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Summary

Paul Wheaton and Alan Booker continue their review and discussion of the big black book, Bill Mollison's Permaculture - a designers' manual.

1.2 Ethics (continued)

Would it have been better if the ethics had been implicit, not explicit? Paul tries to change things from the demand side. For this, you need explicit ethics.  In the Book of Eli, the antagonist believes that if he has the Bible, he can control people through faith. Any powerful tool can be reduced to dogma when written word is all they have. The people who aren't doing things first hand create cognitive dissonance, which allows dogma. Hands-on approaches keep you from reducing stuff to dogma. There is no single answer. No powerful tool is perfect. Reality intrudes on theories and keeps them from seeming perfect. Do-ers can use a tool despite the theory and dogma, and, if used wisely, get a lot done with it.  

Possible to have both ethics and profit. Ethics feed the soul when you first discover permaculture, but it drives people away too.  Two ways of looking at profit motive: 1 - all about short term gains;  2 - make whole systems more profitable. Sepp did this. Humans are a keystone species, but everyone/thing can benefit. Is it possible to apply the ethics and have many more people have a richer and more abundant life? Yes! Culture needs to be richer, not just us.  We can do more together than apart, and community is vital, but challenging. Get 100 people to help figure out how permaculture grows beyond Mollison. Maybe throw out 20% of it along the way else our growth will be impeded and we arrive back at dogma.  

Success is not just short-term profit. How do we agree how to move forward?  If permaculture were only for single individuals, would be possible for only implicit ethics. But scaled up, they need to be explicit.  Paul wants to arm people to defend themselves from the 'that's not permaculture' people.  


Relevant Threads

"Permaculture - a designers' manual" forum

The Big Black Book - summary, reviews,and where to buy

Ethics forum


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