Nature, economy and identity revision
November 6th, 2015
The story begins with the description of the earth.
“It starts with the earth. How can it not? Imagine the planet like a spirit peach, whose pit forms the core, whose flesh its mantle, and whose fuzzy skin its crust- no, that doesn’t do justice to the crust, which is, after all, where all of like takes place. The earth’s crust must be more like the rind of the orange, thicker and more durable, quite unlike the thin skin of a bruisable peach. Or is it? Funny, how you never think to wonder.”(p.3)
The first time I read this paragraph, I was thinking about fragility of the earth as a peach. The earth is very well balanced so that life can happen. This must be the theme of the book, I assumed. As I kept on reading, however, I realized what Ozaki really cares about is humans, not the earth. After all, even if all humans become extinct, the earth would produce new life which would lead this planet. The earth has been repeating this cycle for a long time since the first life appeared on it, so, the earth does not have to be protected by humans. The idea of fragility of the earth is actually replaced with the idea of instability of the environment which human can live safely.
The problem is whether the genetically modified food is harmful to us or not. Lloyd stated “I pray to God my grandkids won’t have to grow up eating them!”(p.307) But as Cass thought that “the idea was to try to maximize your chances of staying on the living side for as long as you could”(p.270), people are surviving like other organisms do, and in this case from bugs, Will states that “Monoculture is efficient. We got six billion humans on the earth, and a lot of them are starving.” (p.272)
However, there is a trick. Even though it sounds like that monoculture consider people, the capitalist theory doesn't not take into account any human factors. Actually people are controlled by economy and government and believe in cheap and well-shaped food which might be harmful to them. Geek mentions that “That’s just corporate marketing. The masses aren’t starving because there isn’t enough food. There’s a surplus – you know that! People are starving because the food isn’t being distributed fairly, to those in need. The population explosion argument is the oldest spin in the books!” (p.272)
Geek knows the agricultural situation controlled by the government, so his objection against genetically modified food also means the free from the restriction physically and mentally. “As Lloyd has reminded us, today is the Fourth of July – Independence Day – and we are assembled here to declare independence from the corporate hegemony that is seeking to gain total control over global food supplies.” (p.302)
As showed in the first paragraph, if the balance which people can survive is very delicate as a peach, it is essential to be conscious of the situation we are in. The economy is manipulated by the government and it does not consider our sustainable future. There is an only way to stop it, and that is “independence from economic slavery” (p.302) As Geeks says “Every single second of the day we’re making choices.”(p.412), we can make the choice to apart from the control if we realize the situation and have courage.
Ozeki. R. (2004). All Over Creation. Penguin Books.