How To Survive In the 21st Century
This is not just another book about health, it is about survival.
It is a book that offers what you need to know to survive in the 21st century—and not simply become another casualty.
Whilst it can be regarded as a book with direct implications about health, it necessarily is about who controls health, what circumstances affect health, and corporate influence.
Corporations control every aspect of health. I argue that our industrialised agricultural system is destructive. It destroys, the soil, it is chemically intensive, it creates pollution, it poisons the food supply and subverts our health. It also does not foster a healthy farming community. It simply serves the needs of corporate interests.
Economists like Milton Friedman have argued that the principal role of a corporation is to create a profit for its shareholders, not to be engaged with any social conscience.
Corporate lawyers argue that corporations should seek to maximize profits even if it means breaking the law and that they should regard the penalties for breaking the law as mere costs of doing business. They suggest The obligation to obey the law is subservient to the obligation to make money.
We discuss how this ideology seems to pervade many corporations. We have described this in a previous volume, Hijacked How the Banking Industry, Finance, and Corporate Interests Have Hijacked Our Economy and Corrupted Democracy, with regard to the banking and finance industries.
In this volume, we focus more on how health is destroyed and how it can be created. We show how destructive the industrialization of agriculture has become, we examine the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. We discuss why it is, some doctors have revealed that medicine is now the leading cause of death in the USA. We show how the pharmaceutical industry has become more dangerous to our health following its increasingly pathologically driven pursuit of profits and power above all else. We show how, with the understanding that profit reigns supreme, that their actions consistently reveal, the deceit and the lack of integrity that leads to the creation and use of pharmaceutical products that undermine health.
For years corporations have become used to dumping their waste byproducts into the environment to avoid the costs of disposing of them safely. They have a quaint euphemism for this, it is referred to as “externalising costs”. The more a company can externalise their costs, the more profits they can make and the more their cost of doing business is passed onto others—generally, this means us as taxpayers. We are faced with the clean-up costs of pollution of the land, waterways and the air.
The same companies also seek to minimise their tax liabilities and most of them seek offshore facilitation to do this. The same situation, of course, happens with their majority owners, the super-rich who use the off-shore havens to hide their wealth and reduce their tax burden.
The net result for the rest of us means we are faced with all the costs of cleaning up pollution caused by these corporations, dealing with the health consequences, which can mean suffering from chronic illness, getting cancer, or simply being faced with supporting suffering family members. We are faced with both the emotional costs and healthcare costs. The costs, of course, as the health of society continues to deteriorate, add further to our financial burden, and leads to challenges for governments to be able to adequately support health care, maintain services and infrastructure.
We conclude that without a serious re-evaluation of corporate behaviour, and the legal basis of limited liability which relieves their investors of any real responsibility for the actions of corporations—the situation will lead to further reckless pursuit of profits that is increasingly destructive. We discuss how the pharmaceutical industry excels at this type of pathological behaviour.
Whilst the book deals with a number of strategies that we can undertake to protect ourselves, we conclude that serious action is required if we wish to create a healthy society, that requires the reformation of corporate law.
We reveal the reforming agriculture that incorporates restoring fertility to the soil has to be fundamental to any real movement to restore health. We use the teachings of people like Sir Albert Howard, the biologist and agronomist who found that creating fertile soil creates fertile plants, that can create fertile animals which includes us. One of the secrets to this was that of the discovery of the mycorrhizae’s relationship to soil biota and the health of plants and animals which we discuss.
What is also revealed is that restoring real fertility means increasing the carbon content and its sequestration of carbon dioxide and reduction of the reliance on fossil fuels which substantially reduces carbon emissions at the same time, a win-win situation.
Bringing corporate behaviour to heal, would also enable a more democratic society, removing the ability of corporations to use their vast financial resources to influence the political system would change the face of politics.
This book suggests that urgent changes are required not just for our own survival, but for humanity as a whole.
We show how the solutions to all our health issues are available to us. We need to change our thinking. We need to become better informed to enable us not to join the ranks of the increasing number of victims of serious and chronic disease and take charge of our health prospects, and that of our children and by doing so create a more healthy and sustainable future, a world fit for humanity as a whole.
REVIEWS For How To Survive In The 21st Century
Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology, Evolution, Behaviour and Environment, Sussex University.
“A powerful, disturbing and controversial insight into the way corporate greed is adversely affecting both planetary and human health and wellbeing, but with a hopeful finale pointing to a better future.”
Dr Vandana Shiva, Ecologist, environmental activist and writer (of more than 30 books).
“Let food be they medicine “ is what Hippocrates said. We are what we eat. However as Andrew Burgoyne Shows us In “How to Survive in the 21 st century”, chemicalisation of agriculture, toxics in our food, the pharmaceuticalisation of medicine, and the corporate hijack of our economy, threatens our health and our future.
Surviving in the 21 st century makes poison free food and farming a health and survival imperative. Having practised and studied ecological agriculture and promoted biodiversity in food systems for more than 3 decades I know it is possible. We can grow more food, and protect the health of the planet and our health if we align with the laws of nature, and recognise that industrial agriculture, industrial food and industrial medicine promoted by corporations is not based on science but propaganda and pseudo-science. And it is costing lives.