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

Monday, September 19, 2016

Life Itself Is Being Patented, Privatized and Re-engineered

Click here to access a transcript of an interview with Ashley Dawson, author of Extinction: A Radical History, posted on TruthOut.
The periodic crises of the capitalist system also drive it to seek out new and easily exploitable natural resources. Capitalism's frontier consequently expands outward incessantly. ....

Today, this expansionary dynamic of capital is playing out through the commodification of life on the genetic level. Large corporations are moving genetic material around from one organism to another and, increasingly, seeking to turn living organisms into factories to produce lucrative products. In the process, life itself is being patented, privatized and radically reengineered.