Like 'One Hundred Flowers,' Protests Bloom
By Staff News & Analysis - March 03, 2015

Hundreds of Farmers Block Roads in Protest of Monsanto's GMO Crops … Poland's largest farmer uprising … Poland's largest farmer uprising ever has occurred as convoys of tractors took to the roads recently in protest of GMO infiltration and land grabs by biotech and Big Ag corporations. More than 150 farmers blocked roadways and held numerous demonstrations in order to bring attention to the important issue of food sovereignty in Poland. Their focus is a ban on GMOs and a restoration of small farmer's rights after decades of oppressive health and safety regulations which take rights away from small farms and give them to mono-cropping, poisoning Big Ag mega-companies. –

Dominant Social Theme: There are always glitches when new technology is rolled out.

Free-Market Analysis: There have been anti-central bank demos in Germany, anti-EU demos across Europe and now there are anti-Monsanto demos in both South America and Europe, including Poland.

The South American demos and protests have been going on for a while. But this protest in Poland seems fairly unique and shows once more how people are confronting a variety of authoritarian memes.

Monsanto is an easy elite theme to analyze. If people lose control of their food sources, then they give up an enormous amount of control over their daily lives. There are ample questions about GMOs and Monsanto's secretive behavior regarding its products and services is evidently raising suspicions.

We are not supposed to know this or even comment on it. But as protests spread, Monsanto will find it increasingly difficult to control the message, which is in fact turning increasingly negative.


The farmers have been stalwart – refusing to call off their demonstrations until their demands are met. Rallies and demonstrations have littered the country – in over 50 locations. Hundreds are picketing government offices in addition to the road blockades.

In the largest organized farmer's protest the country has likely ever seen, the farmers are demanding that legislators protect the small farmer from exploitation by monopolizing companies and refuse the sell off of their country's land to these behemoths. As the farmers point out, once the land is sold, the Big Ag model can't be stopped, and the land is forever lost.

According to the article, there are four simple key demands:

Regulation of land grabs by primarily Western companies (translation – biotech and Big Ag) to prevent small farmers from losing their livelihoods.

The legalization of direct sale of produce and other foods from farms to the people. This cuts out the middle man and allows the higher quality produce of many farms to reach its customers directly.

Change inheritance laws so that families can rightly leave land under lease to their heirs.

Ban the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

As a libertarian facility, we are always queasy when the citizenry rises up to demand that the government "do something." However, the trouble with modern industry is that multinationals like Monsanto wield overwhelming power due to judicial fiat enforcing corporate personhood – and patents as well.

Modern capitalism is thus unknowable in the sense that absent the state, the modern profile of the marketplace would be much different. Companies like Monsanto could not grow so large, and their destructive policies – or at least their controversial ones – would be subject to effective legal challenge.

But Monsanto is like Google or Facebook. Through luck of skill the owners and managers of these companies have placed themselves in a kind of "most favored" status with the US military-industrial complex and intel agencies (in particular) that provide subterranean corporate leadership.

Once these top companies are "too big to fail," the apparatus of the US judicial system is levered into place to counteract any missteps. No misdeed is so big that it will derail the progress of these firms. No misjudgment is so vast that it will cause more than a momentary profit hiccup.

It is difficult to apply a purely libertarian analysis when it comes to controlling the kind of bigness that Monsanto represents. Will government action be able to control it as the Poles hope? The trouble with relying on government is that officials tend to work overtime for the highest bidder. Monsanto doubtless has deeper pockets than the Polish farming community.

However, as we have also noted, the Internet itself is making a difference. It allows people significant knowledge about what's taking place within their cultures and workplaces. It also helps people organize. We see the effect of the Internet around the globe now and, in our view, this sort of impact is continuing and may be irreversible. The knowledge has already been disseminated. Conclusions have been drawn. Activism is underway.

Within that context, we have cautioned that it is not merely or even primarily activism that will counteract today's elite promotions. What will happen – and it has happened before – is that people will simply cease to believe many of the memes that have been aimed at them.

There will rise up a great cynicism that will upend business as usual. It will prove, surely, the ultimate challenge to those who are driving societies in an authoritarian and globalist direction. One can confront an army; one can scatter resisters. But one cannot combat an army of people who – individually – simply have ceased to believe what they've been told.

Having said that, we wish to add that the protests themselves have been impressive and reportedly continue to grow.

Polish farmers are joined with millions of others who have been protesting against Monsanto, Cargill, and other biotech and Big Ag interests who have little concern for the quality of our food supply. Over 50 countries have marched against Monsanto, so the thousands marching in Poland are not alone. Almost all states in the US have marched against Monsanto and Big Ag, and Vermont recently staged a protest.

After Thoughts

Protests contribute to a growing knowledge base that empowers individuals with the determination to resist business-as-usual. It is a rising tide.

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