[permaculture] Where the political discussion goes

Tommy Tolson healinghawk at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 26 15:16:05 EDT 2007

I think I understand the international intricacies of political 
discussion on a global listserv, which we started into with the economic 
colonialism idea of golf resorts and sugar plantations, which, in 
political economics, are the same thing: harvesters of gold, as Kathyann 
brilliantly called it.
 The primary reason international politics is volatile is the ubiquitous 
economic oppression of the G8 countries.  Read the history of the 
Bretton Woods Agreements spawning the World Bank, the IMF, and GATT, 
which became the WTO under Brother Bill Clinton.  The fact that the WTO 
has almost failed is strong testament to the consequences of giving the 
victims of  US ( and G8) economic oppression a voice in the global 
political economics policy process.  There's a long way to go to attain 
a nearly fair global political economics and it will be a bumpy ride 
because the rich apparently think their money buys them dominion over 
everyone else.
It seems odd to see a US black man use his money to oppress others into 
leaving their land. 
Permaculture sees money differently than real estate developers and 
multinational food corporations, since Permaculturalists share the 
profits of our bountiful harvests.  Money does not become a control 
issue, in Permaculture, because we take only what we need and we share 
the rest.  This is what makes Permaculture sustainable, in political 
economics terms.  We've seen the grinches of dominion economics crash 
any number of ecosystems in the interests of hoarding more gold.  As I 
recall, although I'll need to re-read to be certain, William R. Catton, 
in his wonderful, if scholarly, /Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of 
Revolutionary Change/, (a scholarly book that has not once gone out of 
print since 1980), makes the case that the Great Depression resulted 
from overshooting the US ecosystem.  Since then, we've way overshot it 
with the ghost acreage from cheap oil. 
Economic oppression is about purchasing ghost acreage to support 
overshot ecosystems and to maintain the elites in power positions, not 
necessarily in that order.
How can political discussion not be volatile, considering what's at stake?
Permaculture calls this volatility an edge.
Avoiding edges is not Permaculture.
In fact, edges are the most fecund places, to Permaculture.
Permaculture teaches us to pay close attention to edges.
The political discussion has led us to the nub of The Problem: the 
global North's need for ghost acreage in order to continue a failed 
economic agenda.  Read the history of the Bretton Woods agreements.  
Read the neo-con agenda at 
Then, if you live in the US, consider if you're willing to live with 
efforts carried out in your name that perpetuate US economic hegemony 
over the rest of the planet.
US foreign policy is run by the plantation mentality of the rich.  In 
our name.
Getting that information from "our" victims is tough to face without 
resorting to denial or the "isms." Racism. Classism, Etc.
But Permaculture teaches us to observe, and to act in harmony with our 
The baseline question from my observations, though, is this: shall we 
act symbiotically or parasitically?
Permaculture says symbiotically.
Parasitic isn't Permaculture.
Yet we in the US live in an economically and ecologically parasitic 
system dependent on global military dominance and stripping Earth of her 
We've mortgaged our grand-children's future to China in order to 
continue purchasing this military dominance and its attendant economic 
How do we in the US live with this?
Earth is one ecosystem and we have to find niches in it that do not 
oppress others.
This is Permaculture.

Tommy Tolson
Austin, TX

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