Addiction & Dependence

tools-for-conviviality: Past the second watershed, technologies breed addiction and dependence instead of self-sufficiency and empowerment.

Modern agriculture obliges the farmer to depend on big ag companies to supply hybrid seeds (which are sterile), and then to also purchase the pesticides and fertilisers needed to grow them effectively. Over time, these latter get less effective... obliging the farmer to purchase more new stuff.

The revolution in hybrid seeds, particularly corn, had this effect.72 Since hybrids are either sterile or do not breed "true," the seed company that has bred the parents of the hybrid-cross has valuable property in hybrid seed, which it can sell every year, unlike the open-pollinated varieties which the farmer can select himself.73

[...] As with hybrids, the lack of biological diversity in the fields meant that each generation of HYVVS was likely to succumb to infestations of fungus, rust, or insects, necessitating the purchase of new seeds and new pesticides (as the insects built up resistance).

seeing-like-a-statech. 8


tools-for-conviviality Illich, Ivan. 1973. Tools for Conviviality. Fontana. ↩︎ 1

seeing-like-a-state Scott, James C. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press. ↩︎ 1