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

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Corporate Hijacking of America’s Land-Grant Universities

Click here to access article by Tim Schwab from Civil Eats. 

This fairly brief article shows how the One Percent is taking over public educational institutions of higher learning in the US to serve their interests. With the focus of this website on food, their treatment of this subject is limited to corporate control over information and research about the food we eat. Their recommendation for correcting this insidious trend of private influence is the following:
So how do we weed out the agribusiness influence?  A good place to start would be increasing federal support for agriculture research—and directing this money to projects that serve the public interest.  This would go a long ways toward reducing land-grant university’s dependence on corporate funding and allow researchers more independence.
This is another example of a very superficial analysis that informs thinking about solutions. First of all, the privatization of education not only affects the food we eat, but even more importantly the ideas we hold. Secondly, the One Percent is taking control of all our institutions including the government. So, to advocate less direct funding from private sources will change little. Finally, private interests will never retreat from taking direct control of institutions unless forced to by an aware, militant, and organized public.