Monsanto is a publically traded company. As such, it has a philanthropic arm - the Monsanto Fund. They've funded a variety of projects that we, as permaculturists, would probably applaud (if we didn't know it was Monsanto-funded). In fact, I'll bet that many of us (myself included) have actively participated with programs that have received funding from Monsanto at some point - keeping in mind that they like to fund things involving seeds, farming, community gardens and STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Do we boycott these programs or applaud them for taking the money and turning it into something positive? If we apply permaculture principles to this thought process does it make a difference to how we answer this question?
For instance - my emotional reaction is to vilify any entity that takes Monsanto funds even if they are doing good things with the money. My permaculture reaction is to think of the problem as the solution - if enough of us apply for funding and produce great projects that don't use toxic chemicals or GMOs - will Monsanto slowly come around? Will Monsanto be the unwitting funders of the revolution? I guess it would depend on the constraints under which the money is given. From what I've seen of the two orgs I know got funding from Monsanto - they don't seem to be required to support the Monsanto product line.
If any of you are into martial arts, "the problem is the solution" always reminds me of the premise behind Akido:
(from Wikipedia) Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.
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