[permaculture] Politics is not just two four letter words...

Paul Cereghino paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Sat Feb 24 00:47:46 EST 2007

Robyn, nothing personal, I'm talking as much to myself as anyone, the 
"politics = many bloodsucking parasites" quip on the tail of recent list 
dialog set me to thinking...

How easy it is to have contempt for politics -- as if our failure to 
effectively manage political processes has no meaning.  Is a 
tractionless relationship to politics any better of a design then 
failing to orient to the sun?

Our communities are disorganized, we lack the skills or experience in 
mass self governance, we flounder in our affinity groups and our 
individualism, month to month drifting on our leaky arks.  We will need 
the land to live, but with failed politics we cannot defend the land 
from the behaviors of our own people.  The political system is the 
landscape context, part of the assessment, part of the design.  The 
permaculture I learned does not ignore the dominant predator or the 
behavioral patterns of the prime ecosystem architect.  We will learn the 
sources, flows and sinks of political power, if we want to achieve 
anything enduring.

Do we really believe a little climatic-oil chaos will change much? Do we 
think a little hunger will kick-start some kind of revolution?  If we 
don't learn to engage human politics to serve the land, what opportunity 
will chaos offer us?  In the places where chaos has already taken hold, 
are politics any more progressive or restorative?  Do you think that 
those who grasp at power are unintelligent?  I would suggest that beyond 
politics, there is no other game in town.  If our common values and 
processes (our politics) are clouded and confused, our people will turn 
to our familiar destructive patterns like moths to a flame.  I propose 
that the political landscape in front of us in not ephemeral or 
unstable, but is as old as the hills.  Those who manipulate failed 
politics for personal greed will not be surprised by oil depletion and 
release their grip on the political system that defines our economic 
structures.  Economies are reclaimed by communities who master their own 
politics.  The whole spectrum of existing political relationships are 
important to learn and understand, not as something to ridicule or 
separate from, but as something we are part of, that flows from our 
selves, and that must be a critical element of our designs.  If we don't 
want to engage politics, we can always retreat to our property 
boundaries, but I would suggest that herb spirals are just training 
wheels for the real design challenge.


Robyn Williamson wrote:

>On Friday, February 23, 2007, at 03:20 pm, 
>permaculture-request at lists.ibiblio.org/J Kolenovsky wrote:
>>Once in a while a little deviation from
>>the electic headiness brings refreshment and merriment to the soul.
>>Based on whats coming down the pike, we all need some of that.
>I agree wholeheartedly but I gotta say that I came close to 
>unsubscribing myself after that last episode.  Yes the offending 
>messages are only a scroll click or a delete button away but it can be 
>ho-hum in the extreme for those of us elsewhere on the planet when the 
>divisive nature of politics* causes people's blood to boil over.
>* The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly' meaning 'many' 
>and the word 'tics' meaning 'blood-sucking parasites'.
>~ Larry Hardiman
>permaculture mailing list
>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

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