Multiracial Young People Holding Hands in a Circle

Entryism as a Threat to Stable Communities

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins

Benjamin Franklin

In Nature, ecological communities are comprised of populations of two or more species that coexist in the same place at the same time. We even see symbiotic relationships between diverse species, where both benefit or gain from the relationship with each other, with mutual win-win outcomes.

In human communities we see the same patterns, different groups of people with different agendas and worldviews coexisting, hopefully harmoniously, in diverse communities, even working together to achieve common goals.

One disagreeable phenomenon we see in ecological communities though is parasitism, where one species, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host. This is a non-mutual symbiotic relationship between species, with a one-sided win-lose outcome, where the parasite weakens or even kills the host in the process of meeting its own needs.

Is there an equivalent in human communities? Regrettably, there is. The phenomenon goes by the name of entryism.

Entryism makes its entrance

The dictionary defines this term as follows: entryism – the policy or practice of members of a particular political group joining an existing political party with the intention of changing its principles and policies, instead of forming a new party (1)

This definition is rather limited as the phenomenon is not restricted to political parties, but to communities of all kinds, including the communities that Permaculture groups seek to build at the present and those they plan to build in the event of an economic collapse.

The National-Anarchist Movement more accurately defines it as follows: “Entryism is the name given to the process of entering or infiltrating bona fide organisations, institutions and political parties with the intention of either gaining control of them for our own ends, misdirecting or disrupting them for our own purposes or converting sections of their memberships to our cause.” (2)

The idea of infiltrating groups to pursue one’s own agenda was first proposed by Marxist Leon Trotsky in 1934 when he came up with the idea of the French Trotskyists of the Communist League dissolving their group to join the SFIO (French Section of the Workers’ International). Since then, entryism has been used by Trotskyist organisations in other countries to recruit members and further their agenda.

Entryism is now a popular tactic amongst many ideological fringe-leftist groups, many of which are a direct threat to Permaculture communities and the Permaculture movement, but entryism is not exclusive to that side of the political spectrum.

Corporate infiltration of food and environmental groups

More closer to Permaculture’s concerns, major food conglomerates who produce junk food are buying up many of the most successful organic companies to gain membership into organic growers organisations to subvert them to their own ends. The Farm Wars website has produced a chart of the organic industry structure as at June 2009, which clearly shows that many popular organic brands are in fact owned by processed food giants such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Kellogg and General Mills (3)

It’s also no surprises that we have similar infiltration of environmental policy groups by the agriculture industry. The number one cause of air pollution in much of the U.S., China, Russia and Europe today is linked to farming and the nitrogen component of fertilizers used in agriculture. (4) When world leaders convened for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, only one major intergovernmental initiative emerged to deal with climate change and agriculture, and it was controlled by the world’s largest fertilizer companies.

At the 2014 United Nations (UN) Summit on Climate Change in New York, the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture was launched, which the result of several years of deliberate effort by the fertilizer lobby to block meaningful action on agriculture and climate change.

Two executives or businessmen disagreeing over a deal

Of this group of 29 non-government founding members, there were three fertilizer industry lobby groups, two of the world’s largest fertilizer companies (Yara of Norway and Mosaic of the United States), and a number of organizations working directly with fertilizer companies on climate change programs. As of 2015, 60% of the private sector members of this group were from the fertilizer industry. (5)

Community groups are not likely to be infiltrated by industry or corporate groups, but they’re seen as prime targets by political groups, which we’ll examine in more detail.

A house divided…

It’s easy for many community groups to assume they’re safe from being infiltrated by other groups simply because of the type of work they’re doing. Groups of dedicated people working tirelessly and voluntarily with altruistic motives would be under the impression that others would respect their work, and would be reluctant to trample over their efforts.

Well, Permaculture may have its ethical principles of care for the planet and people and fair share, but regrettably, many other groups have no such thing, and their ‘secular values’ usually translate to ‘no values’ – basically anything goes to promote one’s agenda, at any cost! We’ll look at some examples and discuss the psychology behind it later in this article. The point is that many groups are not like the well meaning community groups we often interact with.

In Australia, we’ve seen parts of the Greens political party infiltrated by members of socialist groups with the intention to subvert the environmental and social agendas to their neo-Marxist ones, the phenomenon is well documented and these entryists are referred to as ‘watermelons’ – green on the outside, red on the inside!

The Australian Labour Party, one of the two major political parties has been involved in branch stacking scandals where union groups flood a local branch with their own people by paying for their memberships in order to influence internal preselection of candidates or the direction of party policy. The message to take home here is that entryism does happen, and it’s widespread.

Your local Permaculture community may not wield the same power as a political party but it still presents many opportunities for unscrupulous individuals and groups.

Identifying the threats

There is a range of ‘parasitic species’ that seek to exploit community groups, each has their own agenda and identifying traits.

The Opportunist – The Permaculture community is just like any other, we have our good, bad and ugly, and sometimes the problems arise from within, not from an external group. Just like the way union movements are used (exploited) by overly ambitious individuals as a career springboard into left-wing political parties, Permaculture and other community groups are similarly exploited by persons of the same ilk to further individual interests.

How do you spot these people? These overambitious types will literally take over groups, making it all about them, using the group, its newsletters and mailing lists as a means of self-promotion. They’re only friendly (sycophantic usually) to those members they stand to gain something from, and aloof to everyone else. They vie for a position in the group that gives them access to resources or an advantage in self-promotion and then they exploit it for maximum benefit and move on. Permaculture ethical principles? Their ethics are often questionable or missing outright.

If you’ve encountered such an individual, this solo entryist is a classic self-serving opportunist, and their first and foremost priority is their own personal gain, they may have some interest in Permaculture, sustainability or the environment, but it’s ultimately only a vehicle to further their personal interests.

The Misplaced Activist – It’s easy to recognise misplaced activists, they’re activists just like the ones in the Permaculture community but with a different focus, they’re well meaning and passionate, but just seem to have wandered into the wrong community meeting by mistake. They will want to do things like plant ornamental natives when the group is talking about planting food. Having divergent goals, they will waste time and simply confuse matters. They may be there just for the social contact or a sense of belonging or community, but unfortunately their presence just creates unnecessary complexity. It’s really a case of – um, excuse me the other group of activists is next door…

The Saboteur – Sometimes groups see others as rivals, competitors for resources (such as funding or grants) or public attention. Often they may see a situation as zero-sum game (if one gains, another loses) even though there may be ample resources for everyone, their fear of lack will drive them regardless. The saboteur will come into the group and play the devil’s advocate to intentionally cause confusion, disagreements and distractions in order to hinder their progress so their own group arrives at an advantage. The saboteurs are easiest to spot in hindsight, once the funding has been handed out or projects are assigned to community groups, the quietly disappear as their work is done. It’s really a case of identifying conflicts of interest early in the game as person realistically won’t serve two masters.

The Social Justice Warrior – this type has no interest in your group’s activities or goals. They are there purely to further their political agenda at any cost. They have already started making their presence felt at the fringes of the Permaculture world and it’s nothing but bad news for all concerned.

The “Social justice warrior” (or SJW) is a pejorative term for a recent leftist neo-progressive movement who claim to be promoting socially progressive views such as identity politics, political correctness, feminism, civil rights and multiculturalism. This group is problematic because (as the common criticisms levelled against them claim) they have little to no interest or conviction in these issues, they only engage in disingenuous social justice arguments or activism to receive validation and approval from their peers to confirm their moral superiority and purity. Their motivation for their actions are described as ‘virtue signalling’, the act of promoting certain viewpoints that are valued within their social group in order to enhance the social standing.

Another criticism of SJWs is that they not members of the groups that they purport to defend. SJWs are generally young, white, middle-class types who sit on social media and pass moral judgement on those who hold views different to their own. Ironically they use the expression “check your privilege” to shame other privileged white people like themselves about being privileged.

The new irrationalism

What makes SJWs destructive to any community is their sense of moral supremacy and ill-founded arrogance, they’re essentially post-modern left-wing fundamentalist ideologues who are anti-science, anti-reason (because that’s supposedly part of the oppressive patriarchy) and insist that their emotive rantings have as much standing as evidence-based facts (thanks to the loopy pseudo-philosophy of post-modernism which asserts that all value is relative, that a pre-pubescent graffiti artists ‘tag’ on a wall is of equal value to DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, and the baseless opinions and beliefs of a narcissistic teenager with no life experience hold weight against real human wisdom). They are also anti-religious and curiously anti-Western society. Their whole narrative, the underlying inane political message that drives them is simply this – “The Left is right, the Right is wrong and almost all people are evil”. Yes, it’s really that puerile!

So what does an SJW want to do to your community? What do they really want to achieve through entryism? If you’ve read George Orwell’s “1984” you’ll get the right idea. Conformity of opinion, basically ‘groupthink’ – diversity of opinion is not tolerated under any circumstances. They are pro-censorship and anti-freedom of speech. Apparently this ‘sensitive’ generation gets offended when they hear opinions other than the ones they hold, and demand that anything that they disagree with be censored. They have ‘safe spaces’ where they can shield themselves from opinions that challenge their own. They demand ‘trigger warnings’ be included in anything they might read or watch that might make them feel uncomfortable – that is, something that doesn’t fit in with their view of the world! They believe that they are inherently correct and therefore have no obligation to justify, debate or reason their ideologies while simultaneously forcing them down other people’s throats. The inherent hypocrisy of trying to achieve ‘equality’ by censoring and suppressing groups they disagree with is somehow not apparent to them.

It’s a new form of secular dogmatic fundamentalism combined with victimhood and ‘modern values’ i.e. no values, so there is no limit to how far SJWs are willing to go to push their agenda. Recently the celebrated Feminist activist and author Germaine Greer was shouted down at a speaking event, they refused to let her talk by shouting over her because she holds the opinion that men who have had gender-change surgery are not real women. Apparently in the SJWs world it’s taboo to say that, she’s a heretic, and therefore must be silenced! They have no qualms about online bullying, trolling, abuse, harassment or even lying to get people in trouble, sacked from their work or causing them to lose their livelihood simply because they disagree with them. Their hateful blind fanaticism knows no limits, it’s like a secular version of the Spanish Inquisition. They have been described as “cry-bullies”, people who bully others until they get confronted, then revert to playing the victim and claim they’re the ones being bullied or oppressed.

The SJW movement is so irrational that the regular ‘liberals’ or political left are distancing themselves from them, as are many other groups, and labelling these supposedly neo-progressives “the regressive left”. The atheist community has undergone a major schism because many who identify as reasoning sceptics have realised that SJWs dogmatically promote their own political ideology as undeniable truth or fact while demanding censorship of all other ideologies and that doesn’t sit well with many secular pro-science types. Even the infamous spokesman for atheism, Richard Dawkins is having his ongoing personal war with this group. As one article states “As the leading voice of militant atheists, Richard Dawkins has spent much of the last few decades battling Christians, Muslims, and deity-worshippers of every denomination. But now he has a new fanatical opponent: the secular dogmatists of the regressive left.”

The nature of the beast

These people are easy to spot, where there’s smoke there’s fire – they expose themselves as soon as they start demanding that other people behave according to their moral guidelines, not use certain words, and not discuss certain topics and not act in certain ways, they act as self-appointed arbiters of morality, moral supremacists in fact. Oh yeah, and they are classist, they have abandoned the old mission of the left, to support of the working class, they now look down on them as vulgar, crude, uneducated and pitiful. Maybe getting more privileged upper-class white women into CEO roles in places like Monsanto and other wonderful corporations like that might be right up their alley…

One can’t help but try to understand the reason for such a phenomenon. The incessant virtue signalling of the SJWs to prove their moral purity to their peers and to receive constant validation back, unbounded by any morality, all this sounds seriously unhealthy. Much like Facebook addicts who post obsessively to receive “Likes” in a sort of twisted Pavlovian conditioning reward, this constant virtue-signalling/peer-validation behaviour essentially reeks of narcissism.

Psychologists have noted a steady increase in narcissistic behaviour traits and I believe this virtue signalling behaviour is a reflection of this. To quote the New York Times article – Narcissism Is Increasing. So You’re Not So Special:
“A 2010 study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that the percentage of college students exhibiting narcissistic personality traits, based on their scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a widely used diagnostic test, has increased by more than half since the early 1980s, to 30 percent. In their book “Narcissism Epidemic,” the psychology professors Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell show that narcissism has increased as quickly as obesity has since the 1980s. Even our egos are getting fat… This is a costly problem. While full-blown narcissists often report high levels of personal satisfaction, they create havoc and misery around them. There is overwhelming evidence linking narcissism with lower honesty and raised aggression. It’s notable for Valentine’s Day that narcissists struggle to stay committed to romantic partners, in no small part because they consider themselves superior.” (6)

Remember, narcissists are all about themselves, they don’t care about noble causes, the greater good, the fate of the planet. It is guaranteed that the narcissist will be the centre of attention in place of the group’s primary purpose. Trying to placate them is futile as they can never be satisfied, and it’s hard to get anything done in a community group when the group’s energy is wasted on internal conflict and drama.

Protecting communities

As our Western world succumbs to the rise of narcissism and an irrational regressive left fundamentalism that aims to infiltrate any group they see fit to impose their version of Orwell’s 1984 on the masses, it’s important to be aware of possible threats and to keep vigilant.

Preparation is the most important part of a sound defence strategy.

The way traditional communities maintained their integrity was through tribal cohesiveness, good ethical leadership and sound agreed boundaries. Transgression of stated boundaries had very clear and definite consequences. This allowed them to expel any destructive person with the minimum of drama, and history proved that this system worked.

Agreed and documented processes are critical, especially more so for groups with a open, inclusive structures without leadership, such as anarchist community groups. If it’s written down, it reduces disagreements!

It is important to have an agreed upon documented set of guidelines that define:

• the group purpose and mission
• activities undertaken by the group
• decision-making processes
• acceptable and unacceptable conduct
• the consequences for breaching the guidelines
• methods and processes for conflict resolution
• emergency plans in case the groups is subverted by entryism.

If an entryist who is hijacking a community group cannot be removed for whatever reason, a viable strategy is to simply dissolve the group, reform a new one and invite only the preferred members to join.

If we model our community groups on Nature, they can be as resilient as Nature herself is.

Unity

Diversity is important, as it not only provides a valuable mix of skills, but also a range of personality types which provide a broad range of perspectives and solutions to collective challenges.

Adaptability is the key to resilience, ‘change or perish’. Change and adapt in response to new and emerging circumstances, proactive change prepares you for what’s to come, but that involves looking ahead and understanding the coming changes,, which is far better than reactive change, which is tantamount to sitting there passively until change hits like a fast moving bus and then managing the crisis.

Finally, decentralise important functions! Remember the Permaculture design principle – important functions should be performed by many elements. Centralising power, authority and control in a group gives an entryist a single point to focus their efforts onto.

The Permaculture movement itself is naturally resilient because there isn’t a single governing body that can be infiltrated, it’s a loose affiliation of like-minded, inclusive individuals and groups operating freely doing what they want and collectively working towards a common vision of a better world. And if any wannabe-entryist has the misguided intention of trying to tell us what we should do, think or believe, we just have two sweet little words for them…

References:

1. Entryism. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved August 3, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/entryism
2. National-Anarchist Movement – article “The Case For National-Anarchist Entryism by Troy Southgate”, Saturday, 18 September 2010
3. Farm Wars – “The USDA’s Organic Deception” by Barbara H. Peterson, 6 January 2011
4. Harvey, F. (2016). Farming is ‘single biggest cause’ of worst air pollution in Europe. the Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2016
5. The Politics of Fertilizer and the Exxons of Agriculture – Rural America. (2016), Inthesetimes.com.
6. New York Times – “Narcissism Is Increasing. So You’re Not So Special” Arthur C. Brooks FEB. 13, 2016

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17 thoughts on “Entryism as a Threat to Stable Communities

  1. When you realize from where you materialize an that all creatures come from an return to our Source ….What is not to enjoy our existence an protect our source ! Not very wise to trouble ones Home !

  2. Being especially interested in social aspects of permaculture, I’ve read this article with great interest. I have mixed feelings after reading it. I don’t know much about politics in Australia. What’s confusing is that only neo-leftist label is used by the author to illustrate undesirable behaviour, without even mentioning the possiblity that the same type of behaviour is also perfectly observable by people we could label as neo-rightists. And if narcissism is indeed plague of our (Western) cultures – and I believe it is – it seems quite strange to expect, as author implies, that this kind of people are among lefties / atheists only. No. They are everywhere on pollitical and faith spectrum. And “we shall know them by their fruits.” :)

    1. Hi Nenad, the article is quite balanced; surely you read the whole section in my article on corporate entryism which is a phenomenon more aligned with the right hand side of the political spectrum? I don’t know of any anarcho-syndicalist workers collectives that have infiltrated the US FDA or any industry representative groups as yet!

      I believe the pattern of entryism we’re seeing is that right-wing entryism is focused on corporate targets and left-wing entryism is focused on community group targets. If there are right wing groups infiltrating community groups that’s news to me and I’d certainly like to hear about them!

      If we look at what damage has been done and to which groups in the community, there is a major train wreck we cannot overlook. The SJW entryists have wreaked major havoc within many groups, all documented, many of the crisis and drama are still ongoing and being reported on. The following is a list of groups in which had been subjected to SJW entryism where the fallout was significant enough to be reported on internationally, where the entryism caused major divisions and schisms, collapse or where the SJW element has been expelled:

      – atheist community
      – skeptics community
      – humanitarian community
      – open source software community
      – video gaming community
      – tabletop gaming community
      – heavy metal music community (They booted them out!)

      Yes, SJWs do identify themselves as ‘lefty atheists’ as you describe them, much to the disdain and detriment of both of those communities, as the SJWs have actually caused them both a lot of damage.

      The ‘old guard’ of the left reject SJWs because of their regressive politics which they see as a harmful diversion away from the real issues and concerns of socialism/communism, that the most fundamental division in society is between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. They see this as destructive to the left-wing movement overall as the SJWs create divisions between the proletariat (working class) and in the process further the interests of the bourgeoisie (ruling or capital class). They see the SJWs, who are typically middle class, as protecting their own privilege by taking attention away from the fundamental division of class and splitting people apart on issues such as race, gender, sexual preference, etc. The left sees this as a diversionary tactic of the SJWs which serves to protect them and their own interests as the bourgeoisie who are part of the problem, by taking attention away from them and allowing them to pretend to be part of the solution. In fact the ‘old guard’ of the left sees SJWs as a middle-class infiltration of the traditional left political community, and this in truth is precisely a way the middle class could undermine the true left agenda of furthering the interests of the proletariat. Unfortunately for them, the SJWs who are a vocal minority have eclipsed them and become the mainstream voice of the left in online (internet) forums and on college campuses.

      The atheist/skeptic community reject SJWs for their ‘one true faith’ dogmatic inflexible unquestioning fundamentalist belief in a political ideology that they demand be exempt from any discussion or questioning, their refusal to justify, validate or provide evidence for any of their beliefs and their hostility, bullying tactics and name-calling to anyone who questions their ideology or actions.

      Even though the traditional left would question whether SJWs are really left-wingers or just attention seekers/middle class entryists adopting that label as a means to an end, let’s not forget that the political left has always been at war internally within itself since the beginnings of its history, recall that Stalinists assassinated Leon Trotsky with an icepick to the head, the dispute being whose version of communism was ‘true communism’. The current split in the left is between the traditional Marxists affiliated with workers unions and neo-regressive SJWs who are primarily middle-class whites who are no longer concerned about the plight of the working class and don’t care about them in the least, being more concerned with politically correct nonsense such as who can use which public toilet.

    2. Deepgreenpermaculture.com Hm… I’m not sure we are on the same page with the definition of community. Anyway… in Europe there’s this issue of localisation agenda being highjacked by political right because they’re after “protecting” their own people from… whatever.

      Thank you for your elaborate response Angelo. I’m not interested to continue this online dialogue as my attention is needed elsewhere, but you got me interested to read your other articles here, eventually :)

      Here’s someting I’ve read this morning that I share here with you because it makes a lot of sense to me, and maybe it will also make sense to you: https://umairhaque.com/the-chaos-factor-edad9e111aa7#.fsicveksb

    3. Nenad, thanks for your comments. A community is simply defined as a group of people living in the same place or more accurately a group of people having a particular characteristic or interest in common.

      This article is not about what political parties are doing to their constituencies as might be the case in Europe, which is beyond the scope of this article, it’s about entryism as a tool to infiltrate and subvert community groups and disrupt stable communities like the intentional communities that Permaculture groups create!

    4. Deepgreenpermaculture.com In my view, your frist definition of community is more accurate because interpersonal ties are stronger. The second definition – “a group of people having a particular characteristic or interest in common” – is actually less accurate. That kind of “community” is composed of mostly weak interpersonal ties. It became norm in our culture to call that “community” but I prefer to call that “network”. If we take “society” as system, communities and networks are two distinct classes of elements. And yes, we now live in network-based society, not community-based society. However, our human needs are better taken care of in community based society, we are social animal. That’s maybe why there is this tendency to project community onto what’s not community.

      Thnx for this exchange, Angelo :)

  3. I can see that the article is dealing with an issue that resonates with people and I applaud the attempt to analyse it in such detail but I felt moved to comment because the tone (by which I guess I mean some of the assumptions expressed provoked real concern in me )
    I feel it is Convenient to characterise certain types of people as the problematic ones, in contrast to us the reader, the genuine permaculturist/ activist/ enlightened one . I feel it allows us to project our own shit onto others so we don’t really have to explore it/ deal with it. We can all at times be narcissistic, have unhelpful agendas, put greed before our principles can’t we? I’m not really sure who of us wouldn’t at some point come under one of the categories here. Who are these superbeings who can sit in judgement of all of these groups of people? There wouldn’t be many people left surely? Just by airing my feelings on this article I fit myself into one of these categories outlined. I almost didn’t comment because of this. Maybe this is why there are only positive comments for this. Who wants to be branded an irrationalist? If you pre-attack those who would criticise you I guess you reduce the likelihood of any further discussion. If you have a problem with my views you are the people I am talking about kind of thing.

    I can agree with strong boundaries where antisocial behaviour is involved ( I have a toddler after all) but I feel like it’s a dangerous road to go down to pigeon hole the people involved and talk of parasites – we are talking of people with all their complexities.

    Permaculture inspires me because it is focused on positive solutions and there is an openness in the design system to seeing the opportunities in everything that is present in a system. Is there room for an awareness that every person has something to offer and every situation can create opportunities, that there is a way that these scenarios can create a balance to protectionism and that such disruption can be a healthy part of the evolution of a group, If groups are infiltrating isn’t there an opportunity to infiltrate them through the connection that is made?

    Maybe I am being over critical of the article. If it had been in the msm I would have thought same old same old but to hear this tone in the permaculture movement does provoke some anxiety in me. The last paragraph has some valid points that would have made a great article but I wonder how many people will get that far?

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      I’m not sure if your comment reflects the western cultural phenomenon where we only acknowledge the light and deny that the darkness exists while hoping everything will be okay, but I sense there is a reluctance to look at the ugly side of humanity, even when it threatens the very work we do.

      What I’m addressing is a very real problem here, if you look at my reply to Nenad you’ll see a list of communities that have already been undermined and torn apart by the groups I mention. It is happening, we can’t buty our heads in the sand…

      If you’ve ever worked with community volunteer groups you’d be well aware of how dedicated and selfless good people can be, the phenomenon of ‘volunterr burnout’ is very real. Permaculture, like many significant movements that hold the potential to make the world a better place, are grassroots community movements. In my opinion, this is where the hope for humanity lies, not in authorities with vested interests. How do we ensuret that such groups succeed? By being alert, aware and exercising cautious vigilance as the wolves come to the door, by recognizing them, and denying them access.

      Human communities have their good, bad and ugly, unfortunately that’s the way the world works. Greed and parastism are celebrated aspects of modern western capitalist culture. Think of all the industries built around financial speculation that just exist to amass money and avoid tax which don’t contribute to society, that don’t actually make or buid anything, you get the picture. Those who take and destroy aren’t only corporate types in high power positions, some look like part of the community movement. I suggest you keep your eyes open, they don’t all wear business suits and carry briefcases, that’s naive! There is no implied superiority as you suggest, just a realistic exploration of the types that would prey on those who work to help others and improve the planet.

      You simply have two choices – accept that not all people are nice and be aware of who you let into your community groups, or refuse to accept that some people have selfish ulterior motives and hope for the best. Experience will surely temper your belief system in time. Best of luck with whichever path you choose.

    2. It’s interesting that you see me as someone burying my head in the sand. I don’t ignore the dark side of the life. I just believe in the good and evil that resides in all of us rather than there being totally good and totally evil people. That is what my experience has shown me. Whatever the nature of either of our beliefs, reality is just extremely complex. I can see that your article is pointing out a valid problem and actually agree with some of your suggestions but no I don’t think I will be using these descriptions of personality types in my work in the future. Thank you for the article though, it certainly did make me think. I can only hope that my response may have done the same for you.

    3. Carolyn Leach Yes, we all have a dark and light side, I’ve been studying Jungian psychology for a very long time and am well aware of the ‘shadow of the human psyche’. The point to bear in mind is whether we choose to express our darker nature freely to the detriment of others or we act midfully and ethically and curb our excesses. Clearly the types listed in this article are not curbing their behaviour for the greater good, in fact they may believe ehat they’re doing is ‘right’!.

      Agreed, this is quite dark subject matter and is never easy to present in a non-confromting manner. Incidentally, this is why permaculture has ethics, and why I wrote an article on the topic earlier – http://permaculturenews.org/2016/06/23/permaculture-ethics-making-them-work/

  4. Lots of labelling and anxiety threaded through this article like worms. Maybe the worms will consume, digest and excrete something useful eventually. People and their motivations are complex and evolving. That’s OK.

    1. Hopefully it produces vigilance and more resilient communities. Unfortunately all this is very real, I’ve witnessed it all from first-hand experience! Yes people’s motivations are complex and often the path to hell is paved with good intentions. Agree that they’re evolving as individuals as we all hopefully are but being aware of ‘the nature of the beast’ prevents one from being subjected to the consequences of their unevolved behaviour…

  5. Trotskyism is an interesting choice. It is far better known as a spectre held up to justify Stalin’s purges, which of course included hounding Trotsky to death after he fled to South America. Irrelevant to environmental sctivism like this whole angle in the discussion? Holding up the idea of ‘watermelons’ to discredit the only serious opposition to Australia’s incredibly damaging climate stance, is actually a very Stalinist tactic. What is wrong with major companies taking on organic brands? Denmark’s organic strategy is not based on volunteer farms, but export-savvy scaledup producers.

    You might describe anyone seeking to make a living out of sustainable activities as an opportunist. But ‘working tirelessly and voluntarily’ excludes young people looking for a future, and keeps many techniques stuck in the realm of hobby, or even, self-indulgence.

    Permaculture is not purely about edibles. One of the original concepts behind zoning was to be able to expand zone 5, wilderness. Having seen the failure of most Incredible Edible inspired beds to produce food that gets eaten, I am focussing on kerbside ‘bee stations’. I have planted up floating islands to help deal with blue-green algae and eutrophication. Dragonflies and hedgehogs are other things I am involving special attention to in my permacultute designs. Further, I see partnering with different groups and encompassing many concerns at once as essential to permaculture in practice.

    A Food Sovereignty gathering was one of the most permaculture events I’ve been too. La Via Camposinos and Global Justice Now (formally World Development Movement) are great permaculture allies, taking permaculture values into strategic and political spheres. Social justice is a core pillar behind fighting climate change – and what the fuck kind of permanent culture can we build with 6C+ of warming! What you describe you explicitly point out is not fighting for social justice – you fail to then highlight what you actually mean is, someone who is a dickhead. I hope we can all spot them without discrediting those who do fight for social justice. I take it you never interact with non-white permaculturalists, because sneeringly dismissing ideas about privilege is a massive failure of empathy.

    Parasitism tends over time to become symbiosis. In terms of our ‘green infrastructure ‘ humans have been the most virulent and damaging parasites ever. Nature’s lessons are a lot more complex than shouting heretic or collaborator.

    You had heading of ‘the new irrationalism’ and I briefly hoped you would touch on a group that can be difficult, those who insist on magical thinking and unverifiable unfalsifiable but often very prescriptive techniques. Like the idea if growing your culture into a more permanently sustainable one by ‘purging heretics’.

    1. Hi, the reason I had to bring up the ‘left’ is because there was some ‘guilt by association’ going on from some subscribers of leftist politics who thought I was having a go at them and had difficulty distinguishing themselves from the ‘neo-regressive left’ phenomenon I discuss which is essentially nihilistic and stands for nothing other than a platform for virtue signalling.

      There is a difference between making a living out of permaculture and plain old opportunism. The former should by all means be ethical, the second involves f*****g over your colleagues and your own community. That should be patently obvious unless one doesn’t adhere to {Permaculture’s ethics!

      I’m well aware that Permaculture is not purely about edibles, if you observe carefully you are in fact reading an article about Permaculture communities, it’s in big letters in the title! I applaud you for your work, any work we do to preserve and restore ecosystem is significant. Yes, permaculture is about collaboration, we all know that.

      In the article I raise an important point which seems very important to you, the term “social justice” and an increasing number of groups within this movement have been hijacked by the neo-regressive left, colloquially referred to as ‘social justice warriors’ or ‘SJWs’, because that’s how they see themselves and the ‘work’ they’re doing, which is nothing of the sort and undermines the host group. If you’re not aware that this group are the new irrationalists, then re-read my article and comments, or google the term. Is reality not matching your expectations perhaps? Did you expect the new irrationalists to be drawn from the religious right? I’ll say it again, SJWs are clearly anti-science, anti-reason and clearly state that. Yes it’s uncomfortable to many from the left to acknowledge that a new wave of irrationalist zealots have grown out of the politically correct fringe extremists from the atheist left. If that’s a bitter pill to swallow, check their forums, they refer to their movement as the new enlightenment and refer to themselves as “wokes” to distinguish themselves from the non-awakened rabble like ourselves…

      You state that “Parasitism tends over time to become symbiosis.” I see no evidence to support this. It doesn’t in natural ecosystems and it hasn’t here. I’ve listed the infiltrated groups, no symbiosis, just schisms and collapse. Thinking you can co-opt and integrate these destructive elements in the community into altruistic groups and expecting them to thrive seems like wishful thinking to me.

      Nature’s lessons may be a lot more complex than distinguishing heretics from collaborators but if you can’t distinguish between discordant and harmonious elements in society from the outset when figuring who you choose to work with, then you’re basically stuffed.

      I find it somewhat disconcerting that people choose to ignore that the wolves exist and blindly assume that everyone has their best interests at heart.

      As a final note in your comment about privilege, I’m not a ‘white anglo’, my name should give that away, so please don’t presume you know my past, my life story, the hardship and racism my parents endured as first generation migrants and who I associate with. Thank you.

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