In this issue:
A map to access the brain
Genetically modified trees and the bio-economy
Towards a season of biotech consensus?
The wilderness in an Expo sandwich
Notes on the margin of a GM demo
Francois Kepes, the man who rationalizes living machines
Words on the move: talk with Luana, an animal liberation activist on trial in Brescia
following the liberation of beagles from Green Hill [breeding farm in Lombardy].
Declaration to the court at the Green Hill trial
Anti-nuclear power sabotage: back to court after ten years
Recent months have been intense with initiatives that we have been participating in as a collective of resistance to the nanotech world and as editors of L’Urlo della Terra; we have been in many places and situations discussing topics such as radical environmentalism, convergent sciences and animal liberation. We carry out our public interventions the same way as we make and distribute this paper: we don’t go to specific areas or have privileged interlocutors to address. Of course, we’d like to say that this paper is for ‘everybody’ and can be distributed anywhere to awaken dormant spirits. We know well that it’s not like that. Of course we’d rather go for more sensitive milieus and contexts, where there is already some form of attention and interest about what’s happening around us, inside us, to other animals and the planet, where ideas can raise doubts and moments of rupture. A rupture that is increasingly normalizing, always more alien and accustomed to an ever growing insidious exploitation, to the point that we end up thinking we are facing a monolith that can’t be opposed other than with practices with the mere appearance of conflictuality.
Most of the topics we explore in this paper, such as technological developments,
environmentalism and the destruction of an anthropocentric vision do not
represent anything new. In recent years we have been witnessing unprecedented
attention [towards these topics]: by the media, by so-called public opinion and
consequently by all sectors of the economy. The great critic of technology Jacques
Ellul often used a phrase that ‘has always proved to be so’: ‘When a certain
human requisite is excessively talked about in society, it is because it no
longer exists; if freedom is excessively talked about it is because freedom has
The attention shown by the State, the economy and a good number of multinationals
is constantly growing and getting stronger day by day. This process is not
something separate from society, as the technical conditions to make the world as
desirable as possible are being created. Never before has the defence of nature
been talked about as much as it is today, one never stops evoking it, referring to
it and dedicating magniloquent debates and in-depth talks to it. All this is happening
right at a time when nature is being massively destroyed, and water, the soil
and the sky are being totally poisoned, such global dehumanization that our very bodies are at risk of becoming single-crop cultivations.
Unwillingly, we now find ourselves discussing such important questions within one huge cauldron animated by environmentalist and animalist associations, international bodies set to protect nature, ethical committees, etc. The thing is obviously far more complex for those who still want to give strength to their ideas and meaning to their words. The process through which power becomes bearer of ‘green’ and ‘anti-system’ claims is not ineluctable, it is always possible to create moments of rupture that can break this process up in some of its parts. This kind of unexpected moment would offer (new) time for our gaze to expand and discover the interconnections and relations that keep the chains of exploitation linked together.
The ineluctability of dominion seems have penetrated us deeply, to such an extent that projects and situations of critique and opposition often appear as mere survival, a testimony almost. Even milieus that are critical of the existent
remain entrapped in the vicious circle; it seems there’s a secret trust in the system, an indissoluble link with it, a consequence of insecurity and fear. One thinks, or rather wants to think, that some solution will come, even from the status quo. After all we’re not under a fascist dictatorship; don’t we live in democracy? One gets more and more accustomed to the closeness, the coexistence with power. Various projects and ideas then pay the price of this situation: at best they remain paralysed and at worst they serve the consolidation of power as being Green, egalitarian and in solidarity, animalist… One can hear good things being said about the possibilities of technological society even in milieus of critique. Medicine can make
progresses with nano-technologies, while nanotech food will feed the planet, as recently stated at Expo. This sounds like the old talks about a civilian use of nuclear power and about GM. Once again this is yet another rewriting of reality in an
already-known script, only its content has changed; manipulation is also returning, always with innovations that are more and more interchangeable and elusive in their essences and sizes.
In these times few think about laying hold of technological developments in order to make a ‘different’ use of them. On the contrary far too many, apparently driven by common sense, are giving their contribution to alleviating the slave’s
fatigue, now that any idea of liberation from slavery has been abandoned. This is what technological and scientific development brings about: not only nocivity that is as wide as the world, but also voluntary obedience, unconditional acceptance, because this is the only possible world. A world where one can become indignant and create anonymous masses of indignant people through social networks.
Even many grass-root situations, self-managed and informal, are threatened by this
danger: senseless emptiness has gained the upper hand in many cases, hence
practices of struggle and ideas of change that are even less radical than those
expressed by the eco-fighters of the Green Economy. The latter are promising to
subvert the world as we’ve known it so far. We know they’re not joking, but
that they are planning it step by step with instruments whose power can’t be
understood or even imagined; and if need be there is always war, a war
incomprehensible from afar and terrifying close by.
When trust in the system doesn’t prevail, one sees projects being proposed and ideas being expressed about alternative choices to this kind of reality. One responds to the economy that is destroying the environment with a convivial economy based on sharing. Often this kind of project, which starts off from a discovery of nature and a different way to live with it, are animated by the best intentions. But can one think of changing anything of the existent by building something inside it? With its materials, laws, poisons and impositions? When one expresses one’s support to organic agriculture, hasn’t one already accepted one of the key rules of the Green Economy, taken on its propaganda, where what’s natural has already been substituted with something else, something better, which sounds better, which is in harmony with the techno-industry and its supermarkets of the future?
Certainly it is important, or rather fundamental, for us to start thinking about a different world right away, and it is also important for this different world to be present in our means, ideas and actions already. But a different world can never become real if we don’t get rid of the existing one. Our goal shouldn’t just be to close down a lab, protect a forest or a valley, but always to point towards the destruction of the system of death. The way we realize this distant dream will make the difference; real moments of freedom can be created right now, where our actions – unmediated by political calculation and by the virtual language of a machine – can provoke real rupture. The latter will be promptly mended, but we’ll be still there to create the next one.
We dedicate this issue to Elia Vatteroni, anarchist Baffardello who passed away in
the last days of this summer…
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Translated by Act forfreedom now!