Thursday, July 12, 2012

Permaculture = Right-Wing Survivalism to Hardcore Socialists

My comment to David Harvey on the Fetishism of the Local and Horizontal:

"So, the solutions are going to have to be hierarchical to some extent and avoid the local fetishism I have been railing against before, whether it is called localism, local democracy or resilient communities (which looks often like right-wing survivalism to me)."

What this guy means is that permaculture = right-wing survivalism. I've come to learn lately that most classical socialists look upon permaculture this way.

Ironically I'm sure this guy will put A Pattern Language in the same category, in spite of its hierarchical structure. The hierarchy should be in the language, which is made up from the human hand of the people.

This guy also means, like Ross Wolf, that culture = unnature. Of course he then hates resilient communities, as in nature every part is resilient by itself, made up from a multitude of connections being part of a larger whole.

Capitalists and socialists are the same thing, as they both define culture as unnature, and permaculture then becomes like a read cloth in their face:

Right-wing survivalism according to David Harvey

My follow up comments:

  1. Øyvind Holmstad
    Nikos Salingaros states that every sustainable system is fractal in the diversion of sizes. A good example is a watershed:
    “Watersheds can be considered a type of real-world network that is characterized by self-repeating or fractal-like patterns. Fractals are geometric patterns that possess the same proportions on different scales. Rivers and glaciers cut through the planet’s surface, leaving behind landscapes that may appear random or haphazard, but are actually quite precise. Whereas such patterns have been frequently ignored in designing or altering man-made landscapes, there is now interest in emulating them to create more sustainable and eco-compatible designs.” – D.L. Marrin, Ph.D
    In a watershed the water is gathered from a lot of small sources making up large rivers and lakes, in a fractal pattern. The larger parts are entirely made up from lots of small sources. You might call this a bottom-up system, where the larger parts will cease to exist if the small sources of water dries up.
    It’s the same thing in resilient communities and democracies, where the small local entities (localism) make up the larger institutions of society, being their source. Like in a healthy watershed, where the small local wells, pure and healthy, are the source of the larger rivers and lakes, together forming a healthy ecosystem.
    Classical socialism, as David Harvey promotes, is a top-down model where the central rivers and lakes give away their water to the surrounding areas as they find it most suitable. Like a film moving backward. This is of course anti-nature! But as they equal anti-nature with culture it’s no wonder why they promote this kind of anti-ecological systems.
  2. Øyvind Holmstad Says:
    I want to quota James Kalb's excellent introduction for his interview with Nikos Salingaros, clarifying very well what I tried to explain above:
    “Nikos Salingaros, the mathematician and architectural theorist, recently published a new book, Twelve Lectures on Architecture: Algorithmic Sustainable Design (ISI Distributed Titles, 2010). It’s a somewhat expanded set of notes for a series of lectures he gave a couple of years ago on architecture and urbanism. As such, it gives a clear if rather spare presentation of ideas he’s presented before.
    As his readers know, his work continues Christopher Alexander’s work on the nature of architectural order, with more development of specifically scientific aspects. A basic point both make is that natural, biological, and urban systems have a great deal in common. In particular, they all function in complex, varying, and adaptive ways on many different levels. For that reason, they can’t be designed in any very comprehensive way but must largely be allowed to evolve through variation and selection. (The “algorithmic” and “sustainable” in the book’s title refer to the reiterated procedures needed to find adaptive designs.)
    Such systems have certain common characteristics. One is a generally modular and hierarchical organization. That organization is always fractal, meaning that it has a similar degree of organized complexity at all scales. If you look at the system overall, it will have a few big pieces, more medium-sized pieces, and a great many smaller pieces. That appearance will repeat itself if you look at pieces of the system, and the same for pieces of the pieces, all the way down to the smallest dimensions. Thus, biological communities are composed of species, organisms, bodily organs, tissues, and cells; cities of urban quarters, neighborhoods, streets, plazas, and buildings.
    The basis of such hierarchically ordered systems is the binding of complementary units, a tendency that is strongest at the most elementary level: the particles that form an atom; the organelles that constitute a living cell; the walls, roof, and foundations that make a building. Those elementary unities then link up to form ever more extensive systems that work in a way that preserves their nature as systems and also furthers the functioning of their components. A system that did otherwise would disappear, and something that works better would take its place.
    The account is persuasive, but it’s very much at odds with post-1920s architecture and urban planning, which tend to eliminate detail and emphasize the dominance of simple concepts and images, and which are experienced as inhuman and alienating rather than living. So why do people stay with the current approach when it’s so much at odds with natural tendencies and no one likes the results? The answer, Salingaros tells us, is that we’ve boxed ourselves into a prison of images.
    It seems that the door is nonetheless open if we want to leave, and with that in mind we talked with him recently to find out more about the problems and what to do about them.” – James Kalb
  1. Øyvind Holmstad Says:
    If we should talk about some real nasty urban fetishes the first things coming to my mind is Le Corbusier’s “The Tower in the Park”:
    A typical top-down approach!

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