[permaculture] Considering Wholeness (was Re: Politics-Is it relevent to Permaculture?)

Silvio Marquardt marquardtsilvio at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 13 10:47:00 EDT 2007

I`m new on this list and I would like to learn about the practical aspects (At least to add to my little "beginners gardening" praxis) but I would also be quite open to read more on the relationship of permacultural principles to community development and politics.

I recall the following text which I did not find many follow ups:

"...No matter how many times I said it to myself ("Permaculture has nothing to do with politics"), I still couldn't agree with it. Permaculture IS political. I remember Bill telling the story about being on many radio interviews and then one interviewer said (roughly quoted), 
"You know Bill, this permaculture stuff is really, uh, quite, um, subversive". 
And Bill exclaimed, "Finally !! SOMEONE understands !..."

Keith Johnson



Stephen Figgins <stephen at plainscraft.com> wrote: Yes, permacultural design principles apply to politics.  What don't  
they apply to?  I know many permaculturalists have strong notions  
about politics, what doesn't work about current policies, how we  
might have better policies.   Looking at patterns and applying  
systems thinking to these things can reveal many ways to leverage  
change in our existing systems.

I also recognize that political discussion can divide people.  It can  
degenerate into a series of long tirades and flame wars.  I have  
participated in enough discussions of this nature to have a good idea  
of the patterns that can emerge when members of a list not devoted  
specifically to political discussion start posting about politics.

Ken brings up the importance of keeping the whole in mind, the bigger  
picture.  Would all who have participated in these recent discussions  
take a step back for a moment and look at the whole of this group and  
what might serve it best?  Some of this lists members have said these  
discussions have not met their needs and that they would rather not  
have them on this list.  That signals the beginning of a destructive  
pattern that I would rather not see develop any further.   Will you  
please consider how you can change your communication so that it  
brings us together rather than divides us on the list?

I also know from experience that discussion about whether something  
is or is not something can divide a list as well.  Like whether  
politics *is* an appropriate conversation for this list or whether it  
*is* relevant to permaculture.   Let's not go there either.   That  
thinking will not bring us together as a whole.

Would those who have spoken about their frustration with these topics  
also take a step back for a moment and consider the whole?  Rather  
than communicating your opinion about what is, can you state more  
clearly what you need and how the conversation could shift to better  
meet those needs?

I come here for insight into applying permacultural design. It helps  
if what you have to share leads to something practical, something I  
can apply within permacultural zones closer to home.  I have the most  
influence in those areas.  If you want to share a big picture  
insight, I would like you to also try to share the practical  
application of that insight in daily life.


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