[permaculture] Politics-Is it relevant to Permaculture?

Graham grahamburnett at blueyonder.co.uk
Wed Jun 13 13:53:34 EDT 2007

Don't misunderstand me - Of course politics is relevant to permaculture,
however I'm sure most of us don't look at the Permaculture list in an
isolationist vacuum. I'm subscribed to a number of other forums and
email lists that focus on issues around politics and sustainability in
the UK, and regularly check Shnews, indymedia, McSpotlight, Corporate
Watch, New Internationalist as well as news sites like the Gaurdian
online, BBC websites, etc for more 'mainstream' commentary, and indeed
come from a background of activism, protest and campaigning. In short,
I'm aware of what is going on in the world and keep myself informed, and
I suspect this is the case for a very high percentage of readers and
contributors (and those that maybe aren't aware of political issues
probabaly won't bother to read the political posts anyway...)

However I do feel that permaculture is about being 'solutions' focused,
and that this should be reflected in the email list. There are a
thousand and one forums dedicated to discussion of American Imperialism,
George Bush, Tony Bliar and whoever is going to be centre-stage next, it
would be a shame if the list became just another one of them. Personally
I'd like it to continue to focus on what ordinary people are doing in
the here and now to repair the earth, support and empower each other and
our communities, and how we in our infinite variety of ways are working
towards abundant post energy descent futures.

I also remember that years ago when I first subscribed to this list I
forwarded an email about the at that time ongoing McLibel Trial in the
UK, and got a ticking off from Lawrence about sending Off Topic posts to
the list. Quite rightly too, the corporatism and destructoculture of
McDonalds isn't irrelevant to Permaculture either,but this just isn't
the appropriate forum for its discussion.

Cheers Graham

On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 09:29 -0400, bwaldrop at cox.net wrote:
> > To all others: Need I say more about the relevance of politics in a
> > discussion of permaculture related issues?
> Well, this is "yes" and "no".  It is true that in response to comments by others, there is some evolution of this discussion in the direction of the actual application of permaculture principles to politics.  But the focus remains on US Imperial politics, when this discussion group in fact is international in its scope.  Not everybody shares a fascination with US Imperial politics.
> I also continue to think that the Imperial level is the area where permacuturists can have the least impact at present and that the persistent focus on nationalist Imperial politics is a distraction from much more important and productive work at the local level.
> Bob Waldrop, OKC
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> > [mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Tommy
> > Tolson
> > 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
> > some
> > > 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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Graham Burnett

Integrated Design for Local Environmental Resources


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