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Conspiracy theories, discernment, and permaculture

From: Joy
Sent on: Monday, April 1, 2013 11:38 AM
Hi all,

I recently stumbled across the posting below, "Conspiracy theories and keeping your eye on the ball", on Permanent Culture Now and thought I'd share it, in order to nurture objectivity and critical thinking skills.

It's no secret that there are a lot of obstacles when it comes to trying to take a regenerative approach to life, and our lawmakers seem to not do us any favors by creating new ones all the time. However, it is important to be able to ascertain whether or not you: a) have all the facts, and b) can do anything about it.

Understandably, everyone's idea of what they can actually do about something, and possibly even whether or not they have the facts down, is open to interpretation. One person's idea of empowerment might be to rally against Monsanto in D.C., while another person might decide to address it at the personal level and begin saving and only planting heirloom seeds, and yet another person might choose to do something more drastic (obviously, for liability reasons, I'm not going to give an example for this one, but I'm sure Derrick Jensen can help you out).

My point is, there is an ever-blurring line between FACT and BELIEF, and it is very important to be able to tell the two apart.

If someone publishes something in the newspaper or online, does it make it a fact, just because it makes sense? What would be the criteria for something to be fact in your opinion?

Know where that line is, and use it to keep yourself in check.

Why am I bothering to yap about all this? Because wherever your personal line is between truth and fact, is where you will find discernment, and discernment is your natural super-power.
It is what enables you to figure out how you can EMPOWER YOURSELF to do anything about anything.
It's a pre-cursor to effecting change, having integrity, and general bad-assery (in my opinion).

So, I think it's very important to be able to decide for yourself what might be an "attractive" yet distracting idea, and what holds enough water that you might be able to actually address it. Or not. But knowing where that line lies is important.

I think that "Catch and Store Energy" and "Produce No Waste", the second and sixth of Holmgren's Permaculture Principles, can be understood to also include "identify energy leaks".
Whether is comes from a physical source, such as the sun, or from ourselves, I think it still holds true - discernment allows us to apply that energy where it is most useful.


Conspiracy theories and keeping your eye on the ball

There is all sorts of stuff floating around the internet that might rightly or wrongly be labelled as Conspiracy theory.

YouTube is brimming with such videos, some are very well made and carrying some semblance of credibility, others are absurdly lacking in anything resembling objectivity and can rightly be labelled as conspiracy. Personally, my opinion on this vast web of information about some of these ideas that may or may not be conspiracy is neutral, I need to see credible evidence instead of vague links before I pass judgement and accept them as believable or rubbish.

One thing is for sure though, we have a very visible problem that is reaping havoc for people and planet, and that is global capitalism, there is no great mystery here, no fantastic stories of shadowy elites and high tech social control methods, its all there in our faces, and particularly since the banking sector took its greed to astonishing levels leaving the world with the credit crunch in 2008, a credit crunch which Bankers and their political leader friends are expecting us to pay for either through drastic cuts to social spending, or their expectation that we will all work ourselves into early graves to pay off their gambling debts.

What I am trying to put forward here is that we need to deal with what we can see, instead of what might be, and global capitalism and its gluttonous use of our scarce resources in the name of so called growth is very real and very dangerous. I believe that we need to keep our eye on the ball so to speak and not end up cutting down alleyways that lead us no-where, if we choose this latter path then we are choosing to ignore that which is making people and planet sick.


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