Permaculture and Capitalism

I was recently in Cuba attending the 11th International Permaculture Congress (which I’ll write  about soon), and was able to sit in on a few workshops/conversations regarding the nature of Capitalism and how it doesn’t jive with the principles of Permaculture. It’s a conversation made more comlicated trying to agree on a definition of Capitalism, or an alternative. I thought I’d repost an article by a fella I met in Cuba, Rafter Sass Ferguson. It’s a good read, and a conversation we need to have if we are going to talk about Social Permaculture.

Confronting the Context: Permaculture and Capitalism

Rafter Sass Ferguson

I’ve written before about the challenges faced by permaculture enterprises. Farms, like other land-based permaculture projects, are faced with the formidable task of regenerating ecosystems and communities, while surviving in a system that rewards the destruction of the same systems. Permaculture projects have to compete with degenerative enterprises and institutions that are happy to take the efficiency ‘bonus’ from unsustainable and exploitative practices.

The consequence is that it’s hard for permaculture enterprises to keep costs as low, and therefore people with less of an economic buffer, who have to minimize costs as much as possible, find it hard to support regenerative enterprises as consumers. That’s most of the world, in case you were wondering.

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