[permaculture] Politics-Is it relevant to Permaculture?

Kenneth Benway ken at arcadiandesign.org
Wed Jun 13 09:00:52 EDT 2007

Thank you for this well thought out, detailed critique that goes to the
core of what I also consider to be probably the single most important
issue facing us as permaculture activists.
Thanks for being part of my tribe.

To all others: Need I say more about the relevance of politics in a
discussion of permaculture related issues?

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Tommy
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 3:16 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Water-Contamination, Soil-Contamination,
Law-strategies -Remedial actions-US.TX, US.NC

Kenneth Benway wrote:
> On one final note, one of the obstacles that have faced litigation
> efforts in cases like this is that corporate (fictitious) entities are
> treated as persons under the law, this notion in my view is insane. If
> you've watched the documentary "The Corporation" one of the final
> conclusions reached is that we need a constitutional amendment
> abolishing these corporate rights, then we can really start making
> headway with these polluting bastards! 
It is certain that allowing corporations to keep the rights of natural 
persons that they stole is a continuing monumental mistake.  We are in 
Iraq because the owners of a lot of corporations saw a way to make a lot

of money by kicking a country when it was down, they lobbied for war, 
they are Dubya's true constituency, and Dubya is the sort of coward who 
kicks a country when it's down.  /Unequal Protection/ by Thom Hartmann 
tells the sordid story of how a few sleazy Republicans stole the rights 
of natural persons for corporations by hijacking the 13th or 14th 
Amendment to the Constitution (that was supposed to grant freed slaves 
the right to vote) by eliminating the word "natural" from the phrase 
"natural person." A fictitious person gained the same rights as a 
natural person through this deliberate subterfuge, after enough court 
shopping and packing the Supreme Court with railroad lawyers.  The book 
should be required reading for every US citizen, but it isn't, and it 
won't be, because it doesn't serve the corporate interest.  What would 
be very cool is if every US citizen *wanted* to read Hartmann's book and

find out how to go about correcting the single most egregious injustice 
ever perpetrated on the US public.  We've, in essence, had the WTO for 
more than 100 years in this country, since /Union Pacific Railroad v. 
Santa Clara County/.  Unmitigated corporate dominance, with the noose 
ever tightening, is our lot.  When they've killed enough of us to 
finally get us pissed off, we'll follow Hartmann's plan, turn the world 
right side up again, and return corporations to the service of the 
people.  Government will quickly follow suit.

There's no way we can live out Permaculture ethics under corporate 
dominance.  Taking care of people is not going to happen.  If it was, it

would have by now.  Some call it corporate rule, and it is, in many 
ways, especially de facto, since corporations own every politician in 
the country who has served more than one term in office.  If you look at

how things are in the US and ask, "Who benefits?", it's always a 
corporation.   The people are simply their chumps, and the carcasses 
left in their wake.  Corporations have stolen our future (what else is 
global warming?) and will continue exploiting it until we reclaim it.  
What else is there to do now but to reclaim the future?

I suspect "The Problem" is a pervasive unconscious belief in the King 
James /Bible's /assignation to humans of dominion over nature.  Dominion

is the unspoken presupposition in every action that damages the natural 
order and  its creatures, including humans.  The dictionary definition 
of "injustice" is denying another the right to a full life.  Even under 
a casual application of that definition, dominion is profoundly unjust.

I suspect dominion was the Cambridge dons sucking up to King James and 
we've seldom since brought the question to conscious thought.  It seems 
to me that dominion and Permaculture are mutually exclusive ideas and 
that to truly practice Permaculture means we have purged our souls of 
the damages done by our unconscious devotion to dominion, at least to 
the degree that it's a conscious choice if we make it.

Bare knuckle dominion is surely unleashed when corporations exercise the

rights of natural persons.  How do we make that sort of dominion 
culturally unacceptable?  But is dominion ever appropriate in 
Permaculture?  Don't we voluntarily and as fully as possible cooperate 
with nature in our designs?  Doesn't nature occupy the superior position

in our considerations?  Isn't dominion utterly absurd?  In the context 
of Permaculture design, doesn't dominion seem spectacularly ignorant?

Why do we tolerate it?  In /Ishmael/, Daniel Quinn says we have no 
choice in a society that guards the food supply.  Permaculture, to me, 
is a way to return to the land, to work the land in an ethical manner 
that earns a living so that I can say "just say no" to dominion because 
I have a secure food supply and cash flow for those things that require 
cash.  So Permaculture buys liberation from corporate rule?  Have I 
grown delirious?  If I can feed myself and my family, I can say "No." 
That's what Thomas Jefferson had in mind with Jeffersonian democracy: a 
nation of people who could feed themselves, had time to inform 
themselves, and owned their land, so they had the means to say "No" when

a "No" was needed.  Comparing that vision with what we have now shows 
how far corporations have brought down our humanity in service to their 
god, capital.

Tommy Tolson
Austin, TX

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