Permacultural neopeasantry and people care

Sunday, July 1, 2018

 Here is my Melbourne Free University (MFU) talk, in video (audio) form:

If you're reading this in an email, you'll need to click through to see the link.

A few thoughts since I gave this talk, where I became the subject of an unproductive ambush:

While the Left attacks itself over technicalities, different lifeways and language use – the very things that herald the potential for diversity – the Right runs away with the ball, laughing hysterically all the way to the banks. How we treat one another is key to a transition from dominating power relationships that aim to hurt and divide and towards a culture of true diversity.

The most destructive part of question time in my MFU talk was the product of a few people coming to the gathering with a will-to-violence that disallowed the possibility for deep listening. This is how violence establishes itself, it feeds on reductionism.

I wrote about the project of people care in Perma/Culture: Imagining Alternatives in an Age of Crisis. My chapter is called Reclaiming accountability from hypertechnocivility, to grow again the flowering earth (you can read it below), and it outlines approaches to understanding how violence, especially in language, be it privileged or retaliatory (or somewhere on the hierarchical scale), is a force for the destruction of the other who is not living our values. The ecological ramifications for humans endlessly attacking one another are of course innumerable. Business thrives on such hatred, which in turn creates assaults on ecology because consumption often ramps up when people are unsettled, shamed, angry, desperate or self-loathing.

To include the potential of the other in one's frame is a practice of understanding through deep listening. Buddhists and others might say it's the heart where compassion resides, but it really seems apparent now that the relationship between the enteric biome (of the gut) and the cortex-limbic biomes (of the brain) are where our social selves speak and act from.


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