King Hemp: Part 2: Battle Lines: Natural, Or Synthetic…Life, Or Death?

By Rand Clifford

7/31/07

Hemp is about life, renewal and future, power to The People…most everything America’s embedded fascist regime is not about. Government of, by and for corporations (CorpoGov) has us hogtied.

Corporate profits rule the priorities in a globalizing plutocracy (CorpoWorld) where the bottom line is…power to the bottom line. Corporate grip just keeps increasing, squeezing the life out of the biosphere—CorpoWorld truly is making a killing!

CorpoWorld lives by fossil energy, death and decay sucked and scoured from Earth’s burial grounds. Fossil fuels have already so poisoned the biosphere that canned tuna, healthy old protein standby, needs health warnings on the label. Banks of many rivers and lakes are sprinkled with signs reading: DO NOT EAT THE FISH! Common at others are diagrams detailing parts of fish where mercury, PCBs, dioxins, furans, lead and arsenic collect; anatomical maps posted to warn of where CorpoWorld’s toxic fingerprints are concentrating…. Mercury is the premier toxin, pervasive and potent, now piling up around the top of virtually every ocean food chain. The primary mercury dispensers are coal-fired power plants—China is building new ones as fast as they can, expecting to continue bringing another new plant on-line every few days…. And so it goes in the world of hidden costs keeping cheap imports “cheap”. So goes the biocidal foundation of “cheapness”. Nothing synthetic is cheap when all the real costs are accounted for.

Ironically, the most imminent threat to the biosphere has been set in motion by one of fossil fuel’s few “non-toxic” components. We keep pumping carbon dioxide sequestered from ancient atmospheres into our own atmosphere, where it retards infrared radiation from escaping into space—a life-supporting phenomenon in natural moderation, life-threatening in excess. Moderation, a weaker virtue of mankind, has been obliterated by CorpoWorld’s fundamental creed: More!

And of course, “Better”—remember DuPont’s slogan: “Better Things for Better Living…Through Chemistry”? Formerly DuPont Munitions, the world’s leading manufacturer of gunpowder and dynamite, DuPont Chemical wanted to change their image from “the powder people” to “peace-time manufacturer”. Launched in 1935, the slogan persisted until the 1980s, when “through chemistry” was dropped. Word had gotten out that many of the chemicals for better living were accumulating in the biosphere with deadly effects, such as dioxin from pulp mills. Then in 1999, DuPont’s slogan became, “The Miracles of Science”. Over the years, DuPont has gone from a company dealing explosive death and destruction…to one dealing slower death and destruction, accent on the insidious. In a different way, DuPont’s major role in robbing The People of hemp was no less insidious.

Back to the 1930s; DuPont held the patents for making plastics and synthetic fibers from petroleum, and patents for that environmentally-infamous sulfuric acid process for making paper from wood pulp. New machinery to unleash industrial hemp’s cornucopia of superior natural products suddenly made The King a serious threat to profits of the petroleum and timber industries—real Titans in terms of economic and political dominance. William Randolph Hearst had seen the looming threat of a modernized hemp industry deflating his paper-making empire, and had already conjured cannabis hemp into “marijuana”, a Mexican slang term (or the Americanized, confusing and even slightly spookier? “marihuana”). Rattling his newspaper chains, Hearst had for years terrorized Americans with horrors of the “evil weed from Mexico”…truly a Greatest Hit in the art of propaganda (a certain “Stairway to Heaven” for the weed with roots in Hell!) Most people were familiar with the benefits of hemp, and cannabis, and were totally blindsided when DuPont and Hearst and their henchmen diddled Congress into strangling America’s hemp industry in 1937 with the illegal Marijuana Tax Act. Tax laws are for raising revenue, not for molding behavior. But….

1937…a year of remarkable infamy—in its annual report to stockholders, the DuPont company gloated over “radical changes” regarding the federal government’s conversion of taxation authority into a tool for forcing acceptance of “sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization”. Whoa!…quite a malignancy here—the voice of CorpoWorld proclaiming that after massive farm foreclosures of the depression, farmers were inhibiting America’s industrial progress. They should move to industrial cities so farmland could be consolidated into huge agribusinesses controlled by corporations—along with all other means of industrial production. Farming should be primarily for food…. These biocidal design were taken further when DuPont’s president, Lammont DuPont, proclaimed: “Synthetic plastics find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products. The chemist has aided in conserving natural resources by developing synthetic products to supplement or wholly replace natural products.” You got it, Lammont, a world of synthetics…mother lode patents, petroleum alchemy, pollution, extinction, poverty and disease, deforestation, global warming; fascism, globalization, perpetual wars for dwindling resources; corporate centralization of all means of production—even global food supply. Concentration of money, of power, of control—power to the corporations, slavery to The People. Conversion of largely rural, agricultural America into an urban, industrial nation. Landfills brimming with immortal waste leaching death into our living systems, forever…. Amen.

Such is CorpoWorld’s bleak picture for living beings dependent upon a healthy biosphere—bleakest for those whose ultimate champion has been the same for over 6,000 years. Cannabis Hemp, The King. Consider globalization—unfettered corporations preying upon cheap labor, cashing in the biosphere’s life-support systems, spreading poverty and environmental disaster in the grossest pageant of greed in history, all powered by enormous consumption of fossil energy and armed with any necessary coercion, including war. Hemp is the ultimate antidote for the biocidal plague of globalization.

Whereas globalization is powered by the toxic waste of ancient life, hemp is powered by the sun. Hemp is the premier solar energy machine, something we sure would like to invent if nature hadn’t beat us to it (if hemp could be patented!) Few plants grow faster, are easier to grow, are better for the soil, and none are more useful. Land that has produced hemp exclusively for twenty years is in no way degraded. And no plant even comes close to turning sunlight, carbon dioxide, nutrients and water into so many products. No other plant can actually empower entire regional economies, the antithesis of globalization. Farmers could return to the status they deserve, growing the world’s most valuable crop and selling it to local markets that sell it to local processors that sell their products to locally-owned businesses that sell to local citizens that work in the hemp industry. All the wealth stays where it belongs—with the people that produce it. This could all be happening across America right now, if not for CorpGov.

Nothing is more environmentally-friendly than hemp. Any region with a hemp economy would remain a healthy place with clean air and wells, and waters with edible fish…any region not already smudged with the fingerprints of CorpoWorld. Plus, one of the few realistic ways we might mitigate global warming is to start pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Current CorpoWorld strategies are kind of like raiding the bar on the Titanic; lots of talk about reducing emissions, talks to make us feel better, temporarily, but such damage has been done. Rising temperatures have already sent many systems into positive feedback, as in Siberia, where melting permafrost is releasing greenhouse gases including methane in quantities that dwarf global releases of carbon from fossil fuels. Oceans are peaking out in their ability to absorb carbon. Forests, the planet’s lungs, are huge absorbers of carbon. But actual forests are getting rare fast, soon to disappear if we don’t shut down globalization. And proposed reductions in emissions translate directly into CorpoWorld profit reductions…let’s not hold our breath on that. Anyway, just this month, China actually passed the U.S. in carbon emissions to become the world’s leader. China doesn’t even want to talk about reductions in carbon emissions.

Vast fields of hemp could replace lung capacity lost to deforestation—the possibilities are limited only by our vision. Hemp gulps carbon dioxide like no other sink, and though biomass hemp fuels and other utilizations would return carbon to the atmosphere, it would be carbon taken from our atmosphere, not carbon from atmospheres of millions of years ago as is stored in fossil fuels.

Hemp will never be donated to The People, only seized. Anything that spreads wealth from the top, down through The People, will never be imposed from the top, only forced from below. So the question is not how good hemp is—one of hemp’s problems is that it sounds too good to be true. Well it is true, and until married to modern American technology we’ll never know the genuine potential of hemp. As is in more ways every day, our biggest problem is CorpoGov. Will We The People find the wisdom, coordination and motivation to take back what CorpoGov stole from us through lies and manipulation seventy years ago…lies and manipulation still robust today?

In Part 3: Getting hemp back, what are our chances?

Rand Clifford is a novelist and essayist living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink. His novels CASTLING and TIMING are published by StarChief Press: http://www.starchiefpress.com

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