[permaculture] Farmers and students at Tiananmen Square in 1989 (Was: Fwd: [Permaculture International] money ....)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Sun Dec 19 22:32:05 EST 2010

On 12/19/2010 3:55 PM, Dieter Brand wrote:
> There were many great visionaries in the socialist movement.  Many
> were full of compassion and prepared to sacrifice everything
> including their own life.  They had a thorough understanding of the
> economic problems of their times and had worked out detailed plans
> for a better society.

That is wonderful to hear. Your typical person thinking of him or 
herself as leftist, left wing, left leaning or left-of-center should,
with the exception of the militant/physical danger aspects,  think those 
activist agenda prerequisites through thoroughly, memorize them and be 
prepared to seriously work toward those goals in the society
where they want to effect change for the better.

The way I got onto all this is during a conversation with a friend from 
the 60's during which I expressed my disbelief that people, especially 
young people, leave traditional rural villages across Russia to make 
their way in a city. I just couldn't believe that they would give up a 
promising agrarian life in an idyllic rural farm setting or in 
established rural villages, something many would give an eye tooth to 
have. I suggested that they could do as we here in the US should do and 
construct a cooperative village based agrarian network to distribute and 
share necessary resources between all inhabitants,
with minimum external inputs and sell outside the region for additional 
income but keep goods and income circulating locally. The commons 
concept on a grand scale, pull out all the stops, computers, 
satellite-based Web with wireless and hardwire access complete with 
cellphone service. A regional services and product, production, 
warehousing, brokerage and distribution network comprised of the 
smallest local nodes (a family) scaled up to neighborhood, to village, 
to area to regional nodes; then network the regions; all computer and 
cellphone based. Easy.  Do this in Russia and here in the USA.

My friend said that what I needed to do was to Google Nestor Makhno, 
which I did. Pre Russian Revolution, during the events you described 
above, it became obvious to the Ukrainians, who were using a traditional 
village based cooperative agrarian socioeconomic system at the time, 
were not going to be fairly represented by any of the existing political 
groups seeking power in Russia at the time. They would be better off 
with no government at all since none waiting in the wings would serve 
them fairly. Makhno formed the Makhnovists and remnants of 19th century 
international anarchism formed an armed Anarchist militia to defend 
their people and land. The Russian Bolsheviks won out over the Social 
Democrats and, with the Red Army, drove the Makhnovists and Anarchists 
out of the country and took it over. You know the rest of the story.

 > What they were incapable of predicting were
> the vagaries of human nature.  The communists, in particular, always
> were control freaks and couldn’t cope with that.  That’s where things
> went wrong.
> The political left has always been plagued by the splitting virus.
> First there was the split between communists and social democrats.

They need to get it together. Its an important political philosophy
and economic system as a flavor of capitalism.

> From there, innumerable splinter groups arose.  In the political
> vacuum left in German by the failure of the traditional political
> class after the WWI disaster, communists and social democrats were
> fighting each other in street battles in Berlin.  The laughing third
> party was a creepy little guy called Hitler.  For nearly a century
> now, left wing parties all over the World have fought each other
> while right wing parties hold on to power.

That is consistent with what a friend ran down for me. He said, "and 
that's the history of the twentieth century".
Now I understand clearly what communism, socialism, fascism, anarchism
are and how they each differ with regard to historical events, at least 
to some degree, an improvement over past confusion about those subjects.

> I wonder, does this sound familiar?  Could it be that Permaculturists
> have also been infected by the splitting virus?

I think so. Its a mindset or pitfall that can be avoided, ignored as a 
distraction like TV and junk food. They could do with some good fado
and a walk on the beach or in the forest.

Speaking of forests, I ran across a lengthy thread in a permaculture 
forum long ago wherein the huge old cork forests in Spain were discussed 
at length. These are apparently unique but fragile ecosystems and very 
beautiful with large trees and livestock. They mentioned an important 
conservation effort underway to protect these forests.
> Cheers, Dieter
> --- On Sun, 12/19/10, Lawrence F. London,
> Jr.<venaurafarm at bellsouth.net>
>> A followup comment on a related topic I recently posted on the
>> Coffee Party Facebook page: As for the teaparty anti-socialist
>> rants... research/Google the village-based agrarian socioeconomic
>> system that prevailed in the Ukraine before the Russian Revolution
>> when the party that supported them, the Social Democrats, who
>> sought power in Russia (these were the true "communists", of, by
>> and for the people) and Germany, were defeated by Lenin and his
>> Bosheviks which led to the rise in power of Stalin and his
>> Communist (NOT) Party who were  totalitarian criminal thugs. They
>> need to get their facts straight. The Social Democrats in the
>> Ukraine were in an all out struggle for personal survival and you
>> know what unfortunate events unfolded afterward over the decades.
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