Hemp V: Industrial Disease
By Rand Clifford
18 October, 2007
Agriculturalists versus Industrialists
The King Hemp series began
with: "America was just starting to crawl, and hemp was such an
essential crop that farmers could be fined for not growing it—even
jailed during periods of shortage in the mid 1760s." A struggle
for the heart of America was begun, and to this day remains the real
reason for American exile of The King, cannabis hemp.
The American Revolution involved
this core struggle between the agriculturalists in the colonies, and
the industrialists—controllers of the government in England. In
1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote about believing our government would remain
virtuous for many centuries, as long as the country remained chiefly
agricultural; but when the people get piled upon one another in large
cities, as in Europe, the government will become corrupt as in Europe.
This struggle helped define
our Civil War, one main issue being the battle between Southern agriculturalists
and Northern industrialists over control of Western expansion. Slavery
was crucial to the agriculturalists because labor-intensive cotton was
such a large part of the wealth of the South. The industrialists believed
that declaring Western lands "free states" would make Southern
agriculturalists uncompetitive, thus leaving most of the profits of
Western expansion to the industrialists....
Victory for the industrialists
positioned them to dominate the economic life of America. And for construction
of the transcontinental railways, they tapped cheap labor not only from
freed slaves, but poor immigrants from Europe and China. So slavery
did not go away in terms of living conditions of the labor, there were
simply new terminologies applied. And the role of American government
hit the slippery slope leading to what we see today—what was originally
established to protect and preserve the lives, property and freedoms
of Americans from repressive government, slid toward an agency to protect
the economic interests of industrialists. Along the way, corporations
gained the legal status of citizens; not by a new Supreme Court interpretation
of the fourteenth amendment, as commonly thought, but by a former railroad
company president acting as court reporter sneaking the "ruling"
into the books. J.C. Bancroft Davis slipped courtroom comments of Chief
Justice Morrison Waite into head notes of a related ruling, and, wha-la!
Instant landmark ruling. Corporations became "artificial persons"
with rights of a citizen, plus many advantages such as immortality.
Soon after, John D. Rockefeller, father of the modern corporation, created
the Standard Oil Corporation. And by the late 1880s, over 90% of American
oil refineries were controlled by Standard Oil.
Marcus Hanna of Standard
Oil bought the American Presidency for William McKinley in 1896. The
$16,000,000 in campaign contributions Hanna procured from fellow industrialists
set a record that lasted almost 70 years. Continuing erosion of government
of the people, by the people, for the people paved the way for today’s
government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation
Despite his racist views,
Henry Ford has been considered one of America’s finest minds.
One of his quotes finally getting renewed attention: "There’s
enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to drive
the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for one hundred years."
Ford had firm belief in ethyl
alcohol as the fuel of the future, something widely shared in the early
automotive industry. Any plant matter that can be fermented is a source
of fuel; in this regard and many others, Ford knew that if widely cultivated,
hemp—among the world’s fastest-growing annuals—would
be a fantastic economic boon. He even made a car that had a body and
windows of hemp plastics, and was powered by hemp. Ford was a great
advocate of American farms, and he poured resources into creating new
markets for farm products while industrialists took the opposite approach,
pushing a petroleum future for America. Many bills in congress supporting
a National Energy Program focused on the country’s vast agricultural
resources as a source of motor fuel were attacked and killed by young
Big Oil. Ethanol had many advantages over gasoline, and had been used
for decades, but Big Oil had the political clout. Besides toxicity,
one of gasoline’s disadvantages was a low octane rating. In classic
Big Oil fashion this problem was solved, making gasoline even more toxic
by blending in tetraethyl lead (fill ‘er up with Ethyl!) No matter
how much the details might change, the story with CorpoGov remains true:
corporate profit is all that matters. Ford’s vision of cheap,
clean and renewable biofuels spooked early oil barons into keeping oil
prices incredibly low, as in the range between $1 and $4 per barrel.
Prices were so low that no other energy sources could compete. But once
they were sure the competition had been killed off, the price of oil
began to soar.
agriculturally renewable raw material
American prohibition of hemp
was ushered in on the tawdry ruse of "Refer Madness", but
corporate profits were the real issue then, as they remain. Instead
of protecting people from "The Evil Weed From Mexico", hemp
prohibition was engineered to "protect" The People from sharing
in corporate profits.
So many products made from
petroleum or wood or cotton can be made from hemp that hemp is a great
menace to status quo industrialists. Especially when environmental considerations
are weighed in, hemp products are also cheaper and better. Hemp is good
for the soil and requires no petrochemical inputs, whereas cotton alone
uses fully one half of the petrochemical insecticides polluting us,
our food and groundwater. Cotton is also extremely soil-depleting, requiring
massive inputs of petrochemical fertilizers. If our farmers are ever
"allowed" to grow hemp again, the market for cotton might
be devastated, along with that arm of the petrochemical empire supporting
it. Hemp would render mills for pulping wood into paper obsolete, replacing
one of the most polluting industries with a clean new industry providing
a better product at a lower price. Hemp fiber can also be made into
various building materials of higher quality and less cost than wood.
And while the forest products industry as well as cotton are threatened
by hemp, profit threats to Big Oil top them all.
Forget the food-or-fuel issue
raised by the Archer Daniels Midland ethanol-from-corn boondoggle, with
hemp we would get alcohol fuel AND food—among nature’s very
finest of foods from hemp seed (along with biodiesel from hemp seed).
Plus, if farmers start growing America’s fuel, the profit pinch
could extend from Big Oil all the way to the Industrial Military Complex
in the event that oil wars recede. The political clout of those two
combined is astronomical.... In essence, American hemp would be a fantastic
boon for everyone from farmers to consumers, while gouging profits of
a spectrum of industrialists. We remain stuck at the old core struggle,
agriculturalists versus industrialists. Unfortunately, the industrialists
War On Drugs (and
The issue of drugs has only
a contrived relationship to non-drug industrial hemp. Certainly there
will be a lot of politicos voting against Ron Paul’s H.R. 1009:
The Industrial Hemp Farming Bill of 2007 (if it ever makes it out of
committees), because they fear being branded "soft on drugs".
But one thing few if any will ever admit, as cogs in the CorpoGov machinery
whose greatest aspirations involve reelection, is the fact that the
War On Drugs has become a monster causing more damage than illegal drugs
ever could. Also, marijuana is the bread and butter of drug warriors.
Of all the examples of what a ridiculous and harmful fiasco the criminalization
of cannabis has become, besides being the excuse for prohibition of
hemp, perhaps none is more telling than the fact that for years, 99%
of the "marijuana" plants destroyed by drug warriors were
ditchweed. Yes, those industrial hemp strains that grow wild in a number
of states, and have zero drug potential. The two main uses of ditchweed
are: 1) Feral hemp seed is the food supply of choice for migrating birds.
2) Ditchweed represents enormous business for the DEA’s Domestic
Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.
If you think it seems totally
insane, the spending of many millions of tax dollars, along with the
diversion of law enforcement resources to jerk ditchweed, that means
you must be sane. The ditchweed eradication programs are true hallmarks
of cannabis prohibition, stark, indefensible examples of the sense of
it all...in the same league as CorpoGov listing cannabis as Schedule
1 (no medicinal value) while Big Pharma has spent untold millions of
dollars making synthetic versions of THC, the most active ingredient
of cannabis. The synthetics work nowhere near as well as natural cannabis,
one of the most effective and prescribed drugs throughout history, but
the synthetics can be patented, which translates to corporate profit.
And perhaps Abraham Lincoln was right when it comes to what includes
recreational cannabis: "Prohibition will work great injury to the
cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself,
for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control
a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that
are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles
upon which our government was founded." Progress of cannabis remains
slow, but steady, one reason being the history of cannabis as one of
the finest natural medicines. History can be denied, altered, suppressed,
but reality can not.
What if by some incredible
stroke of wisdom, cannabis is decriminalized while The King is still
in exile? That may seem far-fetched, but cannabis opponents have nothing
even close to the power of the mighty industrialists fighting hemp.
Perhaps the most telling moment in hemp’s seventy-year American
exile will come when, with cannabis decriminalized, industrialists are
forced to explain why hemp should still be banned. Could the real reason
hemp was ever banned in America really shine—protection of industrialists
and corporate profits? This might seem unlikely, but decriminalization
of cannabis keeps making steady, if very slow, progress. Hemp simply
jerks around under the strings of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
A dozen years ago the growth of hemp-related businesses in America was
very encouraging. New hemp stores were opening across the country thanks
to growing awareness of hemp’s greatness. Sure, all the hemp was
imported, but...there were even new magazines dedicated to hemp awareness
and hemp’s future seemed bright. Then the DEA hammered it all
with "zero tolerance" making even hemp cosmetics illegal.
Stores got caught sitting on inventories of lip balm, lotions and shampoos
and any food products containing hemp that were suddenly illegal. But
courts gagged on this burst of DEA insanity. Hemp is rebounding—and
this time it’s also being widely recognized as a nutritional superstar.
The magnificence of hemp
keeps getting harder to deny. Nothing gives The People greater potential
for breaking the biocidal stranglehold of CorpoWorld. The Industrial
Hemp Farming Act of 2007 may have been issued a death sentence already,
being sent to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland
Security. If not, and the bill makes it to a subcommittee that actually
has something to do with agriculture, it will have to withstand broadsides
of immense lobby power from the likes of Big Oil and the Petrochemical
Empire, Big Timber, Big Pharma, Prison Industrial Complex, Drug Warriors,
cotton, soy, corn....
Agriculturists prevailed over industrialists in our Revolutionary War.
But it didn’t take long after that for the industrialists to start
laying on a growing rout...from the Civil War to CorpoGov to the Great
Depression to CorpoWorld.... The People, the environment and the future
desperately need a victory for the agriculturalists. CorpoGov and CorpoWorld
mean enormous profits for the elite, at the expense of virtually everything
else. The People need agriculturalists to grow a healthier future—and
that means awareness of what hemp offers must enrich more and more people.
The key to unlocking hemp is awareness. Hemp For Victory. We The People
need to learn and sow the truth about The King.
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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