This column was originally published in Partisan issue no. 26, printed September 2008.
The present factory farm system of jamming animals and birds into tiny spaces makes farms incubators for disease. The agribusiness corporations try to prevent this by pumping antibiotics into feed, not just to treat existing diseases but in an attampt to prevent disease before it starts.
This massive use of antibiotics in our food supply means that farms become a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant diseases, and so do our bodies as we eat the drug-laced eggs, dairy products and meat from these giant factories. Bacteria are mutating faster than new treatments can be found, thanks in part to the jump start they get from the giant food corporations and their friends in the drug industry.
Protect yourself, and be kind to animals. Vote "yes" on Proposition 2.
-Tom Condit, Berkeley
Some progressive commentators have mistakenly referred to the bailout schemes as "corporate socialism." This couldn't be further from the truth. It is the capitalist state jumping in to save the capitalist system.
Under capitalism, the productive wealth of society - created by the labor of the working class -- is owned and controlled by a small, parasitic class of finance and industrial capitalists. They decide where to invest and what to produce solely on the basis of what they believe will bring maximum return on investment - regardless of what people need or the destruction caused to humans and the environment. Trillion dollar government bailouts are intended to sustain and save capitalism.
But the only real solution is to do away with this rotten, corrupt and anti-human system, and replace it with one based on meeting human needs in a long-term, sustainable fashion. That's socialism.
-Richard Becker, San Francisco