Seeds of Permaculture (documentary)

Over the coming years, finding means of feeding ourselves, individually and collectively, are going to become increasingly important. Permaculture is an approach to food production, that attempts to exclude the violent and destructive aspects of agriculture and civilisation.


Let Instinct Prevail!

This is a piece written by an anarchist contact – Rudester – who draws from martial arts traditions in their breaking away from this culture.
The subject of violence is one that is often divisive among radical circles, particularly ones that are influenced by pacifist moral positions. However, these moral narratives are ultimately based in the myths of civilisation. While we don’t feel the need to characterise nonviolence as something that is incompatible with feral-culture, violence hardly seems incompatible with natural-wildness – which is the basis of feral-culture.
Social conformity and indoctrination have largely been counterproductive to our instinctual response to legitimate threats. Both morality and legality, for example, remain as social barriers in our heads to maintain ‘correct’ behaviour for this social order. I’ll explain: Morality, or codified social ethical beliefs, is a hindrance to practical survival in the face of danger(s). For example, it’s highly stigmatised to not hit a woman. Of course you shouldn’t bully or abuse anyone! However, if a woman is in a rage, with a steak knife, and showing the physical symptoms of a will-to-engage, are you going to let that social standard prevent you from reacting correctly? Surely, most won’t act with resolve. Half-hearted decisions based on morality are not safe enough. We forget about survival for the sake of ‘fitting in’ and not doing anything deemed questionable by the masses or the controlling institutions. This is what causes freezes, rather than fight or flight, in modern society. Getting stuck on what ‘what ifs‘ rather than the ‘right now‘. We are so worried about doing ‘right’ by society and playing by the rules and codes set up before us, that we neglect our instincts.
How bad is it that we get adrenal responses to job interviews, dating, traffic, etc? Our brains and fight or flight system do not seem to want this environment. Where once we had a fight or flight reaction from a saber-tooth in the wild, we now have it because we are afraid of losing a job. Or because we want to look our best on an outing, but become sceptical of our appearance. Or because we have a big test coming up. This social order does, from my viewpoint, stand to be the antithesis of our true, hardwired nature. Social indoctrination, since birth, inherently interferes with our natural responses with codified sets of beliefs. You SHOULD do this. You CAN’T do that. You’re told what to say. When you can eat. What your future should be like, if you wish to fit in. Then, we all proceed to believe these things to the point where our life is forever controlled by them. This has softened society to the point of a ridiculously LARGE percentage of the population being completely unable to react appropriately to threatening stimuli.We have played into the lies to the point of becoming victims. Why defend your home or pursue an aggressor when you can call the cops and have them arrive late and most likely do nothing? Perhaps if we can cast away our armour of reliance on the state, we can find a sense of freedom and once again, come in touch with our instinctual reactions rather than letting social conditioning debilitate instinctual responses.
Legality, on the other hand, can be just as debilitating. Self-sufficiency is looked down on tremendously by the state. Just ‘call the cops’. If someone is showing aggression and a clear intention to cause you bodily harm, and you feel the Fear (fight or flight) reaction starting to kick, it’s time to act decisively. However, if even in a corner, and you were to strike someone first, based off your instincts, there’s a good chance you’re gonna end up in legal trouble. Even though, in your head, you can justify it as you felt threatened, the crowd, if there was one, might not have seen the same reactions. They might not have noticed the aggressor’s pale skin, clenched jaw, clenched fists, rapid breathing, etc. They just saw you strike first. You are now the aggressor.
Let’s make it clear: the state does not give a FUCK about your instincts. If we followed our instincts, there’d be a good chance that we probably would not even have a state. We are animals at heart. Yet we are expected to remain civil and conform to social standards. Otherwise, we are a threat. Not only can you end up in legal trouble by reacting appropriately to physiological/psychological reactions to a threat, but even the understanding of legality can end one up in a dirty situation. People will freeze while trying to figure out, “Will I go to jail for applying this level of force?” or, likewise, “Would I be arrested for a pre-emptive attack?” It’s easy to get stuck playing with courtroom proceedings in our own mind. Next thing you know, you’re unconscious in a parking lot.
Let me give a personal account to rap this up. Years ago, I was attacked in front of a restaurant. Some thug, with two other people, jumped out of a car and proceeded to walk towards me. I felt the surge. I felt the flushing, the shaking, etc. My body was undergoing the physiological fight-or-flight reaction, preparing me to fight or flee – simple as that. It should’ve been simple. However, I froze. Because I froze and did not respond appropriately, I had my face mashed in pretty good, staples in the back of my skull, went into shock, and have slight PTSD from it. Why did I freeze? One, it would’ve been ‘wrong’ to pre-emptively attack him first, right? I mean, he clearly was walking at a pace and showing physical symptoms of a desire to engage. Why didn’t I hit him first and just go wild? It’d be wrong. Hitting someone is wrong. “Just curl into a ball,” I was told in highschool when asking what they considered appropriate self-defense. So, my moral upbringings did not recognize this as mutual combat. I thought, “Maybe, just maybe, I can de-escalate it. Surely he has the same moral capacity as me?” Wrong. On top of that, I had been in legal trouble off and on. I felt, subconsciously, that if I assaulted him first, I would be held accountable and end up in jail and facing legal repercussions. And of course, it’d be cowardly to run. Got to be MACHO, right?! All these things hit me at once. It’s not like it was even conscious thought. It just froze me up.
My social conditioning, as I see it, prevented me from properly reacting to an obvious threat. Because of that, I sometimes beat myself up over it – but I believe recognition is key. I recognize my (martial) faults. This is why I’m typing this up right now. To hopefully give some insight to people who might face a similar situation. I feel as though we live in an industrial Rome, softened and brainwashed by propaganda. We are content with watching other people duke it out in sports to satisfy some weird bloodlust. We are quite an egotistical lot, controlled by various institutions that have debilitated us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Can we regain control? Can we, once again, rely on our natural reactions? Can we follow our gut rather than our social indoctrination? Is it possible to live in this society and not be weakened by social conditioning?
I believe so. Train hard. Fight hard. Live free. Live happy.
~ Rudester

Reflections on Socio-Ecological Resiliency

This is a piece written by Bay Area Resistance, an anti-civ collective.

It was originally uploaded here, and is being published with the writer’s approval.

“Information needs relationships to make change.”

I have a confession to make. I have yet to receive my Permaculture Design Certificate. So you can imagine my apprehension of going to the 2012 Northern California Permaculture Convergence this year. Still, it was amazing to be a part of.

Permaculture is a tradition, one that subverts the dominant paradigm perhaps, but only as an aside. Moving from exploitation to conservation, to revolt and release and ultimately renewal—such microcycles take place everyday in each of our lives. This “resilience thinking” is not just social and not just ecological, for any separation between the two is mere illusion. It is simply resilience-based stewardship, dependent upon both cultural sensitivity and synergetic design.

One thing we can take solace in is the fact that the problem we see before us is more difficult to understand that the solution is to enact. If we can learn, frame, recalibrate and find the rhythm we’ve lost, we can remember ourselves into the harmony of the biosphere. This is both a process and celebration of the generational tending of life.

The world is our home. The science it takes to sustain populations is real and available. We can recreate value to fill a need, enhancing the performance of degraded natural systems. This is both a moral issue as well as one of efficiency. There is no need for to ask for permission: transgressing boundaries on behalf of living creatures has always been a human right. The streets are for people, not cars.

Sometimes magic goes to sleep. We can see that today as those closest to the land struggle to heal their traumas. The earth community has been beaten, murdered, kidnapped, and tortured. The health of the watershed is the basis of our relations, so if we continue to turn our home—the eco—into superfund sites, destroying our communities through uranium mining, wetland loss, self-inflicted disease…it is inconceivable that we will survive for much longer.

I could talk about the reskilling village, the magic of making fire through friction. But such programs are not yet seen as culturally relevant. Are we still able to remember our roots, locally sourcing and sharing meals and stories through generational praxis and ancestral technologies, and work together to cultivate leadership and expand our vision? Until then these crucial activities will only remain trivial(ized). Do you yet know how to fashion a lighter out of that which the forest has lent you?

Today, most city-dwellers have no idea how to grow what they eat. There are hardly any places left to assemble, to participate and repair our communities. The visionary design we need must create permanent culture through geomorphic patterns that decolonize and reclaim space. If we can repurpose public space for festive celebrations, such designs will reflect a healing process for those species counting on us to find ourselves. Here, in these places, such trauma is a condition needing to be healed. If we win in the cities, we win.

Its time to dream again. Its time to connect to our self, and tend the wild in our own psyche. Listen to the world. To the wild. To the wind and the trees and the earth beneath your toes and the dirt under your nails. Seek that unmediated experience to heal our past traumas by connecting to nature—a bioremediation that starts in the human heart.

At the fire pit during the last night I learned two things. The first lesson came in a memory, passing through a town that had nothing but houses and roads: when fuel stops flowing these towns will starve to death, due in full to a self-imposed siege of sorts, or perhaps only a lack of foresight. The second was the revelation of new friends singing, dancing, telling stories, laughing, crying, and learning to love: we are the only ones who can get us through what is surely a trial-by-fire. Yet in this initiation, those of us who make it through will be that much stronger.

I’ll leave you with one more thought. When we finished up the weekend, we came together in our local bioregional circles to share and learn from one another. We realized we didn’t just need a community-connecting place, a public meeting area for community connecting permaculture projects, though of course, this is the ground from which we grow. What we need are connecting events that bring us into direct relation with one another, and the land around us. Until we have these, we will shrivel up in our isolated bubbles, condemning the very people we long to share our selves with.

May we paint over this nightmare with new dreams of a living future, born out of the fertile path so many have since forgotten. May we scale up our projects until wisdom flows infiltrate impervious mindscapes and the empire is overgrown. Life is our event. Let our hearts now sow the permanence it will take to see it through.

– hh

Revolutionary Nudism by Emile Armand

“Nudism may be considered “a kind of sport, in which individuals get naked in groups to take a bath of air and light, as one bathes in the sea” (Dr. Toulouse), that is, from a purely therapeutic point of view; it may be considered, as the gymnomystics do (gymnos means nude in Greek), as a return to an Edenic state, restoring humans to a primitive and “natural” state of innocence (the thesis of the Adamites of yesteryear). These two points of view give way to a third, ours: that nudism is, individually and collectively, among the most potent means of emancipation. It seems to us to be something else entirely than a hygienic fitness exercise or a “naturist” renewal. For us, nudism is a revolutionary demand.”

We live in a culture that through various social mechanisms – mass media, cultural taboos, political narratives – encourages us to feel shame towards our bodies and to hate the skins of others. Body-positivity and anti-racist activism has had a mixture of successes and failures, all of which are valuable, as a means of learning from and expanding our means of feral revolt.

This essay by influential individualist anarchist Emile Armand (a personal hero of this admin) discusses nudism, a practice often embraced by naturists and rewilders, as a means of personal liberation.

This was first published in 1934 and we have taken it from The Anarchist Library. I hope you find it as moving as I do –

“Nudism may be considered “a kind of sport, in which individuals get naked in groups to take a bath of air and light, as one bathes in the sea” (Dr. Toulouse), that is, from a purely therapeutic point of view; it may be considered, as the gymnomystics do (gymnos means nude in Greek), as a return to an Edenic state, restoring humans to a primitive and “natural” state of innocence (the thesis of the Adamites of yesteryear). These two points of view give way to a third, ours: that nudism is, individually and collectively, among the most potent means of emancipation. It seems to us to be something else entirely than a hygienic fitness exercise or a “naturist” renewal. For us, nudism is a revolutionary demand.

Revolutionary in a triple sense: affirmation, protest, liberation.

Affirmation: to vindicate the ability to live nude, to get naked, to walk around naked, to associate with nudists, with no other care, as one uncovers one’s body, than the possibilities of resisting temperatures. This is to affirm the right to the complete disposition of one’s bodily individuality. It is to proclaim one’s casual indifference to conventions, morals, religious commandments, and social laws that, under various pretexts, keep humans from disposing the different parts of their bodily being as they see fit. Against social and religious institutions in which the use or usury of the human body is subordinated to the will of the lawmaker or priest, the nudist demand is one of the most profound and conscious manifestations of individual freedom.

Protest: to vindicate and practice the freedom to get naked is, indeed, to protest any dogma, law, or custom that establishes a hierarchy of body parts, that considers, for example, that showing the face, hands, arms, or throat is more decent, more moral, more respectable than exposing the buttocks, breasts, belly, or the pubic area. It is to protest against the classification of different body parts into noble and ignoble categories: the nose being considered noble and the penis ignoble, for example. More importantly, it is to protest against any intervention (of a legal or other nature) that obligates us to wear clothes because it pleases another — whereas it has never occurred to us to object that they do not get undressed, if that is what they prefer.

Liberation: liberation from wearing clothes, or really of the constraint of wearing a costume that has always been, and can never be anything but, a hypocritical disguise insofar as it increases the importance of what covers the body — of the accessory — and not the body itself, whose cultivation, however, is the essential thing. Liberation from one of the main notions on which the ideas of “permitted” and forbidden, of “good” and “evil” are based. Liberation from coquetry, from the conformism to an artificial standard of appearance that maintains the differentiation of classes.

Let us imagine the general, the bishop, the ambassador, the academic, the prison guard, the warden — naked. What would be left of their prestige, of the authority delegated to them? The rulers know this well, and this is not the least of the motives for their hostility to nudism.

Release from the prejudice of modesty, which is nothing but “shame of one’s body.”

Release from the obsession with obscenity, currently provoked by the uncovering of body parts that social hypocrisy requires us to keep hidden — freedom from the restraint and self-control implied by this fixed idea.

We will go farther. We maintain, taking up the perspective of sociability, that the practice of getting naked is a factor in better camaraderie, a less narrow camaraderie.

There is no denying that for us a less distant, more intimate, more trusting comrade is the one who reveals her or himself to us not only without intellectual or ethical ulterior motives, but also without hiding their body.

The critics of nudism — moralists or conservative hygienists of the State or Church — suppose that the sight of nudity, or the regular association of nudists of both sexes, exalts erotic desire. This is not always the case. However, contrary to most gymnist theses — for which opportunism or fear of persecution is the beginning of wisdom — we do not deny it either. But we maintain that the erotic exaltation engendered by nudist projects is pure, natural, and instinctive. It cannot be compared with the artificial excitement of the half-naked, the gallant in revealing clothes, and all the artifices of make-up relied on in the dressed, half-dressed, or barely dressed milieu in which we currently operate.” Emile Armand