Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

"Municipal liberty is the first and most important [principle] of democratic institutions, since nothing is more natural or worthy of respect then the right which citizens of any settlement have of arranging themselves the affairs of their common life and of resolving as best suits them in the interests and the needs of the locality." - Emilio Zapata

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Power of Coffee: An Anecdote by Subcomandante Marcos

In brief, Marcos is the spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), which, in active opposition to "the wealthy and the State" (locally, the Mexican government), maintains the autonomy of municipalities in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico. Zapatista communities function politically through an application of libertarian socialism. According to the circus that is my imagination, the Zapatistas are the Mayan consciousness returning to us from a long hibernation deep underground - the wisdom of the pre-Colombian star-sky cultures, formatted to fit our internets, digitalized, logic-bombed... and currently dispersing spores of unknown numbers {{grin}}. Hokay, so, a discussion of Zapatismo is FAR beyond the intention of this post. But I came across a delightful little anecdote that is simply further proof that if life is an RPG, coffee is Magic Mana Potion, as well as being a general Clue that you're On the Right Track. As well as also being Earth's melange (the psychotropic spice in the Dune universe that turns its users into X-men - the harvesting and distribution of which essentially control the interplanetary economy).

Errr. Yeah. Below is a quote from Subcomandante Marcos, telling about a talk had by a group of Zapatistas over the Mexican government's 'peace' proposal back in 1994...

"They advised us to be prudent and to sign the peace [agreement]. They said the government would finish us off in hours or days, at the latest, if we didn't sign for peace... They asked us to prudently surrender and live... Who could live with that shame? Who trades life for dignity? Such sensible advice was useless... All afternoon we talked in the Committee. We tried to find the word 'surrender' in some language but we couldn't. It doesn't translate into Tzotzil nor into Tzeltal and no one remembers that word in Tojolabal or in Chol. We spend hours trying to find an equivalent... Someone arrives with rain pouring off the cap and the rifle, 'Coffee's ready', they tell us. The Committee, as is customary in these parts, takes a vote to see if they'll have coffee or continue trying to find the equivalent of 'SURRENDER' in the language of truth. Coffee wins unanimously. NO ONE SURRENDERS. Will we be alone?"

lol. F'ing Rad.

If you're interested, also see the Wikipedia article on the History of the EZLN.

1 comment:

Thirtyseven said...

That is most interesting.

Here in the civilized world, we've got words for everything, and we mostly use them to bitch, whine and complain.