Permaculture equips us with diverse skill sets, including many kinds of problem solving. One of the principal problems we face when we attempt to restore the ecology of the planet is the interference of violent entities like governments and cartels, who take part in the continued destruction of the planet, profiting from the destructive industries and protecting their operations with lethal force. The only way for us to proceed with re-designing our system to deal with this problem.
This is not typically the work of permaculturists, but if we have any hope of healing the earth, we must consider this task. We must end the use of political violence and aggressive force. We must withdraw our support from forceful institutions. Now is the time for us to make it clear that peaceful, consensual administration of human affairs is possible, and for us to insist on no less.
This is why I believe that the liberty movement (libertarians, voluntaryists, and anarchists) and the permaculture movement are strikingly compatible. I feel that more exchange of ideas and methods should occur between the two communities. The strategies being employed by the liberty folks could actually be quite useful to the permaculture community, especially when we must interface with regulatory bodies.
Agorism is the concept within the liberty movement that is the closest to the principles of permaculture. Most people who practice permaculture are also practicing agorism. Farmer’s markets, bartering, making your own, growing your own. Agorism involves counter-economic business; transactions that occur outside of the controlled economic paradigm of banks, and outside the reach of illegitimate taxation. Agorists don’t care about laws or regulations. Poverty and social disenfranchisement make us scrappy, and Agorism is a movement that is helping struggling people figure out how they can make a living doing whatever they can do.
Permies know a bit about that. We often develop piecemeal incomes, and much of what we count valuable doesn’t come in the form of money. I believe we’re all working towards the same goal – self-reliance and peaceful living. We just need to start working together. I think the permaculture community could really help the agorists and anarchists who want a world free of violent aggression and mafia overlords. The only way we can ever popularize the idea that we could live peacefully without forceful institutions like government is for people to understand how it could work, and with the language of permaculture design, we can portray how any system can work. We can help with logistical issues like water systems, food production, and energy, and we can install productive systems for people who want to be more self-reliant. We can bring ecological literacy to the liberty movement, and from them, we can develop strategies to achieve more economic freedom. Many anarcho-capitalists are investors with lots of money who don’t want the state or the banks to steal it from them. I hope to help such people understand that a well-established permaculture system is an excellent investment - a way to store value and wealth almost completely outside of the conventional economic model. I hope to see them using their considerable resources to establish anarcho-permaculture sites and communities.
This is my work. I am in dialogue with several people about just such a project, and I always want to speak with anyone who has interest in creating self-reliant, economically solvent communities. I have good friends in both the permaculture and liberty communities, and I can see great things coming from our continued efforts to share with and support each other as we move forward with bettering our world.