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 yet in play is that managed by the architects of the banking system, spreading distress through instruments of debt. Democracy has failed to restrain it.

It is time to formulate a competing grand plan. To address the core policies, (land reform, agriculture, energy, economy, education, family, health, immigration, justice, security, society and water), we need a social strategy to put the intelligence of the grassroots back into government.

Here we have outlined a bottom-up, recursive approach that embodies the ethic of stewardship, in both social and environmental terms.  Just as Nature evolves around simple rules and expresses sustainability in all of its ways, so human societies must learn to do the same. AgRUS provides a living framework for groups to expand upon, using their own resources, and 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 all manner of such projects, with a focus on rural living and agrarian activities.

Platform 1: Articulate sustainability

Darwin’s theory of ‘natural selection’ explains how species adapt to change over time. A popular version of that dynamic is the expression … “survival of the fittest”. This misrepresents life as a kind of economic knockout contest. In Chaos Theory, a model developed in the ’60s, we find a more inclusive explanation … “survival through sustainability”. This theory accords better with our natural sense of prior unity: mutuality instead of domination, cooperation instead of 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 us as Planet Market, a bankosphere enveloped 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. Cooperative economic collectives within a principled framework can transform more than the people’s own lives.

Platform 4: Advance Sovereignty

The expanded approach to industrial food production has brought consequences at every biological scale. The only recourse to 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

FOOD vs. TRANSPORT - ecological footprint, 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

Land reform

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

From take-off

Join 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

TOWN CENTRE – Preferred attributes
… some ideas to consider

  • farming area with good soil, abundant 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 council
  • fire station & police station
  • safe water supply
  • public sports facilities
  • complement of good schools
  • under-utilised factory space
  • a population of 3000-6000 people
  • a small but active commercial area

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

Independent and autonomous, each Hub follows its own economy and pursuits – defined within its own Charter.
What links them is a commitment to sustainability as a founding principle.

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.

Conclusions

AgRUS …

  • 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.

References