Saturday, March 10, 2012

Andrew Faust Explains It All For You -- Where Do We Go From Here

OWS and Permaculture Alternatives

While this is a talk rather than a demonstration, the Permaculture movement has long been at the forefront demonstrating alternatives to the consumerism we've been drowning in.


  1. That was a nice summary of what needs to happen. Unfortunately, there are very few people who could listen to that without having massive cognitive dissonance. I love the idea of permaculture. I'm doing little things like planting trees and moving around perenial plants so they can grow in new locations. Many of them have food value. I'd like to start keeping bees but my wife is a little hesitant.
    The big problem is what Morris Berman calls the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires." You know the poor folks who are one lottery ticket away from having to worry about paying taxes on all that money. How do we reach those people? I wish I knew.

  2. "One lottery ticket away..." Indeed.

    Faust has been hammering away at this permaculture thing for twenty years; it's how he makes his living. Others have been at it for much longer. The ideas are sound, they examples work, and yet after decades of advocacy and practice, they still haven't reached anything close to critical mass.

    We should ask why. What has so far stood in the way of of these transformative economies and the societies they would foster?

    To my way of looking at it, it is the heavy weight of the burden of supporting the Overclass that stands in the way, and it will stand in the way for as long as we let it.

    Individuals and communities can and do decouple from that system, but it's incredibly difficult to do it fully and to maintain that decoupling.

    Just look at the setting for the talk in the video: the Atrium at 60 Wall Street. It isn't something the People created and maintain, it is instead the product of negotiations between the city of New York and private developers; a revocable public benefit coming out of the very system that is being challenged by the Permaculture advocates. Same with Zuccotti Park.

    In other words, creating this Better World still relies heavily on the presence -- and to an extent the 'health' -- of the current system of oppression, exploitation and rule. Every previous revolutionary movement I know of has faced the same dilemma.