Kloppenburg’s UW Office Features Marx Poster

Poster of Karl Marx in Kloppenburg's UW office

Jack Kloppenburg is a University of Wisconsin professor of community and environmental sociology and a graduate of Cornell University. His writings and speeches, have more than just a tinge of socialism. Kloppenburg even has a picture of Karl Marx on his office wall at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Jack Kloppenburg is the husband of JoAnne Kloppenburg, presiding judge for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV, and ultra-liberal candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In an article published in the Wisconsin State Journal he once wrote, “We must insist not just upon the right to food, or even upon the right to healthful food, but upon the right to a democratic food system.”

Kloppenburg also wrote an article for the Socialist Review titled, “Seed wars: Common Heritage, Private Property, and Political Strategy.” Socialist Review was founded in 1970 and advocated a “vision of a broad-based socialism,” for the express purpose of influencing American politics.

The Socialist Review also provided a platform for the Left to advocate questions of sexuality, gender, and feminism. According to Amazon’s review of the magazine, topics covered “range from the construction of racial and sexual identities to the utopian dimensions of Marxist theory, and the cross-impacts of feminism and neoliberalism, community and subjectivity, in a postindustrial world.”

Kloppenburg cites Marx in his journal article “Impeding Dispossession, Enabling Repossession: Biological Open Source and the Recovery of Seed Sovereignty” while advocating for the repossession of “seed sovereignty” through accumulation by dispossession. Marx referred to this process of agricultural expropriation as a means of “primitive accumulation.”

Kloppenburg is recognized as the de facto leader of the group called the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI). VQR (a National Journal of Literature & Discussion) refers to OSSI as “a subtly radical group” OSSI was founded in 2012 for the purpose of creating and enforcing sharing seeds.

He also wrote in 2000, “How we eat is now recognized as a major determinant of how natural resources and human labor are used and misused.” In the same article he wrote, “A sacred understanding of food resists the commodification of human beings.” On the UW website he is quoted saying, “one of the most intimate ways that we’re engaged with the world around us is through the food we eat.”

Kloppenburg hopes that plant diversity will become free and diverse, just as speech is free and diverse. He believes society is “moving into a very dangerous period now with climate change coming on,” and is optimistic about bringing together people from around the world to take back the seed.

Media Trackers previously highlighted how Kloppenburg rakes in nearly $113,000 annually to teach only two classes at UW. Kloppenburg has also used the easy money he makes from UW to donate to Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Sanders is a publicly self-proclaimed socialist.