[permaculture] Money, Politics and Permaculture

Sean Maley semaley at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 14 14:11:04 EDT 2007

permafrog at riseup.net (Bob) wrote: It seems some people have little understanding of what politics is. I agree that as it is currently practised here in Canada, for example it is all about competing interests vying for control but that is a mutation of
what politics is meant to be. Politics is how we order society and meet the needs of society's members.

 How true, Bob.  There are many concepts discussed here along these lines.  Politics, Corporations, currency, and the monetary system are symptoms, not the problem itself.  We open ourselves to the same mistakes by focusing on the wrong problems.  These concepts were created to fix the original flaws.  They are band-aids (elastoplast, bandage) on a system doomed from the day humans assumed ownership of land to compensate for a flawed dependency on mono-agriculture.

If the design alternative is working, then we won't need any of these band-aids.  However, we will be compelled to use them both until a functioning alternative exists.  It is okay to get feedback from your design whether positive or negative.

We start with ourselves.  Then we can move on to our families.  Then to friends.  From friends to neighborhoods, neighborhoods to municipality.  At the point you leave your bioregion, you've probably gone too far.  Some of us may only need to remain with family and friends.  I suppose it depends on where in the world you live.

The very first page of the Designer's Manual may have this most important lesson of starting with personal responsibility.  Start with yourself and form/join a circle.  When the circle becomes too big, celebrate a new circle emerging.  It's okay if you don't agree on everything.  Start with what you do agree on and pair off into more compatible circles later.

In an interdependent network of circles, little more should be needed.  Each circle requires a connection to land, so this should be the priority.  With no price levied for land, find your land.

Most places in the world (particularly near cities) levy a price for land, so each member of these circles should do their best to pool money into a Community Land Trust or equivalent.  If starting from scratch, consider a Farmer's Cooperative or Collective (non-profit mutual support corporation, which facilitates democratic ownership of land) as an alternative.

It may be that several collectives might overlap in membership with various CLTs.  Once a Collective has fully transitioned to land dependency from market-state dependency, they should consider helping other collectives get there (continue pooling money into other circles, until all circles establish 100% land dependency and 0% market-state dependency).

Money saving tips:

Use the shared pool of money for micro-loans to members still in debt. (see prosper.com for an example of facilitating this).  Have the members pay the same interest they did participating in the monetary system.  The more funds allocated to "earning" interest, the faster the collective can save (loan to other circles, if you have to).  Compound Interest funding may even be able to overtake your member contributions before you have enough to purchase land, if you keep as much loaned out as possible.

Look for things you spend money in the market-state and seek ways of depending on your circle, instead.

Pick up cottage industry skills and use the products to limit your spending into Corporate and Monetary economics.  Sell the extras for fund raising.
 Garage/Stoop sales.  Sell all that junk you can't take with you in the low energy future or create clutter.  Recycle that which creates dependency.  The more money you take from people who might otherwise spend it in the Market-State system, the less the Market-State paradigm is perpetuated.
It's better for you to spend money into Permaculture circles than the Market-State system; permies might actually help you and you might want to help permies.  Whether food, micro-loans, or housing, your money helps yourself rather than help pay for several McMansions that you don't get to live in.  Seek out other permies, if you can't depend on yourself or your circle.

People buying your products might actually copy you, if you seem to be happy.  It might even be suspicious to them if you don't work very much, yet have all these nice things.  Hold potlucks open to the public.  (hmm.  what a nice person.  where did they get all this food to give out?)  The more people you bring into your circle, or form circles of their own, the sooner land will be taken out of the speculative markets (major driving factor for monetary system "growth").

In the end, it will be more expensive not trusting than if you take the plunge and risk trust.  There will be a price, but the price will be much higher if you continue to depend on the Market-State paradigm.

I am aware of the potential conflict of forming corporations to get away from corporations.  However, this factors out as the corporate paradigm (current form of Market-State) collapses.  Instead of getting nothing at the end, you are left with a better life through having land either way (and even less work, due to no more taxes).

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