Introduction to AgRUS

Agrarian Rural Urban Synthesis – AgRUS

Uniting the halves of humanity around Nature′s table

While humanity slow-crashes into itself – and its own habitat – bottom up efforts to address the issues have barely gained ground. The only grand plan in play at present is managed by the architects of the banking establishment, spreading poverty and distress through their instruments of debt. As a strategy, democracy has proven powerless to restrain it.

It is time to turn over a new leaf, to formulate a competing grand plan. There are core policies that need to be to addressed: land reform, agriculture, energy, economy, education, family, health, immigration, justice, security, society and water. But first we need a serious strategy: one that is both grand enough to redefine progress and strengthen the Commons, and to put the intelligence of the grassroots back into government.

The AgRUS strategy promotes a bottom-up, recursive approach which embodies the ethic of stewardship in both social and environmental terms.  Just as Nature evolves around simple rules and expresses sustainability in all its ways, so human societies must learn to do the same. AgRUS provides a conceptual framework for groups to expand upon, to evolve a particular model, using their resources according to their own understanding.

Agrus logo

The AgRUS Project aims to help people engage in the socialisation of sustainable living.  The AgRUS Network is for connecting such projects. Online education of the AgRUS approach is done through trails on the Peasant Film Club.


Land reform

We see an urgent need for national policy that encourages home owners to buy into land-based joint-settlement projects.

Platform 1: Articulate sustainability

The process called ‘natural selection’ in Darwin’s theory of evolution describes the choiceless adaptations of nature over time. A popular version of its underlying dynamic is the saying, “survival of the fittest”, also referred to as Social Darwinism. That misrepresentation simplifies life to a kind of economic knockout contest. Chaos Theory, a model developed in the ’60s, indicates a more inclusive interpretation … “survival by sustainability” … which emphasises mutuality over domination, cooperation over competition.

Platform 2: Affirm the Way

All of existence, including life itself, is an expression of consciousness, wherein biological evolution is a vehicle for the evolution of (awareness as) consciousness itself. Accordingly and inevitably a stage of evolution must eventually be reached when our ordinary awareness grasps the essence of that process and begins to explore it consciously.

Platform 3: Assert the Commons

Planet Earth is being sold off to Planet Market, a bankosphere enveloping world whose perversity has numbed our spirit and robotised our lives. The most potent and direct path to diverting this ‘pay to live’ future is in the hands of ordinary people. Cooperating as economic collectives within a principled framework their united efforts can transform more than their own lives.

Platform 4: Advance Sovereignty

The industrial influence upon food production has brought with it disastrous health consequences at every biological scale. The only assured recourse for reversing this trend is through grassroots food sovereignty. A self-autonomous land-food cycle at the personal and community levels is the precursor to other forms of sovereignty and wider autonomy.

The urgent ecological challenge is food, not fossil fuels

Ecological footprint - mediterranean cities

The ecological footprint of their food sectors is larger for most cities than their transport sectors.
← Click on image | Source

Global Footprint Network  The ecological footprint (EF) is measured in GigaHectares per Capita – how many billion hectares of ‘nature’ is needed to service each city inhabitants ecological debt.

– Limited equity in an existing property
– Modest income – pension or a city job
– A passion for being close to the land
– Concerns about environmental issues
– Health conscious – vegetarian leanings
– Stressed by city living

From take-off

Joins forces with others. To find other committed pioneers join the AgRUS Network. Your initial aim should be the continuous building of trust among the group. Getting to understand people’s qualities takes time. Eat together, work alongside them. Social capital built while living in easier circumstances will help with the hurdles ahead

… to landing

Identify small towns, (Centres), where groups can base themselves to form a coöperative economy, (Hubs). Buying residential property collectively is unwarranted – private ownership means financial independence. Living in proximity is strategically important – for practising coöperation, setting up self-help projects like a time bank, CSA or food coöp and so on.

Food-Land-People assemblages: How the Food System Must be Changed

Rural resettlement: some terms/ AgRUS concepts

CENTRE – core rural assemblage
… preferred Food-Land-People attributes

  • farming area with good soil and water
  • access to interesting conservation areas
  • within half an hour of a base hospital
  • no more than an hour and a half from a major airport
  • town hall with an elected town council
  • fire station & police station
  • safe water supply
  • public sports facilities
  • complement of schools
  • under-utilised factory space
  • a population of 3000-6000 people
  • an elected council with a town hall

HUB: A group of people who have chosen to work on a particular project together.
Hubs grow based around a Centre. Personal property and employment arrangements remain conventional – some participants  living within the town, others outside, even at some distance for the meantime.

Independent and autonomous, each follows its own economy and pursuits – defined within its Charter.
Any ministrations provided by the AgRUS Network would be voluntary. Experience suggests that a Hub should not exceed 600 participants.

CLUSTER:  A local network of rural life-stylers dwelling in proximity. As private land-owners they integrate as they choose with like-minded others in their neighbourhood. Unlike the participants of a Hub they have no charter of association — not to suggest that it might not emerge.

CHARTER: the founding principles of a Hub which may include its aims, purpose and code of ethics – as seen fit.



  • provides a cognitive map which overlays what already exists: an orientation that points away from consumer economics and towards healthy living and cooperation.
  • expresses a personal commitment to the need for 100% sustainable living
  • is a beginning for discussing moral accord and agreements around the essentials of food, land and people
  • is scalable – any group size from local households to regional planning.