You Thought I Was Angry Before?

This is a post about this:



Just an old building in its last days.  Sure. Look more closely at the foreground with me.


OK, so now the nitty gritty.


I do get it, though, you know. The philosophy of John Locke can be used to justify the death of 200,000,000 people in North America, the theft of their land, and its virtual obliteration, in favour of this:


That’s right: sterile wood chip sewer sludge compost. It’s considered “healthy garden soil”. I don’t know what on earth was so wrong with the deep, rich, fertile wetland soil in front of it that it had to be sprayed with poisons so nothing grew on it all the summer long in the most productive spot in the most productive region of Canada. And that takes me to John Locke. Sorry, John. You were a good man. Who’s John Locke? This is John Locke.



You can read about him here. John was a champion of liberalism. Forget that, though. Really, though, for North America the thing to remember is that according to Locke’s philosophy, not Locke’s fault, the Indigenous people of this land were considered to be non-residents, because they just used the land; they didn’t add to it. That was wrong, but that was the understanding of the 18th and 19th centuries. The principle was that there was no universal attribute of humans that could tie them to land, hence there was no aristocracy, hence all civilized attributes were learned, and could be learned. It also meant that the land could be civilized, and by the addition of “improvements” it would be a private product, rather than a product belonging to all men on earth equally. The principle was that no man can be separated from either his labour or the fruits of his labour (unless that labour was indigenous, then it was invisible), because that is slavery. On this principle, if a man pounded a post into a piece of land, or planted a flag, or put up a shack, it was his, and he could shoot any man or woman who wandered onto it, even if their ancestors had been there for 10,000 years, caring for it. Yeah? Look at it.



This is “labour”? A 2-4-D poisoned dandelion? What about this one?



Do two poisoned dandelions, or 10,000, make it labour? What about the poisoning of alfalfa with Roundup? Is that labour?



Is that an improvement? Or the killing of an edible spring crop of lambs quarters? How about that? More labour?



Come on. It’s sociopathic, and it contravenes even Locke’s misapplied principle. It’s not improving the land. It forfeits any right to it whatsoever.



It negates the privatization of land. If you’re going to treat it like this, that’s it. You’re done. It goes back to the people. Instantly. And as for the bigger picture, sure, come on. The people’s water is used to subsidize the production of pretty but rather stale-tasting controlled-atmosphere stored Granny Smith apples that no one wants. Two bites and it’s time to hurl. Funny that death finds death so quickly.



What? They couldn’t have got a horse? What about letting the owls and hawks hunt here? Or the coyote on the hill behind? No, they had to do an Othello on it.



A culture that allows this is a culture of death. Let’s not make excuses. The whole point of privatization under the aegis of Locke was to create the concentration for a capital economy that could grow urban and military infrastructure. The land in the image above is not an economy at all. It’s not even a desert. It’s a sickness. May the man who sowed this death be brought to find life out of his darkness, but, first, may the land be removed from his abuse and brought back to life. We could argue the relative ethics of human and property rights till we were blue in the faces. It doesn’t matter. The activity above is just outside of any moral code.



That is why it is called tragedy.


2 replies »

  1. I’ve been watching Vice, a series on HBO, the last episode 31 was about GMOs and water . If you get a chance to watch it in Canada I recommend it. I studied environmentla science in college. I find it all very depressing. Nothing seems to get better, or very little does. We can’t give up. There is a glimmer of hope here and there.


    • Thanks! Don’t have TV, though.

      Don’t worry. Not giving up. You know me: another day, another idea.


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