Permaculture Is Political


Published in Greenfuse April 2017 ( 

“False consciousness refers to a condition where individuals become unaware of the domination in their lives, being exploited by the same system they support.” (Antonio Gramsci)

hegemony malcom

The only shocking thing about the current commander in cheif, is that people are shocked by it. This is the sort of behavior this system of “unfettered” and “disaster capitalism” demands, encourages, rewards, and so generates.  I see donald as a blessing in disguise, for he gives us an opportunity to reflect on what behaviors are rewarded by this system monetarily, and in doing so reveal the system’s faults. From sexual violence, bigotry, racism, misogyny, pipelines, war environmental degradation, cuts to planned parenthood, education, art, and social programs, attacks against immigrants and black and brown bodies; what do they have in common? These conditions are all representative of trump’s personal faults, (those rewarded by this system) manifested on a larger scale.


The common claim is “Good people rise to the top of the system and bad people punished with poverty by choice below,” but is this what you experience? “When hegemony is negative, it is negative because the end may be manipulated to satisfy the interests of those in charge, when those in charge have low regard for their dependents” Dr. Richard Friordo professor at North Dakota University states in his paper on Semiotics and Communication Theory.

Spoken-620x553Human’s use money to aquire their basic needs, so as long as there is scarcity of money, the system leaves some to go without. It is not an issue of a lack of resouces, it is the money that creates scarcity. The structure of our economic system warrants some consuming excess resources while many lack the basics. The shape of the economy directly contradicts the needs of the long term survival of the whole system, and exponentially rewards those with hegemony at the top and excluding the majority.


Co-Architect of the Euro Bernard Leotard said, “The classical, conventional way of looking at money is that it is possible means of exchange between people and that it doesn’t effect either, the kind of transactions that are being performed, or the relationships between the people that are using that kind of money. Both of these things happen to be proven wrong.”


It is immeasurably important in these incredibly transformative times, to recognize behavioral and political patterns in relation to those found in nature. The system we use has a structure, which is out of date and out of balance, altering our relationship to the natural world and causing immense damage to our relationship with each other.


As a permaculture enthusiast I can attest to the differences in perspective of permaculturists and standard monocrop, chemical-laden, monetarily motivated farmers. One sees a whole living, sacred system they are not just a part of, but have a responsibility to productively participate in. Another sees themself in a position of power, on top of a hierarchical order of life, and naturally is less considerate of the larger ecosystem’s needs, including that of other humans involved.

human symbiosis

If we shift our thinking to be socially and politically permcultural, you can see the human species is a part of a whole living system; a circle, the shape of most every other living system, from sacred geometry of the microcosmic, to the organization of the cosmos in the universe.  Why organize ourselves in a shape, which is not reflected in sustainable living systems on the planet?


When we try to fit a circle into a triangle what happens? It doesn’t work, as freedom and democracy do not work into hierarchal-based social constructs.

 hegemony pop culture perception pyrymid

The triangle, or hierarchy is not coincidentally the basis for the most dominating ideology in the west, as Theology informs one’s conception of reality, including attitudes about personal freedom, individual agency and authority,

hegemony in corporations

Kristin Brydum, activist, communal vegan chef wrote in her thesis for UC Berkley titled “Spiritual Anarchism,”

“Religions of the world contain metaphysical reasoning’s about power and govern-mentality. One’s beliefs concerning a spiritual authority translate into beliefs about a political authority because they relate to beliefs about ourselves.   A comparative analysis of mythology reveals a difference between theologies that present a God outside of the self who ordains morality and maintains order in the world and mythologies that describe an essence-god which animates all, and resides in everything, including the self.  This is the difference between belief in transcendence and immanence…”

hegemony hierarchy of chatholic church

Our planet and political climate is speaking to us about our belief and subsequent behavioral imbalances as a species. This system doesn’t work, not because of greed or politicians, but because it breaks the natural laws of the universe, denying the interconnection of all life. Today, there are a declining 5 men who own 50% of the world (UNICEF), which do not have an invested interest in the thriving of our species or planet. But the good news is the same system requires our willingness for its existence. We must unravel the disease of misinformation at the root of our systems and unite against the actual enemy-NOT the 5 men but the very beliefs that the system is founded on, shaping the structure of society, rewarding those like trump, and perpetuating a disconnect with nature/spirit/god etc.hegemony4Brydum asks us to recognize the parallels in institution’s structure; “With many religions, the relationship between humans and god is written into the doctrinal texts. Is god described as transcendent or immanent? Is god an authority who reasons and judges? Would this create the paradigm of the acceptance of a political ruler as natural? A supernatural force that governs the world translates into a narrative about a higher authority removed form the individual, which can lead to: Human powerlessness, Passivity, Submissiveness, and Dormancy. Monotheistic beliefs reinforce the ideology of the necessity of primary authority, lending itself more to hierarchical models of governance than imminent based beliefs. The role of god mimics the role of the state (transcendence). Imminence is the notion that divinity exists in everything including ones self. It corresponds more to a horizontal view of authority and power”


The interconnection of all life is not chanted in monotheistic churches, from which our hierarchical systems are based, where god is above white man below, minority men, above women (etc.), and all above nature. These beliefs have systemic manifestations we are seeing play out between women, indigenous minorities, trump and the like. There is a good cause for this structure, and those rewarded by it maintaining it, for it keeps those without reward in a state of willful subjugation to a system which is causing their extinction.


Kristin Stewart wrote. “Both God and the state present specific moral orders, ones that seek to transcend personal moralities.   God and the state use different, yet parallel, modes of coercion.  Religious authorities, in monotheistic religions, use fear of eternal damnation.  The state uses fear of secular damnation: prison, military, poverty.  Anarchist theory presents a different kind of ethos.  It honors all forms of life and treats individuals (and communities) as capable of discerning their own morality.” With an interconnected circular system, spirit is imminent, in all life, so there is no war, there is no poverty, there is no crime there is no environmental degradation, there is no violence, there is no fear-mongering, there is no monotheism, sexism, classism, racism, any ism, ist, or polar spectrum, there is only life fueling life, and all is regarded sacred. No life above, below, or independent from the larger system.


The time is NOW for tending our new world as we insure the old one is plucked from the root and thrown in the compost pile, used to fuel the new. But before we move forward full speed towards a transformative spring, it is crucial to insure the same patterns of disease we see nurtured in the systems used today, do not surface in our new community garden of plenty. Do your beliefs inspire inclusion or exclusion of others? Are your beliefs founded on hierarchical modalities? How can we organize ourselves economically, socially and politically to be more permacultural?



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