Friday, September 23, 2011

Making Connections: Anarchy & Permanent Culture

Permaculture is about allowing natural systems to exist. Its about helping them to become more diverse and therefore, strong, healthy, and “more productive”. Modern thinking and philosophy involves that you apply force to a system in order to bend it to your will, that we become "masters over nature". The conventional approach is that a system will either perform as you instruct it, or be destroyed and replaced. And I do mean DESTROYED. Current landscaping techniques vitiate healthy natural systems so that they can install a particular order that is convenient to manipulate and control, but that devastate millions of years of perfectly balanced ecosystems. This can sometimes be repaired, but the overall pollution may make some areas toxic breeding grounds, incapable of sustaining life.

The good news is that natural, organic systems, although complex, can be “guided” along with ever diminishing need for human intervention by the use of bio-mimicry. Of course the answer is not to destroy the natural systems in the first place. Our best option would be to allow the system to interact, while introducing beneficial elements that offset our use of an area.

These natural systems, I believe, are the essence of anarchism. Anyone who has observed nature can tell you is that when you change the natural balance of a system, the end results are almost always a disaster. Anarchism is about belonging to natural systems. Those that evolve from free interaction between autonomous actors, both in nature and in human social structures. And as with permaculture, it is necessary that each actor be allowed to evolve and grow. As the anarchist-ecologist Murray Bookchin put it,

"The notion that man must dominate nature emerges directly from the domination of man by man...But it was not until organic community relation...dissolved into market relationships that the planet itself was reduced to a resource for exploitation."

Unnatural systems force actors to perform in a rigid manner, or risk destruction. Natural systems allow actors to unfold as a part of their environment, providing fertile ground that promotes growth, diversity, and resilience, not destruction.

We, as living organisms, evolve along with our environment. The mutilation of these natural systems destroys not only that system or resource, but destroys life on a cellular level that even human stewardship cannot redeem. Fortunately, we don’t have to rely on artificial science to fix the problems humans create in their environment, including their social structures. Natural systems already know how to deal with those problems. If only we would let nature reign.

No comments:

Post a Comment