Which Is Our Human Future: Central Planning or Adaptive Networks?

In all the vociferous talk about whether Capitalism or Socialism (communism) is the way of the future, I sit here holding these and all other opposites in my right and left hands, occupying the space between them. So whereas I tend towards Trumpism for now, it’s not because I beLIEve in his god, Capitalism, but because he’s disrupting the existing hierarchical order. And afterwards, what? Another hierarchical order — of either Capitalism or Socialism?


I keep seeing a world composed of tiny farms and towns, all networked with each other, sharing goods, services, friendship, ceremony, art. Teaching and learning skills based on what’s needed: farming, hand made clothes, tools, repair shops of all kinds. Am I a Luddite? I suppose so. And yet I love my screens, too, so do want to keep minimal “government,” but confined to the creation and maintenance of infrastructure — transportation, communication, local stores, libraries, healing centers, trade schools, universities that, once again, are devoted to wisdom, plus research that  benefits decentralization — and of course at least at first, a way to defend “borders” as each experiment in decentralization takes hold within a sovereign nation. Eventually, yes, of course, we don’t need those borders, we won’t need them, we are all human beings, and it is simply not our original nature to hate one another. Especially when we realize there’s plenty for all, once we reconnect to our Mother Earth and learn to participate and share in her natural abundance.

I decided to google the question “Divide land mass of world by current population. How many acres per person?” And got this:


33% desert, eh? Well, guess what. Deserts can be permacultured.

So do the math again, and add that 33%. Significantly more acreage per person.

Oh, and by the way, so can some mountainsides be permacultured.

So do the math yet again, this time adding some of that remaining 24% so-called “uninhabitable” land.

Am I just a dreamer? Well, as John Lennon famously put it, “I’m not the only one.” Let us learn to see below the “right” and “left” and their equally centrally planned visions of the future. And you don’t have to be a permaculturist to see this way. I doubt the author of the article I post below is.

Let’s fact it: hierarchical central planning is another monoculture, in that its structure is rigid and inflexible, increasingly defensive in the face of change, and therefore doomed to fail. The alternative is neither left or right, but occupying the middle ground: a decentralized, evolutionary process, flexible and open, where waste of one is food for another, all individuals and species interweaving and attuning, accepting and incorporating change: THE WAY NATURE does it. Which do we choose?

The life I have chosen as a now 76-year-old woman, is very different from most old people, in that I don’t live alone, or with one other, but with a multitude of individuals, old and young, in Green Acres Permaculture Village, which we see as a template for another way of being in the suburbs. Our motto, “growing community from the ground up,” and our interwoven way of life nudges me to be flexible, to adapt to continuous change. As a result, there’s not a single sign of arthritis, or any other rigidifying condition in my body. And it’s not just my yoga and chikung/taichi practices that account for this flexibility. It’s the entire lifestyle, connecting with both wildly individual humans and our Mother Earth on a daily basis while inhabiting my own very private realm as well. Both. Remember. Both. Always. Embrace contradictions! Individualism and community, like all sets of opposites, are also best lived within the stretch between the two.

Which One Wins? Central Planning or Adaptive Networks




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2 Responses to Which Is Our Human Future: Central Planning or Adaptive Networks?

  1. Kathryn J Anderson says:

    WOW Ann!!! This is the best thing I’ve ever read! In my being….you have been chosen to be the voice for mama earth and we need you now!!! Get that youtube channel up!!! Let us know if you need help. So grateful to be your friend! Blessings and much love….

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      Whoa! BIG HEAD here, after your comment. Must bat myself down to size . . . And yes, the podcast is coming, coming . . .

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