[permaculture] what does a permaculture based politics look like?

kevin s k.skvorak at verizon.net
Wed Jun 13 21:30:04 EDT 2007

hi all,

i have a habit of following, with some curiosity, the various threads 
about "politics" on this list when they pop up.  usually they sputter 
out, often in a similar way, with people finally telling others to 
"keep the politics off the list..." or other less polite things

i, for one at least, am regularly a little surprised and 
disappointed that these conversations don't go deeper in the 
Permaculture community.  Of course it is obvious that the current 
global "political", social, and economic relationships and (visible 
and invisible) power structures will require huge  transformations if 
we are to achieve a sustainable human presence on the planet (of any 
population size).   i think all Permaculturalists agree on this.

The same Political struggles look the same all over the world: so 
called Democratic institutions are under the attack, or complete 
control of corporate, capitalist forces.  The media, the global 
military complex, the food supply, financial institutions, etc all 
under the dominant control (or in the few free areas left, under 
severe attack) by the same power structures.

  There is a global war going on, on more levels and on more fronts 
than just the "middle" east.

This is our global reality.

And, at the same time we have all over the world the most 
sophisticated, organized, knowledgable, and committed social 
movements human society has yet developed.  Led by indigenous 
activists, farmers, poor people, anarchists....

Where is Permacultures place in these growing social movements?

In the face of all of this, one would think that these clearly 
"political" issues  and opportunities would and should be on the 
forefront of Permaculturalists lives and practice....

and yet, some 30 years into the Permaculture "movement" it still too 
often  appears that there remains some quaint (often white, often 
male, often priviledged) idea that "Politics is not part of 


is it only me that feels some disturbing disconnect in this?

In any case i am wondering, in the spirit of positive example, what 
are the ways that folks are incorporating their values and 
Permaculture practice into their "political" lives right now?

Are there real examples out there that people can offer as models?

I'll start.  We are working our butts off for the last couple of 
seasons growing food for people using a CSA model based in 
Permaculture practices. We use lots and lots of sheet mulch beds, and 
so far we are growing a good amount of vegetables. It remains to be 
seen whether we can be economically viable, growing real food for 
real people, in competition with all the tractor farmers out there, 
organic and conventional.

We don't own land yet, and are not particularly interested in 
engaging in "investing" in land, where our debt only goes to fund the 
same international financial corporations running this destructive 
machine.  So we are starting a Community Land Trust to hopefully 
engage in a more healthy community based relationship with the land, 
that has the added benefits, for instance, of allowing those 
residents of the CLT land to create sustainable livelyhoods for 
themselves and even do war tax resistance if they so desire because 
they are not burdened with the fear and insecurity that comes with 
"ownership".  (they can't take it away from you if you don't "own" it)

It is a start anyway.

Lately I see more and more politically active folks drawn to, and 
then become disappointed by the Permaculture "movement",  as they 
come to see it rightly or wrongly as strictly aligned with 
libertarian or green capitalist or other seemingly "selfish" 
political and social orientations and motives.  and it seems true 
that there is not often a lot in Permaculture circles for people to 
connect their higher needs for community, cooperations, etc with yet.

and yet there is  a lot of change going on, in Permaculture circles 
just as there is everywhere else, and this list, i feel, doesn't 
always represent  the full range of Permaculture expression going 

anyway, thanks for the time,

eager, in the true permaculture spirit,  for positive solutions

Regeneration CSA in High Falls NY

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