Hiroyuki Hamada’s ‘In Defense of Cory Morningstar’s Manufacturing for Consent Series’

Hiroyuki’s kindly given permission to reprint his essay, but I’m not sure why he calls it a ‘defense’.  To me, it’s rather a deeper explanation of Morningstar, and the misrepresentation, often malicious) of Cory and her investigative work.

Now I’ve learned a lot from Cory and the Wrong Kind of Green collective over many years, even at her website, and have featured many of her exposés here and at caucuc99percent, especially several of her/their series on compromised NGOs and human rights organizations, as well as what she calls ‘the non-profit industrial complex’, including which foundations fund McKibben and Klein.  It may be down to my current eye/brain configuration, but reading at her site now actually jangles my brain (and not in a pleasant way).  Given that, I read bits and bobs she and her allies Tweet and Retweet about the series (six parts in each two volumes), and Greta’s co-opted vision quest.
From dissidentvoice.org on Sept. 20, 2019:

“Good investigative journalism doesn’t only reveal hidden mechanisms of our time; it also exposes those who refuse to confront the mechanisms. Remember when the late Bruce Dixon courageously and cogently called Bernie Sanders “a sheep dog candidate”? Remember when Eva Bertlett, Vanessa Beeley and others truly stood with Syrian people in opposing the western intervention?  I do. Those who could not face the reality came up with all sorts of profanities and ill conceived theories to demonize the messengers.

Cory Morningstar has been a dedicated environmental activist with a sound track record, who has closely worked with various NGOs. She is a mother. She is an avid gardener. She is an honest person with empathy, passion, love for people, love for our fellow creatures and love for nature.  Her human character and sense of justice has culminated in her keen insights, observations and analyses.  Her writings have inspired many of us to see the depth and scope of capitalist institutions as part of the social dynamics affecting our consciousness.  Her meticulous pursuit of facts in illustrating mechanisms of our world evokes a sense of awe. She is a respected colleague in our struggle toward a better tomorrow.

While her latest series, “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent:  The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex Volume I and Volume II”, has been wildly praised as a ground-breaking milestone in depicting the vast mechanism of exploitation and subjugation involving the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, it has been also maliciously misrepresented.

One of the very common, yet blatantly erroneous criticisms, centers around the series’s focus on the young activist. Why do they attack the author as a child abuser? The series does not attack the 16 year old activist at all. It points out those organizations and individuals which closely surround her in forming a momentum for their agenda. It delineates how the mobilization fits within the larger framework of corporate “environmentalism”, colonialism, global capitalism and imperialism.  The trickery of the accusation that the work attacks a child and smears the youth-led activism follows the same pattern of lies and deceptions unfolding against serious journalism for some time.  It reflects how establishment successfully dominates our minds as it dominates the hierarchy of money and violence.  The ruling class actually abuses children by making them pawns for lucrative business projects — such as carbon capture and storage, “renewable energy” schemes, carbon trading and so on (the series discusses why they do not work extensively). They trick the innocent youth into digging their own graves while making profits out of it.

Remember people called you racist, when you pointed out President Obama’s drone killings? Remember people called you misogynist when you criticized Secretary Clinton’s colonial policies? Those who did didn’t mind brown people blown into pieces, and didn’t mind the colonial oppression of women in colonized lands.  The capitalist hierarchy structurally forces us to embrace the values, norms and beliefs of the ruling class, as it trains people to climb the social ladder as expected.  The momentum to accuse Morningstar’s work as a child abuse stems from the same psychological projection of accusers’ own complicity in consecrating a teenager as an invincible saint of their movement.

Then there is the most typical argument to condone obvious institutional tendencies of inhumanity: “things aren’t always black and white”.  Of course, there are good environmentalists doing good work as well.  We have gone through this in so many incarnations. When we point out police brutality, we hear “not all police officers are bad”. When we point out obvious racism among us:  “not all white people are racist”.  Those are certainly true.  But could we also say “not all slave masters were evil”, “not all Kings and queens were evil”, “not all colonizers were evil” and so on? Well, sure.  But does that mean we can bring back slavery, feudalism or colonialism?  No.

Refusal to talk about the systematic inhumanity inflicted by the system tolerates the status quo as acceptable. And please do stop with “but the movement gives us hope” nonsense.  What happened when we were sold “hope”, “change” and “forward”, and received colonial wars, big bank bailout, global surveillance and loss of legal protections during the Obama presidency?  We got Donald Trump.  When the system squeezes already oppressed people while shuttering their hope and making them embrace fear, people try their best to hold on to whatever they have.  They embrace an illusion of salvation in authoritarian lies and hatred against “others”. It is extremely important that we strive to discuss such a mechanism among us instead of jumping into the same momentum. We must discuss the true hope of building a momentum moving beyond the lies and deceptions coming out of the destructive hierarchy.

Morningstar states in “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent:  The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex Volume II Act IV”:

‘Consider that collectively, the populace appears to believe that not only is it possible to colonize another planet, but that we will do so in the not-so-distant future. This is incredible considering the massive odds of and colossal barriers to such an endeavour succeeding. Thus, it is alarming, that this same populace appears not to believe it is not possible to create new societies where necessity is detached from want (superfluous consumer goods). This begs the question – have we been fully conditioned to believe only those that represent hegemonic interests? It is a sound question considering the billionaires of the world are currently petrified of the capitalist system collapsing – while those oppressed by the capitalist system believe it cannot be dismantled. Yet we can dismantle institutions. We can dismantle the capitalist economic system devouring what remains of the natural world – but not if we identify with our oppressors and the very system that enslaves us. It is our natural world and her living natural communities that sustain us. Not industrial civilization – not technology.

Hopelessness and cynicism do creep up to justify the status quo. But we also must recognize that such a position does away with putting our efforts toward standing with the truly oppressed ones.’

Morningstar’s series meticulously documents how powerful global organizations seek ways to cultivate a consensus for their trajectory. And it carefully states, with facts, why the trajectory does not lead to achieving their promises — preventing climate change and other environmental calamities.  The illustrated mechanism has been revealed over and over through their past crimes—the coordinated actions of industries, bankers, politicians, NGOs, UN, global financial institutions and media have culminated into colonial wars, cover-ups of nuclear disasters, regime change, and other corporate, colonial and imperial policies. There is nothing speculative, coincidental or conspiratorial about the series. It is based on careful research, honesty, courage to face the real issue and true love for humanity. It is again curiously indicative that those who engage in a conspiracy to mobilize the people according to their agendas accuse those who see through the attempt as “conspiracy theorist”. The use of the derogatory term invented by the US intelligence agency to label dissidents as tin-hat wearing nuts jobs hardly proves their legitimacy.

Moreover, I must say that it is extremely odd and disingenuous that the series has been portrayed as a refusal to take any action, instead insisting on ideological purity. Such an attack has been coming out of those who have been pointing out the same moneyed network in forwarding corporatism, colonialism and militarism by manipulating popular opinions.  What is the difference between opposing destructive colonial wars and opposing colonization of nature/co-optation of activism?  More specifically, what prompts some of them to say “what is your solution?”, “we can’t wait for capitalism to be overthrown to solve climate change” and so on.

The obvious falsehood of such an angle is the stark absence of solutions within their own “green momentum”. Morningstar’s research does not talk about the necessity of establishing a communist statehood or overthrowing capitalism in order to solve the impending crisis.  It simply states facts in a cohesive manner. Consequently, it certainly indicates the systematic structural issues presented by the hierarchy of money and violence. The research clearly names individuals and organizations that are involved in mobilizing the population in installing government policies that are lucrative to the associated corporations and beneficial to the imperial framework. Capitalist hegemony does present itself as a source of predicaments of our time.  But is that new to us?

Needless to say, for those of us who believe in the Marxist perspective, the solution amounts to a structural transformation of our society into one that doesn’t monopolize the means of production for the ruling class. The economic activities must be subservient to harmonious existence of the people, environment and other species. And our social interactions must be under a control of such aims, instead of financial and social power of the ruling class. But make no mistake that that is simply an ultimate direction. Just as we voice our objections against any form of inhumanity regardless of our systematic problem, when we see certain environmental policies being subservient to the corporate agenda, likely to result in worsened conditions for the people, we discuss them.

There shouldn’t be anything different about pointing out the US military aggression and the fallacy of US environmental policies, especially when they are forwarded by the same western establishment.  When we find the carbon capture schemes to be disingenuous, for example, we simply point it out.  We demand an answer to why corporate “solutions” are upheld as people’s “solutions”. And people who buy into false narratives should be noted as not credible leaders in people’s movement. So the question “what is your solution?” really should be directed at those who subscribe to those erroneous “solutions.”  They need to be asked how those solutions would be a worthy cause at the first place, and why cogent criticisms against implementations of destructive schemes can not be embraced because “we can’t wait for a socialist revolution”.

What people desperately need today is good investigative reports like the one presented by Cory Morningstar, along with our educational efforts to reveal the mechanisms of our time.  We must learn how the unprecedented wealth accumulation among the very few ends up protected by layers and layers of moneyed social institutions coordinating to perpetuate the system, while progressively oppressive financial pressure and state violence against already oppressed people keep herding people into the capitalist framework. When we face the sad reality of people embracing policies that allow the powerful minorities to exploit and subjugate them over and over, what we need is not a popular mobilization guided by vague slogans easily subsumed by the imperial framework. Such a method would lead to draconian enforcement of corporate “solutions” according to their definition of “problems”. It is a recipe for bringing about a fascist order. What we need is openness and willingness to learn how we are domesticated by the authoritarian framework so that the actions are guided by the interests of the people in forming a society that allows true liberation of the people in a mutually respectful and harmonious manner.

Please do read “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex” Volume I and Volume II. It gives us an excellent starting point in learning how to build a better tomorrow for all of us.”

Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe and is represented by Lori Bookstein Fine Art. He has been awarded various residencies including those at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Edward F. Albee Foundation/William Flanagan Memorial Creative Person’s Center, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the MacDowell Colony. In 1998 Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and in 2009 he was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He lives and works in New York. Read other articles by Hiroyuki.

From Morningstar (elleprovocateur) and allies on Twitter, the first essay is a key read:

From OffGuardian’s page this brief synopsis on the longish film:

“This film explores the truly insane & disturbing world of ‘nature commodification’ in all its warped dystopian horror.

Witness men in suits tell us how much a fly is worth or how much unpaid bee-labour adds to the economy. Listen to them talk about the amazing investment opportunities in species-scarcity and show their portfolios of rare owls, turtles, butterflies etc.

Did you know an entire banking system is evolving that deals with something even less real than fiat-money? That buys up land on which – allegedly – endangered creatures live and then sells the ‘credits’ it gives itself for ‘saving’ this land as offsets to other businesses – so they have what amounts to a licence to pollute and destroy?

You didn’t? Well it’s something of a well-kept open secret. Maybe because it’s not a business model that can survive close ethical or practical scrutiny.

However it is also a cornerstone of the ‘Green industrial Revolution’, and the drive to allow corporations free rein to ‘save’ bankable wild spaces. This indeed was one of the barely-alluded to agendas behind the recent media panic over the allegedly ‘unprecedented’ burning of the Amazon (remember that?)

The idea is that big business can somehow ‘invest’ in species and habitats on the verge of extinction and thereby save them.

There is so much wrong with this on so many levels that we can’t develop it here, but probably the major flaw is the obvious one that this business, like any other capitalist business, requires monopoly and scarcity.

If the fly featured in this documentary managed to recover and populate other regions not owned by the corporation that currently ‘protects’ it, then that corporation loses its monopoly, and its commodity (the fly) loses value.

The corporation has an incentive to keep this little creature frozen forever on the verge of extinction. A bankable little living fossil, already set apart from the truly living and integrated wild.

This ‘saving the planet’ model not only incentivises species and habitat scarcity, but equally incentivises the creation of new scarcities and even the promotion of fake ones.

If crisis is your raison d’etre, how hard are you going to try to end that crisis?

The subject of this movie feeds into the parallel issue of Green-washed climate-panic. Many of the same dangers and arguments apply. It’s a major crisis of our time, threatening both increased environmental degradation and massive loss of human freedom.

The fact so few in the alt-media are waking up to this is considerable cause for concern.”

I’d seen someone ReTweet the UN Climate Change panel’s close to: ‘Declare a Climate Emergency to save the global economy’, as though they were already aware of the increible numbers of Green Capitalist start-ups, banks’ Green Bonds, etc..  This is just one I’d remembered:  WeMeanBusiness.org:

Retweeted by Frack Free_EU:

One response to “Hiroyuki Hamada’s ‘In Defense of Cory Morningstar’s Manufacturing for Consent Series’

  1. i’d just remembered this, and that some of the commenters (gasp!) had disagreed with cook.

    Greta Thunberg & the Consolation of Doubt’, Jonathan Cook, October 1, 2019, consortiumnews.com; two representative outtakes:

    “The more Greta Thunberg articulates the terrifying emotions of awakening to our imminent extinction as a species – as she did, filled with trembling rage, at last week’s UN “action summit” on the climate crisis – the more a section of the progressive left digs its heels in to resist her role as an agent of change.”

    “I mean the progressive left that understands we are hurtling towards a climate catastrophe engineered by the hubris of a tiny power-elite and our own unthinking, complicit greed. This is the left that knows we need to radically overhaul our societies and priorities, and quickly ween ourselves off fossil fuels, to save life on the planet.

    And yet nonetheless, a segment of this left gets angry every time Thunberg appears on TV to set out methodically and movingly why our societies are in the grip of a collective, self-destructive madness. Confronted by Thunberg’s activism, their natural antagonism towards the rich and powerful collapses into a mire of cynicism towards Thunberg herself.”

    Cook compares her to MLK, Jr.

    good on johnstone: exactly!

    @djrogerramjet Sep 23 Replying to @caitoz
    ‘She has been trained to omit the largest user of fossil fuels….the US military. The timing of the announcement to send troops to protect oil is ironic to say the least. Here is the SOROS supplied coach.’

    Cook features a Tweet as further evidence by Tim Hayward that’s not live, but close to this:

    And as I was hunting it down, I found this as well:

    CN has two earlier op-eds on greta and a totally bogus one on aoc’s green new deal written by some bloke at tom dispatch…who seriously should know better, imo

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