The Earth Party
Blueprint for a Mature Civilization
Step 1: Restore Natural Social Units
The very first step in healing our society is restoring the social units that are natural to our species.
Only after organizing ourselves in the proper structures can we begin to address our challenges. In fact, many of our problems are unsolvable without this.
To some people, this might sound like a euphemism for "social engineering", but rest assured, it's not. We aren't talking about some kind of weird, futuristic, government-imposed experiment.
We're talking about returning to the original, ancient social units that humanity "grew up" with.
Our model involves 5 levels of societal organization:
1. The Village
2. The Township
3. The City
4. The Region
5. The Planet
Level 1: The Village
The Village is the most ancient of all societal units. We humans spent 99.9% of our evolution living in villages, and it's what our minds and bodies are designed for, and adapted to.
The Village is the original unit of human society, and the smallest and most efficient unit at which all genuine human needs can be met.
Many of the psychological disorders of modern culture come simply from the absence of this most basic and important social unit. We need to bring it back.
"And how should we go about beginning this process?"
First, identify the area of land (and all the houses/buildings) around your home that would most logically constitute your Village.
A Village has somewhere between 30 and 300 people. The average is usually about 100.
"I know that in some parts of the world, people still live in villages, so no re-organizing needs to be done at this level. But for those of us in 'modern, developed' countries, the Village has been erased. We live in cities and suburbs now. What do we do about these modern landscapes? How do we reorganize them?"
It's not as hard as you'd think. In modern McMansion suburbs, a subdivision can organize itself as a Village. In denser suburbs with smaller houses that are closer together, one block can be a Village, orienting itself around the backyards as a shared common space (the Village Green), with the streets as borders between villages. And in cities proper, one apartment building can be a Village.
Examples of Villages:
This one's simple enough. These folks never stopped being a Village!
City blocks in Barcelona, Spain. Each block can be a Village. If you notice, they each have an open area in the center. That area can be the Village Green - the central meeting and socializing area.
One village. This city block was not designed with as much prescience as the ones in Barcelona, so they'll have to find creative ways of making space for the Village Green, and the food gardens. Perhaps the alley - perhaps that one backyard at the center/top... In any case, some re-purposing will need to be done, including pulling up some of the concrete. Many of those little "tool sheds" can be torn down, as they won't be needed, since they each probably contain the same tools as all the others - like a dozen duplications of the same exact tools! Just another example of how wasteful our current system is. All this place needs is ONE tool shed, with ONE set of tools, which they can all share, since they all KNOW each other. More on this sharing concept in Step 1B: Economic Democracy. Once the wasteful sheds are removed, there will be much more space for growing food, and other vital social functions.
Each apartment building is one village. This scenario is the toughest of all, as it's the most unnatural. Humans were never meant to live stacked on top of one another. These folks will need to be very creative to find ways to grow their food, but it can be done, with vertical hydroponics.
This one wasn't designed as a Village, but it will be easier to re-purpose than the others. There's plenty of space in the center for meetings, recreation, and food gardens.
Please note: The process of actually re-purposing the land itself, to grow food and provide for other necessities, is covered in Step 3: Design Local Permaculture Economies.
"How do we begin the process of setting this all up?"
1. Talk to your neighbors. Tell them what you're doing. Explain why it's necessary. Show them this website! :)
2. Then, identify a central space to serve as the Village Green - the common meeting area where Village social functions will take place, and the Village Council will meet. The space should be in, or close to, the center.
In suburbs, it should be the center of the backyards, where the yards meet (and fences will obviously have to be taken down for this, and that's a good thing, as fences contribute to the alienation for which we need Prozac and metal-detectors in schools).
If the Village is an apartment building with no grass or soil, then the Green can be inside the building, perhaps in the Rec Room, or the lobby, or even on the roof.
3. Once the Village Green is identified, a meeting should be called, with all residents encouraged to attend. At this meeting, the Village Council will be elected.
meditation and election
4. Once elected, the Council begins the process of planning self sufficiency in food, water, medicine, and energy. Areas of unused land (like lawns, vacant lots, the spaces between sidewalks and streets, dilapidated buildings) will be repurposed for growing food. Vertical gardening and aquaculture will be built. Rainwater collection systems will be installed on rooftops. A plan will be made for solar panels, wind trees, desalination, greenhouses, and whatever else is necessary to achieve Village self-sufficiency in the basic necessities of life. This process will be detailed further on our page Planning and Building a Benign Economy (two pages after this one in the tour. Just keep reading and you'll get there.)
5. Other functions will be created to facilitate dialogue, reconciliation, and healing among the Village community.
Beyond the Village: