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Monsanto Akido?  RSS feed

 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Today someone from my local guild posted a couple of petitions that were circulating regarding Monsanto and encouraged people to sign them. One was to require labeling of products that are GMOs or contain GMOs. The other was to ban current or former Monsanto employees from holding public office.

This got me thinking about the good people I know that have worked for some icky companies (myself included). Some of those people I would WANT to see in public office because of their experiences. It also got me to thinking about programs that I have participated in that I either knew from the outset were funded by Monsanto or found out after the fact.

This line of thinking caused me to write this response:

Monsanto is a publically traded company. As such, it has a philanthropic arm - the Monsanto Fund. They've funded a variety of projects that we, as permaculturists, would probably applaud (if we didn't know it was Monsanto-funded). In fact, I'll bet that many of us (myself included) have actively participated with programs that have received funding from Monsanto at some point - keeping in mind that they like to fund things involving seeds, farming, community gardens and STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Do we boycott these programs or applaud them for taking the money and turning it into something positive? If we apply permaculture principles to this thought process does it make a difference to how we answer this question?

For instance - my emotional reaction is to vilify any entity that takes Monsanto funds even if they are doing good things with the money. My permaculture reaction is to think of the problem as the solution - if enough of us apply for funding and produce great projects that don't use toxic chemicals or GMOs - will Monsanto slowly come around? Will Monsanto be the unwitting funders of the revolution? I guess it would depend on the constraints under which the money is given. From what I've seen of the two orgs I know got funding from Monsanto - they don't seem to be required to support the Monsanto product line.

If any of you are into martial arts, "the problem is the solution" always reminds me of the premise behind Akido:

(from Wikipedia) Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.


What are your thoughts?
 
Amedean Messan
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Well, my thoughts......

It's good to look at a glass half-full from time to time. To make a comparison, I think the Nazis also did some good things at some period of its existence. I imagine there were good people who affiliated with them. Too bad I have some reservations against certain elements in that organization's fundamental belief system.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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I get what you mean - and yet companies and organizations that collaborated with the Nazis are still around and ingrained in American culture http://www.11points.com/News-Politics/11_Companies_That_Surprisingly_Collaborated_With_the_Nazis

I guess what I'm trying to say, perhaps clumsily, is that there is a great grey area between black and white. If you look at a yin/yang symbol, there is a black dot on the white side and a white dot on the black side. Nothing is all good or all bad.

Also - this post was a thought exercise. I took the permaculture principle of "the problem is the solution" and extrapolated. I like to do that sometimes as it often provides me with a more subjective way of looking at things. I get that this may be a particular quirk of mine.
 
Sam Barber
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This makes me think about the Nazi Germany. Hitler was of course an evil evil man. Although not all of the things he did where evil. For instance he helped to grow Germany's economy and improve the infrastructure those are both things that many people would find not evil. So we have an ethical dilemma. Do we weigh the good from the bad within a group such as an evil government or a nefarious corporation or do we label that group as completely bed even if some of the stuff that they do might be considered good? We also have to look at that groups perspective. In the case of Monsanto they believe that what they are doing is the only way that we will be able to feed our growing species. So they believe that they have the moral high ground. We as permaculturalist believe (and rightly so) that what big Ag. is doing is destroying the environment and is unsustainable. So what I am trying to point out is that good and evil are in the eye of the beholder. I personally believe that if we want to remain true to our values we should avoid anything that is funded by Monsanto or other Big Ag. corporations like that. It is kind of like taking blood money.
 
wayne stephen
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I do not believe Hitler helped anyone or anything at any time . That is my eye beholding .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Nazi_Germany

Anyways , Aikido . I attended Aikido Classes in the '70s in Phoenix . A few months only . Very esoteric stuff . For years before I was studying Judo/Jujitsu and some TaeKwonDo . One thing is common with all those arts is the level of cooperation amongst the participants . We learned to fall , roll , and tap out of holds before we began to learn anything else . The reason for this is so students don't get hurt . When we were going to lose we agreed in a sporting way to make the other guy look good since the inevitable was at hand . This gives videos and demonstrations of martial arts a seamless , flowing look . Here is a video of Ueshiba Morihei , founder of Aikido at work :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Sa0PLquFg

The cooperation with the teacher makes it look easy . I am not saying it is faked . If you do not cooperate you will feel the power of Aikido and get hurt . It is not using only the attackers force against him . It is applying your own and synergizing the actions into something more powerful . I felt the same risk of injury from the Aikido techniques as a brutal Jujitsu throw or Korean style roundhouse kick . The jujitsu method was to respond to a punch by breaking the opponents wrist and elbow . Aikido was "I'll give you a moment to cooperate before your wrist and elbow breaks" .

Ueshiba was a cosmic personality . He had spiritual revelations which led to Aikidos creation . After he had mastered the more brutal forms of fighting . A quote :

... I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.
At that moment I was enlightened: the source of budo is God's love – the spirit of loving protection for all beings ...
Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.

Keeping the peace is my goal too . I wish everyone would just cooperate .
 
wayne stephen
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Jennifer says :

"Today someone from my local guild posted a couple of petitions that were circulating regarding Monsanto and encouraged people to sign them. One was to require labeling of products that are GMOs or contain GMOs. The other was to ban current or former Monsanto employees from holding public office."

In terms of Aikido or Jujitsu , turn about is fair play . One move to defend yourself and you have committed an action whose momentum can now be turned against you . Watch an Olympic Judo match . Usually they are over in a few seconds . But what you witness is an attempt at a throw turned into another throw by the opponent and then returned into a third or fourth throw . Circles within circles .

Thats what is happening here :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3G0bOzms2g

So , you ban some from office . They win in the next election and ban you .
 
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