Biotech Resilience


Former Reason editor Virginia Postrel is taking the long view on biowarfare. An excerpt: A victory in Iraq, followed by success in eliminating immediate threats of nuclear, biological, and chemical-weapons proliferation, buys us just a decade or two, I figure, before any Unabomber/Tim McVeigh-style fanatic can cook up a plague. Weapons of mass destruction aren't going to go away, and somebody will always have a cause or grievance. One reason the neocon crusade against biotech is so foolish is that it weakens the national defense they claim to care about. The country's future security depends on a strong, resilient, and clever biotech industry.

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  1. Virginia Postrel needn’t fear: the “defense” industry will surely go out of its way to guarantee the profits of the “strong, resilient, and clever biotech industry” she supports. It’s my guess that the industry couldn’t survive without some such state capitalist intervention. Without the state’s patents and R&D subsidies, it’s hard to imagine the research paying for itself. Not to mention all the FDA restrictions against even letting consumers know when GM foods are in a product they’re buying.

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