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Non-Hierarchical Paleo Permaculture Hunter-Gatherer Intentional Community  RSS feed

 
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Benett Freeman wrote:Wow! I’m delighted to find a thread ANYWHERE on the internet where the posters are talking about the kind of ideas I’ve been having the past few years, AND where Bob Black’s ‘Abolition of Work’ is linked to, AND Zerzan and other thinkers…


Thanks! Glad you found the thread.

Benett Freeman wrote:Andrew, you specifically advocate a strategy based on legalism – a.k.a. ‘going by the book’ – and non-remote locations.

I strongly advise against going this route. Those in control of the recognised legal systems in almost all countries you can think of are, in my opinion, extremely unlikely to ever let something the likes of what Andrew talks about in his OP, happen. All of my past life experience working close to governments, and my wide research into the ‘men behind the scenes’ tells me that it would be far better to find remote locations where it is possible to create not only sufficient cultural distance for the project not to be contaminated with the ideological poison of the incumbent civilisational paradigm, but ALSO enough PHYSICAL distance, too.


I support a diversity of tactics. The strategy advocated is probably more like "legalism and..." rather than "legalism.". There is something to be said for refuges within the legal framework combined with a more broad view of land use. That said, I'm not sure there's any distance that would enable a complete cultural disconnect.

Benett Freeman wrote:There are without a doubt spots in North America, South America and Siberia – not to mention certain Pacific Islands – where such a project could be initiated. Sure, as you go more remote you increase the difficulty of getting there initially, and transporting any necessary start-up tools, but you also increase the likelihood of going under the radar.


Let's do it.

Benett Freeman wrote:all of my present understanding of ethology and psychology suggests that the ideas that people hold are of even more importance than whether they live in governments or not, sedentary or not, etc. If you initiated such a project without getting agreement on the FUNDAMENTAL principles by which the project WERE being initiated, would you not see it unravel over time?


Yes, I agree with this generally, and agree that agreement on some core principles is probably the minimum barrier of entry.

Benett Freeman wrote:Be Dert says he doesn’t want to ‘derail’ the thread by talking about his own vision, but I think this is exactly the sort of thing that we ought to be discussing, and discussing HARD.


Agreed.

Benett Freeman wrote:The overall process would, I suggest, take three stages: 1. Agreement of the fundamental principles on which to found the community. 2. Reconnaisance of candidate sites. 3. Pooling of resources and moving in a vanguard.

This is why I think that the recruitment and agreement phase needs to be done PRIOR to the collapse (with perhaps a small, final contingent being brought on board DURING the early days of collapse as spiralling events helps some people realise that what we’ve been saying is accurate) and the reconnaissance of exact sites and moving of the vanguard to be done as soon as we’re certain that collapse proper is underway.

I also think we need to burn our ships on the shore, to a large extent. Though I doubt we need to think of NEVER stepping foot in Statism National Park ever again, I think it’s safer and more conducive to the success of the community to have a long period in which they concentrate on establishment and avoiding the outside mess.

I think I’ve said more than enough for my first post on here. I’d love to hear what you all think of my ideas and how they fit with Andrew’s EXCELLENT first post.


Thank you for providing positive suggestions. I think all of this is compatible with what we've been discussing internally. We have started work on the vision and core principles, and have several other collaborative docs.
 
Andrew Scott
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mark masters wrote:Craig Foster is now working on a project that is exploring a time when there was a golden age of humanity in a hunter gatherer model. The communication that humanity had with the world, the diet and the energetic relationship to the health of all our relations. His site is really worth taking a look at, I feel that it really ties in with what is being exchanged here.


Thank you for the link. The work over there looks great. It doesn't look like there's much content on the site itself unless I just didn't click hard enough. Is there a particular link that gives us the most information without having to wait for a video?

mark masters wrote:We seem to be immersed in our perceived reality, sort of like asking a fish about water, "What water?" I feel like it is difficult for any of us to know just how deeply our values and perceptions have been effected. Just the way we interact, is often tainted by competitive, superficial values. To consider integrating a cultural value system based on personal and communal communication from the source field, or however profound you want to describe a natural value system….We may not have a point of reference sufficient enough to comprehend everything we would need to achieve such a transition. (My personal feeling is that we all have the code).


"We don't know who discovered water, but we know it wasn't a fish" - Marshall McLuhan

I agree with the initial assessments, but find that we have access to more relevant referents than we can even process.

"Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn." - Charles De Mar

mark masters wrote:Paradigms are hard to change sometimes, but demonstrating a working system that can be integrated into an individuals life that will reduce the wight of the load, that is something we can do today.


I'm sympathetic to this argument, and also agree with Geoff Lawton (in either Paul or Jack Spirko's recent interviews with him) that most of this stuff has been demonstrated and the immediate task at hand is spreading the word and building the systems we know work. Granted, that's not saying a lot differently than what you said, but it seems significant to recognize that these systems (earth systems tested by permaculture designers for decades and human systems tested by hunter-gatherers for millenia) are not untested hypotheses, but proven systems.
 
Andrew Scott
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leila hamaya wrote:...rather than have to come up with new ideas and ways... we have to strip away what is preventing us from these central core ways of perceiving and interacting with the world. they are already there, though perhaps, in some people, more deeply embedded under some layers of dominator culture's values and weirdness.... so its a matter of stripping away what has been wrongly and superficially imposed upon us.


Yes and yes and yes!

leila hamaya wrote:in the fourth, and best, intentional community i lived in, the physical remoteness was one of the things that really seemed to help the community. it was an epic journey to even get there over small one lane, dirt and rock, roads for hours, the whole time praying you wouldnt just fall off enormous cliffs! there arent that many people who are willing to go so far out of the beaten path, and this did act like a sort of filter of people naturally.


This is great information. Thank you for continuing to improve the discussion.

leila hamaya wrote:i also think the whole memes of EXCLUSION and EXILE and ISOLATION are very strongly embedded in the same dominator culture that i think we are all trying to "get away from" ...so i question that whole line of thinking. community is found right where you are, as is, if you make it so.
it's more an extension of the kind of control culture, seems completely contrary to REAL community that people need to be chosen, accepted, conforming to another's ideas of acceptable behavior and ethics...the idea of choosing one's neighbors, that one should have the right to be able to do so, i find offensive in many ways. the *kick out* game, and the *what have you done for me lately* games of many, most, community projects are dysfunctional and also stemming from this control culture. everyone it seems, wants to be the landlord !

YET by not doing so, it would be difficult to create the kind of new culture we are all wanting to encourage and be a part of. seems if there were enough people in a similar groove about many of the core ideas, then later this kind of community could be more opened up to more "normal" types and people still caught up in the ideologies/lifeways....without affecting the whole as much....plus the idea with the "everywhere community" (at least more how i have visioned it) would be that there was free movement and very different kinds of sub communities, a diversity of flavors of communities with different ways, within the larger community. then by self regulating within the various groups there could be more open and more closed groups, groups who were temporary people and still tied to the system, some who were very remote and very difficult to get to geographically.

what i am getting at with this, even the previous posts, is that IMO and in my musings along these lines, i always come back to the idea that it is best not to reject and exclude, even the most damaging ideas and ways and people, rather to let things fall away and let things fall apart according to their inherent integrity or LACK OF INTEGRITY- structurally or ethically. so any kind of over all structure, umbrella organization, which encourages this, rather then using coercion, enforcement, rejection, or exile, is preferable.


Connecting the concepts of exclusion, exile, and isolation to dominator culture is a helpful way of thinking about it. When I don't have a good answer, I defer to the literature on hunter-gatherers. Modeling their ways of balancing/leveling is the basis for our concept of a community of distributed nodes that individuals can move freely between. Do you think that model is enough to handle the social dynamics you've mentioned, or does more work need to be done on this part of it?
 
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Andrew, so good to hear from you. I also missed a lot of notifications, but now, upon reading those from this month, esp leilas, I have to agree that it is the objectivisation of nature, and people that is at the root of the dominator cultures enforcement of its will upon us. It is very subtle, like water to the fish.
I see that we need to remember that we have a long term goal which we can probably not jump directly to. In order to get there we will have to control a substantial land base, and pay the taxes on it. We will need a lot of money, well managed to do that, and stay legal so that the authorities will help us to enforce our will. The problem is that by pursuing the money we can lose sight of the ultimate goal. thus we need to keep the goal foremost in our minds and in our corporate charter.
 
Steven Johnson
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You may be right that it will be somewhat easier to implement when the economy is gone, but it might not go, there are powerful forces keeping it alive and I am not willing to wait, I want to start now. besides the only way to reduce their power is at the grass roots, by not selling the grass.
I was interested to read the industrial permaculture thread where the idea cam up of huge permaculture holdings to be funded by wealthy individuals, but there is more money in retirement accounts of the common people.
And I remember poly face farms need for almost wild forests larger than the cultivated areas, and the movement to bring back migrating herds of buffalo and people hugging lions and bears, oh my, and I want to live like that in a society wide mix of horticulturists and hunter gatherers, and appropriate industry for computers and electric cars and predator and happy goat herds.
 
steward
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Andrew, in an earlier post you said this..."Lower barriers to entry and exit from the group while raising commitment of the members. We may have stumbled on an interesting way of achieving with this (for a future post)."

I am wondering if you have made any progress with this?
 
pollinator
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Andrew Scott wrote:

Be Dert wrote:I'm not down to move to Alaska...


If it's not clear that we're not exclusively focused on Alaska, I'd like to make sure that' I've said our vision is for a global network. Many members of our group are in Cascadia, but many are in other parts of the U.S. and elsewhere on the globe.


Be Dert wrote:...if there are others who are into this model or something like it, and are interested in starting up something similar in the southeast (I nominate West-Central Georgia), please feel free to holler at me. I'm currently sitting on a little over 4 acres that I'm not able to put to much use given lack of funds, experience, and participants. This particular spot wouldn't likely make a great long term home base, but there is just stupid amounts of land around here and I would really love to see the land in and among this cluster of small towns (Luthersville, Haralson, Sharpsburg, Hogansville, Greenville, Senoia - basically, Walking Dead territory) get populated with paleo-permies, such that we're able to share/trade labor and equipment, have people to socialize with who appreciate our peculiar charms, and maybe even constitute some sort of voting bloc of some local significance at some point. I don't mean to derail this topic with discussion of how my ideal vision would vary, but I would love to discuss some variation on this type of project in my own bioregion with anyone who would care to pm me about it. If we get some substantial interest going, there may be a post dedicated to it in the near future. In the meantime, cheers and I'll return to lurker status for a while. - Bert


Sounds great! We encourage similar efforts, and certainly don't want to hold anyone up. If you have questions and/or suggestions, please let me know.



what i've been thinking is that there needs to be a HUGE umbrella group which links up as many as possible farms/communities/bioregions as possible into a very large network of communities in 100s and thousands of different locations. if you were to join this organization then one could belong to a variety of different projects- given potential access to land and work trade sort of situations, or for farmers/especially permaculturists or other horticulturist...they get labor and assistance, house sitters, and access to a number of different locations where they could also stay.

the idea being using what everyone involved already has, even if its a small extra bedroom, a couch to sleep on, or some unused land to share crop...to a farm with internships, land sharing or whatever else people are willing to open up to gifting/leasing/owning/sharing land. then this organization would have to coordinate between them to place people in different locations, continue to network in as many different places as possible.

with this though i dont think it would fly to make too many rules, or ideas about how the segments operate. each of the places would have to be able to make their own decisions about all the particulars, or none if they didnt want to have any restrictions.
no one could say even that you had to use only permaculture practices or anything...
 
leila hamaya
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Connecting the concepts of exclusion, exile, and isolation to dominator culture is a helpful way of thinking about it. When I don't have a good answer, I defer to the literature on hunter-gatherers. Modeling their ways of balancing/leveling is the basis for our concept of a community of distributed nodes that individuals can move freely between. Do you think that model is enough to handle the social dynamics you've mentioned, or does more work need to be done on this part of it?



that is the question isnt it?
can we do it?
this seems like the question permaculture is trying to answer. how do we make it work?
i am an optimist so i say we can.
but i am not a utopian, so i say it isnt easy, perfect, or "good".
maybe its an lame excuse, but it is hard for us because of the way we were indoctrinated, and fed the stories of our cultures justification of exploitation and all the weirdness of the shame of being part of such a culture, trying to change the ways we live and think.
even for someone actively working on this, its hard to go against the current.
sometimes these patterns re emerge, and some people havent even begun to address them. people are just at where they're at, so theres a stumbling around trying to figure it out and get along with people.
it's a simple revolutionary thing that you can do- just learn to get along with people! which involves a lot of acceptance.

for me this usually means to give people a lot of space, and not always have to work everything out with everybody all the time.
good boundaries are important, even if "private property" is all fraught with weirdness...people need OWN space. the less people try to do together the better everyone seems to get along =)
that way whatever sharing is voluntary, or some trades are worked out among people. not having a lot of spoken or unspoken expectations and obligation seems to me to be key.
anything one is obligated to should be very clearly articulated, and no other unspoken obligations should be placed on people.

humans are territorial creatures and so community seems to work better that way. more co housing and more distance between the people. very un primative society, though, where people lived very closely together. but i think this works better in our culture.
 
leila hamaya
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i still say the mostly sedentary, horticulturist with hunting and gathering, sometimes nomadic people had it right. why not do all of it? as long as the horticulture practices are not harmful, just some bringing valuable plants closer to home, creating walking paths upon which to gather more extensively, closer by. i think there are ways to grow plants and even annuals and many common veggies that is not particularly damaging, just using the space for a while to grow food.

i see this as the best of all worlds, in way the individuals lived in those kinds of times and places, or even now sometimes. it was best of all worlds, where they had land that they didnt own but it belonged to them, and they belonged to it. yet it could change, they could move or stay, not have to even know if they wanted either before hand.
like the world the more settled natives had, without having the same colonialism paradigms, though this is a bit different from the hunter gatherers. i think that people could have good relationship with lands that they stay and maintain, though there can and should be a lot more flexibility. not like what having mortgages and huge land payments, or being stuck in the daily grind of farm/animal chores does to people that gets them too locked in. i think there could be a happy medium there, and does not have to be one or the other.
 
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leila hamaya wrote:i still say the mostly sedentary, horticulturist with hunting and gathering, sometimes nomadic people had it right. why not do all of it? as long as the horticulture practices are not harmful, just some bringing valuable plants closer to home, creating walking paths upon which to gather more extensively, closer by. i think there are ways to grow plants and even annuals and many common veggies that is not particularly damaging, just using the space for a while to grow food.



Leila, have you read Keeping It Living by Nancy Turner? That book discusses various strategies Coast Salish people used for tending wild plants. I believe it also discusses the peg system that different Salish folks had. The pegs denoted ownership of plot, but also signified an area a specific person was in charge of weeding and tending. I don't believe the plot tender had 100% domain over the food from the plot.
 
Dennis Lanigan
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I also want to recommend another book that I think will further this project's vision.

The book is Perception of the Environment by Tim Ingold.

This book is important because it is the best explanation of the indigenous/animistic worldview I have ever found. For example, animism became clearer to me once Ingold explained that many indigenous people don't see a division between the "day world" and the "night world" (conscious and subconscious/dream state). So if a tribal healer came to someone in a dream as a bear that person REALLY became a bear. The story/mythscape/landcape/dreamscape all folded together into a skilled musical expression of where people lived.

This book is amazing, but also very dry. The implications are fascinating despite the academic style. If people can get through Zerzan or Paul Shepard (also recommended) they could get through this book.

From Google books:
"In this work Tim Ingold offers a persuasive approach to understanding how human beings perceive their surroundings. He argues that what we are used to calling cultural variation consists, in the first place, of variations in skill. Neither innate nor acquired, skills are grown, incorporated into the human organism through practice and training in an environment. They are thus as much biological as cultural. The twenty-three essays comprising this book focus in turn on the procurement of livelihood, on what it means to 'dwell', and on the nature of skill, weaving together approaches from social anthropology, ecological psychology, developmental biology and phenomenology in a way that has never been attempted before. The book is set to revolutionise the way we think about what is 'biological' and 'cultural' in humans, about evolution and history, and indeed about what it means for human beings - at once organisms and persons - to inhabit an environment. The Perception of the Environment will be essential reading not only for anthropologists but also for biologists, psychologists, archaeologists, geographers and philosophers."
 
Miles Flansburg
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Hey Dennis, Have you seen this book forum?

http://www.permies.com/forums/f-83/books

It seems like you have read some good books and If you get some time, maybe you could post some book reviews?

Now back to our original topic...
 
Andrew Scott
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Andrew, in an earlier post you said this..."Lower barriers to entry and exit from the group while raising commitment of the members. We may have stumbled on an interesting way of achieving with this (for a future post)."

I am wondering if you have made any progress with this?



It's been a while, but I think I was referring to the ideas outlined in this post. Fair-warning: it's only applicable to Alaska.
 
Andrew Scott
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leila hamaya wrote:humans are territorial creatures and so community seems to work better that way. more co housing and more distance between the people. very un primative society, though, where people lived very closely together. but i think this works better in our culture.


I'm not convinced that humans are that way. Hierarchy in the Forest may have already been referenced a page ago, but Boehm's phylogenetic bracketing can be used to call the idea of inherent territoriality (or at least its degree) of humans into question. I think that impulse may be subject to something else you said...

leila hamaya wrote:

maybe its an lame excuse, but it is hard for us because of the way we were indoctrinated, and fed the stories of our cultures justification of exploitation and all the weirdness of the shame of being part of such a culture, trying to change the ways we live and think.



 
Andrew Scott
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Dennis Lanigan wrote:have you read Keeping It Living by Nancy Turner? That book discusses various strategies Coast Salish people used for tending wild plants. I believe it also discusses the peg system that different Salish folks had. The pegs denoted ownership of plot, but also signified an area a specific person was in charge of weeding and tending. I don't believe the plot tender had 100% domain over the food from the plot.


Robert Trosper's work is good on "ownership" as it relates to stewardship over land among Pacific Northwest indigenous peoples.
 
Andrew Scott
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If any of you are going to be at Permaculture Voices next week and might want to chat about this stuff face-to-face, lemme know (PM is fine).
 
leila hamaya
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Andrew Scott wrote:

leila hamaya wrote:humans are territorial creatures and so community seems to work better that way. more co housing and more distance between the people. very un primative society, though, where people lived very closely together. but i think this works better in our culture.


I'm not convinced that humans are that way. Hierarchy in the Forest may have already been referenced a page ago, but Boehm's phylogenetic bracketing can be used to call the idea of inherent territoriality (or at least its degree) of humans into question. I think that impulse may be subject to something else you said...




you may be right here.

i have thought differently about it before, gone back and forth in thinking it was deeply embedded in our true nature, that we are a territorial species...to thinking that it is more a reflection of out culture that can and should change. yet our culture is a reflection, perhaps of just a small part, of our natures. but it feels like our culture isnt really OUR culture, rather something imposed upon people by a small minority dominant force...just a small segment of the real culture. so ??
its like some weird movie that no one really lives but everyone thinks is the way everyone is living !
errr something screwy like that, some kind of puzzling thing...

anyway it does seem that our nature, even our true nature, has many contradictions. and i feel that is part of our issues having so many contrary impulses.

i am also not convinced either, but it is my current thoughts at this moment of the whirl.
i'm probably kinda biased, having been a part of some rather dysfunctional community projects with crappy land mates drama club....i am more than a little disheartened about the ideas of IC.
more it inclined me towards this line of thinking, that perhaps theres a good reason people developed neighborhoods and more private space, favoring autonomy. and the whole "good fences make good neighbors" kind of thinking, suddenly this seems right. if not right exactly, practical.

i suppose boundaries are really only useful when theres violation and lack of integrity. if theres trust and respect between people then boundaries are unneccessary, they fall away. but wheres all these perfect people anyway, to have this kind of ideal community where there could be total trust and respect. well, maybe not perfect, even just a large amount of people with mostly good integrity?!!??
mostly what we see are the walking wounded. even though the wounds are invisible.....actually most of them are all in our heads.
 
leila hamaya
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Dennis Lanigan wrote:

leila hamaya wrote:i still say the mostly sedentary, horticulturist with hunting and gathering, sometimes nomadic people had it right. why not do all of it? as long as the horticulture practices are not harmful, just some bringing valuable plants closer to home, creating walking paths upon which to gather more extensively, closer by. i think there are ways to grow plants and even annuals and many common veggies that is not particularly damaging, just using the space for a while to grow food.



Leila, have you read Keeping It Living by Nancy Turner? That book discusses various strategies Coast Salish people used for tending wild plants. I believe it also discusses the peg system that different Salish folks had. The pegs denoted ownership of plot, but also signified an area a specific person was in charge of weeding and tending. I don't believe the plot tender had 100% domain over the food from the plot.



no, i dont think there was even a concept like that, having any kind of domain over what they harvested.

sounds like an interesting book as well as the other....havent read that one but i have read some various writings on this topic. one of the things i remember that stuck with me was about planting long rows of edible/useful plants along common paths. so that when one group went from place to place they could harvest as they traveled and then on their return they could harvest again. its a simple thing, but it struck me as being brilliant...and i was just getting more interested in hedges and fedges which seems like a similar thing though small scale. but this was common land, not individual plots.
 
Dennis Lanigan
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Having lived at several squats and wild places that attempted the Non-Hierarchical H/G Intentional Community in Cascadia and Appalachia (at Wild Roots, which still exists), food is always a difficult situation and brings up hard memories. Has anyone else attempted to actually live like this? What were your experiences with sharing food? Especially during lean times?

That's why I brought up Keeping It Living as it talks about (in Chapter 11) how perennial roots, grown in hereditary family plots, ended up serving as currency among clans and was stored, traded, spiritually held high, and distributed by clan chiefs (see page 300). It seems, from my reading, the reason clover roots ended up as currency is they were stored carbohydrates that could be eaten during the Cascadian lean times (Feb, March, April) and possibly even help during bad salmon runs. Having eaten slugs (it was gross as you can imagine) during this lean time while squatting in Cascadia and waiting for clam/oyster season to open, and losing weight rapidly because there wasn't much else, I could see how a system of hierarchy around stored carbohydrates could develop quickly. Simply trying to "unlearn" hierarchy and conflict when you're really "hangry" and exhausted is especially difficult, in my experience.

How would this project avoid this descent into hierarchy? Excuse me if this has been addressed, but I feel if the project is going to end up in Alaska/Cascadia it would have to address the same challenges the traditional people dealt with--especially if the traditional people in North Cascadia were extremely hierarchical (and even had debt systems and war). I do believe at some level it is a choice on what a group of people decide to do (i.e. avoiding hierarchy), but sometimes I think the landscape chooses for you.

Another quick example, I believe women in Coast Salish societies had to pick berries 10 hours a day (I don't know if that was by choice or a pleasure; see Plants of the Pacific NW by Pojar and MacKinnon for reference). The period of berries in Cascadia is very brief (Mid-June to late-August) and takes a lot of work to pick enough to store. How would people living in this future primitive IC be convinced--and not coerced--to pick berries in such a limited time frame?

I think one solution is to pre-plant all the perennials and let them get established (3 to 5 years) before the nomadic groups starts hitting them hard for harvests. Another idea might be being very conscious of the carrying capacity of the group (not that Coast Salish weren't) based on the abundance/typical harvests that could be sustained during lean times (climate change/bad salmon runs/late winter).

I could go forever on this topic (as I think about it and have lived it) but I'll stop for now.
 
leila hamaya
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Dennis Lanigan wrote:Having lived at several squats and wild places that attempted the Non-Hierarchical H/G Intentional Community in Cascadia and Appalachia (at Wild Roots, which still exists), food is always a difficult situation and brings up hard memories. Has anyone else attempted to actually live like this? What were your experiences with sharing food? Especially during lean times?



yes i have lived like this, in five different intentional (or a couple were "unintentional") community projects. with a looser goal of trying to be non hierarchical, more anarchistic.
most of my adult life i have lived like this, and its why i say what i say due to those experiences. sure sometimes its fabulous, but when it sucks- it really sucks! this all led me to think the answer is in people learning *leave alone respect*, not running interference on everyone else, and something more like a co housing model. in this way people have autonomy and own space, within their own place, and dont have to involve others in whatever goes on there. whatever hierarchy related issues come up are easier to deal with, the people can be king or queen of their own domain, BUT NOT THE COMMUNITY.

it could also eliminate the tendancy of people (modern people anyway i think the native people we have been talking about had much better ways) where people run interference on each other, question everything a person does, and turning it into a huge complicated thing that everyone has to agree on.... and generally dont understand about minding your own business and letting people do their thing.

so i dont mean to harp on this, especially since its contrary to the OP and the ideas being presented here, its not as though i am trying to say i am right and repeat this endlessly. its just that this is what i have come to see, because of all those negative experiences..... as being a key in getting along with a community of people. i could very well be wrong, and perhaps the main issues have been identified here, and there are ways to discourage and avoid the problems enough to get along. i was inclined to think about this more positively and more in line with this thread before these experiences.

i think that people have become so disconnected and so isolated, and knowing they need to be more communal and connected, end up going too far with the trying to share everything with everybody and be too close. its like a penduluum swing, the resting point of a good balance of communal and autonomously independant is much more independant than most community/land sharing projects have, but more communal than what modern society offers people being so isolated.

although it is a good point made earlier that autonomy and communal sharing so not have to be contrary, actually they work together. people can help each other to become more autonomous, and self sufficient....its about finding balance.

people seem to be so used the master/slave dynamics, that even if they want for something different it still comes up. i do actually hope there are ways, some kind of structure that would support people in having truly non hierarchical communities that do work out. but for now i am inclined to think that people are better off exploring the co housing type model, and learning to get out of their own and other's peoples way....



Dennis Lanigan wrote:
That's why I brought up Keeping It Living as it talks about (in Chapter 11) how perennial roots, grown in hereditary family plots, ended up serving as currency among clans and was stored, traded, spiritually held high, and distributed by clan chiefs (see page 300). It seems, from my reading, the reason clover roots ended up as currency is they were stored carbohydrates that could be eaten during the Cascadian lean times (Feb, March, April) and possibly even help during bad salmon runs. Having eaten slugs (it was gross as you can imagine) during this lean time while squatting in Cascadia and waiting for clam/oyster season to open, and losing weight rapidly because there wasn't much else, I could see how a system of hierarchy around stored carbohydrates could develop quickly. Simply trying to "unlearn" hierarchy and conflict when you're really "hangry" and exhausted is especially difficult, in my experience.


at one of long term established (still going) community projects i was involved with (which is also the one which is extremely remote and kinda hides their location doesnt really seek members) they tried out many different things experimentally...some that people really didnt like. once a year the older people come for annual work parties and the older people like to hang out in the main house and tell stories from their time there. even though the oldest members are still somewhat active in the community they all did end up leaving and seeking "own land"...but still try to remain somewhat involved in the community and want it to succeed. they are very clear as well about not interferring and not trying to present that they are in any way in charge, just because they have multiple decades of being involved. that the people who live there now have to figure it out for themselves, with very few guidelines and almost no rules.

one of the stories that someone told involved the "honey wars"...where because there was a lot of resentment being built up between the people about people hogging the honey and eating it too fast, it was decided that when the bulk order shipment came in (once or twice a year there were large bulk orders placed) they would all divide up the honey and everyone would have their own honey bear. when their honey ran out that was it, they didnt get no more till the next bulk order came in.

now this sounds logical and like it couldve worked, but it so did not. people were guarding their honey bears like their life depended on it carrying them around so as not to leave them unattended, after several honey bears got stolen! not only that but it became something of a commodity, people were trading honey for other stuff....
hence the "honey wars" which turned into a huge problem. ooo how this weird little stuff becomes epically huge and blown up out of proportion in the microcosm of community!

now the way i am suggesting is better and less problems, the community would be under no obligation to provide honey to anyone, nor to require anyone to go in on the bulk food order bill, and to have to try to figure out ways to share equally.
 
leila hamaya
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of course ideally the people would be growing/hunting/gathering their food...but some people there when i lived there werent on this wave.

so they wanted everyone to kick down more money for expensive things like dried mangoes and luxury foods, which irked me. and there were long meetings to discuss what should be on the bulk orders, with some of the people being on that wave, and others being more on the lets grow as much as we can and just buy the most basic staples.

i never bought things like dried mangoes, or expensive stuff like that on my own, because i was living more frugal and had gardens. kale is certainly not a good replacement for dried mangoes, but it was free from my garden so i could get along like that. but in this context there had to be someway for people to agree on the food orders and how much they would ultimately cost, when we were so far remote that no one could get any kind of job = no $$$$. but the people who had supplemental income of some sort, or mostly money from mommy and daddy, wanted everyone else to support their comfort level with luxury foods.

and if you went to town and back and brought back as much as you could...it all went into common food storage. so i would sometimes bring back as many chocolate bars and peanut butter, etc as i could....coffee too was sticky point cause we always ran out...then a couple of days later go to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, only to find there was NO peanut butter left even though i bought multiple jars, for instance. stuff like that gets weird, and turns into a huge thing.

i admit by the time just before i left i had started stashing extra special food items in my van =) and discovered this was the new way, cause thats what people started doing. but it was all weird...cause we werent technically supposed to do that or something...but i think that whole idea was wrong...

so i come back to trying to share less and not have to work this kind of thing out with too many people.
if some of the people want to work jobs or are lucky enough to get money abundantly kicked down to them from where ever...then they can have their mango or whatever...others who want to just forage and grow food can do so, and provide for more than themselves through VOLUNTARY sharing...

 
Dennis Lanigan
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of course ideally the people would be growing/hunting/gathering their food...but some people there when i lived there werent on this wave.



I think that's the rub Leila: if people aren't on the same page to fit into an area--and want to eat dried mangoes, hiding honey, or whatever--then it won't work. I think what makes egalitarian cultures egalitarian is that everyone knows how to grow/hunt/gather from where they dwell and the culture comes from that, rather than the other way around (which is the subject of Perception of the Environment). I don't think permaculture/hunter gatheres could impose an order, even food preferences, on a location (people growing lemon trees in the mountains notwithstanding...). Bulk food orders aren't really on the agenda if you have enough to eat from knowing how to fit in (as much as is possible). I imagine anyone starting a future primitive IC would need to grow and learn what it takes to fit in and thrive without co-dependence on other people and outside resources like the food bank/co-ops/etc as much as possible. If people start to disagree with each other and they can just walk away from a huge power struggle because they can provide for themselves--because the basis of the culture is cultivating that awareness--then that creates a whole different power dynamic. If people don't want to know how to fit in and live in co-dependency, power struggles will continue.

I want to plug Wild Roots Earthskills Homestead into this discussion again, as this is a place that is living example what this thread is about--and is somewhere where you can go right now and live this thread, if you want. I think it's important for people to experience and discuss real examples of people attempting to live in a Permaculture/Hunter Gatherer community, if there are any.

What works about Wild Roots is they prepare new people to end up on the same page with them. If people want to live there they need to go through an apprenticeship program of sorts and then check in with the group at six months and then a year to see if it fits for everyone. Do you know how to gather acorns? Are you OK eating road kill? Can you dumpster dive? Can you live off the grid? No one can just show up and decide--through consensus or whatever--how Wild Roots is going to work. The culture is already there. Folks at Wild Roots are attempting to fit in to what works there and are helping people to learn how to contribute. If people end up addicted to town culture, need dried mangoes, and can't hack it, then I doubt the current residents would ask them to stay at Wild Roots rather than descend into consensus hell.

Wild Roots is far from perfect. I couldn't live there. But it is inspirational and an example to follow.
 
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Andrew Scott wrote:

Steven Johnson wrote:Lets get this system on the ground and moving forward. We need the legal basis for it first and formost. What do you think?


Mollision (in chapter 14 of the Permaculture Designer's Manual), the primary text on the subject, Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities (Chapter 8 ), and academic papers (Keeping it together: A comparative analysis of four long-established intentional communities in New Zealand) recommend trusts (charitable) for the legal structure. I'm out of my depth on this aspect, but it's something I'd like to resolve. We're currently working on an application for "fiscal sponsorship" as a non-profit, but the 501c3 status that confers can be applied to a variety of entity types. Happy to hear discussion on the matter as we currently have no attorneys on the team, and could use some help.





Hi Andrew, I'm really glad that you posted this thread. I've been thinking along the same lines for years now and had a hard time finding anyone who wants to even discuss it let alone live it. Regarding the structure of the group legally, I have some links for you to check out. I came across this group while looking at intentional communities in Oregon to try and work with. Don't let the term "church" scare you off, I'm no fan of religion or any other control system, but this may be the way to go with minimal govt entanglements.

These folks are talking about many of the ideas involved in anarchic thought but couched in a biblical language. They are into the most important aspects, like sharing or "holding all things in common" as they phrase it and non-condemnation seems to be important t them as well. You may enjoy reading some of their material, but the part about being a "free church" and thus having more freedoms than a 501c3 holding organization is what I really want to relay to you. Here is their statement about it: http://fullcirclefamily.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

And here is the link they give to another site describing the free church designation as it applies to tax law: http://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm This site should be required reading for anyone trying to live a free life with minimal interaction and support of the dominant social order. It has a lot of useful information that is relatively unknown.

Here's a little more on this group, here is their ic.org posting: http://www.ic.org/directory/full-circle-family/ Here is their blog: http://fcfco.blogspot.com/

I definitely want to talk with you more in the future but for now I hope you find the links useful.

Cheers, Joe
 
Steven Johnson
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Dennis, it is great to see you weigh in with experience. Of course we often look at how primitive people lived in balance with their environment. They did not exceed the carrying capacity of their land. This was because they had no choice. They found the lands carrying capacity by starving to death in the lean times. of course, under those conditions, the use of hierarchy, a strong leader who kept weaker individuals working efficiently and not wasting or hoarding for themselves to the detriment of the greater society. At least, leaders helped themselves survive, and we are thus descended from them.
In many essential ways, hierarchy is more efficient. Especially in war, or conflict, and in extracting more resources and concentrating them on ones own tribe. If there was some waste of resources it was not such a problem, the world was huge. So that was how we came to use hierarchy, and it made perfect sense. And storable food, as you point out is the basis for money.
It worked so well that here we are, in danger of overpopulating and fouling our own nest, maybe irrepairably
 
Steven Johnson
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Some years ago, in the 90's I read a book called The Axe Makers Gift, by Burke and Ornstien. They pointed out that is has been that very technology, of manipulating things, ideas, symbols and people, that made us so successful, which has become the problem. They pointed out that the ways which allowed us to survive and thrive are the very tools that are now destroying us.
I won't try to recap the whole book but the premise seems obvious to me, and to many of us I think. They suggested that the internet and its increased communication possibilities will be our way out of the problems and I think they are right. Here we are, trying at least.
As much as I and many of us would like it, I think we won't be able to go back to the level of technology that made starvation the mode of population control, at least near term. I'd like to see a large amount of hunting and gathering again, and a large scale permaculture landscape could be great for that.
I think it will have to start within the money economy. maybe we could make money by setting up primitive tribe reenactments, from various cultures of the past, and tourists might pay to take part.
I'd like to see a land trust set up to facilitate that.
 
Dennis Lanigan
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Steven,

I would look into family planning habits of hunter/gatherers: especially extended breastfeeding, infanticide, and herbal contraception. I don't think generation upon generation of knowledge and experience would allow h/g to just starve by folly to find a carrying capacity. I don't think we would be here--and lived that way for 99% of human existence--if that was true. For agriculturalists this is different. Agriculture allows the creation of porridge/baby food which in turn allows earlier weaning of children, in contrast to extended breastfeeding (common among H/Gs) which can turn off ovulation.

 
Steven Johnson
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I see your point Dennis, of course they did not want to starve every generation, that was why they used other means to avoid getting to that point. Also your point of the downsides of agriculture, and how it has led to boom and bust cycles. I'd really like to get back to an h/g type culture, the question is how to get there from here. It may happen quickly on a geological scale, but i'd like to see some progress in the near term too. And with out wide spread starvation, so I think we will have to continue with a sort of agriculture, or more accurately horticulture, combined with wild or semi wild animal harvesting.
I have kept goats in a semi wild state for many years, and they were very fulfilled animals, we lived in a sort of symbiosis with the wild predators around too. It was a very rewarding lifestyle, though not very economical. We need to value the lives of predators too, and not separate ourselves so much from them.
 
Andrew Scott
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There's some discussion of reproductive issues among indigenous populations in Miles Olson's book, Unlearn, Rewild: Earth Skills, Ideas and Inspiration for the Future Primitive.

I can't find the reference off the top of my head, but hunter-gatherer bands tend to have fertility rates closest to modern billionaires. That's quite interesting considering this study...


"Respondents from the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans are relatively high in well-being, yet the Maasai of East Africa are almost equally satisfied. The Maasai are a traditional herding people who have no electricity or running water, and they live in huts made from dung."

Humans, as well as most other animals, have multiple reproductive strategies available. A common pattern is to have fewer offspring in times of abundance, and use that abundance to put a lot of time and care into each child. In leaner times, individuals tend to have more offspring, and hope that they'll be able to pull through with less attention. This can be counter-intuitive as it seems to make the most sense to have fewer offspring when there is less abundance, and more offspring when there's more abundance.
 
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Dennis Lanigan wrote:How would this project avoid this descent into hierarchy? Excuse me if this has been addressed, but I feel if the project is going to end up in Alaska/Cascadia it would have to address the same challenges the traditional people dealt with--especially if the traditional people in North Cascadia were extremely hierarchical (and even had debt systems and war). I do believe at some level it is a choice on what a group of people decide to do (i.e. avoiding hierarchy), but sometimes I think the landscape chooses for you.


I'm sympathetic to that argument, particularly how humans' relationship with the land shapes humans' relationships with each other. Some PNW peoples went so far as slaves. It's a complex, but the book I linked by Ronald Trosper answers some of these questions. In short, many of the systems we define as hierarchical were in effect, what Christopher Boehm refers to as "reverse-dominance hierarchies". That basically means that someone appears to be at the top of a hierarchy when mapped to our cultural context, but they don't have real political power over those "below" them, and they end up acting as land stewards subject to ouster (or worse) if they're doing a bad job. That isn't to negate what you've said, just that there's a lot of nuance when looking at these social dynamics from within them.

Dennis Lanigan wrote:Another quick example, I believe women in Coast Salish societies had to pick berries 10 hours a day (I don't know if that was by choice or a pleasure; see Plants of the Pacific NW by Pojar and MacKinnon for reference). The period of berries in Cascadia is very brief (Mid-June to late-August) and takes a lot of work to pick enough to store. How would people living in this future primitive IC be convinced--and not coerced--to pick berries in such a limited time frame?

I think one solution is to pre-plant all the perennials and let them get established (3 to 5 years) before the nomadic groups starts hitting them hard for harvests. Another idea might be being very conscious of the carrying capacity of the group (not that Coast Salish weren't) based on the abundance/typical harvests that could be sustained during lean times (climate change/bad salmon runs/late winter).


There are a couple counters to the development of hierarchy. Primarily, everyone participating should agree to a set of principles. This idea can get mired in details, and referring again to stable hunter-gatherer groups seems wise. The following graphic (and linked study) show average movement patterns among individuals within bands. For the sake of this discussion, the important part is that bands are fluid, and exists within a larger context of affiliated bands, all with fluid memberships. In this scenario, dealing with "upstarts" or otherwise offending individuals may loosely follow this concept:
1. Individual moves out of small band to another band within the affiliated umbrella. This would be out of personal motivation, or inferred social pressure.
2. Individual moves out of small band to another band within the affiliated umbrella. This would be out of social motivation, or implied/direct social pressure.
3. Individual moves out of affiliated umbrella on own accord.
4. Individual moves out of affiliated umbrella by social pressure.

The ins and outs of this in practice are what a good chunk of Boehm's book, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior, is all about. In most intentional communities, the investment-reward profile is such that 4 is usually the only option (aside from actually resolving the dispute, which I've glossed over here for simplicity). This dynamic sets up an ultimatum game that quickly accelerates small conflicts into huge issues.


Heuristic model of spatial organization of hunter-gatherer bands and their territories

When Dennis mentions the solution of pre-planting perennials, I am basically in agreement. This really is where permaculture provides the perfect bridge between industrial agriculture and hunting/gathering.
 
Andrew Scott
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Joe DiMeglio wrote:Regarding the structure of the group legally, I have some links for you to check out. I came across this group while looking at intentional communities in Oregon to try and work with. Don't let the term "church" scare you off, I'm no fan of religion or any other control system, but this may be the way to go with minimal govt entanglements.


Welcome to the discussion, Joe. Thank you for the input. Yes, I think this is something worth looking into. Mollison also discusses setting the trusts up as religious organizations, and it might make sense. It's still a little fuzzy in my head, but I'll check out the links.

Joe DiMeglio wrote:These folks are talking about many of the ideas involved in anarchic thought but couched in a biblical language. They are into the most important aspects, like sharing or "holding all things in common" as they phrase it and non-condemnation seems to be important t them as well. You may enjoy reading some of their material, but the part about being a "free church" and thus having more freedoms than a 501c3 holding organization is what I really want to relay to you.


Interesting. I wonder if they have any connection to "In the Land of the Living:a Journal of Anarcho-Primitivism and Christianity".
 
Andrew Scott
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Steven Johnson wrote:Some years ago, in the 90's I read a book called The Axe Makers Gift, by Burke and Ornstien. They pointed out that is has been that very technology, of manipulating things, ideas, symbols and people, that made us so successful, which has become the problem. They pointed out that the ways which allowed us to survive and thrive are the very tools that are now destroying us.
I won't try to recap the whole book but the premise seems obvious to me, and to many of us I think. They suggested that the internet and its increased communication possibilities will be our way out of the problems and I think they are right. Here we are, trying at least.


This sounds a lot like Zerzan's earlier (80s?) critiques. "Running on Emptiness: The Failure of Symbolic Thought" is a shortish (well, compared to a book-length critique) essay, but seems to circle around a similar point.
 
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Dennis Lanigan wrote:I imagine anyone starting a future primitive IC would need to grow and learn what it takes to fit in and thrive without co-dependence on other people and outside resources like the food bank/co-ops/etc as much as possible. If people start to disagree with each other and they can just walk away from a huge power struggle because they can provide for themselves--because the basis of the culture is cultivating that awareness--then that creates a whole different power dynamic. If people don't want to know how to fit in and live in co-dependency, power struggles will continue.


Well said. I think this taps into two of the characteristics generally shared by all hunter-gatherer bands (mentioned in the OP):
  • Intentional Avoidance of Formal Long-Term Binding Commitments
  • Relational Autonomy
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    WOW awesome discussion going on and so many points I wanted to jump in at! This sort of thing really excites me and I'm very interested in following what's being done to facilitate this community. Don't know how much more I have to add to the discussion in the "why" of it all, as I think most people here are rather convinced that a HG lifestyle is something worth striving for. I'm very much in agreement that we enter into cahoots with nature when we have a non-sedentary existence, and we fight something inside ourselves every minute we deny it. I tend to believe that the more you attach yourself to (your personal property, such as land) the more you strengthen a false notion of yourself as an entity which has dominion over aspects of its environment. Hunter-gatherer modes of life made immediate sense to me when I learned about them because there is minimal separation between person and environment, animal and habitat.

    I had kind of put HG-living in the back of my mind until recently, considering it unattainable, but I like the sort of system you've drawn up with multiple "nodes" or camps all next to wilderness areas to ensure plenty of wildlife exchange. It really excites me to see all this going on. I'm not so much interested in finding the perfect non-sedentary/traditional HG-mimicking model, and all the academic research that inspires, but rather making it happen in whatever capacity it can, and doing whatever that requires. I have lived in NC my whole life, and would love to do it here where I have laid down so many connections to the landscape/local
    flora and fauna, but to me it's a larger priority to make this way of life happen than to be in any specific area.

    Excited about this thread, hope I didn't catch it too late!
     
    Andrew Scott
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    Matt Hugo wrote:I had kind of put HG-living in the back of my mind until recently, considering it unattainable, but I like the sort of system you've drawn up with multiple "nodes" or camps all next to wilderness areas to ensure plenty of wildlife exchange. It really excites me to see all this going on. I'm not so much interested in finding the perfect non-sedentary/traditional HG-mimicking model, and all the academic research that inspires, but rather making it happen in whatever capacity it can, and doing whatever that requires.


    With you on all of those points. The academic mumbo jumbo is mostly there to show that the concept isn't as crazy as it might seem to those with a Flintstone stereotype of grunting cavemen. If the concept already clicks with you, then it's kind of just prelude.

    Matt Hugo wrote:I have lived in NC my whole life, and would love to do it here where I have laid down so many connections to the landscape/local flora and fauna, but to me it's a larger priority to make this way of life happen than to be in any specific area.

    Excited about this thread, hope I didn't catch it too late!

    Familiar with the Wild Roots folks? I think they're in NC.
     
    Dennis Lanigan
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    The Wild Roots land project is outside of Asheville, NC if you're interested. I would definitely visit them to step out of the academic talk and meet real folks living a permaculture/hunter/gatherer/scrounger lifestyle. The Firefly Gathering is worth checking out along with the folks at Wild Abundance. Natalie Bogwalker, who's an old friend of mine, is an old resident of Wild Roots, started Firefly Gathering, and teaches with Wild Abundance. I recommend taking classes with her.

    I think a balance of academic and practical is needed personally. Challenging the "nasty, brutish, and short" myth of hunter/gatherers-- beyond just the myth of "sustainable agriculture"-- is a huge perspective shift for a lot of people. I know for myself I read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn when I was 16 and that launched me into a whole new direction, as it has for many folks. I went on to read Zerzan, Shepard, etc. But, then I had my fill and had to challenge myself to actually practice what I was reading about.

    To go full circle, that's how I ended up meeting Natalie and ending up at Wild Roots. I got so sick of everyone talking about living on the land that I had to go out and do it myself.
     
    leila hamaya
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    Andrew Scott wrote:

    Dennis Lanigan wrote:
    How would this project avoid this descent into hierarchy? Excuse me if this has been addressed, but I feel if the project is going to end up in Alaska/Cascadia it would have to address the same challenges the traditional people dealt with--especially if the traditional people in North Cascadia were extremely hierarchical (and even had debt systems and war). I do believe at some level it is a choice on what a group of people decide to do (i.e. avoiding hierarchy), but sometimes I think the landscape chooses for you.



    I'm sympathetic to that argument, particularly how humans' relationship with the land shapes humans' relationships with each other. Some PNW peoples went so far as slaves. It's a complex, but the book I linked by Ronald Trosper answers some of these questions. In short, many of the systems we define as hierarchical were in effect, what Christopher Boehm refers to as "reverse-dominance hierarchies". That basically means that someone appears to be at the top of a hierarchy when mapped to our cultural context, but they don't have real political power over those "below" them, and they end up acting as land stewards subject to ouster (or worse) if they're doing a bad job. That isn't to negate what you've said, just that there's a lot of nuance when looking at these social dynamics from within them.



    i think it needs to be pointed out that what could be seen as "hierarchy" ( = leadership skills being valued and utilized coming with greater responsibility and POWER WITH)
    in the settled natives was very very different from the dominators culture's hierarchy = abuse and power over.
    i also think it's important to point out that horticulture, and societies that were horticultural, is very different from agriculture and agricultural societies models.
    agriculture and agricultural cultural models on a large scale- is from dominators cultures, with all of its might makes right, dog eat dog, disconnected and objectifying harsh type thinking....
    there is another way, and IMO, it is a MUCH better way.



    Steven Johnson wrote:
    Some years ago, in the 90's I read a book called The Axe Makers Gift, by Burke and Ornstien. They pointed out that is has been that very technology, of manipulating things, ideas, symbols and people, that made us so successful, which has become the problem. They pointed out that the ways which allowed us to survive and thrive are the very tools that are now destroying us.


    Steven Johnson wrote:
    They found the lands carrying capacity by starving to death in the lean times. of course, under those conditions, the use of hierarchy, a strong leader who kept weaker individuals working efficiently and not wasting or hoarding for themselves to the detriment of the greater society. At least, leaders helped themselves survive, and we are thus descended from them.
    In many essential ways, hierarchy is more efficient. Especially in war, or conflict, and in extracting more resources and concentrating them on ones own tribe. If there was some waste of resources it was not such a problem, the world was huge. So that was how we came to use hierarchy, and it made perfect sense. And storable food, as you point out is the basis for money.
    It worked so well that here we are, in danger of overpopulating and fouling our own nest, maybe irrepairably



    respectfully disagree with these statements.
    though i think this is the common perception, that we CHOSE to adopt the perspectives and ideologies of dominator cultures because they were better somehow. this is not how i see it, rather that these cultures forced their way of life, and damaging and false ideologies, down everyone's throat. and killed the rest.

    even though those other "tools" did not allow those people to survive in the face of the colonialism ideologies of force and control, take everything you can and make the everyone and everything your slave, i still say they are right, THE way.

     
    Andrew Scott
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    leila hamaya wrote:i think it needs to be pointed out that what could be seen as "hierarchy" ( = leadership skills being valued and utilized coming with greater responsibility and POWER WITH)
    in the settled natives was very very different from the dominators culture's hierarchy = abuse and power over.
    i also think it's important to point out that horticulture, and societies that were horticultural, is very different from agriculture and agricultural societies models.
    agriculture and agricultural cultural models on a large scale- is from dominators cultures, with all of its might makes right, dog eat dog, disconnected and objectifying harsh type thinking....
    there is another way, and IMO, it is a MUCH better way.


    i'm a bit more skeptical of horticultural societies. horticulture + geographic constraints (e.g., limited land available to island populations) often seems to strain social relationships and open the door to "big man" cultures. there are many other confounds (interaction with colonizers with steel tools, etc.), but the yanomami could reasonably be considered horticulturalists, and they don't seem to be the best culture to model.

    that isn't to say that horticultural societies are the same as agricultural societies, but there does seem to be more of an attachment to property via sedentism and low level domestication.
     
    leila hamaya
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    yes, i see that this is where we part ways ideologically, and thats of course fine.

    i believe it is possible to have some horticulture, somewhat sedentary somewhat nomadic peoples, some growing of annuals and other human centric tending of same plot, even some small scale keeping of animals (respectfully)....who can be beyond the exploitive and objectifying ways, and head trip of dominator culture.

    as i said earlier i am most interested in the horticultural models...i am open to it, these ideas, but i am open to all of these ways at least as possibilities for people to discover for themselves....well that is everything BUT the agricultural/control oriented/exploitive model of dominator culture.
     
    Andrew Scott
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    leila hamaya wrote:yes, i see that this is where we part ways ideologically, and thats of course fine.

    i believe it is possible to have some horticulture, somewhat sedentary somewhat nomadic peoples, some growing of annuals and other human centric tending of same plot, even some small scale keeping of animals (respectfully)....who can be beyond the exploitive and objectifying ways, and head trip of dominator culture.


    yeah, i basically agree with that, and think that there are examples that go both ways. i think it's possible, just more difficult to maintain stability.
     
    leila hamaya
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    Andrew Scott wrote:

    leila hamaya wrote:yes, i see that this is where we part ways ideologically, and thats of course fine.

    i believe it is possible to have some horticulture, somewhat sedentary somewhat nomadic peoples, some growing of annuals and other human centric tending of same plot, even some small scale keeping of animals (respectfully)....who can be beyond the exploitive and objectifying ways, and head trip of dominator culture.


    yeah, i basically agree with that, and think that there are examples that go both ways. i think it's possible, just more difficult to maintain stability.



    i can agree that it is not as common. these things do tend to go hand in hand.
    most sendentary type peoples do tend to be more hierarchical and more controlling, and heavy with the distorted forms of private property paradigms that are particularly damaging.
    but not all, and i say, it can be done. it has been done, and done well.
    i appreciate best the models of the more settled natives of various places, and am particularly interested in the north western and northern california tribes as well

    not to bring up something too much of a tangent, but it has just occured to me that part of this may relate to gender.

    "man was born to go a loving, while womans born to sit and fret...to stay at home and tend her oven"

    (to quote some some silly old show tune =) but regardless of source- its a good point)

    it may be that it was women who really bottom lined the desicion to stay in one place more than wander around.
    though i dont like to validate gender stereotypes, but there could be something deep in this.
    apparently in many traditional societies its women who did the building of the home. probably because it was more of a womans priority....
     
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