1″The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”
Thomas A Edison
Permaculture as a design system for ecologically sound human habitats has been developing its ideas and experimenting within the ethics and principles that underpin its practice since the early 1970. During the last 4 decades since Permaculture has entered into a stage of its development that we might now call ‘Praxis’, Praxis is the process by a which a theory, lesson of skill is enacted, practiced embodied or realised, in its very basic form praxis is the application and practicing of ideas, it is an area where theory and ideas manifest in the physical human world where they become solutions and practices. Permaculture really has taken up the gauntlet globally where ecological solutions are concerned and is now a thriving hive of constant development which comes from peoples creative responses that are applied directly in our man made physical world.
Interestingly Marxist thought takes the basic idea of Praxis one stage further through the idea of praxis intervention, praxis intervention is a branch of research methodology within the wider spectrum of the social and political sciences, it is as a form of participatory action research where collective action seeks to modify the external world, if we put this model into action with the present situation regarding the response to climate change, resource depletion and land degradation, permaculture surfaces as a key catalyst to deal with a multitude of inter-related ills, and in relation to praxis this is exactly where Permaculture is in the world at the moment, a constant state of developing where ideas and new ways of looking at human settlement are practiced in our daily lives in how we use resources, how we view our own impact on the planet, how we view each other, and how we can make a better world without compromising eco systems and ultimately the biosphere. It is the ethics of permaculture that inform our call to action and our treatment of the planet all that live upon, the call to action through practical applications of permaculture such as low impact perennial food production is the product of Praxis.
Praxis as a useful tool for the future?
There is no doubt that praxis is a great way of developing ideas, and bringing them into the physical world that we live in, praxis intervention is also a great way of bringing about collective action where we can modify our external world, with permaculture ethics and principles steering and informing praxis intervention there is a great deal of potential for a more fairer and ecologically sound world. Within a micro perspectice Praxis intervention can be seen in the collective action of those involved in permablitz movement where groups of people pool and apply their knowledge in the design of mini eco-systems within urban environments. I feel that the idea of praxis and permaculture could be expanded on a little, so if anyone has any thought or ideas to add to this it be great to hear from you.