Do We Really Understand Our Rights?

A concern we have had for some time is how since 9-11 we have willingly give up our sovereign rights for “security”.  Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. “

We have been desensitized  to the erosion of our rights in the name of security. It is important that we understand the dangerous territory we are entering.  It is appropriate that we pause for a moment and think seriously at what we are willingly giving up in the name of security. The effort to have us give up such things as a right to privacy, habeas corpus, illegal search and seizure, due process has been intense in the name of national security. The question we must ask is have we truly benefited from the choices that have been foisted upon us?

 Hey Cristina presented a great discourse on this very subject.

WHAT IS A RIGHT?
What exactly is a right? Is it something that you are born with? Is it something that is a priori? Or is it a man made construct like time? You can ask one hundred individuals what they believe a right is and they will all have slightly distinct and unique perspectives on what it is. I want to use this essay as a way to bring about a discussion on what rights are and whether they actually exist.

A right is a legal, social, or ethical standard that people are entitled to. It is a social normative or idea of what is allowed by people and what is owed to people. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Rights are entitlements (not) to perform certain actions, or (not) to be in certain states; or entitlements that others (not) perform certain actions or (not) be in certain states.”

A right is something that an individual or a group of individuals feel entitled to. They may feel entitled to this because of the laws set before them or because they feel that it is innately understood for all humans to have these rights. What I want to discuss is the different types of rights and whether they are actually rights at all. Here I am going to discuss what natural rights, legal rights, positive rights, and negative rights are and whether they are what we think they are or privileges handed down to us.

NATURAL RIGHTS
Natural rights are rights that are not manmade. They are not given by a governing body. They are what some would call inalienable. The United States declares life and liberty as natural rights (although that remains to be seen).

According to John Locke natural rights have always been. Before there were states or other governing bodies, there was nature and the people of the Earth were all subject to the laws of nature. Those laws created what is known as natural rights. What exactly could be considered a natural right? “The right to live” is considered a natural right, but is it really natural? Does Mother Nature stop hurricanes from running up into cities where thousands or millions of people could be hurt because the inhabitants there have the right to live? No. She doesn’t. Nature is nature and it is bound by no [man-made] laws. So if there is no natural law, there can be no natural rights.

The Earth provides all the necessities to live (if we imagine a world without war mongering governing bodies controlling the resources and flow of energy), but it does not give any individual, whether human, plant, or animal, the right to live. It simply provides the means to live and you, whatever you are (plant, animal, or human) have to work in some form or another to survive. This may mean that you have to open up your leaves every morning to catch the sun’s rays, or it may mean you have to hunt for your food, or it may mean you have to build shelter to stay warm, but whatever it is, you, the individual, has to work to live. It is not a right provided by nature, it is actually a privilege.

LEGAL RIGHTS

Legal rights are easy. They are rights granted by a governing body. They are built into a society by a legal contract. Legal rights do not have to be morally acceptable. They do not, and usually are not, granted to the people of the world. Some countries maintain certain “rights” while others take “rights” away. Individuals are subject to whatever their authoritative ruling body declares as a right. It is something given, not innately possessed.

Legal rights are not rights at all. They are approved actions that the governing body allows the people to do. I think calling a legal right a right is contradictory to the term itself. We have the “right” to marry, but only under the conditions the governing body deems acceptable. We have the “right” to go to public schooling, but only the type of schooling the governing body deems honorable.

So, are legal rights, rights? By definition legal rights can be considered a right. They are written into a social contract that the individual signs (except that we didn’t actually sign any legal contracts with out government so are we therefore entitled to those rights? Read more here.) Is a legal right a right that is innately understood? No. Is it a right that everyone is entitled to? No. Different ruling bodies have different laws in place and they grant those rules or “rights” to the individuals of that land. Are legal rights yours? No. They are given, handed down to you. They are not yours by choice. I would argue that legal rights are not rights at all. They are privileges that the governing body allows the citizens to have. Is it really your right to marry if you can only marry under the conditions set forth by the state? Is it really your right too free speech when we have journalists being blacklisted and harmed for spreading truth the the people? Is it really your right to privacy when the NSA is watching our every move? Are these rights? No. They are not.

POSITIVE RIGHTS

Positive rights are rights that people give to themselves. They are rights the people believe they and others are entitled to. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “ the holder of a positive right is entitled to provision of some good or service.”  Some examples of positive rights:
-education
-healthcare
-housing
-internet access

-food

Positive rights can range from person to person. These are just a few common examples of what people claim they have a right to. Positive rights are typically enforced by a governing body. If we want universal healthcare, the people who believe this is a right would demand that it comes from their governing body. I do agree that IF we have a governing body working FOR us they should provide whatever the people insist on, especially since they are involuntarily taking our tax dollars to provide us with services.

However, I do not believe that positive rights are rights at all, they are privileges. They are ideas or agreements between the people and those who grant the positive rights. The right to life is not completely compatible or intertwined with the right to housing and food, although in some people’s minds these are one in the same. The current society we live in makes it very difficult to imagine different scenarios and this system creates a lot of the problems we face, but let’s say people have the right to live. Most people would say every person has the absolute right to live. They would then conclude that in order for people to have the right to live they must have the right to housing and food and in some cases, education. These are all really beautiful wants, but they are not rights. In order to provide these necessities for the 7 billion people of the planet it would have to be energy taken (either voluntarily or involuntarily) from another person or group of people. Yes, I agree that we should help each other out. If you see a hungry person on the road, buy him some food! If you believe education is important and everyone should have access to it start your own school! Or start your own initiative to educate. Make pamphlets, hold meetings, reach out! If you think everyone is entitled to something then do your best to expend that energy into your community, but do not insist that the government should grant you or anyone these rights. Remember that the government does not actually care about your rights (which is why it took 100 years of the women’s suffrage movement to gain the right to vote).

Positive rights are really beautiful and can be ideal, but they are not rights. They are privileges granted by someone to someone and in a world where freedom is becoming more and more limited we need to find a way to break away from the controlling entities that grant us these “rights” because where one person may gain, another may lose.

I want it to be clear that I do NOT support any governing body giving out rights. I do not think they are capable and trustworthy of such a task. The governing bodies have proven for centuries that they cannot handle the task of protecting the people. Ideally, the whole system would be abolished entirely.

NEGATIVE RIGHTS
A negative right is the right to non interference. It means that the individual has the right to do nothing. An individual is entitled to not help out their neighbor as much as they are entitled to help out their neighbor. Negative rights do not mean they are “bad”, it just means that no one can tell you what to do and that you are capable of deciding what you want in this life and whether you want to do anything about it.

WHO HAS RIGHTS?

Who exactly has rights? Is it me, an individual? The collective? Do children have rights? What about mentally disabled or handicapped peoples? Do animals have rights? Does the Earth have rights? Who has “rights”?

Every person on the Earth seems to believe they have “rights” and maybe they do, but how do we all agree on who has “rights” in our current society? With Big Brother watching our every move (Vault 7) one could argue that rights do not exist. We have been granted the right to privacy, but do we actually receive that right?

How do we solve the clashing of the right of the individual and the right of the collective? When is it morally acceptable to force an individual to obey or follow the demands of what you believe is your right? We believe we have the right to free speech here in the United States, but do we? What about when someone says something that is racist? Do racists lose their right to free speech?

What about when we have a group of people who need more financial assistance than another group of people? Do we invade the rights of one group to provide the rights for another? I do not agree with this form of action. I see why people would think this way, but right’s are not innate. They are given by others to others or to yourself. If everyone has rights, then we cannot rightfully overturn one individual or collectives rights to give rights to another individual or collective.

What about different people? Do children have rights? Do those deemed mentally ill (which is a whole different discussion on why the government might want to label individuals as incapable) have rights? Do handicapped peoples have rights?

Your initial response might be “of course!” Because what kind of a person would say that these people do not have rights? Not anyone with a good moral heart of course! But the truth is, no one has rights. If you believe people have rights, then when is it okay to take freedoms away from children? Why is it okay to yell and physically harm children? Do they not have the right to live in peace? To feel safe?

People labeled with mental disorders are the first individuals to lose their rights in the current political regime. Mental disorders cannot even be biologically pinpointed in many cases and are typically diagnosed based off descriptions found in textbooks. So who is to say who is mentally disabled and who is not? Why are they the first to lose their rights? They are forced into hospitals against their wills, they are told they cannot work in certain places, they are told they cannot own certain things (guns, etc.). Are these individuals less than those not stigmatized with a mental disease label? Do they really deserve less rights (if you still support the idea of rights at this point)?

What about animals? Do they not also have the right to life and liberty? Do you own an animal? Are you holding them captive? Do you eat animals? Aren’t you invading their right to life? So who’s right is it to live? Is it yours or theirs? Where is the line of rights drawn? If your rights interfere with another’s rights are they rights?  Again, this is why I say there are no rights. No one is entitled to anything at all because right’s get messy and they take away from others. This leads me to my next thought.

WHO GRANTS RIGHTS?

If we have rights, then who in this great massive world is granting them? Do you grant yourself rights? Are inalienable rights just supposed to be known (a priori)? Are right’s given as privileges by governing bodies?

If we have rights they have to come from somewhere. If you are religious you may say they come from your god. If you are a statist you may say they come from the state. Maybe you just believe they are there for the taking and no one grants them, but then this get’s really confusing because rights are either given or taken. They are not just floating in the air. If I say that I have the right to have decent housing do I go and take over someone else’s home to acquire my right to housing? Or do I force someone else to build me a suitable house? If it’s a right then I should obtain this right for free, shouldn’t I? If I have to pay for it, whether in monetary or energy wise, then it is not a right because it is something I have to work towards. If I coerce a group of people to build my house I have overstepped their rights in order to achieve my own. If I build my own house I have to invade the rights of the Earth (if you believe the Earth also has rights that is) to gather materials for my housing. In the end energy is always spent, voluntarily or involuntarily, to gain or take rights. Nothing is free and no one and nothing can grant you rights. You either have the capabilities to do something or you don’t.

Some people may argue that rights are innate. We have the right to live, so that means people do not have the right to take my life. Well, someone actually can take your life, unfortunately, so is that a right? Or a privilege?

Rights are privileges granted by someone or something with the power to enforce those rights. I personally love the idea of rights. I love the idea that I would have the right to live in a house without paying rent, or to get all the food I need to eat for the week, but the truth is I do not have these “rights”. I am lucky enough to have the means necessary to harbor these ideologies (aka: rights), but they are not provided for me and they are not provided for people anywhere. Maybe in smaller communities, where governments cease to exist, we would have the means to help those in need, but in this current system we do not even have the ability to grant others or ourselves these “rights”.

CONCLUSION

I hope that I do not give the impression that “rights” are silly. I think there are a lot of good intentions behind rights and why people believe we have them, but in the end I do not think rights exist. I do not think anyone has the right to anything, not even life itself. You were born without choice, but do you come here with inalienable rights? Or do you come here and have your rights protected and granted by governing bodies (who take rights away from others to give it to you)?

If my rights clash with your rights, then who keeps their rights? Someone must gain while someone must lose and even if it’s for a good cause it still doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t a right. All rights are man made ideas and there is no higher authority who grants everyone the same rights. Rights are privileges. They are things that some people are capable of and some are not. Should we help those less capable in achieving what we wish everyone to have? Yes, we should, but again this doesn’t change the fact that they are not rights. It is a privilege to live. It is a privilege to eat. Sadly, not everyone has these privileges. I hope that one day we can create a world where we all have the same privileges. Where everyone has the means to create or have a home, to grow or obtain food, to make or buy clothing, etc. In the end though, these are privileges.

Privileges are not given. They just are. Some people have more privilege than others based on a variety of things (race, gender, place of birth, etc). You do not choose your privileges and we have limited privileges due to the ruling body of government who maintains a monopoly on the privileges given. They maintain control over what “rights” are given and who has “rights” and who does not have “rights”. Without the central government controlling all aspects of education, energy, resources, businesses, protection services, we would have more privileges and we would be more capable of providing what we believe others should have. Unfortunately, we are subject to these rulers which is why it is essential we leave this currently dead end system in it’s place. We can create the world we wish to see here and now. We can help people without the government in place, but we have to unite as a people of the Earth. We have to believe in the power within ourselves. We have to create alternatives to the situations at hand. Agorism is a peaceful means to an end and as much as I would like to get into what agorism is I will just leave you with information for you to discover on your own.

We can discuss what privileges we believe we all should have, but this essay’s main purpose was to discuss whether rights are real or imaginary and whether or not we have them. Let me know what you think about rights and what conclusions you have come to based off your own thoughts.

Inherent Rights

A priori rights—rights that exist from the beginning (inalienable)—are harder to pin down because it requires highly abstract thinking. The more abstract the concepts become, the more they begin to make contact with concepts of divinity, and this is why any lawful system worth its salt defines inalienable rights as coming from the divine. And even within the existing fallacious system, all law traces back to the Vatican and Roman Curia.

To assert that some rights are inherent, without also speaking to their origin, leaves the door open for moral relativism or the idea that what is right or wrong is subject to change, depending on social queues or personal whims. It also opens the door for unequal rights—that some people have more rights than others (like royalty). But these claims are fallacious because part of what makes a lawful system real and valid is that it applies to all people equality, also known as the Golden Rule of Law.

While the origin of inherent rights is a huge concept to unpack here, what can be briefly said is that these rights are “extended” from the Creator because, ultimately, all things are a part of the Creator. Thus, any rights the Creator has, the creature has by extension—because ultimately the creature and Creator are one. However, the creature has to learn through experience how to use these rights properly (or discover what they even are), and this is why life is fraught with the potential for social problems—in the act of solving them (justice) knowledge of how to act without harm is gained.

Rights are NOT Privileges 

If we define a right as a privilege—as the vast majority of institutions do—then yes, it is accurate to say rights, as so defined, do not exist. This is because a right—an inherent capacity to do something—cannot also be a privilege—permission given by someone to do something. Although, as we just discussed, in order to use your rights honorably, you need to work with others.

You have the right to breathe; you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to breathe. You simply breathe, and if someone tells you that you need their permission, then it is clear they are not understanding reality. To have a right that also requires permission would be a logical fallacy or an inherent contradiction.

But rights and privileges are related to one another because when a person exercises their rights they affect others and those people can choose to agree or disagree, to accept or reject that behavior. But this is more accurately described as consent instead of a privilege.

Introducing a new term to make understanding these things easier, consider then that in order to use your rights honorably, you should notify others whenever possible. Notice, in this sense, is the tool true sovereigns use to develop honorable dealings with their fellows, the thing that allows one to use their rights in a way that respects others.

Conversely, when someone uses their rights without notice, they create controversy, misunderstanding, or potentially, harm. For example, the right to free speech is one that most cultures acknowledge as valid, and yet almost everyone recognizes that using this right needs to be done with respect. The right of free speech is balanced by the recognition of mutual respect, specifically, the recognition that other people have the right to listen to you or not.

Stated more clearly, we all have the right to free speech, but a conversation is a “privilege” because the consent of another must be gained—we can’t have a conversation with someone who refuses to do so. Also, if we lie or intentionally deceive others then using our right of free speech causes harm to others and the world through the proliferation of falsehoods. Thus, there are two sides to the use of one’s rights, and it is up to the individual to learn how to use them wisely. Rights, if used properly, make things better for the person using them and all others.

Therefore, exercising rights—due to the nature of our contractual reality and the fact our actions affect others—is inexorably and forever linked to socialization. Matter of fact, if we consider that all things in the universe are made of consciousness, alive in their own right, then everything we do, including living in our own bodies, is a social enterprise—without other beings, we wouldn’t be able to exercise any rights at all.

From this discussion we can see very clearly that we must each decide what rights are for the entire population of the planet.  There are very concerted efforts to divide us; to polarize our beliefs. We must now stand as individuals, as sovereign beings, and declare our rights as individual human beings. We suspect we ALL share a vision of what those rights should be. It is now time to overcome these artificial divisions that have been foisted upon us and as INDIVIDUALS declare our right as sovereign human beings. We suspect when we perceive this reality, our lives can improve quickly and positively. Stand up!

 

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Everything is Political

 “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” ~ Pericles

As the violence and political drama continues to escalate before us, we must wake up and activate that part of our being that is above politics, indeed, even above religious dogma. We must recognize our ability to, as humans, come together for the betterment of all. Are we not tired of war? Are we not tired of the absurd political theater? Are we not disgusted with the disregard for the majority of us for corporate profit and business as usual, taking, taking, taking by a few?

Of course we are, but we must recognize that which divides us from taking control of our own personal destinies has been engineered by those who hold this absolute power. However, they know full well that if we, as humanity, awaken to their games, their games are over in the blink of an eye. Their game of fear porn has to end and now.

As we witnessed in the tragic events that unfolded in Dallas recently, people WERE coming together and as we saw that was not to be tolerated. Yet, in the aftermath of the events there, people have remained together and with peaceful resolve are moving forward. We all must join hands, whites, blacks, citizens, soldiers, and police,  Christian, Muslim, and Jew to declare we are one race, the Human race, and WE are in control  of our destiny, our planet, and our environment.

To helps break the bonds of our psychological engineered views, first we must understand why everything seems political and what is ABOVE politics and why we are destined to control our own lives. Ethan Indigo Smith, Contributing writer for Wake Up World provides some great insight to the process.

The Political Bottom Line

Everything is political, but firstly it’s biological. This is the concept behind my recent article on biological oligarchical collectivism. It’s simply a swift way of saying that, whether realized or not, our lives are influenced by politics, local and international, past and present — but no matter how important this is to understand, it is even more important to understand that despite the insidious infiltration of politics into every strata of human existence, we are still biological beings. No matter one’s political tendencies or ideologies, we need clean air and water and quality food in order to even begin to contemplate political and social objectives, let alone participate in the world.

Politics permeates everything in society. Politics is something we are immersed in. The people of Flint, Michigan, who cannot drink politics, realize this most directly. We are biological beings firstly, before we are social and political beings. It is only the rhetoric of government and corporations that leads us to prioritize our lives otherwise.

All the politicized, institutionalized, mechanized interaction between individuals and institutions stem from psychological and biological reasons and responses. Sometimes we may not understand our own biological reasons and responses because we live under the limits of our biology, using it to understand it. And yet we know it to be true from observation and experience. It is our biological fear response, for example, that is exploited by government for the political gains of war.

Indeed, every political problem stems from ingrained biological responses and, judging from the continuous institutional war on individualism and destruction of Earth mother, perhaps deep psychological pathology.

Political, Biological… Spiritual

As I said, everything is political but firstly biological… and originally, it is spiritual. Despite our deep primordial connection to the Earth, animals, plants, each other, the seasons, planetary bodies, and forces of the universe far greater than ourselves, the postmodern collective has gone astray, lacking spirituality, left hungry and distracted by the mechanics of institutional imperialism.

Many individuals, despite their spiritual origins and political predicament, never comprehend the spiritual or political stratum of existence. Many consider little beyond their biological needs. And this apathy to realms of reality beyond physical attainment, is the biggest problem we face, with the greatest shielding. The encroachment of politics on our biological and spiritual lives, and the majority’s apathy to it, is an unyielding dynamic in our society. This apathy to the actions of government actually perpetuates the problem, helping to embed the prioritization of political and corporate motives over our biological and primordial/spiritual needs as the status quo.

No matter the particular variation of government, this kind of politics eventually degrades to oligarchical collectivism — which serves only those in power — and ultimately, into biological oligarchical collectivism, which threatens our biological wellbeing in the process.

(For more on biological oligarchical collectivism, please see my recent article, Oligarchical Collectivism: The Institutional “ism” That Threatens Our Very Biology, or simply consider the politics that led to the ongoing health crisis in Flint, Michigan.)

What Would Jesus Do?

What is the solution? Well, let’s see… What would Jesus do? Now I don’t ask this in the Bible-pushing, monotheistic way that you might be accustomed to hearing. In fact, I openly reject monotheism — the religious doctrine that there is only one true “God” — as a form of institutionalization. Rather, I ask the question “What would Jesus do?” as a spiritual human who, like the Jesus archetype, appreciates the value of individuals and not institutions.

The bible’s Cleansing of the Temple narrative tells of Jesus expelling the merchants and money-changers from the Temple, accusing them of turning the Temple into a den of thieves, and declaring “My house shall be a house of prayer.” He went through an intense process of self-development and refinement. He became a teacher and healer, challenging the prevailing morality. Sound familiar?

The story of Jesus offers the solution to the problem of institutionalization we face today: the millennia-old dilemma of oligarchical collectivism, of prioritizing commercial over spiritual interests. Today, this is the political bottom line. No matter what is going on in the world, no matter the political agenda being pushed, we must perform the inner-work to develop and define our own consciousness. Refinement and healing of the Self is the first step toward individuation, which is the first step to being an empowered individual among power-seeking institutions… which is the first step toward changing the political bottom line. The next step is to teach and, when possible, contribute to healing others. As Jesus demonstrated, after one heals, one forgives and heals others. But we can only find this ability if firstly we have found healing for our Self.

At the Last Supper, as the story goes, Jesus told his disciples to remember his death. Yes, despite his apparently miraculous birth, Jesus told his closest friends, the night before he passed, to remember how he left this world rather than how he arrived — to remember his legacy of spiritual achievements, not his (miraculous) biological inheritance. Jesus developed himself and then focused on teaching and healing, as well as confronting the “den of thieves” — the political and commercial profiteers of his day. He confronted and called out the money changers and merchants, and the militaristic authorities, and re-asserted the value of spirituality. However the oligarchical power-seekers collectivized and subverted the spiritual aspects he advocated — and this was the final straw for Jesus.

The Remedy

Everything is political, but first it’s biological, and before that it’s spiritual. No matter if the oligarchies are armed with swords or depleted uranium missiles, as they are today, the solution to the ever-impending and ever-expanding nature of oligarchical collectivism is to be like Jesus — to value the spiritual over all else, political, commercial or otherwise. In order to counter the political bottom line we face today, we must become powerful refined individuals focused on teaching and healing. There are already so many healers and teachers in the world today who embody this “Christ consciousness”, working to counter institutionalization and politicization in peaceful manners, mainly by developing themselves and assisting others directly. In order to surpass the political bottom line that has persisted throughout history, we need to create a new metaphysical paradigm to replace it.

Whether one views the bible as allegorical or literal, the story of Jesus provides powerful lessons, and these lessons are more profound the better one is able to sift through the controlling layers of monotheistic, monothematic consciousness contained therein. Remember, Jesus spoke of no “true religion” but was simply a prophet of love, healing and justice. Be a lightworker, just as Jesus was. Confront and heal your shadow aspects and learn to work in the light. Develop yourself, teach others and stand up against the politics of oligarchical collectivism, which values power and the powerful over humans and humanity. Forget the dogma and the institutionalization, and focus on working in the light, no matter what. Refine yourself and then be yourself, as a healer and teacher, and peacefully confront the oligarchies — like Jesus.

Another important remedy to oligarchical collectivism is to think on different lines than the status quo and the majority. Most people see matters in terms of their own perspective or even selfish benefit, however the terms they think are to their benefit are often enough to their detriment — such as the example of commercial globalization, which provides people with cheap convenient access to resources and products but to the detriment of personal self-sufficiency, local economies and our environment, which are ultimately of detriment to people. Look beyond the perspective of the self, and the status quo of the majority, and allow the “Christ consciousness” to inform your thoughts and actions, in everything you do.

But, while the focus of this discussion has been the lesson of the Jesus allegory, the spiritual solution to our political bottom line can be found in spiritual teachings of all kinds. One of the most profound spiritual teachers, right up there with Jesus (as long as monotheism isn’t the focus), is Milarepa, one of Tibet’s most famous yogis and poets.

Milarepa is the Patron Saint of Tibet. Of all the amazing teachers and yogis, including Milarepa’s own teacher Naropa, Milarepa is the most honored of all yogis, and perhaps he himself is the very source of the ‘wise man on the mountain’archetype; the slightly strange yogi in rags, that resides atop the highest cave in the most secluded valley, awaiting seeker’s arrival with the answer to his question. Milarepa was primarily known for changing the world through his own enlightenment. He is further known for offering answers or understandings which were completely counterintuitive to the average individual involved, and in fact transcended the problems he was presented, rather than attempting to solve them with the kind of thinking that created them. This is the nature of spirituality.

The political bottom line, the solution to biological oligarchical collectivism, and the confinement of politics, is to work in the light, like Jesus, like Milarepa, and like so many countless other well-known and nameless healers and righteous rebels. Empower yourself as an individual, empower others and take on the institutional powers that are nefarious or exploitative. The solutions to political problems are spiritual practices. The solution to political institutionalization is to enhance your consciousness and become a lightworker, or a rainbow warrior, because the best way to contrast the institutionalization of the entire planet is to enhance consciousness individuation across the entire planet. The political bottom line is a spiritual one, the political bottom line is not religious oriented necessarily, but spiritual.

Politics is the highest social station of the lowest form of social thinking. It is not an ascended mode, nor is it made up of ascended people. It is just the highest operation of the lowest and most basic. The political bottom line, the way to empower individuals and disempower institutions is to be spiritual, and in some manner, or by every means at your disposal, rise above the highest operation of the lowest motivation. The political bottom line is to be spiritual.

Are Small Farmers and Co-Ops Under Attack?

I am getting concerned as to what is happening in relation to food and water.  What I mean specifically is three things.  First, it seems our government, especially the FDA, but also Homeland Security, is busting organic farmers and dairies all over the country.  Collecting rainwater is now illegal in many states. Secondly, it seems that our seed markets are being controlled by a few big ag producers and they are being very aggressive to insure you and I don’t own the seeds we develop from our growing.  And finally, there is pending legislation that seems to extend this control even further.

Stories like the following example are cropping up all over the country.  Swat teams, cars of police ascending with guns drawn on co-op farmers and independent small grower’s farms, taking everything like computers and farm equipment as “evidence’.  Raiding organic food stores. A sign of new times?

Collecting rainwater is illegal in many states, especially western states, such as Utah where it is illegal to collect rainwater without a “water right” permit!

And now S 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, which may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the US.  It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money.

“If accepted [S 510] would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes.  It will become the most offensive authority against the cultivation, trade and consumption of food and agricultural products of one’s choice. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law or, if you like, the will of God,” according to Dr. Shiv Chopra, Canada Health whistleblower.  It is similar to what India faced with imposition of the salt tax during British rule, only S 510 extends control over all food in the US, violating the fundamental human right to food.

Monsanto says it has no interest in the bill and would not benefit from it, but Monsanto’s Michael Taylor who gave us rBGH and unregulated genetically modified (GM) organisms, appears to have designed it and is waiting as an appointed Food Czar to the FDA (a position unapproved by Congress) to administer the agency it would create — without judicial review — if it passes.  S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.

History

In the 1990s, Bill Clinton introduced HACCP (Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Points) purportedly to deal with contamination in the meat industry.  Clinton’s HACCP delighted the offending corporate meat packers since it allowed them to inspect themselves, eliminated thousands of local food processors (with no history of contamination), and centralized meat into their control.  Monsanto promoted HACCP.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton, urged a powerful centralized food safety agency as part of her campaign for president.  Her advisor was Mark Penn, CEO of Burson Marsteller*, a giant PR firm representing Monsanto.  Clinton lost, but Clinton friends such as Rosa DeLauro, whose husband’s firm lists Monsanto as a progressive client and globalization as an area of expertise, introduced early versions of S 510.

S 510 fails on moral, social, economic, political, constitutional, and human survival grounds.

1.  It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency.  It resembles the Kissinger Plan.

2.  It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security.  It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection.  Instead, S 510 says:

COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.

Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.

3.  It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into “the United States.” Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, “entry of food into the US” covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and “entering into” it by virtue of being produced.

4.  It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements.  Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.

5.  It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security. See Seeds – How to criminalize them, for more details.

6.  It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease.  Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents.  Animal diseases can be falsely declared.  S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.

7.  It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production – put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.

8.  It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer.  The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.

9.  It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe.  The five items listed — the Five Pillars of Food Safety — are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.

10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied.  It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review. It is (similar to C-6 in Canada) the end of Rule of Law in the US. In addition to this act, keep in mind the designed “Anti-Hoarding Act” making it illegal to store more than 30 days food supply.

Even without S510, it seems that the big ag companies already believe they are in control of our food supply.  Consider this by Jack Kaskey:

June 25 (Bloomberg) — Monsanto Co., the world’s biggest seed company, is being investigated by West Virginia over possibly misleading growers who were promised improved yields from its new Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean seeds.

“My office is concerned that West Virginia farmers are paying much higher prices for soybeans with the Roundup Ready 2 trait when the yields do not live up to the claims and do not justify the increased prices,” West Virginia Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw wrote in a letter dated June 24 and posted on his website.

Monsanto last year began shifting growers to the new seeds by promising a 7 percent to 11 percent bigger harvest compared with the original Roundup Ready soybean seeds, which loses patent protection in 2014. Iowa State University, Pennsylvania State University, a farmer group and investment researcher OTR Global found the latest seeds failed to boost yields as promised, McGraw said in the letter.

The St. Louis-based company may have engaged in unfair or deceptive acts under West Virginia law and be subject to penalties, McGraw wrote. He invited the company to meet before the state possibly begins litigation. Monsanto has data demonstrating the improved performance, it said in an e-mailed statement. Roundup Ready 2 soybeans increase yields on average by 3.6 bushels, more than 7 percent, according to 40,000 comparisons the company conducted between 2007 and 2009, it said.

Purchase Decisions

The attorney general’s letter “is based on a misunderstanding of our national marketing materials,” Monsanto said. “Growers measure the performance of these products on their farm and make their purchase decisions based on what’s right for them.”

Roundup Ready 2 soybeans were planted on 1.5 million acres last year and cost growers $74 an acre, 42 percent more than the older product. West Virginia growers bought enough of the new seeds to plant fewer than 50 acres in 2009, Monsanto spokesman Lee Quarles said. Sales this year aren’t yet available, he said.  West Virginia grew about 18,000 acres of the nation’s 77.5 million acres of soybeans last year, making it the smallest soybean-growing state tracked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On the regulatory side we are hearing more and more stories like below:

Earlier in June, agents of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, escorted by police and also bearing search warrants, raided and shut down Traditional Foods Warehouse, a popular food club in Minneapolis specializing in locally-produced foods. They also raided two farms suspected of illegally selling raw milk. And in a national first among such raids, agents searched a private home and made off with computers; the family’s offense appears to have been that it allowed one of the raw dairy farmers to park in its driveway to distribute raw milk to area residents who had ordered it.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has declined comment on such raids, saying they are part of an ongoing investigation into raw milk distribution in the state in lieu of eight illnesses in May linked to raw milk.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has launched three raids over the last three months on the dairy farm and farm store of Vernon Hershberger, near Madison. The day after DATCP agents placed seals on his fridges storing raw dairy products in July, Hershberger cut the seals, and announced he was going to challenge the agency’s contention he needs a dairy and retail license to sell his products. Obtaining such licenses would be problematic, though, since Wisconsin prohibits sale of raw milk, except “incidental” sales, and defining “incidental” has been a bone of contention for many years. In any event, Hershberger contends he sells only to consumers who contract privately for his food.

What’s behind all these raids? They seem to stem from increasing concern at both the state and federal level about the spread of private food groups that have sprung up around the country in recent years — food clubs and buying groups to provide specialized local products that are generally unavailable in groceries, like grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, fermented foods, and, in some cases, raw dairy products. Because they are private and limited to consumers who sign up for membership, these groups generally avoid obtaining retail and public health licenses required of retailers that sell to the general public. (For more on what’s behind the raids, see this new post.)

In late 2008 and early 2009, the representatives of state agriculture agencies in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois met via phone conferences with representatives of the FDA to map a plan for targeting raw-milk buying clubs in the Midwest. The meetings came to light after Max Kane, the owner of a Wisconsin buying club who was subpoenaed by Wisconsin authorities for the names of his customers and suppliers, obtained email accounts of the sessions via a Freedom of Information request to Wisconsin’s Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection department. (Kane has since been prosecuted by Wisconsin authorities for contempt of court for failing to give up the names; his case is under appeal after he was found guilty last December.)

Now, the Midwest program seems to have gone national, and the recent spate of raids suggests a quickening pace and broadened scope. While most raids before the Midwest government meetings had been related to raw-milk distribution, some, like a December 2008 armed raid of Manna Storehouse, an Ohio food club near Cleveland, have been about licensing issues. In that raid, armed law enforcement officers held a mother and eight young children being home-schooled at gunpoint for several hours while they searched the home and food storage areas. A legal challenge to the raid by the family is still tied up in court.

The current uptick has Pete Kennedy of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund concerned, not only about the spreading of the raids, but about the seemingly easy willingness of judges to hand out search warrants. While the U.S. Constitution’s fourth amendment suggests judges should exercise tight controls over search warrants (“no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…”), Kennedy observes, “I haven’t seen an agency turned down yet” over the last four years in requests for search warrants connected with raw milk and other food production and distribution.

Is this some government conspiracy to take over the food supply?  No , I don’t think so.  What it is however, is large private corporations using their influence to insure their domination in the market place.  I have very strong fundamental problems with that modus operandi when it comes to food and a private individual’s right to grow food and to share food.  It is simply over the line by any standard.  If we can’t agree on geo-politics or the economy, surely we can be united when it comes to our food, can’t we? Oh God I hope so.