I wonder: with this tool, can we better embrace permaculture? Rather than dropping the word, can we say that some people are more purple, and others are more brown? Can we then say "this conference is a bit on the purple side" or "this conference is very brown." So that people can have some idea what they might be getting into?
I'm hoping that this spectrum tool can help so that there are fewer people that will reject permaculture as a whole because there exists a permaculture person/book/event that is on the other side of the spectrum.
Anecdotal evidence doesn't count.
Farmers don't care about youtube - they care about what the agroeconomists say.
But many of these people - at least some of the ones I've met - are very jugdemental, and patronizing etc.
How do you know if you are purple? If you are getting shit done, and more concerned about what you can do rather than what other people should not do, you are not a purple breather!
John Saltveit wrote:I think that labeling some people as "right wing" and others as "kooky liberals" does little good in permaculture.
If you agree with David, then there is genuinely no point in convincing conventional farmers to shift to permaculture. Why? Because the entire current fossil fuel driven paradigm is already in a slow, inevitable, collapse.
Here's another problem with labels... what is one persons left wing is anothers right wing. I live in New Zealand, we're not a representative democracy, we're a Democratic Socialist Constitutional Monarchy. What here passes as a Right Wing Conservative is politicly to the left of the US Left Wing Kooky Liberals.
Just like politics, Permaculture views can vary between countries, What is Purple to one country/culture can look rather brown to a country where the culture is more purple in and of itself. Illinois and it's horizon to horizon sheets of grain will look very strange to a mainstream chemag farmer from the vinyards of italy whose 40 acres of grapes keeps his family fed and clothed with agricultural techniques the romans would have recognised and the Illinois farm consider woo-woo purple rainbows-from-the-arse...
would you say that anyone who ascribes to Steiner's Biodynamic approach to agriculture would fall squarely into the Purple Permie category?
Peter Ellis wrote:I think a big piece of differing views in Permaculture - and the entire human population, for that matter - can be found in our perspective on Holmgren's view of an Energy Descent future. If you agree with David, then there is genuinely no point in convincing conventional farmers to shift to permaculture. Why? Because the entire current fossil fuel driven paradigm is already in a slow, inevitable, collapse. In an energy poor future, the entire Big Ag system will disappear, the distribution networks will fail, and everything will need to be provided on a local basis.
Spiritual, non-spiritual, pragmatist, idealist - whatever. When the paradigm changes and we revert back to regional and local systems, when globalization collapses because the energy to transport stuff around the globe cheaply is no longer there, the labels are not going to matter. Boots on the ground getting local systems running on permaculture design principles are going to matter.
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame wrote:Why stop at purple:
Purple - we all intuitively know what this means
Brown - ? ill defined in my mind, except in opposition to purple
Green - ecotopians, would rather be foraging in zone 5 than figuring out how to feed the urban billions
Blue - businessmen like Gunter Pauli, author of the "blue economy" that are trying to bring systems design up to economy of scale
Red - feel entitled to distribute the fair share on behalf of those who are obtaining a yield
Black - Doomers, Peak Oilers
Lavender - Nice ladies that like to dabble in the garden, who are happy as long as it blooms pretty and attracts butterflies.
White - mycophiles who got a vision of permaculture when communing with the 'shrooms
I imagine there are as many colors of permaculture as there are permies. To me, classifying into purple and brown is unnecessarily polarizing, though perhaps appropriately thought provoking.
What happened to integrate rather than segregate? What if purple were a weed in your system? What would you do with it? I presume the preponderance of purple has a purpose and a place in permaculture. My ability to obtain a yield from purple is limited by imagination and the amount of information I have about it.
George Bastion wrote: Who is going to say "I don't care about the earth
George Bastion wrote:I agree - my point is that without a shared ethic, diversity takes the form of a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off not moving in a shared direction and making the kind of impact we are talking about in this thread.
The model of "a bunch of individuals learn permaculture, buy small parcels of land and work to improve them, and teach others to do the same" has frankly not done much to change the overarching dynamics of our society or significantly slow the ecocide around us.
That would be the whole rest of permaculture. Permaculture is a system of action/behavior based on ethics. It is of no value if it is not implemented. Permaculture ethics without action is not permaculture. The ethics + action looks like permaculture.*
George Bastion wrote:As it stands and as it has been, the hyper-focus of permaculture has been on the individualist action, and, in my opinion, the equally important task of discerning, as a community, what our vision and larger strategy is has suffered. Strategy does not have to dictate tactics, and local conditions affect how one acts. But there isn't even an agreed upon strategy or analysis. And thus, the limited ability of permaculture to engage in collective action for the purposes of changing the society on a larger scale. ... We have not done the hard work of discerning, dialoguing, and debating in the spirit of communal movement toward a shared vision, ethic, and strategy. ... Regardless of what the permaculture community agrees is the shared ethical floor, one needs to exist in order to move toward making a larger impact on society, if that is indeed what is desired.
EVERY community needs a shared ethic, an irreducible minimum, an ethical floor, if you will. Mollison says as much in his early works, and most people intuitively know this.
Tim Bermaw wrote:
At the end of the day, I think the majority of people are attracted to permaculture because it offers strategies à la carte to help reduce the amount of damage they are doing to the planet. Doing what they can, where they are, with what they've got. Not being made to feel guilty or a failure because they breached Ethical Directive 3979(2)(b) is a big part of the attraction.
George Bastion wrote:Lastly, I think my position is being mischaracterized a bit, particularly with the use of hyperbolic language about ethical directives and people going around telling everyone what to do. Fear-mongering and casting not-so-subtle implications that I or anyone else is trying to take over permaculture and turn it into the Soviety Union are insulting. That's not what I am proposing.
Tyler Ludens wrote:If we all have to stop practicing and sharing permaculture because it hasn't been defined precisely enough for some folks, then we will never move forward.
If someone wants to define permaculture more precisely, I support their right to do that. I also support the right of other permaculturists to say "Nuh uh, that isn't permaculture to me".
I don't think it's possible to get everyone to agree on something, beyond the things that we've already agreed on, which are Mollisonian or Holmgrenian ethics (or some variation thereof) plus permaculture principles as demonstrated by their practitioners of various styles (Lawsonian permaculture, Wheatonian permaculture, Holzerian permaculture, etc etc).
To define it more precisely might take an even larger volume, which even fewer people will read.