Excellent book. A quick read that's almost conversational in nature, which I wasn't expecting on this topic. A few passages that I wanted to make a noExcellent book. A quick read that's almost conversational in nature, which I wasn't expecting on this topic. A few passages that I wanted to make a note of for myself, but realized that I might as well share in the event anyone else finds them useful:
"In consensus process, everyone agrees from the start on certain broad principles of unity and purposes for being for the group; but beyond that they also accept as a matter of course that no one is ever going to convert another person completely to their point of view, and probably shouldn't try; and that therefore discussion should focus on concrete questions of action, and coming up with a plan that everyone can live with and no one feels is in fundamental violation of their principles." (Emphasis is my own.)
"...We are talking about the fact that most Amazonians don't want to give others the power to threaten them with physical injury if they don't do as they are told. Maybe we should be better asking what it says about ourselves that we feel this attitude needs any sort of explanation."
And in a similar vein:
"...[This argument:] rests on the assumption that Western historians were right to assume that whatever is was that made it possible for Europeans to dispossess, abduct, enslave, and exterminate millions of other human beings, it was a mark of superiority and that therefore, whatever it was, it would be insulting to non-Europeans to suggest they didn't have it too. It seems to me that it is far more insulting to suggest that anyone would have behaved like Europeans of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries--e.g., depopulating large portions of the Andes or central Mexico by working millions to death in the mines, or kidnapping a significant chunk of the population of Africa to work to death on sugar plantations--unless one has some actual evidence to suggest they were so genocidally inclined. In fact, there appear to have been plenty of examples of people in a position to wreak similar havoc on a world scale...but who didn't, not so much because they scrupled to, so much as because it never would have occurred to them to act this way to begin with."
"States have a peculiar dual character. They are at the same time forms of institutionalized raiding or extortion, and utopian projects. The first certainly reflects the way the states are actually experienced, by any communities that retain some degree of autonomy; the second is how they tend to appear in the written record."
In discussing life "after the revolution":
"This of course brings up the "who will do the dirty jobs?" question--one which always gets thrown at anarchists or other utopians...There's no particular reason dirty jobs have to exist. If one divided up the unpleasant tasks equally, that would mean all the world's top scientists and engineers would have to do them too; one could expect the creation of self-cleaning kitchens and coal-mining robots almost immediately."
I really enjoyed this book. Beginning with a brief overview of the benefits of choosing local, organic food, the first half focuses more on practicalI really enjoyed this book. Beginning with a brief overview of the benefits of choosing local, organic food, the first half focuses more on practical considerations, such as finding a suitable location for a garden; tapping into a community's waste stream, as opposed to buying new tools and materials; and restructuring the home water cycle in order to maximize efficiency.
Flores also introduces basic permaculture, biodynamic farming and polyculture principles, outlining various garden layouts that encourage diverse microclimates. What I particularly like about Flores' approach is her emphasis on working with the limitations of a particular space, rather than spending vast amounts of energy and resources forcing it to yield to an impractical design.
The latter half of the book is a great introduction for those wishing to expand beyond the boundaries of their "paradise garden" to the greater community, with tips for planning events and workshops, getting the word out about issues and actions, as well as ways of minimizing conflict in group settings while working towards consensus rather than majority-rule.
The resource section is a great list of websites, books and organizations on everything from dumpster diving to ecofeminism to guerrilla gardening.
While you may need to do additional research before carrying out some of the ideas presented in this book depending on your initial skill level, Food Not Lawns is a great starting point for anyone interested in producing yummy organic food, while transforming their lifestyle, and ultimately, their community, in the process....more