Eco-communities as a social vision

Eco-communities as a social vision
Egalitarian and ecological communities, like the pictured East Wind (, are very close to our vision of an ecological society

27 May, 2008

Biotech Is Godzilla by Sepultura, Album: Chaos AD (1993)-part 3

Rio Summit, '92
Street people kidnapped
Hid from view
To save the earth
Our rulers met
Some had other
Secret plans

No... No... No... No...

Say what?

Strip-mine the Amazon
Of cells of life itself
Gold rush for genes is on
Natives get nothing

Is Godzilla

Mutations cooked in labs
Money-mad experiments
New food + medicine?
New germs + accidents!

Like Cubatao
World's most polluted town
Air melts your face
Deformed children all around

Ain't what's so bad
Like all technology
It's in the wrong hands

Cut-throat corporations
Don't give a damn
When lots of people die
From what they've made

Is A.I.D.S.?


The lyrics of this song were written by Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys. It deals with the expansion of biotechnology companies and their social and environmental impacts. It also makes hints about the role of the science under the control of corporations. Let’s see things from the beginning, because the narration is quite interesting.

In the first verse there is sarcasm about the hypocrisy of luxurious environmental summits where pictures of poverty and misery must be hidden from view. Our leaders, those that are the only responsible for environmental destruction and world poverty didn’t want to see people’s problems at face. It’s not a surprise that no such summit has done anything important in order to reverse the environmental destruction, or to stop poverty.

But in reality, there are usually secret agendas to be dealt with, no matter what information reach mass media and TV channels. Many summits have to do with promoting business and making deals with multinational corporations for occupation of land and natural resources without asking the opinion or even caring about the participation of the mostly involved local people and tribes.

Exotic plants with medicinal substances were stolen, mines for ore-deposits cause deforestation but natives get nothing except their displacement and cultural destruction. Then, these stolen traditional medicine substances were treated chemically in order to be patented by corporations and sold at high prices, that poor people (ironically, the native tribes once only holders of traditional herbal medicine) can’t afford them.Genes by exotic species are used in order to create the so-called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), a huge experiment with unknown consequences to environment, health and societies. Money-mad experiments with monsters-organisms designed only for profitable purposes and not for increasing food supplies. Biotech-Corporations like Monsanto design GMO-crops to be resistant in chemical pesticides that are produced and sold by them. Other GMO-crops are designed to produce pesticides by themselves. There is no concern about the nightmarish threat of release such genes to the environment and the forever pollution of normal (conventional or organic) crops. Their only concern is to increase their profits by taking all world food production under their control, enslaving farmers under binding contracts and completely destroying local traditional agriculture which has survived for thousands of years.The song also makes a statement that biotech is not bad per se, the only problem is that is in the wrong hands. That’s a very interesting question about the nature and form of science. Strict Marxism would say that GMO are good, but the profits and benefits must be shared to the people and not to the corporation. So science is good no matter what the object of research is. But these objects are determined by the interests of those who control science. So the GMO research under public control would be something quite different: for example, Biotechnology is also to cross plants by natural methods, biotechnology is to keep and use local varieties of seeds resistant to various climates, etc. The scientific discipline of production of organisms by direct modifications in the level of genes and DNA in order to satisfy certain and transient needs or purposes is something absolutely risky to our level of knowledge, so is bad science per se, no matter if an hypothetical social revolution expropriates corporations’ property and patents and share it to the public. People under true democratic constitutions would choose alternative and sustainable scientific methods to share equally the goods, not such risky ones.

Medicine also, today based in chemistry, would be completely different if it was not controlled by multinational corporations. We see that they stole exotic plants for the chemical treatment, extraction and isolation of the pure substance that considered the healing factor. Such a procedure usually produces toxic medicines and antibiotics with many side-effects to the patients. But that’s the only way to produce patents and something profitable. Original therapeutic practices, where the healing substances are in minute concentrations and in mutual interaction inside herbs, were ignored, like traditional no-drug medicine as well. Under public democratic control, any kind of alternative and friendly to the patient healing method would be developed, so the discipline of medicine would be quite different in many terms. It’s not only an issue of expropriating Bayer, or La Roche property and patents and give their toxic antibiotics with side-effects to the poor, because chemical-based medicine is not the only existing healing method. Its an issue of radical transformation of the discipline under a more democratic and ecological society.

We can say exactly the same concerning nuclear energy. The impacts of its use are huge and irreversible, so such a discipline (central distribution of nuclear energy supply) would not exist if people take life in their hands and seek for a variety of alternative energy supplies friendly to environment and society. But greed and need for political control and power promoted such scientific discipline and related inventions and no matter the terrible impacts of nuclear accidents and other issues (nuclear waste disposal), nuclear lobby today fights back.

In the end, the song wonders if these monstrous experiments have caused accidentally the spreading of deadly viruses like AIDS.

You can hear this song in youtube