Mistake.... !

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James Hadfield
Mistake.... !
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Hi,

I remember on this forum being told Permaculture is a gardening project from Alf I think, well it's a intergrated part of the Green movement, linked to zero-growth and a circular economy = The Green Party of England and Wales and linked movements / charties / NGO's

You can why the International Communist Current is so tiny because it doesn't link to the above article !

Demogorgon
A mistake ... but is it Alf's?

It's difficult to respond to half-remembered, unreferenced comments. You also accuse us of not linking to an article, but don't actually link to it yourself.

This aside, the general question is a valid one.

There are two aspects to permaculture, the technical and the political. When it comes to its technical aspects, it's not for communists to have prescriptive views on whether this or that method of agricultural management is better than another. We are no more experts on this than we are on power generation, recycling, transport or anything else.

These sorts of questions can have no real meaning for us until the proletariat has either seized political power or is on the cusp of doing so. Then, and only then, can questions of resource management be properly discussed, drawing on the expertise of the whole working class, especially those who work directly in the sectors. For all we know, permaculture techniques may well be adopted by a future communist society.

But, in the mean time, promoting permaculture and similar methods is simply asking the capitalist class to adopt these methods. In capitalism, production methods are only ever adopted if they can be made profitable. If permaculture can be made profitable then all you are doing is contributing to the exploitation of the agricultural workers that work in that field. If permaculture cannot be made profitable then it is utopian to demand that capitalists adopt it - they cannot do so on any widespread basis without undermining their own system. At best, they will use a limited adoption that will provide support for the idea of capitalism as progressive system and further undermine the revolutionary impulse to overthrow it. We've seen this already with the commercialisation of organic food production.

Either way, we would end up supporting capitalism and its ruling class.

This, of course, is the exact role of the Green Party, charities, NGOs, etc. They are capitalist organisations, supporting the capitalist system, preserving exploitation along with human and ecological deprivation, and serving its ruling class. They do this regardless of their stated aims, regardless of their beliefs of motivations, and even when this is the exact opposite of what they intend. Those that give political support to these organisations are also supporting the capitalist system.

It's possible that the ICC might grow somewhat if we adopted a similar stance. But that would mean abandoning the working class and becoming a capitalist organisation ourselves.

Non ex hoc mundi
Re:

There are many aspects to permaculture...and everything else, nothing is black or white.

I don't think Demogorgon, or anyone else, has the authority to say which views are and aren't for everyone. None of us have to tow any Party line.

But to say that "these sorts of questions have no real meaning for us" seems like a very dangerous position to me. Many in the anarchist milieu discuss what people call "collapse" quite deeply. It's generally accepted that a "hard" or quick, cascading collapse would lead to a major loss of life, so people think about it in the hopes of preventing it. But I agree with the espirit of Demo's maximalism.

I think there is a clear motive for Marxist communists to push this idea of seizing power before sorting some of the ecological issues out. The chaos of the moment benefits the Marxist agenda of capturing State power with the working class. After all, Marxists are not so much interested in changing much else besides the mode of production. By their own admission, proletarian revolution cannot do away with racism, heterosexism, etc.

Making permaculture profitable might transform what Marxists refer to as lumpens or proles into something like a middle class peasant. I'd of course recommend that for anyone experiencing homelessness or working at McDonald's, but apparently Demo would not.

Permaculture cannot be industrialized. It's name sake comes from horticulture, not agriculture. You need to do more research on what all this is before speaking like an expert (ironically, a three day course from a permaculture guru could cost you a few thousand, but so do other academic pursuits under capitalism, nothing new). What Demo refers to is more accurately described as bio-intensive organic agriculture.

The ICC maintains a press, sells literature, by the way. That's a capitalist pursuit. How is growing and selling vegetables at a market different?

Demogorgon
Quote:I don't think

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I don't think Demogorgon, or anyone else, has the authority to say which views are and aren't for everyone. None of us have to tow any Party line.

Please quote where I said this.

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But to say that "these sorts of questions have no real meaning for us" seems like a very dangerous position to me. Many in the anarchist milieu discuss what people call "collapse" quite deeply. It's generally accepted that a "hard" or quick, cascading collapse would lead to a major loss of life, so people think about it in the hopes of preventing it. But I agree with the espirit of Demo's maximalism.

What I actually said was "These sorts of questions can have no real meaning for us until the proletariat has either seized political power or is on the cusp of doing so". And it was quite clear from context that the "questions" I was referring to were the technical aspects of "power generation, recycling, transport or anything else".

The actual ecological question itself is of momentous importance, just as the prospect of imminent nuclear war confronted the world population in the Cold War, and the living reality of war and social collapse faces million of people in countries like Syria at this moment.

The question is what sort of social response do these questions demand? For us, only a proletarian revolution provides the basis for any kind solution as these questions cannot be resolved within the capitalist framework. And we are confronted with the fact that the longer capitalism persists, the more irreversible the damage to the environment and the social fabric will be ... to the point where a revolution is no longer possible or the damage is so extreme it cannot be recovered from (which largely amounts to the same thing, most likely).

Bourgeois cco-politics as a response to the environmental castastrophe is no more progressive than pacifism is as a response to war. Just as pacifism reinforces the war machine, eco-politics reinforces the ecophagic machine.

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I think there is a clear motive for Marxist communists to push this idea of seizing power before sorting some of the ecological issues out. The chaos of the moment benefits the Marxist agenda of capturing State power with the working class. After all, Marxists are not so much interested in changing much else besides the mode of production. By their own admission, proletatian revolution cannot do away with racism, heterosexism, etc.

Disingenuous nonsense. You know full well that the ICC is not interested in capturing state power and specifically exclude the possibility of taking power. You also know full well that the ICC envisages communism as a complete transformation of human social life and that includes the end of racism, etc. From our platform:

"... the proletarian revolution will engender new relationships in every area of life, it is wrong to think that it is possible to contribute to the revolution by organising specific struggles around partial problems, such as racism, the position of women, pollution, sexuality, and other aspects of daily life.

The struggle against the economic foundations of the system contains within it the struggle against all the super-structural aspects of capitalist society, but this is not true the other way around. By their very content ‘partial’ struggles, far from reinforcing the vital autonomy of the proletariat, tend on the contrary to dilute it into a mass of confused categories (races, sexes, youth, etc.) which can only be totally impotent in the face of history. This is why bourgeois governments and political parties have learned to recuperate and use them to good effect in the preservation of the social order."

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Making permaculture profitable might transform what Marxists refer to as lumpens or proles into something like a middle class peasant. I'd of course recommend that for anyone experiencing homelessness or working at McDonald's, but apparently Demo would not.

By definition, making something profitable means the exploitation of others. You're quite right that I do not support even the homeless or workers in McDonalds becoming exploiters in their own right. Nor do I support the idea of integrating such people into new forms of exploitation any more than I support the idea of slum dwellers being herded into factories in by capitalist multinationals, even though it often improves their immediate living conditions.

Of course, if an individual is able to make a living from permaculture - or from getting a job in McDonalds for that matter - I have no problem with that. We all do what we need to survive - I even have a job myself (for the moment). But that's a far cry from giving these things political support because they enable workers to eke out a living?

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Permaculture cannot be industrialized. It's name sake comes from horticulture, not agriculture. You need to do more research on what all this is before speaking like an expert ...

I didn't speak like an "expert" and I don't need to be. Look at what I actually said. If permaculture is profitable then it will become a new form of capitalist exploitation. If it is not profitable then it can never be adopted wholesale by capitalism and it is utopian to demand it without calling for the destruction of capitalism.

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The ICC maintains a press, sells literature, by the way. That's a capitalist pursuit. How is growing and selling vegetables at a market different?

We don't extract surplus value on the products we sell (which we do so at a massive loss, anyway). Nor do we make our living from such activity. So we're not capitalists at all, any more than a market stall grocer is (who, at best, would be part of the petit-bourgeoisie).