The Ideology of Desire

The worst part of Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire documentary is that the human quest for profit and capital accumulation, which globalizes and genetically alters certain crops, is presented as the workings of nature itself.

But it should also be noted that the precise way this set of social relations is naturalized and mystified is through white male bourgeois owners portrayed as connoisseurs who display intense love, not for profit, but for objects which instantiate some abstract (but biological and therefore ahistorical) desire for sweetness or beauty or getting high. In other words, they are fans.

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