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Derek L.
user 14490127
Portland, ME
Post #: 21
After a great conversation with a friend tonight - I am inspired to participate!

This group is making great strides to connect as human beings; a resilient hub for permanent culture to connect in body, mind, and spirit with the earth and with each other.

How can we develop a "village" (web of villages) that will not be eroded from the outside by tarsands oil, GMO pollen in the air, and bureaucrats criminalizing local food and energy generation? Where REAL work (not telemarketing or selling debt) earns REAL fruit!

Although this idea is an ideal, or luxury for us, it might be a necessity for our children.

How can we make this happen before disaster requires change?

Many in this group participate in an alternative economy, where trade is conducted outside of the United States Treasury.

I would like to propose that we, as a group, create an alternative government!

We should meet to establish the basis, but what about some guidelines where,

1. You can't buy your way into leadership.

2. Participation is a chore not an ego feeding popularity contest littering the roadside with signs

Democracy - in other words - inclusive - small...

Howard Zinn - a historian writes "Any government larger than a county government is, by definition, corrupt"

What if we start with Cumberland County?

We may have no "power" - but through inclusivity we may be able to have a positive effect on our local community - and anything is possible.

Discussion?

Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,269
Derek, good post! It adds another important layer to some conversations that have been happening over the past year or so along the lines of "what happens as the centralized systems upon which many have come to depend continue to unravel?" Whether that's as big as the globalized economy and energy systems, or public programs simply being under or de-funded or...well, there are lots of them. How decision- making and power structures actually serve people - or not - is a big one. The way we feed ourselves and support those who produce larger quantities of food for their communities is a really compelling example, I think.

One version of this conversation - very consistent with your thread - is the idea that, as those centralized or far-flung systems continue to unravel, those of us who are able should be busy building the alternatives, testing them out, making mistakes and learning from them, going off-trail and rogue, as it were....but not from some egomaniacal, fear-based place. It's more from a place of "being of service" to ourselves and to others. If the fear-based outcomes are the only ones getting play in the media, in the cultural narrative, than it's kind of self-fulfilling.
Rachel L.
Rachellyn
Gray, ME
Post #: 14
I like this thread very much.

The structure of coming together to have intentional conversation is something that I am passionate about and would like to be of service to create. Conversations that matter, supported by a well crafted invitation and participatory structure is political and social action, in my opinion.

The circle is more resilient then the top-down human interactions, in that the emergent flows forth from a circle, it is not directed. Circles within a hub can generate, regenerate and create systems of renewal. This is serious stuff and I would like to see more use of the county governance system in this way. Neat idea Derek!

I think about programs that would support this all the time! From launching entrepreneurial micro-incubators, to convening public dialogue instead of panel hearings, to engaging masses for consensus making, and forming adhoc worker cooperatives to implement the designs of the permaculturist's in our midst.

Let's keep talking.
Derek L.
user 14490127
Portland, ME
Post #: 22
Yes - here here

I use the word alternative "government" because it is non-denominational, and not wedded to any philosophy - even permaculture, there is some sci fi book about "inclusivity" as the only real non violent way to accomplish a re evolution of society - i will find out the name of it and pass it along - and read it!

An example of how a system could work (even though, at the beginning would be powerless) is:

As a group - we are working on a list of products to boycott - right?

Well, what if we formed some kind of "alliance" - like the portland business alliance, except it would be more like the Cumberland County Citizens Alliance, and drafted "legislation" that would "ban" or "prohibit" or "frown upon" use of these poisonous or otherwise untoward products that we want to boycott.

I'm not talking about taking this "legislation" to the state (although, a small group did recently succeed at getting BPA in baby food containers outlawed!)

The idea would be to be so organized and matter-of-fact and INCLUSIVE, that over time our work as a "governing" body would develop its own authority through support of and working with the interests of our communities.

I didn't want to make my original post too long - there are lots of aspects to consider - but one more thing to think about is the vacant grange halls; once flourishing grass roots community "political" centers. Maybe we could meet at a grange hall and have a bean suppah or something?

Thanks!


zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 584
While in a broad sense this has some appeal to me, the idea of *passing legislation* in the group is of some concern to me. Here is my thinking...

Permaculture, or at least this group, is an *evolutionary* ideal. evolution of thinking and of better harmony with the planet in general, but even more specifically, the local *back yard* environment. What has attracted me toward permaculture is its' inclusivity. One person might be just starting to grow some of their own food. Another person might be in an apartment and attempting to grow a small amount of food inside their apartment. Still another person might be heavily into square foot gardening, or more traditional field/row gardening. All are welcome at whatever evolutionary point they are in their relationship with their environment. Rarely, if ever, does one person in this group imply that another person is not enough of a *permie*

My concern is that making rules or *laws* would be restrictive, rather than inclusive of all.

I definitely feel that the next step is to look to our communities and see what we as permaculture advocates can do to promote permaculture and more local resilience. I have one or two ideas I am formulating and may be discussing here in greater detail if they start coming to fruition, but right now it's just an idea in my head.

Derek L.
user 14490127
Portland, ME
Post #: 23
The Fifth Sacred Thing is the book

http://www.starhawk.o...­

Check out the link to the authors page - there is a link to "activism" and a link beyond that to training activists !!!

Why re-invent the wheel?
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