Permaculture has grown, developed and flourished exponentially since is original stirrings in the 1970s through the work of David Holmgrem and Bill Mollison. Fast forward to 2012 and there are now hundreds of permaculture design course hosted in every corner of the globe, and hundreds of land based permaculture projects with new editions appearing on a weekly basis. As a system of practices and ideas, permaculture is perfectly suited to dealing with and finding solutions for the current appalling ecological and economic mess that capitalism has imposed on us.
Capitalism does not work
In terms of objective truths, capitalism does not work for the majority of the people on the planet, as US thinker and activist Michael Parenti put it ‘Most of the world is capitalist and most of the world is poor’ Capitalism and its feeder consumerism are also responsible for the destruction of the natural world and its seemingly endless exploitation of precious resources and destruction of wildlife habitats. Similarly capitalism actively encourages and engages in separating people from their communities through the promotion of individualism and status. To the capitalists strong communities represent a threat to their power and control, so social division is all important to the functioning of capitalism and the flow of capital.
Unlike Capitalism, applied permaculture works for the benefit and well being over single living organism on the planet, within its ever expanding storehouse of knowledge and practices are the tools to repair eco systems, methods of feeding ourselves in a local and low impact way with little in the way of inputs. Within the ethics and principles of permaculture we are also able to transcend the binary Political thinking that has dominated politics for a century and organise ourselves along the lines of need and the fair share ethic that is one of the core components of permaculture. With the development and proliferation of urban permaculture we have the ability to repair our cities on so many different levels, including: local ecology, food, health, education, well being and greater meaningful interaction with a wider community.
Permaculture: A force for the future
There is no greater collection of ideas and practices do deal with our current predicament that we all locked into than those offered by permaculture. We have come a long way since the days of Holmgren and Mollison both in terms of the popularity of permaculture and in the natural evolution of permaculture design and applied practice. We have seen Australian Permaculture designer Geoff Lawton Greening the Deserts of Jordan, we have seen David Holmgren rejuvenating land affected by volcanic lava, and I am sure these exciting developments with continue to flourish. We need to ensure that permaculture continues that upward climb into our consciousnesses and every day practices, and at all costs stop any attempt by capitalism of co-opting permaculture for its onw control and profit motiv