[permaculture] BodyPolitic-Finance-PermacultureCreditUnion

Kenneth Benway ken at arcadiandesign.org
Thu Jun 14 14:28:23 EDT 2007

Thanks for the valuable insights and related subject information. I am
going to start a new topic relating to an excellent point you brought
up. MONEY.
I suggest that North Americans start by shifting as much money as
possible to the Permaculture Credit Union of SanteFe NM. As the pool
grows we can begin working through the board of directors to redirect
funds to start more local credit unions based on financial need. I think
we can all see where this is heading.

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Sean Maley
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 2:11 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: [permaculture] Money, Politics and Permaculture

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

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

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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