy that which sustained them. Alamgir states that after previous famines in Bangladesh, the society returned to near normal social relationships, but he reports: “Both separation of families and desertion represent a breakdown of the system of security provided by family and kinship ties under traditional social bonds. This is, of course, not unique in the 1974 Bangladesh famine, as reference to erosion of social ties can be found in almost all preceding famines. However, two points should be noted: First, a slow process of disintegration of traditional ties had already set in and famine only accelerated it. Second, manifestations of breakdown of kinship and family bonds were reversible in the past in the sense that old relationships were restored through the normal process of post famine societal adjustment. This is no longer true in the Bangladesh scenario today where such processes seem to be irreversible, which is reflected in the rate of permanent destitution.”4 The horn of Africa region where the country of Ethiopia is located represents another example of implosion. Ethiopia is hit with periodic drought. If the region were in its primordial climax ecological condition the droughts would likely have minimal impact but like Bangladesh, the region’s ecology is so ravaged that any perturbation of climate becomes a disaster and the human created situation is called an “act of God.” Ethiopia originally had a stable population of forager/hunter people but it became one of the “cradles of civilization.” The life of Ethiopia is now almost gone. Almost all of Ethiopia is high, mountainous country with good rainfall, but there is little vegetative life left. The ancient empires were nourished on it and the vitality has evaporated. It is estimated that three quarters of the country was originally forested yet at present only four percent of the country has forest. One study estimates that the volume of live trees now, is 800 million cubic meters and then goes on to say that the annual fuel wood consumption is 20 million cubic meters and rising rapidly.5 Even if the remaining forests were only used to heat houses and cook food they would not last long. Despite having one of the highest death rates in the world, the country’s population continues to rise. One would think it would decline but unlike our former forager/hunter culture, which sought to keep their population within the carrying capacity of the environment, people of the culture of empire do not. The people of civilization have many motives, other than simply lack of awareness that propels population growth. One important reason is that civilized people work at exploiting the land and the more hands the more production. Agrarians, for example, traditionally have large families to help with farm work and hard times call for more hands to force the land to produce more. There is also motive for large families so that one will be cared for in old age. There is the motive of the pride of the patriarch in large families. Though there are a number of basic motives, there is a functional reason also why population is not responsive immediately to food supply. If there is a famine or drought, the children already born will have children. Demographers say that population responsiveness has a time lag of seventy years to social/environmental events and even this responsiveness is only a momentary blip on the over-all graph line of exponential growth. One researcher highlights the continued drama of destruction in Ethiopia partially attributed to population growth: “A dramatic alteration in environmental quality has been visible within a single lifetime in the hills surrounding Addis Ababa. When the capital was founded in 1883 by the Emperor Memelik II, it was still surrounded by remnants of rich cedar forests and reasonably clear streams. Deforestation and erosion were immediately spurred by the influx of humans. In the ensuing nine decades, virtually all the available land in the region has been cultivated, while charcoal producers cut trees within a 160-kilometer radius for sale in the city. Now the waters of the nearby Awash River and its tributaries are thick with mud, and waterways are shifting their courses more markedly and frequently than in the past.”6 Addis Ababa sits in the high mountains of central Ethiopia. It is near the headwaters of the Awash River. From Addis Ababa, the river courses northeast into a rapidly widening valley that eventually reaches the coast at Djibouti on the Red Sea. UN researchers expect the whole Awash Basin to soon become rocky desert; but the eye of civilization sees only war, ideology and revolution. The problem is ecological but the cultural attention and media-focus emphasize war. As civilization fixates on war and violence in Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, the life of the earth dwindles in that area and starvation spreads. Although the destruction of the life of the earth is caused by civilization, civilized society is unable to see its own problem because the organic life of the earth is below its threshold of consciousness. El Salvador, in Central America, is another country that is imploding on the periphery of the Empire of Civilization. The Spanish Empire invaded the area that is now El Salvador early in the sixteenth century. They immediately began to enslave the stable and sustainable cultures of the region as factors of imperial production. At that time, the western two-thirds of the country was inhabited by a Nahuatl speaking culture. The Nahuatl language group includes Aztec, Hopi and Ute. In the eastern one-third of the country, across the Lenca River lived the tribes named Lenca, Jinca, Pokomám, Chortí and Matagalpa. There are now some half-million “invisible” Indians in El Salvador, in a country of five million. They are invisible because they have been forced to abandon their native dress and language. The first census from the years 1769-1798 listed 83,010 Indians in a population of 161,035. Initially, the native people of the lowlands were enslaved into the Spanish estates. These original estates exported cacao and balsam. By the end of that century, indigo plantations were spreading out further into the last Indian communal lands in the higher elevations. Soon cattle ranching moved into the northern tier of the country and masses of Indian people, who were not among the indentured workers, were wandering through the area in a detribalized condition. The native people’s habitat had been destroyed. Inasmuch as their cultural knowledge and skills were related to the living world, the native people became powerless and dependent upon the invading culture. By the middle of the Nineteenth Century, coffee began to be the major export crop and this agriculture with its need for the last available higher elevation land, began to finish the remaining communal Indian lands as well as their forest habitat. By 1930, coffee was more than ninety percent of El Salvador’s exports.7 In 1932, in the midst of the world depression, Indians in the highlands around Sonsonate revolted against both the imperial conquerors and their latino subjects, the mestizos. The army of the oligarchy was unleashed against the unarmed Indians. The virulent anti-Indian racism of “latinos” was also unleashed as they, also, began to participate. By the time the massacres were over, somewhere variously estimated at between 15,000 and 50,000 children, women and men had been murdered and the native land base was occupied by the aliens.8 The story of El Salvador is of native tribes who lived stably with their habitat, the forests and other ecosystems of the isthmus. The events since that time have been created by the far different culture of empire, which invaded, to extort valuables from the area. The pattern displayed has been consistent since empire culture began. The industrial revolution and markets have added a few new wrinkles. The pattern is that of a small powerful elite taking land and labor from the colony for free or at very low price. The extorted valuables are then exported in exchange for currency that supports the elite of the colony who, in return, keep the native populations in control. This is the classic picture of third world colonies and is the picture of El Salvador. This pattern has persisted in El Salvador and is largely the reason for its environmental destruction. The oligarchy runs the country on a feudal basis little changed from the days of the conquistadors. This means that in the pursuit of their profits they need observe no environmental laws. They may take any land they need, they may use any type and amount of agricultural chemicals on their crops and they may dump toxins in any manner that they please. One group that researches Central America’s environmental problems says that as of 1990, “75 per cent of pesticides exported to Central America from the U.S. are either banned or severely restricted for use in the U.S.”9 This elimination of the cost of environmental protection controls makes El Salvador a high-profit enclave for its rulers and for the transnational corporations located there. They are provided with an impoverished and cheap labor pool, which is unable to organize effectively because of military repression and death squads. They do not have the expense of meeting environmental standards so this gives them a decided competitive advantage over other countries. Since the arrival of civilized culture, 95 per cent of the country’s original tropical, deciduous forest has disappeared. Twenty mammal species and eighteen bird species are gone. Serious soil erosion affects 77 per cent of the country. Following deforestation, groundwater is disappearing, sediments are beginning to fill the dams and stop the hydroelectric supply and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says the country is undergoing a process of desertification.10 In the familiar pattern, particularly since World War II, the alliance between the domestic oligarchy, U.S. aid agencies and transnational corporations have increased exports which has led to the clearing of the last viable stands of old-growth ebony, cedar, mahogany and granadilla trees. Where the country was once food self-sufficient it now exports cash crops of food items and even flowers to the industrial countries (for the profit of the oligarchy) and imports food. The Environmental Project On Central America (EPOCA) says that: “Today unequal control of resources remains at the root of poverty and environmental destruction in El Salvador. A small elite, referred to as the `Fourteen Families,’ comprises less than 2 per cent of the population yet enriches itself from ownership of more than 60 per cent of the country’s arable land. The poorest 20 per cent of the Salvadoran people own no land and receive only 2 per cent of the national income.” In the countryside, the report says that: “two-fifths of the population cannot afford a basic diet of corn and beans.”11 The EPOCA report says that one in ten have access to safe drinking water. “Look at a body of water in El Salvador and you will see a reflection of almost every major environmental problem in the country: pesticide and fertilizer contamination; industrial pollution; municipal waste and sewage; sedimentation from deforestation and soil erosion; and waterborne diseases. All the major waterways in El Salvador are contaminated by raw sewage and a variety of toxic chemicals, according to a 1982 report by the U.S. Agency for International Development.”12 With the oligarchy occupying the land that an agriculturist would call “arable,” the poor are forced up onto the mountainsides where they use slash and burn agriculture. Because the people are overcrowded and there is not enough land, the fallow periods on the slash and burn plots are too short. This quickly erodes the topsoil and leaves the mountains denuded of all vegetation except for hardy brush. In 1974 there were 400 people for each square mile of El Salvador. The population doubling time in El Salvador is now twenty-two years.13 These three countries, Bangladesh, El Salvador and Ethiopia, with their varying histories and varying types of impact from civilization characterize the periphery of what we may term the industrial empire. These are the conquered and colonized resource and labor areas and their societies are collapsing under the pressure of environmental degradation, population explosion, and militarism and export economies. If the oligarchy of El Salvador were to suddenly depart for Miami, the country would still be in a state of disintegration. The soil, water and air are poisoned. There are few natural resources left and importantly for our analysis, the civilized culture of the people of El Salvador would not be disposed to restore the land mass to the climax ecosystem, even if that were possible. This is the beginning of the end for the Final Empire of civilization. Here we see in these examples that there is little remaining to take out and the populations are exploding. When two people have five children and then fifteen years later those five children have five children the stage is being set for disintegration. As these factors of soil and ecosystems work themselves out into social turmoil and breakdown, the reports of the media refer to revolution, economics and politics. The life of the earth is not within their consciousness. As the regions on the periphery of the empire implode, the center is also imploding, though in a qualitatively different way. The most general statement to make on the system-wide implosion of the industrial empire has to do also with the cultural consciousness. Because of the nature of the culture, it lives and profits by exhausting the life of the earth. Within the cultural bubble we tend to measure our progress by our wealth. The more pressure that the farmer puts on the soil, the more the farmer and the banker profit. The more forests that are cut, the more the timber company and the employees benefit. What this means is that as the life of the earth is eradicated, the information feed-back system (bank accounts) reports that things are getting better and betters. Progress is being made. This is another major example of how the reality of life is below the threshold of consciousness and also helps to explain why civilization cannot extricate itself from the fall toward apocalypse. As we approach the end of the Final Empire, societies become paralyzed and disintegrate. There is nothing left with which the society can regenerate itself. In El Salvador, even the “arable” soils are exhausted and poisoned because they have been subjected to years of industrial agriculture with its poisons and artificial fertilizers. The other side of this grim equation is the population explosion. This is compounded by the fact that a majority of the population now is youthful and just beginning to come into their child bearing years. This means that the already overbearing population has reached a take-off point and will climb even more steeply. The life of the earth dies out at varying speeds. So that we do not lose contact with reality we must look at this. These examples show swift destruction. It is possible to see the huge erosion canyons in Ethiopia. It is possible to see the floods of Bangladesh and it is possible to count the children in hospitals in El Salvador who have been poisoned with agricultural chemicals. Although not as dramatic, we must realize that our own backyard is degraded and poisoned. If any of us walk out of our back door and look, we will see gross injury to the life of the earth. We may view a lawn that has been subjected to poisons and artificial fertilizers. At some point in the history of that small area, toxins may have been introduced such as motor oil, household cleansers or maybe air drift or subsoil moisture seepage of some industrial dump. The point is that if the climax ecosystem is not there then the earth is losing its life. This is a difficult concept for modern people to deal with mentally. The statement is that the life of the earth, the climax ecosystem, must regain balance or the earth will become substantially dead. The natural state of health and balance of the earth is to be covered with climax ecosystems or ecosystems closely approximating them. There are examples in the Mid-East of reg pavements (rock-hard soil) where forests once stood. The reg pavement is a hard, virtually impermeable, layer of clays and other dirt that covers wide areas. We have the example of El Salvador proceeding toward desert status (and there are other examples in other parts of the world of tropical forests becoming deserts). With both of these examples we can trace the historical devolution of these ecosystems and soils, which usually begin with the cutting of the forest. When we travel about the earth we don’t always realize that where we are seeing a desert now, there may have been a thriving semi-arid ecosystem. Where there is a brushwood hillside, there was once a magnificent forest. In those areas where we now see forest we will soon see deserts. The life of civilization is only an eye-blink in the eons of time of the life of the earth. We can see the killing of the life of the earth in the rapid dramas as well as the long range spirals of descent. As we continue to examine the condition of our earth we must maintain contact with reality and realize that everywhere civilization has spread the earth is hurting, injured and dying. Even if an area is green with vegetation, it may only be the first aid crew of weeds struggling to heal the earth and the chances are good that soon the bulldozers will come to destroy even that, so that the “real estate” can be “developed.” Collapse From the Center Our generation is on the verge of the most profound catastrophe the human species has ever faced. Death threats to the living earth are coming from all sides. Water, sunlight, air and soil are all threatened. When Eskimos of the far north begin to experience leukemia from atomic radiation and Eskimo mothers’ milk contains crisis levels of PCB’s, we must recognize that every organism on the planet is threatened. Compounding this crisis is the fact that the prime forces in this affair, the civilized humans, are unable to completely understand the problem. The problem is beneath the threshold of consciousness because humans within civilization (civilization comes from the Latin, civis, referring to those who live in cities, towns and villages) no longer have relationship with the living earth. Civilized people’s lives are focused within the social system itself. They do not perceive the eroding soils and the vanishing forests. These matters do not have the immediate interest of paychecks. The impulse of civilization in crisis is to do what it has been doing, but do it more energetically in order to extricate itself. If soaring population and starvation threaten, often the impulse is to put more pressure on the agricultural soils and cut the forests faster. We face planetary disaster. The destruction of the planetary life system has been ongoing for thousands of years and is now approaching the final apocalypse which some of us will see in our own lifetimes. Far from being a difficult and complex situation it is actually very simple, if one can understand and accept a few simple and fundamental propositions. The planetary disaster is traced to one simple fact. Civilization is out of balance with the flow of planetary energy. The consensus assumption of civilization is that an exponentially expanding human population with exponentially expanding consumption of material resources can continue, based on dwindling resources and a dying ecosystem. This is simply absurd. Nonetheless, civilization continues on with no memory of its history and no vision of its future. Possibly the most important source of life on this planet is the thin film of topsoil. The life of the planet is essentially a closed, balanced system with elements of sun, water, soil and air as the basic elements. These elements work in concert to produce life and they function according to patterns that are based in the laws of physics, which we refer to as Natural Law. The soil depth and its richness are a basic standard of health of the living planet. As a general statement we may say that when soil is lost, imbalance and injury to the planet’s life occurs. In the geologic time-span of the planet’s life, this is a swift progression toward death. Even if only one per cent of the soil is lost per thousand years, eventually the planet dies. If one per cent is gained, then the living wealth, the richness, of the planet increases. The central fact must be held in mind of how slowly soil builds up. Soil scientists estimate that three hundred to one thousand years are required for the build up of each inch of topsoil. The nourishment of the soil depends upon the photosynthetic production of the vegetative cover that it carries. There are wide differences in the Net Photosynthetic Production of many possible vegetative covers. As a rule it is the climax ecosystem of any particular region of the earth that is the most productive in translating the energy of the sun into the growth of plants and in turn into organic debris which revitalizes the soil. A climax ecosystem is the Equilibrium State of the “flesh” of the earth. After a severe forest fire, or to recover from the injury of clearcut logging, the forest organism slowly heals the wound by inhabiting the area with a succession of plant communities. Each succeeding community prepares the area for the next community. In general terms, an evergreen forest wound will be covered by tough small plants, popularly called “weeds” and the grasses which hold down the topsoil and prepare the way for other grasses and woody shrubs to grow up on the wound. (“Weeds” are the “first aid crew” on open ground.) As a general rule, the “first aid crew” – the first community of plants to get in and cover the bare soil and hold it down – is the more simple plant community with the smallest number of species of plants, animals, insects, micro-organisms and so forth. As the succession proceeds, the diversity, the number of species, increases as does the NPP, until the climax system is reached again, and equilibrium is established. The system drives toward complexity of form, maximum ability to translate incoming energy (NPP) and diversity of energy pathways (food chains and other services that plants and animals perform for one another). The plants will hold the soil so that it may be built back up. They will shade the soil to prevent its oxidation (the heating and drying of soil promotes chemical changes that cause sterility) and conserve moisture. Each plant takes up different combinations of nutrients from the soil so that specific succession communities prepare specific soil nutrients for specific plant communities that will succeed them. Following the preparation of the site by these plants, larger plants, alders and other broadleaf trees will come in and their lives and deaths will further prepare the micro-climate and soil for the evergreens. These trees function as “nurse” trees for the final climax community, which will be conifers. Seedling Douglas Fir for example, cannot grow in sunlight and must have shade provided by these forerunner communities. The ecosystems of this earth receive injury from tornado, fire, or other events and then cycle back to the balanced state, the climax system. This is similar to the wound on a human arm that first bleeds, scabs over and then begins to build new replacement skin to reach its equilibrium state. The climax system then is a basic standard of health of the living earth, its dynamic equilibrium state. The climax system is the system that produces the greatest photosynthetic production. Anything that detracts from this detracts from the health of the ecosystem. Climax ecosystems are the most productive because they are the most diverse. Each organism feeds back some portion of energy to producers of energy that support it (as well as providing energy to other pathways) and as these support systems grow, the mass and variety of green plants and animals increases, taking advantage of every possible niche. What might be looked at as a whole unitary organ of the planet’s living body- a forest or grassland- experiences increased health because of its diversity within. On a large scale, the bioregions and continental soils substantially support sea life by the wash-off (natural and unnatural) of organic fertility into aquatic and ocean environments. This is a further service that these whole ecosystems perform for other whole ecosystems. A few basic principles of the earth’s life in the cosmos have now been established. Balance is cosmic law. The earth revolves around the sun in a finely tuned balance. The heat budget of the planet is a finely tuned balance. If the incoming heat declined, we would freeze or if the planet did not dissipate heat properly we would burn up. The climax ecosystem maintains a balance and stability century after century as the diverse flows of energies constantly move and cycle within it. In the same manner the human body maintains balance (homeostasis) while motion of blood, digestion and cell creation, flow within it. The life of the earth is fundamentally predicated upon the soil. If there is no soil, there is no life, as we know it. (Some micro-organisms and some other forms might still exist). Its vegetative cover maintains the soil and in optimal, balanced health, this cover is the natural climax ecosystem. If one can accept these few simple principles then we have established a basis of communication upon which we may proceed. Anyone who cannot accept these principles must demonstrate that the world works in some other way. This must be done quickly because the life of the planet earth hangs in the balance. We speak to our basic condition of life on earth. We have heard of many roads to salvation. We have heard that economic development will save us, solar heating will save us, technology, the return of Jesus Christ who will restore the heaven and the earth, the promulgation of land reform, the recycling of materials, the establishment of capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, Muslimism, vegetarianism, trilateralism, and even the birth of new Aquarian Age, we have been told, will save us. But the principle of soil says that if the humans cannot maintain the soil of the planet, they cannot live here. In 1988, the annual soil loss due to erosion was twenty-five billion tons and rising rapidly. Erosion means that soil moves off the land. An equally serious injury is that the soil’s fertility is exhausted in place. Soil exhaustion is happening in almost all places where civilization has spread. This is a literal killing of the planet by exhausting its fund of organic fertility that supports other biological life. Fact: since civilization invaded the Great Plains of North America one-half of the topsoil there has disappeared. The Record of Empire The eight thousand year record of crimes against nature committed by civilization includes assaults on the topsoil of all continents. Forests, the greatest generators of topsoil, covered roughly one-third of the earth prior to civilization. By 1975 the forest cover was one-fourth and by 1980 the forest had shrunk to one-fifth and the rapidity of forest elimination continues to increase. Indeed, World Wildlife Fund study released in 1998 states that between 1970 and 1995 the world’s forests declined ten percent. This is a loss of forest cover the size of England and Wales- each year. If the present trends continue without interruption eighty percent of the vegetation of the planet will be gone by 2040. The simple fact is that civilization cannot maintain the soil. Eight thousand years of its history demonstrate this. Civilization is murdering the earth. The topsoil is the energy bank that has been laboriously accumulated over millennia. Much of it is gone and the remainder is going rapidly. When civilized “development” of land occurs, the climax system is stripped, vegetation is greatly simplified or cleared completely and the NPP plummets. In the tropics, when pasture is created by clearing forest, two-thirds of the original NPP is eliminated. In the mid-latitudes one-half the NPP is lost when cropland is created from previously forested land. The next step is, that humans take much of even that impaired production off the land in the form of agricultural products so that not even the full amount of that impaired production returns to feed the soil. This points out a simple principle: Human society must have as its central value, a responsibility to maintain the soil. If we can create culture that can maintain the soil then there is the possibility of human culture regaining balance with the life of the earth. The central problem is that civilization is out of balance with the life of the earth. The solution to that problem is for human society to regain balance with the earth. We are now back to everyone’s personal answer concerning how to respond to the planetary crisis. Most proposals for salvation have little to do with maintaining the soil. All of these seek to alleviate the situation without making any uncomfortable change in the core values or structure of existing society. They only try to “fix” the symptoms. If we had a society whose core values were to preserve and aid the earth, then all of the other values of society would flow consistently from that. The civilized people believe they have an obligation to bring primitive and underdeveloped people up to their level. Civilization, which is about to self-destruct, thinks of itself as the superior culture that has an obligation to bring others “up” to its level. Civilization, is a cultural/mental view that believes security is based on instruments of coercion. The size of this delusion is such that the combined military expenditure of all the world’s governments in only one year- 1987- were so large that all of the social programs of the United Nations could be financed for three hundred years by this expenditure. Looking back at the simple principle which says that humans cannot live on this planet unless they can maintain the topsoil, demonstrates the delusion. The delusion of military power does not lead to security, it leads to death. The civilized denial of the imperative of maintaining topsoil, and the addictive grasping to the delusion that security can be provided by weapons of death, is akin to the hallucination of a alcoholic suffering delirium tremens! Civilization must come to see that its picture of reality is leading it to suicide. It lives on topsoil and it is destroying that topsoil. This is ultimately a self-destructive act. Here we have the whole of it. The problem is imbalance and the solution is to regain balance. Here we have the simple principle: if human actions help to regain balance as judged by the condition of the ecosystems and the soil beneath them, then we are on the path of healing the earth. If the theory, plan, project, or whatever cannot be justified by this standard, then we are back in the delusional system. We of civilization have lost our way. We are now functioning in a world of confusion and chaos. We must recognize that the delusional system of civilization, the mass institutions and our personal lives function on a self- destructive basis. We live in a culture that is bleeding the earth to death, and we have been making long range personal plans and developing careers within it. We strive toward something that is not to be. We must try to wake up and regain a vision of reality. We must begin taking responsibility for our lives and for the soil. This is a tall order. This will require study and forethought. That is what this book is about. Humans have never dealt with anything like this before. This generation is presented with a challenge that in its dimensions is cosmic. A cosmic question: will tens of millions of years of the proliferation of life on earth, die back to the microbes? This challenge presents us with the possibility of supreme tragedy or the supreme success. Creating a utopian paradise, a new Garden of Eden is our only hope. Nothing less will extricate us. We must create the positive, cooperative culture dedicated to life restoration and then accomplish that in perpetuity, or we, as a species cannot be on earth. NOTES 1 Natural Disasters: Acts of God or Acts of Man? Anders Wijkman & Lloyd Timberlake. New Society pub. Santa Cruz, Ca. 1988. p.58. 2 Gaia: An Atlas Of Planet Management. Dr. Norman Meyers, General Editor. Anchor Books. Garden City, New York. 1984. p. 41. 3 Famine In South Asia: Political Economy of Mass Starvation. Mohiuddin Alamgir. Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain Pub. Sweden. 1980. P. 135. 4 ibid., p. 135. 5 Physical Environment & Its Significance For Economic Development With Special Reference to Ethiopia. Sven Beltrens. C. W. R. Gleerup. Lund. Sweden. 1971. p. 110. 6 Losing Ground: Environmental Stress and World Food Prospects. Erik P. Eckholm. W.W. Norton & Co. New York. 1976. p. 94. 7 “The 500,000 Invisible Indians of El Salvador.” by Mac Chapin. Cultural Survival Quarterly. Vol. 13. #3. 1989. pp. 11-14. 8 ibid. p. 14. 9 EPOCA UPDATE. Pressure Mounts To Halt Pesticide Exports. Summer 1990. The Environmental Project on Central America. Earth Island Institute, 300 Broadway suite 28, San Francisco, CA. 94133. p. 13. 10 El Salvador: Ecology of Conflict. Green Paper #4. The Environmental Project On Central America. Earth Island Institute, 300 Broadway #28, San Francisco, Ca. 94133. p. 2. 11 ibid. p.3. 12 ibid. p.3. 13 Margin of Life: Population and Poverty in the Americas. J. Mayone Stycos. Grossman Pub. New York. 1974. See also: Losing Ground: Environmental Stress and World Food Prospects. Erik P. Eckholm. W. W. Norton Co. New York. 1976. FINAL EMPIRE CHAPTER 2: THE END OF CIVILIZATION If the planet and the human species are to survive we must create paradise. We must restore the life of the earth. The only way that the planet can heal itself is for the soils of the earth to be restored along with the ecosystems that will maintain those soils. To do this, human culture must undergo transformation from a culture of suicide and immediate gratification of immature impulses for material goods into a culture focused on life and wisdom, a culture of paradise. We must get below the threshold of consciousness of civilization and examine the real basis of the life of the earth- the soil. All of us have to struggle to throw off the mind conditioning that we have received in civilization. Our reality molding would have us believe that there are environmental problems such as toxic chemicals, radiation and acid rain. The fact is that our life crisis began with empire/civilization. The environmental crisis began thousands of years ago, when the Han Chinese began to destroy the vast forests of China and when the Indo-Europeans began to overgraze the vegetation and exhaust the soils of central Asia. For two to three million years humans lived on the planet in a stable condition; then suddenly with the cultural inversion to civilization, the earth began to die. Civilization is the environmental crisis and the loss of topsoil is our measure of the etiology of the disease. The materialistic values of civilization teach us that the accumulation of wealth is progress. The material wealth of civilization is derived from the death of the earth, the soils, the forests, the fish stocks, the “free resources” of flora and fauna. The ultimate end of this is for all of the human species to terminate in giant parasitical cities of cement and metal while surrounded by deserts of exhausted soils. The simple polar opposites are the richness and wealth of the natural life of earth versus the material wealth of people living out their lives in artificial environments. In order to accurately assess the planetary condition, the ecological survey that follows will first focus on the basic reality, the soil. It will then examine the health of the planetary forests. Then will follow an examination of the greatest ecological disaster, agriculture. We will focus on these matters because these are the basic and enduring damages and unless these are set right, there can be no recovery. Then the focus will turn to the last phase of civilization, the destruction caused by industrialization. Industrialization poses dangers stretching from poisons to planet-wide imbalances such as the greenhouse effect. Here we will see in detail how the options are rapidly narrowing for the human family as soil erosion, overgrazing and deforestation continue their inexorable spread throughout civilization. In the past few centuries, industrial society has provided a swift push toward the climax. The seminal study, The Limits to Growth: Report For The Club Of Rome’s Project On The Predicament of Mankind, shows how the dynamics of industrial society point us toward the final paroxysm.1 The Limits to Growth study was done in the early 1970’s by an international team of scholars at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The team, which came from many diverse disciplines, isolated the dynamic and interactive movements of the five basic factors of industrial society: resources, food per capita, population, pollution and industrial output per person. The standard- model computer run of all of these factors show that industrial society will begin its swift collapse sometime in the 2020’s. Here we quote the authors statement concerning the “World Model Standard Run:” “The `standard’ world model run assumes no major change in the physical, economic, or social relationships that have historically governed the development of the world system. All variables plotted here follow historical values from 1900 to 1970. Food, industrial output, and population grow exponentially until the rapidly diminishing resource base forces a slowdown in industrial growth. Because of natural delays in the system, both population and pollution continue to increase for some time after the peak of industrialization. Population growth is finally halted by a rise in the death rate due to decreased food and medical services.”2 The standard extrapolation of the growth curves since the 1900’s can easily be drawn out to the end, though chances are very good that war, depression, nuclear disaster, or eco-catastrophe will occur sometime before then. We live in a material civilization. We can count the barrels of oil, we can count the acres of wheat fields, and we can count the number of people. All the scholars who created the MIT study did, was to put all of the numbers from all of the scholarly fields on computers and extrapolate. The thing the computer cannot do is anticipate unpredictable breakdowns in the world system. The scholars did examine the possibilities of averting disaster (which assumes a very unlikely world society, nimble enough to coordinate a survival strategy). The scholars programmed the computers so as to double the estimated resource base, they created a model that assumed “unlimited” resources, pollution controls, increased agricultural productivity and “perfect” birth control. None of these or other aversion strategies could take the world system past 2100. The reason that the world system cannot go on with unlimited growth is because each of the five factors is interactive. If we assume unlimited fuels such as a simple fusion process, this simply drives the growth curves faster. There is more cheap fuel so the wheels of industry churn faster and resource exhaustion comes more quickly, population continues to climb and pollution climbs. If there is more food production, then population climbs and resources are exhausted more rapidly. If population is stabilized, resources still continue to decline and pollution increases because of increased consumption. If the factors of resources, food, and industrial output grow then population grows but the resulting pollution creates the negative feedback of having to maintain cancer hospitals and institutions for the birth defected and mutations caused by pollution as well as pollution damage to factors such as farm crops. Growth had been the fundamental pattern of the culture of civilization long before Alexander conquered the “known world.” The difference now is that the growth is approaching its outer limits and soon will have nothing left to feed on. We have come to the final cycle in which civilization will fall into entropy because it cannot any longer be sustained. There are no more virgin continents to exploit. There are few remaining forests to cut down so that new soils can be exploited and exhausted. In addition to this, the world population is now counted in the billions. The world has never before known this kind of exponentially increasing volume of flow and consumption of food, resources and industrial poisons. Because of these interactive forces world society is trapped within a system of cultural assumptions and patterns of behavior from which it cannot extricate itself. There is no way out. There will be a collapse of civilization. There is no question that there will be future famines in the ecologically devastated and desertified region of Ethiopia with its exploding human population, just as there is no question that civilization which eats up its resources and poisons the earth, will collapse. We are examining the process now in order to gain knowledge, because we are the people who will be attempting to live through the climax. An Inheritance of Destruction Life on earth has a long history. Bacterial microfossils have been discovered associated with some of the oldest unmetamorphosed rocks, which are 3.8 billion years old. We know that at least twice in this history, life has faced ecological catastrophe roughly equal to the one that we now are in. The first massive die-off was when cyanobacteria evolved, exhaling oxygen, and poisoned vast numbers of creatures. The second die-off, 65 million years ago, was the well known period when dinosaurs became extinct.3 After immense periods of time in which life proliferated, the human form appeared on earth. The fossil record, as unearthed in the Oldavi Gorge in Africa by the archeologist family, the Leakeys, goes back three million years. According to anthropologists, for that period of time, 99 per cent of human existence, we have been forager/hunters. Suddenly, and only an eyeblink in time of approximately ten thousand years, a different social form irrupted among the humans. This form is the monolithic and hierarchic social form known as empire. We are now assembling information on a third cataclysm to face life on earth, the age of human empire and its final apocalypse. The culture of empire, which also travels under the euphemism, civilization, is the cause of the third event. The culture of empire is characterized by ecological imbalance caused by cities, centralization, hierarchy, patriarchy, militarism and materialism. We find aspects of this cultural form among the Aztecs and Mayans of Meso-America, the Incas of Peru, Certain African kingdoms, the Egyptian dynasties and a few other locations. The most virulent strains of this cultural pathology developed in China, the Indus River valley and in Central Asia among the Indo-Europeans. It is the inheritance of this cultural form that is destroying the earth. China J. Russell Smith, author of a classic permaculture text, Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture; gives a characteristic picture of the land occupied by the old Asian empires: “I stood on the Great Wall of China high on a hill near the borders of Mongolia. Below me in the valley, standing up square and high, was a wall that had once surrounded a city. Of the city, only a few mud houses remained, scarcely enough to lead one’s mind back to the time when people and household industry teemed within the protecting wall. “The slope below the Great Wall was cut with gullies, some of which were fifty feet deep. As far as the eye could see were gullies, gullies, gullies-a gashed and gutted countryside. The little stream that once ran past the city was now a wide waste of coarse sand and gravels which the hillside gullies were bringing down faster than the little stream had been able to carry them away. Hence, the whole valley, once good farmland, had become a desert of sand and gravel, alternately wet and dry, always fruitless. It was even more worthless than the hills. Its sole harvest now is dust; picked up by the bitter winds of winter that rips across its dry surface in this land of rainy summers and dry winters. “Beside me was a tree, one lone tree. That tree was locally famous because it was the only tree anywhere in that vicinity; yet its presence proved that once there had been a forest over most of that land- now treeless and waste.”4 At one time nearly half of China was forested. The famous agricultural scholar, Georg Borgstrom estimates that 670 million acres of China were once covered.5 This forest, with its complex ecosystem was gone almost before written history. There is no doubt that it contained many species that became extinct and of which we will never know. One major consequence of the denudation of the vegetation of China is that its major rivers now carry more silt than any other river system in the world and the stories of the floods in China are as old as the Chinese empire. Indus River Valley The Indus River valley of western India once hosted an empire. Some one thousand years before the Chinese began the ecological destruction of China an empire existed in this area that is dated between 2,500 BC and 1,500 BC Evidence suggests that this was a forested region with an ecology that among other things contained elephant, rhinoceros, water buffalo, tiger, crocodile, bear, goose, lizard and tortoise. Edward Hyams, in his study, Soil and Civilization; indicates that the forest was cleared for agriculture, the fuel needed for the firing of mud bricks and the smelting of metals. This plus soil exhaustion created the destruction of the ecology and the implosion of the empire. This means that much of the area of the former empire of the Indus River valley was forest and it is now semi-arid desert. While this seems at first like an unlikely change, Hyams points to examples from Australia where that change has happened in the past hundred years. He says: “The present vegetation of Sind is tamarisk and scrub. In not dissimilar climatic conditions in Australia in our own times, such a vegetation has sprung up upon soils rendered semi-arid by forest clearance, by overstocking with cattle, or by soil-fertility `mining’ with wheat.”6 The Indo-Europeans of Central Asia Some seven thousand years before the present, the origin culture of what we now call the Indo-European language group, domesticated wheat and barley, which were wild plants of the region of the Caucasus Mountains. They also domesticated sheep and goats. This was the beginning of the culture of empire in Central Asia. The history of this culture along with the culture of the Han Chinese leads right down to the present day. From Afghanistan, through northern Persia to central Turkey the mountain areas have been deforested and eroded to the point that they are now simply bare, arid ranges.7 Grazing, deforestation for smelting, heating and cooking, and trees removed for agriculture are the chief culprits that have destroyed the soils and the ecology. The soils of Central Asia and the Mid-East have gone to the ocean. Massive erosion of soils on the watersheds of the Tigris-Euphrates river system was created by at least five thousand years of imperial abuse. Scholars calculate that the erosion material from this watershed has filled in the Persian Gulf for one hundred and eighty miles in the last forty-five hundred years. An area of more than 2,000 square miles has been filled. Prior to the empires, the Tigris and Euphrates had separate mouths that emptied into the Persian Gulf.8 Throughout this region we can see what will be the final stages of the whole of civilization. After the forests are cut and the grasslands overgrazed, plant regimes from drier environments move in. Spiny and thorny brush move in along with the hardier, tougher grasses. As the region continues to be razed for firewood and goat fodder, the harder layers of subsoil are exposed. Finally, the hard surfaces of desert pavements form. As hard subsoil and bedrock are reached a moonscape is created from which no recovery is possible. The Empires of Greece and Rome As we follow the denudation of the Mediterranean area, we see that Greece was well advanced toward ecological destruction early in that country’s imperial career. Many of the wars of conquest were simply to gain new forests for use in building warships. Author David Attenborough describes the type of effects caused by the denudation of the Greek mainland: “Thermopylae, on the Greek coast, was the site in 480 BC of one of the most heroic battles in ancient history. A tiny detachment of Greek soldiers, commanded by the king of Sparta, held a narrow pass between the sea for three days against a huge Persian army. Today, that pass no longer exists. The soil from the hills above has been washed down by the rivers and deposited at the edge of the sea in such quantities that the pass has been transformed into a wide plain.”9 One of the colonies used to gain shipbuilding lumber was Ephesus on the western coast of Turkey. By the fourth century, BC the harbor was so silted because of deforestation and soil abuse in the uplands that the harbor had to be moved farther along the coast. The new harbor quickly filled in and the location now is three miles from the Mediterranean.10 In Italy and Sicily soil destruction has been epidemic. “The Italian coast from south of Ravenna; north and eastward almost to Trieste has been extending itself into the Adriatic Sea for at least twenty centuries,” one scholar reports. The city of Ravenna, once on the coastline is now six miles inland.11 The impact of the successive empires on the “breadbasket” of North Africa has been to destroy it. Both Greece and Rome used the luxuriant North Africa as a mainstay of empire. Finally the Arab, Ottoman Turks and other minor empires destroyed the last shreds of the ecology. At one time six hundred colonial cities stretched from Egypt to Morocco and the area provided Rome with two-thirds of its wheat budget. Now much of the area is barren, eroded and can hardly support goats.12 It is no accident that now the diet of these former empires is based on goats, grapes and olives. This is ecological poverty food. As these cultures have destroyed their lands, the plants and animals that remain such as goats, grapes and olives are ones that can subsist on denuded and dry soils. This brief review of the original areas of civilization can help us visualize what the earth will eventually look like in most areas where that human culture has spread. But, because of our massive modern population and technology, the destruction that took place over thousands of years is now being accomplished in very brief time spans. The ecological destruction has not stopped even now, but in the present continues on, headed for bedrock. NOTES: 1. The Limits to Growth: A Report For The Club Of Rome’s Project On The Predicament Of Mankind. Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers and William W. Behrens III. New American Library. New York. 1974. 2. ibid. p. 129. 3. 1990 Catalog of Seeds. A.M. Kapular, PhD. Peace Seeds, A Planetary Gene Pool Resource and Service. 2385 SE Thompson St., Corvallis, Oregon 97333. P.1. 4. Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture. J. Russell Smith. Devin-Adair Co., Old Greenwich. 1977. P.3. 5. The Hungry Planet: The Modern World at the Edge of Famine. Georg Borgstrom. Collier Books. New York. 1972. P. 106. 6. Soil and Civilization. Edward Hyams. Harper & Row. New York. 1976. P. 69. 7. ibid. pp. 55-64. See also: Man and the Mediterranean Forest: A History of Resource Depletion. J. V. Thirgood. Academic Press. New York. 1981. P. 62. And Losing Ground: Environmental Stress and World Food Prospects. Erik P. Eckholm. W. W. Norton & Co. New York. 1976. P. 94. 8. Man’s Role In Changing The Face Of The Earth. William L. Thomas, Jr., Ed. U of Chicago Press. Chicago, Ill. Vol. 2. P. 510. 9. The First Eden: The Mediterranean World and Man. David Attenborough. Little, Brown & Co. Boston. 1987. P. 169. 10. ibid. p. 118. 11. Thomas, op. cit. P. 511. 12. Attenborough, op. cit. P. 116. The Final Empire: Part Two: THE COLLAPSE OF THE ECOSYSTEM CHAPTER 3: SOIL: THE BASIS OF LIFE The Organic Rights All beings of the earth, from microbes to elephants exist in a web of organic energy flows. Everything in the material world is food and everything is excrement. Everything is part of the energy flow. Even edges of tectonic plates slide down into the magma, which is then spouted out of volcanoes. When the flow of energy comes from the sun to be consumed by the plant, this begins a succession of energy transformations called the food chain. Beings eat each other. This flow of solar energy undergoes many transformations. In addition to these connections in the food chain there are many more energy connections that are of a cooperative and contributory nature. Beings provide many services for one another that have nothing to do with eating each other. Bees pollinate flowers, birds transport and deposit seeds. Fungi combine with the root hairs of plants and the ensemble generates food for both plants and fungi that otherwise neither would be able to absorb. Each being, because it lives according to its nature, contributes to the smooth functioning of the whole. There are beings such as elephants, tigers, humans and others whose consciousness is such that the intellectual function is well developed but the organic memory is not highly developed such as it is in animals like the earthworm or frog. Earthworms and frogs do not need to be taught what they are, their identity, they simply know what their nature is. The elephant, tiger or human, on the other hand have to be taught their culture by their parents or clan. This is shown by the fact that these animals, if raised in captivity and turned loose in their natural habitat, will starve, because they have not learned their culture. Many civilized people have starved in the midst of abundant food that native people utilize with ease. These beings, deprived of knowledge, do not know their organic identity. For two to three million year’s humans lived in clans and tribes as forager/hunters. In that culture we learned our personal identity within the clan and we learned that we had an organic identity as one among many beings of the earth. We learned of the other beings and their habits of life. We learned of life and the conditions for the growth of life. This organic right, to know who and what we are and that we are located within a web of living energies must be a birthright of all humans. The earthworm conducts its life and contributes its excrement to help create the valuable humus of the soil. The bird visits one oasis in the desert and then transports seeds to another oasis. All beings must act responsibly and do their part for the world to function. For life to persist they must act according to their natures. For a being such as the human who can be so constructive or destructive this is important, important for the continuance of the human species so that they do not ignorantly destroy that which feeds them. All beings of earth have a vital interest in humans knowing their organic place in nature, because when humans do not know, they become organic psychotics and wantonly destroy other beings. If the human species intends to exist in perpetuity, children must be provided with these organic rights. Most people in civilization grow up in boxes. Artificial environments and designer landscapes are most children’s’ formative, environmental experience. Even farm children do not have a sense of the beauty and complexity of a completely natural and unaltered environment. In order to give the human species a chance of survival, all children should have a right to the organic knowledge that they are an integral part of the life of earth. They need this knowledge in order to make rudimentary ethical and survival decisions. Children should at least be taught fully what soil is. Soil is the foundation of life of the planet, only the uninformed think of it as dirt, they pave it over, they dump poisons on it and they strip the vegetation so that the soil runs away without even realizing what they are doing. Children should be told that soil must receive sustenance. This factor, the decline of the soil’s food, applies to all of the land mass where civilization exists, not just farm fields but ballparks, golf courses, wetlands that are drained, houses, yards, pastures and any other place that has had the climax ecosystem removed. Anytime biomass is removed from the land in the form of cattle, logs, corn, vegetables or even grass clippings; the soil is deprived of that amount of feed. Because civilized people do not know what they are, they talk politics, religion, and science and pursue material wealth while the basis of their life on earth, the soil, slips away beneath their feet. The Soil Soil is the gut of the earth, the principal digestive organ of planetary life. Soil is partially composed of rock chips, clay, sand, minerals and organic detritus, but it is also an interdependent living community of micro-organisms, insects, worms, small animals, reptiles and other organisms (even some birds) which live in, contribute to and feed on components of the soil. Like the bacterial community in the human gut that predigests the human food, the soil is a living community of organisms which produces the necessary conditions for the plant communities to exist. The excrement of the gut community feeds the human, and the excrement of the soil community feeds the vegetative community, which lives on the soil. Plants do not absorb earth. Plants absorb nutrients that are in solution in the soil moisture. These nutrient solutions are the result of many energy transformations as they pass through a number of organisms. The creation of soil begins with an inert and infertile subsoil of clay, sand, rock chips and rocks. When the first pioneer or “first aid” plant germinates it begins to thrust its roots down into the hard compacted earth. It pumps moisture and minerals up from the earth to its stems and leaves. It drops its leaves and stems on the surface. The decomposers, small insects and microbes that live in the soil, eat the organic material that the plant has dropped. The organic material, by covering the raw earth begins to shade it from the evaporative and oxidizing effect of direct sunlight. Moisture retention improves the habitat for small creatures that burrow, opening up the earth to more moisture and to oxygen that will allow more microorganisms to exist. Porousness and organic build-up on and in the soil help increase the soil’s fertility. The organic material on the surface feeds the soil community and other beings eat primary soil ingredients such as rock chips, roots and other micro beings, both dead and alive. As roots die and leave micro tunnels and as earthworms and others create tunnels, passageways are created for the infiltration of water and oxygen, two vital needs of the soil community. As the soil increases its fertility it becomes more porous, it retains more moisture and the temperature extremes are moderated. As the soil builds, the richness and diversity of the habitat increases. More varieties of beings can find niches in the web of life. As the soil is opened up a succession of plants follow the pioneer species and find it easier to get their roots down into the soil. Bill Mollison, in his definitive work on Permaculture, Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual, says of the living component in a typical soil: “50 per cent is fungi, 20 per cent is bacteria, 20 per cent yeast, algae, and protozoan, and only 10 per cent the larger fauna such as earthworms, nematodes, arthropods and mollusk fauna (the micro-and macro-fauna), and their larvae.” He adds that, “Such classes of organisms are found in soils everywhere, in different proportions.”1 The activities of the fungi are especially interesting. The body of the fungus stretches itself through the soil like a giant spider web. When the time comes for sexual reproduction most varieties of these fungi thrust up out of the soil, and produce what we call a mushroom. This is the sexual organ of the underground body. The web strands underground grow toward the root hairs of plants. As the threads of the fungi touch the root hair, the cells of the fungi invade the cells of the plant root. The fungus does not have the ability to translate solar energy into biomass (photosynthesis) but it can receive foods from the tree. The tree itself begins to absorb food from the cells of the fungi. Sir Albert Howard who wrote the historic treatise on organic agriculture, The Soil and Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture; explains that: “Here we have a simple arrangement on the part of Nature by which the soil material on which these fungi feed can be joined up, as it were, with the sap of the tree. These fungous threads are very rich in protein and may contain as much as 10 per cent of organic nitrogen; this protein is easily digested by the ferments (enzymes) in the cells of the root; the resulting nitrogen complexes, which are readily soluble, are then passed into the sap current and so into the green leaf. An easy passage, as it were, has been provided for food material to move from soil to plant in the form of proteins and their digestion products, which latter in due course reach the green leaf. The marriage of a fertile soil and the tree it nourishes is thus arranged. Science calls these fungous threads mycelium…, the whole process is known as the mycorrhizal association. This partnership is universal in the forest and is general throughout the vegetable kingdom.”2 The soil breathes through the sponge-like passages in it. One cause of air movement is the lunar gravitational attraction. Just as the moon causes tides, it also pulls on aquifers and soil water. This water movement exhales and inhales air in the soil. Differentials of high and low pressure zones in the atmosphere passing overhead also effect the earth’s breathing in the same way. As noted by Mollison, even such things as the bodies of worms pushing through the tubes, effect earth respiration. As the soil becomes what we might call “mature” or climax, it is porous; it holds more water and air. As its diversity and richness increase, the vegetative cover grows richer and more diverse, thus feeding the soil more. Trees move in. They put out their feeder roots horizontally in the soil and the taproots deep into the subsoil. From the subsoil they bring up water that is transpired, improving the local microclimate. Minerals are also brought up from the deep, which go into leaf structure and finally end up on the soil surface. When the trees die, their decaying root systems leave deeper cavities. Within this enriching soil, the burrowing animals are working, churning the soil/subsoil, as other plants are growing and dying to deposit their dead bodies on the surface as food for the community. In this way the soil circulates toward increased fertility. Mollison points out the high value of soils by reminding us that the only place that soils are conserved or increased are: in uncut forests, in the muck under quiet ponds or lakes, in prairies and meadows of permanent plants and where we grow plants with mulched or non-tillage systems.3 The general rule of thumb used by ecologists is that three hundred to one thousand years are required to build one inch of topsoil. This means that thousands of years of production can easily be wiped out in a season. The Process of Soil Collapse Soil injury and death is a severe health problem for the earth. Natural processes that severely injure or destroy soil over large areas are rare. They occur in geologic time spans such as the ice ages, vast climatic changes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the movement of tectonic plates. On a smaller scale, intense fires, landslides, or floods can damage local soils. The history of “rapid” and large-scale soil injury is actually the history of the activities of civilization. The process of soil collapse and destruction is essentially the reverse of soil build-up. When soil builds, it opens up, breathes and accumulates moisture. More and more niches are provided to expand the diversity of the soil community. As soil deteriorates these factors decline and soil degenerates toward a solid clay-like impervious mass that inhibits life activities. Soil Exhaustion The soil is in a continuous cycle that must be fed organic detritus continually. If this cycle is stopped, the primary food of the community ceases. If the food ceases and the plants continue to feed on the soil, as in a corn field, the soil will become exhausted. When cattle graze, they remove essential elements from the cycle. A ton of beef has depleted the soil of approximately 26 pounds of calcium, 54 pounds of nitrogen, 3 pounds of potassium, 15 pounds of phosphorus and many other trace elements. This same situation obtains in a forest where the biomass is hauled away in the form of logs. Anything that detracts from the circulation of essential elements injures the soil. Any decline in the climax vegetation will cause a decline in the health of the soil community because of the decline of flow in the nutrient cycles. When a forest is cleared or a prairie is plowed, soil health is impaired. The first growing season on this land may be highly productive, but after several years even with manuring and fallow periods, the soil can function only at a level considerably below its optimum. Agricultural soils that can be maintained over centuries, are generally heavy clay soils but even these erode, lose humus and become compacted. These soils must be maintained with great care to maintain sustainability at their greatly lowered level of health. Unless large amounts of organic material are added each year, the soil will decline, because the soil community continues to feed, consuming the available organic and the biological nutrients until there is no more. At this point we have what farmers call “farmed out” land. On a small piece of land near Willits, California a group of experimental gardeners called Ecology Action began to build soil on a hillside that was considered of “intermediate” value for grazing. They report that it was difficult to get a shovel into the original soil. After seventeen years of intense work, they have created a soil that will support luxurious plant growth through a method that they call “biointensive gardening.” To increase soil fertility, they leave three-quarters of the soil in fallow crops of sunflowers, vetch, fava beans, wheat and rye. This experiment is deliberately a closed system, with no organic material being imported for compost (which would deprive other soils). This experiment gives us a rough standard to judge how much must be done to keep a soil sustainable and increasing in fertility. It means that three-quarters of the soil must be planted with plants that build up the soil while one-quarter are used by plants that feed on the soil and are then removed.4 A test conducted for 41 years, between 1894 and 1935 by the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station at Wooster, Ohio, demonstrates the soil loss and yield on three sets of experimental plots devoted to continuous corn cultivation. This test shows the effect on the soil of “normal” farming methods. See Table at http://WWW.RAINBOWBODY.NET/Finalempire/FEchap3.htm or Page 29 “The Final Empire” by William Kotke (10-5-10 is 10 nitrogen, 5 phosphate and 10-lbs. potassium per l00 lbs. total ingredients) This study demonstrates that even with manuring, the soil suffers. In order to complement the nutrient cycle fully; so that the soil does not become depleted, even larger amounts of organic matter need to be applied. This is part of the problem of civilized agriculture. Where does the organic matter come from? In pre-industrial days, fallow periods were used. Plants were grown on the fields and then plowed into the soil. Manure from draft animals- cattle, pigs and chickens, was also applied to the soil. This slowed the depletion of the soil. Then came the tractor. The draft animal manure was lost. The land that was used to grow feed for the draft animals was turned to other crops. Vast fields of corn, wheat, soybeans or other monocrops were put in and fertilized artificially. In the above table, the greatest loss of organic matter occurred with the use of artificial fertilizers. The artificially fertilized soil lost even more than the plot with no treatment. This happens because the artificial fertilizers do spur plant growth and this in turn draws more energy out, thus causing the soil to lose even more organic matter. This study points out a crucial, but seldom-noticed fact. Everywhere in the world where the industrial agricultural system and the “green revolution” have spread, this process is happening to the soil. Farmers physically take biomass off the soil and this breaks the nutrient cycle. But even though the soil health is declining, crops continue to be raised because artificial fertilizer is injected into the soil. To industrial agriculture the soil itself is irrelevant. In fact, many modern farmers say that all they need the soil for is to “prop up” the plants while they artificially inject the nutrients. While this is true, it is equally true that this process is masking the actual biological deterioration of the planet’s soils. The short-term gain might be large, but if artificial fertilizers become too costly to purchase, or if easily extracted petroleum energy from which artificial fertilizers and agricultural poisons are generated, becomes exhausted, the world will face starvation because the soils are dead. The final yield on the top line of the chart where no help was given to the soil shows about where the world population will be when the petroleum fueled fertilizer plants shut down. A billion and a half people in the world are now fed simply because of the added increase made possible with chemical fertilizers. If chemical fertilizers were eliminated, world agricultural production would drop by at least one-third.5 Soil Compaction Compaction of soils is another common injury that occurs on and off the farm. Anytime weight is put on soil; the pores tend to be crushed. This causes the moisture holding ability to decline and decreases soil breathing. This also inhibits plant growth because plants must expend more effort in order to get their roots down into the soil. As compaction increases, less water infiltrates and more water runs off, which increases the erosion of the topsoil. Plowing causes compaction because it requires heavy equipment. Trampling by confined livestock also creates soil compaction. The plow is probably the cause of more soil death than any other factor. When the iron bottom plow was invented, a great change occurred in agriculture. Light soils had earlier been worked with wooden plows, but when the iron bottom plow was created, deep, heavy, clay soils could be worked and this greatly expanded the area of civilized agriculture. Finally the moldboard plow was created which completely overturns the soil because of its increased curvature. The plow historically has been associated with Indo-European field agriculture. It is associated with the Indo-European cultural value of increasing production and as such was used by the Roman Empire in their vast agricultural enterprises. Digging stick and hoe, often in slash and burn plots in forests had done prior planting. This method had minimal interference with the soil and usually the cover vegetation of small plants was not eliminated. With the plow it is possible to completely clear the land and in this way much more land can be worked. Plowing also has the result of burying the cover vegetation. When the open fields are disced or harrowed after plowing, which break up clods and level the soil, the planting can be much more “efficient” and therefore much more land can be farmed. Plowing breaks up and collapses the soil pores and water/air passageways. When the soil is overturned the entire soil community and their relationships are overturned. After a forest is cleared and the land is first plowed, the soil still maintains its crumbly, granular nature. It is soft and friable. After a few seasons the crumb structure has broken down and the clay aspect of the soil begins to predominate. The plowing, which creates chunks and clods, impairs the soil’s ability to receive soil moisture which “wicks” upward by capillary action. Edward H. Faulkner who wrote the classic treatise, Plowman’s Folly, has shown how plowing disturbs the capillary action and how the moldboard plow by completely overturning the soil, reinforces this disturbance. After plowing, the layer of surface vegetation comes to lie upside down in the soil. Thus, a layer of loosely pressed organic matter is compressed under the soil surface. This breaks the capillary action. The capillary action occurs when moisture evaporates from the surface and draws moisture upward.6 The plowing of soil often results in the creation of a hardpan just below the bottom of the plow. As the plow goes through the soil year after year the layer created just below the foot of the plow becomes more and more compacted until it becomes an impervious layer. This allows water to accumulate and build-up to the level of the plant roots where it can drown the plants and kill the soil community by salinization. The layer of hardpan traps minerals held in the water so that they concentrate as the water slowly evaporates. Eventually this creates a dead soil that can only be reclaimed with great difficulty. When the soil is plowed, the deeper layer that contains soil moisture is overturned and exposed to wind and sun. This dries out the soil. The effect of direct sunlight on raw soil is very destructive. The sunlight oxidizes the soil. When the soil oxidizes, chemicals combine with oxygen and decrease their use to the soil community. The effect is to dry it out and lessen its fertility. All of this prepares the soil to be carried away by the wind and water. As the plowed soil deteriorates, its clayey nature begins to predominate. The surface becomes more and more impermeable. Less moisture infiltrates to the ailing soil community. Water running off soil is the beginning of the end. As water runs off, it begins to carry soil with it. As the more friable top layers go, lower layers with less water absorbency are exposed so that the water runs off faster. As this occurs even more soil is carried away. Even in an undisturbed environment there is some erosion of soil off the land but it is much less than the volume of soil build-up. The following figures show the comparisons of erosion in the same area that has different types of soil cover: “In Ohio it was reckoned that 174,000 years would be required to remove from 7 to 8 inches of top-soil by runoff in a forested area, 29,000 years in a meadow, 100 years if the soil is wisely planted with crop rotation and 15 years if corn alone is planted ” (Bennett, 1939).7 The phenomenon of leaching is a pivotal factor in soil conditioning. Rainforest soils are leached constantly by the heavy rains. The large volume of water carries minerals from the topsoil down into the subsoil, but in desert environments, soil moisture evaporates more rapidly than it can be leached downward. This results in a higher level of nutrient/mineral buildup, which can be exploited by irrigators. They can utilize the sandy soils, which have a relatively low concentration of humus but nonetheless are nutrient rich and grow substantial crops if water can be obtained. But buildup of nutrients in desert soils happens over a long period of time and soil can be exhausted quickly unless artificial fertilizers are applied. Organic feed for the soil could be applied, but in a desert environment the production of organic material is limited. In the formerly forested areas of Lebanon, now degraded to a semi-arid desert environment, people collect manure from the goats that graze the sparse brush in the mountains and transport it to Beirut and the coastal city, Tripoli, to the north, to fertilize orange and banana plantations.8 Soil Erosion Soil can become exhausted in place and soil can be removed by erosion. Plow agriculture leads to soil erosion but there are also other civilized practices that create soil erosion. Grazing by livestock, deforestation, mining, and many other human activities all lead to erosion. There are three basic types of erosion; these are gully, sheet and wind. Gully erosion results in the familiar “erosion canyons” that we see on hillsides. Sheet erosion is a more camouflaged type in which large areas of a hillside slowly creep downhill to a “slump” at the foot of the slope. This type of erosion is sometimes only apparent when closely examined or when a “slump” can be seen at the bottom of a hill. Sheet erosion is generally found on inclined, plowed fields and steeper grazed pastures. Wind erosion occurs when the soil simply blows away. In some areas, especially flatlands, this type of erosion can become the predominate source of deterioration. Soil impermeability, the failure of rainwater to be absorbed and seep into the soil is the beginning of erosion. Deforestation, overgrazing, plowing, or other stripping of the vegetative cover lessens the possibility that rain will be slowed down and stopped so that it may seep into the soil, subsoil and the underground waterways. As more soil is carried away, the more impermeable subsoil layers are exposed which causes more volume of water to run off faster. Because the less fertile subsoil is exposed, the vegetation that is adapted to the topsoil has less chance to re-establish itself. This is the reason that the downward spiral, once triggered, is self-perpetuating. The rains continue to come, and continue to erode, but once the plants can no longer get a foothold the process will simply continue until it reaches bedrock or other impervious layer. The failure of water to infiltrate to the level of the lower groundwater effects the hydrology of the entire region. Even in a semi-arid region, if the topsoil is intact and the vegetative cover exists to absorb a large percentage of the rainfall, the water will seep in to collect in the subsoil. There it will be held away from the heat and evaporative effects of the sun for the deeper plant roots. The water that drains further into the earth will come to reside in underground aquifers. In many cases these aquifers will drain out in springs in lower elevations, providing a slow dependable flow that energizes local ecosystems and creates a slow dependable year around stream flow in the area. When soils are abused and the spiral of deterioration is triggered, the familiar flood/drought cycle begins. When the water runs off rapidly rather than infiltrating, floods are created. In the other half of the cycle, because the water is not retained by absorbent topsoil and as subsoil water, the springs dry up, the streams dry up and there is less vegetation to transpire moisture. Transpiration of moisture creates a more salubrious microclimate for small micro-ecosystems under trees and in thicker patches of vegetation. As the unnatural floods begin, and increase in severity, erosion canyons are torn out of the earth. Narrow streambeds with well-vegetated banks are torn out and stream courses are widened. Anywhere that wide, primarily dry streambeds exist that are filled with boulders, gravel and large, dry sandbars, severe erosion is taking place. This is the image of a stream that has suffered flooding because of upland abuse. As the floodwaters rush down carrying sterile sand and gravel from an abused watershed, the erosion material begins to bury fertile lower elevation floodplains with this debris. The aquatic ecology of the stream is impaired or destroyed along with the fertile riparian (stream side, or canyon bottom) habitat. This is the history of civilization from China, to India, to the Caucuses of Central Asia, to Europe and now to the whole world. Civilization equals aridity. The stark reality of this spiral of deterioration can be seen now in areas of India and in Southern Mexico where areas that were formerly rainforests are now desert in spite of occasional, heavy rains. Researchers Anders Wijkman and Lloyd Timberlake in their study, Natural Disasters: Acts of God or Acts of Man?; find that drought and floods are the “natural” disasters that effect by far the largest number of people around the planet. As the planet deteriorates, the numbers rapidly increase. In the 1960’s 18,500,000 people were effected by drought: in the 1970’s 24,400,000 were effected. In the 1960’s, floods effected 5,200,000 people and in the 1970’s floods effected 15,400,000. 9 Soil erosion is not an esoteric matter. Anywhere one is, it can be seen. It is possible to view any area and roughly conclude the erosion rate. In an uninjured climax condition, most waterways of the earth are, or were, clear. The discoloration of any stream or river means that the watershed is being abused. If the color of a body of water is green, it indicates that nutrients are eroding into the water causing a population explosion of plant organisms. If the color of the water tends toward brown, it is simply from gross movement of the soil and subsoil into the water. Soil erosion is not a “glamour” issue with the world media but it is one of the most life- threatening problems on the planet. Erosion hot spots are U.S. grain lands, Eastern Mexico, Northeast Brazil, North Africa, Sahel, Botswana-Namibia, Middle East, Central Asia, Mongolia, Yangtze River watershed of northern China, Himalayan foothills, Baluchistan, Rajasthan and Australia. This listing is of regions with present erosion emergencies, it does not list for example, regions already lost to erosion such as the southeastern U.S. or most regions which are experiencing, not emergency depletion, but serious and steady erosion. In addition to exhaustion of the soil, half of all arable land on the planet is experiencing erosion over and above any build-up of soil.10 Erosion is a contributory mechanism in the loss of arable land on the earth. Erosion, desertification, toxification, and non-agricultural uses will eat up one fifth of the world’s arable land between 1975 and 2000. Another one fifth will go by 2025. These figures are for arable land and do not include the general erosion and degradation of lands all over the earth from human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing, fire, and other injudicious human occupancy. Soil Abuse by Grazing: Herding the Hoofed Locusts The herding of animals is the lowest possible productive use of the land, yet it is done over much of the planet. If the purpose were to feed people, rather than to pay off bank loans or make profits in the money economy- or in the pastoral, nomadic cultures, to inflate herd size and patriarchal egos- much better use of most lands could be instituted immediately. The authors of Forest Farming, a permaculture textbook, report that herders can get an average of 200 pounds of meat from an acre of optimum grazing land. That same area of land could produce one and one-half tons of cereal grain, seven tons of apples, or 15-20 tons of flour from the pods of honey locust trees. Although there is no commercial market for it, honey locust flour is superior in nutritional value to any cereal grain.11 Much of the grassland, savanna, steppe-type area of the earth has evolved with wild grazing animals. The vegetation and the grazers perform many services for each other. The grazing animals act as seed transport and manuring agencies. When a herd of herbivores occasionally comes over an area their hooves churn up the topsoil, aerate it and press seeds into the soil so they can germinate. The hooves create small pockmarks in the soil where organic debris and water can collect- this is especially helpful in semi-arid areas. Given this moisture and the water or wind-borne mulch in the pockmark to retain water and to retard desiccation, the grass seed will have a good chance of germination. It is said that one could follow the bison herds of the Great Plains on their migration routes by tracking the kinds of grasses that they preferred. As the bison would travel these “highways of grass” each year they would also replant their preferred grasses. Natural herbivores migrate, following the abundance of vegetation. With free-roaming animals in a natural setting there is no danger of overgrazing because when the vegetation is sparse in one area they simply move to another. Though this migration might appear to be casual, the life of the herbivore/vegetation association, evolving through tens of thousands of years, is a natural, potentiative system where all of the beings contribute to their collective survival. The original herbivores in the Western U.S. were bison, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mule deer, blacktail deer, some small animals and some insects. Nancy and Denzel Ferguson, in their exposé of overgrazing, Sacred Cows at the Public Trough, write: “Originally, between 5 and 10 million bison roamed the plains of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and the intermountain valleys and mountains of the West. Today the 11 western states (excluding Montana) support 495 bison-less than one ten-thousandth of the original number. Original pronghorn populations in the 11 western states numbered between 10 and 15 million compared with about 271,000 today, which is about 2 or 3 percent of the original number. Bighorn sheep have dropped from an estimated 1 to 2 million to 20,400 (perhaps 1 percent of the original number). Original populations of mule deer and blacktail deer are estimated at about 5 million (which may be high) as compared to about 3.6 million today. Finally, pristine populations of elk, which probably numbered about 2 million, have dwindled to about 455,000, a decline of about 75 percent.”12 Each of these herbivores ate different varieties of plants. As they roamed, they cropped the land evenly. When these animals were replaced with domesticated cows (and sheep), the ecosystem began to go downhill, and the topsoil began to go down the river. In Africa, it has been shown that when cows are inserted in grasslands and the multiplicity of herbivores occurring naturally is eradicated, the production of meat goes down. According to a recent study, “… an untouched savanna is capable of an annual production of 24 to 37 tons of meat per square kilometer in the form of wild animals, while the best pasture-cattle systems in Africa can yield only eight tons of beef per square kilometer per year. Yet in the name of agricultural progress and the imperative of control, many ungulates are being threatened with extinction, and other herd sizes are being substantially reduced.”13 The above comparison underlines a basic point. The insertion of civilized agriculture into natural systems always lowers the net photosynthetic production, simplifies the environment and in many cases the amount of food civilized systems realize is much lower than could be realized by forager/hunters from the very same area. The reason that the natural system is so much more productive in terms of grazing animals is that the natural animals can migrate, sometimes long distances, to crop the most abundant growths. They also crop different types of plants in the same area. That is, the elk with its wide mouth is primarily a grass grazer, the deer with it narrower mouth pokes about in the brush and trees for food, the pronghorn is a grass grazer though its preferred grasses are different than the elk’s. The mountain sheep prefers a different set of plants, as do the rabbits, rodents and other herbivores. In the natural setting the entire range of vegetation is grazed. In the cow-sheep operation, a few species of annual grasses are the predominate target, and the natural animals are killed off or driven away. Livestock have species of plants that they prefer. These confined animals will graze their preferred grasses until they are all gone, after which they will then start on their second preference, and so forth. As the annual and perennial grasses are grazed out, pioneer plants, tough grasses, forbs and brush that are acclimated to more arid conditions, move in to rescue the situation as soil erosion increases. The damaging characteristic of the cow, to graze its preferred grass until it is gone, is one of the reasons that the natural mix of grasses in an ecosystem is so severely altered by grazing of domesticated animals. Even where there is an abundant stand of grass it may be grass that has succeeded because it is not favored by the cow. This is damaging to the ecosystem because this alters the food availability of the natural herbivores (if any have survived) and alters the ecology of the entire area. The confined cattle alter the mix of native vegetation and eliminate species. They trample vegetation and compact soil. Historically, the cow and sheep have been used to graze land that has some ecological health. Later when the land is driven to more arid conditions with little grass and a predominance of woody forbs and brush, the goat will be brought in to crop that vegetation. Finally the land can be driven to the point that the goat can no longer benefit from it. There are millions of acres of the planet that began as forests or grasslands and are now in this condition of being so poor that they cannot even support goats. The United States government, which controls most of the rangeland in the western United States, is standing by while the ranchers overgraze and destroy the lands of the American west. Because of overgrazing, millions of acres of the U.S. west have been invaded by exotic plants, which colonize the bare ground where native grasses formerly grew. One of these grasses is “cheat grass,” also known as feathery brome. Cheat grass is an annual that has invaded from Asia, possibly transported in the gut of an imported animal or brought in by some misguided herder. It has a peculiar strategy for preparing its habitat. It is a fire- adapted plant; that is, it uses fire to spread itself. With its fine lacy leaves and stems, it is considered to be 500 times more flammable than native grasses. The plant greens up early in the spring for about six weeks, sets seed and dies, covering the ranges with highly flammable material. Once it ignites, it burns rapidly, eliminating any other grass and vegetation that is not fire adapted. In this way other plants are burned off and new areas are opened for the spread of cheat grass. As with the exotic grasses planted by range management people such as crested wheat grass, few natural beings in the ecosystem are able to utilize cheat grass. Cows and domestic sheep can eat cheat grass for only about six weeks in the spring, when the plants are green. The bristle- like, spear-pointed covering of the seed of the cheat grass plant, called the awn, is designed to stick to animals and birds for transportation. If an animal grazes on the dried grass, there is danger of the seedheads of this grass imbedding themselves in the jowls of the animals and even in their ears and eyes. This causes infections and sometimes death. Some of the damage caused by overgrazing in the U.S. west is readily apparent. One can observe the differences in grasses between the roadside right of ways and the grazed pastures. It is hard to miss the huge erosion canyons throughout the west. It takes considerable study however, to realize how many of the native and proper plants, which fit the natural array of the ecosystem, have disappeared. Many of the plants now covering western rangelands are either part of the pioneer “first aid team” of native plants which has come in to save the area or are exotics from other continents invading the greatly degraded ecology. As overgrazing triggers erosion the familiar syndrome of drought/flood begins as the entire hydrology of the area changes for the worse. Today, domesticated animals are grazing 70 per cent of the landmass of the 11 U.S. western states. Only 17 per cent of land that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management manages in the west is described as being in good to excellent condition- by the BLM’s own “in house” study.14 Given the predilection of government agencies to inflate estimates of their own good works, there is no doubt that the land is in even worse shape that this dismal assessment indicates. Nonetheless, we may take this as an indication of the condition of private lands and of other public lands in the western U.S., including wildlife refuges, military bases, wilderness areas, and national forests, all of which are grazed. In Australia large herbivores never existed until Europeans imported them. Recently, aborigines decided to get away from populated areas and back to their lands in the outback near Ernabella and Papunya in the semi-arid area of the continent. They found that 60 per cent of the food plants for which they traditionally had foraged were extinct, and the rest were greatly diminished in numbers. Overgrazing by unnatural herbivores that have gone wild has caused this destruction. Feral cattle, brumbies (wild horses), donkeys, camels, goats and rabbits are destroying Australia’s interior.15 Because these animals and the domesticated herbivores such as sheep and cattle are exotic; there are few pre-existing ecological relationships that they fit. For example, in areas that naturally host large grazing animals there are insects and microbes which inhabit and eat herbivore dung, break it down, bringing it into the food chain and into the soil as nutrient. In Australia none of this network has developed because there have never been large grazing animals. Every year, the nitrogen and other nutrients contained in many millions of tons of manure evaporate into the Australian air instead of enriching the soil, due to this lack, even though the introduction of these insects and micro lives has been attempted a number of times.16 In the semi-arid region of the Middle East, the stock population, consisting primarily of goats and camels, continues to eat up the remaining life. In their study of desertification, Spreading Deserts – The Hand of Man, Eric Eckholm and Lester Brown observe: “The rangelands of northern Iraq, forage specialists figure, can safely sustain only 250,000 sheep without degradation – a far cry from the million or so that are currently eating away this resource base. Likewise, Syria’s ranges currently feed triple the number of grazing animals they can safely support. In the initial stage of such degradation, inferior plant species replace more useful varieties. Then, sheep pastures become suitable only for the hardiest goats and camels. Finally, in the words of Ibrahim Nahal, ‘In the advanced stage of deterioration the plant cover disappears as it is apparent in many of the steppe zones in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, etc., where the rangelands have turned into semi-arid deserts covered with a layer of gravel or into semi-sand deserts.”17 Eckholm, in Losing Ground, documents land deterioration in the Rajastan, a semi-arid area of northwestern India, which has experienced the severe pressure of the human population explosion familiar throughout the world: “The practical consequence of this pressure has been the extension of cropping to sub-marginal lands fit only for forestry or range management, helping to make this perhaps the world’s dustiest area. Meanwhile, as the land available for grazing shrinks, the number of grazing animals swells-a sure-fire formula for overgrazing, wind erosion, and desertification. The area available exclusively for grazing in western Rajasthan dropped from thirteen million to eleven million hectares between 1951 and 1961, while the population of goats, sheep and cattle jumped from 9.4 million to 14.4 million. The livestock population has since continued to grow, while during the decade of the sixties the cropped area in western Rajasthan expanded further from 26 per cent to 38 per cent of the total area, squeezing the grazing even more.”18 The experience of the Rajastan follows the basic pattern occurring on the grazed lands of the Earth. Despite all of the ballyhoo in the United States and other First World industrial nations about professional range management, technical expertise and technical solutions, grazed land everywhere is suffering. The overgrazing of the earth has nothing to do with range management, but has everything to do with money, political power and the values of empire culture. Desertification Deforestation and overgrazing eventually produce desertification. While the natural undisturbed deserts of the Earth are healthy, thriving, diverse ecosystems with many types of plants and animals, deserts created by poor land use are much more depleted of life. This is because the ecosystem has been shredded, unlike a natural desert where the organisms have mutually proliferated over tens of thousands of years. The desertification of the planet is proceeding rapidly. Each year millions of new acres fall within the definition of “desert” to add to those already created. Destroying the vegetation of formerly semi-arid lands usually creates deserts but deserts are sometimes the result of deforestation. The total drylands of the world are 3.2 billion hectares (7.9 billion acres). Of this area 61 per cent are desertified. This is defined as a loss of more than 25 per cent soil nutrient and the consequent decline of the productivity of biomass. In 1980 the percentage of some dryland areas that had become desertified were; Mediterranean Europe-30 per cent, N. America-40 per cent, S. America and Mexico-71 per cent, Southern Africa-80 per cent, Mediterranean Africa-83 per cent, West Asia-82 per cent, South Asia-70 per cent, (Asia) former U.S.S.R. area-55 per cent, China and Mongolia-69 per cent. The UN Environment Program estimates that desertification threatens one-third of the earth’s land surface.19 While deforestation and devegetation caused by clearing land for the plow contribute to desertification, as does firewood gathering, the chief culprit is overgrazing. In every area of the world where herding is a significant industry, desertification is spreading. One thinks of the goats of the Middle East and the devegetation of the Sahel in Africa but in all semi-arid ecosystems on the planet, deserts are spreading. A Council on Environmental Quality report, published by the U. S. government in 1981 states: “Desertification in the arid United States is flagrant. Groundwater supplies beneath vast stretches of land are dropping precipitously. Whole river systems have dried up; others are choked with sediment washed from denuded land. Hundreds of thousands of acres of previously irrigated cropland have been abandoned to wind or weeds. Salts are building up steadily in some of the nation’s most productive irrigated soils. Several million acres of natural grassland are, as a result of cultivation or overgrazing, eroding at unnaturally high rates. Soils from the Great Plains are ending up in the Atlantic Ocean. “All total, about 225 million acres of land in the United States are undergoing severe desertification-an area roughly the size of the 13 original states.”20 In many areas of the world, firewood gathering is contributing greatly to deforestation, devegetation and desertification. In many Third World nations, most of the people must rely on wood as the source of their heat and cooking. As the population explodes and urbanization rises, huge bare spots spread out for many dozens of miles from the cities as the country is gleaned of any combustibles. In many countries now the purchase of firewood takes a large share of the family income, in both rural and urban areas. As a consequence of firewood shortage, people begin to use animal dung for fires. In the Andes, llama dung is used and in other areas sheep and cattle manure. As this dung is not returned to the soil, it represents another deprivation of the soil’s fertility. “Between three hundred and four hundred million tons of wet dung-which shrink to sixty to eighty million tons when dried-are annually burned for fuel in India alone, robbing farmland of badly needed nutrients and organic matter. The plant nutrients wasted annually in this fashion in India equal more than a third of the country’s chemical fertilizer use.”21 Evapotranspiration is the phenomenon of moisture evaporation off the land. This moisture evaporates from soil and plants also transpire it. Bill Mollison, in his Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual, says that soil moisture varies from 2 per cent to 40 per cent of soil volume.22 It should be noted also that the tons-per-acre of micro-organisms in soil, contain water in their bodies and this contributes to soil water retention if the soil is healthy and has a high level of micro-organisms. As the natural cycles proceed, this moisture rising up from the land helps charge rain clouds by providing minute droplets of water which atmospheric moisture can condense around in the colder, higher altitudes. All of the fertile topsoil, worldwide, is a tremendous reservoir of water. The loss of topsoil and the progress of desertification lessens rainfall. As topsoil loss and desertification proceed the land itself becomes drier and a more desert type of plant regime becomes established. Civilization equals aridity. Irrigation Projects: Green Today, Gone Tomorrow Farmers, government bureaucrats and bankers love irrigation projects. They usually appear to give everybody something for nothing except the taxpayer who finances them and who often pays the subsidy to grow the food on the irrigated land. Large dams, irrigation projects and the modern industrial farming methods that have come with them have swept the world. Water loss caused by evaporation from dams in semi-arid regions averages 50 per cent. As the water is impounded in a dam and then runs for sometimes many miles through canals, the salts and minerals in the water are continually being concentrated. More evaporation takes place when the water is spread across the earth. As irrigation water is spread over the fields, the water that is not taken up by the plants sinks toward the subsoil. In many cases this excess water fills the subsoil aquifers under the fields and the groundwater begins to rise toward the plant roots. Once these saline water hits the plant roots, they die. The rising water table evaporates through the surface of the soil by capillary action in a kind of “wick effect,” leaving the characteristic snowy salt covering of the “alkali flats.” Another contributing factor in creating waterlogged, salinized soils is the buildup of fine silt, which is brought into the fields by the irrigation water. This clay- like material often collects into an impervious layer well below the surface. When this “hard pan” effect occurs water will build up on top of it and begin to drown the plant roots. Irrigators manage to keep the concentrated salts and minerals from killing their cultivated plants by running enough water through the system to “flush” the fields, draining the runoff into some lower-elevation area. In modern irrigation projects this often involves digging deep under the field to place perforated pipes that drain the subsoil water out of the area. This expensive solution can only be used in selected high-profit areas that can justify the cost, or in areas where taxpayer subsidy is available. Where funds are not available for drainage and the land is subject to waterlogging, the land is eventually ruined. These problems effect tens of millions of acres of the planet. Irrigation runoff water from modern systems contains all of the chemicals used in industrial agriculture including nitrates from fertilizers as well as concentrations of heavy metals, in addition to the salts and minerals concentrated from the soil. These poisoned waters have been responsible for the epidemic deaths of many animals and birds in wetlands where it collects. As irrigation water runoff goes back into the streams and rivers it adds to the destruction of the ecology of these bodies of water. It also adds to the problems of other irrigators downstream who must try to irrigate with water that is more saline than normal and contains unknown quantities of fertilizer and poison. Runoff water from irrigated fields is often drained into natural wetlands and into low-lying “waste” areas. In these areas, the former life of the land tries to survive amid the whole inventory of life-killing effluent of industrial agriculture. The fish, frogs, birds and other life develop cancers, open sores, mutations, and other deadly afflictions. A recently-publicized case in point is the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin valley of California where wildlife, especially waterfowl, have been dying from concentrations of selenium and other poisons in the agricultural runoff that drains into the adjoining wetland refuge. Game officials have now closed the refuge and are trying to drive migrating waterfowl away from the area. The San Joaquin valley in central California produces a large share of U.S. farm produce. A 1981 U.S. government publication states, “Today about 400,000 acres of irrigated farmland in the San Joaquin are affected by high, brackish water tables. Ultimately, by the year 2080, 1.1 million acres of San Joaquin farmland will become unproductive unless subsurface drainage systems are installed.”23 Many areas in the U.S. are losing land to salinization. As salinization increases, the land produces smaller and smaller crop yields over time. Eventually, when the soil community is completely destroyed, all farming will cease in these areas. Irrigation projects are very expensive. In order to justify irrigating a new area, the entire mass production, mass marketing system must be brought in. In Third World countries, especially, this means eliminating subsistence farmers and indigenous tribal people. The industrial agriculture methods of the Green Revolution are inherently centralizing. They need large areas of land to which machines and industrial methods can be applied. This has the effect of strengthening the national elites and the hold of the transnationals in the countries where these methods are used. The modern industrial practice of using wells for irrigation, which is now spreading worldwide with the Green Revolution, is fraught with problems. In the first place, most of these systems require motors that use fossil fuel which is in short supply and due to run out. Modern well irrigation salinizes the soil just as do other methods. But the most serious problem is that in many cases the irrigation well system is pumping the underlying aquifers dry. In some of these cases the land is subsiding, that is, it is cracking open in huge chasm rifts, or suddenly sinking a number of feet. In the U.S., one fifth of the irrigated cropland is above the Ogallala aquifer that runs down the east side of the Rocky Mountains from South Dakota to Northwest Texas. The Ogallala contains water that was accumulated during Pleistocene times, fossil water. Since that time little additional accumulation has taken place. This aquifer is one half-gone under 2,223,900 acres. It is calculated that it will be substantially gone sometime early in the next century. European countries currently use three times more water than returns to natural sources. In North America the groundwater outtake is twice the replenishment rate.24 In areas of Northern China, Tamil Nadu, India, Israel, Arabian Gulf, Mexico City, Southwestern Soviet Union, Europe, and in North America on the Great Plains, southern Arizona, and California, the ground waters are dropping precipitously.25 While the underground waters decline, the soil on the surface suffers from salinity and waterlogging. In Pakistan, according to Georg Bergstrom: “An estimated area of over two million hectares, a fifth of the annually cultivated area of the Indus Plain was severely affected; either yields were significantly cut by waterlogging and/or salinity, or production had ceased altogether. As many as forty thousand additional hectares were falling into that category each year, a good share of them lost to cultivation altogether. And the productivity of many more millions of hectares was well below its potential level due to saline soils. Pakistan was losing a hectare of good agricultural land every twenty minutes, but gaining a new claimant on that land by birth every twenty-four seconds.”26 Like the one-third of the arable land in Iraq that is still salinized and unusable from the Sumerian Empire, many currently irrigated acres will be permanently destroyed. Roughly one-third of the world’s irrigated land is presently in danger.27 Eckholm, quotes Soviet soil scientist V. Kovda, who estimates: “60 to 80 percent of all irrigated lands are, due to inadequate drainage or canal lining, becoming gradually more saline and, hence, infertile. By (Kovda’s) calculations, twenty to twenty-five million hectares of land have been laid waste over the centuries after the introduction of improperly managed irrigation, and two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand additional hectares-out of a total worldwide irrigated area of nearly two hundred million hectares-pass from cultivation each year due to waterlogging and salinity.”28 Although touted as a “solution” to world food problems, irrigation has only short-term benefits and many long-term problems. The large-scale dams central to many irrigation projects are already causing some major problems. The Damn Dams No dam will last indefinitely. Sooner or later, they will all silt up. The industrialists who profit by building them never mention this fact. Some dams in eroding watersheds in Latin America have an expected life of ten to fifteen years; others built in more ecologically stable areas may be expected to last as long as several hundred years. Silted up dams become wetlands or simply large banks of earth. Since the present dams are now constructed in the most optimum places on each river, there is little chance their benefit can be replaced by building more dams in less desirable sites. As the dams fill up with erosion material their use for hydroelectric generators is lessened because the flow of water cannot be maintained. Large dams are such a bonanza- such a massive physical (if temporary) answer to immediate problems- that everybody recommends them, even though the dams of the planet will eventually choke much of the aquatic life flow system. Not only do dams feed the industrialist, the banker, the politician and the temporary laborer, but they are also an instrument of cultural transformation. The whole mass production regime of industrial agriculture with its fuels, fertilizers, and machines must be inserted with them. This means markets, profits, and realization of political strategies, centralization of power, and the continued marginalization of the poor. With enough money and guns, industrialists can ignore any consideration of the people, earth or cosmos -for awhile. The water in freshwater lakes above the Panama Canal is used to regulate the level of the locks in the canal. Deforestation and destruction of the rainforest watershed above these lakes is causing them to silt up so that there is not enough volume to even out the wet/dry cycles. Eventually there will only be water during the rains. Ultimately, there will not be enough water to fill the locks of the canal during the dry season. This is an example of the types of problems that develop with large-scale waterworks when large-scale ecological destruction is occurring. The Aswan Dam in Egypt shows other problems with large-scale waterworks. For millennia the annual flooding of the Nile has refertilized the fields of the Egyptians. Its biological circulation is so rich that even after the ancient Egyptians destroyed the watershed’s incredibly rich natural wetland ecology; an empire has been able to exist in this area for thousands of years. The huge Aswan dam, built in modern times by engineers of the former U.S.S.R., is finally succeeding in depleting and destroying what remains of Egypt’s survival systems. The engineers planned two results of the $1.3 billion dam that halted the flooding of the Nile: irrigation and hydroelectric generation. Though the dam project is hailed for producing half of the country’s electrical “needs,” the authors of Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management report on some of the problems it has created: “Over one hundred tons of silt, clay, and sand, which once fertilized downstream fields during periods of flooding, are now silting up Lake Nasser, forcing increased imports of fertilizers. This lock-up of silt also hit downstream industries, starving Cairo brickmakers of a vital raw material, while the offshore sardine fisheries, which depended on the flow of nutrients from the Nile, were early casualties. The Nile Delta itself is in retreat. Simultaneously, problems of soil salinity and waterlogging have been accentuated. An FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) study concluded that 35 per cent of Egypt’s cultivated surface is afflicted by salinity and nearly 90 per cent by waterlogging. To crown all this, the water-based parasitic disease schistosomiasis has exploded among people living around Lake Nasser.”29 An investigation revealed that the sandstone bottom of Lake Nasser, the artificial lake created behind the dam, did not seal but allowed considerable seepage through the lake floor. Evaporation from the surface of the 200-mile long Lake Nasser, and from the extensive system of irrigation ditches is high and there is less total water available for use than before the dam was built. Worldwide, an estimated 250 million people are infected by schistosomiasis. The parasite that causes the disease, a blood/liver fluke, lives in snails part of its life cycle but lays its eggs in humans. The mature parasite, a fork-tailed worm, affixes itself to humans when the people enter the water of irrigation ditches or the river. The worm bores into the human and seeks out the liver where it lays its eggs. The eggs pass from the person by excretion. As they enter the waterways, they are ingested by the snails in the form of larvae. The parasites drain their human hosts’ physical energy. Persons infected in these agricultural countries are able to work only a few hours each day. The alternate flooding and drying of the land near the Nile formerly controlled snail populations who host part of the worms’ life cycle. The flooding washed them out to sea. Since the building of the dam, the snails have multiplied. It is estimated that 70 per cent of the population of Egypt is now infected with schistosomiasis. Sharp declines in agricultural production among a population with one of the worlds’ low ranking, average annual incomes, already close to starvation levels, forced the Egyptian government to use a part of the electrical power produced by the new dam to operate fertilizer plants. The application of chemical fertilizers has, to some extent, temporarily offset the losses, but yield is still 20 per cent less than in pre-Aswan days. A result of the new industrial agricultural techniques has been to inject herbicides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers into the now nutrient-poor Nile, through irrigation runoff. This effluent plus the lack of nutrient flow once provided by the river has damaged the five shallow lakes in the Nile Delta. One of these lakes alone formerly yielded 15,000 tons of fish annually for this protein-starved nation. The lakes themselves were created when sediments carried by the flooding river created sandbars in the delta, which in turn caused the large shallow lakes behind them. Now that the annual deposition is filling Lake Nasser rather than flowing downstream, the ocean is eroding the sandbars and soon there will be no lakes. Nineteen thousand people live in this area and are dependent upon the fishing industry in those lakes. For many years, a sizable fishing industry had existed off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. Nearly half of the 18,000-ton annual catch consisted of sardines. When the nutrients of the Nile ceased to be injected into the marine ecology, the Egyptian fish exportation dropped by one-half and the sardine catch went down 500 tons. Now that the waters of the Nile are either evaporating from Lake Nasser or seeping into its sandstone floor, the Mediterranean is deprived of an important fresh water supply. Because of this, the salinity of the entire Mediterranean is rising and threatening all fishing industries of the area.30 In this review of irrigation we see that in many areas it is only a short-term gain. The long-term deficits will arrive in the next decades for us to deal with just as the exploding human population is overwhelming food supplies. NOTES 1 Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual. Bill Mollison. Tagari Pub. Tyalgum, Australia. 1988. p. 205. 2 The Soil and Health; A Study of Organic Agriculture. Sir Albert Howard. Schocken Books. New York. 1975. p. 24. 3 Mollison, op. cit. p. 183. 4 Mother Earth News. “John Jeavons: Digging Up The Future.” Pat Stone. Jan/Feb. 1990. #121. pp.45-51. (Seed Catalogues and books on Biointensive methods may be ordered from: Bountiful Gardens, 19550 Ridgewood Road, Willits, California 95490.) 5 State of the World 1985. Lester R. Brown, et. al. W.W. Norton & Co. New York. 1985. p. 29. 6 Plowman’s Folly. Edward H. Faulkner. U. of Oklahoma Press. Norman, Oklahoma. 1943. 7 Before Nature Dies. Jean Dorst. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston. 1970. p.134. 8 Man and the Mediterranean Forest; A History of Resource Depletion. J.V. Thirgood. Academic Press. New York. 1981. p. 102. (sourced as Rollet, 1948). 9 Natural Disasters; Acts of God or Acts of Man?. Anders Wijkman & Lloyd Timberlake. New Society pub. Santa Cruz, CA. 1988. p.24. 10 Gaia: An Atlas Of Planet Management. Norman Myers, General Editor. Anchor Books. Garden City, New York. 1984. p.40. 11 Forest Farming: Toward A Solution To Problems of World Hunger and Conservation. J. Sholto Douglas & Robert A. de J. Hart. Rodale Press. Emmaus, Pa. 1978. p. 5 (nutrition- p.37). 12 Sacred Cows at the Public Trough. Denzel & Nancy Ferguson. Maverick Pub., Drawer 5007, Bend, Oregon 97708. p. 116. 13 Ecosystems, Energy, Population. Jonathan Turk, Janet T. Wittes, Robert Wittes, Amos Turk. W.B. Saunders Co. pub. Toronto. 1975. p. 123. 14 Free Our Public Lands. Lynn Jacobs, P.O. Box 2203, Cottonwood, Arizona 86326. pp.3,4. 15 Arid-Land Permaculture: Special reference to Central Australian Aboriginal Outstations. Bill Mollison. Tagari Community, P.O. Box 96, Stanley, Australia. 7331. November, 1978. pp.2,18. 16 The Hungry Planet; The Modern World at the Edge of Famine. Georg Borgstrom. Collier Books. New York. 1972. p.196. 17 Worldwatch Paper #13. Worldwatch Institute. Washington, D.C. p.12. 18 Losing Ground: Environmental Stress and World Food Prospects. Erik P. Eckholm. W.W. Norton & Co. New York. 1976. pp.63,64. 19 World Resources 1987: An Assessment of the Resource Base that Supports the Global Economy. A Report by The International Institute for Environment and Development and The World Resources Institute. Basic Books. New York. 1987. p.289. 20 Desertification of the United States. David Sheridan. Council on Environmental Quality. U.S. Government Printing Office. #334-983/8306. 1981. p.121. 21 Eckholm. Losing Ground. op. cit. p.105. 22 Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual. Bill Mollison. Tagari pub. Tyalgum, Australia. p. 203. 23 Sheridan. Desertification of The United States. op. cit. p.31. 24 Too Many: An Ecological Overview Of Earth’s Limitations. Georg Borgstrom. Collier Books. New York. 1969. p.144. 25 Brown. State of the World 1985. p.53. 26 Eckholm. Losing Ground. op. cit. p. 120. 27 ibid. p.124. 28 ibid. pp. 124,125. 29 Myers. Gaia. op. cit. p. 132. 30 The Last Days of Mankind: Ecological Survival or Extinction. Samuel Mines. Simon & Schuster. New York. 1971. pp. 10-12. 31 The Hungry Planet: The Modern World at the Edge of Famine. Georg Borgstrom. Macmillan. New York. 1972. pp. 499-501. 32 Ecology and Field Biology. 2nd. ed. Robert Leo Smith. Harper & Row. New York. 1974. p. 81. The Final Empire CHAPTER 4: THE FOREST The forests are the “lungs of the earth.” They respire oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide; they also build soil, absorb moisture and translate sunlight into biomass more efficiently than any other ecosystem on earth. In the view of Rudolf Steiner, the German mystic and creator of Biodynamic Gardening, the forest organism itself has organs. These include the soil, the plant stalks and the wind. The soil is the digestive organ of the forest. The wind is the breath of the forest. The tree bodies are the vascular system. From their roots deep in the ground trees bring up both water and minerals. Transpiration humidifies the air, moderates extremes of temperature, and creates complex microclimates that are rich habitats for many diverse life forms. The minerals come to rest in the tree’s body, which will one day become topsoil. One of the great benefits of forests is to moderate hard rains so that the water soaks into the soil and subsoil. Rain soaks into the forest floor and feeds the streams and aquifers. Because a native old growth forest recycles nutrients so efficiently, the water running from it is very pure, with little mineral content and few suspended solids. In this way a forest supports the adjacent aquatic ecology. It is the quality of water that drains from the forest, which is important. In the Temperate Zone forests, whole fisheries have been destroyed when logging, especially clear-cut logging takes place. Without the trees, erosion soon begins to change the chemical and particulate composition of the water. Migrating salmon for example require small gravel in the streambed for their spawning. The gravel must be just the right size relative to their eggs so the eggs will be protected from predators. It must be porous enough so that the fry, when they hatch, can escape. When silt covers the gravel, the fish eggs die, fisheries are destroyed, the habitat of the aquatic plants is impaired and water supplies are degraded. Forests have a great effect on rainfall. They actually create rain. Trees send a huge volume of moisture into the atmosphere. One medium sized, ordinary elm tree for example, will transpire 15,000 pounds of water on a clear, hot, dry, day. As a storm front moves through from the ocean, the moisture that has evaporated upward from the land helps to recharge rain clouds in a continuous cycle. The moisture from the earth surface is in micro-droplets that atmospheric moisture condenses around, then falls back to earth. Vast amounts of water vapor rise to the clouds, then fall again as rain. In both temperate and tropical rainforests there is also the phenomena of fog drip. As fog rolls through, water droplets are caught on the vegetation and drip down to moisturize the lower zones. The capture of water by this action adds significantly to the moisture levels of these forests. Another significant effect of forests is the creation of electrically charged, negative ions. Negative ionization occurs heavily near waterfalls, on ocean beaches and in moist forests. A concentration of ionization creates an electrical field. The work of pumping water up out of the subsoil and transpiring it tends to moisturize the area and contributes to the negative ionization. Laboratory experiments show that plants will grow significantly larger in a negative ion-rich environment than in neutral or positively charged environments such as cities, clear-cuts or hot, windy deserts. The forest is not simply a random group of trees. It is a vast complex of organisms which have lived together and differentiated their forms and relationships over millions of years. Their circulation of energies creates a giant metabolism. Native forest provides habitat for the largest number of species per acre of any ecosystem, except possibly a coral reef. Because of this, reforestation cannot repair damage. When industrialists replant forests they do not replant with the intention of returning a native forest ecosystem. Usually the land is replanted with some designer tree species that has economic importance and other species are left out. Tremendous amounts of money are now being spent to create genetically engineered trees for replanting cut over or damaged sites. In fir forests for example, after the clear cut, the industry spends millions of dollars, mostly on poisons, trying to defeat the healing succession of the forest in order to immediately replant fir trees. If the previous forest was a mix of cedar, alder and other trees with the fir, only the commercially valuable fir will be replanted. All of these replanting efforts are essentially “tree plantations” and were never meant to recreate a native forest. The true native forest with all of its complex web of life is gone and replaced by a tree farm, more like a corn field but with a longer life-span. Far from being a perpetual forest, as the ballyhoo of corporate public relations offices would like to picture it, these tree farms function in permanently damaged soils and reduced nutrient condition. The human family has done very well as forest dwellers for several million years. Native people of the great forests of China, Europe, and the mixed forest of the eastern North American continent lived in one of the richest habitats possible. The few native agriculturists remaining in tropical rainforests can today easily grow more food per unit of energy input than the modern industrial system. Some continue to practice swidden agriculture, one of the most energy-efficient systems known. The ancient system rotates small clearings in the forest. The dozens of domesticated and semi-domesticated garden plants feather off into the mature forest so that there is no real break in the ecosystem. These complex gardens are products of the natives’ deep knowledge of living things. The gardens flow with the tendency of natural life toward diversity and mutual benefit. Later, as a part of our analysis of solutions we will present a contemporary version of this sophisticated food system. How the Forests Went Down It is estimated that more than one third of the earth was forested prior to the culture of empire. This is roughly 30 billion hectares (nearly 94 billion acres).1 The most recent estimates show that only about a tenth of the forests remain, some 4 billion hectares (about 9.9 billion acres).2 It is important to note here that these figures refer to any assemblage of trees, not just the climax ecosystems. The amount of uninjured old growth forest remaining has never been calculated; indeed, this minuscule, high-value remainder is so much in demand by the timber industries of the world that any calculation would be immediately outdated because the trees are disappearing so fast. When forests are cut, the rainfall, which the trees had moderated, rushes over the bare surface of the Earth, carrying off the loose soil. The silt-laden runoff swells and overflows the riverbanks, flooding the lowlands, scouring out and widening the riverbeds. When the living system of roots, which held the soil on the hillsides, is gone, landslides become increasingly frequent. When the dry season returns, no reserves of moisture remain in the ravaged soil. A worsening cycle of flooding and drought begins. Without the moderating effect of the transpiration of the trees, and without the forests’ tendency to attract rainfall, drought increases. Throughout the world this process of depletion is occurring. If it were not for all of the other crises on the planet, the disappearance of the world’s forests alone would be considered a planetary emergency, so important are the services of forests to the planetary ecosystem. All of the major forest ecosystems of the planet are under severe attack. The forests of all continents are suffering severely. Throughout the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains forest destruction is proceeding rapidly. Goat herders work their way up the slopes felling trees, selling the firewood, burning it for their own use and feeding the twigs and leaves to the animals. People who then try to farm the steep slopes often follow these goat people. The demand for firewood in the denuded lowlands and the attempts to farm even the steep, high mountainsides is stripping the land. Floods, erosion and drought are the result. Nepal is headed toward desert status. Firewood shortages in Nepal force the people to use dung and crop residues for fuel to heat their habitations and cook their food. Authorities calculate that depriving the soil of this dung and residue reduces the annual grain yield of the country by 15 per cent.3 Through the ages of empire, forests have receded before the goats of the herders and the people with the plow. Because forest soils are rich, civilized people always seek to clear them and plow the fertile soil. This destruction is rivaled by that of the charcoal burners who have gone out like locusts and stripped the forests for the metal smelters, for limekilning, for the ceramics industry, and to provide fuel for cooking and heating of houses. The ancient empires were deforested early. For example, the plateau east of the Turkish Mountains, where the present city of Ankara is located, was once a forested region. Its fate was similar to that of the Armenian highlands. Authorities believe that the original forest covered 70% of the land area of the plateau; forest cover is now reduced to 13%. The remainder of the plateau has now irreversibly regressed to steppe conditions.4 Author Thor Heyerdhal has made many journeys in reed rafts since his book Kon Tiki was published. In a recent journey he sailed a reed raft along the southern coast of Arabia. He and his crew hauled ashore in a desolate area of Oman. In a short expedition inland they discovered a huge open pit copper mine from the Sumerian era five thousand years in the past. It is difficult; now, to imagine that this desert once harbored forests which could support smelting on such a scale. But the evidence is there. Even the Sinai which is located to the Southeast and the Negev, East of the present state of Israel, bear evidence of past, perhaps abundant forests. The 1960 investigations of Sir William Flinders Petrie into mining operations in the Wadi Nash area of the western Sinai desert, believed to date from the third millennium, BC, yielded unmistakable clues: “(Petrie) found a bed of wood ashes 100 feet long, 50 feet wide and 18 inches deep, and also a slag dump from copper smelting, 6-8 feet deep, 500 feet long and 300 feet wide. It seems that the adjacent area, now desert, must have borne combustibles during the period when the mines were operating. Similarly, in the Negev, copper smelting kilns of a highly developed kind dating from 1000 BC have been found in the now quite desert-like Wadhi Araba.”5 The forests of the Mediterranean region all figured centrally in the strategies of the empires through the ages. Besides being burned at the smelters, forests were the raw material for the shipbuilding industry. As nearby forests disappeared, a major thrust of imperial strategies was to conquer the forests of other areas to be used to build more ships for war and for trade. Whole empires rose and fell based on the availability of forests. The wars of the empires also caused much deforestation because of deliberate burning of whole forests in order to debilitate the enemy. Many of the instruments of war required forests. Wood was used for chariots, battering rams, fortifications, scaffolding and other instruments of the siege against walled cities. Forests were used in the siege of Lachish, in 588 BC by the Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar. “After 2500 years, layers of ash several metres thick still remain, higher than the remains of the fortress walls. The hills for miles around were cleared of trees. The wood was piled outside the walls and fired. Day and night sheets of flame beat against the walls until eventually the white-hot stones burst and the walls caved in.”6 Archeology corroborates Biblical reports that much of what is presently Lebanon had closed-canopy forests and Israel was once forested or at least had considerable natural tree cover. The cedar forests of Lebanon were logged early by the Egyptian empires to be used for building materials and ships, and by all the following empires until they were gone. Today, the only remaining remnant groves of the Cedars of Lebanon are located in some of the monastery yards, which exist in the former forested zone. A few years ago, when a small amount of forest still stood outside of the monasteries, a UN Food and Agriculture report recorded a scene that is ages old but still continues in remnant forests throughout the world: In the Lebanon Mountains…the scene had to be witnessed to be believed for there one can see the most incredible scenes of wanton destruction of the last remnants of these beautiful trees. Not only are the last trees being sought out and hacked down for timber and fuel, but one sees mature trees being lopped and actually felled in order to provide goat fodder. So heavy is goat grazing…that the flocks have already consumed nearly all forms of vegetation within their reach. The shepherds, unperturbed, have therefore resorted to felling the last remnants of high forest in order to satisfy the empty bellies of their ravenous flocks. It is an astonishing sight to see a fine cedar or silver fir tree felled for this purpose and then to see hundreds of hungry goats literally pounce upon it the moment it falls to earth and devour every vestige of foliage from the branches. It does not take many minutes for such a flock to strip a tree of its foliage. The felled tree has then served the shepherd’s purpose and is left to rot where it fell; he then turns his attention to the next tree and so on. (FAO, 1961)”7 The practice of destroying forests as a war strategy continues today. Defoliation of the tropical forests of Vietnam by United States’ chemical warfare stands out as an egregious example. U.S. “humanitarian” aid to the Nicaraguan Contras was used to purchase chainsaws so that they could destroy and incidentally make some money from the sales of irreplaceable tropical forest along Nicaragua’s southern border. Contra attacks have also targeted ecological restoration efforts. In Guatemala, the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States government has sponsored the spraying of many thousands of acres of tropical rainforest. Because of the secretive nature of the project it is not known what poison is being sprayed, but it is known that many unnatural fires occurried in the Guatemalan forests and this indicates that the forest has been debilitated. Deforestation Follows the March of Empire The Moors burned the bulk of what was left of the North African forests in the early Middle Ages on their way to Spain. The forests of Spain and Italy dwindled steadily and then their final destruction was accomplished by the Moors who brought sheep. The deforestation of Spain and Italy became severe at that time. The great forests of Europe and the British Isles began to go down for Celtic bronze smelters. Destruction stepped up with the Romans, who cleared the land for agriculture and shipbuilding. European forest destruction continues to the present day. As colonists invaded North America, they simply burned huge tracts of forest in order to open it up to European-style agriculture. In 1756 John Adams spoke for the perception of the empire. Referring to the area of the continent now covered by cities, industrial wastelands, toxic waste dumps, poisoned air, poisoned waters and forests dying from acid rain, he observed: The whole continent was one continued dismal wilderness, the haunt of wolves and bears and more savage men. Now the forests are removed, the land covered with fields of corn, orchards bending with fruit and the magnificent habitations of rational and civilized people.” In Canada the southern agricultural regions have lost two-thirds of their forests. In the United States, deforestation has had a longer history. “In the United States 900 million acres were originally wooded with more than 1,100 species of trees, a hundred of which had great economic value. Only 647 [species] remain and only 44 million acres have preserved their original forest.”8 Farther south on the American continent, Mexico, which was originally 50 per cent forested9 has lost one-fourth of its forest lands each century since the conquest.10 Much of the forest of Mexico went to fire the smelters to melt the ores of Mexico’s mines. In some areas whole forests have disappeared for this purpose. Today, there are no forests in Mexico that are in their original condition. The Poison Air, The Poison Rain Not only are chainsaws, road building and land clearing threatening forests, now, the airborne poisons that float up from civilized areas are killing the forests of the earth. Notice first began to be taken when lakes began to die. After the biological death of hundreds of lakes in Scandinavia and North America, scientists concluded that it was something in the air that was causing it. Then it was realized that forests were also dying. There is controversy as to which combination of chemicals is doing the most harm, but there is no doubt that the airborne poisons floating off industrial areas is the cause. These contaminants are changing the chemistry of whole regions. The acidity is changing the pH (acid/alkaline) balance of the soils. Plants are specifically adapted to this balance. Different species can tolerate different levels of acidity. The plants that grow in any ecosystem grow there because they are adapted to exactly that soil. As acid rain changes this balance over time, not only forests but also whole ecosystems will die out. There are many areas in Russia, Scandinavia, Europe and North America near industrial zones where forests are already dead. Even areas where there are green and apparently healthy forests there is also damage. Close study has shown that the rate of growth of trees slows down when they are impacted by the poisoned air. Investigation has shown also that regeneration rates slow down or stop. That is, there are fewer or no infant trees growing up from the forest floor. In Central Europe, the Worldwatch Institute says that: “Trees covering more than 5 million hectares-an area nearly half the size of East Germany- now show signs of injury linked to air pollutants.” In North America, forest death is beginning in some areas of the northeastern U.S., southern Canada and with trees in and around Mexico City. In southern California, the Southeast and Appalachia, studies have shown impact. It is safe to say that anywhere industrial poisons reach, ecological damage occurs. Acid rain not only effects the natural ecology, but people and agricultural crops as well. The Worldwatch Institute states that: “In the United States, [ground level] ozone is lowering the productivity of corn, wheat, soybeans, and peanuts, with losses valued at $1.9-4.5 billion each year.”11 Poison industrial air causes human allergies, contributes to emphysema, heart disease and other medical conditions. The Vanishing Tropical Rainforest Tropical rainforests are the womb of life on this planet. Some of the older tropical forest areas have been standing for 70 to 160 million years. Norman Myers points out that, “Following the glaciations of the Ice Ages, when much of the temperate zones became barren, tropical forests supplied a reservoir of life forms by which the sterilized areas recovered much of their biological health.”12 As we slide into the depths of the crisis of the Final Empire, much disruption will be due to the destruction of tropical rainforest. One of the immediate results is the greenhouse effect. The destruction of tropical forests contributes a large portion to the carbon dioxide buildup because tropical forests are the major reservoirs of carbon on the planet. As tropical forests are burned and decomposed, the carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere along with that from burning fossil fuel. These are two important factors producing the greenhouse effect. Forests in general and tropical forests in particular are stabilizers of climate for the planet. The green mat absorbs heat and generates rain. These factors have led to the climatic patterns that we now have. When these factors are gone, we can expect wild fluctuations in all meteorological systems. Civilization equals aridity. As we reach the depths of the crisis we can expect heat and aridity, interspersed with torrential rain. There will be unusual winds, tornadoes and cyclones as weather systems at different elevations of the atmosphere mix. The destruction of the bulk of the tropical forests has happened in the last half of the Twentieth Century. It is a phenomenon of excess human population, extortion by the transnational corporate elite and clearance for temporary cattle grazing by colonial elites. In 1950, 15 per cent of the earth’s surface remained covered by tropical forest. By 1975 this was down to 12 per cent and, given the general exponential increase of civilization, it will be gone by 2000.13 The rate of destruction is so large and increasing so fast that in the eighteen years between 1966 and 1984 the area of tropical forest in Ivory Coast was down 56 per cent; in Gambia, 35 per cent; in Costa Rica, 45 per cent; in El Salvador, 37 per cent; in Nicaragua, 33 per cent; in Ecuador, 17.5 per cent; in Thailand, 40 per cent; in the Philippines, 28 per cent; and in Australia, 23 per cent.14 The earth’s islands have been devastated by the expansion of the European Empire. Islands, because of their isolation usually develop delicate and unique life systems. They are easy to approach and ship “resources” from. Because islands are usually small and easily controlled, colonial elites have been able to remove their raw materials quickly. Haiti was once a tropically forested island. Now, less than 2 per cent of its original forest remains. After the Native American population was worked to death, the colonial elite used African slaves to work the soils of the bottomlands with plantation agriculture. After the elite was dispatched by a slave revolt, population began to climb and even the mountainsides were stripped. The denudation of the remaining forest has reduced the rainfall by nearly half in the last ten years. The country now imports 70 per cent of its food.15 The Planetary Greenhouse Among the swift planetary changes about to occur within the next several decades is the warming of the earth caused by the “Greenhouse effect.” The warming of the atmosphere is caused in part by the increase in carbon dioxide created by human activities. The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are the primary producers of the carbon dioxide abundance. The other sources of warming are methane, the chlorofluorocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and low elevation ozone. The effect of these substances in the high atmosphere is to reflect heat back to the surface of the earth rather than allow it to refract back out into space. Beginning with the industrial revolution, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to rise. In the past one hundred years the level of carbon dioxide has risen twenty five per cent and the level of atmospheric methane has doubled.16 There is little scientific dispute that a planetary warming will occur because of the Greenhouse phenomenon, although there is considerable dispute concerning the intricacies of all of its effects. This change that the planet is about to undergo will be extremely swift on a geological time scale. It will shred ecosystems. We know that some plant and animal species are more resilient when impacted with temperature and climactic changes than others are. The most susceptible will be the first to go and as the web of the ecosystem begins to develop “blank spaces,” the natural flows of biological energy will be disrupted. The effects of empire are to shift planetary energy flows out of cycle. The Greenhouse effect is one of the major influences in this disruption. As the cycles of life are deformed on earth we can expect to see wild fluctuations in temperature, moisture, winds, ocean currents and other macro-flows of planetary energies. One aspect of our prescription for balanced living is to create large inventories of seed. We do not know what the climates will bring specifically, but the wider range of seed that we have and the wider the diversity of our food growing system, will add to our survival. The Failing Ozone Layer An important role of the high atmospheric ozone layer is to filter out ultra-violet light. Holes in the ozone layer have been opening each year and growing larger. The breakdown of the chemical makeup of the ozone layer is caused by chlorofluorocarbons, particularly, cfc-11, and cfc-12. These are produced by refrigerants, aerosol propellants, solvents and blowing agents for plastic foam production.17 The immediate effect of more ultra-violet light on humans will be increased incidence of skin cancer. The effects on the ecology are less understood. Different species of plants and animals will react in different ways to the increase in ultra- violet light. As these impacts deepen the ecological system will be damaged in ways similar to the changes being created by the Greenhouse effect. The species most susceptible to the changes will be the first to go and as they go the ecosystems will progressively deteriorate. The changes from the thinning ozone layer and the Greenhouse effect will be so swift that ecosystems will not have time to adjust to the changes such as they did when the ice age retreated over many hundreds of years. NOTES 1 International Green Front Report. 1988. Michael Pilarski. Friends of the Trees pub. P.O. Box 1064, Tonasket, WA 98855. p.11. 2 World Resources 1987: An Assessment of the Resource Base that Supports the Global Economy. International Institute for Environment and Development and the World Resources Institute. Basic Books. New York. 1987. pp. 58,59. (This study gives a figure of 4.1 billion hectares of forest remaining). State of the World 1988. Lester Brown, et. al., Worldwatch Institute. W.W. Norton. New York. 1988. p.83. (This study gives a figure of 4.2 billion hectares of forest remaining). 3 Brown. op. cit. p.88. 4 Man and the Mediterranean Forest: A history of resource depletion. J. V. Thirgood. Academic Press. 1961. p. 52. 5 ibid., p. 57. 6 ibid., p. 58-59. 7 ibid., p.73. 8 Before Nature Dies. Jean Dorst. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston. 1970. p.136. 9 Losing Ground: Environmental Stress And World Food Prospects. Erik P. Eckholm. W.W. Norton & Co. New York. 1976. p.35. 10 The Hungry Planet: The Modern World at the Edge of Famine. Georg Borgstrom. Collier Books. New York. Second Edition. p. 309. 11 State of the World 1985. Lester R. Brown, et. al. W.W. Norton & Co. 1985. p.121. 12 The Primary Source: Tropical Forests And Our Future. Norman Myers. W.W. Norton & Co. 1984. p. 12. 13 Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management. Norman Myers, General Editor. Anchor Books. Garden City, New York. 1984. p. 42. 14 World Resources 1987. op. cit. pp. 268-269. 15 The Oregonian. (newspaper) Portland, Oregon. 7/21/88. p. B-3. 16 Scientific American. September, 1989. Vol. 261, #3. “The Changing Climate,” by Stephen H. Schneider. P. 73. 17 Scientific American. op. cit. “The Changing Atmosphere,” Thomas E. Graedel & Paul J. Crutzen. p. 63. The Final Empire Chapter 5: THE PHANTOM AGRICULTURE The spread of civilized agriculture is undoubtedly the greatest catastrophe ever to strike the planet. Previous disasters such as the die-off of the dinosaurs are measured by the number of species lost. Since the advent of agriculture we are beginning to count the number of ecosystems destroyed. Each major food gaining method of the imperial system —herding, irrigation, plow agriculture, and industrial agricultural— progressively depletes the ability of the earth to sustain life. Civilized agriculture cannot endure. The incredible growth of food supply, which has supported the huge populations of past and present empire cultures, has been funded by extorting fertility from the planetary life. Use of fossil fuels has exponentially increased the damage. These very food production systems have ravaged much of the earth where empires have historically been based. Empire food systems short-circuit the natural energy flow systems of the earth, first by eliminating the natural vegetation, then by draining the fertility of the soil with alien crops species. The natural climax ecosystem’s fundamental contribution to life on Earth is to build soil. The exhaustion of the solar gain deposited in the planetary soil bank for our future life is ultimately the most devastating effect of empire. The most complex natural systems generate the largest amount of energy and provide maximum stability. One reason for this is because a complex system includes a large number of sub-systems (niches), which can be used as alternatives in case of crisis. Complex ecosystems generate specialized plants and animals uniquely suited to maximize the energy of the system. Diversity creates stability. Russell E. Anderson, a student of biological energy flows and energy pathways explains the energetic potential of the climax ecosystem in his book, Biological Paths To Self-Reliance: “An undisturbed ecosystem, …will develop or mature to a level of complexity in which energy-use efficiency is maximized and a steady or `climax’ state is achieved in which no net production occurs, i.e., the total bio(logical)-mass does not change. This climax status, characterized by great complexity, redundancy and diversity in the food chain, represents the ecosystem with the greatest energy capture and use efficiency.”1 While the thrust of the life of the planet is to increase complexity (diversity) and maximize energy circulation (sharing), the thrust of Empire is to simplify. Even if the agriculturist did nothing but clear away the climax ecosystem, the planet’s life would eventually run down. Because the soil is a perpetual flow system itself, it must be fed so that it can continue to maintain. If deprived of feed it will decline. Civilized development of all types interferes with the creation of soil. The climax ecosystem is the real planetary life. The whole living system we call the “natural world” functions together as a unified whole. Every piece of vegetation removed from the planet’s surface by freeways, housing developments, logging, dams, airports, cities, estuary destruction, and clearing for agriculture, represents a decline in the planet’s life, a deficit in the solar budget. The following chart gives a general illustration of what occurs in the drive of life toward maximum diversity and energy flow. This is seen as a forest ecosystem matures, by monitoring the increase of population and number of species of one kind of life form through the succeeding phases of development. Each living thing contributes a number of different benefits to the system. We see in the chart that the diversity of species and also the general bird population increases as the system moves toward climax. Rising populations of plants and other animals necessarily support this increase in the system. SEE MISSING TABLE AT http://WWW.RAINBOWBODY.NET/Finalempire/FEchap5.htm or “The Final Empire” by William Kotke, page 60 Increased complexity potentiates life and life’s energy pathways. Different species of birds disperse different types of seeds, control various insect populations, and become food for various predators who can then live in the developing forest. The activities of each species can be looked upon as a specialized organ functioning within the life of the earth. As each organ is added, the life of the whole is multiplied because each organ creates new paths for energy circulation, connecting individual parts of the system in new ways. Each factor performs more than one function. Honeybees are an excellent example of this multiplier effect. The energy which they expend pollinating the flowering plants is far less than the energy created by their activities. If a human helps the population of honeybees, the multiplier effect goes up even more. As the pollinated plants increase, the bees increase and as both increase, the honey and plants available to humans increase as well as other benefits to the surrounding life. The now extinct dodo bird of the Mauritius Islands in the Indian Ocean had a unique relationship with the Calvaria tree. The tree fed the dodo and the dodo transported seeds for the tree. The heavily coated seeds of the Calvaria tree had to pass through the abrasive digestive system of the Dodo in order to germinate. Now that the dodo is gone the Calvaria trees are dying out. None have germinated for three hundred years since the last dodo died.3 It is probable that this tree has vegetation, insects or other animals that lived in association with it or the microclimate that it created. Those connections are being severed also. Howard T. Odum is perhaps the foremost student of ecosystem energy flows. Odum points out that “loop rewards” or “positive feedback loops” are necessary in any energy flow system. Odum explains how this energy sharing principle works: “In ecological studies there is the positive feedback loop through which a downstream recipient of potential energy rewards its source by passing necessary materials back to it. For example, the animals in a balanced system feed back to the plants in reward loops the phosphates, nitrates, and other compounds required for their growth. A plant that has a food chain which regenerates nutrients in the form it needs is therefore reinforced, and both plant and animal continue to survive. Species whose work efforts are not reinforced are shortly eliminated, for they run out of either raw materials or energy. They must be connected to input and output flows to survive.”4 Odum propounds the rule that states; “That system survives which maximizes the availability and use efficiency of power from all sources.” This, the organs of life do by establishing themselves in a way that they potentiate the whole system so that other organs can grow upon them to further continue the purposes of life. In order to clarify this further, by contrast, we can look at the way in which the culture of empire has replicated itself upon the Great Plains of North America. When the invading Europeans broke up the landmass with fences and private property, the net photosynthetic production of the Great Plains was degraded tremendously. Sixty million buffalo and millions of individuals of other species were eradicated because the European diet and system of mass production could not utilize this ecosystem in the way that the forager/hunters had for centuries. As the buffalo were slaughtered, there was no adequate market for all the buffalo meat or even all the hides. The “sod busters” who plowed the prairie sod had less usable product in terms of protein than the previous tribes of “buffalo hunters” who utilized the buffalo, deer, pronghorn, elk and other species. The present industrial agricultural system cannot produce the Net Photosynthetic Production or the variety of life of the original climax system. It is designed to interlock with a greatly simplified, but massive, food system based on bread, milk and meat eating, which lends itself to mass production and sale to markets. To the industrial agriculturist, biological energy efficiency is irrelevant. The industrialists’ purpose is to provide production and profit, not to be biologically efficient. Industrial Agriculture Pundits and propagandists of the Chamber of Commerce and the “boomers” of the industrial system are fond of claiming the great productivity of industrial agriculture by pointing out how few farmers there are in ratio to the population. In reality, the most efficient systems are the most “primitive.” Industrial agriculture is by far the most energy inefficient system of food production. Hundreds of industrial workers participate with each industrial farmer. There are the oil field workers, oil refinery workers, the truck drivers, the plastics plant workers, the workers who create the packaging of farm produce, the packagers, distributors, wholesalers, delivery people and retail clerks. An enormous amount of machinery is required for this process. All machinery is produced by factories somewhere, by people who must be counted in the food production network. All the seed is dependent upon years of development by cadres of technical workers. The drying, freezing, canning, distribution and other processes rely upon an infrastructure of transportation and industry. If the food is from irrigated fields the input of effort stretches back through the digging of canals, the building of dams, laying out of the electrical systems to run the pumps, the planning of these systems and often the disruption of many lives that formerly occupied the space where the dam and its accouterments now exist. The industrial agriculturist does not simply go out to the swidden plot by his village and eat a fruit from the tree. Industrial agriculture is not just a planting of seed; it is a vast complex, expensive, energy intensive, destructive system that will ultimately collapse without possibility of recovery. Like the imbalanced systems of grazing and irrigation, the industrial agricultural system is simply an extrapolation of the imbalance of the basic, time-honored agriculture. The great difference is that with so much energy invested in it the destructive results are apparent much sooner. Industrial agriculture is tremendously destructive of soils, of the nutritional content of the food and of the environment. The water borne runoff of manure, fertilizer and agricultural poisons are unbalancing life on a continental scale. The cost of this must be added to the already huge cost of producing industrial food. Every deformed baby in farming regions and every poisoned farm worker must be added to the cost. As humankind has deviated from the natural balance, the energy cost and labor cost of feeding populations has gone up. The tribal Tsembaga people of the highlands in New Guinea raise sweet potatoes at an expenditure of approximately one kilocalorie of energy for each 16 kilocalories of food produced. Studies of the industrial system indicate that approximately 20 kilocalories of energy are required to produce one kilocalorie of food. The industrial system is obviously a high-cost, energy intensive system when all production factors are counted.5 The following table shows the true energy cost of selected agricultural methods and foods. In this table, rice grown in Indonesia is the most energy efficient crop/method while feedlot mutton has the highest energy input cost per unit of protein formed. For example, to raise peanuts in Florida required 1,000 kilocalories of energy for each pound of peanut protein grown while it cost 10,000 kilocalories of energy to gain a pound of egg protein in the factory egg raising system of the U.S.A. This chart from the British magazine Ecologist, shows relative inputs of energy per pound of protein output for selected food producing systems.6 SEE http://WWW.RAINBOWBODY.NET/Finalempire/FEchap5.htm for the missing chart —————————————————————————————— The largest part of the industrial farming system is the industrial infrastructure itself. If that infrastructure falters and machines are not produced, the food production system will not function. Within this general support of agriculture by the industrial infrastructure there are a few basic systems that support it directly. Each of these is an unsustainable, disintegrating system. The first of these factors is the enormous energy investment. Through the techniques of industry, trade-offs have been made that replace the organic cycles of soil and climate. No longer do soils need to be replenished by organic feed. Now, fertilizer is injected into the soil that is directly translated from fossil fuel energy or fertilizer created from ocean fish- itself a part of the factory (fishing) system that is basically dependent for fuel upon petroleum. Petroleum is the base of artificial fertilizers. This is shown by one of the three main components, Nitrogen. It is industrially synthesized out of the atmosphere and requires five tons of coal equivalent energy for one ton prepared nitrogen. The industrial infrastructure relies upon oil for transportation, research and it comes directly to the field in terms of trucks, tractors, irrigation pumps, fertilizer and poisons. With a system of food production that is so energy intensive, and is being spread to the Third World so rapidly, we must ask about the energy to sustain this. The myth in the imperial centers is that the First World is assisting the “Under developed” countries to reach the same standard of living as exists in the First World. This notion which is generally held, does not involve the reality of the petroleum resource base. The research team that produced the study Limits To Growth, found that if the whole world population had the standard of consumption that exists in the USA, the basic reserve of resources on the planet would be gone within ten years.7 S Similarly, “If every nation expended as much oil per head in agriculture as the U.S., current world oil reserves would be emptied in a dozen years.”8 But, as this unsustainable survival system develops, it becomes more energy intensive each year. There is a definite law of diminishing returns in the industrial agricultural system: “The best and most sobering example of that law comes from an assessment of the cost of past agricultural gains. To achieve a 34 percent increase in world food production from 1951 to 1966, agriculturists increased yearly expenditures on tractors by 63 percent, annual investment in nitrate fertilizers by 146 percent, and annual use of pesticides by 300 percent. The next 34 percent increase will require even greater inputs of capital and resources.”9 The agricultural poisons that are a necessary part of the system translate from petroleum. During World War I, it was the oil industry that began to create the poison gases for the war. After the war their market began to wither until they realized a new market for the nerve gases as bug killers on the farm. Although not all farm poisons are now nerve gas related, the origins of the pesticide industry lay in WWI and are still based in the chemical-petroleum industry. Many millions of people in the world today are fed by the increased food production produced by petroleum based agriculture. Georg Borgstrom said in 1969, “Close to 600 million people depend for their survival upon artificial fertilizers. Without this annually repeated supplementation of the soil with man-extracted minerals, approximately that number of humans would lack food.”10 By 1980 we see that this system, even with added petroleum input, cannot keep up with population increase and when the petroleum runs out, the millions will be sitting perched on a branch with no trunk. There is no going back to the farmed out fields. We have already seen what these artificial fertilizer fed soils will be- exhausted. At that point, monstrous disasters will take place. In addition to the petroleum base of the pesticide industry becoming exhausted, there is another unsustainable aspect of the pesticide industry and that is that insects develop immunities to the poison so that more is needed in greater strength, more often. The number of insect, tick and mite species that are now immune to agricultural poison is set at 428. As the pests develop resistance the industry turns out new and more deadly poisons but the industry is now hard pressed to keep up with insect resistance. The best plan the industrialists can come up with- which is costing them hundreds of millions of dollars- is to create plants through biotechnology that can withstand greater and greater amounts of poison. In its war with nature the industrial system literally kills the soil community with poisons and the beneficial work of that ecological community stops. Dead also are the predatory insects that would eat the pests that the agriculturist seeks to eradicate. Dead also are birds, animals, and people. “In 1981, OXFAM stated that there were 750,000 cases of accidental pesticide poisonings a year. Third World countries, accounting for less than 15% of world pesticide consumption, suffered 50% of poisonings and 75% of the resulting deaths.”11 Agriculturists sell food by weight- not nutritional content. Taxpayer financed research that is pointed toward increasing yields and profits, has nothing to do with taxpayer nutrition. As yields have increased by weight, nutritional content has declined. The authority, Georg Borgstrom states: “In modern high-yielding rice strains the protein content is down to between 5 and 7 percent, in high-yielding wheat strains to 10 percent, in hybrid corn to 7 percent. A piece of cheese or ham has to be added to the sandwich to become equivalent in terms of nutritive value to the same sandwich without any additions around the turn of the century.” As a comparison, Borgstrom mentions Russian wheat strains with 22% protein content.12 Even as modern yields increase it has less meaning because the nutritional content declines. This is another failing subsystem of industrial agriculture. Living on Oil—The Green Revolution The Green Revolution is simply the insertion of petroleum based industrial agriculture into Third World societies. Necessary factors of industrial agriculture are: large acreage, specialized seed, adequate water- on demand, artificial fertilizer in large amounts, agricultural poisons, agricultural machinery, fuel, and shipment of product. Industrial agriculture is the most highly developed in the First World industrial nations. It is simply the application of industrial technique to agricultural mass production. Given this intense focus, it is the most productive system in gross terms. With the industrial system, huge energy inputs, relatively good soils and a temperate climate, the U.S. produces so much food that more than half of the food on international markets originates there. “American farmers produce 15 percent of the world’s wheat, 21 percent of oats, 36 percent of sorghum, and 46 percent of maize on only 11 percent of the world’s croplands.”13 Empire culture and the industrial system are inherently centralizing and simplifying forces. When the Green Revolution moves into a country it must have large acreages so that it can achieve “economies of scale,” meaning simply that within the mass production system it is cheaper, on a per unit basis, to produce a large amount of one item, than it is to produce only one of those items. This means that self-supporting, subsistence agriculture families in the area must move to the periphery, attempt to farm the hillsides and gain occasional labor on the new industrial farm. This means that the hold of the colonial elite grows stronger on the population that is no longer self-sufficient. This means also that the hold of the international political/financial system grows on the colonial elite. Either large loans or opening the country up to the transnational corporations are necessary to start the industrial agricultural system because the factors of production must be shipped in, the trucks, the seed, the irrigation works, the fertilizers and the other components. Because of the huge capital investments needed for industrial agriculture, the chances are good that the country will ultimately be forced into the hands of the international bankers for loans. When the system is well established and the indigenous population is heavily in debt, (in the tradition of the more advanced First World farmers), then the international banking system will send in teams of bankers to administer the government’s economic planning and will promote austerity measures that milk the population for interest money to send to the imperial capitals. As the farm system centralizes and the profit making industrial farmer takes more land, homelessness increases. The phenomena of cities exploding as people are forced out of the countryside is a familiar one in industrial societies. This trend is now particularly serious in the Third World where there is a low level of industrial infrastructure in urban areas. As the “labor saving” machinery is brought in, unemployment increases and people are forced to work at a lower wage under worse conditions. As the production of food increases with the industrial system, the people grow hungrier because much of the food is now in the international system. The food is grown for export to bring in hard currencies to repay loans, purchase manufacturing equipment for the industrial centers and consumer items for the colonial elite- not to buy food for the poor. A major point must be emphasized, the calculation of how much food a country grows has nothing to do with how well fed the people of that country are. The important question in the industrial system is how much money people have to buy food. The international flow of protein goes to the First World countries; they have the money to bid for the food. The Monocultural Instability There are at least 5,000 plants that have been used for human consumption on the planet yet the civilized diet is made up of less than ten types of plants. The reason for this is the cultural style of using agriculture itself, dietary habit, mass production and profits (or quotas in the socialist industrial variant). There are basically ten food plants grown in the world today when looked at on a volume basis. Wheat, rice and corn alone make up one half of the food consumed on the planet, with barley, oats, sorghum, and millet making up the next one quarter. “Ninety five per cent of our global nutritional requirements are derived from a mere 30 plant kinds and a full three quarters of our diet is based upon only eight crops.”14 If we add beans and potatoes to the above eight plants, these ten species of plants are the essential basis of world agriculture. These varieties of plants are adapted to mass production. Harvesting the tubers of cattails or many other plants could grow much more protein per acre, but the harvesting is difficult by machine methods. The few plant varieties that are used are given extraordinary chances of producing. The plant is grown on vast acreages that are completely controlled. The plant receives as much artificial fertilizer as its roots can take up, it is given adequate water at all times that it needs it and the area is sterilized by agricultural poisons because the plants often have little natural resistance. It is this optimum and energy/capital intensive conditioning that allows the tremendous production. In the U.S. where we have the example of the most advanced state of industrial agriculture, we also have the example of its tremendous destruction. “An astonishing 80 million hectares [193.36 million acres] of U.S. croplands, an area almost twice the size of California, have been rendered unproductive, if not ruined outright. The nation has lost at least one-third of its best topsoils, and erosion rates are now worse than ever, as much as five billion tons [4.45140 billion tons] per year.”15 Organic materials are carbon compounds, and the level of carbon compounds in the soil is the measure of soil health. Soil scientists calculate that, “On a global basis, we have squandered more soil carbon than the fossil fuel variety. Roughly a third of our [world] soil carbon was lost with the opening up of the North American continent.”16 Because we stand on top of the ground and look at plants, it slips from our consciousness that by far the largest volume of organic material normally lays in the soil and the largest volume of living things are the lives in the soil community- spread all over the whole planet. This measure of carbon loss (most ultimately translated to gases in the atmosphere) shows the profound loss that has occurred. The nitrates from fertilizers and agricultural poisons now pollute many underground aquifers in agricultural regions. Where it does not kill them, the runoff of poisons makes the fish and shellfish in inland and coastal waters dangerous to eat. The industrial agricultural system is contrary to “family farming” in many ways. Contrary to the image most of us have of the family farm, modern industrial agriculture is a complex technical pursuit that requires many exotic inputs. Many of these inputs are highly dangerous such as hormones, antibiotics, and poisons. One might say that these factors are also part of the failure of industrial agriculture in that they maim and kill the customers from whom they seek to make a profit. There are cases such as in Puerto Rico where the use of hormones, apparently in excess of the levels used on the mainland, have created the maturation of sexual organs, breasts and the growth of pubic hair in human babies. The hormones in dairy and meat products spread over the civilized population certainly have some effect on the sexual health of the population, just as in selected cases it can be shown that these “agricultural” hormones cause the development of sexual organs in babies one and two years old and create female sexual development in boys.17 Because of the crowded and unsanitary conditions in which chicken, pigs and cattle are raised, the animals are subject to many diseases. Because of this the animals and their feed must be subjected to many drugs. Antibiotics are one class that is used in large volume. These are passed on in the tissues of the animals to the top of the food chain- the consumers- and alter micro-organic communities within the human body.18 As of 1995, one-half of male U.S. citizens and two fifths of females will have cancer in their lifetime (but not necessarily die). “In 1900, cancer was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and was responsible for only three percent of all deaths. Today it ranks second, and causes about twenty percent of all deaths.”19 Many agricultural chemicals are proven carcinogens. These toxins come to the animal through their feed. Fish, poultry, dairy and meat products contain high levels of toxics. Even a Reagan era Environmental Protection Agency publication reports that: “Foods of animal origin [are] the major source of…pesticide residues in the diet.”20 With 99% of the mother’s milk from every part of the country containing significant concentrations of DDT and PCB’s, we know that the entire ecosystem is also saturated with it. Human mother’s milk we know from tests also contains dieldrin, heptachlor, dioxin and many other toxic substances ingested from food, air and water.21 The Seeds of Monoculture One other serious matter for the human family is the seed system of industrial agriculture. (It will become serious indeed when civilization collapses and we try to grow our own food). The plant varieties of each species of the “ten plants” of industrial agriculture, as well as a few others, developed with empire culture. They are basically the grains that were originally developed when agriculture started and have been spread by various empires to conquered territories. The origins of the ten plants are primarily the temperate regions where empire developed; though a few items have come from tropical rainforest cultures (tomatoes, chocolate). These regions are called Vavilov centers after the Russian botanist N.I. Vavilov. They are: Chile, the Amazon, the Andes, Central America, the Mediterranean, Ethiopia, Anatolia-Caucasus, Central Asia, India, Northern China and Southeast Asia. At least until recently, these regions contained many strains of primary plants. These strains were held and selected over thousands of years by native and peasant cultures that lived an agrarian lifestyle. In older times there were hundreds of varieties of each of these plants in each region. For example, in each small valley in Afghanistan, farmers might develop their own strains by selection over long periods of time. These selections would be appropriate to that specific soil, the specific pests that are in the area, the specific amount of rainfall and the climatic temperature variations. From this inventory, modern agriculture has selected the best producers and after manipulations in research stations, spread these worldwide. Because of the techniques of the industrial agricultural system (ordinarily, only the most productive variety will be used) only a handful of varieties of each species is spread worldwide. The following table gives some examples of: 1. crops, 2. the number of dominant varieties and 3. the percentage of the whole crop that those mass production varieties represent, in the U.S. 22 CROP VARIETIES % millet 3 100 cotton 3 53 soybeans 6 56 dry beans 2 60 snap beans 3 76 peas 2 96 corn 6 71 potatoes 4 72 sweet potatoes 1 69 Any large acreage of any single variety is extremely vulnerable to pests because any species of pest successful in feeding off the variety will have a population explosion of many descendants that will do the same. When only a few varieties are spread worldwide, the vulnerability is spread accordingly. “The genetic uniformity of a crop amounts to an invitation for an epidemic to destroy that crop. The uniformity itself may result from the inherent pressures of the market place (machine harvesting, processing, etc.) as well as the absence of genetic variety in the crop-breeding program. As `erosion’ spreads in the Vavilov Centres, the danger of crop epidemics in the industrialized world will increase. Southern corn leaf blight is only the most recent of a long history of epidemics common to every continent. “Historically, the most dramatic example in the western world was the Irish Potato Famine of the late 1840’s. At a European symposium on plant breeding held in the summer of `78, Dr. J. G. Hawkes traced the disastrous potato blight back to its root causes in South America. English explorers returned from the Caribbean coast in the Sixteenth Century with only one variety of potatoes. Planted everywhere in northern Europe, it was only a matter of time until this genetically uniform crop was struck by blight. In a remarkably short space of time, the Irish lost their primary food source, leaving at least two million dead and two million more searching for a new life in other countries. Although significant efforts have since been made to diversify potato varieties, Europe still remains vulnerable and in need of additional genetic material.”23 Amazingly, the First World potato crop is still based essentially on the same variety of potato that was involved with the Irish potato famine. The native communities of the Andes where the potato originated grow some 40 varieties of potatoes. They have not yet been reached by the Green Revolution. Each of the props of the industrial agricultural system, petroleum, water, air (acid rain), sun (climate-greenhouse effect-ozone layer depletion), soil and seed are degenerating, non-sustainable, systems and each of these props have degenerative subsystems. The elimination of gene banks (the ecosystems where target seed is produced) is one of the degenerative aspects of the seed prop, along with the elimination of seed varieties themselves by the transnational seed companies. The seed system of modern agriculture works by creating a facsimile of the natural change in plant genetics. Selected varieties are grown by researchers who strictly control pollination as they genetically mix varieties for particular results (usually increased volume, almost never for increased nutrition). As modern varieties and hybrids are bred, ancient and wild strains which have productivity and resistances of various kinds are bred with the modern varieties to create new strains. The ancient and wild strains that are used are generally taken from the Vavilov Centres, those areas where that species developed historically. A point of crisis now in the seed business is that these regions are being wiped out by destruction of habitat of the wild plants and by the new seed of the Green Revolution replacing old family varieties. For example, a researcher who had seen “Virtually thousands of flax varieties growing on the Cilician plain [in Turkey] returned after twenty years to find only one variety- imported from Argentina.”24 As the Green Revolution invades, the people eat up the old seed and become dependent upon the new seed and thus the strains that have been selected for thousands of years for their strength and productivity are lost. This has special significance for regions outside of the Vavilov Centres, because there are no wild or selected varieties outside the Vavilov centers to use to continue to develop the plant strains. The seeds for industrial agriculture come from the Third World, are shipped to the First World, manipulated and then go to the whole system, as “miracle seeds.” Even for the biotechnologist this is significant because they do not create genes, they manipulate existing genes and they must get these genes from a wide variety of plants. The Starvation that is Called Progress To think that food is grown by the imperial agricultural system in order to feed hungry people is ridiculously naive. The industrial society and its agricultural system was not established as a charity enterprise, it is part of the power and profit organization of elite international groups. As Georg Borgstrom so effectively points out, high-grade protein flows to the rich and whatever low grade protein is left over after the First World livestock have been fed, flows to the poor of the Second World and Third World. It requires money to buy food and if hungry people do not have money they will get no food, no matter how much food their own country grows. In Costa Rica, as the rainforests are destroyed to create pasture for cattle, the percentage of meat in the diet of Costa Ricans declines because the beef is sold to the U.S. fast food hamburger chains. There are few people in Costa Rica who can bid against the U.S. consumer for the meat. Empire culture is arranged to percolate value to the elite at the top of the pyramid. This percolation in the case of agriculture occurs through the concentration of protein by animals. We have seen that one-third of the ocean fish catch is used as fertilizer and fed to live stock to produce ham and eggs rather than fish cakes for the poor. In Peru where the industrial system sucked up the huge Peruvian anchovy stock in just a few years, Peruvians sat starving on the docks watching millions of tons of protein flow through, headed for the chickens and pigs of the First World. It is said that 90 per cent of the grain fed to livestock in the U.S. could eliminate human starvation. The shrimp, lobster, crab, pork chops and prime rib that flow to the elite of First World societies graphically represent the basis of the whole imperial system. Power, money, land ownership and life security also flow in the same direction as the food. The establishment of colonies, either by migration of masses from the mother country, domination by military power or domination by economic power, is done so that valuables may be derived from the colony for the mother country. Colonies are not established as acts of charity toward the colonized. If everyone in the world suddenly began eating only grain that now goes to livestock and if the colonial elites of the world suddenly disbanded and distributed land to the landless; there would be a sudden flow of food to the hungry. These actions would momentarily halt world starvation. These actions would not solve the ecologically destructive basis of agriculture itself, only prolong the time in which the soil was destroyed. It would not answer the ten thousand year history of empire culture either (the culture would not be disbanded along with the colonial elite). Neither would it answer the population explosion. In some Third World societies the population doubling time is only twenty-five years! The exploding mass, based on dwindling survival systems would still be in motion. Vietnam gives a demonstration that there are many factors other than land reform. Although land reform is an obvious and just need, the rulers of the empires have demonstrated that they will attempt to destroy a colony rather than see their puppets, the colonial elite, dissolve. Professor Vo Quy, Faculty of Biology, University of Hanoi calculates that the U.S. military destroyed over two million hectares [4.834 million acres] of tropical rainforest (not including other areas in SE Asia) during the Vietnam War. Bombs, shells, napalm, bulldozers, and chemical warfare (especially “agent orange”) destroyed these areas. They are now wastelands. He states that there are 25 million bomb craters, an area of 125,000 hectares [302,125 acres] which have the topsoil completely blown away. A direct result of the poisons dumped on the country is the destruction of over half of the biologically rich mangrove swamps on the coasts of Vietnam. Professor Vo Quy says that in 1943, 44 per cent of the country was still covered by forests, even with the French colonialists stripping it. By 1975 it was down to 29 per cent and by 1983, 23.6 per cent. Because of deforestation the country is now experiencing the familiar “drought/flood syndrome.” After the victory by the anti-colonialist forces, land reform was instituted, and the population continued to climb along with the deforestation. Farmland erosion is now rated at 100-200 tons topsoil per acre [per annum] and the forest is now shrinking at a rate of 200,000 hectares [483,400 acres] a year. The population doubled in the last forty years and the country now has 200 people per square mile. Professor Vo Quy says that by 2000, there will be one-half hectare of land per person- not all of it arable. One hundred thousand acres of tropical forest go down each year now for simple cooking and fuel needs and this need increases as industrial developments are attempted. The forests put on 10 million metres of new growth per year but the present annual demand for wood is 30 million cubic metres. Professor Vo Quy recounts the story similar to the recent history of all industrial societies: “Looming big as a major concern is water pollution. Wastewater from industries is discharged into containers and used for agriculture or for daily use…. In Hanoi, tens of thousands of cubic metres of dirty, untreated water containing inorganic and organic toxins, bacteria and parasites are drained into lakes, ponds and canals within the city and its outskirts. Population increase will accelerate industrial growth and result in 6 billion cubic metres of wastewater per year by AD 2000. ” `To clear the wastewater, 6,000 cubic meters of water per second would be needed. This is more than the combined flow rate of all major rivers in Vietnam during the dry season. The dangerous effects of pesticides are becoming widespread, in 1959 only 100 tons were used. Twenty years later the figures rose to an astonishing 22,000 tons, applied to 50% of the farmland.’ “25 The centralizing tendencies and the mass production techniques of industrial agriculture are the same wherever they are applied. Stalin allegedly murdered 20,000 Kulaks in order to install industrial mass production agriculture on the Kulaks’ former land in Russia. The U.S. historically, murdered millions of native people to make way for agriculture and the imperial system in the U.S. Its agricultural system still continues to concentrate into fewer elite hands. The system must have large areas of land on which some one is now living. As the remaining natural tribes are being murdered, the cry is that the land is “unused” and “undeveloped” therefore the imperialist is justified in stealing it and either enslaving or murdering the people that live there. Now, there are more Chinese in Tibet than there are Tibetans, as the imperial surge comes into that country to colonize and “develop” Tibet. As the tens of millions invade out of China into Tibet, the Mongolias and Sinkiang; the wheat, vegetables and meat flow to the imperial center of China. As the Chinese Empire has invaded their neighbors they have instituted all of the mass industrial agriculture techniques that they could afford. These lands are going the same route as the former soils of China itself. In the “Western Countries,” agriculture is dominated by the elite who control the transnational corporations which produce the inputs of financing, fertilizer, machinery, technical assistance, seed, marketing and agricultural poisons. Five corporations control the basic flow of grain in the western world, the majority of them privately held family companies. The petroleum supply is controlled by five giant world-wide companies and they in turn dominate the pesticide, fertilizer and designer seed industries, as well as provide the fuel to ship all of the factors of production. It requires a large share of the industrial production of an industrial society to raise food. When the Green Revolution invades a Third World society it means that huge new markets are created for the factors of industrial agricultural production such as tractors, seed, and etc. It means that the colonial elite will need access to credit. It becomes a bonanza for the international financial system. As the international financiers have come to control world agriculture, they, as a group, are also continually centralizing. The oil companies control the energy supply (oil, uranium, and coal); they are heavily invested in fertilizer production and in pesticides. Now, with the Green Revolution the matter of plant seeds has become a high profit item and one of the unsustainable aspects of the system. As has been discussed, the flow of new seed must be constant in order to outmaneuver the pests. Recently, hybrid seeds have entered the system. The farmer cannot even keep these seeds for the next year’s planting because they do not breed true. This requires the farmer to return to the seed company year after year. Recently Monsanto Corporation has developed a “teminator” line of seeds that will not reproduce, making the food growers enslavement complete. As the “New Seed” has become important in the Green Revolution, the financiers began to move toward control of the seed system and its profits. In the past fifteen years “mergers” in the seed industry have become notorious as the transnational elite moves to control the international food supply. The Royal Dutch Shell oil company for example, now owns over 30 seed companies. The large oil companies, pharmaceutical companies and chemical companies have moved to solidify their control of the world’s seeds. Because of the large variety of people that came to colonize North America and because many of these people, being subsistence/peasant stock, brought the seed of their native lands, the U.S. had one of the largest and most varied inventories of “heirloom” seed in the world. Because people saved seed from their gardens and because there were many regional seed companies, this condition continued until the financiers moved in. As the seed companies have disappeared into the elite class, the human family is now losing its seed heritage. The needs of the mass production system are to have a few seeds of each species that are appropriate to many climates and conditions because their emphasis is on mass marketing. Because of this, seeds that are regionally adapted and hardy are dropped. Seeds of unusual plants are also dropped in favor of the standard supermarket items. For ten thousand years the peasants and planters have selected and husbanded the seed that now exists. This human family heritage is destined to be wiped out in one generation by the transnational elite. As the seed banks in the Vavilov centers are eliminated and the heirloom seeds eliminated from seed companies’ inventories worldwide, the control of the seeds remaining is centralized with the elite. Plant patenting legislation is being instituted throughout the non-socialist world, at the direction of the elite. This means the elite will own the seed variety and will get royalties from its use. In Europe now, a person can be arrested for planting the seed of any plant whose original patented seed they have purchased. The elite have not yet achieved their full plan. They also own the biotechnology firms that are working on producing “miracle” plants. When these patented plants are created they will then be in full control of the western world energy and food system. Kent Whealy of the backyard gardeners group, Seed Savers Exchange(26) states that already by the early nineteen eighties: “Seed company takeovers in the United States have reached epidemic proportions: ARCO took over Desert Seed Co; ITT now owns the W. Atlee Burpee Co.; Sandoz (of Switzerland) purchased Northrup King Co.; Upjohn bought out Asgrow Seed Co.; and Monsanto purchased DeKalb Hybrid Wheat. These are just a few of the more than 60 recent North American seed company takeovers. “Multinational agrochemical conglomerates… are already manufacturing pesticides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers. With their newly purchased seed companies, they are now able to give commercial growers a package deal —seeds that will grow well with their chemicals. Some agrochemical firms have even started selling pelleted seeds, which wrap each individual seed in a small capsule of pesticides and fertilizers. It is doubtful that such corporations whose very existence depends on selling pesticides and chemical fertilizers, will spend any time or money to develop disease- or pest-resistant crops.”27 Just as it takes more energy to smelt a lower concentrate ore body in a mine, energy use will actually increase as the society disintegrates. The energy intensive industrial societies will last about as long as the agricultural system that feeds them. As we have seen, the characteristics of the agricultural system, like all the other systems of the empire, make no real provision for their continuance beyond the short-term profit. There are no positive feedback loops, nothing to feed the system itself- the soil, the seed production system; the social body of empire is simply a drain, an extortion system that is unraveling into incoherence. Soon the world supply of petroleum will be exhausted and the world population will be out on the proverbial limb. By that point they will have little seed that can grow without its industrial aids. By that point much of the world’s irrigated acreage will be salinized, many of the dams silted up and the underground aquifers drained. As these pressures are in motion, acid rain will be increasing because of the inevitable increase in energy use and the climates will be beginning to change from the Greenhouse Effect, completely altering or eliminating the existing agricultural system. In the ten to twenty years that it will take for the world to reach that point, many hundreds of millions of people will be added to the world’s population. This is the reason that people who are capable of making a commitment must move swiftly to establish “seed” communities that can thrust a viable human culture into a future time beyond the inevitable crash of empire. These must be communities that have viable seed and biodiversity harboring strategies. The Inventory There is the persistent and socially encouraged tradition of viewing the “ecological crisis” as something that has to do with toxic chemicals, an oil spill or maybe acid rain. What our review demonstrates is that the fundamental basis of the culture of empire is an ecological crisis. History is written by the conquerors and the reality view of empire culture is generated from elites with a culture bound view. For the soils, for the forests, and for the native people worldwide, the ecological crisis began thousands of years ago with the growth of empire culture. What is called the “ecological crisis” is only the final and gross symptom of a social/organic form that is out of balance with the earth and cosmos. The conclusion is inescapable. Civilization is a culture of suicide. It cannot be sustained indefinitely and its growth is only fueled by running a net deficit of the fertility of the earth. We look now to the ecological threats created by the technological/industrial society, which are presently serious. We are going to live through these conditions, so it is important that we understand the minefield through which we negotiate. NOTES 1 Biological Paths To Self-Reliance: A Guide to Biological Solar Energy Conversion. Russell E. Anderson. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. pub. New York. 1971. p.36. 2 Human Impact on the Ecosystem. Joy Tivy & Grag O’Hare. Oliver & Boyd pub. New York. 1981. p. 16. 3 The New Biology: Discovering The Wisdom In Nature. Robert Augros & George Stanciu. New Science Library, Shambala pub. Boston. 1988. p.109. 4 Environment, Power and Society. Howard T. Odum. Wiley-Interscience. New York. 1971. pp.150,151. 5 Anthropology And Contemporary Human Problems. John H. Bodley. Second Edition. Mayfield pub. Palo Alto, Ca. pp. 126,128. 6 The Ecologist. February, 1982. Cornwall, England. p.8. 7 The Limits To Growth. Meadows, Meadows, et. al. Second Edition. New American Library. New York. 1974. 8 Gaia: An Atlas Of Planet Management. Norman Myers, General Editor. Anchor Books. Garden City, New York. 1984. p.65. 9 The Limits To Growth: A Report For The Club Of Rome’s Project On The Predicament Of Mankind. Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers & William W. Behrens III. New American Library. New York. 1974. P.62. 10 Too Many: An Ecological Overview Of Earth’s Limitations. Georg Borgstrom. Collier Books. New York. 1971. p.26. 11 Myers. Gaia. op. cit. p. 123. 12 Borgstrom. Too Many. op. cit. p. 51. 13 Myers. Gaia. op. cit. p. 64. 14 Development Dialogue. Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, Ovre Slottsgatan 2, S-752 20 Uppsala, Sweden. 1983:1-2. “The Law of the Seed” Pat Roy Mooney. p.7. 15 ibid. p. 64. 16 Soil and Survival: Land Stewardship and The Future of American Agriculture. Joe Paddock, Nancy Paddock & Carol Bly. Sierra Club Books. San Francisco. 1986. (from the introduction by Wes Jackson) p. ix. 17 Diet For A New America. John Robbins. Stillpoint Pub. 1987. pp. 309,310. 18 ibid. p. 335. 19 ibid. p. 326. 20 ibid. p.315. 21 ibid. p. 345. 22 Seeds Of The Earth: A Public or Private Resource? Pat Ray Mooney. Food First, Institute for Food and Development Policy. 1885 Mission Street, San Francisco, Ca. 94103. 1979. p. 14. 23 ibid. pp. 12,13. 24 ibid. p. 12. 25 Overthrow. “Vietnam: Trying to Reconstruct A Tattered Economy And An Ecological Mess,” (from a paper presented by Professor Vo Quy to the International Conference On Ecology In Vietnam, May 28-30, 1987). (newspaper). vol.10, no.1. Spring 1988. p.5. 26 Information can be obtained from, Seed Savers Exchange, P.O. Box 70, Decorah, Iowa 52101. 27 The Alliance. (newspaper). 2807 SE Stark, Portland,Ore. 97214. vol. 6, no. 3, March, 1986. p.7. (quoted from, The Garden Seed Inventory. by Kent Whealy. Seed Savers Exchange. Decorah, Iowa.) The Final Empire CHAPTER 6: THE DYING OCEANS During the first part of the twentieth century, as ocean fishing increased in intensity, stocks of in-demand fish began to be “fished out.” Their populations were driven so low that they were unable to repopulate. Other species occupied their food chain niches. Recent historical crashes of fish stocks include: 1935, the Antarctic Blue Whale; 1945, the East Asian Sardines; 1946, the California Sardines that fed John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row; 1950, the Northwest Pacific Salmon which is one of the many species of migrating salmon on the West Coast of North America; 1961, the Atlantic-Scandian Herring; 1962, the Barents Sea Cod; 1962, the Antarctic Fin Whales; and in 1972, the Peruvian Anchovy stocks. The annual world fish catch rose from 2 million tons in 1900 to 18 million tons in 1950.1 From 1950 to 1970 the catch rose an average of 6 per cent per year to 66 million tons. In 1970 it leveled off to a 1 per cent per year increase, an average rate of growth which continued until 1982 when it leveled off at 76.8 million tons. Since 1984, the world fish catch has begun to shrink, even though investment in fishing equipment has risen substantially.2 In the northwest Atlantic, catches of cod, haddock, halibut, herring and other major human food species peaked in the late sixties. The catch of these species has dropped sharply since then, with declines ranging from 40 per cent for herring to over 90 per cent for halibut.3 Today massive factory fishing fleets of the industrial nations scour the world looking for protein, yet investment in fishing brings a smaller and smaller return. The catch continues to fall, especially for choice table fish. Still investment continues because the exploding populations will pay higher prices for food and the bankers who continually finance new equipment must be paid off. Thirty-two percent of the world fish catch is now “trash” fish that are processed into fishmeal, fertilizer, livestock food and fish oil.4 This means that even though humans are finding ways to use more kinds of fish, the total catch, now including “trash fish,” does not increase. As humans destroy the upper links of the ocean food chain, we will focus more heavily on plankton and krill, the tiny organisms that are the base of much of the ocean life. Japanese and Russian factory fleets are already taking 100 tons per day of krill from Antarctic waters, destroying the food chain for the entire ecology of beings dependent upon krill in that area.5 The phytoplankton of the oceans produce some 70 per cent of the earth’s oxygen. As these populations of phytoplankton decline because of pollution and ozone layer weakening, the oxygen available for life on Earth will be impaired. The ocean food chain will weaken further as well. As the ocean fish stock declines more pressure will be put on the decreasing amount of arable land. This is because one-third of the ocean fish catch goes into agriculture as livestock food and fertilizer. The energy pathways of fish protein, to agricultural fertilizer and livestock food, will wither, adding further pressure on the soil and oil-based, artificial fertilizer supplies. Meanwhile population increases. Ocean Pollution The waters of the oceans continually flow. Jacques Cousteau notes, for example, that all of the water of the Mediterranean will be exchanged with the surrounding bodies of water within 90 years. Cousteau points out that there is already DDT in the livers of the penguins of Antarctica and that while rivers and semi-enclosed seas are in worse shape than the oceans today, that will not long remain the case.6 The open oceans are considered, “biological deserts.” It is the continental shelves that produce the basic populations of life in the sea and it is the bays, wetlands, estuaries, mangrove swamps, coral reefs and other coastline sanctuaries that incubate that life. As garbage, sewage, chemical poisons and oil spills flow with the currents, they concentrate near coastlines and eliminate the basis of ocean life. What New York City and surrounding municipalities are doing is similar to the stories of injury to ocean ecology worldwide. Since 1987, barges carrying all of the sewage sludge from New York City, two adjoining New York counties and six New Jersey counties have dumped about 24,250 tons of wastes every day —that’s eight million tons a year— into the last place in the U.S. where ocean dumping is still allowed, a 100-square-mile area of ocean located 106 miles offshore of Cape May, New Jersey, called the 106 Deepwater Municipal Sludge Site. The wastes include substantial amounts of industrial and household toxic chemicals. A 1983 report by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the “area of influence” of toxic wastes deposited at this dumpsite at 46,000 square miles. The area is a spawning ground for about 200 species of fish, and is frequented by dolphins, whales and turtles, some species of which are already considered to be endangered.7 Fishermen off the New England coast report that the 1988 lobster catch was down between 70 and 90 per cent, while the lobsters that are caught often have black holes burned into their shells from contamination. That year, Debbie Wynn, a Rhode Island fisherman’s wife, told In These Times newspaper: “My husband has been lobstering 17 years and we’ve never seen anything like this. A year ago, fishermen were returning more short lobsters than they’d seen for years. Not a single one has been seen since the fall. We’re fishing with 20 per cent more gear and catching 70 per cent less lobsters. And the red crabs look like somebody’s taken a blowtorch to them. “There’s a yellow scum floating on the surface 150 to 175 miles away from the dumpsite itself, and all the shellfish have burn spots from exposure to heavy metals. I’m so scared. The meat isn’t contaminated [sic?] but these creatures can’t survive without their shells. And the pollution affects crabs and lobsters first, then clams and scallops, then goes into the fish. That’s when consumers will have cause to worry, and we may all be out of business.”8 Tilefish caught off New Jersey in 1988 were suffering epidemics of fin rot and lesions. In the summer of 1987, an unexplained virus killed over 1,000 (a conservative estimate) of the 6,000 to 8,000 dolphins believed to inhabit the waters north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. In November and December of that year, about two dozen whales were found beached, mostly near Cape Cod, Massachusetts.9 Eighty-five percent of ocean pollution originates on land. The run-off of heavy metals from the continents into the oceans now averages two and one half times the natural background level for mercury, 4x for manganese, 12x for zinc, 12x for copper, 12x for lead, 30x for antinomy, and 80 times the background level for phosphorus.10 Toxic wastes have been found in the deepest part of the ocean and in most ocean habitats.11 The United States has the largest industrial production and one of the worst ocean polluting records in the world. By the 1970’s the U.S. alone was discharging over 100 million tons of waste per year into the oceans. The U.S. as well as European countries, Japan, and others have dumped radioactive waste into the ocean. The former U.S.S.R. dumped reactors into the Arctic Ocean and has radioactive rivers flowing north into that ocean. It has recently been discovered that acid rain is also significantly impacting the life of the coastlines. In a 1988 study done for the Environmental Defense Fund, investigators found that atmospheric sources account for 25 per cent of the nitrogen pouring into Chesapeake Bay. (The additional nitrogen came from water run-off. Thirty-four per cent was from farm fertilizers, 23 per cent was from sewage and industrial discharges, and 18 per cent was from animal manure runoff, according to the study.) 12 Petroleum spills will continue to increase as oil is extracted from increasingly remote, difficult-to-reach areas of the planet. An estimated 6.61-7.71 million tons of petroleum now reach the ocean each year from sources such as leaks in refineries, runoff from land, dumping from ships, leaks from drilling platforms, blowouts and the actual breaking up of tankers.13 The spills destroy huge numbers of birds, mammals, and marine organisms. The oil is toxic when spilled into the sea and may become more toxic over time through processes of chemical breakdown. Oil residues can remain in sea sediments for as long as a century.14 In the United States it is predicted that, given present migration rates, 75 per cent of the human population will live within 50 miles of the coast by the year 2000. Already 8 billion gallons of municipal sewage is dumped into coastal waters per day off the U.S. coast.15 One-third of the shellfishing areas of the U.S. are closed because of toxic contamination.16 Coastal and island “development” often includes the draining of wetlands and filling in of beach areas. The building of dams, diversion of river flows and irrigation all destroy the life-generating ability of coastlines. In California’s San Francisco Bay, for example, 65 per cent of the inflow of fresh water has been stopped.17 In Louisiana, one acre of coastal wetlands is lost to development every 14 minutes.18 More than one million hectares [2,417,000 acres] of mangrove swamp has been cleared in the Indo-Pacific region for fish farming.(19) Diego Garcia Island, in the Indian Ocean, an example of the wide-spread coral reef destruction, was once the fertile tropical home of large coral reefs and 2,000 native people. It is now covered with the concrete of a U.S. military base, its biology destroyed.20 The massive topsoil runoffs that the land masses are now experiencing would normally fertilize the ecosystems of the coasts, lending some kind of saving grace. (An example of where this does happen is the relative fish abundance in the South China Sea, which benefits from the eroding topsoil of China.) The elimination of estuaries by development and the direct kill of coastal life by pollution have obviated the possibility of topsoil erosion increasing the fertility of continental shelves. The National Academy of Science estimates that commercial fishing fleets dump 52 million pounds of plastic packing material and 298 million pounds of plastic fishing gear, nets, lines and buoys into the ocean every year. An estimated 270-640 miles of monofilament netting is lost each year by the huge Japanese fishing fleet alone. Shoreline garbage accounts for more millions of pounds of plastic. (Plastic six-pack holder rings will last 450 years.) One hundred thousand marine mammals die each year from entanglement and ingestion of plastics. It is estimated that 15 per cent of sea birds eat plastic, confusing it with their natural food. Sea turtles often eat plastic bags which they think are jellyfish. This plastic causes havoc with digestive systems and often plugs the intestines, killing sea creatures and birds.21 Ecological Sinks are the Sores of the Earth Ecological sinks are areas where the life function has broken down completely. In these dead areas, the interlocking energy flows, the food chains and the chemistry of life, are so disrupted or destroyed that they fail to function even in a rudimentary fashion. Some continental examples of ecological sinks include extremely desertified areas, bodies of water where eutrophication has used up the oxygen, and lakes killed by acid rain. Ecological sinks are now being created within the oceans, particularly along coastlines and in enclosed seas. Huge algae blooms and the dead fish, seals and dolphins washing ashore in many areas signal the approaching death of the oceans. The Golden Horn estuary of Turkey, areas all through the Mediterranean, and portions of the coast of Europe and North America are already “dead.” A band of oxygen-starved, dead water which can support neither shrimp nor fish life, now extends from the Mississippi River delta off the Louisiana coast across the Gulf of Mexico nearly to Texas, a “dead zone” 300 miles long and ten miles wide.22 The largest die-off of seals to occur to date (as of spring, 1989) took place in Europe’s North Sea during the summer months of 1988. A mysterious virus killed some 12,000 of the region’s 18,000 seals. Scientists believe that the reason why the seals succumbed in such great numbers is because their immune systems were weakened by exposure to pollutants in North Sea waters. Up to 30 per cent of the waters of Europe’s Baltic Sea are permanently deprived of oxygen. Some reports state that 80 per cent of female Grey seals in that body of water are known to be sterile, while approximately three-fourths of Baltic Seals that have been examined show pathological changes in some organs and in their skins. The species is not expected to outlast this century.23 The toxic pollution of ocean waters is heaviest in the most heavily industrialized countries but this does not mean that other areas are not ecologically damaged. The mangrove swamps of coastal areas for example are being decimated worldwide. When we learn that Eskimos are poisoned with PCB’s and that penguins in Antarctica contain DDT, we know that the problem of ocean death is planet-wide. NOTES 1 The Hungry Planet: The Modern World at the Edge of Famine. Georg Borgstrom. Collier Books. New York. 2nd. Revised Ed. 1972. p.438. 2 State of the World 1985. Lester Brown, et. al. W. W. Norton Co. New York. 1985. p.74. 3 Building A Sustainable Society. Lester R. Brown. W.W. Norton Co. New York. 1981. pp.36,37. 4 Gaia: An Atlas Of Planet Management. Norman Myers, editor. Anchor Books. Garden City, New York. 1984. p.82. 5 ibid. p.81. 6 U. S. News & World Report. January 23, 1985. p. 68. 7 In These Times. “They’re Killing Our Oceans.” Dick Russell. April 27-May 3, 1988. p. 12. 8 ibid. p. 22. 9 ibid. pp. 12,22. 10 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p.85. 11 ibid. p.79. 12 Associated Press. 250790 New York. 3:36 am. 4/25/88. 13 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. pp.84,85. Neptune’s Revenge: The Ocean of Tomorrow. Anne W. Simon. Franklin Watts, pub. New York. 1984. p.63. 14 Simon. Neptune’s Revenge. op. cit. p.57. 15 ibid. p.87. 16 ibid. p.87. 17 “In Order to Save the Fisheries We Must Rescue Our Estuaries.” M. L. Edwards, Field Editor. National Fisherman. January, l988. p.22. 18 ibid. p.21. 19 Myers. Gaia. (atlas) op. cit. p.87. 20 ibid. p.87. 21 “We’re Choking the Ocean With Plastics.” Kris Freeman. National Fisherman. January, 1987. pp.4,5,32. 22 Time. “The Dirty Seas.” August 1, 1988 p.46. and M.L. Edwards. National Fisherman. op. cit. p.20. 23 ibid. pp. 6-7. The Final Empire CHAPTER 7: EXTINCTION OF LIFE BY SPECIES INCREMENT “Many scientists believe that a larger share of the earth’s plant and animal life will disappear in our lifetime than was lost in the mass extinction that included the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It is likely to be the first time in evolution’s stately course that plant communities, which anchor ecosystems and maintain the habitability of the earth, will also be devastated.”1 –State of the World 1988– “In its scale and compressed time span, this process of extinction will represent a greater biological debacle than anything experienced since life began.”2 -Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management— The destruction of the living world, the destruction of habitat by farms and cities is the unraveling of the web of life. Because of the complex food chains and the even more complex web of services of all kinds that each living thing performs for others, the elimination of any species and especially key species, eliminates others also. Peter H. Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, estimates that because of the specialized feeding mechanisms of most organisms feeding on plants, every plant species that goes extinct takes an average of 10-30 other species with it.3 The destruction of the life of the earth is happening so rapidly that no one knows what the cumulative effects will be. The natural human family always assumed that the earth was one living organism and now scientists with modern technology find evidence for this same assumption. (The term “natural” is used to describe the aboriginal, forager/hunter culture of the human family that has existed for 99 per cent of human history and continues to exist as remnant groups in remote parts of the world. The term natural is used because this culture existed in full integration with the natural world.) The earth is a living entity, a self-regulating organism. Each of the various species play a part in this regulation especially of the atmospheric gases that are the Gaian breathing mechanism and the collective breath of many species.4 As these species and their habitats such as the rainforest are wiped out there is simply no way of knowing specifically what will occur, other than the surety that the macro cycles of metabolism of the earth will go into wild fluctuation. The whole matter is so poorly understood that humans are not even sure of how many species there are on the earth. Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University says: “We do not know the true number of species on Earth even to the nearest order of magnitude.”5 Because of the deepening planetary crisis, scientific research has focused on the question of species extinction. The current range of estimates is that we are losing one species somewhere between one per day and one per hour. By the year 2000 this may be down to one per minute or if there is a nuclear war it may become ten million in one millisecond. Any alteration of the life of the earth that causes a decline in the Net Photosynthetic Production is an injury to the earth. That is the standard that we should focus upon. When we approach the stage of extinction of species we are near the death throes of the earth. Civilization responds, perfunctorily, to the threat of extinction of individual species, especially large mammals, but there is no basic understanding of the wiping out of whole ecosystems by airfields, agriculture, housing projects, urbanization, Agent Orange or wanton “resource extraction.” There is concern about the larger life forms, many of whose remnants are saved in zoos, but there is yet little understanding that microorganisms, insects, and microscopic plant species are going also. Mammals are only one percent and vertebrates only three percent of all species. And they all are totally dependent on microorganisms. Such absurd spectacles as the “saving of the California Condor” are symptomatic of the empire culture perspective. The condor is only one organism in a web of life. It is the destruction of the web of life that has caused the condor to be on the edge of extinction. Even if the condor can be “saved” in a zoo, the habitat that the condor requires for its life will be destroyed. Empire culture has no reality base to allow it to understand that as habitat is destroyed the basic life of the earth dwindles. As habitat goes, species dwindle in numbers, vegetation lessens and topsoil disappears. The view of urbanized society is that preserving a few representative living things in parks and zoos can solve the question of species extinction. The next question, “Preserved for what?” never seems to be asked. Even if fragments of ecosystems are called “parks” or “preserves,” they are still not large enough to prevent the loss of species. State of the World 1988 reports that: “Many parks are simply too small to maintain populations sufficient to ensure species survival. As ecological theory predicts, the smallest parks have lost the greatest share of their original mammal species, but even very large parks such as Rocky Mountain and Yosemite have lost between a quarter and a third of their native mammals.”6 Rather than attempting to preserve a few remnant species in zoos or in small guarded habitats, we must begin restoring the earth to its former health. The simple and hard answer is that the human population must be brought down to the level that is in balance with the Net Photosynthetic Production, the Solar Budget. The damage to the earth must be stopped and the life of the earth must be restored. There is no other way that life can continue to exist on this planet. It is difficult for us in this era to realize how rich and abundant the life of this planet was. Our natural human family lived in a world of affluence. Skies would be dark for days with the flights of migratory birds. Barry Lopez in his book Of Wolves and Men, says there was a population of animals numbering 500 million on the Great Plains, with 60 million bison migrating north to south. Millions of pronghorns occupied the plains and plateaus of the U.S. west. The salmon runs on both coasts were truly massive and supported the people for tens of thousands of years without change. Farley Mowat, in Sea of Slaughter, his important work on the natural history of the North Atlantic says: “I look out over the unquiet waters of the bay, south to the convergence of sea and sky beyond which the North Atlantic heaves against the eastern seaboard of the continent. And in my mind’s eye, I see it as it was. “Pod after spouting pod of whales, the great ones together with the lesser kinds, surge through waters everywhere a-ripple with living tides of fishes. Wheeling multitudes of gannets, kittiwakes, and other such becloud the sky. The stony finger marking the end of the long beach below me is clustered with resting seals. The beach itself flickers with a restless drift of shorebirds. In the bight of the bay, whose bottom is a metropolis of clams, mussels, and lobsters, a concourse of massive heads emerges amongst floating islands of eider ducks. Scimitar tusks gleam like a lambent flame…the vision fails. And behold the world as it is now. In all that vast expanse of sky and sea and fringing land, one gull soars in lonely flight-one drifting mote of life upon an enormous, almost empty stage.”7 Great dangers are involved with destruction of the rainforest habitat and other remaining unsettled regions but the decimation of species also goes on in settled regions. Europe, which has hosted the industrial society the longest, is losing the final remnants of its life at an astonishing rate. In France for example, 57 per cent of the- remaining- mammal species are threatened with extinction as are 58 per cent of the bird species, 39 per cent of the reptile species, 53 per cent of the amphibian species and 27 per cent of the fish species.8 Much of the land in Europe was drained and logged, the life system was eliminated. The auroch, the European wild ox is extinct, the last one died in 1627. The European bison exists only in a relict population and the Caucasian subspecies of bison is gone. Relict populations of ibex, chamois, bear and wolf exist but simply because a few exist has nothing to do with the reality that a huge living continental ecosystem is now gone. The large mammals are simply symbol species of the vanished habitat in which they once lived. In Europe we see the final extrapolation of the imperial culture. We see that human beings are capable (with sufficient conditioning) of living in crowded artificial environments, breathing poisonous air and drinking equally poisonous water. The sheltering, heating and feeding of the social complex in artificial environments, is maintained by exponentially growing injections of petroleum energy to run the system and to inject into the soil in place of natural fertility. We can place our bets on whether in a few years, when the petroleum and the biological life are exhausted, the collapse of civilization results in saving some species or whether all will go as a by-product of its death throes. NOTES 1. State of the World 1988: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society. Lester Brown, et. Al. W.W. Norton & Co. New York. 1988. P. 102. 2. Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management. Norman Myers, Editor. Anchor Books. Garden City, NY. 1984. P. 154. 3. Extinction:The Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species. Paul Ehrlich & Anne Ehrlich. Random House. New York. 1981. P. 139. 4. Gaia: A New Look At Life On Earth. J. E. Lovelock. Oxford U. Press. 1979. 5. State of the World:1988. op. cit. p. 104. 6. State of the World:1988. op. cit. p. 104. 7. Sea of Slaughter. Farley Mowat. Bantam Books. New York. 1986. P. 404. 8. World Resources 1987: An Assessment of the Resource Base that Supports the Global Economy. A Report by the International Institute for Environment and Development and the World Resources Institute. Basic Books Inc. New York. 1987. P. 295. Final Empire Part Three: THE EXHAUSTION OF THE INDUSTRIAL EMPIRE CHAPTER 8: POPULATION, POISONS AND RESOURCES The Human Population Disaster There is no such thing as unlimited growth of numbers in the natural world. The populations of organic beings in the web of the natural world do not press constantly against their food supply. For several million years humans maintained a stable population with respect to their environment. The idea that there is something inevitable about human population expansion is wrong. Historically, population explosions have only happened within the human culture that we know as civilization. The idea of linear increase of population was popularized by Thomas R. Malthus and picked up by Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution. Population increase was the basis of the biological dynamics of Darwin’s model. Darwin says that, “A struggle for existence inevitably follows from the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase.” Here is one of the grim assumptions that are typical of Darwin’s era. Darwin’s concept of population increase fits with the reality perspective of empire culture. In Darwin’s scheme organic life is a grim struggle of competition, violence and “survival of the fittest.” The reading of the social values of empire culture into biology is not accurate: “No species strives to increase without limit, any more than an individual tends to grow to infinity. And animal populations are limited not by struggle, starvation, and death, but by restricting the number of breeders in various ways and by varying the number of offspring produced at a time by each female. Biologist V. C. Wynne-Edward’s comments on Darwin’s assumption that every living thing strives to increase its numbers geometrically. ” ‘This intuitive assumption of a universal resurgent pressure from within held down by hostile forces from without has dominated the thinking of biologists on matters of population regulation, and on the nature of the struggle for existence, right down to the present day. ” ‘Setting all preconceptions aside, however, and returning to a detached assessment of the facts revealed by modern observation and experiment, it becomes almost immediately evident that a very large part of the regulation of numbers depends not on Darwin’s hostile forces but on the initiative taken by the animals themselves; that is to say, to an important extent it is an intrinsic phenomenon.’ “1 Self-regulation of populations occurs in natural, undisturbed ecosystems but once those ecosystems are disturbed, populations fluctuate wildly. The apologists of empire will attempt to say that there has been a “social” evolution (linear increase) and that this has progressed since “man the toolmaker” first chipped a rock for use as a tool. This is social ideology, not reality. The human family remained stable for millions of years until the recent inversion to empire. It was only at that point that the “linear increase” of population began. Anthropologist, John H. Bodley states that; “In practice, various cultural controls helped maintain population well below any theoretical maximum carrying capacity based on the ultimate limits of food production.”2 It appears that with the human and other species, population levels are quite elastic. Much evidence in the field of biology suggests that, “A wide range of animals vary their litter size and clutch size according to the amount of food available.”3 This means that in years when the traditional foodstuffs of a species is not abundant, they limit reproduction or do not breed at all.4 This picture of self-regulation of population by species is contrary to cultural ideology (which is why it took researchers so long to focus on the question) but it agrees with what we know of ecology. The life of the earth is not some mindless, random event. The more modern society learns of the natural world and its ecology, the more we see that life is an extremely complex, balanced, cooperative, intelligent and self-regulating organism. Once the natural culture of the human family was destroyed by conquest and forced acculturation, the natural wisdom was gone and the lid came off human population. With natural culture, which lived in conscious balance with the surrounding life, the cultural motive was to limit human population. When culture inverted with empire, the cultural motive of linear increase resulted in increased population as the patriarchs had conscious motive to increase family size for economic reasons as well as patriarchal pride. With empire agriculture, more human labor was needed because they did not gather, they “worked” the land and needed the labor of more sons and daughters. More people were needed for agriculture and more people were needed for militaries. As this increase in the number of people occurred, further pressure existed to then increase food production. When the balance was exceeded, the compounding effect of the exponential increase began. If two people have three children and those three have three and this occurs among millions, the compounding of numbers becomes a rush. Now, in present day reality we have the unnatural Malthusian spectacle of population increase in exponential amounts- just like the rabbits that were turned loose in Australia where there were no adequate predators. As imperial culture’s development of techniques to extort fertility from the earth progressed, there were surges in population that correlated with surges in food supply. Fritz M. Heichelheim, Professor of Greek and Roman History at the University of Toronto, describes the change that occurred when the Romans invented the steel bottom plow: “When the heavy soils, the most fertile of our globe, were taken under the plow for the first time in human history, enormous population increases outside of Egypt, Babylonia, and other territories of ‘hydraulic’ civilizations were the consequence.” 5 Finally, when the mercantilist-industrialist elite of the industrial revolution succeeded in finally breaking the last vestiges of culture inherited from tribal Europe, which existed then in the form of self-supporting, subsistence-agriculture peasantry. Population, which had been creeping upward, began another compounding surge that we now see worldwide. The relatively stable, landed peasant culture was broken, their lands confiscated and the peasants were forced into the cities to become a growing labor pool. The European Population Explosion By 1650, the explosion of population in Europe fueled major colonization efforts. By improved technical ability to extort fertility and materials from the earth, plus the increased efficiency of the newly invented weapons allowing conquest of colonies, a massive increase was financed. Scholarship reveals that the increase in the population of European settlements outside of Europe went from 113 million in 1650, to 935 million in 1950. In that same period of time the population of Europe itself (Europe and Asiatic U.S S.R.) went from 103 million to 594 million. The population of Europeans increased much more rapidly than the other parts of the world at the time. Armed with extractive technologies, the Europeans spilled into “rich” ecosystems still undamaged by the march of empire. Experts estimate that world population stood at approximately 545 million in 1650. By 1950 the world population had increased to 2,406 million, an almost 2 billion increase in 300 years.6 The doubling time of world population from 1 AD to 1800 AD was somewhere between five and seven hundred years. As the exponential increase began to gain momentum the doubling time had shortened to one hundred and twenty years in 1800. In 1988 the world population doubling time stood at 40 years. Since 1900, most of the increase, of the increase, of world population has happened in the Third World nations. The projected future increase in human population appears very grim, according to the World Resources Institute: “Africa’s projected growth rate is the highest of all regions, increasing from 555 million in 1985 to almost 2.6 billion in 2100. Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to grow from 405 million in 1985 to 1.2 billion in 2100. Asia is projected to add the largest number of people, growing from 2.7 billion to 4.9 billion. Developed regions are expected to follow a low-growth pattern; by 2100 they are expected to account for only 14.1 percent of the total population, compared to 24.4 percent today.” World population will never reach those projected numbers. At some point the population begins to completely eliminate their survival systems and major die-offs will begin. The world rate of death from starvation now stands at 40 million per year, but this is not yet because of massive die-offs of whole regions.7 Lester Brown of Worldwatch Institute describes a three-stage decline to disaster. In the first stage the population of a region is well within its ecological support systems. In the second stage it begins to eat up its survival systems (by such things as burning up fuel wood faster than it grows or destroying the soils). In the third stage the biological support systems collapse and a population die-off follows.8 Many Third World countries have now passed the threshold of increased food per person and are now sliding backward, as population outpaces food supply. Brown states that there are now some 40 countries where per capita grain production is going down.9 At the same time as these preconditions of starvation develop; the age structure of the populations of dozens of Third World countries grows younger. Now, in the early 1990’s, 40-50 percent of the population of many Third World countries is under the age of 15. This means that the age of child bearing is just beginning and that another surge is on its way. The Industrial Poisons There was never a poison problem with the natural human family. Pollution, garbage, and industrial poisons are specific to empire culture. Any refuse or debris of natural culture would simply biodegrade, but with a culture that is out of balance with the cosmos, there is no integrated flow and the garbage simply backs up into giant mountains or is dumped in the backyard of others. No one really knows what to do with it. The question of industrial poisons must be considered in the context of the whole of civilization, which itself is out of balance with planetary life. It is not just the matter of industrial poisons, which do not fit with the web of life; they are simply a more recent manifestation of a cultural system that has been fundamentally injurious to life since it began. Industrial poisons now pervade the planet Earth. Many of the chemical formulations produced by industrial processes have never existed on the earth before. No one really knows what their long term effect will be, either individually or in any of the millions of possible mixtures they could assume in the environment. The count stands now at 70,000 artificially produced chemicals, with at least 1,000 new ones produced each year. The industry dominated Environmental Protection Agency of the U. S. government classifies 35,000 of these as harmful or potentially harmful; the actual count is no doubt much larger. The poisoning of the planet by toxic chemicals is not a static problem. It is a problem that is exploding. Recent statistics from the U.S. shows the trend worldwide. According to a current report: “U.S. production of organic chemicals grew from 4.75 million tonnes [5.3 million tons] in 1967 to 7.9 million tonnes [8.48 million tons] in 1977- an increase of 67 per cent.”10 Only a handful of the more popularly known toxins have been thoroughly tested for their carcinogenic, tetragenic (producing deformities of the fetus) or mutagenic properties (producing physical mutations that travel down the generations). The process of testing toxins is long and expensive. The testing process itself can also be corrupt as seen with the case of International Biotest Laboratories in the U.S. whose actual faking of tests called into question approximately 500 compounds that had been approved based on their work. Several of those company executives were sent to federal prison but the system that produced them was not changed nor were the chemicals in question pulled off the market. Most toxins that have been approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have not been tested for their cancer causing or birth defect causing properties. Years ago the U.S. congress ordered the agency to begin testing already approved compounds for these additional dangers but by 1990, only six of those chemicals had been thoroughly tested. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council states that enough studies and tests have been done to make complete health hazard assessments possible on 10 per cent of the pesticides produced, 2 per cent of cosmetics, 18 per cent of drugs and drug excipients (binders) and 5 per cent of food additives. In all, we can get this complete information on only between 10 – 12 per cent of the chemicals used by commerce.11 Even if the impossible could be achieved and all seventy thousand plus the one thousand new compounds per year could be thoroughly tested, there is the matter of what compounds are created when these substances are indiscriminately mixed together. Agricultural poisons are often mixed before they are applied. The substances are mixed in waste dumps. The substances mix in the industrial production process itself. The substances also mix when they escape into the environment. Even non-toxic chemicals when mixed, can become toxic at times. If we have 70,000 substances and we calculate the number of possible mixtures, we then see the absurdity of guaranteeing any safety. The production of many of the furnishings of the industrial lifestyle produces toxins. 70 per cent of hazardous waste comes from the chemical and petrochemical industries. Production of such necessities of the industrial lifestyle as plastics, soap, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, synthetic fibers, medicines, detergents, cosmetics, paints, pigments, adhesives, explosives, pesticides, and herbicides produce toxic byproducts, are toxic themselves, or both. The U.S. leads the world in production of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. In 1981 the estimate was that the U.S. alone was producing 320.7 million tons of hazardous waste.12 World totals are not precisely known but informed estimates for that year run between 363.73 and 551.15 million tons. There is no compelling motive for industry to devote much money or attention to the determination of the exact volume or the effects of the poisons they are producing. The motive for obvious reasons is to hide the numbers. Industrial society gropes in the dark when this entire question of heavy metals, industrial chemicals or radiation poisoning is raised. The public has no way of knowing the facts unless they are given by industry or government. It is in the interest of industry not to do studies, as it only furnishes ammunition for their opposition and often government is in complicity with industry, directly or indirectly. In actual fact the humans and the environment are the guinea pigs. Historically it usually has not been until human cancers, birth defects or die-off occur, that the discovery of poisoning has been made and any legislative or administrative action is taken. As we saw with the case of Agent Orange and the Vietnam veterans, establishing absolute proof of the connection between toxic chemical or radiation and resulting health effects is very difficult. When ordinary citizens are poisoned they are faced with the producers and users raising every possible objection from their position of power, wealth and ownership of the media. Cancers from radiation exposure appear typically twenty to thirty years after exposure and effects from toxic chemicals often have a similar time lag. In addition, these poisons trigger malfunctions in the body (such as damage to the auto-immune system) and it is difficult to prove in a court of law, the direct link- that one caused the other- especially when there are a number of possibilities. In one particularly clear and unique case, that of the Navajo Uranium miners on the Navajo Reservation in the Southwestern U.S., the connection was inescapable. A large number of miners lived in the same area under similar conditions-and a preponderance of them developed lung and other cancers while the surrounding people did not. Most of these cancers did not begin to develop for twenty to twenty-five years. With the transience of modern society, it would be difficult to say what toxic field, ingested substance, or water borne chemical one may have been exposed to twenty years ago! Because the absolute proof is so difficult, killers -mass murderers- go right on killing life (people included), wreaking damage upon the earth and her forms. It is only because of the heavy mental conditioning that the public does not react to their own poisoning. When the government approves a substance that causes only one cancer death per one million people, this is hundreds of people who will die out of a population of several hundred million people. Without the twisting of words and reality the public would ordinarily call this mass murder. The industrialists find it more profitable to dump their poisonous excrement on the public than to figure out what to do with it themselves. In one recent “toxic incident” during the summer of 1988, 730,000 gallons of diesel fuel were, according to those responsible, accidentally allowed to enter the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Several days after the crisis began, workers found that quantities of other unrelated chemicals were appearing in the water. They found high concentrations of chloroform, methylene chloride, and 1,1,1-trichloromethane, all proven cancer causing substances. The consideration for the environment and other people is so low that other industries were using the crisis as a cover to dump their own poisons in the river! Poisoning of the planetary waters is extremely serious. Industrial toxins are also poisoning underground aquifers, where it is permanent. This is done by deliberate injection of waste into wells, a common industrial practice; by percolation down from the surface; seepage from common municipal landfills; from hazardous waste landfills and from nuclear installations. Agricultural chemicals also poison underground aquifers. In the U.S., at least 30 states have been found to have more than 50 different pesticides in their underground waters. One quarter of the people of Iowa drink pesticide contaminated water.13 So far, 200 substances have been identified in U.S. underground aquifers, this includes 175 organic chemicals, many already known to cause cancer or birth defects. A vague estimate of the U.S. EPA is that 2 per cent of the underground aquifers of the U.S. are contaminated.14 Nearly 20 per cent of the wells surveyed in the U.S. by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1985 were found to be contaminated with nitrates used in industrial agriculture.15 The world’s rivers suffer the fate of being the dumping ground of many industries. The Rhine of Europe, for example, drains 150,000 square miles of the most industrialized and populated region on earth. The Rhine discharges into the North Sea each year, 10,000 tons of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. Its waters are fifty times above normal background levels for cadmium and twenty times the normal background level for lead and mercury.16 “The Rhine, Elbe and Weser carry more than 450,000 tons of phosphates and nitrates into the sea. The concentrations of these nutrients, which contribute to the lethal alga blooms, have increased four-fold over the last 20-30 years adding five to ten times the nutrients that derive from natural sources. Coupled with the industrial inputs of the Ems and Scheldt, these rivers annually channel some 50 tons of cadmium, 20 tons of mercury, 12 tons of copper, 10 tons of lead, 7,000 tons of zinc, 300 tons of arsenic, and 22.5 million tons of sewage and other human detritus into the sea.”17 The Thames River, on Britain’s East Coast, contributes an annual load of 150 pounds of the pesticide Lindane, 225 pounds of DDT, plus about five million tons of partially treated sewage. On the coasts of Norway and Sweden, mines, mining dumps, logging operations and paper mills, dump and leach a host of pollutants into the sea. Emissions from cars, power plants and factories contribute up to 50 per cent of the heavy metals absorbed by the North Sea, plus tons of sulfur and nitrogen.18 This is only a partial accounting of the total toxic load dumped into the North and Baltic seas annually from Europe and the British Isles. As these poisons constantly grow in volume and accumulate, we are seeing the actual death of the whole ecology in the North Sea and Baltic Sea areas. The die-off of seals and fish populations in these two areas, many scientists are calling late symptoms of eco-death. The North and the Baltic seas are in the advanced stages of where many other ocean areas are rapidly headed. It must be kept in mind that these chemicals are tested on animals to determine their cancer causing properties. These poisons are not just a threat to humans; they are a threat to every organism in the ecosystem. There are four considerations in the subject of industrial poisons (toxic chemicals, heavy metals and radiation). The first issue is the low-level dispersion throughout the planetary environment. The second issue is the contact with these substances from simply being in the normal artificially created environments of civilization and eating the commercial food. The third issue is the waste produced by industry. The fourth and by far the most important issue is that there is now no known method, that scientific opinion agrees upon, of disposing of this waste and until this disposal is created, the material continues to contaminate the planet. Researchers say that the body of every person in the world contains some DDT and some PCB’s. The contamination by chemical toxins is so great that in some areas of the U.S., nursing mothers are advised to cease breast-feeding. The amounts of toxic chemicals in some mothers are so high that mini-seizures are caused in the infants from the poisonous milk. In the Netherlands, contamination is so heavy that human mother’s milk contains even polychlorinated dibenzodioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofurans, which are produced and spewed out into the environment by the incineration of waste.19 Toxins come to us in the water, the air and in our food. During the period 1982-1985, several studies detected 110 different pesticides in fruits and vegetables commercially sold in the U.S. “Of the twenty-five pesticides detected most frequently, nine have been identified by EPA to cause cancer (captan, chlorothalonil, permethrin, acephate, DDT, parathion, dieldrin, methomyl, and folpet).”20 Many toxins are airborne and researchers have found that water droplets of fog concentrate poisons. In a study released in 1987, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers Louis A. Liljedahl and Dwight E. Glotfelty and James N. Seiber of the University of California at Davis report that they found 16 pesticide compounds in fog. These substances came up off of agricultural areas. The poisons occasionally reach very high concentrations relative to reported rainwater concentrations of these same poisons.21 It is one thing to examine particular poisons such as radiation, many chemicals and heavy metals that can’t be seen, tasted or smelled. It is another to view the gross contamination of industrial societies. Poland shows a good example of what the outlines of the future are for the whole of industrial culture. The Case of Poland Poland is a mid-range European industrial country. There, the citizens were finally prompted by industrial pollution to organize into the Polish Ecological Club (and this caused the government to create a tame, government controlled environmental group). The PEC has been successful in bringing the problems to the attention of the government. The government has made some plans for clean up but it is very expensive and it remains to be seen if it can be accomplished. Airborne poisons are so strong in the Polish industrial area of Krakow that they corrode the railway tracks, forcing a speed limit of forty miles per hour for railway trains in the summertime. Don Hinrichsen, an environmental writer says: “Strolling around Krakow on a windless day is like walking through a coal yard. The ‘Pearl of Poland’ is under siege from an unusually virulent mixture of pollutants ranging from coal dust and carbon monoxide to airborne lead, hydrocarbons, and corrosive acid rain.”22 He says that in the town of Zabrze, near Krakow, there is a, “15 percent higher incidence of circulatory illness, a 47 percent higher rate of respiratory ailments, and 30 percent more cancers than the rest of the Polish population.”23 The rise in mental retardation among Polish children is related to lead poisoning. A survey in the Katowice area found 35 percent of the children had lead poisoning. In that same city, the soil was found to be contaminated with lead, cadmium, copper and zinc. Garden vegetables had lead and cadmium 30-70 per cent higher than World Health Organization standards.24 The Vistula; the river that drains most of Poland is so poisoned that in most areas it cannot be used even for industrial purposes. Yearly, the Vistula pours 90,000 tons of nitrogen, 5,000 tons of phosphorus and 80 tons of mercury, cadmium, zinc, lead, copper, phenol, and chlorinated hydrocarbons into the bay at Gdansk, where the beaches have been closed for years.25 One-fourth of the agricultural land of Poland is so contaminated that it is unfit to grow human food and only one percent of the water is safe to drink. The industrial elites make no provision for the people, the forests or the rest of the life of the area. Like all empire cultures, the population of Poland exists simply as a productive mechanism to increase the power of the elite. Because of this, the land, water and people continue to be abused. Twenty percent of the food products from one poisoned area were classified as hazardous to public health by the corrupt government’s own inadequate standards. Vegetables contained 220 times the limit for cadmium, 165 for zinc, 134 for lead, 34 for fluorine and 2.5 times for uranium.26 In Poland’s worst ecological disaster areas, even Polish law says the people should be evacuated, but there are 11 million of them (30 per cent of the population) and there is no where for them to go.27 “…Life expectancy for men between 40 and 60 years old has fallen back to the level of 1952. Thirteen million of the country’s 40 million residents are expected to acquire at least one environmentally induced illness- respiratory disease, cancer, skin disease, or afflictions of the central nervous system.”28 The direct annual cost of environmental deterioration in Poland may now equal half of the government’s annual budget. The government has created some ambitious plans to clean up the country, which it uses as propaganda to placate and confuse the people, but like other industrial countries little has been done. The Polish economy has been in a state of depression for years. It is mortgaged to the hilt to the International Bankers and there is little money left over for such “frills” as environmental clean up. The U.S. also has said that it will clean up its toxic waste dumps and nuclear leakage but they say too, that it will cost billions of dollars- hundreds of billions-and so far little has been done. In the World War II era in the U.S., one in thirty people died of cancer. Now, between one in four and one in five die of cancer. The rate of birth defects has doubled since 1950. Cancer is a problem of the autoimmune system as are many other maladies such as asthma, AIDS, candida albicans and allergies. It is known that toxins shock and affect the autoimmune system. The medical establishment may replace war as the central industry and source of profits for the elite of civilization- and toxins alone could put an end to civilization if somehow it continued indefinitely. Now, in the U.S., the medical establishment is the third largest industry. How can it be that the scientist/technologists surge ahead with their creations, oblivious to any harm to others or the environment? In his profound work, The Technological Society, Jacques Ellul points out that technique and technology have their own internal logic. What is most efficient and profitable will be done and this has little to do with side effects or long term effects. Ellul makes the point that instead of technology serving people, technology has now taken over the whole of human culture and is conditioning the conditioning agent of industrial culture itself. The human culture is molded to the needs of the machine process.29 After Oppenheimer and the gang at the nuclear bomb factory in Los Alamos, New Mexico had developed the first nuclear device, they still did not know if it would set off a nuclear chain reaction that would blow up the entire planet or if it would be a limited reaction and just explode the bomb. In fact the scientists facetiously placed bets on the outcome of the first test. Here we have the culture of empire. After a huge social effort by thousands of people and the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars, finally a device is created, but there is danger involved. A choice exists between extinction and power, glory, promotions and more research grants for the makers. The well-known choice was made and fortunately the test was only a limited chain reaction. But, now we have nuclear energy with all of its dangers. This choice between individual and institutional gain versus the life of the earth is made throughout civilization every day. Modern Living Environments are Toxic This is the reason that we live in toxic environments. The social considerations of power and profit for the emperors of the corporate mini-empires are stronger than consideration for living things. Because of this, even the average house in civilization is an ecological sink of poisons. Aerosol sprays, asbestos, fiberglass, building materials of various types, dry cleaning fluids, spot removers, rug and upholstery cleaners, fabric finishes and cements, antistatic agents and fabric softeners, shoe-care products, spray starch, flame retardant, furniture and floor products, detergent soaps, lead soldered pipes, gasoline, oven cleaners, drain cleaners, bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners, window cleaners, scouring powders, plastics of various types and many more common household products may injure or kill.30 A typical example is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic used in many products including food packaging and water pipes. Vinyl chloride is used in its formulation and during manufacture. This substance often leaches out into the environment. Vinyl chloride is a proven cancer causing substance. After tremendous energy and effort, citizens groups have forced the government to pay attention to vinyl chloride (with a limit of one part per million). But even so, the plastic product PVC, from which vinyl chloride leaches, is not controlled. It exists in building construction materials, household furnishings, consumer goods, electrical uses, packaging, vehicle parts and even in some commercial mouthwashes.31 There is so much PVC in the interiors of modern aircraft for example, that if one is not killed by a plane crash, one will certainly die from the poisons as the interior burns. If there is any doubt about the morality of the industrial elite, one need only look at the fact that one-quarter of the pesticides exported from the U.S. each year are either severely restricted or banned for use in the U.S. DDT was banned for use in the U.S. in 1972 but 18 million kg is still produced in the U.S. each year for export to the Third World.32 Actually a whole range of dangerous products are dumped on the Third World. Massive citizen lawsuits finally stopped the sale of the birth control device; the Dalkon shield in the U.S. but it is still sold throughout the Third World with impunity. The link between one specific poison and a specific cancer in a specific person may not always be demonstrable but we can certainly discover the connection of pollution rates and illness rates. New Orleans for example, exists at the final outflow of the Mississippi River, which drains the poisons from much of the east central U.S. In a test concluded in 1969, the over-all cancer rate there was found to be 32 per cent higher than the national rate. For specific cancers, the New Orleans rate was three times higher than Atlanta or Birmingham, which do not drink Mississippi River water.33 Municipal Waste Eutrophication occurs when an excess of nutrients enters a waterway, the life activities of plants are speeded up and the oxygen suddenly is used up, creating a dead area. While nutrients are good for plants, nutrients in unnatural amounts are harmful. Eutrophication does not normally happen in the natural world, it is a function of the culture that is not resonant with the order of the cosmos. Municipal landfills create a similar situation-even if it were just biodegradable household garbage put all in one place. If we add the poisonous articles of household garbage and the other poisonous items produced in municipalities we have a toxic waste dump of considerable proportions. Even if only moderately toxic, there are so many of them and the volume is so large that municipal landfills themselves pose a serious threat to the water tables and waterways of industrial countries. Municipal landfills leach carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, chrome, zinc, lead, iron and other poisons into water tables. Poisonous garbage is dumped into municipal landfills by small businesses and industry with little or no monitoring and dumpers often slip extremely toxic waste into municipal landfills. Toxic Industrial Waste As if the matter of slowly leaking municipal landfills that are spread ubiquitously over the industrial countries were not enough, there are the dumps that society defines as “hazardous waste sites.” One indication of how serious this exploding problem of poisons in the environment is can be seen by the fact that so little is known about them other than that they exist. Because of the control of information and its deliberate falsification, we can only see the broad outlines of the problem, but what we do know indicates disaster. The disaster is compounded by the fact that the profits and power of the elites are seriously hindered by the proper disposal of industrial poisons. Proper disposal is extremely expensive and the motives on the part of the industrial elites to continue “free dumping” are compelling. The estimate of annual world production of 551.15 million tons is only an educated guess. There are very few countries where the public is informed of toxic waste being produced by facotries. Nor are they told who is producing it, in what quantities and exactly what chemical or metal it is. Germany, for example, has a cradle to grave tracking system but this only functions within the country. Shipments of toxic waste that cross borders, are becoming commonplace, and these shipments disappear from the system. It is estimated that Europe exports 500,000 tons of toxic waste each year (usually to Third World countries). Exactly where this waste goes and under what conditions it is disposed of no one knows. What we do know is that there is not now any competent method of disposal of toxic waste. Toxic waste is dumped on the ground, injected into wells, dumped into municipal sewage systems, loaded into “approved” toxic waste dumps, dumped into rivers, dumped into oceans and incinerated by low technology and high technology methods which themselves produce toxic waste. Much toxic waste is clandestinely dumped on backroads, back lots and in various bodies of water. Industrialists will pay substantial but still cut-rate amounts for shadowy figures to come to their plants and make their problems disappear. It is well established that Organized Crime (in the U.S. at least) is now well entrenched in this, yet another, super-profit business.34 In the U.S., government agencies have begun to estimate the number of toxic waste sites. So far the estimates of the number of sites seem to correlate with the exposure of each agency to industry influence. The Government Accounting Office, which is possibly the most independent, estimates the number of priority sites at more than 4,000, with the clean-up cost, estimated to be $40 billion. Other sites, which are not classed as “priority,” the Environmental Protection Agency says numbers 20,000 and they are not scheduled for clean up at this time. The U.S. congress set up a Superfund for clean-up of especially hazardous sites, but after five years, only 13 sites have been “cleaned up” and there remains disagreement whether these sites themselves were adequately sanitized.35 The joke is that they simply scoop up the poison along with the contaminated dirt and move it to another landfill that will eventually leak or incinerate it, spewing poisons out into the atmosphere. Just as the medical industry generates huge profits from environmentally induced cancers, a large, powerful and profitable industry has grown up around garbage and toxic waste. Like the medical industry that does not point the finger at the actual source of the profitable cancers, the waste industry generates public relations propaganda about recycling but resists source reduction of waste. The most recent “technological fix” that has been waved in front of the public and the politicians, is the very expensive (and profitable) practice of incineration. It is yet to be conclusively demonstrated that any of these plants can be operated without emitting poisons- especially the deadly dioxins-into the atmosphere. There is also no answer to the question of where to put the toxic ash from the plants. In March of 1987 a Norwegian freighter docked in Guinea on the West Coast of Africa. It was hauling incinerator ash from a garbage incinerator (not a toxic waste incinerator) in Philadelphia. Bulkhandling, the name of the Norwegian company, had contracted to haul away 250,000 tons of ash laced with heavy metals and dioxin. Some of the waste had fraudulently been sold to a cement company in Guinea to use as a brickmaking material. Fortunately the environmental organization Greenpeace blew the whistle on the deal and the Government of Guinea ordered the shipment out of the country. Greenpeace earlier had notified Panama that a deal had been made to dump the same ash in a pristine Panamanian wetlands area inhabited by the endangered manatee and other rare wildlife. When Panama refused to accept the poisoned waste, the contract with Philadelphia fell through but Bulkhandling was stuck with 30,000 tons of ash. An Ohio landfill was used to dump 15,000 tons and the rest, they tried to send to Guinea.36 This is only a small example of the mysterious ways in which much toxic waste disappears. Radioactive Waste In the period 1970-1985 alone, commercial, electricity generating nuclear reactors in the non-communist countries generated 65,697 tons of radioactive waste. This does not count shutdown reactors or military reactors in those countries.37 This is an inconceivably large amount of bulk material and it does not include low level waste, medical or military generated waste. It also does not include the statistics from the socialist world. The figures on total world radioactive waste are not available but the above figure indicates the enormity of the problem. In the almost fifty years since radioactive substances began to be produced there is still no acceptable method for the disposal of the waste. It sits in landfills, ponds and other makeshift sites, often leaking into the ground or air with no solution in site. The human family has never before dealt with anything as dangerous as nuclear radiation. It can cause immediate death, burns, cancers, birth defects, mutations and many other maladies. A study done by the U.S. Council on Economic Priorities of 50 commercial reactors and 175 nearby counties indicates that the nuclear power plants are causing 8957 extra premature deaths per year. 2113 of these were infant deaths and 6532 of these were cancer deaths.38 The radiation already produced must be isolated from the life of the earth for the duration of its toxicity. In releasing this monster, the elites of imperial society are assuming that organized society will endure for an unimaginable length of time and that the society will have the means and the will to guard the deposits of poison. Uranium 238 has a half-life of 4.5 million years. Plutonium 239 has a half-life of 240,000 years.39 Other radioactive elements have shorter lives but they are nonetheless toxic until they expire. Researchers state that little more than one curie of radiation can cause genetic abnormalities. By 1984, the U.S. alone had accumulated 16,200,000,000 curies of radioactive waste. Projections are that the U.S. will accumulate 42,000,000,000 by the year 2000. Although the elites blithely continue to increase their production of this waste year after year, there is not yet any satisfactory method to deal with it. The only underground depository created so far, the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, a deep cavern dug in a salt formation near Carlsbad, New Mexico has already been found to be leaking water. The Project was created, “for the express purpose of providing a research and development facility to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive wastes resulting from the defense activities and programs of the United States.”40 I n 1987, a group of scientists from the University of New Mexico found, after a study of the site, that the salt formation contained much more water than the builders had anticipated and they concluded that, “over time, a liquid mixture of brine and nuclear waste could form and eventually reach the environment through unintentional human intrusion or fractures in repository shaft and tunnel plugs and seals.” The scientists then explained a factor that would make any underground or undersea depository problematical. Concentrated nuclear waste is not moribund, but continues to, “bubble and boil.” The scientists stated that migration would occur, “because of pressurization of waste rooms resulting from gases generated within TRU [transuranic] waste drums and the gradual closing of the waste emplacement rooms due to the creeping action of the surrounding salt.41 There is not now a solution at the end of the nuclear cycle and the beginning of the nuclear cycle is marked by similar industrial incompetence. On the Navajo Reservation alone there are roughly 80 million tons of uranium mine tailings exposed to the atmosphere. On that reservation…”At Shiprock, New Mexico, uranium mine tailings are within one mile of the public school, a housing development, the business center, and a daycare center.” Lora Mangum Shields and Alan Goodman, using a March of Dimes grant, investigated the outcome of 13,300 Navajo Births from 1964 to 1974 born at the Shiprock Indian Health Service hospital: “Birth defect rates two to eight times higher than averages of the nation or other Indian tribes was found in this high radiation exposure period at Shiprock. In 1975, coincident with a number of reductions in the [atmospheric] radiation exposure, birth defect rates fell decisively towards normal.”42 On that same reservation, another example of the dangers of the mining portion of the nuclear fuel cycle occurred. On July 16, 1979, ninety-four million gallons of effluent from a uranium mine tailings pond near Churchrock, New Mexico, owned by United Nuclear Corporation, spilled into a local stream, the Rio Puerco. The Rio Puerco is on the watershed of the Colorado River. This spill spread more radiation than did the accident at Three Mile Island. In 1985, the Rio Puerco, at Chambers, Arizona, from which Navajos drink and water their sheep, still tested over the EPA limit by a factor of 50, for gross alpha and beta radiation. Further along the fuel cycle we have the example of Rocky Flats Nuclear Arsenal, near Denver. This installation, which produces parts for nuclear bombs, has spread plutonium and other isotopes into the surrounding suburbs and into the water supply causing a rise in the cancer rates. Covered by the characteristic secrecy, little had been known about the military reactors that are spread around the U.S. until the incompetence of the operators became so great that radiation began leaking off site. Investigations were begun, some military nuclear plants were shut down and the controversy is whether to spend the tens of billions of dollars to clean up the areas or simply to close them up and leave them set… slowly leaking out onto the earth. An example of the dangerous irresponsibility of the bureaucratic hierarchies that control radioactive waste is that of the inactive, temporary, waste sites under the control of the U.S. Department of Energy (military only), the contamination that has been allowed will require $60 billion to clean up. This figure is for old inactive sites alone and does not include any other sites.43 Managers of the military weapons plants have been criminally irresponsible. Investigators state that: “Billions of gallons of radioactive wastes from making bomb-grade material have been dumped directly into soil and groundwater. Millions more gallons of concentrated waste have been stored in tanks, many of which have leaked. These wastes are now beginning to contaminate public water supplies. The wastes also form explosive gases that could rip the tanks open and spew the material over a large area, creating a Chernobyl-scale accident.” This statement is from investigators, Robert Alvarez and Arjun Makhijani, writing in Technology Review.44 DOE estimates now, before the cost-over-runs have begun, that $100 billion will be required to clean up all its weapons plants. There is now, no answer to where the final resting-place will be of radioactive materials from decommissioned reactors. “Expert” opinion is that the cost of decommissioning will be between tens of millions of dollars and a billion dollars per reactor.45 DOE is presently decommissioning the Shippingport plant at an estimated cost of $98.3 million, before cost over-runs. There were in 1981, more than 250 electricity generating reactors, in 22 countries.46 The irresponsibility of going ahead with this energy system without considering or revealing these huge costs to the public and going ahead without even knowing where the waste could be safely placed, demonstrates the dire danger the planet is in, simply because of the immaturity and corruption of the people in control of these dangerous substances. The Profits and Losses of Empire The costs to society of the killing, maiming and deforming humans by industrial poisoning is tremendous and as this cost grows it will be an important factor in the final implosion of civilization. The negative feedback of industrial poisons could themselves, ultimately drag it down. Other sources of radiation are medical x-rays. “Probably most cancers of childhood and even some of those during the puberty period are contracted during pregnancy,” because of x-rays of the mother. X-rays have been implicated in causing cancer in adults and they have been shown to increase the rates of heart disease in adult males.47 Public health researchers calculate that cutting the exposure of the U.S. population to radiation by 50 per cent would save $53.2 billion at current prices. The social costs of learning disabilities and birth defects they set at $4.3 billion and added that diseases of the aging process cost $48.9 billion. This cost is calculated for the exposure to x-rays during pregnancy, x-ray exposure to the general population, and fallout from nuclear plants and bomb testing. The same sources calculate that heavy metals pollution results in $9.6 billion costs in birth defects and learning disabilities and more than $10.2 billion in autoimmune system damage, cancers and early senility in the general population. Chlorinated chemicals and dioxin are calculated to cost the society $1.5 billion in birth defects and learning disabilities and there is no estimate yet available for the general population. Simply halting the use of prescription therapeutic drugs during pregnancy could save the society $3.4 billion in the cost of special programs, medical attention, and etc. for the birth defected and the learning disabled.48 A 1984 study in Australia further points out the negative feedback problem of the “quick fix.” Rather than feed the soil and nurture the health of the soil community to help it produce human food, the industrial society uses artificial fertilizers which are more profitable to industry and agriculture. This practice pollutes underground waters with nitrate compounds (among other things) wherever industrial agriculture has spread. The Australian study found that drinking well water contaminated with nitrate compounds, rather than rainwater, increased the occurrence of neural tube, oral-alimentary tract, and muscle-skeleton birth defects 2.8 times. (The same effects were found in laboratory animals.) A complete inventory of all poisonings and costs in industrial society would fill volumes but the above examples illustrate the trend. The quick fix, the rapid extortion of energy from the system, can temporarily finance higher population and more “wealth” but ultimately there comes the time of the balancing of the account books, the period the Hopis call “The Great Purification.” The actual heavy metals behind these numbers, many chemicals and many atomic isotopes do not go away, they continue to accumulate. Poison and the Morality of Empire Certainly, if we could strip away the Public Information Officers, the media consultants and the psychological-operations groups and question one of the handful of human beings of the elite, they would respond that they are seeing the “big picture.” The response would be that it is they who are making the “hard decisions” for the whole people, not just for the “special interests,” such as the consumers who eat poisoned food, the workers who are poisoned on the job, the farmers suffering pesticide poisoning, the urbanites breathing poison air, the parents complaining of deformed babies or the youth who ask for a future. Like the villages that were bombed in Vietnam to save them, we must industrially produce our way out of our problems, even if it kills us. The industrial poisoners now pose a grave threat to the entire earth. It is their strategy to confuse, obfuscate and lie to conceal their criminality. A long-haired hippie with a protest sign or an aggrieved black man with a gun gets a lot of attention from the elite controlled media but elite groups who kill, maim and deform millions with their poisons are seldom exposed. In the few cases that have been exposed, we find that the asbestos manufacturers knew of the danger of their products long before the citizens exposed and stopped them. The manufacturers of Agent Orange, which was dumped on Vietnam, knew that it contained dioxin long before it was stopped. The U.S. military also knew, long before they banned it. The examples are profuse of industrialists who will dump injurious articles, pharmaceutical drugs and poisons on their earth and their fellow human beings in order to increase their financial power. The automatic response of the elite when exposed is to deny, lie and cover-up. The first response of the elite after the accident at Three Mile Island was to issue a press release stating that there had been no accident. The British nuclear disaster at Windscale in 1957 was simply covered up and the facts leaked out slowly over the years. In the Soviet nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, the elite was silent for three days until the Scandinavians began to monitor the severity of the crisis and expose it. Other governments, heavily invested in nuclear technology, began damage control of the Chernobyl crisis by putting out the line, “Yes, but it couldn’t happen here because….” Over 20 countries received doses of airborne poisons from Chernobyl. The response of many of these countries that are nuclear invested, was to minimize the danger so as not to alarm the people about the nuclear question. Elites in Italy, United Kingdom and France especially, maneuvered to downplay the threat. The French government even falsified a weather map shown on national TV to show that the toxic cloud that in fact came over France went somewhere else. The childish irresponsibility and deficient morality of the bureaucratic hierarchies puts the whole earth in danger when substances such as toxic poisons, heavy metals, nuclear radiation, the genetic tinkering of biotechnology, and radiological, chemical and biological warfare are involved. Just having these substances under the control of irresponsible bureaucracies is dangerous. Contractors have demonstrated this time and again in the construction of nuclear plants for example. It has been amply demonstrated that it is not possible to operate such dangerous devices without massive cheating on the safety of the workers in the plants or the public outside. Civilization as presently constituted simply does not have the moral necessities to avoid it’s own suicide simply because the social institutions set up to guard against these dangers such as toxins and radiation are so morally corrupt that they can’t function so as to guard the public safety. The Fuels of Empire Imperial culture finds it more profitable and easier to dismantle an ecosystem or suck the fluids from the earth and profit from the brief burst of energy rather than to add to the Net Photosynthetic Production and lives from the increase. Since the beginnings of empire, fuels have been the fountain of its growth. Early, the fuels to heat buildings, cook food and smelter metal were taken from the forests. Forests were also the source of materials for building construction and ships. The course of empire can easily be charted by tracing the exhausted forests of Asia and Europe. As the forests of Europe were becoming exhausted, particularly near smelters and ports, civilization began to depend upon coal. The utilization of coal energy spurred the development of iron and steel refining. From the energy base of coal and the material base of iron, a phase of civilization developed in which iron and steel were used as materials for many applications in society. As the petroleum age developed, that substance also became the base of plastics, which have replaced wood and metals for many uses. Now society is as dependent upon petroleum for materials as for fuel. Since the “oil crisis” of the early 1970’s many citizens have looked to other, small-scale sources of energy such as solar, wind, water and ocean power. As the threat of this development became real, the oil cartel moved to buy out the research on these new technologies and to usurp the field. Citizen action in these areas has essentially been stopped and the only plans in the field are for huge centralized technologies such as solar collectors in space. With the immense profits from the oil price rise in the early 1970’s the oil cartel has moved into dominant positions in coal, uranium and now the “alternate energies” of solar, wind, etc. The Transnational corporate elite no doubt feel that they have now positioned themselves so that they will profit by each of the shortages and exhaustion in the coming years. As petroleum runs out they will profit by the coal that they control; as coal runs out it will be discovered that they control the remaining reserves of uranium ore and if that ultimately fails, they will hold the patents and the technology of wind and solar energy. There is no question that these fuels of civilization will become exhausted and there is no question that this will bring a massive restructuring of that same civilization. The strategy of the elites is simply to stay on top of it as it shifts, and of course it remains to be seen whether they will be successful. Capitalism and socialism are simply window dressing for the basic fact of industrialism. Neither capitalism nor socialism works if there is no industry or “resources.” In the last two centuries we have seen the pristine living earth devoured by industrialism and much breast beating about the myths of efficiency and ideology. The truth is that machines and abundant primary materials- not ideology- are what has allowed the industrial revolution and it is cheap energy that has fueled its one act production. Energy will now become more and more expensive until it is finally gone. We can expect massive catastrophe in the next several decades as the supply of petroleum runs out. As the whole of industrial society is predicated on cheap petroleum energy and we are running out of that energy with no replacement in sight, there can only be one result. Although the Transnationals have control of the coal and other energy sources, those sources are not a substitute for petroleum. They are a different energy regime and the switch cannot occur without tremendous dislocation. The industrial society, which now exists, is a product of truly gargantuan injections of petroleum energy. The huge quantity of petroleum and the constantly growing volume of its use mean that if a switch were made to coal on an equal basis, simply the smoke from the coal plants all over the earth would asphyxiate us in a short time. M. King Hubbert, in his book, Energy Resources of The Earth, points out how swift the growth in the use of fossil fuel has been. Hubbert explains: “It is difficult for people living now who have become accustomed to steady exponential growth in the consumption of energy from fossil fuels to realize how transitory the fossil fuel epoch will prove to be when viewed over the longer span of human history…. The period that encompasses most of the production is notably brief. The 102 years from 1857 to 1959 were required to produce the first half of the cumulative production: Only the ten year period from 1959 to 1969 was required for the second half.” The volume of energy to keep the industrial society going is so great that now the discovery of large oil fields only provides a few years supply. The decline of discovery rates (barrels of oil per foot of well drilled) in the U.S., began in 1970 and continues today. Phillips Owen in his Last Chance Energy Book says: “The flow from Alaska will not reverse the decline, we can anticipate arresting it for a year or two, but after that, it will resume its dismal course. The fact is that between the time the Alaskan oil fields were discovered and put into production, the other oil reserves declined by more than the total amount that had been found. We’re not ahead- we’re behind, because we’re using oil at much faster rates now.”49 The North Sea oil field of Europe is similar in size to the Alaska field. Here we see within context what these two, much publicized oil fields actually represent- only a few years of use. As a general view of the petroleum energy situation it can be said that we are extracting oil twice as fast as we are discovering it.50 In a mid-summer, 1988 interview with journalist Thomas A. Petrie, William L. Randol who heads the Oil Analyst Team of the U.S. based Transnational bank, First Boston, said that oil consumption was up 3 per cent that year. He said that gasoline was the main component of that rising demand. Further, the declining U.S. domestic output means that oil imports will rise to over 50 per cent in several years, from the 41-42 per cent in 1988. Already, Randol sees that the decline in the Alaskan, Prudhoe Bay oil field is not far off.51 In 1987, the Worldwatch Institute calculated that the U.S. energy reserves within the U.S. were 36 million barrels which was enough to propel U.S. society for 8 years at the 1987 rate of consumption- if it used only U.S. supplies.52 The supply of natural gas is also declining swiftly. According to the Transnational corporation Exxon: “U.S. natural gas production peaked in 1972 and has been declining ever since. Production is not expected to recover to 1972 levels, even with production from new offshore leases and from the Alaska north slope.53 The supply of uranium ore was never abundant anywhere on the planet. The U.S. is calculated to have had the equivalent of 630,000 tons of which 270,000 tons have already been used and the rate of discovery is declining precipitously.54 World energy consumption increased 38 per cent between 1970 and 1984 even with the huge price increases of the early 1970’s. If somehow the world population were able to halt the increase of usage and maintain energy use at the 1984 rate, the known global reserves of petroleum would last only 31 years, natural gas 52 years and bituminous coal 175 years.55 The increase of energy use in Third World countries has been enormous just to stay abreast of population increase. The following table describes why there is much less than 31 years worth of petroleum remaining: INCREASE IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION 1970 – 1984 56 Location Total Increase Per Capita World +38% +6% AFRICA +112% +41% N. & CENT. AMERICA +7% +13% S. AMERICA +78% +29% ASIA +106% +55% EUROPE +21% +13% (former) USSR +65% +45% OCEANIA +58% +25% Caution needs to be exercised in viewing the figures that relate to petroleum and its reserves. The only people who really know how much oil there is are the companies who explore and drill. We can, none the less, use these numbers as a broad gauge of trends in the field. The number of barrels recovered per foot of exploratory well drilled gives us a good gauge and the reports of experts like M. King Hubbert who have worked inside the industry are helpful. Another aspect of the amount of reserves is that some of the reserves in old fields are not now economical to recover. Here, as with minerals, we have the situation in which there may be oil but its recovery may be prohibitive. Thus the calculation of reserves is a function of how much energy and money we are prepared to spend to recover the oil. At the point that it requires more energy to extract a gallon of crude oil than exists in that gallon of crude oil, it won’t matter what the reserves of it are. Given the massive exponential expansion of oil consumption, which must keep growing to avoid industrial collapse, a few years in the calculation of reserves, is of minor importance. The compounding of an exponential growth curve is so swift, from 1 to 2 to 4 to 16 to 1056 to 1,115,136, that only if the oceans were filled with petroleum could the supply continue. Another aspect that becomes important in these latter days is the external effect of using the substance. If by chance some new reserves were found it would only increase acid rain, the greenhouse effect, smog, the churning of the wheels of industry, which spew out poisons and which would use up remaining resources faster. The Minerals of Empire “… Since 1950 human beings have managed to consume more minerals than were mined in all previous history…” says Richard J. Barnet. Of the eight most important metals in world industry in the past twenty years (aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin, zinc, iron, steel), the U.S., Soviet Federation and Japan are the largest consumers. As a gauge of the exponential increase of consumption of minerals and specifically these eight metals, World Resources 1987 states that the increase in world consumption of the eight has been from 416.67 thousand tons in the year 1965, to 648.61 thousand tons in 1985.57 There are plenty of minerals remaining for world society. If we pulverize the crust of the earth and extract all of the minerals from the waters of the ocean there will be plenty. The problem of computing how much remains is, that even in a handful of dirt there is some percentage of minerals. The question is, how concentrated the ore and how much capital and energy it will take to extract it. Barnet says for example: “In 1700, typical copper ores contained 13 percent copper. 1900 had exhausted the super rich deposits but technology had improved to the point where deposits from 2.5 percent to 5 percent copper were profitable to exploit. Today copper is frequently extracted from 0.5 percent deposits.”58 Just as the energy-intensiveness of the agricultural system is increasing, Barnet points out also that the energy cost of producing minerals is high. “To produce a ton of copper requires 112 million BTU’s or the equivalent of 17.8 barrels of oil. The energy cost component of aluminum is twenty times higher.”59 Critical shortages and steeply rising prices are the obvious future for world minerals. When more energy, more technology, more water and more capital are required to process increasingly lower grades of ore, the future can only go in one direction. Elite Control of the Industrial Process The elites control the sources of information concerning energy and mineral resources. It is the elites that will decide on the technologies that will utilize different fuels or different metals. It is the elites also, who control the supplies and prices. In the past twenty-five years the oil cartel has been able to spread its ownership and control into all energy industries except hydro. They have even usurped the fields of solar and wind generation of energy. The decisions concerning the industrial configuration of society and the social conditions of the individual citizens of society are made by these small elites when they make broad industrial/military decisions. The decision to scuttle non-centralized energy production (solar, wind, small private hydro, wood) was made by elites who control centralized systems (oil, nuclear, electric grid, and coal). These decisions will have much to do with the fate of the earth as the primary resources become exhausted. As these finite resources become increasingly scarce, military, industrial and technical attention and conflict will focus on the locations of the remaining resources, such as the Middle East. One of the basic reasons that empire can generate “surpluses” from the earth is that industrial technique and the “productive masses” can be mobilized under the control of small elites. To give the general picture on a global scale, at the beginning of the last decade of the Twentieth Century, 20 per cent of the world’s population were consuming 80 per cent of the world resources.60 In the capitalist countries in particular, there is a further severe imbalance where a minority owns the majority of resources. The control of world industrial society has come to rest in fewer hands and its control begins with energy and minerals, the backbone of industry. In the Capitalist world, control rests with the international financial elite, people who are members of the Bilderberg group and the Trilateral Commission. Coal energy, because of the heavy investments in mining and distribution; have traditionally been under centralized control. Petroleum began to be utilized in the era of the great trusts at the beginning of the 19th. Century. Until recently, what were called the Seven Sisters; (five U.S. corporations and two British and Dutch) controlled the capitalist world oil supply. Due to mergers, there are now even fewer Transnationals that are dominant in the world oil business. It is this elite who plan the volume of production and from which area it will be produced. The minerals industry is very centralized. “The marriage of high finance-Morgans, Rothschilds, Schiffs, Bernard Baruch-and the most successful mining entrepreneurs, principally the Guggenheims, in the early years of the century laid the foundation for the minerals oligopolies that control the world market today.”61 As the collapse of civilization begins to accelerate in the coming years it is these small elites who will continue to make the planning decisions. The well known diplomat and author George F. Kennan, who was known as a liberal, stated the groundwork for this contemporary era in a State Department Policy-Planning Staff paper (#23), in February 1948, when he was head of this group. He wrote: “We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population…. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity…. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction … We should cease to talk about vague and … unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”62 It is from this perspective of muted desperation that the present structure of world society has developed. Since that time a centralized military-industrial complex has developed in the First World and the Third World has become thoroughly militarized. In 1979, $35 billion and one-half million scientists and engineers were engaged in military research.63 The military weapons industry is now the second in size in the world after the oil industry. Military spending in the Third World doubled between 1974 and 1984.64 The profits and production of the armaments industry is so huge that all the UN, programmes for health, children, food and such could run for two centuries for the amount of money spent in one year on planetary armaments (1982 figures).65 The concentration of power in the transnational corporation-government-military complex group has created a foreign policy of industrialism. This strategy is to maintain control of the Third World and its markets and resources by feeding and controlling its militaries and preventing any “nationalist” movement that might attempt to use these resources for the benefit of the indigenous population. The United States produces the largest volume of military hardware and it is followed by the Soviet Union who is a remote second (in 1980 the U.S. accounted for 50 per cent of the military hardware in world trade and the U.S.S.R., 30 per cent).66 Now, the world imperial system of militarism has reached into the Third World countries with the U.S. weapons industries there. “The Department of Defense has more than forty coproduction projects under which it assists other nations to become weapons producers in their own right. Private U.S. firms have another seventy-five such projects.”67 When we look at the world perspective from this angle we see how readily the official policy of the U.S. government- Low Intensity Conflict- fits into the overall scheme. LIC simply means controlling the geography of resources and markets as long as possible. The internal logic of empire is toward elitism, centralization, and militarism. As the World Empire disintegrates, we will see the elite continue to draw off more energy and materials for their own purposes while strengthening their control over the increasingly impoverished masses. This will continue until the final shoot-out around the gas pump when the hegemony of the internationalist corporate-government-military elite itself begins to disintegrate. NOTES 1 The New Biology: Discovering the Wisdom in Nature. Robert Augros & George Stanciu. New Science Library. Boston & London. 1988. p. 128. 2 ibid. p. 166. 3 ibid. pp. 126,127. 4 ibid. pp. 126,127. 5 Man’s Role In Changing The Face Of The Earth. (International Symposium – Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research). William L. Thomas, Jr. Editor. with collaboration of Carl O. Sauer, Marston Bates & Lewis Mumford. Wenner-Gren Foundation For Anthropological Research & the National Science Foundation, pub. U. of Chicago Press. Chicago. 1956. vol. 1. p.166. 6 Man’s Role In Changing The Face Of The Earth. William L. Thomas, Jr., ed. U. of Chicago pub. Chicago. 1956. vol. 2. p. 972. 7 Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management. Norman Myers, ed. Anchor Books. Garden City, NY. 1984. p. 48. 8 State of the World: 1987. Lester Brown, et. al. W.W. Norton pub. New York. 1987. p. 27. 9 ibid. p. 36. 10 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p. 123. 11 World Resources 1987: An Assessment of the Resource Base that Supports the Global Economy. Basic Books Inc. New York. 1987. p.204. 12 ibid p.202. 13 State of the World 1988: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society. Lester Brown, et. al. W.W. Norton & Co. New York. 1988. p.122. 14 World Resources 1987. op. cit. p. 203. 15 The Amicus Journal. (a publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council) Spring 1988, vol.10, no.2. p.28. 16 Environment. December 1986. vol.28, no.10. “Editorial” by William C. Clark. 17 Greenpeace. “The Seal Plague: Pollution and the Collapse of the North Sea.” Andre Carothers. vol. 13, no. 6. November/December, 1988. p. 7. 18 ibid. pp. 6-7. 19 Birth Defect Prevention News. November 1986, Fifth Edition. National Network To Prevent Birth Defects, pub. Box 15309, Southeast Station, Washington, D.C. 20003. p. 7. 20 ibid. p.7. 21 Nature. February 12, 1987. vol. 325. “Pesticides In Fog.” D. E. Glotfelty, J. N. Seiber & L. A. Liljedahl. p.602. 22 The Amicus Journal. op. cit. p. 4. 23 ibid. p. 6. 24 ibid. pp.6,7. 25 Greenpeace. Nov/Dec, 1988. op. cit. p.14. 26 ibid. p. 19. 27 ibid. p. 15. 28 Brown. State of the World 1988. op. cit. p. 7. 29 The Technological Society. Jacques Ellul. Vintage Books. New York. 1964. 30 The Household Pollutants Guide. Center for Science in the Public Interest. Albert J. Fritsch, Gen. Ed. Anchor Books. Garden City, New York. 1978. 31 ibid. pp. 197-203. 32 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p.123. 33 Laying Waste: The Poisoning Of America By Toxic Chemicals. Michael H. Brown. Pantheon Books. New York. 1980. p. 103. 34 Poisoning For Profit: The Mafia and Toxic Waste In America. A.A. Block & Frank R. Scarpitti. Morrow pub. New York. 1985. 35 World Resources 1987. op. cit. p. 207. 36 Greenpeace. November/December 1988. vol. 13, no. 6. “Return To Sender: Clamping Down On The International Waste Trade,” by Judy Christrup. p.8. 37 World Resources 1987. op. cit. p. 306. 38 Birth Defect Prevention News. March 1987. op. cit. p. 6. 39 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p. 125. 40 Department of Energy National Security and Military Application of Nuclear Energy Authorization Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-164). 41 “Status of the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.” statement of Keith O. Fultz, Senior Associate Director Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division Before the Subcommittee on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives. September 13, 1988. GAO/T-RCED-88-63. 42 Birth Defect Prevention News. March, 1987. op. cit. p. 7. 43 “Nuclear Waste: Problems Associated With DOE’s Inactive Waste Sites.” United States General Accounting Office. August, 1988. GAO/RCED-88-169. p. 5. 44 Utne Reader. #31, January/February 1989. “Cleaning up after the Pentagon: The dangers of nuclear weapons waste.” Robert Alvarez & Arjun Makhijani. reprinted from Technology Review. August/September 1988. p. 50. 45 “Nuclear Regulation:’s Decommissioning Cost Estimates Appear Low.” Report to the Chairman, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives. July 1988. GAO/RCED-88-184. p. 4. 46 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p. 124. 47 Birth Defect Prevention News. March, 1987. op. cit. pp. 5,6. 48 Birth Defect Prevention News. November, 1986. Fifth edition. op. cit. p. 3. 49 The Last Chance Energy Book. Phillips Owen. Johns Hopkins U. Press. Baltimore, MD. 1979. p. 38. 50 ibid. p. 39. 51 “Poison Peace: What The End of the Iran-Iraq War Means for Oil.” by Thomas A. Petrie. Barrons Business & Financial Weekly, July 25, 1988. p. 6. 52 State Of The World: 1987. op. cit. p. 11. 53 Owen. The Last Chance Energy Book. op. cit. p. 48. 54 ibid. p. 50. 55 World Resources 1987. op. cit. p. 299. 56 ibid. pp. 300-301. 57 ibid. p. 299,307. 58 The Lean Years: Politics In The Age Of Scarcity. Richard J. Barnet. Simon & Schuster. New York. 1980. p.117. 59 ibid. p. 118. 60 EPOCA UPDATE. Summer 1990. The Environmental Project On Central America. Earth Island Institute, 300 Broadway suite 28, San Francisco, CA. 94133. p.2. 61 ibid. p. 138. 62 The Chomsky Reader. Noam Chomsky. James Peck, ed. Pantheon Books. New York. 1987. p. 318. 63 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p. 204. 64 ibid. p. 246. 65 Myers. Gaia. (atlas). op. cit. p. 248. 66 Barnet. The Lean Years. op. cit. p. 223. 67 ibid. p. 223. Part Four: THE ANALYSIS OF EMPIRE CULTURE The Final Empire: CHAPTER 9 THE CULTURAL DYNAMICS OF EMPIRE Human cultures obey rules of metabolism. They are an energy code. A large part of human culture deals with food and eating. The life forms of the planet fit into niches within the flow of solar energy (NPP). Each species of organism fits into a niche so that it receives food energy and also makes a contribution to help support the system. Birds transport the seeds of trees, bees pollinate the flowers that they rely upon for food and all bodies eventually die and feed the soil. All beings in the flow system of life/energy adapt in some manner to the whole. Human societies have been guided by cultures, adapted to certain ecosystems. On both coasts of North America, Europe and the British Isles there were massive migrations of fish at one time. This flow of protein in turn created niches for many life forms. Eagles, bears and humans were prominent in utilizing this food source. The young humans learned to fish. Fish were the subject of tribal art. Fish were the focus of spiritual attention through ceremony and ritual. Fish were food and their parts, such as bones, became useful tools and functional articles. All of these things were learned as part of the culture. The culture is an energy code instructing the young how to derive energy from their niche in the living world. Our ancestors, the forager/hunters, had adaptations to reindeer migrations, bison migrations, salmon migrations and in the far north, whale, walrus and other migrations. There were many cultures also that had no single primary dependence but were adapted to the whole diversified ecosystem. We functioned according to the metabolism of the larger life flows. We followed the seasons nomadically; we knew each harvest of each watershed, as it became available. The metabolism of the earth set the pattern of dynamics for the forager/hunter cultures. The success of our endurance for three million years as a human family was our adaptation, our congruence with the larger cycles of energy. Our ancient culture was diametrically opposed to the form of civilized culture. Civilized culture is not a linear and qualitative improvement; it is simply an inversion of our previous culture. In our ancient culture we functioned in what anthropologists call a “domestic mode of production.” That is, we produced what we needed within the clan and tribe. We were nomadic, we did not attempt to accumulate surpluses or create markets. Bartering was a peripheral and minor activity. Food and goods were distributed through familial systems of sharing that were conditioned by each culture. Marshal Sahlins, a noted anthropologist and author of the widely circulated book, Stone Age Economics, reports that after studying many tribal economies, he finds that none of them come near the maximum yield of their environment. That made them stable and sustainable. One of the myths of civilization is that our ancestors were hungry, lived short lives, and only by a high birth rate, could sustain their populations. Just the opposite is true. Tribal people consciously kept their populations under control by herbal contraception, abortion, abstinence, long nursing periods and infanticide. Anthropologist Robert Allen in examining the !Kung Bushmen who live in the Kalahari desert of southern Africa finds that, “The proportion of men and women over 60 is 10 per cent-smaller than in the industrial countries of Europe and North America, but significantly greater than in the nonindustrial countries of the tropics.”1 Infant mortality is higher in forager/hunter groups. Once puberty is reached though, their good health insures long life. When this is averaged, including their higher infant mortality, it causes the life-span numbers to be lower. This has allowed the familiar canard that “primitives lived short lives.” We see here a tribal group living in an exceptionally harsh environment whose life expectancy exceeds most third world countries. Other tribal peoples, now gone, who lived in richer ecosystems must have been better off. The Kalahari is similar to the conditions of the Mojave Desert of California or the Negev in the Mid-East. Robert Allen says that, “The Dobe !Kung…eat more protein than the British. Indeed, each person’s daily protein intake, 93.1 grams, is exceeded by only 10 countries today.”2 A time-and-motion study pointed to by Allen shows that the Bushmen were not desperate for food or they would have devoted more time to food gathering and hunting. Allen says that, “It was found that they never spent more than 32 hours a week searching for food, and that the average was half that-or just over two hours a day for a seven-day week!”3 We must keep in mind that most tribal peoples conducted a full and rich human culture with voluminous oral literature that was continuously spoken and they conducted many ceremonials and tribal rituals. Their time was not all taken up with subsistence matters. John H. Bodley in his, Anthropology And Contemporary Human Problems, reports: “In 1965, 75 anthropologists assembled in Chicago to examine the latest research findings on the world’s last remaining tribal hunting peoples, who were expected soon to become extinct. The result was a new description of life in these simplest of ethnographically known societies, showing their existence to be stable, satisfying, and ecologically sound, and not at all ‘solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short,’ as Thomas Hobbes had proclaimed in Leviathan in 1651. It was learned, for example, that even remnant hunters such as the Bushmen, who survived in extreme and marginal environments, were not eking out a precarious existence, constantly on the edge of famine, as was thought. Indeed, they devoted only a few hours a week to subsistence and suffered no seasonal scarcity. When uncontaminated by outsiders, tribal hunters seemed to enjoy good health and long lives, while they had the good sense to maintain their wants at levels that could be fully and continuously satisfied without jeopardizing their environment. One researcher even suggested that this was, after all, the original ‘affluent society.’ “Most significantly, when the discussions ended, it was concluded that the hunting way of life, which had dominated perhaps 99 per cent of humanity’s cultural life span, had been ‘the most successful and persistent adaptation man has ever achieved….'”4 In viewing the cultural change that has occurred since we were all forager/hunters, we confront the myth of “man’s evolution.” There is the linear concept of biological, “genetic,” evolution and a corollary concept of “social evolution.” The picture is that “man the toolmaker” has laboriously evolved, socially, by his inventions. First the rocks were chipped for tools, then the bow and arrow, then agriculture and now computers. In order to logically justify this linear concept, those farthest back on the linear path must be understood to have been in much worse condition than we are today. In this myth, we, today, in the richest industrial countries are at the forefront of social evolution. We are the most “evolved.” The emphasis is that we laboriously “invented” agriculture as an escape from the previous, less satisfactory condition. This is the standard myth. Others seek to use other functional reasons in addition, to explain why humans became civilized. Other theories to explain what influenced this cultural change are a rising population of forager/hunters that may have forced farming intensification or that the worldwide die-off of large mammals after the last ice age forced forager/hunters into agricultural intensification and a sedentary way of life. The standard measure in the field of anthropology is that forager/hunters today, as in the past, spend an average of 500 hours per year per adult person in subsistence activities, the traditional villager spends 1,000 hours and of course the modern 40 hour week amounts to 2,000 hours per year. As anthropologist John Bodley so ably points out, this presents a problem for the linear concept, namely why would the forager/hunters opt for a system in which twice as much time would be taken up with subsistence? He points out that there are examples where village agriculturists have actually returned to forager/hunter life styles when the opportunity presented itself.5 The linear concept would argue also that humans “discovered” agriculture somehow, as if foragers with their intimate knowledge of the natural world did not know that plants grow from seeds! The big myth, which we are confronting in this essay, is the myth that says that there has been a qualitative advancement with the change from forager/hunter culture to civilization. We have already seen that only ten of the countries in the world exceed the protein intake of the !Kung Bushmen. This means that most of the civilized people of the world can’t even feed themselves to the level of the forager/hunters and this is no doubt true for most of the people (other than the elites) in history who have lived in “civilization.” Civilization actually represents a lowering of living standards, using the values of longevity, food, labor and health for most people outside of the elite class. Only by restricting our view to “inventions,” could we say that there has been a linear progression. We live in a world where starvation is increasing. It is a world of myth where millions and soon hundreds of millions, die of starvation and we still say we are making “progress” by counting the number of devices created. This may be the ultimate of materialism (the belief that material objects are the ultimate value), that as billions die on a dying planet, we say that we have made great progress because we invented airplanes, computers, satellites and we went to the moon in a rocket ship. Many have theorized about the cause of the change from forager/hunter to civilization. We simply do not know for sure. None of us were there and little hard evidence exists. Though we don’t have hard evidence for the why of the change we have abundant information about what the change was. We can easily understand the meaning and impact of these functional patterns in human society. The functional change was the domestication of plants for agriculture both in China and in the original Indo-European area of the Caucasus Mountains of Central Asia. The Indo-Europeans also domesticated sheep and goats. This was accompanied by the creation of villages. Early villages in what is now Turkey have been dated at 8,000 years in the past. Smelting and copper working in the area have been dated at approximately 5,000 years in the past. The Cultural Inversion The large question that we seek to answer is, “What is it about the culture of empire that has produced the prospect of planetary suicide for us?” To understand this we must look at how this culture functions, its functional basis, its dynamics. When this change to empire occurred, human culture in effect inverted. In forager/hunter societies we were ecologically balanced. The archeological evidence from one area, southern Africa, is that humans lived stably for 130,000 years without overwhelming the ecosystem upon which they depended.6 In the inversion, human culture changed from one of sharing and cooperation in clan society to one of deliberate inequality of goods. The culture changed from one of social equality to one of hierarchies of authority and despotism ruled by the Emperor and associated elites. The culture changed from emphasis on fecundity, Mother Nature and what anthropologists call matrilocal culture, to patriarchy- control and ownership by males. The culture changed from emphasis on cooperation in clan society to an emphasis on the cult of the warrior and violence. This is a change from cooperation to coercion. The emphasis in tribal society was on sharing. In most tribal societies the chief spokesperson for the group was generally the poorest in material terms. This is because that person had shared the most and was therefore held in esteem by the group. This changed to an emphasis on materialism symbolized by the emperor who possessed riches amongst his peasant subjects who had little. The inversion represented a severance from the consciousness of the living world, what some call a change from pantheism to deism. Natural culture has a continuing contact with the spiritual consciousness of the living world. Each person in Natural culture had the cultural understanding that each living thing was a spiritually conscious entity as well as the understanding that everything in material reality was spiritually vivified. When the inversion caused the severance from this, human spiritual sensibility became abstracted into “religion.” No longer was the entire world spiritually animated but the focus was on a pantheon of abstract deities or on one deity. These “sky gods” were not part of the corporeal world but were abstracted somewhere in mental space. This was the first alienation and separation from life. This radically changed human perception. In the former world of the forager/hunter, the cultural experience was a continuing and direct spiritual contact with the cosmos. When the culture inverted this was severed and the narrow focus was placed on abstracted “Gods,” priestly hierarchies and material goods. Natural culture, the forager/hunter culture that lived in integration with the natural world, viewed reality as a composite life where all beings worked together to produce the whole in a natural manner. With the advent of empire the reality view changed to centralized power concepts such as the abstracted gods and goddesses and the centralized authority of the emperor who in most cases claimed to be ruling by divine right granted by a male god. This tendency toward abstraction demonstrated itself in money as an abstraction of biological energy and in writing as an abstraction of human speech. We can also say that now, empire culture is abstracted- removed- from the earth and only retains a “resource” relationship with the living world. Wisdom and human maturity were casualties of the inversion. Generally in Natural Culture, humans managed their numbers and had great awareness of their cooperative relationship with the living world and great respect for it. All species are self-regulating with respect to their environments. This on the human level we could call maturity. Later, we will show that tribal society and also animal species go to considerable lengths to be self-regulating. The examples of population control are equaled by the care not to overburden the environment with hunting or other use. There was respect for the living world as well as a concern about future generations. With inversion, group responsibility and responsibility to the young, so that they could endure, has been lost. This has been replaced by a focus on individual accumulation with disregard of responsibility to the group, the living world or concern about the future survival of the young. Animals all seek to protect their young and provide them with optimum survival but the culture of empire does not. A popular example of the wisdom of Natural Culture is the rule of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, that all decisions in council be viewed with respect to their effects upon the seventh generation. These values of Natural Culture were centered on one fundamental- respect. People had respect for themselves-valued themselves- respect for others and respect for the cosmos that had given life to all. The effect of the inversion has been to elevate the negative social values of violence, selfishness, lying, stealing (conquest) and irresponsibility to the level of cultural standards. The Dynamic Cultural Factors Our ancestors lived by adaptation to the life of the earth. When the pathology of empire broke out in the human family this adaptation and unity with the cosmos faded, and rather than adapt to the cosmos, humans became “God,” as it were. Humans sought control rather than adaptation. This is the pivotal fact of the culture of empire. Humans in empire culture began this control with domesticated “biological slaves”: wheat, barley, sheep, goats, water buffalo and rice. When this change occurred, human culture changed from ecological balance to ecological imbalance. The biological slaves have historically been used along with human slavery to extort energy from the earth’s metabolism in a parasitic relationship. This led to the idea that humans have no need to unify and act responsibly and cooperatively with the cosmos but instead it was the cosmic role of humans to control the cosmos. Thus, the suicide pact of empire began. This need to control, so characteristic, truly, of a position of weakness, is the pivotal fact from which the coercive dynamics of empire culture flow. The attitude of control rather than cooperation with a greater power is a quantum shift in human perception. From a position that all perceived reality is manifest from unseen spiritual dynamics with which tribal people sought to be in contact, humans in empire began to see the world as a source of gratification for culturally defined needs-the accumulation of material wealth and power over the earth and other people. Meaning was taken from the spiritual forces of life and the cosmos and placed on material accumulation. In this respect the cosmos became meaningless. This also contributed to a generalized sense of the meaninglessness of human life within the Culture of Empire. The fundamental dynamic of the Culture of Empire is linear increase. The massing of human population into the early towns was based on the productivity of agriculture and herding. This quickly went above a sustainable level. It meant that the humans would soon exhaust the soils and foraging areas and so must turn to some way to continue these methods. Once this inversion had occurred, rather than the previous balance, it became to the advantage of the humans to spur further growth in food production by expansion. Further growth in human numbers added to the human energy applied to agriculture, stock raising and the production of material goods. Further growth also increased the security of the larger sedentary population. Because the increasing, sedentary population needed military conquest to expand their food base, patriarchy, militarism and hierarchy were strengthened. Once the human population exceeds that of balanced forager/ hunters, the ecology of the area inevitably becomes denuded. This is the trigger mechanism. When one eats up what is in one’s own backyard- when one exceeds the natural productivity-it is necessary to go to other areas to get more to sustain the massed group. This requires militarism and the social ideology of conquest. The idea of accumulation of material goods and the idea of linear increase becomes ingrained into the social ideology. A profound change takes place in the psyche of the culture when this change from forager/hunter to civilized, imperial, energy systems occurs. Where natural human culture tended toward unities of person, tribe, and cosmos- in cooperative relationship, the culture of empire tends toward disintegration, separation and isolation on all levels. Conflict/competition, not cooperation, becomes the dynamic. The cooperative unities are supplanted by the coercion of the controlling elite with its military force, as in early empires, or with administrative-legal control in the later empires. Human culture, which had been passed down through generations, person to person, disintegrated, but the social body was still held in form by the power of the elites with their hierarchies of coercion. Order in imperial society ultimately rests upon the monopoly of violence. Within the imperial worldview, the imperial cultural mind, power is the ability to compel another person or to force change in the material world. Power to compel and force is a central dynamic. This power is the dynamic by which the heathen are conquered, the aristocrat becomes emperor, material goods are produced or gold is accumulated. This coercion is the element of militarism in empire. The complete inversion of human society from Natural to Empire Culture did not take place overnight but took thousands of years to become what it is today. What it is today, nonetheless, is a direct extrapolation of the original dynamics that were initiated when human population began to swell. When the inversion occurred, human attention shifted from relationship with the living world to extortion of the fertility of the living earth. The extortion factor of empire is in effect stealing. Though civilization fears to name it, conquest is piracy and as the anarchist theorist, Kropotkin, says, ownership is theft. Differential profits are theft. The First World sucking the Third World dry of their resources is theft. Male ownership of females and the use of their energy, which was sanctioned by common law until recently, is theft. Human slavery is theft. The using up of the earth’s life by unbalanced culture is theft from one’s children. Empire culture is based upon the theft of conquest and the socially sanctioned practice of theft runs throughout the society under many names. The deliberate inequality of hierarchy introduces competition and a struggle for power. Hierarchy is not a social form in which all share equally. It is a form in which the few in the elite are winners and the supporting masses are losers. Much of the conflict, covert and overt in the culture of empire concerns who gets the scarce goods. Any possible separation or difference such as race or gender is used to gain advantage. Hierarchy is a social context of coercion. Hierarchy creates a context of dominance/submission and a competition for power. We see this lack of wise management, this immaturity of competition now in world society. Because the people of Empire Culture are locked into an accumulative, competitive structure, there is no management of the whole. Each person, social institution or country simply struggles to maximize their power and wealth. There is only grasping for short-term gain at the expense of long-term survival. In a competitive market the farmer who incurs the long-term expense of preventing soil erosion- will go broke. In a hierarchical/competitive environment, short-term gain must take place over long-term gain because the farmer that makes the short-term gain will remain and the other will be eliminated from the system. No one in the empire advocates long term gain in soil fertility when the short-term gain of profit margins or production quotas are the whole point of the effort. This is the reason that nothing real will be done to avoid the final collapse of civilization. The structure of empire is to enrich the emperor/elite at the expense of the earth and society- not to manage affairs for the benefit of the whole life of the earth. Agriculture and herding began the energy system of empire, rooting in the soil, extracting energy directly out of the planetary metabolism – and growing by the force of violence employed against the earth. The development of mass societies demands stasis, immobility rooted in the soil organ. As the hierarchy of human power relationships grows in the cult of empire, the energy of the soil community and the general life that it finances declines. Empires have historically run great net deficits of the fertility of the earth. The cultural ideology of the warrior cult of empire may have survived into our time, but the individual energy cycles of each empire such as the Indus Valley, Sumeria and Greece that have adhered themselves to the earth’s metabolism, have each cycled into ecological exhaustion. Unfortunately, the cultural form had spread before they deflated. Empire replicates itself in the mind of the young by means of the patriarchal family. The family itself is a mini-empire that provides the conditioning, which prepares both the male and female children for their later roles in the larger social body. In the family the young females learn their submissive, dependent roles and the young males learn their roles as the favored “mini-emperors” of the hierarchical structure. The sexual imbalance of patriarchy and female ownership, or more accurately, female slavery, is inherently involved with militarism and with the inherent growth dynamic of empire. War, inherently brings the males to supremacy within a culture. Not only is empire forced to expand because of the exhaustion of “resources” in its central areas but also there is a growth dynamic in the sociology of warrior cultism itself. It is simply that a general amounts to very little unless there is a war to fight. In a culture of militarism it is the role of the males of the culture to foment war. War is the raison d’être of militaries. In ancient times, the country of Greece did not have to conquer the “known world” in order to feed and clothe itself. Nonetheless, Alexander laid down and cried when there were no peoples left to conquer. He cried not because Greece had any functional need to conquer the whole world but because he and his culture had internalized the values of empire. Patriarchy, militarism and growth are defining characteristics of empire culture. The growth of a large family sired by the patriarch is a factor in the power of the patriarch’s mini-empire (and in population explosions). In the whole empire, numbers mean power when the cultural destiny is to accumulate and conquer. Even now, with almost universal knowledge of the consequences of the population explosion, some empire culture governments still cannot help but worry about the slowdown of population growth. Some governments aid population growth through tax incentives and other subsidies not enjoyed by single people or childless couples. All the patriarchs of religions and governments of the various sectors of the final empire understand that even as poor as individual Chinese citizens are, the mass of them creates the fact of a world power (though the Chinese government has recognized limits and has instituted birth control programs). The present population explosion is not an inevitable or natural occurrence. It is clear that the human population explosion is the result of cultural and religious factors. For the millions of years of the human family there was no world population explosion until empires began. It is these “values of imbalance” functioning in the human social body that are killing the life of the earth. These values are: materialism, militarism, patriarchy, hierarchy, the idea of linear increase and extortion. Superficial political reform of this culture is no answer, technological innovation is no answer. The answer is that all of these dynamics must end and new culture must be created. Any human group functioning according to these dynamics will ultimately destroy the earth. The planetary crisis now is a product of these dynamics. Whether one drains the ecosystem of its energy slowly or rapidly, the ultimate conclusion is nonetheless, death for all. The Cosmology of Empire Materialism is the end of the spiritual world. When humans began to believe that they could “own” part of a planet, when humans began to selfishly “possess” things, cutting themselves off from the reality of the beneficent cosmos and its flow of energy, spiritual contact fell away. When the empire irrupted, when the focus of consciousness turned from the cosmos with all of its diversity of forces and beings, the focus narrowed, simplified. From the grand diversity of the cosmos, humans focused narrowly on the self and what the self identified with-its possessions- existing in a social context of the valuation of material objects. The value of humans became “wealth”- the objects that they possessed. One cannot live in holistic reciprocity with the forces and beings of the cosmos and be selfish. Generally, in the pattern of imperial culture the focus was turned inward, toward isolation, to concern with self rather than self/tribe/earth as was the focus of non-empire culture. Generally, in tribal society no one dies of starvation unless everyone dies. Food is shared. In present day empire culture the rich gaze out of the windows of fine restaurants at the poor, homeless on the streets. To them this is justified on a subconscious level by the linear increase-based, social- Darwinist programming of the cosmology of empire, with which they have been conditioned since birth. Social Darwinism says that there is only survival for the fittest, there are the weak and the strong, the unevolved and the evolved. That is why might makes right. In fact, it is said by some colonialists, that at times, the lesser should give up to the more fit, in order to aid “evolution.” The mind conditioning of the societies of empire says that there is “evolution” measured now by technological invention. Those who are most progressed are leading the whole planet toward a utopian destiny for the human race. Inasmuch as these “most progressed” groups are carrying the burden for the whole, sacrifices of the other lesser peoples to help the more advanced are justified. Here, a biological theory has been inflated to become cosmology. Cosmologies are each culture’s explanation of the plan and pattern of the universe as it works itself out on earth. The cosmology of a culture explains whom we are, how we got here on this planet and what the purpose of life is. The Darwinist myth of the “survival of the fittest” rests within a larger mental construct- the basic subconscious image of linear increase. Rather than the organic view of a cyclic pulsation of life maintained by our ancestors, the culture of empire rests upon the image of linear increase. For example, the religious perspectives of empire from China, India and the Mid-East are linear in the sense that they believe we are not now adequate (we are sinners or we are unenlightened) but we are progressing in a linear manner toward some distant point of perfection. In social and economic realms we are progressing toward the utopian goal of wealth by making economic progress. In the technological “man the toolmaker” realm, we are inventing utopia where mechanical slaves will do our bidding. In the cosmology of empire, the earth, its life and material forms became simply objects for manipulation and accumulation. They have no inherent meaning. Empire culture began to invest meaning in material objects themselves, with no relation to the cosmos. One’s identity became associated with one’s material accumulation as it hopefully increased in a linear manner. Materialism became a basic factor in the cosmology of empire. In this worldview, the earth is a “resource” to be used in service of empire. The ideology of empire is fascism. From the belief in the centralized maintenance of “order” to the belief in the inherent racial, moral, physical, spiritual and intellectual superiority of the elites, the ideology has not changed since the first “son of heaven,” Chinese emperor or first Sumerian tyrant. In our own era we had the exemplars of civilization, the Nazis. Just as with the “old boys” in English mens’ clubs, in private yankee boys schools in New England, among the inheritors of social privilege in Italy, among the patrician class of Spain and in corporate board rooms throughout the industrial world, there is a bedrock belief in human inequality. All believe that the tribal people in the highlands of New Guinea are “less evolved” than they. They (as well as the social conditioning of all civilized people) state that they are on the forefront of linear increase, “advancement,” “progress,” “being civilized.” The Nazis said that they were on the forefront of evolution. They were carrying the burden of human advancement, genetically and technologically. They said that this was demonstrated by their superior machines, their superior military power and their superior culture, things that were only said behind the doors of the private men’s clubs of imperial England or now in transnational corporate boardrooms. Inasmuch as the Nazis believed they were carrying the evolutionary burden for the entire race and planet it seemed reasonable to them that other lesser breeds should step aside or be exterminated. Isn’t this the basic belief of the colonists who landed at Plymouth Rock? Cortez in Mexico? the Chinese now in Tibet? Isn’t this the social ideology of the last two hundred years of imperial conquest of the planet? Fascism is Empire, is Civilization! In the natural human culture, life is adequate in and of itself. Life and its living is the point of it all. Life is a natural occurrence that is manifest as the intent of the cosmos. Life produces the needs of humans who live in balance. Life produces those needs as constantly as the tree grows and the rain falls. In the world of natural culture, life survives by its successful adaptation to the larger whole, not by conflict and control. In the empire culture, people struggle for materialist salvation. When the herder exhausts the grasses, more must be found. When the agriculturist exhausts the soil, more wilderness must be conquered. When the general conquers one country, there are always more. In the inadequate present, one must struggle, battle and compete in linearity toward salvation, which is that point in which one has conquered and then owns and controls everything in the universe. This is linearity. This is mechanistic evolution in which repeated chance collision of chemicals rather than the intelligence of the cosmos produced the world. The myth of linear evolution is laid as a template over reality. It allows academicians, politicians and personal egos to justify much of the destruction and death caused by the empire. It allows people who should know better to say that self-sufficient tribal people should be displaced by economic development so that “they can become educated and productive.” “Man the tool maker” is a correlate myth. In predicating that the cosmic role of humans is to make tools (to produce material goods), academicians find stone spear points, fit the many types of spear points into an evolutionary line and then declare that this is evidence for the role of “man the toolmaker.” Of course humans have always made tools but this was not the basic purpose of the society. It is, though, the basic purpose of industrial society. By taking what the basic pattern of empire culture has been through history and looking at the world through that pattern, the leaders of empire have “discovered cosmic patterns” like, “the hidden hand of God in the ‘free enterprise’ market,” “dialectical materialism,” or “the survival of the fittest,” and its derivative, social Darwinism- the theory that in the dog eat dog competitive social struggle the best always wins and that is what improves the human species. The linear growth myth justifies the contempt and racism directed toward Native people (who are not “evolved”) and it justifies the contempt for the “lesser” in the hierarchy. As the empire races toward suicide it scorns the “less evolved” human ancestors that have lived sustainable manner for a million years. As the materialism and markets of Empire Culture developed, humans began to increasingly focus human energy upon the production of material goods. Markets became the mechanism that accelerated the extortion of the earth’s fertility. Empire is a culture of violence, arranged according to coercive hierarchies of social power based on the extortion of the fertility of the planetary metabolism. An empire is a temporary, pathological human culture. It grows based upon declining resources and then collapses. The general dynamic of empire culture assumes a life of doing on the part of humans. Humans work and produce goods and services. Humans invent new “tools.” Prior to the inversion the emphasis of human life was on Being. There was nothing to do but gather and hunt the “fruits” of the earth and be in spiritual consonance with the cosmic pattern and will as demonstrated in the life of the earth. This is a clear inversion between being and doing. The conditioning in empire, the “doing” culture, carries psychological consequences. Within the body of myth, that each of us play out each day in our personal lives, we assume subconsciously that life is not yet adequate but that we are moving toward utopia. This means that each of us see our lives as somehow wrong and as yet inadequate, none the less we are struggling toward completion. This is a bedrock psychological assumption. Life is not yet full, complete and adequate. It is in this manner that we live out the pathology of the imperial whole in each of our personal lives. NOTES 1 Natural Man. Robert Allen. The Danbury Press. (no location given). printed in Madrid, Spain by Novograph S.A. & Roner S.A. 1975. p. 24. 2 ibid. p. 16. 3 ibid. p. 18. 4 Anthropology And Contemporary Human Problems. John H. Bodley. Second Edition. Mayfield pub. Palo Alto, CA. 1985. pp. 18,19. 5 ibid. p. 94. 6 ibid. p. 47. The Final Empire: Chapter 10 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EMPIRE Biological life on earth assembles and unifies energies. The tree sprouts from a seed and begins to draw the energies of air, water, soil and sun to it for assemblage into biological form. As the tree creates its unity of form it then integrates with the other systems around it, the soil community, the plants and animals. This interaction increases as energy pathways and new biological niches are created which support new life forms. It is the balanced integration and the proliferation of energy pathways that potentiates the living world and provides its power of endurance. Wheat, barley and rice, the initial biological slaves of empire, were able to produce surpluses because they could drain the energy of the assembled unities of the soil community. It is this energy; gained by looting the laboriously assembled natural unities that fuels empire. This has allowed the explosive growth of civilization. The ecologies of forests, grasslands, wetlands, continental shelves and so forth are dismantled and the energy is turned into the growth of civilization. The life of the earth functions in its balanced way because each being lives according to its particular nature. The decentralized power of all life resides in each being. The pattern of empire culture in contrast, is to centralize power over life and consequently the natural patterns disintegrate. A golf course, for example, appears very neat and orderly. With its edged borders, well watered grass and trees, it represents the epitome of orderliness to the mind conditioned by empire. In the reality of earth life, created and conditioned by cosmic forces, it is a gross disorder. Where once stood a life potentiating, balanced and perpetual, climax ecosystem with its diverse circulating energies and manifold variety of beings, there are now a few varieties of designer plants kept alive by chemicals and artificial water supplies. A staff of maintenance people is kept busy battling the integrated life of the earth that attempts to rescue this wound by sending in the plants, animals and other life forms that are naturally adapted to live in the area. This same disintegration occurs in human society when it is impacted by empire. When empire strikes the forager/hunter tribe, the fragile thought form of culture, all of the memories of the oral literature, the ways of making utensils, dwellings and tools and the natural modes of relationship begin to disintegrate. The natural web of relationships disintegrates and the people become entrapped in a coercive relationship with the invader. In this pattern, the individual experiences physical and psychic disintegration. In empire culture the individual is alienated and thrust into conflict on all levels. Both the social structure of empire and its ideational contents shape the individual and it is not an integrative and healing system. We live in a culture that conditions us toward psychological disintegration. It is a culture that confuses and masks our biological identity, encouraging us to believe that we are something other. The examination of these disintegrative factors will aid us in creating a new culture that is pointed toward healing and wholeness. Human Life is Severed From its Source The culture of empire has severed itself from its center in the life of the earth. Civilized people find their survival not in the life of the earth but in human society. They are dependent upon what human society produces. The empire feeds on the earth like a tumor, irrespective of natural patterns. The individual person in the culture of empire does not directly feed from the earth, as do forager/hunters, that person feeds from the tumor body. The social body sucks energy out of the earth by means of mass, centrally directed, organization and creates massive artificial environments conducive to this further extortion. The continual conflict of culture with the natural patterns of life creates insecurity, which pervades the society. Natural culture is one of affluence. In empire unlimited demands and growth create scarcity and insecurity. The pattern of the culture itself also creates a context of competition and conflict for each individual. This leads to insecurity, which follows most people throughout life. Insecurity generates fear and defensiveness. Fear and defensiveness generate anger and negative emotional states. Anger and negative emotional states generate conflict. Individual fear, defensiveness, anger and conflict are entirely congruent with the career of empire itself. Empire is a culture of conflict internally and externally. Disorder in the Society of Cells The integrated nature of organic forms and the role of each life form are demonstrated by their place in the metabolism of the whole. But there is an example of a life form, which like empire does not follow the pattern. This example is cancer. The cancer cell breaks the cooperative and sharing relationship with its fellow cells and becomes “God,” as it were, or from another point of view, ceases to be part of “God.” Instead of remaining integrated and adapted to the body, the cancer cell creates a social body of its own design that feeds on its host. Cell biologist L.L. Larison Cudmore examines the morality of cancer, which opposes the natural pattern on the cellular level. She says: “Cancer cells do not respect the territorial rights of other cells and refuse to obey the two rules obeyed by all other cells: they neither stop growing nor stop moving when they encounter another cell, and they do not stick to their own kind. Quite simply, they are cells that have decided on autonomy and independent growth, rather than cooperation. There would be little in this to criticize if they were discreet about it. But they are not. They run amok with as much violence and insensibility as any Malay caught in that terrifying frenzy. Cancer will not stop its hideous course of uncontrolled growth and invasion until it or its victim is dead. Cancer is illegal and dishonest. It secretes a substance that lures blood vessels to it. Once supplied with its own circulation network, it pirates nutrients from the body, in greedy and ever-increasing insatiability. It turns invasive, growing into other tissues, dissolving the connections between cells with Samson-like strength. It can bore holes in muscle and bones. As it divides, its daughter cells lose more and more of what was once the fine sensibilities of the cell. They do not stay with their parental mass they leave, and totally undismayed by the fact that they may not belong in a kidney, a liver, or a lung, they colonize these organs with as little regard for any of the right of the inhabitants as the worst of human imperialists. They grow and grow. Over cells, and around cells, stealing their food and space.”1 The beginnings of individual psychology in empire start with the severance from the mother, the birth process. In the culture of empire, fear begins at birth. The birthing method of modern industrial medicine itself causes deep-set psychological fear and insecurity. Arthur Janov is the author of The Primal Scream, originator of Primal Therapy and a researcher for many years into the psychological complexities of the birthing process. He comments on the differences between contemporary and natural birthing methods: “In one of society’s great paradoxes, our supposedly most advanced methods have produced the most primitive consequences, and in the most primitive societies we find the most advanced (that is, natural and beneficent) birth practice: the simple stoop-squat-deliver method. Modern technology must not interfere with natural processes but should be used instead to aid those practices.”2 Joseph Chilton Pearce in his study of childhood psychology, Magical Child, points out certain stage-specific actions that are carried out during the birthing process. The periodic contractions of the vaginal canal massage and enliven the peripheral nerve endings in the skin of the baby who is emerging from a fluid environment of nearly 100 degree heat. The periodic contractions also begin compressing the chest, beginning the breathing action that is soon to come. As the baby emerges from the vaginal canal, it is grasped by the mother and put to her chest where it can again hear the heart beat that it has known for nine months. At this point the mother looks into the baby’s eyes (Pearce says this is extremely important in the bonding process). As the mother looks into the eyes of the child she begins stroking the baby which further activates the nerve endings of the skin. At some safe point after this, the umbilical cord is cut and the mother presses the baby to her nipple. The chemistry of the mother’s milk is stage specific and it changes as the baby grows through the biological stages until weaning. Birthing is one of the great transformations of life and to help generate the vigor to survive this experience the common blood supply of the mother and child produce a stress hormone, cortisol. Pearce feels that drinking the mother’s milk just after birth helps the body of the infant eliminate this substance so that it becomes calm. The process of bonding of mother and child is exemplified by the old story of the baby duck that bonds to the first thing that it perceives after coming out of its shell. Humorous stories are told of the baby duck that bonds with the family dog, people and other animals. The process of bonding is as fundamental as the bonding of proton and electron. The process of bonding happens on many levels and in subtle ways. An important kind of bonding is for living things to be bonded with their home, the living earth and cosmos. Bonding is a positive psychological relationship that provides a sense of self and the security of being at “home.” Janov, Pearce and many others think that the brief sequence of bonding during birthing is one of the most important in an individual’s life. It is this sequence that produces the proper bond between mother and child. It is at this initial point of the sequence of bondings, beginning with the mother and then radiating out to include the earth, that the subconscious tenor of the child is imprinted for the balance of its life. In the modern medical setting the infant may be subjected to the stress of a cesarean operation where there is no birthing sequence or alternatively the infant’s first contact with the outside world may be the drugs carried to it from the mother through the placental wall. The chances are good that the infant will feel the metal of the forceps around its head, pulling it out of the mother. The infant will be held up, swatted to begin the breathing and then handed to a nurse for deposit on a cold metal scale. The baby is then deposited alone in the sterility of the maternity ward. That the few moments in which all of this takes place can make such a substantial difference in one’s whole life is shown by a discovery made in Uganda. Joseph Chilton Pearce relates that Marcelle Gerber who was doing research for the United Nations Children’s Fund in Uganda discovered what the researchers considered “genius” babies: “She found the most precocious, brilliant, and advanced infants and children ever observed anywhere. These infants had smiled, continuously and rapturously, from, at the latest, their fourth day of life. Blood analyses showed that all the adrenal steroids connected with birth stress were totally absent by that fourth day after birth. Sensorimotor learning and general development was phenomenal, indeed miraculous. These Ugandan infants were months ahead of American or European children.”3 After causing a stir among child development specialists it was discovered that there were some babies in Uganda whose development resembled that of industrial medicine countries. These babies they found in the few hospitals in Uganda: “Gerber found that they did not smile until some two and a half months after birth. Nor were they precocious in any sense. They showed no signs of Sensorimotor learning, displayed no uncanny intelligence for some two and a half months, at which point some signs of intelligence were apparent. Blood analyses showed that high levels of adrenal steroids connected with birth stress were still prevalent at two and a half months. These infants slept massively, cried when awake, were irritable and colicky, frail and helpless. So the issue was not in some racial predisposition toward early intellectual growth. The issue lay solely with what happens to the newborn infant in hospitals.”4 Birth trauma and the failure of bonding are serious matters to the future life of the baby. Such a simple thing as cutting the umbilical cord too quickly in the modern assembly-line hospital setting causes irreparable harm by causing brain lesions- minor strokes, which are referred to as anoxia. Newell Kephart, Director of the Achievement Center for Children at Purdue University, says that 15 to 20 percent of all children examined had learning and behavior problems resulting from minor undetected brain injury. Others say that 20 to 40 percent of the school population are handicapped by learning problems that may be related to neurological impairments at birth.5 Pearce in his study Magical Child, tells of the tests done by medical doctor William F. Windle. Windle became doubtful about the birthing methods of industrial medicine and created a test with monkeys, (who normally need no help giving birth). Windle took a number of pregnant monkeys and subjected them to the normal hospital birthing methods, including drugs, anesthesia, forceps and the cutting of the umbilical cord in the usual time he had seen it done in hospitals. He found that because of the drugs and anesthesia the baby monkeys could not breathe and needed the artificial resuscitation that hospitals customarily use. Instead of clinging to the mother shortly after emergence, Windle’s monkey babies were helpless and could not perform this task. In fact they could not cling to their mothers for several weeks. Later Windle autopsied the infants that had died during birth or whom did not live full term. He found severe brain lesions in every case from the anoxia at birth. Later he autopsied the monkeys who lived to adulthood and found that they also had brain lesions. Windle later autopsied human babies that had died during birth or shortly after and found that they had brain lesions similar to the monkeys in his tests. Brain lesions are not the only effect of modern birthing methods. The imprints of the birth trauma itself are often severe. The mass institution of modern industrially based medicine, with its vast array of expensive machinery and industrially produced drugs seems to produce results consonant with the quality of civilization itself- mechanicalness, unfeelingness and human alienation. Instead of the warm comfort of the mother, the infant is treated as an object, slapped by a stranger and taken away by another stranger into a nursery where it is put into a crib. It is at this point that civilized people often bond to material objects, namely, the security blanket. Pearce asks, “What is the great learning? What is being built into the very fibers of that mind-brain-body system as the initial experiences of life?” It is that, “Encounters with people are causes of severe, unbroken, unrelenting stress, and that stress finds its only reduction through contact with material objects.”6 Even a satisfactory birth is one of the great traumatic experiences of any individual’s life. The birth experience is in fact a fight for life. Fetal death is the fifth cause of death in the U.S. Arthur Janov as a psychiatrist had been early led to birth trauma as the origin of some of his patients’ problems. After some years he created a method of therapy that involved conscious recall of the birth experience. He found that if the conscious adult could relive the birth experience and understand the experience within the adult context, the symptoms of fears, phobias, mental blocks and so forth would evaporate. He began to call this Primal Therapy. After years of work with Primal Therapy, Janov concludes: “I have seen every possible combination and permutation of mental illness. I have seen what bad families can do, what orphanages and rejection can do, what rape and incest can do and it is still my opinion that birth and pre-birth trauma are prepotent over almost any later kind of trauma. For in that birth process is stamped the way we are going to handle our lives thereafter. Personality traits are engraved. Ways of looking at the world are imprinted. Attitudes are shaped. What we will become is found in the birth matrix. “The best testimony I know of to the importance of altered birth practices is the qualitative difference between children born naturally and non-traumatically and those born under conventional circumstances. The second best testimony I know of is the enormous change that takes place in Primal patients who have relived the traumas they underwent at birth.” The birth trauma, as Janov describes, is the first imprint upon the person, but is not the last. There is the important matter of the bonding sequence that Joseph Chilton Pearce and others describe. The Failure of Bonding The bonding of newborns, the integration and adaptation of natural culture to the living earth, food chains, and the web of ecology are all similar phenomena. These functions are how life integrates itself. As we proceed, we will see that the violation of the bonding of infants is an important factor in the creation of the psychology of empire culture. In modern society we see the progressive violation of these patterns, especially with modern birthing methods. Marshall Klaus of Case Western Reserve Hospital, who is considered to be one of the top authorities on the functioning of the bonding process, feels that it is an instinctual response genetically built into mother and baby. It may be that hormones are involved in the process and it is obvious that breast-feeding has much to do with it. The innate phenomenon of bonding has long been observed in domesticated animals. In the case of domesticated sheep it has been found that if the mother sheep is prevented from licking the after-birth from the body of the baby sheep the chances are very high that the baby will die. Some anthropologists have commented on the depth of bonding in Natural cultures. When observers were looking for that effect, they reported that bonding was so close that the children when carried (such as on the hip) were never messy because the mothers knew by conscious rapport when the child had to urinate or defecate.7 In civilization the process of bonding is often much distorted, creating stress in later life. Even before birth, if the baby is gestated by a neurotic, stress filled mother, the baby is already accustomed to stress through participation in the blood supply of the mother with its load of adrenal hormones. If stress hormones from the mother impact the babies in utero they are already being imprinted with free floating, non-objective anxieties that may stay with them the rest of their lives. Pearce says that the development of intelligence and the learning of identity happens as the child interacts with the environment that it is bonded to, its matrix. The child is filled with intent to explore and interact with its worlds. The worlds (matrices) are the content to be known. The process of bonding says Pearce, begins with the mind-brain structuring its knowledge of its first matrix, the womb. On emerging from the womb, the mother becomes the matrix. When the child emerges from the mother it is placed on her chest where it can hear the familiar heartbeat. In the developing series of bondings that Pearce describes a child going through, it is by its knowledge of the previous matrix that the child is able to relate to the new. In order to adjust to the new matrix the child must be able to relate it to something that it already knows, such as hearing the mothers heart-beat in utero and on the mother’s chest. “Biologically, we are supported at each matrix shift with enhanced physical ability, a spurt of new brain growth that prepares us for new learning, and specific shifts of the brain’s ways of processing information,” says Pearce.8 The cycles of developmental bondings are timed essentially the same in the whole species, and in different cultures they may differ slightly in timing, but never in sequence. The physical changes accompanying these bonding sequences go on irrespective of the bonding or failure of bonding that takes place. At birth the child emerges from the womb and learns, ideally, to bond to the mother. From its secure place near the heartbeat the child is focused on the mother’s face and body. From this secure place the child begins to perceive the earth, the outer environment, its next matrix. At approximately the twenty-fourth month the brain of the child achieves a spurt of development and the next bonding, to that of the earth begins. The child, secure in its bonding to the mother begins to explore the world. The child touches and tastes the world and develops physical and personal power in dealing with it. At age seven a bonding shift occurs and the child begins to become aware of self. “Autonomy-becoming physically independent of parental help and learning to physically survive the principles of the physical world-is the goal of the period,” Pearce says.9 At age seven the growth of the corpus callosum, a late-developing organ of the brain, has been completed and another brain growth spurt occurs. It is at this age that childhood art changes worldwide. Childhood art maintains an essential sameness up to this period when the art begins to change according to the new information of the culture that is being assimilated. It is at this stage that the child stands in the earth matrix and explores into the self. At this stage the child develops personal power and creative logic but this is power and logic based in the concreteness of the physical world. (Unfortunately it is at this point that civilized children are forced to deal with abstract word and idea systems that have no relationship with immediate physical reality.) At a point when the “left brain” system is attempting to develop, the child is put into the anxiety ridden, win/lose educational institution and forced to learn the abstract cultural logic and idea systems, rather than immediate cause and effect physical logic, such as arrow making or deer stalking. At around the age of eleven the child begins naturally to separate word from the object. Here the child begins to develop abstract thinking. After sexual maturity the person begins to bond to the mind, begins to understand that it is not it’s own thoughts and emotions, but is the observer of them. An important point made in Pearce’s work is that the trajectory of the series of bondings from child to adult is from matter toward abstraction. The series of bondings lead from the womb, to mother, to earth, to self, to mind and although not stressed by Pearce, one could consider the realization of spirit as the final outcome. The design of the biological plan for individual human development is the growth of autonomy both as physical organism in the physical world and as an autonomous personality in the world of thought. In the intricate and complex pattern of nature, the final series of transformations bears the person out into the cosmos as an independent being. Ideally, in a natural culture surrounded by the living earth, this biological process should bear a human out onto the surface of the planet with full understanding of their identity as an authentic life form that will take its place in the natural world as do all other organisms. In the natural web of life, each organism has a purpose- to live, and to aid in the furtherance of biological life. Whether it is the bison spreading the grass seed and manuring the landscape or the tiny coral reef organisms creating rich habitat for many other life forms, all have a contributory role and each has an identity given by its nature and its place in the metabolism. There should be no identity crisis and there should be no anxiety experienced by one psychically secure in the knowledge that they are located where they should be and doing what their nature dictates. This does not necessarily mean that humans must be forager/hunters, but it does mean that humans need understand their grounding identity as organic beings and participants in the life of the earth and the necessity of living in balance with that life. As Pearce describes the experience of the child growing up in modern society, he finds violations of these natural bondings at every turn, which reinforce the alienating effect of the original birth trauma. This is alienation from the body of the mother, the social body and the body of the earth. Free Floating Anxiety: The Negative Psychological State of Civilization From the point of the birth trauma and failure of proper bonding the young civilized human is beset by anxiety. Not being grounded in the reality of self and earth, the human tends to bond to and identify with material objects and to word-built ideological systems. The focus of attention is not the relationship between the humans and the living earth- the focus of attention in industrial, imperial culture is on the society and its products. In this shifting field, the question of identity rages, but the underlying emotional state remains constant- anxiety. Fear and anxiety causes the decline of consciousness. Fear takes the mind off more expansive, intuitive questions of life in the universe and focuses the attention on immediate safety. Fear also creates the need to control. This urge to control, which is a fundamental factor of empire culture, comes about with the anxiety stricken child. The child (or adult in the same psychic situation) who is not centered within itself, experiences fear. The child attempts to reassure itself of its security by trying to control its environment, the things and people around it, usually in this case an adult. If the child can get the adults to respond on cue it becomes reassured of its security- momentarily. This is the civilized situation- suffering constant anxiety, attempting to control and manipulate a shifting social and ecological background. The culture as a whole in the larger realm relates to the planetary life in the same manner. Both socially and individually, the culture of empire is devoted to the maximization of material wealth. Natural culture is devoted to the maximization of life. The culture of the empire is severed from its matrix in the life of the earth and becomes a reality solely of the intellect, furnished with symbols and meanings having little relationship to the earth. The child, having suffered rebuffs to the emotional body, having withdrawn emotionally because of birth trauma and the competitive psychic environment, is taught by the school system to seek rewards through the exercise of the intellect and restrict emotional empathy. The child begins to invest meaning in word-built realities. The child begins to live abstractly, alienated by filtering its perception of reality through these intellectual images. Fear is the basic motor of the empire. It is a basic, fundamental, psychic fear convincing humans it is necessary to do something to achieve identity rather than to be something, inherently, as a source of one’s identity. When this occurs people move out of balance with the natural world. The human of the empire no longer has a home, no longer has an identity in the balanced universe, so it is always seeking to create its emotional sustenance and security by accumulating material objects-inflating its identity- and by controlling its environment as much as possible. The subconscious mind, the vegetative mind, runs the body, just as the mind of the world runs its organic body on its level of being. Yogis, who have conscious control of their “involuntary” physical systems, or persons in hypnotic trance, are able to control their heartbeat and circulation as well as direct their vegetative apparatus to do various things. This aspect of mind is the same mind as the consciousness of plants, or that aspect which empowers the bodies of all animals in a natural state. This organic mind is the whole mind of the world, our basic identity. In the psyche of empire this mind is submerged. People become cut off from the very basis of their existence. The focus of consciousness is forced up predominately into the intellect; the quick surface thinker needed when playing fast moving games of power and wealth. While the anxiety of not fundamentally knowing one’s identity slips below the threshold of conscious attention, it still endures. The person becomes cut off from their dream life, cut from the hunches and intuition that formerly helped the human negotiate in the natural world. Further disintegration develops when the socially conditioned mind begins to injure the body. A fundamental conflict develops between the conscious mind, its ideas and the vegetative mind with its realities of cellular cooperation and metabolism. Negative emotion and negative thoughts immediately poison the body through the production of stress hormones that are loaded into the blood stream by the endocrine gland system. This injures the body just as do dietary habits- such as anorexia or bulimia-that have emotional motive rather than a feeding motive. A psychogenic illness is one in which the mind injures the body. In extreme cases of psychogenic illness, the ideas in the conscious mind have impacts on the vegetative mind resulting in organic damage and sometimes death. Bleeding ulcers, colitis, spastic bowel syndrome, asthma and migraine headaches are results of a conscious reaction to the environment that the consciousness exists in, which are communicated to the vegetative mind. The organic aspect of the human body follows the pattern of the cosmos. It seeks to maintain balance internally among all its parts. Scientists refer to this balancing as homeostasis. This homeostasis results from the operation of the organic system adapting to the environment on its own level. As the body goes through its life, it makes internal changes in response to external stimuli of the environment seeking to keep the body on an “even keel” of blood pressure, temperature and so forth. Though the biological organism maintains homeostasis, the mind can be the fly in the ointment. A human, living in the natural world responds to the physical reality of threat with the familiar fight or flight syndrome accompanied by shots of adrenaline and blood sugar into the system preparing them for the physical exertion necessary. In civilized culture there is a serious problem involved with this adaptive mechanism. The problem is that the physical operations of the flight or fight syndrome are connected with the emotions. If a saber tooth tiger is charging, the body responds to the threat by physically gearing up to meet it. The body responds in the same way when a person is sitting quietly in a chair watching television and sees something on the screen about the threat of Communism or Capitalism to which they have been programmed to respond, so that it makes them angry and emotionally upset. The stress hormones produced in the body are not used because there is no tiger and no physical exertion. Instead, the substance that would aid muscle activity lies in the physical system and slowly poisons it- because it has not been excreted in physical exertion. The culture of empire is a culture of insecurity, tension and competitive conflict. This generalized emotional tenor has profound effects. Most of the top ten causes of death for example are generally related to stress. Negative emotional states, interpersonal conflict or the bill collector may trigger the body’s endocrine gland system to gear up for extreme physical effort when none is needed. Dr. Hans Selye who has done years of research on this, which he calls the General Adaptation Syndrome, describes what occurs in the body when this stress reaction is triggered: “The stressor excites the hypothalamus (through pathways not yet fully identified) to produce a substance that stimulates the pituitary to discharge the hormone ACTH (for adrenocorticotrophic hormone) into the blood. ATCH in turn induces the external, cortical portion of the adrenal to secrete corticoid. These elicit thymus shrinkage, simultaneously with many other changes, such as atrophy of the lymph nodes, inhibition of inflammatory reactions, and production of sugar (a readily available source of energy). Their production is facilitated through an increased level of corticoid in the blood, but the autonomic nervous system also plays a role in eliciting ulcers.”10 It is from the constant triggering of these physical systems that damage to the body occurs- caused by ideas in the mind-ideas conditioned into the mind by culture. Heart disease, such as the stressed-based heart disease in the empire, is generally absent in Natural culture. Cancer is also unknown in Natural culture. Cancer is caused by a malfunction of the autoimmune system. Everyone’s body produces malformed cancerous cells all of the time. In a properly functioning body these cells are eliminated by the body’s autoimmune defense system. It is when the auto-immune system loses its sense of identity, loses its ability to tell self from other, that the cancer cell is able to multiply, create tumor bodies and establish colonies. This is doubly dangerous when the autoimmune system fails and toxic and other intrusions from the environment multiply. Industrial medicine uses the words autoimmune system but this obscures the reality. The autoimmune system is the vegetative consciousness of the body. This function of telling self from other, knowing one’s identity, is a function of consciousness itself and it is the malfunction of this that is causing serious medical problems in the culture of empire. Cancer, AIDS, allergies, candida albicans and other maladies are caused by “auto-immune system” failures. It is the failure of identity, the failure of the mind to know what it is, that is the base of the problem. Though this is the base of the problem it is known that events and substances such as toxics and antibiotics can “shock” the body consciousness into bewilderment about its identity. The psycho-biological problem of identity exists with the individual as well as the body of empire, which does not recognize itself as an organic entity of the earth. The Crisis of Identity The human identity crisis now threatens the earth. When one observes the activities of civilization, aside from all the talk, one sees that the dominant conception of human purpose on earth is believed to be the creation and accumulation of material objects. People think of their possessions as part of their identity. Social status, positions and degrees are also accumulated but wealth is the base of the identity question. The civilized baby that was, just after birth, symbolically and literally bonded to the material “security blanket,” ultimately begins to identify with its accumulation. The child derives emotional gratification from material objects. No longer does the human have an organic identity but achieves identity by personal effort of accumulation within the context of a highly stratified and intellectualized society in which abstract mental symbology- ideology- has more perceived reality than the living forms of the earth. It is this cultural conditioning in the minds of billions that is driving the earth to destruction. For several million years humans identified themselves as part of a living, spiritually vivified earth. One of the essential differences between nomadic, forager/hunter cultures and the culture of empire is that in a sharing culture, persons do not have the deeply imbedded impulse to hang on to things, especially when they have to carry them on their backs. Their existence and their identity are not predicated on what they have or the competitive heights that they may have struggled to. Although tribal people admire their members for innate talents and for personal achievements, these factors are not brought about by socially structured competition. Tribal people who are secure in the flow of life, secure in the knowledge that the mothering earth produces life and sustenance continually, do not allow material goods to divide them or to become an issue. In Natural culture it is people who share the most that are held in the most esteem. Jules Henry, who has lived with many natural cultures during his life as an anthropologist, summarizes his view of this issue in his book Culture Against Man. He observes that contemporary, civilized people place no limit on their desires for material goods. He says: “Most, though by no means all, primitive societies are provided with intuitive limits on how much property may be accumulated by one person, and the variety of ways in which primitive society compels people to rid themselves of accumulated property is almost beyond belief. Distributing it to relatives, burning it at funerals, using it to finance ceremonies, making it impossible to collect debts in any systematic way-these and many other devices have been used by primitive culture, in veritable terror of property accumulation, to get rid of it. Rarely does primitive society permit the accumulation of vast quantities of wealth.”11 In civilization, only by continual accumulation in the competitive field of object ownership can one continue to “furnish” one’s identity. A study done by the Chicago Tribune shows that the urge to accumulate is not simply a motive of greed but is also an institutionalized behavior. It is a means of emotional sustenance. The study looks at shopping sprees of upper middle class housewives: “Our excursions into specific stores-and particularly the excursions women take to fashionable clothing stores-indicate more than we realize about our status and our status aspirations. The clothing we buy says a great deal about our status. The Chicago Tribune’s study of shoppers and their habits in three homogenous communities outside Chicago reveals that many women see the shopping trip to a prestige store (regardless of any purchase made) as a ritual which, if successful, reassures the woman of her own high status. The trip, the Tribune’s investigators found, ‘enables her to test her self conception status-wise against the conception others hold of her.’ “Such women dress up for the shopping trip. They strive to look their most chic and poised, and if the trip is a success they feel ‘Pride, pleasure, prestige’ in patronizing the store and in the satisfaction of ‘looking down’ on the customers of the lower status store (where women typically don’t dress up to shop). Some women said it made them ‘feel good’ just to go into a high status store. The investigators concluded that ‘shopping at a prestige store enhances the status of the shoppers and vice versa.’ “12 The Anguish of Sexual Love in the Empire Anguish, shame, guilt and automatic negative response to sexual love is so deep in the culture and in all of us that discussing it brings up fear and aversion. This is the reason that it must be discussed, because it is fundamental to understanding the social effects that radiate from this physical relationship. Here again is another force in personal psychology that tends to separate and fragment when the very functioning of sex and love is to unify. The eminent psychologist Wilhelm Reich became a martyr because of the anxiety concerning this act. In his clinics he looked at the condition of sexual love among thousands of people. He said that the culture causes people to be sexually dysfunctional and that this cripples their lives. The reaction of the culture and of the authorities to Reich, displays the hysteria that tends to confirm what he was saying. When Wilhelm Reich began his work in Germany in the early 1930’s he was ostracized from the Freudian circles of orthodox psychology. When he persisted in discussing the severe problem of sexual distortion among industrial youth, he was thrown out of the Communist Party of Germany. Still he persisted and had to flee Germany to Scandinavia when Hitler came to power. Still fleeing, he arrived in the U.S.A. where he was persecuted by the Food and Drug Administration, thrown in prison and because of complications, died- in a U.S. jail. Reich was persecuted because he challenged what he called the “emotional plague,” the “pleasure anxiety” (the fear of pleasure) that is generalized throughout civilized society, and particularly the Judeo-Christian heritage. With all organisms, the function of reproducing themselves is a central part of their life activities. Reproducing is as important a function as eating. In human society the sex and reproduction function is a central fact. In the patriarchal culture of empire, the control of sexual love and of women is a basic pattern. Women are culturally defined and socially controlled for the sexual use of men and for the reproduction of children and workers. The control of sex and the definition of women, as under the control of men, have been a pivotal fact in the history of empire. It is this pattern of sexual control mechanisms of the empire that Reich challenged. Reich states that: “…All biological impulses and sensations can be reduced to the fundamental functions of expansion (elongation, dilatation) and contraction (constriction).”13 This elementary contraction/expansion function of organisms is expressed in the human sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems. Reich says that the para-sympathetic system is operative wherever there is “expansion, elongation, hyperemia, turgor and pleasure. The sympathetic is operative whenever there is contraction, withdrawal of blood from the periphery, anxiety and pain. In the state of being when the para-sympathetic nervous system is functioning, the body experiences pleasurable excitement, the peripheral blood vessels dilate, the heart itself expands (parasympathetic dilatation), the heart beat becomes slow and even and the skin reddens.” This is a biological state akin to reaching out to the universe in acceptance and positive emotional states. In the contractive, sympathetic state characterized by fear and defense, “the heart contracts and beats rapidly and forcibly,” it has to drive the blood through constricted blood vessels and its work is hard.14 In Reich’s view, upbringing in a typical authoritarian and patriarchal, civilized family, promotes the contractive, damming-up of energies that lead to later emotional problems. It is the patriarchal family that instills the sex repression on a subconscious level. Toilet training at the same age is another culprit says Reich. Defecation is also a pleasurable act but because of authoritarian toilet training, becomes associated with negative emotion and anal retention. These childhood training practices plus the general experience of growing up in a sex, pleasure-repressed culture create a generalized “pleasure anxiety” in the population. Just as they are taught by early conditioning, people react negatively and contractively to the experience of physical pleasure. The natural sexual energy becomes dammed up and finds release in pathways other than natural sexuality. Release is found in expressions such as constant anxiety, muscular spasms, pathological sexual distortions, neurosis of various kinds and the internalization of the discipline practiced by society and family. In Reich’s view, a fundamental of emotional health is orgiastic potency. “Orgiastic potency is the capacity for surrender to the flow of biological energy without any inhibition, the capacity for complete discharge of all dammed-up sexual excitation through involuntary pleasurable contractions of the body.”15 This is the positive emotional opening of oneself to the lover and the universe which is much different than “conquering” someone for a unilateral sexual act. As the child is conditioned to avert itself from physical pleasure, says Reich, the emotional and sexual energy becomes contracted and accumulated in the body of the person. The person has become conditioned to be his own emotional censor. When this flow of energy is blocked it results in tension and spasms of the muscles that Reich describes as, “neurosis anchored in the musculature.” From this he derives the concept of “body armor.” Body armor is the peculiar contraction of the body and face that shows how people hold tension in the musculature. Having stolen the individual’s chance for psychic health and independence, civilization instills the authoritarian censor, dependence and conformity. Reich feels that the authoritarian, sex-repressed upbringing leads to a dependent person. This person has little personal power and being powerless- psychically and socially- yearns for, admires and focuses unnatural amounts of attention on questions of power. This is the key, says Reich, to the mystery of the working classes of industrial society that admire and vote for authoritarian personalities like Hitler. They admire them because they represent power, which is the object of the yearnings of the financially, institutionally, and emotionally powerless laboring classes on the bottom rung of industrial society. Characterizing the sex and pleasure repressed civilized person, Reich says, “He is helpless, incapable of freedom, and he craves authority, because he cannot react spontaneously he is armored and wants to be told what to do, for he is full of contradictions and cannot rely upon himself.”16 The sex-repressed, armored and dependent person exists in a negative emotional state. This person is easy prey for philosophies of violence that tell him that he is the most “evolved.” This is the emotional seedbed from which spring violent mass movements. In joining the mass movement the individual identifies with it and becomes transformed into something of power and importance. In a more general way this is the same rationale as the justification for colonialism practiced by the more “evolved” imperial culture. A Culture of Violence Persons who are secure and centered with their place on the earth and within themselves do no feel a need to make gratuitous displays of power nor are they pre-occupied with questions of power. It is fear that generates the questions of security, violence and power that rage within the culture of empire. It is fear that underlies the ubiquitous defensive responses in empire culture. Empire has always been a culture of violence. That is its basis. The historian Barbara Tuchman gives us a glimpse of earlier scenes from Fourteenth Century Europe- of the culture that we have inherited: “Violence was official as well as individual. Torture was authorized by the Church and regularly used to uncover heresy by the Inquisition. The tortures and punishments of civil justice customarily cut off hands and ears, racked, burned, flayed, and pulled apart people’s bodies. In everyday life passersby saw some criminal flogged with a knotted rope or chained upright in an iron collar. They passed corpses hanging on the gibbet and decapitated heads and quartered bodies impaled on stakes on the city walls. In every church they saw pictures of saints undergoing varieties of atrocious martyrdom-by arrows, spears, fire, cut-off breasts-usually dripping blood. The crucifixion with its nails, spears, thorns, whips, and more dripping blood was inescapable. Blood and cruelty were ubiquitous in Christian art, indeed essential to it, for Christ became Redeemer, and the saints sanctified, only through suffering violence at the hands of their fellow man. “In village games, players with hands tied behind them competed to kill a cat nailed to a post by battering it to death with their heads, at the risk of cheeks ripped open or eyes scratched out by the frantic animal’s claws. Trumpets enhanced the excitement. Or a pig enclosed in a wide pen was chased by men with clubs until, to the laughter of spectators, he ran squealing from the blows until beaten lifeless. Accustomed in their own lives to physical hardship and injury, medieval men and women were not necessarily repelled by the spectacle of pain, but rather enjoyed it. The citizens of Mons bought a condemned criminal from a neighboring town so that they should have the pleasure of seeing him quartered. It may be that the less than tender medieval infancy produced adults who valued others no more than they had been valued in their own formative years.”17 Though everyday violence is not now as visible in the First World countries as it was in the Fourteenth Century, mass violence of modern warfare, mass starvation and poverty are ever present. Violence also continues to pervade the culture on a more subtle level in such things as entertainment and war toys. The culture of empire is not a cooperative endeavor; it is a culture of competition, violence and coercion. Fear is used in the empire to condition the masses and maintain elites in power. The elites understand well that if the masses are powerless, fragmented and frightened they will assent to domination by a strong “protector.” They will demand it. If societies in the culture of empire do not have enemies they will create them. If there is no current war, they will create one. The Cold War is a classic example of the creation of fear in the populace so that the elite could consolidate power and get agreement to fund a vast militarization of society that gives huge profits to the elite and restricts the political rights of the masses. The mass media which gives the point of view of the elite, focuses not on appealing to us to work peacefully, cooperatively and in a sharing way with each other for equal benefits for all, but on threats to the society and the individual’s security. In this emotional climate, the most violent television programming attracts the widest audience. Violence, carnage and death are the themes of the mass media. When these impressions are created, the elites then appeal to the masses to give them more power and taxes so that everyone may be protected. If people are isolated, insecure and terrified, they will give up their self-determination and independence in return for protection. Institutionalizing the Masses The structure of hierarchical power in empire culture is holographically reflected in mass social institutions. Spontaneity and independent self-direction is conditioned out of the individual and in its place is put the values of empire. Obedience, “dependability” and mechanicalness are imposed. The patriarchal, authoritarian family is a mini-empire where the children are conditioned early for their later life in mass institutions. The lives of the people in industrial society are governed by these institutions (zoning departments, planning departments, investment councils, motor vehicle departments, educational institutions, huge industrial bureaucracies, government bureaucracies and all the others that govern mass society). The people have little or no control over these institutions and are dependent upon them. Their lives are controlled from birth. The mass educational institutions controlled by political elites are the most important institutions for social conditioning. They teach empire culture. If Natural culture children are put in these institutions, they fail. The reason they fail is that the maturity of Natural culture teaches the young that it is unseemly to struggle to be superior to one’s fellows. The immodesty and divisiveness of children frantically waving their hands to give the answer first and receive recognition in a modern classroom, is the epitome of the desperate win/lose competitive conditioning of empire culture. After we, in our youth, have sat in a classroom with our heads pointed toward the blackboard, nodding in an affirmative manner for eighteen years, we have been furnished with a world-view that exists on a subconscious as well as a conscious level. Acculturation- social conditioning- is the same phenomenon as a suggestion given in hypnotic trance. A suggestion given several times in deep hypnotic trance (a highly concentrated focus of attention) effects a change in the subconscious mind. But the same thing occurs in light trance (any focused state of attention) with repetition over a lengthy period of time, such as schooling (or television watching). In this way the culture creates images of reality that exist on subconscious levels. Though it has little relationship to the cosmically created reality of the life of the earth, it becomes real for the individual by the daily reinforcement in socially created situations. The personal daily life, the artificial environments and the images presented by the mass media, all combines into an internally consistent “picture” of the world, that to us is reality. Mass institutions facilitate the control of societies by small elites. Control of society by a small elite insures inequality. Imperial culture has developed from the days when the emperor owned everything to the point now that a small elite own and control the important factors of society. They then delegate authority down the hierarchy. This pattern of ruling and owning other people is so thorough that patriarchy seems natural to the population. Paulo Freire, in his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, is concerned with empowering people in the urban slums of Brazil by teaching them to read. He writes of the difficulty of people on the bottom rung of the hierarchy, being able to realize their personal power and independence- their liberation. He writes, “…Almost always, during the initial stage of the struggle, the oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors, or ‘sub-oppressors.’ The very structure of their thoughts has been conditioned by the contradictions of the concrete, existential situation by which they were shaped. Their ideal is to be men, but for them, to be men is to be oppressors. This is their model of humanity. This phenomenon derives from the fact that the oppressed, at a certain moment of their existential experience, adopt an attitude of ‘adhesion’ to the oppressor.” In the social situation of powerlessness and dependency, Freire says, “The oppressed seek to ameliorate the conditions of their oppression by imitating the oppressor.”18 The conditioning of social hierarchy is so deep that the people who colonized North America institutionalized political “freedom” but they could only conceive of white males as being included and then only the white male elite who owned property. Culturally, a hierarchy existed based on sex and race, with white males at the top. In early Babylonian hierarchies, brown males used huge, terrifying, blond, blue-eyed white tribal males of Northern Europe as palace guards. It is not race; it is the conditioning of empire culture that results in hierarchy. Hierarchy is distinction not inclusion. The culture highlights distinctions and differences because of the fundamental separative pattern. Everyone is not simply an equal member of a tribe; each person in empire has a different rank in the hierarchy of power that is demonstrated by wealth and privilege. The dominance/submission syndromes conditioned into us by hierarchy are so deep that they cannot even be given up in the sexual embrace. In the empire, males are conditioned to “conquer” women and females are conditioned to “submit” to men. This is not an equal and real exchange of energies. This is a continuation of the psychic isolation. This alienation from our basic need for authentic human relationship is so deep that in the patriarchal, empire culture of the Arabs and some of the cultures in east Africa that have been contaminated by them, clitorectomy is practiced. Clitorectomy is the practice of cutting out the clitoris of young women. In some of these groups, most or all of the women have suffered this brutality. In all areas of empire, some degree of psychological clitorectomy is practiced. In the culture of empire, most are suffering and they are conditioned to momentarily relieve the pain by sharing it with others. This shows the final spiritual destruction of the human family- to rob them of their humanity to the extent that they cannot even relate in terms of human relationship- spiritually, emotionally and physically. The exercise of the psychological pathology of empire is to coerce others and cause them pain as a demonstration of personal or institutional power. It is the culture of empire that creates the ladders of power that in turn create anxiety stricken dependent people who will ape the boss for survival. Everyone is robbed of authenticity. Dominance and coercion allow a person to control others without having a real and respectful relationship. It is also this cultural context that produces the dominance/submission syndromes wherein people become servile to superiors and abusive toward inferiors. People in industrial society are not like the forager/hunter. They do not have the power of providing their own food or shelter. They are dependent on others to provide their physical security. No matter how high the executive position, if the paycheck-dependency linkage to the mass institution is cut, they become totally powerless. The route of personal power by achievement within institutionalized society can be cut at any time by those who have the real power- the elite class, so people must conform. The authors Stanton Peele and Archie Brodsky in their seminal work, Love and Addiction, broke through many stereotypes to view the phenomena of addiction/dependency in a context of a culture of dependency. They say: “Addiction is not an abnormality in our society. It is not an aberration from the norm, it is itself the norm. The dependency, which is addiction, is a mirror image of more basic dependencies that we learn at home and in school. The addict’s search for a superficial, external resolution of life (whether through drugs or so-called ‘love’) follows directly from the superficial, external relationships we are led to have with each other, with our own minds and bodies, with the physical world, with learning and work and play.” 19 The cosmos generates organic, self-regulating beings on the surface of the earth that function according to their own nature. The culture of empire enslaves the life of the planet and its beings and destroys this sense of identity for the aggrandizement of the elite. The Social Isolate Becomes “Individualist” Industrial society has seen a growth of mass institutions and an increase in the power of the elites. We have seen the clan disintegrate, we have seen the extended family disintegrate and the nuclear family has all but disintegrated. For millions of years the songs, oral literature, skills, wisdom and knowledge of the human family was passed down from generation to generation. This was human culture, decentralized and personally empowering to everyone. Now, the elites have usurped human culture and society is administratively and militarily controlled. No longer is human culture inherited familiarly. “Cultural” conditioning now comes from the institutions of schools, television and other forms of mass communications that is controlled by elites. We are offered individual “success” by struggling up the hierarchical ladder of mass institutions. As power is consolidated by the industrial elites, the individual becomes more and more a social isolate. Contradictorily, the powerless, anxiety stricken individual is conditioned to believe that he is an individualist, a gunslinger or tycoon character amassing personal power. For several million years the clan has been our natural social reality. Now, not having a relationship to the natural world or the social reality of a clan, the individual human, who is already conditioned to be emotionally distant from others, becomes more of an emotional and social isolate depending on secondary relationships in the shadow world of glamorous illusions. The ruse is total. Not knowing the security of life and the earth and not knowing the security of a natural clan providing the learning of human sociability, the industrial human becomes a victim of all the forces of society that tend to make the person powerless and dependent, the perfect subject of addictive dependencies. Rather than the satisfaction of physical pleasure and genuine social camaraderie, the person is conditioned to word-built realities- social and religious ideologies, which are themselves separative from the living earth and cosmos. The emotions are inclusive. When one is angry, one is angry all over. People experience emotion in a unitary way. The intellect on the other hand is divisive and comparative. That is, its basic functioning is divisive in the way it works. The intellect divides and compares, measures each, decides this, not that. The intellect is by its nature divisive and this is what industrial people have been given- frozen emotional bodies, and over-exercised intellects. Not only can ecological and social disintegration be traced to the structure of empire, but personal disintegration is caused as well. Psychologist Nathaniel Braden in his book The Psychology of Self-Esteem, says that: “It is generally recognized by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists that pathological anxiety is the central and basic problem with which they must deal in psychotherapy- the symptom underlying the patient’s other symptoms. The neurotic’s essential attribute, his chronic response to the universe, is uncertainty and fear.”20 When we psycho-biological isolates are finally cut from all natural relationship, we end up living in the “whole world” of the ego, that construct of the intellectual mind that sucks energy (by material accumulation and constant ego-reinforcement and gratification) into itself to defend against the state of non-being. This contraction of energy is the pattern of the neurotic. The cancer cell, that psycho-biological resonance of empire, is also neurotic in the sense that it follows the same pattern. It also sucks energy out of the system that supports it without having reciprocal relationship with the whole. To continue the holistic, holographic analysis, the phenomenon of neuroticism that occurs to empire culture, as a whole, is reflected in militarism, conquest and acquisition- as its fear promotes it to suck energy into its contracted center. The logical extrapolation of civilization is the mental institution. Because of the developmental failures that we have reviewed, we tend to fear authentic relationships with other people. We find our own personal world more comforting- the world of the ego/identity fortress. People who are so driven into themselves, who have become so self-centered that they can only focus on and talk about themselves (and their problems), we call neurotic. People who have retreated farther into the comfort of their own world and who begin to hear and sometimes answer voices, we call schizophrenic. People who retreat totally into their own satisfying world and who do not relate to the outside world we describe as catatonic. This, which is politically defined as insanity, is simply a logical extension of the already existing social isolation of the individual in the culture of empire. It is also the logical end of the culture itself in the cosmos, lost in space and surrounded by life but talking only to itself. The culture of empire has stolen our natural power as human beings. By its cultural conditioning it has channeled the energy of emperor and slave alike into purposes that are anti-life and contrary to the welfare of the human family and the welfare of the earth. Significantly, we live in a culture of such limited psychological rewards that the children kill themselves rather than grow up in it. In the U.S., which is said to be “the richest country in the world,” the youth are committing suicide in epidemic numbers. In the age group 15 to 25, suicide is the number one cause of death. The End of Empire Life is community. Community is biological. Our innate experience of natural morality is a biological feeling. It is not an intellectualization or romanticism. To be kind, helpful, sharing, and joyful is a natural state that comes right out of our cellular existence. That sense of unity and positivity is the way the universe works. No matter how damaged any of us have been by the culture of empire, almost everyone retains at least some shred of this positive sensibility. The personal experience of security, solidarity, sharing and love is the experience of beauty just as is a walk through an undamaged forest or sitting on a remote beach. With the loss of our free roaming natural life and direct relationship with the life of the cosmos came an all-enveloping attack upon the beauty of our lives and the earth. The beauty of our lives, the song, the dance, the direct participation in creation suffered, along with the beauty of the earth’s body, the forest, the sparkling stream, the song of the bird and the call of the animals. The diseased human culture produced the ugliness of the injured and bleeding ecology, the eroding and withering life of the land and the visual ugliness of the modern city where the homeless huddle in cold doorways of architectural boxes and elites of the contracted social body grasp for absolute security behind heavily guarded barricades. Separation, isolation, disintegration, and death is the process of empire that is suffered by the homeless, the executive of transnational corporations, social bodies of empire culture and the ecosystem alike. Eight thousand years ago we began to see death of ecosystems from over-grazing and agriculture in Central Asia, the Indus Valley and China. Five thousand years ago we began to see the death of the conquered, the slaves and the land, as the empires grew. Two thousand years ago, death was accelerating with the Mediterranean empires. Five hundred years ago death was spreading planet-wide. Now all of the corners of the world are filled up. The finale of disintegration is upon us. The swelling mass that eats up its own sustenance has now reached the end. There is no more, but the mass continues to swell. It is not likely that the habits of empire, set subconsciously in the minds of billions, can be reformed in the decade or two decades that would be necessary to save the situation. Barring transcendental transformation of the whole culture of empire, we will see the trends of ten thousand years of imperial history culminate in our lifetime. The power of the empire is the power to destroy. Our role is not to fight for the power of destruction but to unify with the creative power of the cosmos. Our role is not to isolate, extort and destroy but to love, live and create. We are not fighting to reform a maladaptive and dying social body. There is no conflict with civilization, it is passing away. There is no battle for civilization’s power, the power to kill. There is only the open, positive and sharing sustenance of the new life. The emergence of the new growth is our focus of attention. The emergence of our new babies, the emergence of our new culture and the emergence of the new earth is the focus. We have the standards of existence on this planet before us. They are simple and fundamental. We are simply righting the inversion. As with a physical wound, the imperial tissue that has lost integration with the body, lost coherence with the complex flows of energy, falls away. One allows the diseased and injured portions to fall away, while resisting injury to that which is still healthy. One focuses on the new growth, the area of healing. We attempt to protect the best that remains and focus on the new biological growth for the future. One focuses on the smiling faces of that seventh generation of the future that will be created. A crisis, according to Webster, is, “A stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events is determined, a turning point.” In the case of civilization, it is now poised, tipping and beginning the slide into complete disintegration. We are at the cusp of the last cycle. Since World War II we have seen the acceleration of the disintegration. Human population and the consumption of the earth’s life- “resources” have grown exponentially. Now the seepage of poisons is so great that everyone on earth is endangered. The seeping of poison is symbolic of the movement of the whole of industrial society. The popular parable of our situation is the boiling of the frog. If the frog is thrown in boiling water it will hop out. If the frog is put in cold water and the water is heated slowly the frog will not be able to recognize the rising of the heat. That is our situation. We do not consciously perceive the increments of dissolution. We now are at the pivot point where we still have the ability to maneuver. We are not yet in a state of social collapse with most of our valid options closed off. Our future is not a political problem or a technical problem; it is a cultural problem. We live in a diseased culture. It is our way of life that is destroying the earth. Look at the big, dead and poisoned spot on the planet that is called a city. Simply the poisons that run off of it in rainstorms are killing life for miles around. Civilization is now so poisonous that if a city were blown up in a war the most severe danger would be from the spread of chemicals from factories as well as the nuclear power plants rather than simply from the bomb itself. Humans easily could deal with the problem. Humans, individually have the innate abilities. If all humans on the planet could center their attention on the whole picture at the same moment, see the problem and then take action, the solution could be at hand. They would then reduce the birth rate to one child per woman and begin to live in balance and to restore the life of the earth. As the birth rate radically declined the “wealth” would increase proportionately. Rather than wait for this to occur, we need take action now. We must overcome our paralysis of fear and confusion and take control of our lives. We must cease investing our emotional energy and condition in the events of civilization. It is diseased to the core. We must realize the “dear thing” cannot be saved, even with major surgery. Anytime change is presented to us we suffer a wave of reaction, a “security crisis.” We begin to grasp for rationales. We begin to find reasons why we cannot change. “If we prepare to survive, ‘they’ will just come get what we have,” is a customary response, which rests on some unexamined assumption that presents future masses of hungry refugees wandering about while “survivalists” sit on a pile of goodies. The image of the “survivalist” is the final extrapolation of the social isolate. The reality is- that if we cannot reach out to community, to cooperative self-organization, we cannot survive. It is the movement toward a positive and adaptive new culture that is needed. The path leads back to the source. The standard to guide us is the “solar budget.” We must allow the planet’s life its net photosynthetic production, aid it, and live from the increase. The full-blown climax ecosystem is the standard of health for our earth. This means drastic reduction of human population density. We must return to what our human family has known for two million years, a life that produces life and encourages full participation by every member. This reality is our basic grounding. Our task is to create the healing of self, community and planet. There is no other way. NOTES 1 The Center Of Life. L.L. Larison Cudmore. New York Times pub. 1978. pp. 127-128. 2 Imprints: The Life Long Effects of the Birth Experience. Arthur Janov. Coward-McCann, Inc. pub. New York. 1983. p. 249. 3 Magical Child: Rediscovering Nature’s Plan For Our Children. Joseph Chilton Pearce. Bantam pub. New York. 1980. pp. 42,43. 4 ibid. pp. 43,44. 5 ibid. pp. 56,57. 6 ibid. p. 70. 7 ibid. pp. 58,59. 8 ibid. pp. 19,20. 9 ibid. p. 25. 10 Stress Without Distress. Hans Selye, M.D. N.A.L. New York. 1974. p. 30. 11 Culture Against Man. Jules Henry. Random House. New York. 1963. P. 42. 12 The Status Seekers. Vance Packard. Cardinal. New York. 1965. pp. 112,113. 13 Function of the Orgasm. Wilhelm Reich. World Pub. New York. 1971. p. 257. 14 ibid. p. 258. 15 ibid. pp.77,78. 16 ibid. pp. 209,210. 17 A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th. Century. Barbara W. Tuchman. Ballantine Books. New York. 1979. p. 135. 18 Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Paulo Freire. Seabury Press. New York. 1970. pp. 29,30. 19 Love and Addiction. Stanton Peele & Archie Brodsky. Signet, NAL pub. New York. 1975. p. 6. 20 The Psychology of Self Esteem. Nathaniel Branden. Bantam The Final Empire: Chapter 11 THE HISTORY OF MODERN COLONIALISM If we imagine a hive of honey bees, working cooperatively, gathering nectar in the rhythm of the seasons, all working together, fanning their wings to cool the hive, working together to raise the brood and if we saw them adopt the social ethics of civilization we would see immediate social breakdown. We would no doubt see warlordism break out. Factions would develop, fighting for the control of the hive. Other groups may develop to attempt to steal the honey for themselves. Hierarchies would develop and each war group would struggle against the other to enslave the workers for their own benefit. Cooperative efficiency would plummet. The hive itself would begin to deteriorate without the constant repair, but certain strong warlord groups would corner the large shares of the honey and live royally. Workers would be told that if they are loyal and if they compete, they might someday have a large horde of honey such as controlled by their warlord. The history of empire culture is not much more complex than this, other than the dates and names. It is a history of conquest, of thievery and killing. The basis, the fuel, of this dynamic is the living flesh of the earth. The competition/conflict enters with the question of who controls and thus is able to extort this living fertility. We have reviewed the early development of this dynamic and described its history. In this chapter we look at recent historic times. We must see that this is an immediate and present part of our existence. The elites and their controlled media will acknowledge the moral and personal experience of the enslaving of African people but they will never put this information into a context of the wider history of slavery, imperialism and colonialism going back to Babylon and the original Chinese dynasties. It is not pointed out that slavery is only a part of a whole dynamic of control and coercion that still exists, without human ownership of humans, but the rest intact. In 1998, fewer than 500 billionaires have more wealth than more than one-half of the world population. Little has changed. The new development is that now the elites do not have the expense of the upkeep of the wage slaves, they are no longer valuable property. The conflict/competition for power pervades the culture. As we have seen in the previous chapter, the struggle for control is imbedded in the very psyche of the neurotic culture. The struggle for power goes on among family members, in the “office politics” of all mass institutions, between mass institutions and between governments. This struggle for power is at the base of modern colonialism. Much of modern colonialism has been a competitive struggle between the various empire culture governments of Europe in a race to loot the planet. We have examined the extortion basis of the culture of empire. The system of extortion began with the biological slaves and went on to female slavery and general plantation slavery of humans as a production mechanism within society. In examining the recent history of what has become the world industrial empire, we will see that the techniques of coercion have only grown more efficient since Babylonian, Greek and Roman armies went out on slave hunting expeditions. The development of mechanical technique (a.k.a. science) in important ways has been to facilitate and make more efficient the coercive extortion of fertility from the earth. We will see that those ruling the empires have never shrunk away from the most atrocious methods by which to obtain power. The quest for super-profits (economic power) has used slavery, drugs, munitions, the fomenting of war, sugar, rum and any other addictive, corrupting substance or product by which to gain control and wealth. The morality of honesty, truthfulness, cooperation and sharing of the former forager/hunter culture existed on a functional basis. There was little hierarchical power to struggle for. The organized hunts and the running of the camp needed truthfulness to benefit all and there was no reason to lie to gain advantage. The carrying out of cooperative enterprise requires that everyone be truthful in order for it to succeed. In our former culture there was a real functional basis for that morality. After the inversion, lies, thievery, murder, selfishness, and slavery became the path of power for individuals and emperor/elites. As we review the history of colonialism we see that the espoused social morality is only a facade to quiet the masses while those who are really serious about the strategy of power practice what is necessary to maintain the huge disparity of power and wealth. The Invasion of The Americas “Like monkeys they seized upon the gold. They thirsted mightily for gold they stuffed themselves with it, and hungered and lusted for it like pigs.” -From the Florentine Codex of the Mayas, a Sixteenth Century Mayan account of the Spanish invasion of the Americas. In the islands of the Caribbean, Christopher Columbus and his Spanish crew were met with hospitality. The indigenous people came out to the ships with flowers, food and friendship. Great feasts were celebrated in the travelers’ honor. Columbus and his colleagues came to hold these people in awe. He says, in his journals, that it had seemed to him that it would be good to take some persons, to carry to the sovereigns, so that “they might learn our tongue, so as to know what there is in the country, and so that when they come back they may be tongues to the Christians, and receive our customs and the things of the faith. Because I saw and know,” says the Admiral, “that this people has no religion nor are they idolaters, but very mild and without knowing what evil is, nor how to kill others, nor how to take them, and without arms, and so timorous that from one of our men ten of them fly, although they do sport with them, and ready to believe and knowing that there is a God in heaven, and sure that we have come from heaven; and very ready at any prayer which we tell them to repeat, and they make the sign of the cross. “So your Highnesses should determine to make them Christians, for I believe that if they begin, in a short time they will have accomplished converting to our holy faith a multitude of towns. “Without doubt there are in these lands the greatest quantities of gold, for not without cause do these Indians whom I am bringing say that there are places in these isles where they dig out gold and wear it on their necks, in their ears and on their arms and legs, and the bracelets are very thick.” Before Columbus had finished his several trips to the islands a gold mine had been established and five hundred natives had been carried away in captivity to Spain. Ultimately, because of the activities of Columbus, the islands and their inhabitants were devastated. The Spanish led the assault on the cultures of the Americas, pursuing gold. Nothing highlights the materialism of the cultures of Europe better than the “gold fever” that grips minds conditioned by ideas of power and wealth. In 1519, Cortez and his followers stormed into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán lusting for the yellow metal. Historical records state that human blood ran through the streets of the capital for days. The records maintain that the Europeans and their native allies tired of the drudgery of butchering people day after day. The invasion of Mexico proceeded and after the invasion of Mexico, the Spanish invaded the Mayan regions in Central America. Had the Spanish been a different people, had they not been fanatics of the collective ego of European culture who could not see the value of any other culture, they would have been able to understand the value of the cultures they destroyed. The vast knowledge of the people of these groups and the productive capacity of their societies would have been worth far more to Europe than all of the gold they carried away. The art, the collective creativity of several cultures, was melted down and shipped to Europe. In many cases the art had more value than the yellow metal with which it was created, but that concept was too sophisticated for the invaders to comprehend at the time. The writings of the Aztecs and Mayans, including a vast storehouse of astronomical and cultural knowledge, were burned by the fanatical cleric, Bishop Diego De Landa. What is now known as the “Florentine Codex,” quoted at the beginning of this chapter, was shipped to Europe where it remains today in the private library of the Vatican. Pizzaro, European invader of the Inca society, was motivated by such deficient morality that his troops were in the habit of murdering local Indians and then quartering their bodies to hang from the porches for dog food. Everywhere the Spanish employed the torture techniques of the Catholic Inquisition against native people. Today the vast highways, agricultural systems and irrigation works of Inca society lie in disuse and disrepair. Even though Pizzaro could destroy Inca society and extract the gold, the Spanish were not competent to administer the region. The population in the former land of the Inca have not yet, to this day, attained the cultural vitality or living standards enjoyed in the days before the European invasion. The Aztec and Inca societies were empires themselves, in that they were hierarchical structures of power. They were also male-dominated. The Aztecs depended upon tribute from conquered peoples and it appears from what we know about them that materialism was an incipient factor in their culture. The Incas on the other hand seemed to have created an aboriginal communism. In cases, the Inca system added tribes when they petitioned for admission and in cases negotiations brought in new groups. When the Inca system came to a new group, the Inca engineers would create new irrigation systems, roadways, storage structures for crops and other amenities for the local population. In return the locals paid a share of the produce, which was far less than the tax that was to come with the Spanish. The Incas built sophisticated highways and irrigation systems that have yet to be equaled. By transporting guano (seabird manure) fertilizer from the Galapagos Islands up into the elaborate high mountain terrace agriculture, the Incas had created an ecological niche for themselves that provided stability, much like the stability created by the flooding of the Nile Valley in Egypt prior to the construction of the Aswan Dam. The Mayan culture as a whole was not until its last days, based on military power. It was significantly different from that of either the Aztecs or Incas. It was not based upon the large irrigation systems or highways of the Incas, nor was it based upon conquest and tribute such as with the Aztecs. The Mayas were a rainforest culture that relied on sophisticated and sustainable rainforest horticulture, which was primarily decentralized. The ruins that remain in Central America were not population centers with markets and administrative apparatus but ceremonial centers for native religious/cultural practices. After the Aztec gold was gone the Spanish continued their quest for precious metals, establishing mines in any area that seemed promising. Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Ixmiquilpan, Zimapan, Pachuca, Chaucingo, Temascaltepec, Tlalpujahua and Parral, in Mexico were denuded of vegetation for the smelters and of natives for the labor. When so many natives had been worked to death that there was danger that the mines might shut down, African slaves were imported to work the Mexican mines as they had been to work the plantations of the Caribbean after the natives had expired there. The Spanish did not progress as rapidly in the tropical Central American region as they had in Aztec lands further north because of the rainforest and because there was a relative paucity of gold amassed in the Mayan ceremonial centers. The Spanish Empire did establish a thin European political hegemony all through the region on the coasts and the flat lands of Central America. A plantation economy, designed to extort the fertility of the soil with slave labor, was established in the more level areas where rainforest was cleared and the empire culture was able to gain a foothold. From these bases, exports could be shipped and European products (especially military supplies) could be received, insuring continued European domination of the region. In this manner the imperial hierarchies became rooted in the area. Human slavery is identified with the plantation slavery of Africans in the social mind of empire. In actuality, empires themselves are institutionalized coercion and slavery. The hierarchical systems of order provide significant control of people while slavery is total control. This, in contrast with our former culture in which there were no police, jails or centralized power over others. During the Spanish conquest the King of Spain would “give” large grants of land in the Americas to prominent conquistadors and colonists. All native people that existed on that land were also included. In practice the conquistadors enslaved those that were needed and killed drove away or sold the rest. Cortez, for example, received twenty-three thousand vassals (slaves) for his efforts in the conquest.1 Though we call it by various euphemisms, the power relationships between the oligarchy and the peasants of El Salvador have not changed since the Indians were enslaved to work the original estates of that country. This remains true in much of Latin America where Indians are dominated in a system of violence, coercion and Latino racism. Modern armies supplied by the industrial state now enforce this caste-racial system. The difference in the colonial systems between “settler” countries like the U.S., Australia and New Zealand and “conquest” countries like El Salvador, Peru and Bolivia is that in the former, European settlers swarmed into the areas to create a society and economy that replicated the mother country but was centered in the colonial country. In the colonial style exhibited by El Salvador, Peru and Bolivia, the colonization was to profit by export to the mother country. This was in the style of the latifundia, the large state-owned and slave or peasant-worked farms of Roman times. The profit from this “landed estate” system goes to benefit a small elite who controls the land and the masses of the population. On the other hand, in the countries that began as smallholder-settler colonies, there were not the large factory-farm systems that could profit by cheap labor. Because of this, in the places like the U.S., if the natives could not be used as cheap labor on the settlers’ farms and or industries, they were pushed away and confined or eliminated by wars of extermination. In the “conquest” areas Natives were more likely to be worked to death. Historian Alanzo de Zorita describes conditions in the occupied territories of Mexico where the latifundia system was established: “The collective tribute and labor demands of the Spanish settlers, the Crown, and the Church far exceeded the relatively puny exactions of the Aztec rulers, nobility, and priesthood. The more advanced European economy demanded a large increase in the supply of labor. The conquistadors or their sons became capitalist entrepreneurs with visions of limitless wealth to be obtained through silver mines, sugar and cacao plantations, cattle ranches, wheat farms. The intensity of exploitation of Indian labor became intolerable. And the Indians, their bodies enfeebled by excessive toil, malnutrition, and the hardships of long journeys to distant mines and plantations, their spirits broken by the loss of ancient tribal purposes and beliefs that gave meaning to life, became easy prey to disease, both endemic and epidemic, to maladies with which they were familiar and to scourges imported by the Europeans: smallpox, influenza, measles, typhoid, malaria. A demographic tragedy of frightful proportions resulted. The Indian population of Mexico, according to a recent estimate based on published tribute records, declined from approximately 16,871,408 in 1532 to 2,649,573 in 1568, 1,372,228 in 1595, and 1,069,255 in 1608. “Technological changes of Spanish origin contributed to this disaster. A horde of Spanish-imported cattle and sheep swarmed over the Mexican land, often invading not only the land vacated by the declining Indian population but also the reserves of land needed by the Indian system of field rotation. The introduction of plow agriculture, less productive than Indian hoe agriculture per unit of land, and Spanish diversion of scarce water resources from Indian fields to their own fields, cattle ranches, and flour mills, also tended to upset the critical balance between land and people in Indian Mexico.”2 It is estimated that Mexico was heavily forested on over half of its land area at the start of the conquest. Now less than 10% is forested and that is swiftly being destroyed. The process of empire culture has reduced present-day Mexico to a bare skeleton. The only thing of value in that region that can be dug up and sold today is the oil from the ground. Most of the land of Mexico is in an advanced state of eco-death, while its impoverished population explodes. Population doubling time in Mexico is now 25 years. A large share of the Natives died in the mines that the Spanish quickly opened after the Aztec and Inca treasures were hauled away. Eduardo Galeano in his Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, tells of Potosí in the present country of Bolivia. Potosí is now a relic but it was once a huge city of splendor, living from the silver mines in the area. In 1650, Potosí was one of the biggest and richest cities in the world. Luxuries from the far-flung parts of the empire were shipped to Potosí in return for silver. The luxuries of the Colonial Europeans were generated by the enslavement of the native society. Galeano says that in three centuries the mines of Potosí consumed eight million Indian lives. He says that: “Many people claimed mestizo status before the court to avoid being sent to the mines and sold and resold on the market.”3 “The Indians of the Americas totaled no less than 70 million. When the foreign conquerors appeared on the horizon a century and a half later they had been reduced to 3.5 million.”4 The land of Mexico, Central America and Latin America is still, with the exception of Cuba and Nicaragua, owned and controlled by very small but powerful elites. Large modern plantations still generate wealth for the colonial elites and their allies, the bankers and industrialists of the First World. The Onset of Machine Culture Modern European imperialism may be said to have begun with the Spanish and Portuguese conquests during the late 1400’s and early 1500’s. Originally, the European conquests simply replicated European feudalism on new continents, continuing a pattern of imperialism not unlike that of Rome, Greece, Sumeria, and other Indo-European imperial predecessors, or the Han Chinese. But something new was afoot upon the earth in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. As the Spanish and Portuguese consolidated their colonies in Latin America, Africa and Southern Asia, a change began to occur in Europe, which is now called the Industrial Revolution. Fueled by transworld trade promoted by a new and growing class of mercantilists, the Industrial Revolution was to simultaneously alter European peasant society almost beyond recognition and to ensure the destruction of native cultures worldwide. The pattern of empire is to conquer peripheral territories, rape them, and ship the valuables to the center of the empire, to feed its further expansion. The initial purpose of the Spanish Empire was to get gold. Gold was the premium article because it could be absorbed easily by the mother country. But ultimately, in order to efficiently absorb the food and fiber shipments that were being drained from the colonies, the infrastructures of the imperial centers were going to have to change. The industrial revolution solved this problem neatly by initiating the pattern of industrialism that exists today. A mechanized industrial society could use much greater inputs of imported resources than could a feudal society. Industry allowed more types of resources to be utilized. The new machines began to process those raw materials and turn them into finished, manufactured items. While most of the production enriched Europe, some was shipped back to the colonies for sale at high prices, which further exploited the colonies. Colonial governments displaced natives from their traditional means of survival, and actively discouraged European colonists and natives from developing their own cottage industries, thus forcing the colonies to purchase European manufactured goods. (This type of exploitation was eventually to spawn the Boston Tea Party in America. The famous Swadeshi movement of Mahatma Gandhi, formed in British-colonized India during the late 1800’s, aimed to reclaim the economic power of the spinning wheel back at the cottage level. The British had prohibited many cottage industries including home cloth making in India because they wanted to create consumers for manufactured items like the cloth produced by the textile industry of England. The Swadeshi slogan was, “production by the masses, not mass production.”) The End of Peasant Subsistence Culture The shift to markets and a manufacturing economy dismembered peasant subsistence culture all over Europe. The machine and its cultural accouterments was the last lever to pry Europeans away from any remaining natural relationship to the land and to organic reality. Europe in the Middle Ages was still largely an agrarian society. The feudal lords of Europe jostled each other for power, wealth and territory, but the organization of society had not yet attained complete dependence on gold as the organizing principle of the society. Currency and markets had not yet become all powerful. In their daily lives, the medieval peasantry conducted a human community-centered society with extended family systems. Despite centuries of domination by Roman and post-Roman civilized thought forms, and despite the fact that the peasants themselves had descended from invading patriarchal Indo-European tribes such as the Celts, Angles, Saxons, and others, fifteenth-century European peasant society retained significant qualities of ancient human culture. People shared food and took some responsibility for each other. Individual starvation seldom occurred. Peasant society was a subsistence community devoted to the feeding, housing and care of its members. The peasants’ relationship to the land was strong and carried with it limited rights. Society had not yet become a market economy. Yet the essence of medieval peasant society had degraded vastly from tribal hunter-forager existence. These people were the inheritors of thousands of years of Indo-European divergence from Natural culture. They lived in a society structured by hierarchy and patriarchy, where the elite accumulated material wealth and power by pursuing military adventure. Peasant surpluses, “the rent” enriched an elite class of landed nobles and royalty. Patriarchy appears to be endemic to Indo-European culture. The root language, which linguists call Indo-European, was spoken at least ten thousand years ago by peoples in the Caucasus Mountains of Central Asia. Linguist Emile Beneviste writes of the primacy of paternity over maternity, “All the facts up to now prompt us to recognize the primacy of the concept of paternity in Indo-European.”5 Beneviste finds no female counterpart to the formal word for father in the original Indo-European language. His linguistic study points to “the non-existence of any legal status for the mother in Indo-European society. The absence of a word matrius as a counterpart to patrius may be cited.”6 Strict patriarchy certainly characterizes the cultures of Indo-European linguistic groups from India to England. A steady swing of the axe had gone on in Europe for thousands of years after invading Indo-Europeans displaced the ancient forager/hunters who had populated Europe. Cattle, sheep, and goats, brought into Europe with the Indo-European cultural groups, cannot well utilize forests. Cereal grains, the basis of the Indo-European cultural metabolism, cannot be grown unless the forest is cut down and open fields established. Because this metabolism depends upon good soils for their agriculture, we find them in many areas where forests had formerly existed. After the Thirteenth Century AD, when the Arabs invaded the Iberian peninsula, heavy sheep grazing became part of the culture of Spain, spreading from there to Italy. The forests of these areas went down to create grasslands for grazing, resulting in severe soil erosion. As European empires developed, the forests were increasingly decimated for smelting and shipbuilding for foreign trade and war fleets as well as being cleared for agriculture. The introduction of industrial machinery to weave cloth in England in the Sixteenth Century created a flourishing cloth and wool industry there. The English quickly became the leaders in the Industrial Revolution. As the English drew resources out of their new colonies, they manufactured items such as cloth for sale back to the colonies. Large supplies of cotton and wool were necessary. These were obtained from Europe and from colonies such as Egypt and what is now the southeastern United States. European land-based peasants and gentry alike began to be cashiered from the land by industrialists who needed the land to produce raw materials for industry, such as to raise sheep to supply the new woolen mills. Dispossessed peasants were forced into the swelling labor pool of the young industrial system. Land and humans were becoming commodities for sale on the labor markets and commercial markets of the industrial empire. People did not give themselves up to the labor market easily. The bulk of the peasantry produced most of what they needed from their own plots and by their own effort. They had little relation to the money (market) economy and little incentive to work in the horrible conditions of the factories. Commentators of the day noted that higher wages produced less work. The reason was simple if wages were high, people would more rapidly gain the little they needed for subsistence and would quit sooner. The laboring classes were still of peasant culture. They produced most of what they needed within their families and had not yet developed unlimited needs or desires for material wealth that would keep them at the wheel indefinitely. Economic historian Karl Polanyi writes: “The Lyons manufacturers of the eighteenth century urged low wages primarily for social reasons. Only an overworked and downtrodden laborer, they argued, would forgo to associate with his comrades and escape the condition of personal servitude under which he could be made to do whatever his master required from him. Legal compulsion and parish serfdom as in England, the rigors of an absolutist labor police as on the continent, indented labor as in the early Americas were the prerequisites of the ‘willing worker.’ But the final stage was reached with the application of ‘nature’s penalty,’ hunger. In order to release it [labor] it was necessary to liquidate organic society, which refused to permit the individual to starve.” 7 In England, as in many other European countries, parcels of land, and the people on the land, were divided up among landowning nobles. In cultural practice, however, feudal society functioned somewhat like a large family. The peasants had obligations to the baron and the baron had obligations to the peasantry, especially to provide military protection. In this large, somewhat communal family, land tenure was not based on the concept of private property but was held according to “traditional use,” a complex of culturally sanctioned arrangements. The agreements of traditional use were destroyed by the Industrial Revolution. Suddenly the English land barons began to say, “I own this land and now I want the peasants removed.” The notorious English “enclosure laws” of the sixteenth century stripped peasants of the forest and pasturelands that they had traditionally held in common with the aristocracy. The numbers of poor and wandering homeless rose. Polanyi writes of this period: “Enclosures have appropriately been called a revolution of the rich against the poor. The lords and nobles were upsetting the social order, breaking down ancient law and custom, sometimes by means of violence, often by pressure and intimidation. They were literally robbing the poor of their share in the common, tearing down the houses which, by the hitherto unbreakable force of custom, the poor had long regarded as theirs and their heirs’. The fabric of society was being disrupted. Desolate villages and the ruins of human dwellings testified to the fierceness with which the revolution raged, endangering the defenses of the country, wasting its towns, decimating its population, turning its overburdened soil into dust, harassing its people and turning them from decent husbandmen into a mob of beggars and thieves. Though this happened only in patches, the black spots threatened to melt into a uniform catastrophe.”8 Vagrancy laws were also instituted at this time. It became a crime not to have money. This was particularly directed toward the self-sufficient peasantry because, though they were well fed and housed, they participated only marginally in the money economy. Their domestic industry was land-based, not market-based. Though they were self-sufficient, according to the new laws they were vagrants, and as such were rounded up and sent to the poorhouses where they were rented out as workers to the monied landowners and factory owners. (Vagrancy laws continued to be enforced in the U.S. as late as the 1950’s.) The slums of the new industrial towns were filled with former peasants who were now little more than slaves. Polanyi describes their plight: “Local authorities were gladly taking advantage of the unexpected demand of the cotton mills for destitute children whose apprenticing was left to the care of the parish. Many hundreds were indented with manufacturers, often in distant parts of the country. Altogether the new towns developed a healthy appetite for paupers. Factories were even prepared to pay for the use of the poor. Adults were assigned to any employer who would take them for their keep just as they would be billeted out in turn amongst the farmers of the parish, in one or another form of the roundsman system. Farming out was cheaper than the running of ‘gaols without guilt,’ as workhouses were sometimes called.”9 What had been accomplished was a pattern as old as empire, separate self-sufficient people from the land and force them into dependency on the food distribution of the elite. In recent centuries this means being forced into the money economy controlled by the elite. In older times this meant depriving forager/hunters of the use of their traditional gathering areas. By 1700 the wealth of Europe was concentrated in a few hands and the poverty of the masses was well advanced. By that time subsistence culture was doomed, the power of the nobles was on the decline, and the entrepreneurial “gentlemen farmers” and wealthy industrialists had the upper hand. Waves of social revolution swept Europe throughout the twelfth through eighteenth centuries. These various and diverse movements, including the Luddites, the Levellers, the Diggers, the Chartists, the Quakers, and others, were spiritually based. They were usually anti-materialist in the sense that they were a move toward a social form of communalism, which incorporated the sharing of meals and property. The impulse toward communalism and anti-materialism was strong. Resistance to the shredding of the last of human social environments as represented by feudalism caused constant revolt and even at times, civil war. Occasionally, whole areas and cities were taken over by these groups. The popes and royalty put these affronts to hierarchy and elitism down by bringing out armies to massacre the participants. Even so, spiritual heirs of these movements continue to attempt to return to a more natural way of life, even to this day. The Conquest of Rationalism “Progress,” “development” and “productivity” were the intellectual banners of the new entrepreneurial class as it attacked traditional society. A social movement developed, led by the commercial interests whose rallying cry was “free markets” and “unfettered freedom of action for commerce.” Then, as now, the touted benefits went largely to the new industrial class, as the numbers of the poor and dispossessed grew. As poverty increased among the masses, the industrialists secured their hold on society. Foreign trade, foreign adventurism and imperialism increased. Most of us have been taught in our schools to regard this era of industrial assault as a time of great progress but it was only “progress” for the elite. The philosophers of the new movement were the “rationalists.” The rationalists believed that human “reason” should be the basis of human conduct. They were set in opposition to the “traditionalists” of various stripes, who accepted truth based on revelation, the Christian Bible, tradition, other “non-scientific” beliefs, or on the remnants of aboriginal knowledge still in the culture. The products of mechanical invention and the new empirical-experimental science continually revolutionized industrial expansion. The vitality of life came to be perceived as the rigid functioning of chemical processes and the earth was perceived as a machine, a giant clock. As scientists projected the new society’s thought-forms onto the universe, the mystery and awe of life evaporated. Science and industry promulgated a world-view, which turned millions of years of human culture, on its head. Now consciously seeking to “subdue” Nature, they waged social war against tradition. Women were singled out as enemies of the new rationalism. For centuries European village women had retained and passed on remnants of the knowledge of pre-Roman, pre-Christian culture. Women were often powerful figures in peasant village life, maintaining the stability of the people’s relationship to the land by practicing their knowledge of healing, of herbs, of the natural life of the earth. The power of these women had long stymied the efforts of the patriarchal Church of Rome to control the peasantry. Now the church, the mercantile state, and the new philosophers of rational “science” joined forces in a largely successful assault of torture and murder aimed at physically eradicating all remaining practitioners of natural healing arts. A bloody convulsion of state- and church- sponsored witch-hunts took place throughout Europe during the sixteenth century. In the several countries for which we have records, over 100,000 people were prosecuted for witchcraft, over 80 per cent of them women.10 In some cases; female populations of whole villages were tortured to death. The Christian hate propaganda, an early example of the cover-ups and misinformation campaigns of the type which today are used to rationalize the murder of the last tribal peoples on earth, masked, and continues to mask, the true aim of the witch hunts: to finally stamp out Natural culture. The concept of “progress” is really the old mythos of linear increase dressed in new clothing. People believed that commerce, science, industrialism and the conquest of the inferior by the superior would cause the human family to continually improve its condition (and by the end of the sixteenth century the lot of most of human society in Europe desperately needed improving!). Not even the most rash would say that there would ever be any end to the linear increase of wealth and its benefits created by marketing and technology. It appeared that progress would be infinite, even to the stars. Thus Europeans, en masse, fell victim to the imperialist belief system and the subliminal justification for empire became ingrained in the culture. Europe Explodes Across the Earth In 1800 well over half of the earth was populated by tribal, hunter-forager people. These people had maintained their cultural patterns since Pleistocene times. These cultures, which emphasize balance with the natural world, had stable populations. It was against this background of stability that the European Empire exploded. In Europe the social and environmental disruption caused by empire culture was accelerated dramatically by the Industrial Revolution. It created a population explosion. Demographers estimate that, prior to the Industrial Revolution, the doubling time of the “civilized” world population was approximately once every 250 years, a rate of increase that had generally remained stable back into the distant past. Between 1850 and 1930 world population doubled -in 80 years. The populations of the U.S., Canada, Australia and Argentina tripled between 1850 and 1900. During the nineteenth century the world population of Europeans, including both the inhabitants of the European continent and the overseas colonials, increased between three and four times as fast as the native populations of other continents.11 Today, in the 1980’s, the world population doubling time is estimated to be only 33 years and is falling. The reasons for this human population increase may be discerned by studying natural life. Stability prevails in undisturbed natural systems. Species populations of a stable ecosystem remain in balance with one another. When the ecosystem is injured or destroyed, food sources are thrown out of balance. Some foods become more abundant while others disappear, causing the populations of some species to expand while others diminish or become extinct. For a time the ecosystem experiences upheaval, as out-of-balance populations experiencing unchecked growth, swell, exhaust food sources, and crash. Slowly, after a natural disruption, such as a volcanic eruption, the system heals and stability returns. In Europe, centuries of human disturbance had depleted the land, and human populations had already suffered several large expansions followed by dramatic crashes caused by plagues. By the sixteenth century, human populations of Europe were just recovering from the decimation of the latter waves of medieval plague. During the time when human populations had plummeted, the resilient European landscape, especially the forests, had recovered somewhat from the depredations of farming, and mining inflicted upon it in previous centuries. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution the commercial interests quickly exploited the health of the land of Europe but there was a new development, the imported raw materials. The new inflow of raw materials from the colonies swelled the productive capacity of European society beyond anything previously imagined. Despite the general misery, the population of Europe increased. One of the great services the colonization of North America performed for Europe was the export of European population. Had not massive transfers of the exploding European population occurred, sooner or later the progressively impoverished masses of Europe may have achieved their growing demands that the rich share food and wealth. By exporting masses of population the European elite could keep its wealth and control, and the colonists would generate even more wealth from abroad to enrich the empire. This is one of the reasons that elites of all empires demand growth. If there is a growth situation, the people experience increases and don’t demand what the elite have. At the same time, if the pie is growing, the elite’s percentage share grows faster and the new shares at the bottom come from growth and not from the accumulations of the elite. Between 1820 and 1930 Europe exported more than 50 million people, one-fifth of the population.12 Thirty-five million people were exported from Europe in the last half of the Nineteenth Century alone. During approximately that same period, tribal populations worldwide declined precipitously. Anthropologist John H. Bodley writes: “…It might be conservatively estimated that during the 150 years between 1780 and 1930 world tribal populations were reduced by at least thirty million as a direct result of the spread of industrial civilization. A less conservative and probably more realistic estimate would place the figure at perhaps fifty million.” 12 The varying estimates of world tribal populations are partially a result of newer research. As the European conquest proceeded, there were many areas into which they spilled that were “empty.” Like the wild horse that proceeded the European-human arrival on the Great Plains of North America by centuries, human diseases from Europe raced ahead of the conquerors. In his work, Ecological Imperialism, Alfred W. Crosby shows that when Cortez was retaking the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, the Aztecs holding the city were already and at the same time undergoing a severe epidemic of smallpox. By the time Pizzaro came to ravage the Incas, smallpox had already been there and decimated the population. Crosby states that: “The disease often spread far beyond the European frontier, often to people who had barely heard of the white invaders. Smallpox probably reached the Puget Sound area on the northwest Pacific coast in 1782 or 1783, a part of the world then as distant from the main centers of human population as any place on earth. When the explorer George Vancouver sailed into the Sound in 1793, he found Amerindians with pockmarked faces, and human bones scattered along the beach at Port Discovery – skulls, limbs, ribs, backbones – so many as to produce the impression that this was ‘a general cemetery for the whole of the surrounding country.’ He judged that ‘at no very remote period this country had been far more populous than at present.’ It was an assessment that he could accurately have extended to the entire continent.”13 The toll of the human massacre that was the European -industrial colonization of the earth was in the multiple tens of millions. The conservative anthropological guess that makes estimates from tribes now existing, is thirty million. From the public health view of Crosby this may be boosted to well over one hundred million people. Whatever the monstrous statistics are, we should be alerted that this is the most incredible murder of human populations that has ever happened on the planet. Also it should be noted that in our cultural reality this has gone into the memory vacuum. The significance of this mass murder occupies little space in history books and the public has little understanding that their colonies are based in such dimensions of death. Given the respective cultural assumptions held by invader and native about life and reality, there was and is no way that the two views of life could live side by side. The one lives stably in its habitat, the living world. The other eats up the living world for its growth. The European existed in a mental-cultural realm of products and beliefs attached to the cultural centers of Europe. The tribal native represented the antithesis of what European culture described as the “proper” way to live. In many cases it was difficult for the Europeans to view the natives as actual human beings. In some areas the natives were consciously worked to death, and in many areas were hunted like game animals. In the early Anglo settlement of California, for example, parties of gentlemen hunters often gathered in San Francisco to go out “hunting” the peaceful natives in the northern part of the state. The programming and conditioning of the culture of empire is so profound that even today it is difficult for the person of industrial culture to see a human being of another culture who is lacking money or high-priced manufactured possessions, as significant. The truly horrible things done by the Nazis to the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and anti-fascists during the holocaust are held up to the world as an extreme example of human inhumanity to human, and deservedly so. This inhumanity happened to white-skinned people of European culture and so is deemed nightmarish by the civilized mind. Little notice is taken by the “official” histories of the tens of millions of native victims of the atrocities during expansion of the European Empire. The colonizers of the empire on the frontier periphery functioned in a vacuum of official attention, and in many cases enjoyed official complicity while doing their killing and torturing of natives. The “frontier” industrial culture settlers were armed with the latest machine made weapons from the factories of Europe. Native people of the world were little prepared to roll back the invasion. There were those back in the capitals of Europe and in the colonies that began to clothe these thefts of land and killing of alien people, in theological, moral and legalistic phrases. In his study of the legal relationship between Native Americans and the U.S. government, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence, Vine DeLoria Jr. points out that the early Puritans claimed the biblical edict of “go forth and multiply” as the reason that they should take native land. As there was no room in Europe to “go forth and multiply,” therefore God must have meant them to come to North America.14 To a European of that time and to a transnational corporation of our time, the idea that human beings can live on the earth without substantially altering and “developing” it is absurd. When empire culture people encounter tribal hunter-forager people who live on the earth without altering it, they assume that the land is not being “used.” They refer to it as “wilderness” and abhor this condition. To the European, it is clearly justifiable to take land not being put to “proper use” in order to make it “productive” through farming or herding. DeLoria exposes one of the big myths in European culture- the myth that when native people are exposed to the “obviously superior” culture of the empire they will voluntarily give up their culture and join the invader’s culture. This myth contradicts the worldwide warfare with native people, which has taken place throughout the imperial-industrial expansion. This myth is supported by the basic assumption of the imperial psyche that its own culture is superior to all others. This in turn is supported by the competitive social Darwinist view, which further twisted the nineteenth-century notion of “survival of the fittest” into the idea that those who muscled their way to the top of social hierarchies were obviously the “fittest” to rule. (Nazism and fascism developed logically from this thought.) DeLoria goes to the heart of the matter when he says: “One of the final and more sophisticated arguments for taking the lands of the aboriginal peoples involved the transmission of the benefits of civilization to the uncivilized. Taking the lands by whatever means possible was justifiable because, in return, the Indians were receiving the great benefits of Western Civilization, which had allowed the European peoples to create such military and economic power as to make it possible for them to dispossess other peoples.”15 The advancement of the frontier of the empire of industrial civilization took a uniform pattern throughout the world. First, all easily transported valuables were shipped to the mother country, then settlers were needed to work the land and obtain the raw materials of the area. Finally, the labor of the enslaved natives was necessary, if that was appropriate to the use of that land. When plantation agriculture was instituted, when mining was to be pursued, or rubber gathering carried out, it was planned and presumed by all colonial authorities that this labor would be carried out by native labor. The justification? John H. Bodley recounts an opinion delivered in 1921: “The American legal authority, Alpheus Snow, pointed out that natives simply lack the acquisitive drive characteristic of civilized man, and doing virtually anything that will correct this mental deficiency is permissible and even a moral duty of the state.”16 The global expansion of the industrial empire was proceeded by armed violence and was followed by missionaries and government administrators who performed the function of destroying native culture. In the U.S., the practice of any religion other than Christianity by the subjugated natives was outlawed for many years. In Soviet Russia, Bodley describes how the Soviet industrialists actually created a Lenin-Stalin cult that was used to destroy native cultures of the East, deemed inimical to “progress.” Soviet government functionaries circulated printed material and pictures representing Lenin and Stalin as all powerful solar deities to replace tribal shamanism.17 All over the world where the European empire intruded, millions died. In the 1890’s, Germans swarmed over the cattle-herding Herero tribes of the Southwest African region now known as Namibia. By 1906 the original Herero population of 300,000 had been reduced to 20,000 landless fugitives, following numerous massacres and unequal battles between tribespeople with spears and German soldiers with guns and cannons. One of the leaders of that territorial government, Paul Rohrbach, proclaimed the imperial position in 1907, after ordering native herdsmen to turn over their grazing lands to white European settlers: “…The native tribes must withdraw from the lands on which they have pastured their cattle and so let the White man pasture his cattle on these self-same lands. If the moral right of this standpoint is questioned, the answer is that for people of the culture standard of the South African Natives, the loss of their free national barbarism and the development of a class of workers in the service of and dependent on the Whites is primarily a law of existence in the highest degree. For a people, as for an individual, an existence appears to be justified in the degree that it is useful in the progress of general development. By no argument in the world can it be shown that the preservation of any degree of national independence, national prosperity and political organization by the races of South West Africa would be of greater or even of equal advantage for the development of mankind in general or the German people in particular than that these races should be made serviceable in the enjoyment of their former territories by the White races.”18 This is an example of the types of encounters that happened daily on a worldwide basis, for centuries- and still continue wherever there are aboriginal people remaining. Slavery and Empire In the culture of empire, with its social hierarchies, the society is a system of extortion of humans and nature. Given this reality it is difficult to establish a set definition of slavery other than the outright chattel slavery of the plantation system where masses of humans were purchased solely as labor power. The mass system of slavery, which powered the Roman Empire finally ended but the serf system of European land tenure, in its hierarchical nature, was a system of coerced labor to a considerable degree. Some actual buying and selling of European people continued into the times of the Middle Ages. European slavery in the pre-industrial days was more akin to indebted servitude or debt peonage. Slaves of European origin were sold in the port cities of the Mediterranean, traded into North Africa and the Mid-East. For their part, some stratified societies of Africa also sold slaves into North Africa and Europe. In those stratified societies of both Europe and Africa, the social definition of a slave was not what it was with “plantation slavery” or “industrial slavery.” The authority on the history of slavery, Basil Davidson describes the type of slavery that existed just prior to the development of the mass African slave trade that paralleled the development of the industrial revolution: “As in Africa, so in Europe: the medieval slave, in one as in the other, was a captive who could win access to a system of mutual duty and obligation that bound noble and commoner together. And what went for the manners of society went for the morals of the merchants too – whether in Europe or Africa. European traders sold their fellow-countrymen to the overseas states of Egypt and North Africa. Pressured by the need for European goods, the lords of Africa began to sell their own folk to the mariners who came from Europe.”19 When the Europeans and in particular the Portuguese, arrived in the 1500’s on the west coast of Africa they encountered “kingdoms” in some places, stratified African societies. These were peoples who generally had been influenced by the patriarchal/hierarchical cultures of Islam. They were generally contiguous to the Islamic influenced areas of Sahara, Sudan and Ethiopia. These stratified African societies were by no means universal. Many African societies existed without kingships or other centralizing institutions of political or economic power.20 The initial source of slaves was from the stratified African societies. The early beginnings of the trade in the mid-1400’s quickly began to dwarf any slave trade that had gone before. No longer were a few slaves on a ship filled with cargo but whole ships full of slaves began to ply the trade. The Portuguese trade began by purchasing slaves from the Kingdoms on the West Coast of Africa. These kingdoms held slaves, most of who were captured in war. This grew into industrial slavery, not the kind where a few people were added onto a feudal barony but the kind of mass system where the millions of slaves were absolutely enslaved in an imperial plantation and production system in the money economy. As native populations of the New World dwindled, in areas of mass slavery such as the mines of Mexico, the plantations of the Caribbean Islands and the plantations of the Southeastern U.S., colonialists imported human slaves to help them enslave the earth, as it were. They turned accessible flat areas into huge monocultures to produce products for export to Europe. After the purchase price, the labor of slaves was practically free. The great demand for slaves made super profits for the slave traders. One of the first Englishmen to develop the market in African slaves (in the mid-1500’s) was John Hawkins, rumored to be Queen Elizabeth’s lover. After he spent many energetic years in the slave trade, Elizabeth knighted him for his efforts. During the award ceremony, she described his labor in the colonies as: “Going every day on shore to take the inhabitants with burning and spoiling their towns.”21 When the supply of slaves purchased from African kingdoms was not large enough, slavers began to raid the coast. At first the slavers, English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Danes, and Portuguese, could simply put ashore on the coast of West Africa and begin raiding villages. As the coast became devastated they began to move inland. E.D. Morel in his classic, Black Man’s Burden, says that: “The trade had grown so large that mere kidnapping raids conducted by white men in the immediate neighborhood of the coast-line were quite insufficient to meet its requirements. Regions inaccessible to the European had to be tapped by the organization of civil wars. The whole of the immense region from the Senegal to the Congo, and even further south, became in the course of years convulsed by incessant internecine struggles. A vast tumult reigned from one extremity to the other of the most populous and fertile portions of the continent. Tribe was bribed to fight tribe, community to raid community.”22 There is no accurate count of the number of slaves taken. Morel indicates that the British alone transported three million between 1666 and 1766, to British, French and Spanish American colonies. One quarter of a million people died on the voyages when these three million were transported and it is estimated that one-third of those on the land route to the slave shipment ports on the coast of Africa died. We may assume that many millions of lives were involved and the lives of many others were disrupted or extinguished after their villages were devastated and crops ruined. Some slave raiding by Arabs in Africa, for the Mid-East market runs far back into history and that total will never be known either, but the medieval and later era can be traced somewhat by historians from written records. The historian Basil Davidson estimates that the complete toll of humans transported out of Africa over the many years into slavery, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, may run up toward fifty million people. Slavery was institutionalized within the social system of Europe. Given the belief in their superiority and the general ideology of an expansionist, conquering empire, civilized people committed the most horrifying acts. E.D. Morel quotes a personal report, an account of a day in the life of a slaver: “Then might you see mothers forsaking their children and husbands their wives, each striving to escape as best he could. Some drowned themselves in the water, others thought to escape by hiding under their huts others stowed their children among the sea-weed, where our men found them afterwards, hoping they would thus escape notice…. And at last our Lord God, who giveth a reward for every good deed, willed that for the toil they had undergone in His service they should that day obtain victory over their enemies, as well as a guerdon and a payment for all their labour and expense for they took captive of those Moors, what with men, women and children, 165, besides those that perished and were killed. And when the battle was over, all praised God for the great mercy He had shown them, in that He had willed to give them such a victory, and with so little damage to themselves. They were all very joyful, praising loudly the Lord God for that He had deigned to give such help to such a handful of His Christian people.”23 In a culture where the lot of the common English sailor differed from that of a slave only by degree, and the condition of a child laborer working 15 hours a day and living in the slums, was similar, it was easy for the European population to accept slavery. Slavery was widely accepted and condoned. Even religions got into the business. Morel says that at least one missionary offshoot of a major church was involved. He says that the, “‘Society for propagating Christianity,’ including half the Episcopal bench, derived, as masters, from the labour of their slaves in the West Indies, an income which they spent in ‘teaching the religion of peace and goodwill to men.'”24 European slave traders constantly fomented wars between tribes. They thus created lucrative markets for European-made arms while reaping a harvest of slaves for sale from the victors. At times guns were traded to one group in order to create markets with other groups who scrambled to get guns to redress the balance of power. Like the slave trade, the arms industry produced super profits for imperial exploiters. Apologists of slavery have said that the slave’s lot was good because they were cared for and protected as property, something that the lowly wage laborer was not. Morel gives a short report from one slave holding region: “For a hundred years slaves in Barbadoes were mutilated, tortured, gibbeted alive and left to starve to death, burnt alive, flung into coppers of boiling sugar, whipped to death.”25 Many areas of the world that were once used in the plantation/slave production system are now ecologically destroyed. The island of Haiti, prior to the European expansion for example, was once a rich and dense tropical rainforest inhabited by Natural culture people. First the new invaders’ plantations worked virtually all the native labor to death. African slaves were then imported and replaced by more African slaves as they in turn were worked to death. The replaceable cheap labor provided by the slave trade enabled exploitation of the land to intensify at an unprecedented rate. Finally, toward the end of the era of mass slavery, the slaves of Haiti revolted and established their own government. The population began to grow and as it grew the last of the natural ecosystem was eliminated. To survive, people were forced to cultivate more and more fragile areas. As the mountainsides were deforested, severe erosion began. The island of Haiti is now a barren ecological sink, populated by hungry people who can only drive it into further ecological collapse in their attempt to survive. Similarly, soils in the southeastern U.S. have not recovered from the overuse and erosion engendered by the plantation slavery-driven cotton plantations of the same era. In many cities of the Greek Empire more than half the population were slaves. The same condition obtained in the Babylonian Empire. We see the dynamics of the culture arranged so that it is a monolithic system of extortion of biological energy. The energy comes from the soil, the plant world, animals and the human population. The modern industrial system is simply a refinement of these dynamics. The semantics have changed but the patriarchal/hierarchical system continues to funnel energy to the elite. Now, though they may be called office workers, factory workers or even scientists who labor in the laboratories of “defense” contractors, their power and wealth relationship to the elite is the same. The World-Wide Extermination of Natural Culture In the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century, while the “mopping up” of the tribal populations and the invasion of their habitats was in progress in the U.S., a similar war using the Remington rifle, was going on in South America against the Araucanian, Puelche and Tehuelche tribes of the pampas and the Araucanians of Chile. These tribes were almost exterminated outright, leaving only a handful to dwindle away. Human slavery had been abolished in many countries in the mid- to late, 1800’s because of the outcry by sympathetic groups in Europe and the U.S. Because of rising awareness of brutality in the colonies, the activities on the “frontier” and military conquests such as Cuba and the Philippines were increasingly described to the public as “civilizing,” “opportunities for primitives to work and learn the value of money,” and “moral and material regeneration.” A large protracted war, primarily fought by settlers from England and Scotland was conducted against the native Maori of New Zealand in the 1860’s and 1870’s, while the British and other colonialist countries fought wars against hill tribes all across Southeast Asia, through the foothills of the Himalayas and into the Hindu Kush toward Afghanistan. In Bangladesh and in India efforts are still underway to dominate the last remaining tribal peoples which the British Colonial Administration was unable to subdue completely. In Southeast Asia the assault on tribal groups continues to this day. In Formosa, in the early 1900’s, the incipient industrial empire of Japan used their armed forces to invade the land of the aboriginal Formosans who had been holding out against the Chinese settlers. After conducting warfare against the natives for some years they finally ended the native resistance by using heavy cruisers at sea to bombard the villages with cannons. In other areas such as Australia, the South Sea Islands, Siberia, Tasmania, Lapland, Africa, the cold regions and equatorial regions of the Americas and the rainforest regions of Southeast Asia there were many little wars or in other cases Natural people were simply overwhelmed and pushed aside. Even with increased public awareness of what was taking place in the colonies, the slave trade known as “blackbirding” captured native South Sea Islanders and sold them for labor in the plantations of Queensland, Australia. This trade endured for 50 years, between 1860 and 1910. The anthropologist John Bodley estimates that 60,000 people were successfully enslaved. A large percentage of these were killed or died from diseases brought by the slavers. These practices were presented to the public mind and world press as “contract labor.”26 The genocide of native tribal hunter-foragers goes on today in India, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia, Paraguay, Chile and in the Amazon jungle, carried out by militaries, industrial interests or settlers. The perpetrators continue to justify their behavior in the traditional manner, as the modern empire assaults life in its manifold forms. Human slavery is only an extreme form of what is basic to imperial society itself, the overt or subtle coercion of the masses to produce surpluses for the elite. It is the purpose of empire to conquer and enslave. Some modification of coercion was used on all native peoples who were needed as labor for the productive process. The whole intent was to conquer other lands and make them rewarding for the imperial elite, either by native labor or the labor of the exported poor of Europe. Even without personal, private ownership of other human beings, the very existence of colonies, where the native people are forced into a style of life that serves the material and social interest of the invaders, is a form of slavery. Historically, the super-profits from guns, drugs, rum, sugar and slaves have driven imperialism. When we look at the vast amount of historical detail we see that there is no limit on murder, torture, pain and destruction that the culture of empire will impose in order to further its ends. It has finally culminated in a situation where whole imperial societies are dependent for their survival upon the ravishing of other societies and other landmasses. A culture that will murder millions in the process of looting whole continents will stop at nothing. Substances that have a compulsive and addictive chemical reaction in the human body have been especially profitable. Galeano says that the Inca Empire distributed coca leaves during ceremonial days but that when the Spanish had established themselves, they began to push the drug and tax it. He says: “In Cuzco four hundred Spanish merchants lived off the coca traffic. Every year one hundred thousand baskets with a million kilos of coca-leaf entered the Potosí silver mines. The Church took a tax from the drug.”27 In Asia the imperialists found opium. They took this addictive substance, greatly increased its production and turned it into an instrument of foreign policy. Opium and Empire The old degenerate empires of Asia fell to modern colonialism, just as did the world’s tribal populations.After Britain’s colonial concessionaire, the East India Company, had consolidated control of India, it began to import tea from China. In 1715, the English established a trading center outside the city walls of Canton. The English Empire soon became habituated to Chinese tea. By 1830 the East India Company was making a profit of one million, pound sterling per year, from the China tea trade. The tax on tea levied by the British government was beginning to represent a substantial base of the government budget. The importation of tea soon became a fundamental element of the British economy, but the other side of the equation was deficient. The English could find very little that the Chinese were interested in buying. There was nothing that the Europeans had that the Chinese wanted. The English had tried selling wool and cotton in China, but the Chinese already had fine silks and cotton of their own. The New England Yankees did strike a small bonanza when they discovered that the Chinese would buy seal pelts. In twenty-seven years they nearly wiped out the seal populations of the Falkland Islands and the Aleutian Islands. By 1830, when the seal breeding grounds had been destroyed, that trade collapsed. As the tea trade grew, the English treasury began to be drained of its silver, which was the only currency the Chinese traders would accept. The balance of payments problem became severe. The English searched for something that they could sell in China to get the silver back. Opium became the answer to the English dilemma. Not only could opium return super-profits from those addicted to the drug but it helped soften-up Chinese society for the penetration of English imperialism (and the other colonial empires trying to nudge their way into the massive “China market”). The French and Dutch had been the first in the opium trade in the mid-1700’s, purchasing huge volumes in Bengal. The Dutch in particular used it as a political tactic against Indonesia, whose populations were resisting the imposition of the plantation system in their area. The Dutch flooded Indonesia with opium and then after the social disintegration, were able to take it over. The English saw the success of this tactic. When Bengal fell to the English Empire the East India Company then had a monopoly on the opium trade and they encouraged additional production in new areas of India. Jack Beeching, in his history, The Chinese Opium Wars, says: “In 1782 there had been no sale for the cargo of Bengal opium that Warren Hastings had sent hopefully to Canton. By 1830, the opium trade there was probably the largest commerce of its time in any single commodity, anywhere in the world.” 28 The East India Company was not inclined to miss a chance for profits. They began also to import opium into England for the home population. Soon opium was sold in England in packets of powder and in liquid elixirs called generically, laudanum. Commercial preparations at the retail level were wearing such trade names as Godfrey’s Cordial and Mother Bailey’s quieting Syrup.29 In the United States where the drug was also legally sold; there were 120,000 opium addicts by 1875.30 By 1700, Chinese society had become stagnant under foreign Mongol rulers. From 1700, until the take-over by the cadres under Mao Tse-Tung after World War II, the European powers plus Canada and the U.S., pummeled the closed society of China breaking in at the edges, trying to create markets for their goods. Armed outbreaks and at times small wars were fomented, the whole period is referred to as the “opium wars.” At the time of the opium wars, an administrative class of Manchus governed Chinese society. The Manchus were invading Mongols who continued to maintain close relations with their original homeland, Manchuria. At times they even brought in horse cavalry from the steppes to fight the various groups busily dismembering the huge decadent Chinese Empire. China was twenty times the size and population of England. China, being a culture of empire, resembled European imperial culture in many ways and it was much older and the cultural images were more thorough. There were few ideological divisions. In China the Emperor was the Son of Heaven, the ruler of the Middle Kingdom, the center of the universe. The rigid patriarchy was culturally bolstered by the Confucian doctrines of ancestor worship and submission to the emperors and those more elevated in the hierarchy. The Han Chinese, the ethnic group that makes up 97% of China, consider themselves culturally and racially superior to all others, whom they refer to with a term equivalent to “barbarians.” Though the throne of China had been captured several times by the nomads from the north during the thousands of years of history, Chinese society had never been completely shattered in war. China had remained for thousands of years as the center of gravity of East Asia. For thousands of years the fortunes of individual Chinese dynasties have ebbed and flowed. They have enslaved the geographical areas adjacent to them in Southeast Asia and to the north of them, but they seldom absorbed anything cultural in excess of the material extortion of the peripheral satraps. The Chinese culture is so thoroughly imbued with super-race feeling that especially in the early days of European contact, “barbarians” were kept out of the walled cities as much for the convenience of the Chinese as for the safety of the foreigners. The simple sight of non-Chinese caused immediate riots among the population. When the powerful European religious organizations began attempting to penetrate Chinese society for their own organizational motives, the missionaries met with little success because they were so restricted and confined. The simple sight of a European missionary on the streets of a city would provoke riots that posed serious physical danger.31 The elites of many powerful social structures within the European empires were getting benefits from the opium poisoning and disintegration of Chinese society. The Catholic hierarchy and the Protestant hierarchies also moved with many strategies toward furthering their growth and power in China. The East India Company was a major force in exploiting China and smaller trader groups from many countries were loitering around the sidelines picking up what crumbs they could. Because of internal decay and because of the pressures exerted by the outside powers, the decadent Manchu regime finally dissolved in the first decade of the 1900’s. The battle to rule China was picked up by indigenous Chinese warlords under the leadership of Sun Yat-Sen and the foreigner assisted Koumintang under the Methodist Church member Chaing Kai-Shek. Although opium importation (officially) stopped after the fall of the Manchus, the Japanese Empire revived it when they invaded in 1938 as a method of extorting money from Chinese society. This was certainly not the end of drug pushing as an instrument of foreign policy. Mao Tse-Tung and the peasant rebellion represented the resurgence of Chinese imperial culture. Although they had a new ideological twist, they essentially reunified the old imperial culture and campaigned against foreign “contamination.” The Communists under Mao succeeded in ridding China of missionaries, traders and other remnants of the “barbarians.” China has now rejoined the “family of nations” as a modern imperial state. Alfred W. McCoy is Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin and author of the books The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade; The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia and Drug Traffic: Narcotics and Organized Crime in Australia. He traces opium to the present in Southeast Asia: “In Indochina, you have to understand first of all that the extensive opium trade, mass consumption, particularly in the cities, was a result of European colonial policy. It’s only in Southeast Asia that colonial governments paid for their very dynamic development: irrigation, massive road networks, rail networks by direct taxes upon indigenous consumers, taxes on alcohol, salt, and particularly opium. In British Malay 40 percent of colonial taxes came from opium. In French Indochina it ranged about 15 percent from the period from the 1870’s up through the 1950’s, when as a result of UN pressure, all of these governments abolished the state opium trade. Thailand was the next to last to do it. It didn’t abolish its state opium monopoly, rather like an alcohol beverage control that a lot of states have, until 1957. Laos didn’t abolish theirs until 1961. So you have mass opium consumption in Southeast Asia as a result of the colonial policy of making the colony pay with opium.”Most of the opium was not produced in Southeast Asia. It came from abroad, either southern China or India.”32 In the early 1950’s the U.S. agency, the CIA, sponsored the creation of what became the world’s largest opium growing industry in Southeast Asia. They did this to create an economic base for their “allies” in the secret wars of the 1950’s and on into the present. The first group of allies was the Nationalist Chinese generals and their troops who were chased into Southeast Asia by Mao’s Red Army. Others were different tribal groups that were forced by various elites: Chinese Generals, indigenous elites and the employees of the CIA to create an economic infrastructure based on opium and their males for use as cadre in the wars. In the present all areas of opium poppy and coca production are also areas of historic U.S. government and CIA contacts. These are the Andean nations who have for many years received U.S. military equipment, money and training, the Syrian generals who control opium growing in the Bekka Valley, the opium growing Afghanistan mujahadeen, the Pakistani Generals, and the military and political elites throughout Southeast Asia. There have always been the “shadow cadres,” the covert operators of empire who would do the clandestine bidding of the elite. This type of situation existed, for example, when the Spanish were shipping the treasure out of the Americas. The English elite sponsored “pirates” who would raid the Spanish Galleons. The covert political strategy is created in situations where the rulers want to be able to have their diplomats say one thing while the shadow players are unsuspectingly making hidden moves. The shadow players perform acts that often violate social norms and thus the ruling elite must be able to deny any association with them. The existence of these “spooks” or intelligence agencies has created a BI-level world where there exists the “accepted” reality of the media and the political dialog and then there is the shadow reality where various international power plays take place. It is only in the last century that drugs have joined guns and money as the chief lubricants of empire. In earlier days the insertion of modern munitions into a region could throw the balance of power in some direction. The necessary association of the covert operators with the international arms market has led them into the international financial system as well. Now, these groups have “proprietaries,” companies and economic groups that they control (Air America is a well-known example). This has led to a situation where the CIA and others have their own economic base and can act without approval or budget from elected officials. Though they may avoid control by elected officials such as in the case of the Iran-Contra scandal, they are always on the side of the International Financial Elite and they are never on the side of peasants struggling for justice. This brings us to the present day reality of the world drug market that is estimated to be five hundred billion dollars in size. This rivals major industries on the planet. Common sense tells us that the five and ten dollar bills from the street sales in major cities of the world aren’t loaded by street pushers onto freight trains and sent to the points of origin of the drugs. Common sense tells us that profits of this magnitude will attract the biggest economic powers in the game and they will have to have shadow players to watch over and administer the profit taking. They might even have to create a War on Drugs to crack down on any competitors that try to muscle in on the super profits! There appears to be nothing that the controlling elites of the imperial hierarchies will not do to service their greed and their craving for power. Guns, drugs, slavery, torture, massacre, assassination, and the most massive destruction, ecologically and socially is the stock in trade. Because public education and awareness was growing in the industrial countries in the 1800’s, we see also the beginnings of the relationship of the elites to their own First World populations in terms of the control of information to which they are allowed exposure. We see in one example, with the “rubber boom” experience of the Congo, that it is possible for the elites of the industrial societies to literally alter history. We see this also in the opium wars. Because of the distasteful nature of the colonial activities in the Far East, the facts about the creation of a market for opium in China were downplayed if not obscured. Jack Beeching in his history, The Chinese Opium Wars, recounts one public disinformation campaign conducted by the opium traders. William Jardine was head of one of the largest groups importing opium into China. He spearheaded a media campaign financed with a self-imposed tax on each chest of opium imported into China by all importers. In a letter to Jardine, at that time, in London, a fellow trader instructed Jardine, “You will not, however, be limited to this outlay, as the magnitude of the object can well bear any amount of expense … you may find it expedient to secure, at a high price, the services of some leading newspaper … we are told there are literary men whom it is usual to employ …”33 The opium smugglers had abundant cash to bribe newspapers and politicians. Beeching indicates that the disinformation campaign in the London media worked well. He says, “subsidized or not, sensational pamphlets and news items multiplied. All London was rapidly made aware how honest British [opium] merchants in Canton had been besieged, imprisoned, deprived of food, and actually threatened with death.” In fact this was the inflated description of an incident in Canton that was no more than an ultimately failed attempt by one Chinese official to stop the importation of opium. The Rubber Boom With the invention of the automobile, demand for rubber increased enormously. In the tropical regions of the Amazon and the Congo, the “Rubber Boom” of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s resulted in the deaths of millions of people. There were few “laborers” to be found in the rainforests where the extraction of the sap of the rubber tree took place. When the boom began, the industry was faced with the problem of finding a labor supply. The solution to this problem adopted by the rubber companies, like the early industrial revolution, was to force natives out of their subsistence culture in order to turn them into “slave labor.” In the western Amazon the British-owned Peruvian Amazon Company sent armed gangs to capture natives. Bodley reports that “rape, slavery, torture by flogging and mutilation,” and “mass murder by shooting, poisoning, starvation, and burning,” were practiced against the native people. The colonial government of Peru never acted to restrain the British company. Similar atrocities took place in other areas of the Amazon where rubber was gathered, ending when rubber plantations of the East Indies took over the market after 1915.34 Though the Amazon exported rubber; the richest source was the Congo Basin in Africa. The Congo River drains most of the watershed of the African equatorial rainforest. Villages and tribes ran for several thousand miles along its banks. Most of the native people lived in settled villages where they maintained rainforest gardens, raised tree crops and foraged in the forest for additional sustenance. Native trading all over the Congo was active, although the culture did not support any kind of empire-style market economy. The stability of the many different tribal cultures up and down the Congo River and into the expanse of forest was maintained by thousands of years of complex bartering patterns. By the late 1800’s, most tribes of the rainforest of Central Africa had become dominated by European colonial powers. One man, King Leopold II of Belgium, personally owned one million square miles of the Congo, along with everything on it, including the people. As a private estate, the Congo Free State, as the area was known, was subject to no law or scrutiny of any government. It was this peculiar ownership that helped the rulers of the Congo Free State shield their activities from public view even from the view of the Belgian government. In the Congo, companies that were financed by the sale of stock in Europe were given rights by the King to exploit specified sections. The King retained one-half the shares in each company. Stock in these incredibly profitable companies was distributed around elite financial circles, political circles and the diplomatic circles, cutting many of the “well placed” of Europe into the game. European merchants had traded up the Congo for many generations exploiting the resources for a lucrative European market for redwood, camwood powder, wax, ivory, tin, copper, lead, and palm oil. But the big new stockholder-owned companies were interested solely in the super-profit trade in two items, ivory and rubber. All other trade was prohibited. The company controlling each area hired gangs of thugs, detribalized and marginalized natives, criminals, and mercenaries to collect a “tax” payable only in ivory or rubber, which had been levied on the natives by the companies themselves. Trade was abandoned in favor of out-and-out-extortion. For twenty years, the mercenary hierarchies in each region assaulted native Congo villages, burning, killing, raping, looting, burning down gardens and fields and killing orchard trees. One popular method to get a village to pay the tax was to imprison all of the women and children of the village until the men paid the tax by gathering rubber or by ravaging elephant herds for ivory. In areas where the rubber plant did not grow, the people were forced to give fish or agricultural products to support colonial administrations in the areas where rubber was tapped. Soon the rubber and ivory trade began to rival other colonial bonanzas such as the gold and diamonds of South Africa that were produced by quasi-slave labor. By1900 the French had parceled out the French Congo, just west of the Belgian holding, to 40 concessionaire companies. In both the French and Belgian Congo, mercenaries were routinely awarded bonuses for bringing back hands, sexual organs and ears to the local administrators after a punitive raid on native people designed to compel them to gather more- by terror. One missionary reported: “It is blood-curdling to see them (the soldiers) returning with hands of the slain, and to find the hands of young children amongst the bigger ones evidencing their bravery…. The rubber from this district has cost hundreds of lives, and the scenes I have witnessed, while unable to help the oppressed, have been almost enough to make me wish I were dead….”35 E.D. Morel, founder of the Congo Reform Movement, reported that, “in one region 6,000 natives were killed and mutilated every six months.”36 In all, Morel reports that some nine million natives were forced to, “spend their lives in the extremely arduous and dangerous task of gathering and preparing India-rubber in the virgin forests….” 37 The population of the Congo Free State, which in 1884 had stood at an estimated 20 to 30 million, had shrunk to nine million by 1911. The huge dividends on the shares in the concession companies were causing a furor in Europe. Morel writes, “French finance was excited by the wild wave of speculation in Congo rubber shares which swept over Belgium, and by the prodigious profits of the great Belgian Concessionaire Companies.”38 The power of the dozens of concessionaire companies reached from Africa into the political and diplomatic circles of England and the Continent. They and their political allies who profited by the outrage in the Congo conducted a constant disinformation operation in the European press through their own statements and the assistance of compliant pundits and politicians. The line was that the Congo natives were, “…little better than animals, with no conception of land tenure or tribal government, no commercial instincts, no industrial pursuits, ‘entitled,’ as a Belgian Premier felt no shame in declaring, ‘to nothing.'”39 Reformers in both France and England worked for years to expose the crimes committed against the peoples of the Congo. The publication of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Morel’s book, Red Rubber, in 1906, spawned vocal protests over the activities in the colonies. But the evidence was well concealed. Though the French government did not use the words “National Security,” popular today, it nonetheless suppressed all evidence held by the government concerning the Congo. Thousands of church people and other concerned citizens, primarily in England and on the Continent, became involved in the Congo Reform Movement. They visited the Congo, interviewed travelers, surreptitiously obtained suppressed government reports and yet the European elite succeeded in altering history. Governments set up “commissions of inquiry” which themselves were actually a damage control and disinformation tactic. When the reform groups finally accumulated voluminous damning evidence, the elite press would not report it. Many in the press held concession shares. The murder of, in excess of ten million people in a twenty-year period by the most grotesque butchers was excised from the history of Western Civilization by the cheerleaders and profiteers of imperial conquest. By 1915, human society came to an end in the Congo. All trading stopped. Villages were deserted. The forest grew back over the gardens. Any survivors were either enslaved as farmers, porters, mercenary fighters- or they were in hiding in the frontier areas and the deep forest. By 1910 the rubber tree plantations in Southeast Asia were beginning to take over the trade. As World War I began, few paid attention to events in the colonies. Though a veil continued over the deep Congo, the manipulation by outside, covert forces has never really stopped to this day. NOTES 1 Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. Eduardo Galeano. Monthly Review Press. New York. 1973. p.53. 2 Life and Labor In Ancient Mexico. Alonso de Zorita. trans. & intro. Benjamin Keen. Rutgers U. Press. 1971. pp. 8,9.Galeano. 3 Open Veins of Latin America. op. cit. p. 50. 4 ibid. p. 51. 5 Indo-European Language And Society. Emile Benveniste. Elizabeth Palmer, trans. U. of Miami Press. Coral Gables, Florida. 1973. p. 175. 6 ibid. p. 175. 7 The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Karl Polanyi. Beacon Press. Boston. 1957. p. 165. 8 ibid. p. 35. 9 ibid. p.116. 10 The Death Of Nature: Women, Ecology And The Scientific Revolution. Carolyn Merchant. Harper & Row Pub. New York. 1979. p. 138. 11 Man’s Role In Changing The Face Of The Earth. Thomas, Jr. ed. Vol. 2. U. of Chicago Press. Chicago. 1956. “The Spiral of Population,” Warren S. Thompson. p. 974. 12 Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900. Alfred W. Crosby. Cambridge U. Press. New York. 1974. p. 5. 13 ibid. p. 203. 14 Behind The Trail of Broken Treaties: An Indian Declaration of Independence. Vine Deloria, Jr. Dell Pub. Co. New York. 1974. p. 93. 15 ibid. p. 94. 16 Victims Of Progress. John H. Bodley. Cummings Pub. Co. Menlo Park, Ca. 1975. p. 130. 17 ibid. p. 115. 18 ibid. p. 55,56. 19 The African Slave Trade. Basil Davidson. Little, Brown & Co. Boston. 1980. p. 42. 20 Iibid., pp. 36-37. 21 The Black Man’s Burden: The White Man in Africa from the Fifteenth Century to World War I. E.D. Morel. Modern Reader Paperbacks. New York. 1969. p.17. 22 ibid. p. 20. 23 ibid. p. 15. 24 ibid. p. 21. 25 ibid. p. 22. 26 Bodley, op. cit. p. 35-36. 27 Galeano. The Open Veins Of Latin America. op. cit. p. 58,59. 28 The Chinese Opium Wars. Jack Beeching. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. New York. 1975. p.39. 29 ibid. p. 28. 30 ibid. p. 178. 31 Saving China: Canadian Missionaries In The Middle Kingdom 1888-1959. Alvyn J. Austin. U. of Toronto Press. Toronto. 1986. p. 13. 32 Z Magazine. January 1991. “The Politics Of Drugs: An Interview with Alfred McCoy.” pp. 65-66. 33 ibid. p. 83. 34 Bodley, op. cit. p. 31-32. 35 Morel, op. cit. p. 121. 36 ibid. p. 123. 37 ibid. p. 141. 38 ibid. p. 128. 39 ibid. p. 115. The Final Empire Chapter 12 COLONIALISM IN THE MODERN WORLD Zaire: The Congo Atrocity Evolves Following the end of the rubber boom, the French-Belgian created bloodbath in the Congo basin subsided somewhat but the basic extraction of profits went on. By 1960 the Congo, now called Zaire, was being readied for independence like many African colonies. Independence was to be with a Belgian-chosen leader and with continuing outside ownership and control of the rich resources of oil, cobalt, copper and other minerals. As Independence Day neared, an indigenous leader, Patrice Lumumba arose and began to win elections. By the day of independence he was the acknowledged leader of the new country. Soon a former sergeant in the Congolese army, Mobutu, who had been handpicked by Belgian Intelligence and the U.S. CIA to be the leader, had much of the military behind him and Lumumba murdered. By 1965, Mobutu Sese Seko became the absolute dictator and continues to rule this hapless land to this day under the direction of the Israeli Mossad and the CIA. They oversee security affairs while the industrial elite is represented by such groups as the International Oil Cartel, Union Minie’re, owned at the time of independence by the Belgian Corporation, the Special Board of Katanga and the company well known in South Africa, the Anglo-American company, Oppenheim de Beers.1 Prior to independence the Belgian directed export agriculture had also made the country food self-sufficient (prior to colonialism the area had been food self-sufficient for thousands of years). The money making export crops were sugar, rice, corn, millet, cassava, bananas and other minor crops. As the society disintegrated under the Mobutu dictatorship, food production fell. In 1988 the country imported 60% of its food. Like other U.S. backed dictators such as Marcos of the Philippines, Somoza of Nicaragua and the Shah of Iran who were super thieves, Mobutu has simply thrown open the country to the trans-nationals who pay a sum to Mobutu for the resources. The Mobutu government occupies itself with robbing the people of what little is left while Mobutu travels to his many palaces, including 26 luxury apartments, villas, chateaux and palaces in Europe. Some place his personal fortune at $8 billion, all of it stolen from the impoverished people of Zaire. Journalist Steve Askin reports that despite Zaire’s being one of the richest countries in Africa, the country is $5 billion in debt to the international banks. The Zairian people are the ninth poorest on earth yet they must struggle to bear up under a typical International Monetary Fund “austerity plan.” “Zaire has fired 40 percent of its government workers, withheld wage increases from those still on the payroll, [and] drastically cut its already meager social service spending. By this economic bloodletting of the population, Zaire is able to pay the international bankers 30 percent of the national budget for debt repayment.”2 Three billion dollars of the loan money that incurred this debt went to the Trans-National construction company of Morrison-Knudson to build a power line 1,100 miles long from a dam near Mobutu’s capital of Kinshasha, to Katanga province where the cobalt and copper mines are located. Even though there is hydro-electric potential near the mines, this $3 billion was spent so that Mobutu could “turn off the lights” from Kinshasha, 1,100 miles to the north, in case of any secessionist effort. Mobutu is used by the U.S. for votes in the UN and the Organization of African Unity. The country is used as a staging area for CIA warfare, projected into other African states and Mobutu’s army is used as a U.S. surrogate for invading other African countries according to the needs of U.S. strategy. Torture, including the CIA’s favorite, the electric shock machine, is widely used against both political and criminal detainees. Total fascism is the form of government under the dictator and total neglect is the social policy. Estimates are that less than 10% of the roads that existed on Independence Day remain and indigenous commerce has all but stopped. After three hundred years of colonial plunder Zaire still has riches to loot, the people continue to starve and the living conditions deteriorate under the “neo-colonialism” of the industrial order.3 Following the ouster of Mobutu the situation has deteriorated even further. Warfare is coursing across much of Africa. Even though major powers each have favorite players that they encourage from the background, the value of the resources that could be gained in such a volatile area do not appear to be enough to bring in heavy military investment from major colonial nations. Also, with the retreat of the Soviet Union it is difficult to convince taxpayers that vast expenditures for military adventures in far flung regions are necessary. The reason that Zaire was never a matter of household conversation in the U.S. is that the International Corporate Media does not report the situation. The mass information media is essentially controlled by the state in the socialist countries and in the capitalist countries the capitalist class owns it. In the U.S., according to Ben Badgakian, in his study, The Media Monopoly, the whole of television, films, radio, newspapers, magazines and book publishing is essentially owned by less than twenty-five huge conglomerate corporations. This number has been falling steadily for decades. As Michael Parenti explains in his recent book, The Mass Media, the corporate owned media do not so much alter the facts, but frame the facts of each event within the social and ideological framework of the national security state- the militarized juggernaut. Within the context of the National Security State the CIA has significantly infiltrated the ranks of the media as we began to learn in the late 1960’s. In addition to subsidizing the publications of many books, there are working writers on the CIA payroll, or the payrolls of CIA front groups, as well as media workers who are conduits for information that the agency wishes to be presented to the public. Because of the CIA infiltration of journalism, especially in Third World countries, it is possible for them to conduct worldwide disinformation campaigns. During the initial stages of the anti-Communist hysteria in the United States a secret government was formalized within American democracy. For the first time an elaborate system of security clearances and classified documents was created along with a presidentially appointed National Security Council that was not provided for in the U.S. Constitution. This placed a firewall between the electorate and the activities of the higher reaches of government. This is especially true concerning activities of the U.S. government outside its borders. This has enabled the U. S. Government to conduct activities on behalf of the economic elite throughout the world while clothing these activities in the pieties of “aiding democracy” or “free trade.” Antarctica: Empire at the End of the World Nothing describes the needs and motives of the present industrial empire so well as the final rape-Antarctica. This beautiful and mysterious land is literally the end of the world. It is the south end of the planet and it is the last piece of the planet that has not been plundered by the culture of empire. Because of the convection currents and because Antarctica is exposed to all oceans, it occupies a pivotal place in the planetary cycles of weather and biology. Barney Brewster in his, Friends of the Earth, book about Antarctica says that: “Although the Southern Ocean represents only five per cent of the world’s oceans in area, it accounts for 20 per cent of the total marine photosynthesis and plays a major part in deep-ocean water circulation, influencing waters far to the north. Antarctic deep-ocean water carries nutrients which feed economically important fisheries in many parts of the world – Argentine hake, Brazilian tuna, South African pilchard and the remnants of the Peruvian anchoveta fishery.”4 Ocean upwellings around the periphery of Antarctica provide the nutrient to charge the food chain. The phytoplankton feed the masses of krill. Krill are a small shrimp-like organism that grow up to three inches long and exist in the Antarctic waters in the amounts of millions of tons. They are the basic energy of the simple food chain of Antarctica. They directly feed the baleen whales, squid and small fish, crabeater seals, adelie penguin, and the sea birds. The next level of the food chain that feeds on the krill eaters are the large fish, weddell and ross seals, killer whale, leopard seal, gull and emperor penguin. The whales in the southern waters were early hunted to near extinction as they migrated in, seasonally, to feed on the krill. Now, “It is estimated that blue whales are less than 5 per cent of their original stock, humpbacks 3 per cent, and fin whales less than 20 per cent.”5 The fur seals around South Georgia and the South Shetland islands have been slowly increasing since the devastation for the Yankee trade to China but some authorities believe the small population is now going down again because of the initial krill fishing in the area which is impacting the food chain.6 In the islands north of Antarctica, especially toward Australia, there, historically, have been industries that boiled seals and penguins for the oil in their bodies but so far as is known, no extinctions have been the result of that practice. The landmass of Antarctica has not yet been devastated by human activities. Most of the visitors have been “scientific expeditions” who are there to do science as well as to bolster their respective country’s claim to a piece of the action by their presence- as well as look for industrial valuables. Approximately 700 people winter over at Antarctica and the population rises to 4-5,000 in the summer. This population is scattered at 33 year-round bases and other temporary sites. Two thousand tons of cargo and food come in each year as well as 20 million litres of fuel. Very little is taken out.7 Most of these human settlements are on the rocks or other spots bare of ice. This has created a conflict with the animals and birds who themselves heavily use these scarce sights for nesting and other life activities. Because there are no land animals larger than three centimeters in size (mites), the living population is centered on the ocean and the shorelines, which are essential to them. This is also the location where the human exploiters will congregate as they arrive and set up operations. Increasing human populations are a threat to the Antarctic environment. Another continuing threat is human stupidity. In 1962 the United States Navy brought in a nuclear power plant in violation of the Antarctic treaty. After ten years of trouble and leaks the reactor was shut down. It was shipped back to the U.S. with 101 large drums of contaminated earth and was followed later by 11,000 cubic meters of radioactive rock. After six years of work, the site was declared sanitized.8 That the industrial predators are preparing to dismember the Antarctic is plain. The most serious threats at the present are krill fishing, whaling, sealing, oil drilling and mining. Krill fishing has been commenced by Japan and the former USSR. Other countries are testing products made with the krill to try to find ways to make money from it. The krill catch was estimated by the FOA at 20,000 to 40,000 tons in the early 1970’s and has been rising steadily. The life habits of the krill are quite complex and little is known about them and little is known about the whole complex of krill and krill eaters. Nonetheless, the industrialists have charged ahead. Harvesting the krill could have serious effects. The nearly extinct whale species need it to revive their numbers and other krill feeders depend on it. There are pirate whalers who have connections with the Japanese fishing fleets in the area who are still killing the nearly extinct large whales. The large scale whalers of recent years, the Russians and the Japanese, are taking minke whale in the area but have not killed the endangered fin, blue, humpback or southern right whales as far as is known. Because of the expense of operating in Antarctica, exploiting the area is to a great extent dependent upon how desperate countries become for protein, minerals and oil. As ecological catastrophes and exhaustion of resources progress outside Antarctica, the likelihood of industrial exploitation of Antarctic increases. A very serious possibility is a rush for the “black gold.” A number of countries have had oil exploration teams and programs in Antarctica. If oil production begins, Antarctica will be finished. Already there are reports of penguins covered with oil from local spills from ships in the area. The biodegradation rate in the area is far longer than in warmer areas. All garbage, equipment and other debris left since the first humans came there is still there. Oil spills and the locating of human communities that would be needed for the work on Antarctica could finish the life that needs the sea and the strip of land close to it. The krill, the baleen whales that filter seawater to catch the krill, the penguins, seabirds and seals that travel from land to water would all be devastated. In an environment like the Antarctic, clean-up would be almost impossible and if a blow-out occurred it could be under conditions that would make it difficult to stop and if it could not be stopped, (in mid-winter for example) it would simply continue to drain into the sea. The approach of the industrial countries to Antarctica demonstrates that the essential dynamics of empire culture have not changed since the time of the Sumerians. The motive of immediate gain continues to take precedence over all other values. Empire in the Modern World:Managed Opinion The evidence of history suggests that as the public awareness increased in the First World countries, the imperial elites found it necessary to manage domestic opinion and sources of information. The motives and methods of extorting the colonies did not change but the sensibilities of the public in the imperial countries became more acute. The French Revolution, the American Revolution and other changes brought a more sophisticated view of the rights of citizens and the functioning of elites. The motives and strategies of colonialism do not change but the justifications and explanations to the public of the First World have become a smooth integral part of the operation. In the Sixteenth Century no explanation to the European public was necessary but later imperialism became a phenomena of cultural opinion. It became a social ideology. As this change occurred it became necessary for the elites to reflect back to the public the charitable and beneficial effects on the colonies and to conceal the basic motives and methods. In the U.S. it was clothed in “Manifest Destiny,” God was often said to have given the New World to the deserving Christians and this encouraged the “missionary fervor” which was encouraged by the elites. All this combined into a jingoistic support for empire. In the present the continuing enterprise to extort valuables from the colonies and to ensure control of them, is clothed in a mythology of “anti-communism,” “antiterrorism,” and bringing democracy and economic development to the less socially developed masses. The competing elites of the industrialized countries have managed to thoroughly militarize human society. The elites often say that the reason that we must have such tight police control of civilized society is because of “human nature.” That is, humans are so violent and savage that there must be outside control of their behavior. On the world scene, the justification for the military control of the planet is said to be the threat of “capitalist imperialism,” “the terrorist threat,” “communist subversion” or “guerilla insurgency.” The reality is, however, that empires expend the effort to have colonies because they are getting something from them – money- markets and resources. Now, with the huge debt of Third World countries, the elites of the capitalist group can literally take over these countries. When the debt cannot be paid and the country is desperate for capital, the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank will extend another loan if the country agrees to allow the bankers to send in its own teams to run the economic planning and commerce departments of those countries. The “austerity” or “reform” programs that the bankers subject the country to, are designed to sell off socially owned enterprises to the planetary economic elite and squeeze money out of the masses of the country to pay the debt. The foreign exchange to pay the debt is generated by exporting the country’s resources and impoverishing its citizens. This impoverishes the workers, the country’s society, the ecology and tends to centralize the remaining economy in the hands of the domestic and international elite. Controlling the Colony In a world of empires, colonies and competing “spheres of influence,” there is the threat that some competing empire may steal a colony but there is also the greater threat that the population of the colony may try to stop the extortion and throw out the invaders. This threat of “nationalism” is dealt with by preventing any social development in the colony that is not under the control of the colonial elite. The colonial elite, in turn, ultimately is under the control of its handlers, in the First World industrial elite. Just after the close of World War II the centers of imperial power began to consolidate their turf. The USSR surrounded itself with dominated colonies, China began to assert its old imperial dominance and the U.S. and European capitalists moved to manage the control of the old colonial structure. This colonial control exercised by the capitalists often took the form of “giving independence” to a colony run by a colonial elite but covertly maintaining control of that former colony’s military and economic infrastructure. One technique of control used in the U.S., “banana republic” colonies is revealed by a Central America study group who say: “In 1870, US banks began the practice of offering to pay a Central American nation’s entire European debt in a lump payment under the condition that the nation would agree to place itself under a customs receivership in which the US would control the nation’s foreign trade and many aspects of its domestic economy. This economic relationship replaced political colonization with an equally effective method for controlling the trade, resources and labor of another country. Nicaragua was under a US customs receivership until 1949.”9 After the close of World War II, first Britain, then the U.S. assisted in fighting a war in Greece against indigenous and left leaning forces that had been the anti-Nazi resistance during World War II. These populist Greek forces were defeated and a puppet (and Fascist, in the case of the military dictatorship) colonial elite was installed. The old colonial empires then fought the indigenous guerrillas, the “Huks” of the former U.S. colonial possession of the Philippines,to a standstill in the 1950’s and a peasant revolt in British controlled Malaysia in the same era. This was a historical recreation of the original U.S. takeover from the Spanish. In the earlier era both Cuba and the Philippines had anti-colonialist forces who were nearly to throw out the Spanish. The U.S. saved the day for the empire by frightening off and defeating the Spanish and then wiping out the anti-colonialist resistance. The U.S. in the Kissinger era was able to role back “threatening” nationalism in Indonesia under Sukarno. Kissinger and Nixon backed a military coup and the CIA handed out lists of people marked for elimination. The estimate is, at least one half million people died in this strategy to control empire. Eventually a war was fought in Vietnam in an attempt to regain the French colony that had been taken over by the anti-Japanese resistance under the leadership of Ho Chi Min. In the post-World War II era, a system of conflict and competition evolved wherein secret government agencies were used as the spearhead of covert war. This system exists and evolved because of this same motive- to conceal these foreign activities both from the “enemies” and the First World domestic populations. The home populations would not approve of them, or the policies they serve, if they were known. That is the functional reason for the shroud of secrecy of the “National Security State.” Honorable government actions are not kept secret from the people. Secret covert action agencies like the U.S., CIA and Russian, KGB exist now in many governments of the earth. After World War II, the imperial governments used their secret war agencies to set up secret police and covert action agencies in their colonies. The KGB assisted the creation of secret police in Eastern Europe and the CIA helped create secret police and intelligence agencies like the hated Savak in the Shah’s Iran, the CIA counterpart in West Germany under General Rheinhard Gehlen and the KCIA in Korea. These agencies carry out domestic and foreign activities. The foreign activities are usually acts and atrocities that the elite would not want to be associated with publicly. At times the clothing of “anti-Communist” rhetoric was not used but some other negative image such as “nationalist,” as in the CIA overthrow of Mohammed Mossedeq of Iran to get the oil fields. Generally, such as in the overthrow of Arbenz, the nationalist leader of Guatemala in 1954, with CIA assistance, all of the drumbeaters and “anti-Communist” cheerleaders in the corporate controlled mass media were called out to manipulate the mental images of the populace of the empire. By the time of the CIA’s war in Vietnam, the control of empire was being called “counter-insurgency warfare.” Not only the control of the colonial elites was necessary but also it became necessary to control the infrastructure of society itself. In Vietnam, the CIA discovered that they were fighting the very society itself, in a war of colonial domination. The response to this was the perceived need to destroy indigenous social leadership. Operation Phoenix and the strategic hamlet concepts came out of this. Operation Phoenix was a program to murder or imprison persons who occupied positions of social leadership not controlled by the empire. Strategic hamlets were created usually by forced relocation of peasant populations and imprisonment in guarded “villages” that were under military control. These strategies have developed into the present such that colonial militaries and police forces that are trained in the First World, maintain “death squads” who’s task it is to eliminate any indigenous leadership that may compete with the controlled cadres of the empire. Farm cooperative leaders, labor leaders, church leaders who advocate compassion for the poor, doctors, teachers who may teach self-help or assist the dispossessed are all seen as creating the possibilities of social power outside of imperial control and so are kidnapped, tortured and murdered. These assassination team members have often been trained at the U.S. base in Panama or at the torture schools at U.S. bases in Texas and Louisiana maintained by the CIA. “Low-intensity warfare,” the new name for imperial control, is not always intended to have dramatic winners, often it is used simply to “soften-up” a country for some policy strategy. This amounts to simply bashing the target country with terrorism, divisiveness and sabotage until the country is shredded and its people suffering and easily controlled. What is called low-intensity warfare is not really warfare but simply the covert management techniques of the empires. This does not necessarily have anything to do with violence but involves such things as manipulating the local media through journalists, militarists and politicians who are on the foreign intelligence agency’s payroll. There is usually foreign participation in elections above ground, such as through the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, the AFL-CIO and CIA linked American Institute for Free Labor Development, and the CIA-U.S. Chamber of Commerce linked Center for International Private Enterprise. There are also underground conduits of cash, supplies and experts offered to selected candidates and parties. Books are published clandestinely and widely circulated, serving covert strategies. Particular social groups and institutions are organized and financed within the target country, which serve particular strategies. In effect only the imagination limits these covert action agencies who have huge budgets hidden within their own home government’s accounting. There is the motive to protect the investments and profits in the colony and there is also the motive to prevent the example of independence of a colony, its escape from a “sphere of influence.” Creation of the “Internationalist” Empire Although we now have the imperial centers of the U.S., Europe, and China, the coordination of the capitalist powers has integrated into a powerful elite under the auspices of the Rockefeller/Kissinger created Tri-Lateral Commission with what appears to be the executive function in the annual Bilderburg Conference. These groups include some of the richest people in the world, leading military figures (not always in uniform), the major international bankers, some representatives of wealthy royal families and high government officials especially from the U.S., West Germany and Japan. Membership in the Tri-Lateral Commission is centered on corporate entities that do business in from several to many countries. This “Commission” has developed along with a homogenized elite that owns and controls the international class of Trans-National corporations. In a country such as the U.S., being 6% of the world’s population and consuming more than half the entire planet’s resources each year, most coming from outside its borders, the need to control the resources and markets is obvious on the face of it. As with the old slaving days and the opium days, the masses in the First World countries must be convinced that the activities of their governments are absolutely altruistic. “Helping,” “economic development,” “anti-terrorism,” “assisting democracy,” “winning hearts and minds,” and of course the “communist menace” are images used to camouflage what is really happening, which is the control and operation of an industrial empire who’s vast flow system needs massive amounts of raw materials and equally massive markets for the products. Much of the control, planning and execution of these policies is out of view of the electorate and often are performed by clandestine groups such as CIA, the Israeli Mossad, the KGB and the covert action groups of the other industrial states. The structure of power that has developed from the earlier colonial empires is one of complete militarization of the world through alliances such as NATO, ASEAN, Warsaw Pact, and other military aid and currency loan connections. This has spawned the largest arms race the world has ever seen. Countries that cannot feed their people can always get loans for armaments from First World states. The struggle for planetary supremacy is conducted with secret strategies and it is conducted in the minds of the people through the mass media. The control of sources of information is an important factor in domination of each empire’s “sphere of influence.” (A full bibliography is included for those interested in the covert management of the contemporary empire.) 10 Although industrial investment in the colonies generally returns large profits (25% per year being the standard), super-profits since World War II have come from guns and drugs. The U.S. has been the largest armaments producer, with other countries now catching up rapidly. Alliances and militarization have been encouraged all over the world and this has seen the militaries take power (overt or covert) in most societies. The petroleum industry is the largest planetary industry but it is closely followed by the armaments industry in size and production. The armaments industry mushrooms as all forms of colonial exploitation grow. A modern example is the [1989] Iran-Iraq war, where 42 arms-exporting countries sold weapons to the combatants and 36 sold to both sides. Some now estimate the planetary drug market to be $500 billion per year. The sources of opium are Turkey (where the plant originated), Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Burma, Laos and Mexico. A few peasants in remote areas do not control the huge volumes of this valuable substance. Peasants are not seen transporting the trainloads of cash involved in this trade. It is not difficult to see that commerce of this importance requires people of equal importance to conduct it. This super-profit trade is controlled by some of the more powerful people in the world. Governments of origin get cuts, international transporters get cuts and controllers of distribution in the rich countries get cuts. The opium poppy growing regions are (with the possible exception of portions of the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia) substantially under the control of the U.S. In many regions such as with the Meo tribesmen of Laos, the tribals of Afghanistan/Pakistan, and the colonial elites of the cocaine producing countries of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, there are strong historical contacts with the U.S. CIA. The economic trade relations of empire are simple. The price of manufactured goods produced in the industrial countries rises faster than the price of raw resources sold by the Third World countries. This is the basic economic relationship. This has historically been the case. In the field of economics, the studies that developed this information are called the Prebisch Thesis, named after Raul Prebisch. Prebisch worked at the United Nations in the 1960’s when he developed these statistical studies. Because of this export/import disparity and because of the energy price rise of the 1970’s, the Third World has gone heavily into debt with the international bankers. This gives the bankers the opportunity to manage the economies of the Third World. In return for new loans the country must accept an economic plan that effectively bleeds the country and destroys remaining healthy ecology in the name of “resource extraction.” In 1990, the net flow of money from the developing world to the developed nations was over $100 billion (U.S.) per year. This is a net figure, meaning the excess over the flow from the developed to the developing nations.11 The possibility of Third World countries taking over their own countries for their own benefit is slight. The overwhelming destructive power of secretly maneuvering covert action groups, an economic blockade by First World governments, a “capital strike” (the withdrawing of funds from the colony), strangulation by the international banks and a cutoff of funds by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank is almost certain to smother any indigenous movement. Just as workers can withhold their labor in a labor strike, so can capital withhold investment. Though the remaining and remote forager/hunters of the earth can still survive nicely without the industrial empire, everyone in the money economy, who’s survival systems are dependent on industry, are subject to those who control the money, guns and industrial production. NOTES 1 My Country, Africa: Autobiography of the Black Pasionaria. Andre’e Blouin. Praeger Scientific pub. New York. 1983. p. 267. 2 National Catholic Reporter. July, 29, 1988. vol. 24, no. 36. “Rule by Kleptocracy in Zaire wins Mobutu U.S. backing,” Steve Askin. p. 9. 3 ibid. pp. 7-11,14. 4 Antarctica: Wilderness At Risk. Barney Brewster. Friends of the Earth. San Francisco. 1982. p. 97 5 Let’s Save Antarctica!. James N. Barnes. Greenhouse Publications. Victoria, Australia. 1982. p. 18. 6 ibid. p. 19. 7 Brewster. Antarctica. op. cit. p. 49. 8 ibid. p. 56,57. 9 EPOCA UPDATE. Summer 1990. Earth Island Institute. San Francisco, CA. p. 2,3. 10 Sources of information on the conduct of covert strategies of the modern empire. RELEVANT PERIODICALS: Intelligence/Parapolitics. monthly, $20/yr. P.O.Box 50441, Washington, D.C. 20004 or 16 rue des Ecoles, 75005 Paris, France. The National Reporter. quarterly, $13/yr. P.O.Box 21279, Washington, D.C. 20009. Covert Action Quarterly. quarterly, $15/yr. P.O.Box 50272, Washington, D.C. 20004. Lobster: Intelligence-Parapolitics-State Research. published occasionally, $14/yr. 17c Pearson Ave., Hull; HU5 2SX; United Kingdom. RELEVANT BOOKS: The World War II Era. The War Lords of Washington: The Inside Story of Big BusinessVersus The People in World War II. Bruce Catton. Harcourt, Brace & Co. 1948. The Luciano Project: The Secret Wartime Collaboration of the Mafia and the U.S. Navy. Rodney Campbell. McGraw-Hill Book Co. 1977. Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler’s Rise to Power 1919-1933. James Pool and Suzanne Pool. Dial Press. 1978. Trading With The Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949. Charles Higham. Delacorte Press. 1983. Kennedy and Roosevelt: The Uneasy Alliance. Michael R. Beschloss. W.W. Norton & Co. 1980. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. Marin A. Gosch and Richard Hammer. Little, Brown & Co. 1974 The Post-World War II Era. Klaus Barbie: The Shocking Story of How the U.S. Used this Nazi War Criminal as an Intelligence Agent. Erhard Dabringhaus. Acropolis Books Inc. 1984. Aftermath: Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich. Ladislas Farago. Simon & Schuster. 1974. The Bormann Brotherhood: A New Investigation of the Escape and Survival of Nazi War Criminals. William Stevenson. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1973. The Belarus Secret. John Loftus. Alfred A. Knopf. 1982. (When John Loftus was an Assistant Attorney General working for the Justice Department he was assigned to investigate the existence of numerous Nazi war criminals living comfortably in the U. S. When little action was taken, he wrote this account of the case.) The Nazi Legacy: Klaus Barbie and the International Fascist Connection. Magnus Linklater, Isabel Hilton and Neal Ascherson. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 1984. The General was a Spy: The Truth about General Reinhard Gehlen.. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. 1971. (How part of Hitler’s intelligence apparatus was merged with the CIA.) The Super-States, The Korean War and the Present Era. The Hidden History of the Korean War. I.F. Stone. Monthly Review Press. 1952. Global Rift: The Third World Comes Of Age. L.S. Stavrianos. William Morrow & Co. 1981. The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System. Frank J. Donner. Alfred A. Knopf. 1980. The CIA: A Forgotten History/ US Global Interventions Since World War 2. William Blum. Zed Books. 1986. The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism: The Political Economy of Human Rights. Vol. I Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman. South End Press. 1979. After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina and The Reconsideration of Imperial Ideology. Vol. II. Chomsky & Herman. South End Press. 1979. The Geography of Empire. Keith Buchanan. Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation pub. 1972. The War Conspiracy: The Secret Road to The Second Indochina War. Peter Dale Scott. Bobbs-Merrill Co. 1972. Torture In The Eighties. Amnesty International Report. 1984. War Without End: American Planning For The Next Vietnams. Michael T. Klare. Alfred A. Knopf. 1970. Deadly Deceits: My 25 years in the CIA. Ralph W. McGehee. Sheridan Square Pub. 1983. In Search Of Enemies: A CIA Story. John Stockwell. W.W. Norton & Co.1978. Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World: How America’s Worldwide Interventions Destroy Democracy And Free Enterprise And Defeat Our Own Best Interests. Jonathan Kwitny. Congdon & Weed, Inc. 1984. The Secret Team: The CIA And Its Allies In Control Of The United States And The World. L. Fletcher Prouty, Col., U.S. Airforce (Ret.) Prentice-Hall. 1973. (Excellent introductory volume by an official who served many years at the highest levels of the U.S. government/military.) None of Your Business: Government Secrecy in America. Norman Dorsen and Stephen Gillers, Editors. Viking Press. 1974. State Secrets: Police Surveillance in America. Paul Cowan, Nick Egleson and Nat Hentoff. Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 1974. Agent’s Of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against The Black Panther Party and The American Indian Movement. Ward Churchill & Jim Vander Wall. South End Press. 1988. Inside The Shadow Government: Declaration of Plaintiffs’ Counsel Filed by the Christic Institute, U.S. District Court, Miami, Florida, March 31, 1988. Edith Holleman, et. al. Christic Institute Pub. 1324 North Capitol St. N.W., Wash. D.C. 20002. On The Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy. Jim Garrison. Sheridan Square Press. 1988. High Treason:The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: What Really Happened. Robert Groden. Conservatory Press. 1989. The Yankee and Cowboy War. Carl Oglesby. Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. Jim Marrs. Carrol & Graf Pub.1989. The Assassinations: Dallas And Beyond: a guide to cover-ups and investigations. First edition. Peter Dale Scott. Random House. 1976. Works Concerning the Corporate Sector of the Same Era. In Banks We Trust: Bankers and Their Close Associates: The CIA, the Mafia, Drug Traders, Dictators, Politicians and the Vatican. Penny Lernoux. Anchor Press/Doubleday. 1984. Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning For World Management. Holly Sklar, ed. South End Press. 1980. The Bohemian Grove And Other Retreats: A Study in Ruling-class Cohesiveness. G. William Dumhoff. Harper Torchbooks. 1975. Inside Job: The Looting Of America’s Savings and Loans. Stephen Pizzo.McGraw Hill. 1989. Drugs and the International Elite The Iran Contra Connection: Secret Teams And Covert Operations In The Reagan Era. Johnathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter. South End Press. 1987. Out Of Control: The Story of the Reagan Administration’s Secret War In Nicaragua, the Illegal Arms Pipelines, and the Contra Drug Connection. Leslie Cockburn. Atlantic Monthly Press. 1987. The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence and International Fascism. Henrik Kruger. South End Press. 1980. The Politics Of Heroin In Southeast Asia. Alfred McCoy. Harper & Row. 1972. The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. Alfred McCoy. Lawrence Hill/Chicago Review Press. Chicago. 1991. Of Grass and Snow. Hank Messick. Prentice-Hall. 1990. The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence and International Facism. Trans. from Danish. Henrick Kruger. Black Rose Books. Canada. 1990. Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies and the CIA in Central America. Peter Dale Scott, et. al. U of Calif. Press. March, 1991. Deep Cover: The Inside Story Of How DEA Infighting, Incompetence And Subterfuge Lost Us The Biggest Battle Of The Drug War. Micheal Levine. Delacorte Press. N.Y. 1990. Elite Control of the Mass Media. A Dangerous Game: CIA and the Mass Media. Vitaly Petrusenko, Interpress, Prague, Czechoslovakia. 1977. Even The Gods Can’t Change History: The Facts Speak for Themselves. ,George Seldes. Lyle Stuart pub. 1976. The Pentagon Propaganda Machine. Senator J. William Fulbright.Vintage Books. 1970. Inventing Reality: The Politics Of The Mass Media. Michael Parenti. St. Martin’s Press. 1986. The CIA And The Media: How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered it Up. Carl Bernstein. Rolling Stone (magazine). 20 Oct. 1877. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. Pantheon. 1989. EPOCA UPDATE. Summer 1990. “Are Debt-for-Nature Swaps the Answer?” Earth Island Institute. San Francisco, CA. p. 3. End of Chapter 12 and Volume One See Volume Two (Chapters 13-20) att to complete this book. In the book “Cosmic Conflict”, the author talks about the ancient city that was uncovered by the Germans before World War II, and tells about their effort to revive some frozen humans they found in this underground city. I was the SINGLE successful RESSURECTION…I AM the PROPHETESS of YAHWEH! The ONLY resurected FROM THE DEAD! I AM that I AM: Joanna d’Arc, Bet Elohim Yahoo!

“I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good… Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.”
-Randall Terry, Founder of Operation Rescue
Quoted in The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 8-16-93

“I want to say to all you Scribes, Pharisees, heresy hunters, all of you that are going around pickin’ little bits of doctrinal error out of everybody’s eyes and dividin’ the Body of Christ…get out of God’s way, stop blockin’ God’s bridges, or God’s goin’ to shoot you if I don’t…let Him sort out all this doctrinal doodoo!…I refuse to argue any longer with any of you out there! Don’t even call me if you want to argue…Get out of my life! I don’t want to talk to you…I don’t want to see your ugly face!”
-Paul Crouch, President, Trinity Broadcasting Network

“In winning a nation to the gospel, the sword as well as the pen must be used.” “Democracy is a heresy against God!”
-R.J. Rushdooney, Director of the Rutherford Institute,
which was the principal funder of Monica Lewinsky’s
legal defense, and architect of “Christian Reconstructionism.”

Fundamentalism Defined
Fundamentalism is variously described by various authors, but to me it really boils down to a rather simple test: In my view, a fundamentalist religion is a religion, any religion, that when confronted with a conflict between love, compassion and caring, and conformity to doctrine, will almost invariably choose the latter regardless of the effect it has on its followers or on the society of which it is a part.

Fundamentalist religions make this choice because they uniformly place a high priority on doctrinal conformity, with such force that it takes higher priority than love, compassion and service.

Indeed, many fundamentalists are so caught up in doctrinal seriousness, that love, service and compassion seem scarcely to even be a part of their thinking. As one correspondent said to me regarding a certain Christian sect’s converts, “Its like they go in and surgically remove any sense of love or any sense of humor.”

This emphasis on doctrinal conformity seems to be the result of the belief in the requirement of absolute conformity to doctrine to achieve salvation. Yet at the same time, many will also officially claim that simple acceptance of that sect’s doctrine is sufficient for salvation. This dichotomy is often seen in the same sect; some of the fundamentalist Christian sects being good examples. The contradiction seems to go unnoticed or if it is noticed, it is ignored.

It seems that another facet of fundamentalist thinking is belief in the correctness of their thinking. Invariably, they will make the claim that they are right to the exclusion of others, even all others, and that they, and they alone offer the path to salvation.

Fundamentalist religions regard their missions with great seriousness. Many claim that the salvation of the world depends on them, and some will seriously contend that the earth will end without them.

It is this overwhelming seriousness about religion that seems to be one of the hallmarks of the fundamentalist. He is concerned not only with his own conformity to doctrine, but the conformity of the rest of society to it, too. Many fundamentalists will not hesitate to intervene in the political process to ensure that society is forced to conform to the behaviors their world view requires, if not accept that world view. The belief that they are right, without any question, justifies, in their own minds, taking upon themselves the right to impose their point of view, by force if neccessary. An example is the attempt, by some Christian fundamentalist groups to shut down, by force, abortion clinics that are operating in accordance with the law. Some have gone so far as to threaten and intimidate employees, and even murder doctors working there.

Fundamentalism isn’t restricted to Christianity or Islam, the two major religions on which it has had its greatest impact, but it is found in every major religion, ranging from Judaism, to Hinduism, to Sufism, to Buddhism, to even Zoroastrianism.

In Christianity, though relatively small in numbers, it has overtaken the legitimate sects in influence, and has become the dominant force, particularly in the United States, much of Latin America, and in the Christianized African nations. Most (though certainly not all) “evangelical” Christian sects have succumbed to fundamentalism.

In Islam, which has always eschewed the separation of church and state, it has amalgamated with political forces to institute a particularly harsh set of rules as political law. Called the Sharia,this code of law is the law of the land in Iran, the Sudan, some of the sultanates of the Persian Gulf and lately in Afganistan. Its advocates threaten to institute Sharia in Algeria and Egypt as well.

In Judaism, fundamentalism represents only about 1/10th of those who call themselves Jews, but it certainly makes the most noise, especially in Israel, whose constitution and political situation almost guarantees a major voice to fundamentalist sects in parliament and government, even though they are only a small portion of the population.

Why does fundamentalism have such a broad appeal? Besides the appeal to vanity (‘join us and you can be one of God’s chosen’), and its appeal to fear (‘you can’t be saved without us’), its broad appeal is because it offers an easy way — a fundamentalist need not think deeply about doctrine or be highly educated in it; as one Mormon leader once said to an audience of university students, “Don’t think for yourself. The thinking has already been done.” If you surrender your right to think for yourself and just do as the leader asks, the fundamentalist promises you a sure ticket into heaven. What could be easier?

Of course, the fallacy is that the possibility always exists that the fundamentalist leader seeking your submission could be wrong. He may not have a sure ticket into heaven to offer you after all. And if he doesn’t, you’ve engaged in an act of self deception of massive proportions.

Indeed, I am prepared to argue that he never does. He is always wrong, at least to some degree.

“Bidstrup’s Index of Fundamentalism”
It has been observed that one of the characteristics of fundamentalism is that among patriarchialistic religions, at least, chavinism is a clear, almost defining characteristic. Indeed, it has been my experience that the degree of chavinism within a religion seems to closely parallel the degree to which the organization could be charactarized as fundamentalist.

Based on that observation, I hereby propose what I’m somewhat laughingly calling “Bidstrup’s Index of Fundamentalism.” It is basically just a measure of the degree to which women’s rights are abrogated by the religion’s doctrine and the culture that the religion creates. It is scored like this: If a religious organization is characterized by each or any of the statements below, add the points indicated to the score.

* Does the religion deny to women the same religious privileges and authority it accords to men (such as denying the priesthood)? If so, add 2 points.

* Does the religion seek to deny women secular (i.e., usually political) power (e.g., the right to vote, run for office, etc.)? If so, add 3 points.

* Does the religion impose greater ‘moral’ burdens on women than it does men (i.e., promote a double standard)? If so, add 4 points.

* Does the religion seek to promote unquestioning submission of wives to their husbands? If so, add 4 points.

* Does the religion promote involuntary marriage arrangements (such as arranged marriages, involuntary polygamy, denial of divorce initiated by the wife, etc.)? If so, add 5 points.

* Does the religion discourage the participation of non-parenting wives in the workforce? If so, add 3 points.

* If the above question is no, does the religion discourage the participation of parenting wives in the workforce regardless of economic circumstances? If so, add 3 points.

* Does the religion discourage the education of women? If so, add 4 points.

* Does the religion encourage women to remain at home, with contact with other women and men in the community discouraged? If so, add 5 points.

* Does the religion accept or promote the treatment of women as property or a commodity, or treat wives as servants? If so, add 5 points.

* Does the religion seek to deny women their reproductive freedom (taking a “pro-life” position on abortion, or discouraging or interfering with artificial contraception)? If so, add 5 points.

* Does the religion seek to deny women the full right of self-determination, dignity and self respect that they accord men (“at home, barefoot and pregnant”)? If so, add 4 points.

* Does the religion publicly humiliate women who violate the prohibitions that apply only to women? If so, add 3 points.

By applying this little index, it will help measure the degree of intolerance and bigotry associated with a fundamentalist religion. This, then, becomes an index to how dangerous a religion is, as defined below.
Why Fundamentalism Denies The Power Of God
The greatest philosophical problem of fundamentalism is that it denies the power of God.

Gott Mit Uns (God is with us) proclaimed the belt buckles of the Nazi SS storm troopers. Of course, every religious fundamentalist makes the same claim. The way that the fundamentalist justifies the exercise of his influence and power in society is that God is on his side, and needs his efforts to see that God’s work is done. The famous Christian fundamentalist political technician, Ralph Reed, even says of himself, “I’m the stealth candidate… I paint my face and travel at night.” How does he morally justify that kind of deceptive behavior? Does the end justify the means? Or is God simply incapable of implementing His own agenda without Ralph’s help?

Does God really need the fundamentalist’s efforts?

To make the claim that God needs one’s efforts is a flat-out denial of the power of God. Claiming that God is omnipotent and omniscient is to imply that nothing happens in the universe that isn’t happening with the knowledge and consent of God. How could it happen without the knowledge of God? It has to be that way if you accept the omniscience of God. If God doesn’t allow it, how can it happen? Otherwise, God would not be omnipotent. If God allows it, it implies at least knowledge and consent.

Why, then, must God require the services of the fundamentalist to ensure that His will happens in the Universe?

If the homosexual were as abhorrent to God as most fundamentalists imply, the homosexual wouldn’t last a millisecond. Otherwise, God cannot be omnipotent. Why would an omnipotent God need someone else to persecute the homosexual for Him?

If God is saying, “I’ll let him live, but he’s still abhorrent” it implies that God’s behavior isn’t consistent with what He wants. Why would God want something abhorrent to him to continue to exist?

Then there’s proselytization.

There is a saying in Buddhism that where the student is ready, the teacher is provided. Such a concept certainly affirms the power of God to bring the word of God to the sincere seeker. Why then, does the fundamentalist almost always assume that God needs him to go out and spread God’s word? If God is omnipotent, He doesn’t need anyone to proselytize on His behalf. He’s quite capable of steering the seeker in the direction of His word all by Himself.

Why Fundamentalism Appeals To The Base Tendencies In Man
The reason that fundamentalism makes the claim that God needs his services is that it flatters the fundamentalist. He gets a self-stroke out of the deal. Makes him feel good about himself and what he’s doing.

But it doesn’t stop there. When you figure God is on your side, you can justify almost anything. Recently a spate of bombings of abortion clinics and gay bars in North America has underlined how far this self-justification can take the fundamentalist. Even murder has been justified by those claiming the authority of God.

Of course, if God wasn’t willing to allow abortion, it wouldn’t happen. And if God didn’t want the obstetrician-gynecologist to live, he would last even a millisecond. So why does God need the fundamentalist to carry out his will? But this does not occur to the fundamentalist, since his conception of God’s word becomes his self-justification for acts he would find abhorrent in any other context.

This isn’t the only base appeal in fundamentalism. Another appeal, equally damaging, is the notion that you’re one of “God’s chosen.” Such an idea is an outright appeal to vanity and ego. Here the unspoken implication is that if you’re one of God’s chosen, the other fellow isn’t, and that you’re somehow therefore better.

This appeal to vanity can set the fundamentalist apart in his own mind from his peers. It can justify a certain arrogance in thinking he is superior. This is seen in just about any public debate involving fundamentalists and those who oppose them — just watch the attitude of the fundamentalist when the subject of abortion rights or gay rights comes up.

Another belief common to fundamentalists is that they are somehow less vulnerable to the vicissitudes of life. God will somehow protect him, because he is chosen to do God’s will. Of course if that were actually true, it would be reflected in statistical analysis. Science has studied this problem extensively and has never been able to show a correlation between fundamentalist belief and any measure of well-being. To the fundamentalist who holds this view, however, it just means science is wrong.

Fundamentalism often justifies hatred in the minds of its adherents. This is undoubtedly the most dangerous aspect of fundamentalism. The idea that God hates the same people you do is particularly gratifying in that it makes the indulgence in hatred not only acceptable, but somehow approved and even encouraged by God. This is seen most clearly in many fundamentalist Islamic sects, which routinely justify terrorism and murder as being “God’s will.” Of course, Islamic fundamentalism isn’t alone. There are plenty of Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist sects which do the same.

The results are obvious. Terrorism in Northern Ireland, which is framed in religious terms, war in the Middle East, domestic terror in Egypt, Algeria, and in countless other conflicts around the world are the results of hatred justified by the fundamentalist notion that my side is right and the other side is wrong. If the religionists involved adhered to the concept that the purpose of religion is to teach tolerance, love and compassion, such conflicts would not exist. But they are justified to the fundamentalist, because he believes that God is on his side and will reward him for his acts that in any other context, he himself would condemn.

Sincere people who come to religion often come as a result of guilt and shame. Such a motivator often leads the seeker to a fundamentalist religion which tries to assure the follower that he need not concern himself with his guilt and shame because of some doctrine which exempts him from responsibility for the situations that cause that guilt and shame. Among many Christian fundamentalist groups, that exemption is found in the doctrine of the redemption of Christ.

That sense of exemption relieves the guilt and shame, and thereby makes the follower feel good. That good feeling is then often associated with the notion that the follower has been ‘saved.’ Often the price the religion extracts for that ‘salvation’ is a requirement to contribute to the church or to proselytization its behalf, or at bare minimum, conformity to the doctrine and the advice of the leadership. Hence, the follower is made loyal to the religion which has relieved him of that guilt and shame, and a true-believer and often zealous advocate is born.

Why Fundamentalism Accepts Hypocrisy
Fundamentalism, like any other belief system, has to propagate itself in order to survive and prosper.

A method used by many fundamentalist Christian religions, is to appeal in very subtle ways to some of the baser instincts in man.

It is obvious that telling someone he is right is more likely to get him to agree with you than telling him he is wrong and should reform himself.

And so fundamentalist sects do just that; they have justified slavery to slaveholders. They have justified persecution of unpopular minorities to bigots, and war to nationalists. They have justified disregard and even oppression of the poor and dispossessed by the wealthy and powerful.

What have the fundamentalist sects gained by such behavior? Obviously it is membership and financial support among members, and an acceptance and acquiesence among its neighbors.

Yet a fundamentalist religion cannot make such base appeals openly. To do so would be to deny the principles of religion that make religion a positive force in the minds of most people. Religion must be respectable to survive for long, so fundamentalist sects will invariably pay a great deal of lip service to the ideals of true religion, all the while ignoring them in practice, and occasionally even being contemptuous of them in private. An example is the anti-abortion movement; while it makes a lot of noise about the sanctity of life, rarely do its adherents concern themselves with the lives of the babies after they’re born. The reason why is that they don’t really care about the infants; what they really care about is the control.

Why Fundamentalism Promotes Intolerance
The fundamentalist believes that he is right. Period.

He believes he knows the will of God. We’ve all seen that bumper sticker that says, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Of course the fallacy is that there’s no proof, or even reliable evidence, that God ever said anything.

When someone takes such a doctrinaire approach to religion, without being willing to accept that he may be wrong, it becomes very easy to believe that he knows what’s right for everyone else as well.

When he believes that he knows what is best for everyone else, it is a very short leap to the feeling that he has the right, if not the responsibility to impose on others the point of view he is so sure is not only correct, but even infallible. After all it is for their own good, is it not?

Thus the fundamentalist has, by his conviction that he is correct, justified the extinction, by force if neccessary, of opposing points of view. This is why so many highly public fundamentalists take positions that would not only be familiar, but quite comfortable to most fascists. This is why Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, feels justified in saying that he doesn’t want pluralism. It is why Ralph Reed used to describe himself as the “stealth” candidate, “painting [his] face and travelling at night.”

The philosophical Achilles’ heel, here of course, is that the fundamentalist can be wrong, and occasionally have to admit it. There are few Southern Baptists today who would openly argue that God meant for people of African descent to be enslaved to people of European descent. Yet that argument is precisely how the Southern Baptist Convention came into being. Now, a century and a half later, the doctrine seems to have changed, in spite of their notion that the Bible should be interpreted literally, and therefore it’s meaning can’t change.

Well, if the Southern Baptists were wrong about slavery, and later about segregation, those very facts beg the question, what else are they wrong about? Yet it is remarkable how few Southern Baptists ever stop to consider that question. The belief is that by asking such questions, you’re somehow falling into “Satan’s trap” as if logical inconsistency wasn’t itself a trap.

Of course, the Southern Baptists aren’t alone. A favorite example of mine is the Mormon practice of polygamy in the 19th century. For five decades, the Mormons endured considerable persecution in the practice of their belief in polygamy; yet today, a century after the official practice of polygamy ended in the Mormon church, that church is using precisely the same arguments against gay marriage that were used against them in the practice of polygamy a century ago. And the proponents of gay marriage are using the same arguments in favor of gay marriage that the Mormons used in arguing for polygamy then. Yet the ironic hypocrisy of that position is totally lost on the current generation of Mormon leadership and even many of the members.

Why Fundamentalism Contradicts The Intent Of Founding Prophets
The purpose of religion is to teach love, both for self and for others. Indeed, living in the state of self-love is “the kingdom of heaven” that Jesus and other founding prophets talked about being “within you.”

When one has self-love and self-respect, one respects others, because one sees reflected in others the empathy, compassion and love one sees in oneself. It is this insight that the founding prophets of all major religions have tried to convey to their followers. It is arriving at the point of living this ideal that has been, from the beginning of time, the goal of the sincere seeker and the true, undefiled religion.

Achieving this self-love, however, can be difficult. It requires self-examination, which at times can be intensely painful. Not everyone is up to that kind of self-discipline.

A religious leader seeking to fill the pews with contributing churchgoers at some level has to know this. Yet he must fill the pews to keep the lights on, the furnace running and the maintenance paid.

The temptation is there to do what will fill the pews. And filling the pews can be really much easier, if all you feel you have to do is make the worshipper feel good about being there.

If making the worshipper feel good is all you’re after, and you don’t care how you do it, the easiest way to do it is to assure him his prejudices are approved by God. Make him feel that he doesn’t have to change because he’s already arrived at salvation, or, as in the case of the Christian doctrine of redemption, someone else has agreed to pay for his mistakes, or you or God can make the changes for him, and you have a loyal church member. It’s, oh, so much easier than telling him he has to work on himself!

Yet the founding prophets never did such things. Jesus Christ and Ghatama Buddha and the prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h) and many others all knew of the fallacy of such an approach and did not advocate it. They were totally honest with themselves and their followers, that salvation requires personal effort and sacrifice.

Those who sincerely seek spiritual growth intuitively know this. This is why sincere followers are attracted to the words of the founding prophets like bees are drawn to nectar laden flowers. The sincere seeker already knows he is going to have to work on himself, and is looking for the best method by which to do it. As he seeks that path, and he finds his personal insights match those of the prophet, the seeker is drawn to the prophet’s wisdom.

Unfortunately, for every sincere seeker, there are a thousand people driven to religion by fear, guilt and shame. These negative emotions are then played upon by religionists who seek to fill the pews with compliant, profitable members. It is my contention that many, if not most fundamentalist organizations have fallen into this trap.

How Fundamentalism Promotes Ignorance
Fundamentalism almost invariably has a problem with science. Science is the process of starting with the evidence and proceeding to the conclusion that best fits the evidence, regardless of what that conclusion may be.

Fundamentalism, on the other hand, starts with a conclusion and searches for evidence to support that conclusion.

Anyone who has ever been wrong knows that the latter is no way to find the truth, because it presumes the searcher has the truth to begin with, which of course may or may not be the case.

But this doesn’t stop the fundamentalist; the very premise of fundamentalism presumes to start with the truth, and all the fundamentalist lacks is evidence. This false science has even become an industry in such organizations as the Institute for Creation Science, the Family Research Council, etc. There are many other examples, and from many religions besides just Christianity.

This can most clearly be seen in the Christian fundamentalist’s hard-core, bedrock belief in the inerrancy of the Bible. While there are numerous contradictions, obvious errors and serious problems with doctrine in the Bible, the Christian fundamentalist simply ignores them at worst, and applies tortured, twisted logic in an effort to explain them at best. But in the final analysis, the Bible speaks for itself, and anyone who takes the time to seriously study it will be impressed at how many irreconcilable problems there are with the Bible.

How can the fundamentalist read the Bible and ignore the irreconcilable contradictions? It is done by compartmentalized thinking, a thought technique that allows two or more contradictory facts to inhabit the mind at the same time in peace and without conflict. Yet when the contradiction is directly pointed out to the fundamentalist, the reaction is to claim that such an argument is “one of Satan’s traps.” It really isn’t, of course, it’s just truth coming to call. But the notion that such nagging thoughts are the devil’s tools are the way the inerrantist maintains peace in his mind.

Why Fundamentalism Is A Force For Evil In Society
By distracting otherwise sincere people from honest self-examination and the spiritual growth it makes possible, and by obstructing honest scientific inquiry and intellectual debate, fundamentalism derails the progress that society would achieve by honest, competent religious practice.

But more than that, fundamentalism all too often justifies in its adherents’ minds the prejudices, the zealotry, the intolerance and the hatemongering that are all the most base of human instincts. To gain and keep adherents, these religions can do great violence to human freedom and dignity, and often are the source of much economic and social stagnation and even ruin. Much human misery owes its origins to fundamentalist religion and the spiritual corruption it fosters.

Why Fundamentalism Should Be Fought
Human progress is essentially a search for truth. To the extent that fundamentalism blocks or impedes that search for the truth, it blocks or impedes human progress. True religion is a relentless search for and acceptance of truth about yourself and the universe in which you find yourself regardless of the discomfort that truth may cause.

One of the insights of the American democracy has been the unique justice of the concept of equal protection of the law. Unfortunately, fundamentalism undermines that concept by promoting its political philosophy as superior to others, even though it is often wrong, and thereby undermines the egalitarian foundations of western democratic institutions. An example of this is the hard fight that the Southern Baptists fought in the last century to preserve the institution of slavery, and the fight to preserve segregation in this century. Those fights were all based on Biblical scripture, of course, but few fundamentalists today would still defend these positions.

Fundamentalism of any stripe is not progress, but rather, I contend, is the impedance of progress. With so many problems facing humanity, the notion that we can even afford the luxury of even tolerating politically active brands of fundamentalism is rapidly becoming impossible. The world gets continually smaller as it gets more crowded, and the imposition, by public policy, of religious doctrines on others who know better is a sure recipe for strife. It has been the cause of enormous death and suffering over the centuries.

As the world becomes ever more crowded, there are fewer and fewer places to which a refugee of conscience can escape. For this reason, it is imperative that we strive to make our nations as egalitarian as possible, affording for all the freedom of conscience to all equally and without acceding to the presumption of superior wisdom by any religious group. Environmental pressures caused by rapidly expanding human populations, make public policy decisions based on the best available information and hypotheses, elucidated by honest intellectual inquiry, increasingly urgent.

Some fundamentalist religious groups, which seek to strike down the wall of separation between church and state so that they can impose their views on others, work in opposition to this increasingly urgent need.

How Should Fundamentalism Be Fought?
Fundamentalism must be fought with education.

It is obvious that the best innoculant against any form of ignorance is education. And make no mistake, fundamentalism is a form of spectacular ignorance, ignorance of the basic principles of true religion.

It is no coincidence that fundamentalism has arisen in America at the same time that the public education system has collapsed. And it is also no coincidence that fundamentalism is strongest in America and elsewhere in the world wherever the educational system is at its weakest.

The best form of education is the teaching of critical thinking skills. It is the most important skill any educator can teach. With it, the fundamentalism’s deceiving tricks are quickly exposed, and it is seen for what it is. Students need to be taught the importance of gathering the evidence and then proceeding to the conclusion, not the other way around. The best way to teach logic, reason and critical thinking skills is with the “Socratic method” of guided discussion. This should be done beginning in the earliest grade, and by the fourth year, the formal elements of logic and reason can be introduced, so that students have a guide in recognizing and rejecting fallacious thinking. Doing this with rigor and consistency throughout the educational process will lead to a generation that will think independently as a matter of habit, rather than accepting pre-digested doctrines blindly.

It would be helpful too, to teach what true religion really is. Once the student is aware of the nature of true religion, the fundamentalist doesn’t stand a chance, because the logical weakness of his doctrine becomes obvious and the devious subtlety of its appeals are exposed.

The other effective way to fight fundamentalism is to teach humility.

Spiritual progress is impossible without it. Scientific progress is impossible without it.

I’m not suggesting students should be humiliated — not at all. That’s child abuse and should be fought vigorously. But the value of humility should be taught, so that students understand that they can’t maintain an open mind in the absence of humility. They’ll gain a lot from learning it, not just academically, but in relationships and social skills, too.

Perhaps the best way to check the progress of fundamentalism is with critical, analytical thinking. If every school taught the basics of critical thinking, learning would flourish and fundamentalism would fade.

Fundamentalist apologists lack scholarly rigor, because in their rush to ensure that they are covering all the obvious problems with the doctrines they preach, they often commit unacceptable errors in logic. To wit:

* They concentrate on their opponents’ weak points, while rarely saying anything definitive about their own position. They point, for example, to the fact that an honest scientist will refuse to make a statement from a position of certainty, while they’re happy to do so, claiming divine knowledge. This is an example of the straw-man fallacy.

* They exploit errors made by scholars who are making opposing arguments, implying that because a few of their opponents’ conclusions were wrong, all of their opponents’ conclusions must be wrong. An example here is the claim, occasionally heard, that Newton was proven wrong in some important details, Einstein was eventually proven wrong in a few details, and scientists admit that they don’t have the final answers and therefore science doesn’t know what it’s doing, and can’t be trusted. This is a non-sequitor fallacy.

* They use quotations, usually taken out of context to buttress their own position. A favorite here is the various quotations of Einstein, usually referring to God, suggesting that Einstein believed in the same sort of God they do. Einstein most emphatically did not, as will be obvious if you read his essay on the subject. This is the fallacy of suppressed evidence.

* They mistake genuine, honest debates between scholars about certain points within a field for a dispute about the existence of the entire field. For example, rather than debate the legitimacy of the interpretation of specific fossil evidence, vis a vis evolution, they often attack paleontology in general, claiming it to be an invalid science. This is the fallacy of hasty generalization.

* They focus on what is not known and ignore what is known, emphasizing data that fits and discounting data that does not fit. An example is the claim that science simply doesn’t have an answer as to the age of the universe. True enough, but science has solid, reliable evidence that it is more than the seven thousand years that these same fundamentalists claim.This is again the fallacy of suppressed evidence.

Dr. Carl Sagan, in his last book, The Demon Haunted World gives us some excellent tools for the use in the process of critical thinking. In a nutshell, here they are:

* Where possible, what is claimed to be factual has to be independently confirmable by two or more sources not in league with each other.

* Debate and argument must be encouraged, not stifled.

* There’s no such thing as an “authority.” They’ve been wrong in the past and will be in the future. Which means they’re wrong now.

* More than one hypothesis is needed to stimulate debate. All points of view should be examined equally and with as little bias as possible.

* Don’t get emotionally attached to your own hypothesis (faith?). Doing so blinds you to better ideas.

* Quantifiable hypotheses are better than qualitative ones, because they are more testable. In other words, go for testable hypotheses first because untestable qualitative ones are of little value.

* If there’s a chain of logic that supports an argument, every link in that chain must be valid and unbroken.

* Go for simplicity. Occam’s Razor states that of the competing hypotheses that explain the data equally well, the one most likely to be correct is the one that makes the least number of assumptions and is the least complicated.

* Hypotheses that can’t be experimentally disproven aren’t worth much. For a hypothesis to be useful, it has to be testable, which means it must be capable of being disproven if wrong. Skeptics have to be able to follow your arguments, do your experiments and be capable of producing the same experimental results if your hypothesis is to be considered correct.

Resources on Fundamentalism
Books I highly recommend (which, if you wish, you can buy safely online from by pursuing the links here):

The Mind of the Bible Believer by Edmund D. Cohen isn’t a book about the bible as much as its a psychology book. He says of it, “This is the book I wish had been available to me before I became a ‘believer.'” It discusses why Christian fundamentalism has the attraction it does, and why it appeals so strongly to the seeker. He takes the view that the New Testament was written to bring believers together during a time of moral collapse and political oppression (first century Jewish Palestine), and that as such, it is “history’s most successful psychological manipulation, achieving with uncanny facility what motivational researchers and psychological warfare experts can only dream about… having long outlived its original purpose.” And he makes a very good case for his thesis. This book will give you some real insight into the mind of the Christian evangelical fundamentalist. Can’t recommend it highly enough! If you buy only one book to try to understand evangelical fundamentalism, this should be that book.

In The Beginning – A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong by Chris McGowan, a zoologist, meets the fundamentalist creationists headon and systematically shows why they are clearly wrong, using genuine, credible scientific evidence.

Bible Prophesy – Failure or Fulfilment by Tim Callahan is an excellent guide to Biblical prophesy as fundamentalists describe it, and how their interpretations are usually wrong and how the prophesies themselves have provably failed.

The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy by C. Dennis McKinsey is the best survey I’ve yet come across of the errors, inconsistencies and doctrinal problems in the Bible. It goes on for 500 pages, and brings up thousands of problems. Many could be explained by ‘miracles’ but many hundreds cannot not be.

What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D., is a discussion, by a widely recognized Biblical scholar, of how the fundamentalist interpretation of Biblical scripture relating to homosexuality is a misinterpretation resulting from the ignorance of the cultural context in which those scriptural references were written.

The Dead Sea Scrolls And The Christian Myth by John Allegro, the sole secular scholar given access to the Dead Sea Scrolls for many years, has written this penetrating and surprising view of early Christianity, as revealed by the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh shows how a handful of fundamentalist religious scholars were to suppress the revolutionary contents of the scrolls, and how religious fundamentalists often fail to accept the truth, even when it stares them in the face.

Internet Resources
An example of the serious threat represented by Christian fundamentalism can be found at the following site, which is representative of the more extreme of the fundamentalist elements. It is typical of what can be found among the fringe groups of the right.

The Society for the Establishment and Perpetuation of the Ten Commmandments

When these groups get together, the threat to the American political system can become serious. A coalition of these groups, called Christian Identity, is the most serious alliance, and one of the most extreme in its politics. Here is a page, by a well-known political science analyst and writer that details the political and civil threat these groups represent.

Christian Identity Politics

Here’s a page that discusses in depth the problems with fundamentalism, including some of the history of it, the contradictions and errors in the Bible and the cultic aspects of Christian fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism Debunked

Here’s my own essay on the problems with the Bible that can’t be explained away, no matter how seriously one looks to divine intervention in the form of miracles or magic.

What the Fundamentalist Christian Doesn’t Want You To Know: A Brief Survey of Biblical Errancy

For Christian fundamentalists who naively believe in the inerrancy and moral consistency of the bible, a close reading will come as quite a shock. The first link is to a fundamentalist Christian site that discusses the fundamentalists’ claim to the inerrancy of the bible, followed by a site that discusses dozens of the hundreds of inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the bible, along with many of its more significant moral contradictions. Read them both, and you can be the judge of which is more likely to be true.

The fundamentalists’ claims:
Is the Bible True?
A scholar’s response:
The Argument From The Bible
[Available] Boxcar Slim to factnet-news-u.

to Resolve the Satanic threats….I have already been ADDRESSED on a
Short Wave Broadcast from DOVE NETWORKS on WWRB, 5050 KCs. By
Location, as a “enemy” of “progressive” peoples. The woman stated
“Well, can’t they trace him & stop him?” I am a NEPHEW of Edward L.
Bernays, & am very familar with “Engineering Consent” and
“Propaganda.” These were My Family’s Contribution to Modern Society. I
am a MEMBER of a CULT! I follow a DEAD MAN who was a VERY

His name was JESUS CHRIST!

The “History repeats itsself” Syndrome is ACUTELY obvious to me.

& I have FLED the 4th. Reich AmeriKKKa to live in Tijuana!

I am not able to PROMISE faithful service, OTHERWISE I WOULD BE
help! Oh, Lord….The DEVIL is TRUELY the PRINCE of the POWER of the
AIR! Hence, my ROCK is to SHUN the TELEVISION.

Your’s is not the ONLY free speech outlet being ATTACKED! There is
TIME between, but the FREEDOM of IDEAS is being SLAIN!
7 October 2004

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace
ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the FBI.
Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia
sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested
servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet.
Since the order was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia, the
reasons for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Talking to
Indymedia volunteers, Rackspace stated that “they cannot provide
Indymedia with any information regarding the order.” ISPs have
received gag orders in similar situations which prevent them from
informing concerned parties about what is happening.

It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside US
jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.

At the same time an additional server was taken down at Rackspace
which provided streaming radio to several radio stations including one
covering the European Social Forum in London, BLAG (a linux distro),
and a handful of miscellanous services.

The last few months have seen numerous attacks on independent media by
the US Federal Government. In August the Secret Service used a
subpoena in an attempt to disrupt the NYC IMC before the RNC by trying
to get IP logs from an ISP in the US and the Netherlands. Last month
the FCC shut down community radio stations around the US. Two weeks
ago the FBI requested that Indymedia takes down a post on the Nantes
IMC that had a photo of some undercover Swiss police and IMC
volunteers in Seattle were visited by the FBI on the same issue. On
the other hand, Indymedia and other independent media organisations
were successful with their victories for example against Diebold and
the Patriot Act. Today however, the US authorities shut down IMCs
around the world.

The list of affected local media collectives includes Ambazonia,
Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes, Lilles,
Marseille, Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East and West
Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal, Prague,
Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, and Germany.

For more information, please contact

It is ironic that that this happens now, just days before Indymedia UK
is due to participate in the European Forum on Communications Rights
being held alongside the European Social Forum and several other days
of discussions about electronic civil liberties and community media.
For more information on these events see

* A U.S. Government agency served a subpoena upon Rackspace,
requesting certain information (several have said FBI / some say it
was requesting hardware not information)
* We do not know what that information was.
* Rackspace handed over two computers to the agency to comply with
the subpoena (though i don’t think it’s clear exactly to who they gave
the hard drives – uk police / fbi reps?)
* Rackspace refuses to provide a copy of the subpoena on advice of counsel.
* Rackspace previously provided two dedicated servers to
Indymedia, which hosted a number of Indymedia and related sites,
including Nantes. The computers were located in the UK, but owned by
Rackspace, a U.S. company.
* Last week FBI asked for the Nantes post that allegedly contained
information about undercover swiss police to be removed, but admitted
no laws were violated.

[Available] Boxcar Slim to sfbay-web

show details 1/18/06

put the FEAR of whatever Faggot God he serves into you? I was THE
WRITER of the PROLIFIC BULL that I posted ALL OVER my (former)
Favourite City, wherein I compared NEWSOM’S PROP N to

Condition of the Working Class in England, by Engels, 1845
The Attitude of the Bourgeoisie Towards the Proletariat

I was a ”
Centro, or Wyatt-Earp, CA. I was a “SNOWBIRD” & LIFE GOOD SAM MEMBER,

I saw PEOPLE HAULED OUT of their RVs at 4:00 am & BEATEN INTO BLOODY

I ran a FULL AM/FM & Ham Radio Station & Wi-Fi War-Drive & Mobil
Recording Studio, PLUS I WAS THE “HOBO BOXCAR” Regular Street
Guitarist with the GIBSON MK-53 at 9th. AVENUE @ IRVING, across from

live in TIJUANA!

Are you people NON CAREFUL about HOMELESS FOLKS now?

THIS WAS ME, & MY ARTICLE, in YOUR San Diego Paper….

Make a quick comment on this article>>

BoxcarHobo_A1 the Folk Singing Feller

09.05.2005 17:17

Well, here I am, having been a HOMELESS HOBO folk
singer/guitar/mandolin/french harp playing rambeler, dangeler, EScapER
from Immortality & 50 LUNITIC asylems…Left up outer the OZARK
Mountians way back in 1945…seeking FAME, FORTUNE and a MOVIE STAR
life! Being a METHOD ACTTTTTER…I decided (seeins how CHARLIE CHAPLIN
were done dead…) I shold SHOULD….PerFect his FAMOUS
Charicter…The Littel HOBO! Now…60 YEARS of UNDERstudy (possessed
by Chappies GHOST!) I goits it PREfected! So when I wents up to
HOLLYWOOD to PRESENT myself at MGM…they RUN ME OVER with a
MUTSS-SHE-BEETCHI pick-up-trukk! So I come to SAN DIEGO! I come AFTER
being RELEASED from JAIL in ROME! (Rome, georgia) FER rIDING ON A
Being an EXPERIANCED “Rabble-Rouser/Rubbish Eater” I can BENIFIT the
folks….PRE-FORMING! Also, I am POSSESSER of a F.C.C. RADIO
LICENSE…< 10 May 2005 @ 00:01:59 UTC

Callsign: KD5MPM Class: Technician Codes: HAI USA
Name: John C Bernay, Jr
Addr1: 3260 Production Ave
Addr2: Oceanside, CA 92054
Country: USA
Effective: 01 Feb 2005 Expires: 19 Dec 2010
FRN: 0004745949 What's this?
FCC: ULS Listing
Lookups: 1290

Coordinates: 34.471685 -93.103345
State: California
County: San Diego
Grid: EM34kl
Area Code: 760
GMT Offset: -8
Time Zone: Pacific
Has DST?: Y
Birthday: 12 Dec 1492

Johnny Bernays KD5MPM

Homeless Sweep: 14 May…

24.05.2005 10:53

Ah, well…Saturday Night, at approx. 11:30 PM, I was lying in my
tent, listening to W6OOB on 3840 KCs (75 Meter Ham Band) in QSO with
his "cronies…(W6OBB is a HAM RADIO OPERATOR & also well known as
"ART BELL" through his AM Coast-To-Coast Xcast!) I saw LIGHTS shine
upon my domicile…and a VOICE commanding "You in the tent; ACHTUNG!
Come OUT with your HANDS in front!" (The SS/Gestapo had Discovered
ANOTHER hiding JEW!) Upon my exit, Lo & Behold! MILITARY TROOPS! In
FULL Battle Gear! Flak Suits! A Squadrion of MARINES? NO! The "River
Patrol!" I can say, We Little Old Men must be Very Dangerious
Fellers….to warrent a SWAT Team! I was NOT allowed to take ANYTHING,
the Sergant First said "We have had complaints from the Security
Guards at Kiser/Permemente that YOU THREATENED them…I replied "No,
SIR! I speak to them BOTH upon leaving & returning, at 6:30 AM the
Coloured Feller UNLOCKS & I leave, at 6:30 PM his Fellow Officer LOCKS
UP & I return." Then Sarge presented ANOTHER fantisty…"We KNOW you
have NUMBERIOUS PEOPLES in & out!" No, SIR! I replied…"You see in
here, a TOSHIBA LAP-TOP Computer, a $500.00 Canadian SeaGull CutAway
Guitar, a High Frequency Amateur Radio Transciever, BRAND NEW Icom
IC-703, 5 2 Meter & 220 MCs. Handi-Talkies, a Short Wave Reveiver & a
Number of Study Books on the shelves (Milk Cartons,) I ALLOW NO BODY
in here….some street peopole steal!" The Sarge got IRATE…"It don't
understand, gentle readers, I Refrained from my USUAL
rejounder…"That Defense DIDN'T Work at NUREMBERG!" Fortuneately,
upon my release, (@ 5:30 THURSDAY MORNING!!!) +++++EVERYTHING WAS SAFE
& SOUND!++++ (Halle-Jew-Yah!) & NO fines or Fees were levied….BUT, I
now FULLY understand San Diego's "WAR ON THE HOMELESS!" Here is a
QUOTATION from Engel's "Condixtion of the POOR in England" from ca.
1850's…NOTE: 150 Years AGO! NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!!

Let no one believe, however, that the "cultivated" Englishman openly
brags with his egotism. On the contrary, he conceals it under the
vilest hypocrisy. What? The wealthy English fail to remember the poor?
They who have founded philanthropic institutions, such as no other
country can boast of! Philanthropic institutions forsooth! As though
you rendered the proletarians a service in first sucking out their
very life-blood and then practising your self-complacent, Pharisaic
philanthropy upon them, placing yourselves before the world as mighty
benefactors of humanity when you give back to the plundered victims
the hundredth part of what belongs to them! Charity which degrades him
who gives more than him who takes; charity which treads the
downtrodden still deeper in the dust, which demands that the degraded,
the pariah cast out by society, shall first surrender the last that
remains to him, his very claim to manhood, shall first beg for mercy
before your mercy deigns to press, in the shape of an alms, the brand
of degradation upon his brow. But let us hear the English
bourgeoisie's own words. It is not yet a year since I read in the
Manchester Guardian the following letter to the editor, which was
published without comment as a perfectly natural, reasonable thing:

"MR. EDITOR,– For some time past our main streets are haunted by
swarms of beggars, who try to awaken the pity of the passers-by in a
most shameless and annoying manner, by exposing their tattered
clothing, sickly aspect, and disgusting wounds and deformities. I
should think that when one not only pays the poor-rate, but also
contributes largely to the charitable institutions, one had done
enough to earn a right to be spared such disagreeable and impertinent
molestations. And why else do we pay such high rates for the
maintenance of the municipal police, if they do not even protect us so
far as to make it possible to go to or out of town in peace? I hope
the publication of these lines in your widely- circulated paper may
induce the authorities to remove this nuisance; and I remain,– Your
obedient servant,
"A Lady."

There you have it! The English bourgeoisie is charitable out of
self-interest; it gives nothing outright, but regards its gifts as a
business matter, makes a bargain with the poor, saying: "If I spend
this much upon benevolent institutions, I thereby purchase the right
not to be troubled any further, and you are bound thereby to stay in
your dusky holes and not to irritate my tender nerves by exposing your
misery. You shall despair as before, but you shall despair unseen,
this I require, this I purchase with my subscription of twenty pounds
for the infirmary!" It is infamous, this charity of a Christian
bourgeois! And so writes "A Lady"; she does well to sign herself such,
well that she has lost the courage to call herself a woman! But if the
"Ladies" are such as this, what must the "Gentlemen" be? It will be
said that this is a single case; but no, the foregoing letter
expresses the temper of the great majority of the English bourgeoisie,
or the editor would not have accepted it, and some reply would have
been made to it, which I watched for in vain in the succeeding
numbers. And as to the efficiency of this philanthropy, Canon
Parkinson himself says that the poor are relieved much more by the
poor than by the bourgeoisie; and such relief given by an honest
proletarian who knows himself what it is to be hungry, for whom
sharing his scanty meal is really a sacrifice, but a sacrifice borne
with pleasure, such help has a wholly different ring to it from the
carelessly-tossed alms of the luxurious bourgeois.

We have the SAME EFFITE SNOBS today…their Hideous "QUALITY OF LIFE"
Laws. They are RICH Piggies, Goyim Swine, and they CANNOT ABIDE to
SEE, SMELL or be Pan Handled by VERMIN such as We Are!

over 30 (Thirty) Years. I am a TORAH Student, and a Chronic
Schizophreniac (They called JOHN the BAPTIST, Elijah the Tishbite &
Jesus the Christ a Lunitic….I am in GOOD COMPANY!)
THE PERSON RESPONSABLE goes back to Ollie North, MENA, ARKANSAS, Geo. H. W. Bush's COCAINE IMPORTING COMPANY…Aided & Abeted by WILLIAM JEFFERSON (Blythe) CLINTON, & the "DIXIE MAFIA!" There was a CHINNESE CARGO SHIP BUSTED in S.F. BAY-1998- Laded with COMPUTER PARTS to """LOREAL-makers of OriNoCo Gold WiFi PCMIA Cards…."""""
THE SHIP was SEARCHED, Reports in San Francisco (I WAS LIVING THERE-1998-1999) were TONS of OPIUM/HERION + THOUSANDS of FULLY AUTOMATIC AK47s (Supposedly destined to Drug Gangs?????I don't have PROOF…) BUT…IT WAS
by Terry Watkins

"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments. . ." Luke 16:23

What you're about to read is hard to believe. . .

We're going to examine the place the Bible calls hell. We'll present
documented evidence for a place called hell. Don't take what you're
going to read lightly. If what you read is true — YOU COULD BE IN

Several years ago a book was published, entitled Beyond Death's Door
by Dr. Maurice Rawlings. Dr. Rawlings, a specialist in Internal
Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, resuscitated many people who had
been clinically dead. Dr. Rawlings, a devout atheist, "considered all
religion "hocus-pocus" and death nothing more than a painless
extinction". But something happened in 1977 that brought a dramatic
change in the life of Dr. Rawlings! He was resuscitating a man,
terrified and screaming — descending down into the flames of hell:

"Each time he regained heartbeat and respiration, the patient
screamed, "I am in hell!" He was terrified and pleaded with me to help
him. I was scared to death. . . Then I noticed a genuinely alarmed
look on his face. He had a terrified look worse than the expression
seen in death! This patient had a grotesque grimace expressing sheer
horror! His pupils were dilated, and he was perspiring and trembling —
he looked as if his hair was "on end."
Then still another strange thing happened. He said,"Don't you
understand? I am in hell. . . Don't let me go back to hell!" . . .the
man was serious, and it finally occurred to me that he was indeed in
trouble. He was in a panic like I had never seen before."
(Maurice Rawlings, Beyond Death's Door,(Thomas Nelson Inc., 1979) p. 3).

Dr. Rawlings said, no one, who could have heard his screams and saw
the look of terror on his face could doubt for a single minute that he
was actually in a place called hell!

The Bible continually warns of a place called hell. There are over 162
references in the New Testament alone which warns of hell. And over 70
of these references were uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ!

In Luke 16, Jesus Christ gives a frightening picture of hell:

22 . . . the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth
Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and
send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool
my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime
receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now
he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf
fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither
can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest
send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest
they also come into this place of torment. (Luke 16:22-28)


The man in Luke 16:24 cries: ". . .I am tormented in this FLAME."

In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF
FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

In Matthew 25:41, Jesus says: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into
everlasting FIRE,. . ."

Revelation 20:15 says, " And whosoever was not found written in the
book of life was cast into the LAKE OF FIRE."


When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He descended into hell. In Acts
2, Peter is speaking, verse 31, " . . . seeing this before spake of
the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in HELL"

When Jesus Christ died His soul went into hell.

And in Matthew 12:40, Jesus Christ says:

"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's
belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the

The Bible is clear — Hell is inside the earth!

Ephesians 4:9, says of Jesus: "Now that he ascended, what is it but
that he also descended first into the LOWER PARTS OF THE EARTH."

On page 85 of Beyond Death's Door, Dr. Rawlings writes patients who
described hell said, ". . . this place seems to be UNDERGROUND or
WITHIN THE EARTH in some way."

Scientist and Bible teacher, Henry Morris also agrees the Bible
plainly teaches that hell is in this earth:

"So far as we can tell from Scripture, the present hell, is
somewhere in the heart of the earth itself. It is also called 'the
pit' (Isa. 14:9, 15: Ezek. 32:18-21) and 'the abyss' (Rev. 9:2). . .
The writers certainly themselves believed hell to be real and
geographically 'beneath' the earth's surface. . .
To say this is not scientific is to assume science knows much more
about the earth's interior than is actually the case. The great 'pit'
[hell] would only need to be about 100 miles or less in diameter to
contain, with much room to spare, all the forty billion or so people
who have ever lived, assuming their 'spiritual' bodies are the same
size as their physical bodies."
(Henry M. Morris, The Bible Has the Answer, p. 220)

The Birmingham News, April 10, 1987 had an article entitled "Earth's
Center Hotter Than Sun's Surface, Scientists Say". The article stated
that scientists have recently discovered, "THE EARTH'S INNER CORE HAS

Have you seen pictures of a volcano erupting, spewing a lake of fire
from inside the earth — consuming everything within miles just from
the heat? When Mount St. Helens erupted in May 18, 1980, it was
described by reporters, "when HELL surfaced upon the earth." The book,
Volcanoes, Earth's Awakening (p.91) describes an erupting volcano as
"descent into HELL".

Thousands of years ago, the Bible described a place called hell in the
heart of the earth that matches exactly what science is discovering.


In Numbers 16, the Bible gives the account of people falling into hell alive!

"And THE EARTH OPENED HER MOUTH, and swallowed them up, and their
houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their
goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive INTO
THE PIT, and the EARTH CLOSED UPON THEM:" Numbers 16:32-33

Caspar Peucer, a famous fourteenth century astronomer and physician,
who also researched and documented the volcanoe eruptions at Heklafell
wrote some very frightening information in his research findings.
Peucer, claims (as others) that "fearful howlings, weeping and
gnashing of teeth" could be heard "for many miles. . ." as these
volcanoes erupted:

"Out of the bottomless abyss of Heklafell, or rather out of Hell
itself, rise melancholy cries and loud wailings, so that these can be
heard for many miles around. . . there may be heard in the mountain
fearful howlings, weeping and gnashing of teeth."
(Haraldur Sigurdsson, Melting the Earth, The History of Ideas on
Volcanic Eruptions, p. 73)

And Caspar Peucer is not alone. There are others who believe they have
heard "cries and screaming" coming from volcanoes. Most have tried to
ignore the obvious. Some simply explain the "sounds of hell" to some
rational meaning. But they are there. . .

"The fearsome noises that issued from some of their volcanoes were
certainly thought to be the screams of tormented souls in the fires of
hell below".
(Haraldur Sigurdsson, Melting the Earth, The History of Ideas on
Volcanic Eruptions, p. 73)

Inside this earth, this very moment, there are millions of lost,
tormented souls — burning, weeping, wailing — without any hope

In Mark 9:46, Jesus Christ says about hell: "Where THEIR WORM dieth
not, and the fire is not quenched."

Jesus said explicitly — THEIR worm — not a worm, or the worm — but
THEIR worm. The Bible teaches that Christians will one day have a body
like the Lord Jesus Christ. Could it be, as some Bible students teach
— that men and women in hell take on the form of their father, Satan
(John 8:44)? In Revelation 12:3, Satan is described as a red dragon.
Could Jesus Christ be referring to the body lost men and women will
have for eternity?

The earth's crust on land is normally 50 miles thick. You'd have to go
down 50 miles before the edge of the fire. But in parts of the ocean
floor, the earth's crust is less than a mile thick.

Scientists recently discovered cracks on the ocean floor where fire
was leaking out. Do you know what they found around these
fire-breathing vents in the crust? Eight-foot long worms, found no
other place in the world! The book, The Deep Sea, by Joseph Wallace
(p.39), reads, "Perhaps the strangest of ocean creatures recently
discovered are Riftia, the giant tube WORMS. Measuring up to 8 feet in
length, the worms are ONLY FOUND NEAR DEEP SEA VENTS."

And Jesus Christ said, "Where THEIR WORM dieth not, and the fire is
not quenched."

Have you read Isaiah 66 where the Lord Jesus Christ is quoting Mark 9:46?

Look at the context and time period of Isaiah 66:22-24:

Isaiah 66:22-24:
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make,
shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your
name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another,
and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship
before me, saith the LORD.
24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men
that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die,
neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring
unto all flesh.

The "new heavens and new earth" of Isaiah 66:22 matches Revelation
21:1. This occurs AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement of Revelation
20:10-15! The references to "carcases"; "their worm"; "their fire" (vs
24) — is AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement of the LOST people!
The reference to ". . the men that have transgressed. . ." are the
LOST people AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement.

And at this point — they have received their NEW BODY! Notice what
Isaiah says, the saved people shall "LOOK upon the CARCASES of the men
that have transgressed. . ." It's worth mentioning that a "carcase" is
not always a "DEAD body". For instance, two times the Bible
specifically uses the term "dead carcase" (Deut. 14:8 and Ezek 6:5).
If a carcase is ALWAYS a "dead" body, then why say "dead" carcase? And
there's NOTHING in the context of Isaiah to imply these "men that
transgressed" are "dead".

In fact, Isaiah clearly says, "their worm shall NOT DIE". Even in our
language, we refer to a living body as a "carcase". For example, "Get
your carcase [body] in here". Why is that important? Because when the
saved people in Isaiah 66:24 are "looking upon the carcases of the men
that have transgressed" — And do you know what they are SEEING? "Their
worm"! The "carcase" they are seeing is "their WORM that shall not
die". The end of Isaiah 66:24 is a frightening endorsement of this
interpretation. What the saved people are viewing Isaiah says is , ".
. . an abhorring unto all flesh". And my friend, that is not JUST a
normal flesh body they are looking at! It is something that will send
chills screaming through your soul at the horror. And it will happen!

And it will happen TO YOU if you die without the Lord Jesus Christ!

Even though the world tries to extinguish the cries and reality of
hell — the truth of hell echoes throughout our world. We desperately
pretend to cover our ears and igonore the "screams, the weeping, the
wailing, the gnashing of teeth" but it is there. . . And we know it.
We refuse to accept such a place exist. But it is there. And we know
it. Nothing we can do, nothing we can say, can erase the horror of
hell from our minds.

It is there. And we know it.

National Geographic magazine truthfully titled their story on
Volcanoes "Going To Hell". When PBS did a series on The Savage Earth,
one episode was titled "Hell's Crust: Our Everchanging Planet".
Everything we know. Everything we observe. Echoes the truth of a place
called hell.

It is there. And we know it.

Revelation 14:10 says, " . . . and he shall be tormented with fire and
BRIMSTONE . . ." And Job 18 describes the " . . . PLACE of him that
knoweth not God" (vs 21), in verse 15 as, " . . . BRIMSTONE shall be
scattered upon his habitation." Do you know what brimstone is? It's
sulfur. And do you know where sulfur or brimstone is found? INSIDE
THIS EARTH! According to the book Volcanoes by Pierre Kohler (p. 43),
when Mt. St Helens erupted in 1980 — 150,000 tons of sulfurous gas was
ejected! Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written over 3,000 years
ago, and yet Job knew what science wouldn't know for years — inside
this earth is BRIMSTONE!

Nature magazine recently discovered (July 2002) what the Bible knew
over 3,000 years ago. Inside this earth is "fire and brimstone":

"Volcanoes may be more like hell than anyone realized. Eruptions
disgorge streams of molten sulphur, the brimstone of evangelical
preachers, which burns up before it can be preserved for posterity,
new research in the journal Geology shows".
(Nature, Science Update, July 22, 2002)

Click here to view an incredible National Geographic Macromedia Flash
clip on Volcanoes with the intro "FIRE. . . BRIMSTONE. . . HELL ON
EARTH. . VOLCANOES" Note: You will need the ability to play MacroMedia
Flash to view

The cover of Discover magazine, August 2002, asks the question —
"What's Really at the Center of the Earth?".

I know what's REALLY in "the center of this earth". Jesus Christ
told us. Over and over. There is a lake of fire — with millions of
people burning, weeping, screaming, wailing, gnashing of teeth".


". . . they dig into hell . . ." Amos 9:2
The following article appeared in the well respected Finland
newspaper, Ammenusastia
"As a communist I don't believe in heaven or the Bible but as a
scientist I now believe in hell," said Dr. Azzacove. "Needless to say
we were shocked to make such a discovery. But we know what we saw and
we know what we heard. And we are absolutely convinced that we drilled
through the gates of hell!"

Dr. Azzacove continued, ". . .the drill suddenly began to rotate
wildly, indicating that we had reached a large empty pocket or cavern.
Temperature sensors showed a dramatic increase in heat to 2,000
degrees Fahrenheit."

"We lowered a microphone, designed to detect the sounds of plate
movements down the shaft. But instead of plate movements we heard a
human voice screaming in pain! At first we thought the sound was
coming from our own equipment."

"But when we made adjustments our worst suspicions were confirmed. The
screams weren't those of a single human, they were the screams of
millions of humans!"

Listen to a RealAudio recording claiming to be an actual recording of
the above article. Are these the actual sounds of hell? Listen to it.

NOTE: You will need the free RealAudio player to listen. If you do not
have the RealAudio player you can download it now.


Jesus says of the man in Luke 16:

23 "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in TORMENTS. . . "
24 ". . . for I am TORMENTED in this FLAME."

It is humanly impossible to comprehend the Bible description of hell.
Nothing on earth can compare with it. No nightmare could produce a
terror to match that of hell. No horror movie could describe it's
fright. No crime scene with all it's blood and gore could begin to
match it's horror.

It will be beyond anything humanly imaginable!

The Bible warns in Psalm 9:17, you will not only be in hell — you will
BE TURNED INTO HELL! You will literally BE HELL!

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psalm 9:17

YOU will see HELL. . .
YOU will smell HELL. . .
YOU will breathe HELL. . .
YOU will hear HELL. . .
YOU will feel HELL. . .

The Bible describes it as weeping (Matt 8:12), wailing (Matt 13:42),
gnashing of teeth (Matt 13:50), darkness (Matt 25:30), flames (Luke
16:24), burning (Isa 33:14), torments (Luke 16:23), everlasting
punishment! Jesus Christ says in Matthew 25:41, "Depart from me, ye
cursed, into EVERLASTING FIRE, prepared for the devil and his angels."

In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF
FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."


All who enter hell — abandon all hope!

The horror of hell — for even one second is unbearable — but FOREVER!

Jesus says in Matthew 25:41: ". . . Depart from me, ye cursed, into
EVERLASTING fire, . . ."

Rev. 14:11: "The smoke of their TORMENT ascendeth up for EVER AND
EVER: and they have NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT."

Just look how the Bible warns of the eternity and permance of hell!

everlasting fire — Matthew18:8, 25:41
everlasting punishment — Matthew 25:46
everlasting chains — Jude 1:6
eternal damnation — Mark 3:29
eternal judgment — Hebrews 6:2
eternal fire — Jude 1:7
unquenchable fire — Matthew 3:12
the fire that never shall be quenched — Mark 9:43, 44, 45, 46, 48
fire unquenchable — Luke 3:17
mist of darkness is reserved for ever — 2 Peter 2:17
the blackness of darkness for ever — Jude 1:13

My friend, I have searched my Bible, from cover to cover. . . I have
studied every occurrence of hell in my Bible — and I can not find one
verse, not one word of HOPE for someone in hell! NOT ONE WORD! The
rich man in hell in Luke 16 never even asks to get out — He knew there
was no way out!


What could possibly be worth eternity in hell? No wonder Jesus Christ
warned so much about hell! No wonder Jesus said in Mark 8:36, "For
what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and LOSE

Jesus Christ took hell very serious. . .

Jesus Christ says in Mark 9:43-47,

43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee
to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into
the fire that never shall be quenched:
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee
to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell,
into the fire that never shall be quenched:
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for
thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two
eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Jesus Christ took hell so serious — He could say without the slightest
hesitation — to remove your eye, cut off your hand or foot, if that
would keep you out of hell!

If hell is not real — Jesus Christ was the most deceived man that ever lived!

I'll challenge anyone to read the words of Jesus Christ and tell me
they are the words of a deceived man!

Jesus Christ knew exactly what He was talking about!

How did Jesus describe hell?

Jesus Christ spoke more on hell than any other subject.
Just look at how Jesus described hell:

"fire" Matt 7:19, 13:40, 25:41
"everlasting fire" Matt 18:8, 25:41
"eternal damnation" Mark 3:29
"hell fire" Matt 5:22, 18:9, Mark 9:47
"damnation" Matt 23:14, Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47
"damnation of hell" Matt 23:33
"resurrection of damnation" John 5:29
"furnace of fire" Matt 13:42, 50
"the fire that never shall be quenched" Mark 9:43, 45
"the fire is not quenched" Mark 9:44, 46, 48
"Where their worm dieth not" Mark 9:44, 46, 48
"wailing and gnashing of teeth" Matt 13:42, 50
"weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matt 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
"torments" Luke 16:23
"tormented in this flame" Luke 16:24
"place of torment" Luke 16:28
"outer darkness" Matt 8:12, 22:13
"everlasting punishment" Matt 25:46


Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but
after this THE JUDGEMENT:"

it is appointed unto man once to die . . .
and one day — YOU will die . . .

And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments . . .

As you leave your body — you realize something is happening. You
hear a sound. . . getting louder and louder. . . screaming . .
.weeping. . . wailing. Terror and fear beyond anything you could
imagine overtakes you. "This can't be happening!" you scream. Your
nostrils are filling with the awful stench of burning souls. Your face
ignites from the heat. Flames are now blazing from your eyes,
nostrils, ears, mouth — every opening in your body, flames are roaring
out. Your body is sizzling and crackling from the flames.

Your body is now madly thrashing and convulsing from the horrible
pain. "Why don't I die?", you scream. You begin weeping and gnashing
your teeth with the millions. "When will this pain stop?" But you know
it will never stop. . .

The darkness is so terrifying, it begins engulfing you. You feel
something moving in the darkness. . . something horrible is happening.
"No! No! This can't be happening" you scream — as your worm is

You begin cursing the day you were born. You scream — "Oh God, why
didn't you warn me?"— but you remember the preacher pleading with you
to receive Jesus Christ. You remember reading that gospel tract. You
cry — "God don't you care?" — but you remember John 3:16 "For God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,. . ." "God is a
God of love — He won't allow this", you cry — but you remember John
3:36, ". . . he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the
wrath of God abideth on him."

And you soon realize, that Jesus Christ was right!

There is a place called hell.


But God is a God of LOVE. . . Why would a GOD OF LOVE send me to hell?
Yes, God is a GOD OF LOVE — but God is also a HOLY GOD. A HOLY GOD
demands payment for sin. Otherwise God would NOT and could NOT be

Because God is holy — sin MUST be condemned. Joshua 24:19 says, ". .
he is an HOLY GOD;. . . he will NOT forgive your transgressions nor
your sins."


God does NOT want you in hell

Hell was not made for man. Matthew 25:41 says, hell was, ". . .
prepared for the devil and his angels:"

Because God is a GOD OF LOVE, and He LOVED YOU so much, He sent His
Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to die a cruel death on a cross to
pay the price a HOLY GOD demands for your sins.

Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

God does not send someone to hell. You choose hell when you reject
Jesus Christ. When you refuse God's love gift of eternal life in Jesus
Christ. . .


Millionaire Ted Turner, said in an interview, "I'm looking forward to
dying and being cast into Hell. That's where I belong." You say — he's
a fool! But friend, when you say "No"; to Jesus Christ and His payment
for your sin — you are saying the same thing! You're telling God — I
don't need Jesus Christ — I'll pay for my sins in hell!

If you reject God's gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ


Dr. Rawlings has watched as thousands of people depart into eternity.
Most people think they'll somehow "sneak" into heaven, but Dr.
Rawlings claims most people descend into the flames of hell!

Jesus Christ gave a solemn warning in Matthew 7:21-23

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into
the kingdom of heaven. . . MANY will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast
out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work

If it was for a few days, a few months, a few years or even a million
years, but to be tormented — FOREVER! You will despair of ever having
any deliverance! You will beg for death itself to come and take you
away! You will curse the day you were born! Revelation 14:11 says,
"The smoke of their TORMENT ascendeth up for EVER AND EVER: and they
What could possibly be worth eternity in hell?

No wonder Jesus Christ said in Mark 8:36:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his
soul?"Mark 8:36:

God has something far better than words can describe for those who
love Him. I Corinthians 2:9 says:

". . . Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into
the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that
love Him."I Corinthians 2:9

Friend, there is a place called hell! And, if you continually refuse
God's gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ — just as sure as you
live and breathe — ONE DAY YOU WILL WAKE UP IN HELL!

Don't wait until you die to find out the truth about Hell! Tomorrow
may be too late! Proverbs 27:1 says, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow:
for thou KNOWEST NOT what a day may bring forth."

Three people die every second, 180 every minute, since you started
reading this — 2000 more people have gone into eternity! An automobile
accident. . . A heart attack. . , A stroke. . .One thing is CERTAIN —
you will DIE — today. . . tomorrow . . . a week. . . a month . . . a
year. . . 5 years. . . 10 years. . . 20 years. . . 50 years — ONE
THING IS CERTAIN —" . . .it is appointed unto man once TO DIE . . ."


You may have made some terrible mistakes in your life. There may be
some things in your life you would give anything to be able to change.
But friend, I assure you — if you die without Jesus Christ — it'll be
the worst mistake you could possibly make!

Has there ever come a time and a place in your life, when you received
Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?

If not, you are on the way to hell!

Don't let anyone convince you that when you die it will be all over!
The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27:

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this THE
JUDGMENT." Hebrews 9:27

Revelation 20:15 says:

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
into the LAKE OF FIRE." Revelation 20:15

If you've never received Jesus Christ as your Savior, bow your head
this minute and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you.Don't put it off
another second!


It's simple to be saved …

* Realize you are a sinner.

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10

"… for there is no difference. For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

* Realize you CAN NOT save yourself.

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our
righteousnesses are as filthy rags; …" Isaiah 64:6

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, …" Titus 3:5

* Realize that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for your sins.

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
…" 1 Peter 2:24

"… Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in
his own blood," Revelation 1:5

* Simply by faith receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" John

" …Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said,
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy
house."" Acts 16:30,31

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life." John 3:16


Pray this prayer, and mean it with all your heart.

Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and unless you save me I am
lost forever. I thank you for dying for me at Calvary. I come to you
now, Lord the best way I know how, and ask you to save me. I now
receive you as my Savior. In Jesus Christ Name, Amen.

"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;"
Hebrews 2:3

This tract and others are available in "printed" form.
To order printed tracts.
san diego craigslist politics re: Whaaaaaa????

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John Bernays utilizes various monikers; TJHobo, Rabbi Juanito Guerinets, Joanna d'Arc, Boxcarro. He disdains TV watching, PC liberalism, homosexuals, blacks, government officials, etc.

He claims a familial relationship with the wife of Sigmund Freud. He touts another with Edward Bernays, "the father of public relations". [An atypical self-revelation of John's is below.]

He's like a hermit crab; interesting to observe but annoying to interact with. [Still, they're endearing in an repulsive way.] His malapropisms rival those of Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated [e. g. "I suffer from CHIRRHIOSSISS of the LIVER

Last month I dared to question his usage of the New Testament Epistle to the Romans to condemn homosexuals and was repaid with a barrage of spam…

"Here you'll learn all about me: my interests and hobbies, the people in my family, my pets, and more. I've even included a list of my favorite links to other sites. I am only lesser'n 2 years from being Hard-Core FTRA trainhopper Homeless myself; I am, trying to find some way to be ACTIVISTIC in SUPPORT of the HOMELESS & FREIGHT TRAIN RIDERING HOBOES, et al, inasmuch as WE ARE THE ONES designated as FIRST TO BE 'exterminated' in the coming 'social cleansing' programme called for in the GLOBAL 2000 Report, as being the WORST OFFENDERS by being "USELESS EATERS" I am a HARD CORE OLD SCHOOL ISRAELI ca. 1967 Mind Set SURVIVALIST, I make no bones about it, and inspite of OVERCOMING LONG TERM CHRONIC SCHIZOPHRENIA & years upon years of STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL COMMITMENT, I still have quite a lot of my
(formerly) 148 I. Q. (I destroyed quite a bit of my mind with Meth, LSD, Peyote, and other side-effects of being a former MERRY PRANKSTER, who TOOK THE 'WOODY GUTHRIE' LIFESTYLE to HEART, and decided that, UNLIKE U. UTAH PHILLIPS, fat phoney fraud, and BOXCAR WILLY, never rode a freight, never had to ride dirty face… I DECIDED TO 'SAVE MY LIFE' by becoming TOTALLY DERANGED, and there are MANY THERE IN PORTLAND who may recollect me, I STARTED MY TRAVELING HOBO FOLKSINGER CAREER right there, in front of the OLD PUBLIC LIBRARY, when it was NOT air conditioned, playing FOlk Music on a 1928 KAYCRAFT VENTITAN-STYLE BODY VINTAGE GUITAR, using a 'Chainsaw' drop D tuning, and living in the Streets. After getting the Infamous Willimette Lung Rot, the Doctor at the Bridgeview Clinic got me a room at the Bridgeview Projects, when it was REALLY a PLACE TO HELP HOMELESS PEOPLE. I was in Portland again for the Wonderful BLUES FESTIVAL in 2000, and ENJOYED MYSELF to no end, YOUR BLUES FESTIVAL is the MOST CIVILISED & USER-FRIENDLY I have EVER been to, except for the SUDDEN THUNDER & LIGHTENING STORM during the BEST BLUES WORKSHOP on OLDTIMEY ACOUSTIC BLUES I ever saw, I saw NO IDIOT RENT-A-COPS acting out NAZI FANTISIES, only ONE person did I see ESCORTED OUT, and the PEOPLE AT THE GATE, after letting me in 3 days for 4 cans of food, just said "Boxcar, this is to benifit YOU and people LIKE YOU, you do NOT need to feel required to pay!" But, a sour note, a few weeks later, I was CRUELLY GIVEN A $150+ ticket by PIGS on HORSES in the Park by the River, down by the RAILROAD BRIDGE, for having some BEER in a COFFEE CONTAINER. If HOMELESS ACTIVISTS could somehow ELIMINATE the POLICE CHIEF that your city hired after his being FIRED IN L. A. you might restore HUMAN RIGHTS to Oregon… what's his name…. dosen't matter, under his leadership Los Angeles Cops became FAMOUS amoungst the Homeless, Convicts, Hoboes, etc. a STONE COLD KILLERS of people, their M. O. was to SHOOT FIRST, then plant a 'throw-down' special on the stiff. This was the PUNISHMENT for 'sassing' or' talking back' to LAPD, but if the 'detainee' was a Negro or Mexican, the MURDER was a means of 'ETHNIC CONTROL.' It kept the Toads & Chicos on their best behaviour, they knew that a smart mouth was a CAPITOL OFFENCE. It is AWFUL that a WONDERFUL CITY like PORTLAND has such a MASS-MURDERER and SERIAL KILLER in TOTAL CONTROL of the ARMED LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONELL. Trust me, I SPENT 5 YEARS in SAN QUENTIN PEN, when it was a LEVEL 4 Joint, and 18 Months in ATASCADERO STATE HOSPITAL for the CRIMINAL INSANE in CDC, I had a "d" number, a EARLY "d" number, and Convicts Share Information, much more effectivly than Law Enforcement Agencys. I have started a YahooGroup RE: governmental threats & harrassment of Homeless. Hobos etc. it is "FINALSOLUTIONFORUMN" webpage also another Yahoo Group I manage/own: and if I can EVER get enough money to get a scanner and a digital camera and maby a printer for this computer I'll build some REAL web sites. I also listen to Radio For Peace International a lot, and am (again) a LICENSED AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR, call sign The SECRET to my SUCCESS is BEING WILLING TO SURRENDER MY LIFE TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL (not the Satan god of christianity,) AND OBEY THE JEWISH (not christian) LAW "DO UNTO THINE NEIGHBOURS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU." I also am a ARDENT BELIEVER IN KARMA- instant Karma, in my estate, GOD WILL PUT A SWIFT DEVASTATION in my life if I 'step out of' GodLaw, or steal from another homeless, or hold out when a person in need beggs me, etc. I know that, but most FOOLS never realise what causes the AWFUL THINGS that befall them. Now, AMERICA is seeking to PLACE HOMELESS PEOPLE into REHABILITATION FACILITIES, which will be the TESTING of the FINAL SOLUTION, because WHO WILL ASK "where are these people" after a few years, after they are rounded up and carted away? Who will CARE? and the LIARS on TV will have a Special with "Success Stories" of a couple of "Rehabilated Formerly Homeless" people, now working, holding a job, etc. ad nausiumn. WHO WILL CARE if thousands of "USELESS EATERS" are EXTERMINATED in Social Cleansing Camps? Do you think I am crazy? I CHALLENGE YOU TO DO THE RESEARCH I HAVE DONE! Start with Dr. John Coleman's books & monologues. His writings can be found on the Internet, or he can be CONTACTED in Carson City, Nevada. But there is not a lot of HARD EVEDENCE, yet the SIGNS are THERE for those who are AWARE. I was raised by Grandma & Greatgrandma, HOLICAUST SURVIVOURS, I was born in 1949, my family were Rich German Jews, my Great Aunt was Sigmund Freud's Wife- MARTHA BERNAYS- we Jews have a 11th. Commandment now…"WE SHALL NEVER FORGET!" And I also subscribe to the AMERICAN MOTTO " ONLY THROUGH ETERNAL VIGILANCE SHALL YOU SAVE YOUR LIVES!" Jews, Tramps, Gypsies, hoboes, mentally ill, cripples, retarded, etc. are CONSTANT TARGETS of those wishing to TRIM BUDGET in government. KILL OFF THESE USELESS EATERS then use the money saved to SPEND ON WEAPONS TO KILL MORE UNWASHED PEOPLE IN FORGIEN WARS! Kid yourself not, there is NO LOVE nor COMPASSION in the Human Race, the silly foolish young girls in the 'peace' and' environmental' movements are being used as tools by cruel, rich manipulating men. The history of the World has been CRUELITY for the sake of CRUELITY, War for the ENJOYMENT of KILLING, and TORTURE for the ENJOYMENT of inflicting pain… THIS IS NORMAL HUMAN PASSIONS. This is our RACIAL HERITAGE, and we need to REALISE THIS. Educated Barbarians in Ivy Leauge Suits, sitting on the CFR or BILDERBURG council, the ROTHCHILDS Diamond Barons, etc. are basicly SAVAGE CRUEL KILLERS in drag. Suggested reading on 'Reality History:" the writings of Daniel P. Maddox , "We Who Are About to Die, Salute You.." "Side Show", Carny" many articles published in TRUE & ARGOSOY Magazines in the late 1950's thru 1970's. One WONDERFUL 'History of Torture" and "History of Freaks" another. And lastly, BE STRONG, AND QUIT YOURSELVES LIKE MEN, because our enemies are going to kill us all, they are OMNIPOTITENT, as far as we are concerned, BUT IF WE TAKE A FEW WITH US, or CAUSE SOME MINOR ANNOYANCE THROUGH RESISTANCE, then our deaths have been worth while. POWER over the PEOPLES of the"
Posted by BOXCAR_HOBO_A#1 at 5:49 PM No comments:


About homelessholocaust

Tijuana Hobo , Hebrew Hobo Railroad Rabbi, The Truth Teller Tell True Truth Truthfully. If the Truth is Repugnant to you, You are a Reagan Cultist. Ronald Reagan was Taught by L. Ron Hubbard, Reagan & Hubbard FOUNDED THE SCIENCE FICTION MIND FUCKING GAME- SCIENTOLOGY- then REAGAN USED NERO LINGUIST PROGRAMMING as PRESIDENT to MURDER THE MINDS of AMERICANS!
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