[Diggers350] RE: diggers and permaculture

james armstrong james36armstrong at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 20 14:47:50 GMT 2010

The Land is Ours 
starts from the proposition that when land is not  acknowledged as ‘ all of ours , a common  resource,”  we will be exploited by those who say its

Explaining such a revolutionary idea requires
a few paragraphs. 
But I promise not to quote any "ism's"


 Examples of land exploitation
are out of reach house prices, exclusive farm subsidies and land speculation
driving up the land price exponentially   

Had you noticed there is no shortage of  washing powder but an endemic shortage of
housing?  The process of exploiting
housing is as follows , 1 buy up all the  UK
land with p.p.   and with potential for
planning permission, 2  trickle out
supply of new houses refers to  3 charge
monopoly prices, 4  support rigid
planning regime forbidding housebuilding elsewhere and disabling self-build..5 Enshrine the  sytem in Treasury and Environmentsl policies. and cloak the whole scam in concern for the environment. 

Engineer farming subsidies by lobbying Brussels
and Westminster to reward bulk  landowners in UK  with C.AP. payments  paid by unknowing taxpayers and exclude food
imports except at high duties (wheat price in EU is 2x world prices.) 

3  Monopolise land
ownership and speculate madly.   At the basis of this is the 240 fold rise in a
one sixteenth acre  patch of land when it
is designated not farmland but as a building 
site. PLC Corporate  housebuilders
make more profit on land speculation than on building houses (Barker Review,
2004)  so they build up landbanks and
build less houses.    Another example is
the  leap in property prices around a
station when a new line is built and the gain is private and the cost is public
(as in underground extension to  Canary
 Wharf and Dockland.)  ‘Farmer’ landowners make a private killing
dripping  houses on farmland under
privileged ‘Agricultural use conditions 


If the  argument against
holding land in common  refers to  the example of  collectivization in USSR
it is not relevant. 

Have we no better prospects of devising and implementing a
fairer and  more efficient agricultural
system in peaceful  UK
in 2010  with an educated  law abiding population  with one hundred and fifty years of growing
democratic direction and some

Small advances in agricultural techniques  than in an illiterate peasant society recently
relieved from serfdom  and this 90 years
ago, in a state realing from an unprecedentedly disastrous war ?   The introduction of  collectivization in agriculture in USSR
was motivated by  ideology- starving the
peasantry  into submission  and submitting them to dicatatorship from
urban soviet  Moscow  where a political revolution had deposed the


Here is a similar 
argument.   The growth of the air
industry is bad because Enola Gay dropped an American atom  bomb on Hiroshima
in 1945.


Exploiting the  people
by means of depriving them of the land is the burning beacon uniting and
illustrating all history.  From the
motivation of  the Norman conquest, the
Hundred Years wars, through Manorial serfdom, amassing Church lands, taxing
peasants   by tithes , the Dissolution,
the Enclosures, the Common Agricultural Policy , and now by housing . (and
foreign land via colonialism )


Holding land in common does not imply  converting 
an industrial society into small holders again. As I see it the main
benefit is removing the opportunity for anti-social individuals and grossly
powerful irresponsible corporation to systematically exploit people by means of
depriving them of access to land except under 
monopoly terms. 

Permacvulre/ digging  ? Land is not only about agriculture but the basis of our life, here on earth. 

Lillia Patterson wrote

Personally in the digger vs. no-dig permaculture debate - I am no-dig pro -permaculture and anti-digger. 
I don't agree with the concept of being anti-ownership, since this only leads to idealistic communist thinking which has historically just proven to justify revolutionaries, who have caused more destruction and disruption to land ownership titles and have used their 'idealist' strategies in order to aim to represent the 'popular mass ideal' to their own advantage, and then placed themselves in positions of power at the top, once the pre-existing elite have been deposed. Communism which is anti-ownership for example led to more than 110 million deaths worldwide, as the intelligencia of society across Russia and China were either exiled, put into agriculturalist concentration camps to serve as slave labour or simply put to death as a threat to the 'communist' regime. 
Therefore I personally am really 'anti' communist, since I think deluded utopian fantasy concepts of the land belonging to everybody being claimed by political leaders who pretend to represent everyone else as an excuse to kill off the aristocracy or to have wars, are in fact really dangerous. 
The colonisation of the americas, could be described as a utopian communist anti-ownership of the indigenous population of America strategy and so also could the colonialist European models that described the 'rest of the world' as empty also be described as 'anti-ownership' since they evidently ignored the ownership of the rest of the planet throughout their colonialist regime. 
Therefore I think it's actually really dangerous for people from the UK to project their own personal historical -re-enactment theories onto global theories that might not necessarily be relevant to the rest of the world. 

So therefore I am most definitely pro-permaculture models which are based on working with indigenous knowledge, that mostly come from people who have lived on their own lands and territories for millenia, and therefore had the chance to collectively over time, to be able to develop a close connection with the land that they are actually inhabiting, and to therefore have a sense of 'ownership' and 'belonging' to the land actually goes both ways. They have a sense of greater responsibility to the land as a result of being tied by a sense of belonging to the land. 

Therefore I also think that the concept of being 'anti-ownership' even within the Land is Ours - seems to be a narrow definition of what 'The Land is Ours' is all about - since it should be about people being connected to the Land whatever chance they have and developing their own sense of ownership and belonging in order to develop their connection and responsibility and therefore develop their closeness and responsibility towards the land and natural resources that they own and occupy in their lives. 

To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
From: james36armstrong at hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 19:04:22 +0000
Subject: [Diggers350] RE: diggers and permaculture




Hello Julie,
Yes,  good point about the long term  aims which I share 
and I see the downside of ownership of land is exclusiveness and the further aim  to use  landlessness as a way of sytematically exploiting people, e.g. by colonialism, by  monopolising  house provision , and  by garnering private taxes on food from those of us who consume food- all of us!   Few know that the 197,000 who own nearly all Britain's bulk land have  worked the system so that the rest of us pay  our taxes  taxes via CAP  to the landowners. Quite a sophisticated coup. Best wishes, James  

Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 12:28:53 +0000
From: wearealldubsolution at yahoo.co.uk
Subject: diggers and permaculture
To: james36armstrong at hotmail.com

Hi James,

I get your point - however there are many "deep greens" (or bio-leftists as David Orton of greenweb.ca calls them) who would be uncomfortable with the idea of competing with other species.  You could say that it is competing with other species and using all as resources for our own that has comprehensively fecked the planet.  I've been teaching about Winstanley and co since the mid-seventies and certainly regard myself as a digger but am also in tune with ( and some interaction with) U.S. panthers ( far from middle class) HP Newton was clear about how corporate capital has destroyed the natural habitat which should be a commonwealth " for all of us to share".

There are certainly people advocating permaculture who care feck all about socialism or about urban folk and whose practices are more damaging than digging has ever been .
 But the real purpose of permacultural thinking is to concentrate on improving the long term biodiversity and fertility of the habitat rather than getting as much out of the land in the short term as possible.  The idea of owning a bit of land for "self-sufficent" survival is anyway crap as "noone should buy or sell the land for private gain".  That said, digging and ploughing in the modern context of factory farming and use of fertilisers is self-defeating.

Personally I do a lot of digging but not for agriculture ( which I do by mulching and bui8lding up soil).  I dig secret houses underground .  

I have written a book in which I advocate another kind of digging.  I argue that just as we need to develop wild life corridors so creatures can get from one conserved habitat to another, so we also need to dig ( virtual) underground tunnels to connect dissenting communities to share support, techniques and

love and peas,




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