Reasons for communication, reasons for community

In my last article, I heavily criticised Paul Wheaton for trying to take permaculture in a anti-ethical, capitalist direction. I did so because I feel that capitalist subsumption of permaculture would be an intolerable tragedy, and because no one else had really made a serious critique. My aim was to make Wheaton’s supporters think again. From what I can see, they must either be missing the point or guilty of the same capitalist addictions. It remains to be seen exactly what the balance is in that regard.

I wanted now to clarify my position with some unpacking of a few key concepts, as well as look at how those concepts relate to the disagreement between Wheaton and myself.

I’ve had feedback from a few readers now, and one thing that’s emerged is that people are a little bit surprised at the intensity of my critique. I’ve written back in response to these comments, explaining that I feel passion in communication is not something that should have to be defended, provided it is not compounded with any actual rhetorical crime: such as dishonesty, hypocrisy, inaccuracy. In fact, I think passion is good. It shows that I care about the things I talk about, my words are not empty. Continue reading