[permaculture] Trends in America
steveread at free.fr
Thu Oct 30 03:26:26 EDT 2008
Hello, Toby Hemenway,
Interesting approach to extrapolte from one PDC and its mug praxis to principles and strategies of land tenure; It reminds me too of the platitudinous arguments that Thatcher & Co. put forward to justify selling off the council owned housing, frankly I rarely saw a run down council house except on estates that had been designanted as 'problem' estates by the local council and were then therefore following some strange logic of their own refilled with more 'problem' families. And then of course council blocks that fell into disrepair and misuse becaus ethey were simply so badly designed.
Your argument also belies the fact that for prbably millenia humane societies have enabled land tenure strategies that allowed sustainable, durable use of commonly held assets. Th
e fatuous book 'Tragedy of the commons' has been massively instrumental in creating a mythology around this subject. Your argument also imo seems to betray a certian myopia, looking out the window do I see a world where privately owned resources are not destructively exploited, a world where privately property is tended and nurtured for subsequent generations? Or do I see a world where the traditional class layers have gone to be replaced by one big squandering propertied class in the rich countries and those that are becoming fatter? For myself I only have to go to the municipal dump to see where private property ends up, even when still in good condition.
I imagine that you personally however are tending well your private patch of Earth, your private Eden.
And of course there's Renting property out, what a great way to increase my income, living off the sweat and labour of others, keeping the world split into have's and have nots and of course expecting the people who are renting the property to look after it as if it were their own, well how is it they can do that in rented accomodation and yet wouldn't be able to do it in commonly held accomodation?
I would however agree with you Toby that there is some education to be done, its not difficult, one simply transports the emotional content that one has for 'mine' to 'ours'. I frankly fail to see that if we can't do this and that as designers we are not promoting this how we are to move along towards sustainable interconnected communities.
Buy the land and free it into a safe common legal entity, then help people develop the capacity to nurture it, and in this I am speaking too and perhaps in particular of the urban areas. This definately seems to be the philosophy developing here in France.
======= At 2008-10-30, 04:45:47 you wrote: =======
>A story I may have told before: On opening day of a PDC, the venue was
>kind enough to put out mugs, each with a participant's name on it. They
>asked that each person be responsible for rinsing and putting away their
>own mug. The system worked beautifully; the classroom stayed free of
>scattered mugs; each was back in the rack at the end of the day. Then,
>come our mid-class day off, the mugs were put through an industrial
>sterilizer and the labels were removed. They went back to the classroom
>unlabeled. Within a few days, mugs were everywhere--under chairs, on
>shelves, left outside, many full of molding tea leaves, and another
>couple of dozen mugs had been commandeered from elsewhere since no one
>could find a clean mug and it was easier to grab another from the stash.
>Soon almost every mug the place had was in our classroom, dirty and
>haphazardly stuck anywhere.
>I was pretty surprised, since the participants seemed like decent folks.
>The lesson I took home was twofold: private ownership is one way to
>encourage responsibility toward resources, and, a culture that is used
>to private ownership is liable to behave irresponsibly toward resources
>held in common.
>Nancy Frank wrote:
>> Steve -
>> I think it will be awhile before we get as far as we've come and
>> return to common land.
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steveread at free.fr
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