The framework within which disease is typically discussed, is useful as an analogy for discussion of which corporate interests are most problematic in the assault on the public interest (“the commons”).
I frequently remind myself that with disease, “the causes” do not follow a one-cause, one-disease relationship. Which is how they are usually referenced. We put cancer into the cancer society and with oncologists. We put Parkinsons Disease into the Parkinsons Disease Foundation and with a P.D. specialist or neurologist.
But things that make a difference in the incidence of one dis-ease affect the incidence of other health problems, too. Chemicals that are “teratagens” (cause developmental problems in the fetus) may also be carcinogenic. When talking about one, e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, asthma, cancer, autism, inverted female/male birth ratios, etc., I try to always say “yes, but remember” we are really talking about NOT this one disease or developmental problem.
We truly understate the problem if we allow the one-disease, one-cause model to stand, if we put each disease in its own separate box. Which is what we do.
And so it is with “corporate interests”. They are hugely interconnected.
Which means that when we go after the chemical companies as cause, we simultaneously weaken the pharmaceutical company that owns the chemical company.
If we are able to stop the killing way of war, we will strike a blow to the chemical companies. The chemical companies are huge beneficiaries of war.
Chemical weapons. Agent Orange = 2,4D mixed with 2,4,5T (the latter now banned). Aerial spraying of chemicals is routine in the “war on drugs”.
The public purse pays for the chemicals. And the health problems they create. And the pharmaceuticals used to treat the health problems. And we do not then have money to address causes – most drug addicts have been abused as children. It is well-known and documented.
The chemical companies started out “on the land” by supplying farm chemicals. They then weaseled their way in on the ground floor of food production: GMO crops designed so that the company’s chemicals can be sprayed on them and they’ll survive. The bioteched seeds are patented so that the chemical/biotech companies take control of seed stocks, the basis of the human food supply. The Government will not change patent legislation to prohibit the patenting of life forms, our common heritage — in spite of clear statements of need in two Supreme Court decisions (onco-mouse and Monsanto vs Schmeiser).
Chemicals come from the “petro-chemical industry”. When we speak of the poisoning of the water supply as from Sarnia down river to Windsor-Detroit and into the Great Lakes, we are again talking of the same corporations.
The Tar Sands is the petro-chemical industry.
And now with the Tar Sands we are seeing the cross-over into the petro-chemical industry of the nuclear industry.
As with disease, it is useful to remember that the problem is under-stated if we think of “the chemical companies”, for example, in a straight line relationship to industrial use. Or of Big Pharma only in terms of pills.
Or either only in relation to disease. They have also poisoned democratic governance and science. The public record is full of examples.
If the battle is between the public interest and the corporate interest, we gain ground when any small group of us takes on one of the tentacles of this beast. There are way more than ten thousand such groups of us, as documented in Blessed Unrest. Hallelujah!