The nation state is maintained by force and violence whether carried out by monarchs, presidents, or parliaments and their cops, courts, and armies. Laws and customs vary among nations, or are even contested within nations. But what all these nations have in common is the use of official force to maintain social relationships of unequal power and unequal access to a means for living. Ironically, these institutions of force are rationalized as “crime prevention,” justified to control human nature, which is portrayed as “selfish, brutal, and prone to cutthroat competition.” But do they not rather create a culture of callousness and competition through the hierarchies they enforce that give rise to crime because so many people experience a world where others do not care, and make no effort to see that their needs can be met? A society with a deficit of love is one with an excess of crime.
The traditional communal cultures of America had no prisons and very little crime. Our laws create crime by establishing the conditions that make crime a reasonable survival option, accompanied by a culture that deliberately enflames the desires for things it then withholds from many individuals. Far from being some innate condition of the human species, society is based on institutionalized inequality. Money and land ownership have only been prevalent in the last 5,000 years or so of human history. One of the problems we have in understanding the development of human culture and the path of human history and pre-history is that archeologists, historians, and scientists have imposed upon the past interpretations and judgements rooted in their own social prejudices and presented this distorted picture as objective facts to justify self-serving ideologies.
One in six people in America are officially below the poverty line [and apply for food assistance]…this despite the fact that 350 billion pounds of food are available for consumption in the United States, and of that nearly 100 billion pounds are wasted or thrown away by retailers, restaurants, and consumers. In many places laws have been passed to make it a crime to recover this wasted food from the garbage, and in all places the laws of property allow the owner to order the arrest of any person coming on to their property to recover wasted food. Some groceries and restaurant have a policy of pouring noxious chemicals on food they throw away in order to render it inedible. Remember that the food being thrown away by restaurants five minutes after closing time was for sale for full price five minutes before closing time, and is perfectly edible.
So, people aren’t hungry because there’s no food, they are hungry because there’s no money, without which they can neither buy the food, nor buy the land to grow their own food. The system of money and property has been imposed on the world and created poverty where there was once plenty. – Source
Our Mother provides for all of us, but voracious globalization and the war on Earth and all that nurtures extends its vicious tentacles back 5,000 years and across the spectrum of human connection to nature and community. The entire system of money and property rapes, divides, conquers, controls, enslaves, and destroys. It’s time we debunk these rapacious ideologies and affirm that there are alternatives to viciousness. More and more people have begun to understand this, at least on some level.
We are survival machines – robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes…. We and all other animals are machines created by our genes…if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals co-ooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. Let us try to teach generosity and altruism because we are born selfish…Our conscious foresight – our capacity to stimulate the future in imagination – could save us from the worst selfish excesses of the blind replicators. We have the power to defy the selfish genes of our birth. —Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, 1976, 1989, 2006
- When a Farm Bill adds to the hungry (newsobserver.com)
- 14 ways to reduce your food waste (bioenergyconsult.wordpress.com)