My summer permaculture design certificate co-instructor, David Cody, discussed the topic of local politics in our recent video conversation:
“First I want to say, to each their own. We need people working on all fronts. If it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable. If you find political activism fun, that it’s your passion, by all means go for it. I find that too many people have gone through environmentalist work and hit burn-out. Personally politics is not for me. It’s not joyful for me. I do see that the system is beginning to break-down and I want to concern myself with creating solutions. Perhaps just at the community level. If we have a little life boat that works, that we can get into when the big ship sinks. We can envision a new culture with permaculture with smaller ships, each unique to it’s water shed. Think globally, act locally.”
Tear down the backyard fence and burn it in the community cob oven? Call it revelation! CommunityAlchemy.
See graphic above.
Can we convert existing urban relationships and resources to make sustainable community gains. Perhaps we start by removing and re-using the concrete from our driveways and the fence wood. Permaculture community is shared open land?
What model do we use to make this transition?
Is the family unit the right socio-foundation for Permaculture consciousness raising?
How do our neighbors become family?
Is Permaculture still a viable movement without land (to re-engineer)?
How do permaculturist scale their principles and ethics up for the new social and environmental realities of drought, post-petroleum prices and corporate manipulation of government?
What we require is a slow, steady re-combination of the single family house and backyard to a collaborative neighborhood scheme. We must now re-define the American Dream away from private to public, from profits to sharing.
How do we live together?
How do we grow the seeds of small scale family-like cooperatives with citizens who have no real relationship to their soil and water resources? What are some of the existing community experiences and stories to hang PC principles and ethics on?
- War memories?
- Green Spirituality or love of Nature?
As population and economic systems finally crash on both the rich and poor and environmental degradation chokes all life to collapse, we now have a choice to watch it all go down on TV and perish or build new political, spiritual and Nature-based systems.
I conclude with the following questions / points:
- Electronic technology will not save us! But a chicken coop and a shovel just might!
- Ask yourself: Is Permaculture merely a survival science, driven by a crisis-driven consciousness?
- We need to develop new spiritual tools and practices for the Permaculture Age including EcoAlchemy and Community Alchemy as traditional religious practices wither on the vine.
- What will the Mission District on San Francisco look like in 100 years? How do you want it to be?
- How can we support the new musician, storytellers, and myth creators from the localization movement? What are their roles in the great turning?
- If the land is not sacred, then how can we see our neighbors as such?
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Additional Resources on the Permaculture Age from Willi Paul
MYTHIC MANDATE WEBINAR- Green Alchemy & The Permaculture Revolution – Workshop #1
Vision 1.0 for a Sacred Permaculture Age incorporating David Holmgren’s 12 Principles of Permaculture. By Willi Paul. Inspired by Teacher’s UPDC summer class 2011, Urban Permaculture Institute, SF.