[permaculture] Permaculture recommendation for Deep Green Resistance

Chris Lumpkin clumpkin at gmail.com
Tue Jul 2 22:22:52 EDT 2013


I am not entirely comfortable with the concept of activism, which is one of
the reasons permaculture appeals to me so much. I did read the excerpt of
the DGR book, and a few other things on their site, because I do share the
frustration and despair they express at the way human civilization
continues to consume resources and destroy ecosystems. I am not necessarily
arguing against DGR, but vocalizing the internal conflict I feel when I
read what they advocate.

My main concern with most activism, as I have seen and experienced it, is
related to the basic principle that "resistance" to a thing actually adds
energy to it. I have rarely witnessed someone win an argument, where the
goal is to use words to convince someone that their opinion or actions are
incorrect. More often, these interactions escalate and cause people on both
sides of the issue to do and say things they regret later, when their
emotions fade. Rather than having the therapeutic effect I have heard
touted, I find these exercises of anger and control to be exhausting and
demoralizing. To each their own, I do not criticize activists for their
personal choices. This is simply my response to activists who sneer at
permaculturists for "checking out" and ignoring the problems. Walking away
from industrialized society, or creating alternatives to it, is a vote of
no confidence, an act of creation rather than destruction, and sometimes
more powerful than resistance.

It seems as if DGR has a bone to pick with patriarchy. I am a feminist, but
I don't see what that has to do with the survival of the planet. Some of
the species we would like to save are patriarchal; by that same token, some
of the most successful human experiments in sustainable societies are
patriarchal. The Anabaptist peoples (Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite) are
examples of cultures that love and thrive without heavy reliance on
extraction of natural resources. Most of the Israeli kibbutzim, after
beginning as egalitarian collectives with complete gender equality, have
now reverted to more traditional gender roles, yet have sustained a more
harmonious way of life for a few generations. It seems counterproductive to
attack ways of life that are, by many measures, far superior to the ones
which are truly destroying ecosystems. This just seems like a distraction
from the message of saving the biosphere, in my opinion. I don't see what
is gained by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, not speaking of
violence or oppression, but definitions of gender and lineage that are
accepted or sacred to some groups. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the
message there.

Activism is an attempt to control the actions of other beings to please a
few, which ironically seems to be the primary complaint against our
mainstream society and governments. I guess it is all a matter of
perspective, and whether you think anyone should have the right to control
the actions of others, or under what circumstances. The kind of direct
action that seems to be advocated by DGR has the potential to be violent,
and destructive of the property and works of others. This certainly doesn't
seem to be an evolved, egalitarian response to the depredations of a
destructive industrial culture - destroy in kind, act as the chosen 2% who
know what is best for all the sheep?

Permaculture is a systems approach to design based on natural systems that
endure, and we are designing a better civilization already. It may
sometimes seen that we are running out of time, but that is a short view
and a fatalistic one. I think most of us has a feel for what behaviors are
sustainable or regenerative versus degenerative and destructive, but none
of us can tell the future. We do what is in front of us, what feels right,
and sometimes that may be contrary to zoning ordinances or other meddlesome
government regulations. I just can't see my way to blowing shit up, when I
don't have the will of the people behind me. The good news about
unsustainable behavior is that it can't last forever. Every time I opt out
of consumer behavior, waste, and reach out to my family and community, I am
starving the beast and showing a better way. I feel permaculture is
working, and our mother will recover from our excesses in her own time. If
we watch with the patience of trees, we can see it unfolding.

Thanks for sharing that, I really appreciate the food for thought.

 On Jul 1, 2013 8:09 PM, "Lawrence London" <lfljvenaura at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 12:51 PM,  <kelda at riseup.net> wrote:
> > Hi!
> >
> > So the permaculture news from Tacoma, WA is that a lot of us have been
> > reading the book Deep Green Resistance and highly recommend that other
> > permaculturists do so. The authors specifically critique permaculture,
> and
> > (though I'd love to sit down with Lierre Keith over a cup of tea to argue
> > some specifics) I think they bring up some really good points about how
> > the Permaculture movement could better serve a true culture of
> resistance.
> > Ie, how it ISN'T direct action against what is destroying the planet, but
> > could be.
> How  about Deep Green Cohesion and bonding for global permaculture
> community
> action toward positive goals that serve to help people survive. Who
> has time to worry about
> how to join and contribute toward a resistance movement when one's
> basic needs have to be met: food, shelter, medical, safety and
> security, education and free time spent in personal pursuits and
> immersion in Nature, walk in woods, watch sunset, fish, garden,
> meditate. Personally I endorse any movement that encourages avoidance
> of and alternatives to (meditate, garden, code websites, cook, etc.)
> alcohol, drugs and tobacco (none of those three ever, the human body
> was not meant to assimilate such things, ignore all excuses to the
> contrary.
> On the other hand the three ethics of permaculture seem to indicate
> that a Green Resistance would be a natural thing for permaculturists
> to become involved with. If we don't then who will?
> > How has this changed things for me? Instead of being under the illusion
> > that my permaculture demonstration projects (or my bike-riding, or my
> > shorter showers) will cause any big change as fast as we need it, I'm
> > thinking more now of how to create garden networks that can actually
> serve
> > as a totally alternate food systems. Inspiring hope and love for planet
> > are nice and all, but we need different physical structures fast.
> How do you want to create those networks, Kelda? What do you want to
> accomplish?
> I could create a network structure online if people would use it.
> This is something already in place and I am a member of it, Durham
> Locally Grown.
> LocallyGrown.Net -- Small Farms Making a Difference
> http://locallygrown.net/
> I have suggested creating a national, product and services,
> production, marketing and distribution network
> comprised of the smallest conceivable nodes making up a national
> aggregate. LocallyGrown and Craigslist are similar.
> My network would have more functions and ultimately provide the USA
> with an alternative marketplace for goods and services, barter, sell,
> trade,
> all consistent with existing local, state and federal tax law and all
> other regulations.
> LL
> > Also, in the most recent permaculture course I taught, I for the first
> > time said in lecture about Ethics and specifically Water topics "So don't
> > tell me any specifics, but if you can Care for the Earth by blowing up a
> > dam than by all means do so". At which of course the class laughed and
> > tangentalized into how best to care for salmon runs/siltation until I
> > brought them back to the topic at hand.
> >
> > Anyway. Deep Green Resistance. Read the book! It's not for everyone in
> the
> > permaculture movement, but it's very much for a lot of us. I look forward
> > to some great conversation about it with permies in the future.
> I hope so. Onward.
> >
> > Kelda
> LL
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