Permacultural neopeasantry in the burbs

Thursday, May 10, 2018

I have a forthcoming (May 24) talk in Melbourne as part of MFU's program. It would be great to see you there and join the discussion.

Modern Australia (in its very linearity) is a melting pot of cultural diversity forever being homogenised in an obsessive pursuit of progress. Neoliberal modernity lauds its one solution; one economy agenda, which is the shocking process of cultural, biological and economic pasteurisation that follows in the (gender-lopsided) footsteps of reductive science, social Darwinism and classical political economy. Peasants first, then First Nations people were labelled sloths and lazy by pundits of a so-called moral philosophy. Yet, for many of us, our old people (before the dispossessions, ecocides and genocides) lived carbon-positive lifeways and with intimate connection to earth processes. Acknowledging this past and drawing on it seems like a matter of pragmatic resilience more than moral altruism or romantic/political wishfulness. In an era of climate change (digi-industrial capitalism), ecological illiteracy (aggregating urbanisation), greater social divisions (reinvention of class relations), and human population explosion (chronic species loss), what stories and what lifeways can we action within the household and community economies? Patrick Jones (from Artist as Family) – living a neopeasant economy through the application of permaculture principles – offers not one solution, but a microbially-rich suburban response to the complex predicaments of our time.


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