Monoculture

We deconstruct necrophilia in Western culture by exposing how it valorizes death and perverts the dignity of life. 

Multinationals promote monoculture by marketing seeds that are genetically modified so that they cannot self-propagate, compelling farmers to purchase seeds annually instead of seed-saving, according to their past practice.   In India, more than 280,000 farmers have committed suicide after being forced into bankruptcy after investing in expensive, unreliable patented seeds.  Vandana Shiva is a critic of multinationals who claim indigenous farmers’ collective knowledge as their invention through biopiracy patents – a type of enclosure of the intellectual and the biological commons.  Shiva advocates for farmers’ right to save and exchange seeds in order to preserve biodiversity.  Necrophilia is indicated by the complicity of governments and multinationals in introducing regulations that would make seed-saving illegal.

Indigenous farmers protect their biocultural heritage by actively resisting Monsanto.  On the face of it, their protests may appear to be conservative resistance to modernity, but at the heart of their active resistance is a radical reclamation of the traditional knowledge that sustained biocultural diversity in the past.  They look into the distant past in order to look deeper into the future, while Montsanto takes a short term view of future profits by promoting a culture of death in “Roundup-Ready” seeds.

Monoculture is three dimensional; it manifests as loss of biodiversity, loss of languages and loss of cultures. The emerging field of biocultural studies has collected data that indicates the rates of culture loss and language loss parallel the rate of loss of biodiversity (Maffi 412).  According to Luisa Maffi, an anthropogenic extinction crisis is indicated by the massive loss of biodiversity in Earth’s plant and animal species and in the health of the ecosystems that sustain them.  Cultures and languages are vanishing under the rising tide of global monoculture, and Maffi worries that we are rapidly losing critical life-support systems and the human knowledge that can teach us how to live in balance with our planet (414).

In contrast, Natality celebrates plurality and difference and recognizes that biocultural diversity is critical to cultural continuity.

Bags of assorted organic pulses and grains, overhead view

Bags of assorted organic pulses and grains, overhead view

Image of seeds is from http://regenerationinternational.org/2016/01/15/international-year-of-pulses-booklet/.  2016 is International year of pulses.

 

 

 

 

By deconstructing necrophilia, we clear a space in-between paradigms to imagine a different future and to begin moving forward to that future paradigm which I call natality.

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