Quote of the day: Food at the basis of social control

by Arran James

Dealing with surplus is a difficult task. The problem begins with the fact that, just like the sex drive, the food drive got ramped up in evolution. If you have a deep, yearning need for food, you’re going to get along better than your neighbor, and over the years that gene is going to be passed on. So you get this creature that got fine-tuned to really need food, especially carbohydrates. Which brings us to the more fundamental question: can we ever deal with sugar? By making more concentrated forms of carbohydrates, we’re playing into something that’s quite addictive and powerful. It’s why we’re so blasted obese. We have access to all this sugar, and we simply cannot control our need for it—that’s genetic.

Now, can we gain the ability to overcome that? I’m not sure. You have to add to this the fact that there’s a lot of money to be made by people who know how to concentrate sugar. They have a real interest in seeing that we don’t overcome these kinds of addictions. In fact, that’s how you control societies—you exploit that basic drive for food. That’s how we train dogs—if you want to make a dog behave properly, you deprive him or give him food. Humans aren’t that much different. We just like to think we are. So as an element of political control, food and food imagery are enormously important. Richard Manning. Here.

It seems to me that anyone who doesn’t base their politics on the body, on the flesh, the corporeality and transcorporeality of ecological creatureliness, is going to miss this essential point. All the fine philosophical theory in the world won’t teach you what you stomach will. Or, to put it another way:

The rest of the interview is fascinating and a little dangerous, but I’m always drawn to people like Manning or Jensen (even some parts of Zerzan aren’t entirely insufferable). There may well come a time when the survivalists are vindicated. If Deleuze could call for a nomadic thought, perhaps we require a survivalist one. I keep looking to my partner’s 5 year old son and wondering how much water there’ll be when he is old enough to be unemployed.

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