At the very highest levels it is now clear that the Chinese regime of President Xi Jinping and his Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, who is also head of the State Council, have decided to make China a world leader in the highly controversial field of Genetically Manipulated Organisms or GMO and the related highly toxic (to humans) pesticides and herbicides. This was made clear in November when the Chinese state ChemChina announced it was seeking to buy the Anglo-Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Syngenta of Basel. This is for me a personal disappointment and for the world, a major blow.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up